Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #127

Today we have Leah Petersen choosing our words. Show her some creative love.

Writing prompts cure writer’s block. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, do those too.)

  1. Grim
  2. Gravy
  3. Gravity
  4. Sultry
  5. Torrid – Parched with the heat of the sun; Passionate
  6. Frigid
  7. Blistering
  8. White
  9. Tempest
  10. Blizzard

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


124 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #127”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Why so grim, Billy? You done made it outta Gater’s Crossing without that James feller killin’ you. You should be as happy as a mountain oyster inside a clam.”

    “You don’t understand the gravity of the situation, Bobby. First, that Bayou Billy is one frigid bastard wit his Gumbo. He ain’t gave me none no matter how many times I done asked. Third, his wife Yvonne is a gravy-filled tempest of lust. She done woked me up one night standing in the doorway wearin’ woman’s lingerie, tryin’ to be sultry, but she looked more like a cow filled with poultry. She jumped on me and squished my lungs so I couldn’t cry for help. She said she wanted a torrid love affair. I told her the heat she was creating between our bodies was blistering my skin and the only way I was making love to her would be if a blizzard hit the swamps of Gater’s Crossing.

    “What happened next, Billy?”

    “I looked out the window as saw white stuff fallin’ from the sky.”

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    It’s grim, The gravy has a g’dawful gravity in my belly. I should feel sultry, even torrid, but the meal has made me frigid, blistering with a white tempest in the blizzard of my anger.

  3. Julia Martin says:

    Somewhere in the year between the reality of the frigid winter and the torrid and sultry summer, he lost me. It wasn’t in the days or even in the hours or minutes that lay between us, but it was in the seconds. The second of gravity it takes for a white egg to hit the floor. Or, more accurately, when the gravy turned from delicious to congealed.

    But when he asked why, what could I say? That his kisses reminded me of congealed gravy? No, instead I lied. I told him what he wanted to hear, that I’m frightened by his blistering hot passion, and I am lost in the tempest of his blizzard.
    And in the grim reality of that second, I needed to believe it just as much as he.

  4. Anne Wayman says:

    Yes, Julia, hot indeed!

  5. It was a grim sight, the competing horrors that crept in around us. The gravity of our situation began to filter through the company in a ripple of murmurs. Behind us came the turgid, white-black clouds of a blizzard building; blistering cold and frigid, inexorable whiteout. A tempest ahead, stirring to a sultry sauna the torrid landscape. Viscous acid crawled down the incline to our left; a green-gray gravy spilling from the broken hills. To the right, the promised cool refuge of the forest hummed with the low growls of the pforched hunting pack.

    “We’re in a bit of a spot, I think,” Hemell said.

    I hitched my pack higher on my back. “Which way shall we go?” I said.

    “Well, all of them, of course,” he replied. “We took on the job for the adventure, did we not?”

    “Adventure,” I grumbled, “is highly overrated.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Leah: I love what you did here.

      Behind us came the turgid, white-black clouds of a blizzard building; blistering cold and frigid, inexorable whiteout. A tempest ahead, stirring to a sultry sauna the torrid landscape. Viscous acid crawled down the incline to our left; a green-gray gravy spilling from the broken hills.

      That whole segments rocks! Thanks for choosing the words and playing along. 🙂

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Leah-love this story-I want to go on that adventure. 🙂

    • margaret says:

      Hi Leah….love the line “green-gray gravy spilling from the hills”! very descriptive write.

    • Holy moly! These are vivid! Now, I want to watch an adventure movie.
      Very well done, Leah. Also, thanks for the lovely word list!

    • Chris F. says:

      I love this.  Great sense of imminent danger from all sides.  And the deft use of “pforched” really helps set the scene as something alien.

      It sounds like our adventurers are pforched no matter which direction they choose, LOL!

      Fabulous job — and great words, btw!

  6. margaret says:

    She awoke in a mental blizzard
    complete with knotted gizzard.
    Her body felt quite torrid…..
    not in a good way, but quite horrid!

    All sense of gravity had departed
    and her stomach churned then farted.
    The blistering truth was grim….
    she had drunk  too much cheap gin!!

    The ice cold, frigid room
    felt like an icy tomb.
    And the tempest in her head
    would confine her to her bed.

    She prayed for divine white light
    to minimize her plight….
    an extra prayer as gravy…..
    but  God said”hmmmm….well, maybe”!

    If she had it to do over,
    sultry works best when sober!!!

  7. Cathy Miller says:

    With the grim resolve of someone who knew he had no choice, Michael made his way up the walkway. His plan was to get it over with as quickly as possible. Forgetting it just as quickly would be gravy. Taking a quick, deep breath, Michael rang the doorbell.

    Belying the gravity of the situation, the beautiful blonde who opened the door, cast a sultry look towards him. Her body was ready-made for a torrid night on the sheets and Michael winced internally as his conscience gave him a frigid slap to the back of the head.

    “Mrs. Michaels?”

    “That’s my mother-in-law, sugar,” she drawled, “My name’s Marilyn.”

    “Of course it is,” Michael murmured.

    “Ma’am, I’m Lieutenant Stapleton with SDPD. Can I come inside?”

    Her eyebrows lifted in a graceful arc that sent a blistering heat shooting straight for Mr. Jones. Shifting uncomfortably, Michael cleared his suddenly dry throat.

    “I’m sorry to bother you, but it really is important that I speak to you.”

    He stepped through the white-framed door into the immaculate home that exhaled money. He turned as she backed the door closed and gazed at him through taffy-colored eyes.

    “Just what is it that is so important, Lieutenant?” she smiled.

    “Ma’am, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but we found your husband this morning. He’s been murdered.”

    Michael watched, prepared to comfort, blinking in surprise as laughter erupted between the lovely gateway of her lips. Whatever tempest he expected at his news, laugher was certainly not on the list.

    “Oh, sugar, I don’t know what blizzard your brain’s been through, but my husband’s been dead for two years.”

    “I know – because I killed him.”

  8. These words inspired a rather comical poem from me today, and I feel like having mashed potatoes for dinner tonight after writing this.

    Mashed Potatoes

    Gravity of watching sultry gravy pouring

    distributing essence into the tempest of white clouds

    Eyes widen as mouth salivates with grim determination

    Like a torrid traveler desperate for water you dive in

    a blistering tongue from the hot liquid your only prize

    wishing your breath were as frigid as a blizzard

    you attempt to cool down your desire with a blow

  9. Tiffany Hudson says:

    “Jenny, you promised to take me to school!” I shouted through my sisters closed door.
    She didn’t answer. She always answers.
    I shook my head of any grim thoughts and opened the door.
    My vision went white as I took in my sisters limp body, laying on the floor. She was half dressed, only in a pair of jeanes. A knife stuck into her boob as if it had been aimed at her heart. I fell to my knees next to her. And felt a tiny thread of hope slither through me as her chest moved and her eyes fluttered.
    “He said I was frigid.” She whispered as she feel back into unconsciousness.
    Crawling to her desk I picked up her phone. Calling an ambulance and shouting for mum and dad while feeling as if the air had been sucked away and gravity has shifted. I screamed so much my throut felt like it was blistering.
    Jenny was taken straight into surgery. I sat with mum and dad in the waiting room.
    “Coral. Are you okay?” Rachel asked in a loud whisper – like she was trying to be quite but missing by a mile – as she blew into the waiting room with Marla, Sam and Alfie close behind her.
    “Maybe. I just want her to be okay.” I said trying to be brave.
    Sam put his arm around me and pulled me into his chest.
    “Their doing the best they can.” Sam whispered to me.
    “Thank you for not telling me: it’s all going to be okay.” I hugged him gently.
    Then turned to the others. Stopping when I saw the doctor walk out of surgery with a smile on his face.
    Jenny was okay. As in back to her normal self.
    “Thank you Coral your the best sister ever.” She said weakly the second I walked into the room behind mum and dad.
    So not back to normal at all. I grinned at her.
    “What was that?” I teased then hugged her super softly.
    “Tomato sauce or gravy?” A nurse asked as she popped her head round the door.
    Jenny put to fingers up at her. In a way of saying the second one.
    She then realised my friends where behind me.
    “You lot better be looking after her.” She growled at them then took Sam’s hand. “I’m glad you two got together.”
    “I think she’s a bit sultry. Must be a fever.” Dad laughed.
    “Geek.” Mum shot at him happily.
    “I want to go home.” Jenny moaned a little.
    “I heard tempest is on.” Rachel giggled and turned the T.V on. She talked to Jenny through it quitely.
    No one asked about the stabbing.
    “His name was Garret.” Jenny whispered the second mum and dad left the room. “He’s hot and totaly torrid. Coral your weird geek language has rubbed off on me.” She laughed.
    “Dad’s.” I corrected.
    “So when are you guys leaving me. Or are you using me as an exuse to bunk?” She asked.
    “Out side their is a blizzard.” Alfie laughed.
    She shook her head and laughed with him.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tiffany: That was a great, serious angle you took here. Good to see you expanding on your character set. Write on.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Tiffany-who knew you could come up with such a great story from grim and gravy? 🙂 Loved it, Tiffany.

    • Tiffany, I absolutely love British authors. Or are you from Down Under? I didn’t pick up on the nationalities in your earlier stories. The dialog lends a charm to the setting that you just can’t get anywhere else!
      Carry on!

    • Hi, this was a great story, I love the way you wove all the characters together  so quickly. You also turned something sinister into a something kind of light…want to know what happens next

      • Tiffany Hudson says:

        @Stacey, thank you. I’ve done alot of work on this particular story over some time so the characters are all so familar now. 🙂
        Turning something bad into something easy is something I have been told I do as a person not just a writter. But it seems to me that it’s easier that way.
        I will deffently carry on with the story for a while.

    • Chris F. says:

      Well done, Tiffany.

      I love how your writing is developing!  I like the imagry and the urgency in this scene.  I was pulled in and cared about the characters.

      And I want to find out what happens next — Jenny’s knife-stabbed boob needs to be avenged:  Will the villian be brought to justice?!?

      • Tiffany Hudson says:

        @Chris, I have realised that to and am glad to have the chance to develop it.
        I’m happy that I am able to bring these characters into life for others as much as they seem as real for me. As just the other day and I was in class and I had so many ideas for this story.
        Jenny’s stabber will defently be avenged. But thats a different story – for now. 🙂

  10. Vincent plopped down in the sandbox, unmindful of the squishy gravy leaking from the sides of his generic diaper. Tori and Frenchetta weren’t so benign, however. They both began pointing, squealing and making yucky-poo noises until their mothers came over from their wooden perches to investigate the commotion.

    Elka, Tori’s mom, got there first and, not realizing the gravity of Vincent’s situation, shushed her daughter. Patty – the more observant of the two women – approached the sandbox, took one look and snatched Frenchetta into the relative safety of her arms. She simultaneously hissed a warning to Elka, who recoiled in disgust and frantically waved her daughter out of the box.

    She didn’t need to be told. As soon as Frenchetta was air-borne, Tori jumped up and toddled to the edge farthest away from the soiled baby. Unfortunately, as she placed her palms on the rim of the sandbox, her own diaper snagged on a tiny curl of plastic, causing her to lose her balance and fall, head-first, onto the mulch-covered playground surface. Patty cried out and, belatedly, reached out for her daughter.


    The lights came up. Derek was pleased with the footage. “We’ll just edit out those last five seconds, put in some sound effects and we’re golden!” This was the eighth video he planned to submit to America’s Funniest Home Videos. The first three were candid, unedited and rejected.
    Derek felt that he had hit his stride with the fourth submission, a segment where the sultry girlfriend sashayed into a blistering hot whirlpool bath. She was trying for sexy but, the moment her foot touched the boiling water – of which Derek was fully aware – her simpering hamming had turned to simmering screams of agony that might have been funny if he had just trimmed the end. Setting the camera carefully down on the dining room table, he glanced at Yolanda expectantly.

    Yolanda looked at Derek as if he were insane. “I can’t believe you took my son out there for some stupid video. After you burned my ass up in that tub, I thought you were done with that.” With hands on hips and neck swiveling dangerously, she was winding up to a blizzard of invective from which there would be no escape. And, when Derek waved her off dismissively, the tempest was loosed:

    “You sonofabitch! I let you take my son for the day so that he could spend some time with his father! Why are you always plotting and scheming with these dumbass projects?! You ain’t gon’ win no contests! You ain’t gon’ win no lottery! You need to be taking your sorry ass down to the Wal-mart and getting some Huggies, not wasting it on ho’s and dollar store diapers! And where’s that check you promised three weeks ago? Your boy is running around like a crack baby while you off whoring and drinking! And who were those bitches in the video, anyway?”

    Derek looked up, at that. With a grim expression on his face, he said, “those are my cousins, you foul-mouthed little tramp.”

    Snorting sarcastically, Yolanda retorted, “And?”

    Derek snapped. “I’m sick and tired of you dissin’ my family! Who took your sorry ass in when you broke up with me? Tori did! Who paid for your pre-natal vitamins? Frenchetta did! You need to watch your step, ‘fore you wind up right back on the street!”

    “I wouldna had to be took in if you hadn’t kicked me out! See how stupid you sound?”

    Derek, nearly white with rage, yelled with spittle flying, “Stupid? Stupid! Get your stupid ass outta my house now!”

    Yolanda went frigid, all the fight gone. “Baby, come on. I came over here to work things out. I didn’t mean any of those things.”

    Still shaking with rage, Derek reached over to the camera. “Heh. I’ll send this one to Real World.”

    In that instant, Yolanda realized that the red light was winking at her: a torrid beam of incomprehensible arrogance.

  11. Chris F. says:

    Hey all — sorry I’ve been AWOL, but I was travelling with limited Internet access.  Just got back and scrambling to get back up to speed.
    I’ll post this and then try to catch back up on my comments and the last three prompts as soon as possible.  This prompt led me to the start of a little Detroit Noir.  I’ll see how this evolves over the next few prompts.  ;^)
    “The Look of Murder — Part 1”

    I was nearly broke with few prospects, and had my feet up on the desk, debating my options over a warm shot of cheap bourbon, when the door opened and a ritzy brunette sashayed in.  She was a sultry broad, dressed to the nines, and completely over my pay grade.  I figured she must be lost.

    “Yeah? Can I help you?”  I said, pulling my feet off the desk to at least be polite.

    She scowled slightly at the half-empty bottle on the desk, glanced around my office, and then turned her dark eyes to me.  “I’m looking for Vanguard Investigations.  Could you tell me where they’re located, please?”

    I set the glass on the desk.  “You found it.”

    She tucked her purse under one arm and put her other hand on her hip.  “You’re Mr. Sharpe?”

    “Yes, ma’am, I’m Nick Sharpe.”  I stood behind the desk and offered my hand.  If this dame was looking to hire me, I wanted to show my best manners.  If the size of the rocks on her hand were any sign, then she might just be driving my gravy train.  “What can I do for you?”

    She hesitated then briefly shook my hand.  “Samuel Dotson is one of our attorneys.  He suggested that I speak with you.”

    I gestured to the chair next to her and she sat, crossing her legs and giving me a glimpse of a silky white slip caressing a supple calf.  I tried not to stare and sat back down behind the desk. 

    “Dotson’s one of the few decent lawyers in Detroit,” I said.   “Most of the sharks out there would rip your heart right out through your chest if they thought they could make a buck on it.  At least Dotson would ask ‘please’ first.”  I smiled at her.  She didn’t smile back.  Her face was grim, but even with a frown she was still a blistering beauty.  She turned to gaze out the window. 

    I slid the bottle off the desk and tucked it into the drawer.  “I’ve done some work for Dotson the last couple of years,” I said, trying to prod her to spill the beans.  So far she hadn’t given me much to go on.

    “He recommended you highly.”  Her voice was soft as she looked outside.  There wasn’t much to see out there besides the rusty fire escape on the rear of the dingy building across the alley.  I guessed it was different than what she usually saw from the windows wherever she lived. 

    She turned to face me again.  “I’m sorry.  I should introduce myself.  My name is Margaret Thurston.  My husband is Charles Thurston.  Have you heard of him?”

    Charles Thurston?  Christ, who hadn’t?  He’d taken the small auto company his father had started and turned it into a giant thanks to a blizzard of military contracts during the war.  Now they were making cars again, but still churning out tanks for Uncle Sam, just in case we ended up fighting it out with Stalin and the Russians.  This doll had to be worth millions.

    “Of course,” I said.  “He builds cars, right?”

    This made her smile.  I don’t normally go all goo-gah over a swanky dame, but she was hitting me like a ton of bricks.  I felt like someone had just turned off the gravity in the room.  Maybe it was the bourbon.

    Her smile quickly faded.  “Yes, Charles is president of Thurston Motors.  He’s very well-known and respected in this city.”  She uncrossed her legs, set her purse on the floor next to her, and leaned forward.  “Which is why I can’t go to just anyone, Mr. Sharpe.  Mr. Dotson assured me that you could be…discreet.”  She made it sound like she was asking me to break the law or something.  For her, maybe I would.

    “Of course, Mrs. Thurston.  All my clients expect discretion.  It’s part of the business.  Whether I’m helping Dotson dig through the trash to keep one of his clients out of the joint, or hired by some poor schmuck to find out if his frigid wife is really having a torrid affair with the milkman, I always remain discreet.”  

    She nodded and leaned back slightly in her chair.

    “So what is it you’d like me to be discreet about, ma’am?” I said.  “Do you think Charles is fooling around with someone else’s wife?”  I had to ask, even if I couldn’t picture it.  If he wasn’t coming home at night to be with her, I would have to assume he was insane.

    “Oh no, Mr. Sharpe.  I have no concerns along those lines.  Charles is much more interested in other men’s money then other men’s wives.”

    “Then how can I help you, Mrs. Thurston?”

    She crossed her arms in her lap and lowered her eyes.  “Charles is missing.  I’m afraid to imagine what may have happened.”

    I sat back.  “Missing?  Why not go to the police?  Especially if you have reason to think that something’s wrong.  The cops have better resources than I do.  Radio cars.  Teletypes.   Hundreds of flatfoots pounding the street.”

    “I can’t risk the news coming out if I’m wrong.  It could ruin Charles.  But…  I have to find him.  He could be hurt.  Or worse.”


    She looked up to meet my eyes with hers.  They were as dark as a starless night and just as deep.  You could get lost in them and never want to be found. 

    “I–,” she hesitated.  “I really need you to find him, Mr. Sharpe.”

    Just what sort of tempest was this temptress trying to pull me into?

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Chris F-Love that story…more, more, more please 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: Fantastic. The line where he says he just might kill for her is the money line. If you have not read the book Manhattan Nocturne, do so. it’s a great read along these lines.

      • Chris F. says:

        Thanks, Shane.  I’ve been thinking about palying around in the old Hammitt / Chandler hardboiled noir detective style, and these prompt words just made it easy for it to come out.  We’ll see how it goes over the next series of prompts — I’ve got a plot line basically in mind, and it’ll be fun practice to meld the prompt words in.
        And I’ve heard of that book, but never read it.  I’ll have to check it out.  Thanks!

    • Welcome back, Chris! You come bearing a wonderful gift of old-time gumshoe intrigue. This is very well done!
      I was trying to picture a slip caressing a calf. When you mentioned Stalin, I went, “aah. Okay, then.” Great continuity – that.

      • Chris F. says:

        Thanks, Mitch.  Glad you like it!  As always, I appreciate your input and feedback.
        The setting’s 1949 Detroit, and I’m trying hard to keep author intrusion and “telling” to a minimum, so I had to get the setting established while staying within the protag’s POV — he had to think or do some things smoothly, in context, to establish it.
        I think this will be fun to play with over the rest of the prompts, and will hopefully lead to a fulfilling whodunnit resolution.  ;^)

    • This was totally awesome,  I could hear the sound track to it. Had me engrossed to the last word. You rocked this chris. I loved the phrase ” completely over my pay grade” lmao

      • Chris F. says:

        Thanks, Stacy!  I really appreciate it!
        That’s a phase I found when lookign for 1940’s slang to incorporate, and knew I had to fit it in, LOL.

  12. She had that grim look on her face, in all honesty nature and gravity had not been kind to her, she seamed to consitently illude the air of the afflicted. Being in her presence was often tiresome as compassion fatigue set in, and you found no further platitudes to placate her frigid views on life. It’s hard to believe looking at her now, that she had once being a sultry temptress. Sensual,illicit, her eyes had been full of forbidden promises and I’d been white hot with lust for her.
    She had been an actress, not your pretentious lovey type,
    “God I how grew sick of all the julia’a, and Harmony’s she was incessantly introducing me to”
    I had been directing her in a adaptation of the Tempest and Harmony I remember the name, because I’d thought it strange and rather bizarre for a red-headed girl from Plumstead. Harmony had been her room mate, another actress, though not particularly good, and Isabel had been badgering me to give her a role in the play.
    She had been kind in those days, considerate, carefree, sure in her belief that there was enough for everybody. I’d found her enchanting, her laughter had been like gravy, rich and thick, I’d wanted to taste it.
    Her acting years where torrid years, full of the cheap red wine and domestic amateur dramatics. The neighbours must have hated us. Full of temper explosions, anger that cloaked you like a blizzard and threats of imminent divorce, she was electrifying, entirely unpredictable.
    For the most part, I’d found the whole thing highly amusing

    • Stacey, I love these male perspectives coming from you! The way you describe your women is absolutely “hawt, dahling!”

      • Thanks Mitch, I seam to be going for these male monologues though, got to mix it up a little. I love coming on this site, as for a moment, I get to enjoy simply writing. Not all the other crap you have to think about when working on line..SEO…Yawn……. lol

    • Chris F. says:

      Wonderful, Stacey!
      Great character introduction, and a terriffic tease of more to come, with very strong story questions brought in — what happened in the years between?  Why are they together now?  What happens next?

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Stacey: What awesome characters those were, especially the person telling it. More of that please.

  13. Tanja Cilia says:

    Another sultry, blistering day in the torrid heat of Aachen 7.  Hintha longed for the frigid temperatures of No Sun Season, especially now that she’d got used to the low gravity. No tempest could tame her; no white-out blizzard could break her.  With a grim face, she spooned gravy over the roast Qink. Some things never change.

    • Wow! This introduction rocks! I really want to learn more about this world and Hintha.
      Great job, Tanja!

    • Chris F. says:

      Really nice, Tanja!
      A smooth and economical introduction to an alien world, it arouses interest and establishes both the setting and some great characterization of Hintha.  A very creative use of the prompt words, seamlessly incorporated into this tantalizing taste of what promises to be a great story.
      Very well done.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tanja: Ohhh. I love this scene you set. Do more with this.

  14. Tanja Cilia says:

    Thank you! I wonder what roast Qink tastes like!

  15. Anne Maybus says:

    His face was a grim landscape of frigid gravity.  He stood rigid in his white Gi, features ready to shatter under the impact of inspection.  The master prowled in front of them, prone to pounce with a blistering fury on those who were imperfect. 

    The day was sultry, the air thick like gravy and just as hard to breathe.  He could feel a tempest building in his head as the sun forged a torrid affair with his bloodstream.

    Training had been intense but he had not been prepared for the brutality of the grading.   Had he done enough?  The tempest in his head started to spread to his chest as panic began to well up.

    “Kneel!” the Master instructed the group.

    With sore knees he sank down and felt every bump in the floor as he knelt.  He was grateful for the thickness of the Gi which protected him from the heat of the floor. 

    “Eyes closed” was the barked order.

    Feeling faint, he listened for the soft footfalls passing in front of him but all he could hear was a blizzard building in his ears.


    As he toppled face down onto the burning ground the last thing he saw was his new black belt folded in front of him ….

  16. A. A. Handa says:

    Lois rolled over in bed, the torn sheet and moth eaten blanket her only defenses against the frigid air in the grim cabin room. She lay on the upper bunk, listening for the snores in the bunk beneath her, feeling the sway as the train careened its way through the night. Not what she had anticipated when she had agreed to the contract.
    She had imagined a gravy train to paradise. She had pictured palms swaying in a gentle breeze, not evergreens bending in blistering winds. When she first signed up, she imagined herself, sultry in a cream satin dress, sipping a martini in the club car, tantalizingly anticipating the next development in the torrid love affair she felt sure would develop between herself and her wealthy client. Instead she wore wool and long underwear, and sipped weak tea as she gazed out through grimy windows at blinding blizzards of white.
    She felt like she was on a ship lost at sea, like Miranda in the Tempest. They’d been on the train now for four nights with only one short stop to stretch their legs in a town the world forgot. She contemplated escaping but the town looked so forlorn she preferred her chances on the train.
    Lois fell three times on the ice at that station, her sense of balance disturbed by the sea legs effect of the rocking and rolling of the train. She lay there now in the dark cabin, the sound of the train on the tracks enhancing her sense of privacy permitting her to contemplate the gravity of her predicament. Even if she wanted to cancel the contract now, she couldn’t. She didn’t have the funds to pay her way back to civilization. She was well and truly stuck–her payment not due until she delivered the man safe and sound back to his family in the swanky Westmount home. She was stuck, in the middle of a wintery barren land with a fiercely rich but dim middle aged charge whose penchant for travel on this occasion saw the pair of them in speeding through a world of white.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @A.A.Handa: Welcome to the CCC. That was a fantastic first submission from you. So coool how you set that scene for us. I’d love to see you continue this tale in the next challenge (We have them every Monday and Thursday).
      Everyone welcome Handa to the addiction.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @A.A. Handa-Welcome to CCC!

        When work has you feeling grim and the gravy train is barely chugging, leave the gravity of the situation behind and join the addiction of CCC. It has a sultry lure with torrid appeal that thaws even the most frigid of days and rocks it into a blistering, white tempest of creativity released in a blizzard of words.


    • Chris F. says:

      Very nice, Antonella.  Great introduction to Lois, and excellent planting of story questions.  I’m intrigued as to what the contract is — what exactly has she signed up for?
      Well done and welcome!

  17. Antonella says:

    Hey Shane,
    That’s pretty high praise. Thank you very much, Shane. Mondays and Thursays, huh? Addiction, you say?

  18. Antonella says:

    So, what are you saying? Should I get out now while the getting is good? I’m only one challenge in…you say it takes two for the addiction to take. Thanks for the warning.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Antonella: The addiction is a good one. The only one where the side effects are joy, happiness, and creativity bursting from the seams.

  19. Antonella says:

    Thank you, Cathy. And Anne. Fun to read everyone’s versions. Looking forward to my second challenge.

  20. meke willed says:

    Under the sultry torroid of the blistering sun an i can tased gravy as my skin turns a pale white.
    I walk on as i try to to run form a tempest i run and then as my joints go frigid and gravity pull my to the ground.
    Things looked grim as the tempest is whirling  around me the sand of the desert sraching at my skin i start to wish i was in a blizzard.

  21. Kelly says:


    Thanksgiving dinner was looking grim. The gravy was made, but there was no need for trim

    mings since no one would make it to table that night. A blistering blizzard had stopped every flight.

    While gravity poured out a tempest most torrid

    our thoughts turned to sultry vacations in Florid

    a. Let’s be there November next’s end.

    Mom called us, me and my tiger striped kitten: “Thank goodness I remembered to pack all our mittens.

    It’s frigid out here in the lounge at the airport, they won’t let us leave—roads are only last resort

    for ambulances desperate to get through the white.

    Gran’s getting peaked, her diabetes is wicked when everything offered to eat isn’t right.

    You’d best eat without us, hon, sorry you made a ton, but at least

    if the plows can’t get you right out, you’ll have plenty to eat for three nights.”

    I hung up the phone. I looked at my cat. I looked out at the terrible snows.

    Cut a hunk of the bird, grabbed a piece of the pie, and reminded me—

    family stuff usually blows.

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