Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #128

Today we have Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn choosing our words. Let’s show this lovely woman from down under 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. Smashing
  2. Tenderness
  3. Silky
  4. Feline
  5. Ringing
  6. Apocryphal – Of questionable authorship or authenticity
  7. Tripod
  8. Filthy
  9. Kilim – A tapestry-woven Turkish rug or other textile with geometric designs in rich, brilliant colors.
  10. Mandible – The lower jaw of a vertebrate animal.

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.)

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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

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164 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #128”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Bobby, it done got worse. Yvonne smashing my mountain osyters was just the beginning. She done unhinged her lower mandible and tongued my throat with the tenderness of a garbage disposal. Den she ordered me to run my fingers through her silky hair. I believe she be one of them there apocryphal types—Billy, dat means she don’t know what she don’t know—cause that hair of hers was as silky as glass shards.”

    “Dat’s one crazy feline, Billy. What else happened?”

    “She done set up a tripod and filmed the whole thing. I felt filthy. I looked over to my right and Bayou Billy was watching the whole thing while eatin his gumbo.”

    “I would have done tried to kilim, Billy.”

    “If I could have moved or breathed I would have, Bobby, but you know what…as horrible as it was, I have to admits I kind of enjoyed it. As much as I try not to, I just keep thinking about her. It’s like…hold on Bobby, my cell phone is ringing… OMG, Bobby, OMG! It’s her, it’s her! What do I say, what do I say? I’m all giddy and goose-bumped! ”

    “Hello Yvonne, my little gravy muffin snookum cakes.”

  2. margaret says:

    Hi Shane….you had me stumped….I had no knowledge of the word “filty”  I think you left off “h” and meant “filthy”. (bad boy)

  3. margaret says:

    The curator at the Natural History Museum of London stroked his silky, three legged feline,Tripod, with tenderness as he prepared to examine their newest acquisition….a beautiful Kilim brought in by those filthy rebels.

    The paperwork was apocryphal, he observed with tight mandible, but the quality of the textile was simply smashing!! His phone would be ringing off the hook when the press got ahold of this one.

  4. Anne Wayman says:

    Love the list Joanna!
     

    The smashing tenderness and the silky feline touch left his ears ringing with apocryphal romance. The blow left the camera dangling from its tripod on the filthy Kilim and his mandible aching.

  5. sefcug says:

    In no particular order:
    *****
    An Art Appreciation Insight

    The display of the kilim was a smashing success. It displayed a tenderness of a feline towards its mistress, in a weird sort of way.

    The filthy tapestry was not silky in texture, and of apocryphal origin. Somehow just by sitting on the tripod, it became a ringing endorsement of the beauty of such tapestries.

    The beauty was such that everyone in attendance felt their mandible drop in appreciation of the expert craftsmanship.
    Not everyone saw a large cat and a mistress. But, that is what I saw, and it really struck me.

    Moral:
    Beauty and perception are in the eye of the beholder, and is varied. Just because the medium is unfamiliar does not mean art, of whatever nature, is not meaningful.

  6. Michelle Baker says:

    As I heard the ringing of the doorbell, I walked past my aprocryphal kilim to reach the door.
    On opening it I saw a silky looking feline laying on the step. On closer inspection I noticed that some filthy sicko had taken his time smashing it’s mandible. All the tenderness I had initially felt rushed out of me, I grabed my camera and tripod to document this monstrosity and prayed that the reaper would make them pay.
     
    ——————-
    My first try included the reaper word of the day.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Michelle Baker: Welcome to the CCC. Great first submission. YOu made me angry and that’s the mark of a good submission.
      Everyone welcome Michelle to the fun. (every Monday and Thursday, by the way).
      Adding your name to the CCC Community Links page now. Let me know if you have a website.

    • Chris F. says:

      Excellent work!
       
      Emotion-filled and vivid imagry.  You did a great job creating something immediate and getting me to care in a short passage.
       
      Well-done and welcome!
       

      • Michelle Baker says:

        @ Cathy: What a fantastic welcome!  Thanks Cathy.
        @Chris F: Thank you, I really enjoyed trying to write with the given words. I used to write poetry in my youth but this is much more fun.  I do not think my children realise what they have let themselves in for introducing me to this site.

    • Welcome to the CCC, Michelle! You got the words into a nice short form and even included another word. What’s that one from?
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Michelle Baker says:

        Hi Mitchell, the extra word was on the right of the screen under ‘word of the day’.

        • Oh, cool! I never see the sidebar any more. I come to the site, grab the words, run off to MS word.
          When I come back, I scroll down to the comments link on the home page, then click the “Add one”.
          Thanks for sharing that tidbit. You’re the first person I’m aware of who did that … might this be the stamp of your unique brand? 🙂
           
          Cheers,
           
          Mitch
           

    • Patsi Sota says:

      Welcome to CCC. Awesome start!

  7. Shane Hudson says:

    There really is nothing more enjoyable than the tenderness (and the ringing of screams for that matter too) felt when smashing a silky feline‘s mandible while it is having its photo taken by some filthy old man with a tripod and an addiction to buying apocryphal kilims.
     

    Hmm, well it is another long sentence from me!
     

  8. Tiffany Hudson says:

    I sat up screaming as I relived that horrible day from a fourtnight ago. The blood, the sickly pale skin of my sister from when I found her.
    “Coral.” Jenny burst through the door and sat on my bed. “Again?”
    I nodded quitely, calming my self down.
    What realy calmed me down was the ringing of the door bell. I heard my fathers worrid voice. I know he heard the scream, he was getting use to me waking up screaming, remembering that morning.
    Jenny was the only one who was as scared as I was, as mum and dad think he will be caught.
    Sam walked in my room and sat down on my bed next to Jenny. He was holding a thick blue blanket in his arms, hugging it softly to his chest.
    Jenny out stretched her hand to unwrap what ever he was holding. But I already knew. He had a look of such tenderness on his face he only gets around hurt animals.
    I was right. Inside the blanket was a small feline. Her probibly normaly silky fur was filthy and soaked with blood. The poor kitty had taken a right smashing to her mandible.
    Jenny stroked the cats head softly while I stroked Sams hair. He looked as scared as the cat.
    Another knock at the door and I knew the whole gang was here. I looked down at my sweat riddled nighty and sighed.
    My bedroom door hit the wall as Rachel, Marla, Alfie and some new kid I had never met burst in the room. Rachel sat down next to Jenny and looked at the cat.
    “Aww what happened to the puss-puss?” She asked softly.
    “Harrod Quik.” Sam hissed. That explained it perfectly.
    Harrod Quik: the local hard-ass. He picks on anyone and anything smaller than him. Yet he’s a right coward, last year Alfie was in his gang. Everyone liked Alfie better, he’s nicer, tougher and is better looking by far. But Harrod threw him out like yesterdays rubbish. No-one said anything but we all knew it. Alfie would have taken over. He couldn’t have that.
    “Harrod is as apocryphal as anyone.” Marla muttered than looked at me scowling.
    “Coral. Why are you not dressed missy?” Alfie asked swinging his tripod around. He hit the new kid on the side of the head.
    “Ow, dude, becareful.” He muttered.
    “Oh yeah, Coral this is Lewis. He moved in next door to us. Lewis, Coral the super smart yet realy pretty Sams girl friend.” He grinned at me.
    “That made no sence. And I’m not pretty, I’m a mess.”
    “You has another night =mere didn’t you?” Marla asked me sturnly waving her half made kilim at me.
    I nodded mutely and hugged Sam lightly as he kept up the rhythm of strocking his new little friend’s head. I grinned at him as he looked up. Half startled. He seemed to take me in for the first time.
    His eyes widened a little and his mouth opened like a fish.

  9. Tanja Cilia says:

    With feline grace, she squatted on the filthy kilim. Smashing the tiger skull against the ground, she worked the mandible loose, and, with the witches’ curse still ringing in her ears, she tried to remember the apocryphal spells that would set her sister’s soul free from the Casket of Death hanging on the tripod. Her voice had a silky tenderness that didn’t fool me for one minute.

  10. Today’s words prompted a story from me today, a little rough but best I could do with such limited amounts of time.
     
    ……………………..
    Creature with deceivingly colorful skin, hard scales weaving patterns like a Kilim would seem to indicate a tenderness that doesn’t really exist. A ringing growl erupting from its savage throat causes spines to go all silky. Some science experiment, this apocryphal expedition dooming us all to this predicament.
     

    The five of us scattered down the cave tunnels as fast as jack rabbits scurrying from a fox. The only screams I heard were “Every man for himself” from Jacob who was now our former team lead.
     
    “Scott wait!” Jenna cried loudly before skittering to halt.
     
    I barely stopped just in time, the drop off just inches away from my boots.
     
    “Shit, this isn’t gonna work” I stammered trying to think of something, wishing I had some Indiana Jones like whip about me right now.
     
    Seconds later, smashing through columns of stone and dirt the creature descended upon us. It’s filthy breath reeking of the rotting decay of former meals. A jagged mandible opens and snaps within inches of Jenna’s left arm as she screams and jerks backward over the drop.
     
    Pure instinct and quick reflexes were the only thing sparing her from becoming a gory paste at the bottom. I lunged and grabbed her arm just in time to catch her hand. She grasped on for dear life, and my own body heaved her up.
     
    “Over here” Jacob’s voice yelled as he waved his hands up and down.
     
    I had to admit, that for a second I admired and respected him. The fact that he came back when he could have escaped showed some little humanity that existed in his selfish body.
     
    My respect faded quickly as I pushed Jenna around the creature while it’s attention was directed at Jacob. The creature’s vaguely feline form gracefully leapt toward our expedition leader with such horrible accuracy and precision.
     
    A flash of claw and teeth and Jacob was rended violently, inert lifeless body still partially standing making me think of a gory tripod. While my mind thought that he got what he deserved, my body didn’t care and just kept running. Jenna was still clinging on to me and I couldn’t think of anything else but putting distance between us and that monstrosity.
     
    We ran for at least fifteen minutes not even knowing if we were going deeper into the tunnels or heading back toward our original descent. There were too many shadows cast by the light of our headlamps, and it was far too quiet for a creature that large lurking in the distance. My heart beating so hard and fast with my lungs on fire I was about to say something but instead just vomited my nerves next to a stalagmite.
     
    Jenna couldn’t speak either, all I saw was the fear plastered across her face and when I managed to catch my breath all I could muster was to grab her close and hug her as tight as my arms could squeeze. We would escape this, we had to escape this….
    ……………………..

  11. Julia Martin says:

    Great words!!
     
    No. 181
     
    The ringing of the third period bell faded as the students filed out. With tenderness, Margot picked up the filthy Feline mandible. She gently dusted it with a small silky cloth, before carefully writing No. 181 on its outer edge, on the small square of dry Liquitex paint.
     
    She notated in her lab notebook:
    Object 181. Feline Mandible. Observation: slight smashing of front right incisor. Blunt trauma suspected.

    Next, Margot set the camera’s tripod on the precise corner of the Kilim, where she knew she could get the perfect angle for the photo. Margot placed her trademark, a small solid brass “M,” directly next to Object 181. She breathed in sharply and snapped two photos.
     
    For your next submission: the importance that proper cataloging procedures  be followed cannot be emphasized enough.
     
    As if. Margot sneered. Twenty years as the leading Cat Forensic Scientist, and The Academy would require this as proof of her seemingly-apocryphal writings. Questioning an adherence to procedure? As if.

  12. Chris F. says:

    Here’s my entry, a continuation of the story I in started in Prompt #127 from last Thursday.  Sorry for the length, but I had to get to a good quitting point.  And fit all the prompt words in, too, of course…

    “The Look of Murder — Part 2”

    Margaret Thurston sat in my cheap metal chair, her dark eyes holding me transfixed as she waited for my reply.  She wanted me to find her missing husband, Charles Thurston, president and owner of Thurston Motors, and easily one of the biggest of Detroit’s big shots.  But she didn’t want me to let anyone to know I was looking, because it might embarrass Charles if he wasn’t really missing.  She wasn’t sure — maybe he’d just taken a powder for the last week without telling her.

    This dame was a piece of work.

    “Look, Doll,” I said, “I don’t want to give you the brush-off, but I don’t know what I can do for you.  If you want me to find your husband, I’ve got to ask questions, go to his office and talk to his secretary, gab with his partners.”

    She shook her head, her silky black hair bouncing as she moved.

    “No-one can know,” she said.  “I’m aware that my story must seem apocryphal but my concerns are real, Mr. Sharpe.”

    Apocryphal, she says.  A six-dollar word for hooey. 

    “I’m sorry, Mrs. Thurston, I just don’t know how I–”

    “I can pay you extremely well for your time, Mr. Sharpe.”

    That stopped me.  I sat for a second, admiring her curves.  Maybe I needed to review my priorities.  My landlord had already come smashing in here yesterday demanding last month’s rent payment.  So if this broad wanted to pay me for what turned out to be a wild goose chase, who was I to deny her service?  A paying client was a paying client.  Besides, she was damn easy on the eyes.

    “Alright, alright,” I said. 

    She gave me a brief smirk and pulled her one leg under her, like a smug feline pausing to lick its chops at the mouse it had just cornered.

    I sighed and thought about bringing back out the bottle of bourbon I’d just tucked away.  But my head was ringing enough as it was.  Getting soused wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

    “Let me go over this one more time, just to make sure I’m not missing something,” I said, looking down at my ratty desk and rubbing my temples.  If was easier to think when I wasn’t looking at her.  It was hard to focus on details when I kept picturing her naked — my filthy mind getting in the way again.

    “You think your husband may be missing.  You haven’t seen or talked to him in nearly a week.  You don’t know where he is and you haven’t heard anything from him.  This in itself is not unusual; he’s been known to take off from time to time without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ right?”

    “Yes, that’s right.”

    “But now you have come to fear for his safety, and think he may have come to harm.”

    “Yes, although I pray I’m wrong.”

    “You base this on a phone call you got two nights ago.  Where no-one was on the line, although you say you heard what sounded like a crash before the call was disconnected.”

    She didn’t reply and I looked up.  She was nodding.

    “And yet, you don’t want me to ask any of Charles’s known associates about his whereabouts.  You don’t want me to go to his office, or talk to any of his friends.”

    “I know this must sound insane, Mr. Sharpe.  But if Charles is not in trouble, he would be furious to find out I had hired a private detective.”  She paused.  I got trapped in those bottomless eyes again.  “Please — At least check one place for me. Charles has a cabin north of Flint.  He uses it for hunting and fishing trips.  He calls it his private oasis.  If you would discretely go up there to see if Charles is there and not in any danger, it would ease my mind.  But afterwards, if you find that he’s not there, then maybe we can talk about you speaking with his secretary and business associates.”

    “Does the cabin have a phone?  You could just call.”

    “Yes, yes.  Charles had a dedicated line ran at enormous expense.  But I’ve called several times and there’s no answer.  I need you to go up there and let me know what you find.”

    I agreed, and she seemed relieved.  She didn’t even flinch when I quoted an outrageous price of $50 plus expenses.  She gave me the cash, doling out fifty clams from a hefty wad in her purse, and wrote down directions to the cabin.  Then she gave me a picture of Charles and rose to leave, smoothing her skirt as she stood.  I watched her hands travel over her hips and enjoyed every inch of the trip.  I knew that I wouldn’t like drive up North nearly as much.

    She paused when she got to the door, and turned to again look over my dingy office.

    “You really should do some decorating, Mr. Sharpe,” she said.  “New paint, a few pictures on the walls, perhaps even a colorful kilim on the floor.  It would spruce the place up.”

    “A kill ’em?” I asked.

    She faced at me with a glimmer in her eyes and a Mona Lisa smile on her lips; a mix of tenderness and mystery.  “Goodbye, Mr. Sharpe, and thank you again for your help.  I’ll be waiting for your call.”  Then she left.

    Like I said; she was a piece of work.

    * * *

    The drive up north was long and tedious.  My ’39 Ford was ten years old and acted every bit its age.   By the time I reached the turn-off onto the two-track lane, the sky was a black, moonless, and star-filled tapestry, and my kidneys were aching.

    I parked at the end of the two-track and slid on my overcoat and hat, and stretched a bit.  Then I hoofed it down towards the cabin.  I didn’t want Thurston to hear me driving up; Margaret had insisted I be discreet.  Funny how somewhere between Lake Orion and Flint she had become ‘Margaret’ instead of ‘Mrs. Thurston.’   But now we had a business relationship, so I figured a little familiarity was allowed, at least in my imagination.  Hell, we’d been a lot more familiar there already.

    I worked my way down the wooded lane, trying to not stumble over the rough ground, and hoping to not come across a bear, or wolf, or wolverine, or whatever lurked in these woods.  I fully expected to near the cabin and see Charles moving around inside, maybe finishing off dinner from the day’s catch of fish.  But I didn’t smell any smoke.

    I rounded a curve and came to a clearing, and the cabin was a dark shadow on the other side.  There was a car parked next to it.  I couldn’t clearly make it out, but it was big and long, and definitely worth a pretty penny.  It had to be Thurston’s. I could make out a series of wooden steps and a railing leading from the cabin and down the hill to a lake.  There was a pier with a speedboat tied up next to it.  There was no sign of any other cabins on the lake — Thurston seemed to have it all to himself.

    There was no light in the cabin, and no fire burning in the fire-pit in the middle of the clearing.  The outhouse at the edge of the woods was quiet.  I saw no hint of motion anywhere, and heard nothing but a gentle breeze through the trees.  I moved closer until I neared the cabin and tried to quietly peer in one of the windows.  It was very dark, and I couldn’t make out much more than some basic shapes — a sofa, a table, some chairs.  I slowly stepped up onto the wooden deck and moved from window to window but couldn’t make out much more than I’d already seen.  There were two bedrooms, both of which had curtains that hid the insides.  I could make out a bed through the crack of the curtains in one room, but couldn’t tell if it was occupied.

    I thought about leaving and just telling Margaret that her husband was here, but something didn’t seem right.  I’m no woodsman, but it was too quiet and too desolate.  It wasn’t that late.  If Charles was here, there should be some sign — a lantern burning low, embers in the fireplace or in the fire-pit, even the creak of a bed as he moved in his sleep.  I’d been at the windows for over a half-hour.  I should have heard or seen something.

    I moved to the door at the back of the cabin and tried the handle.  It turned.  It was unlocked.  I could slip in and just see if there was some sign of recent activity — dirty dishes, food in the trash, an open bottle of champagne or whatever the ritzy Mr. Thurston drank.  Then I’d quietly slink away, confident that I’d confirmed Charles was here.

    I gently swung the door, opening it slowly to avoid any creaking of rusty hinges, and it opened almost all the way, until it hit something.  I looked down and could make out a shape crumpled on the floor, a large one blocking the door.  My instincts raised the hair on the back of my neck even before I realized what it was.  I bent down and reached out to touch it.  Soft, like clothes, and then I felt the feel of skin.  An arm.  Cold, still, and stiff.

    I stepped in to the side, careful not to step on the shape, but no longer concerned about making noise.  I went toward the table and found a lantern and some matches, then filled the room with light.  The cabin was a mess, and the body sprawled across the floor was the worst part.  I didn’t have to pull out the picture from my pocket to confirm that it was the former Charles Thurston.  He’d been roughed up pretty good, and there was dried blood covering his face and pooled on the floor, but it was definitely him.  On top of him was a smashed camera on a dented tripod.  Evidently someone had taken a few close-ups of Charles by beating him across the head with the camera.  There was a dent and a deep gash above his ear, and his broken and jagged mandible was jutting out through the skin.

    I bent down to look closer and moved the camera and tripod off to the side.  That’s when the door at the back of the cabin burst open.  Two state cops barged in with their guns drawn.  Two more came across the deck and stormed in next to me, hitting Thurston’s stiff legs with the door.

    “Don’t move!” the two of the flatfoots from the deck were yelling, while the other two were shouting “Step away from him!”  I raised my hands and stood up.  I figured that was the best compromise I could come up with.

    They came close and stood there, guns raised, agitated and adrenaline-filled.  One of them went to search the bedrooms and returned.  “All clear,” he said. 

    “Why’d you kill him?” the tallest one asked as he holstered his gun and reached for his handcuffs.

    I was going to deny it, but I figured they’d ignore me anyway.  I’d wait to talk to the detectives.
     
    (…to be continued…)


     

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: LOVED IT! My fav line was Margaret had insisted I be discreet. Funny how somewhere between Lake Orion and Flint she had become ‘Margaret’ instead of ‘Mrs. Thurston.’ Continue this please. Continue indeed.

      • Chris F. says:

        Thanks, Shane.  I really appreciate the positive words.  Glad you enjoy it!
         
        As I re-read it today, I see its definitely a target-rich environment for some editing,  But I think its fun to use the prompts as a catalyst to just let the story come, and so I try to churn it out and then post a first-draft with just a rapid read-through to capture any glaring errors.
         
        We’ll see how things evolve in the story as we move through more prompts.  And I’ll try not to make the posts so long — this one came in at just over 1,900 words.  8^0
         

        • Cathy Miller says:

          @Chris F- a six dollar word for hooey-LOL! I love this character & this story!

          • Chris F. says:

            Thank you, Cathy!
             
            I really appreciate your feedback, and I’ve happy you enjoy it.

            By the way — I missed it when they first came out, but I really enjoyed the words you picked a few challenges ago and added a belated entry. I had a lot of fun with that one. Thanks for some excellent inspiration!

    • Chris, this is so well-written, I feel like I was transported into a Turner Classic Movie.
      I swear, I saw the cabin, the blackness, the shades, everything!
       
      You rocked it out, dude! I was afraid that, when you prefaced this by saying you had to get to an ending, that this was to be the last entry. I’m so glad it will continue…
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Chris F. says:

        Really glad you enjoyed it, Mitch!  Its a fun story to play around with, and I’ll be riding this train for at lesat several more prompts…  ;^)
         
        I’m not quite sure who will end up being the killer — right now I have several competing plotlines stewing, and we’ll have to see which one the muse grabs and shoves out.

    • Patsi Sota says:

      Bravo! More please.

  13. “Oh, my Silky! S-s-s-ilky! Don’t leave me in this awful cesspool of despair! I must hide you from the Lord of the Ringing. Just for a little while, my Silky. Come! Let me tell the story of the Apocryphal Tripod: the Mandible, the Kilim and the Filthy Feline.”

    THE BEGINNING

    In the beginning, there was just tenderness. And men loved women and worked side by side in harmony. They knew each other. A lot. And they begat a whole legion of tender-hearted offspring.

    THE MIDDLE

    There appeared before the people a strange beast. The beast was an onager. And it was orange.

    The men coveted the brilliant hide of the orange onager. And the men slew the onager for its hide.

    The ass spoke. And its voice did frighten the men. And the men ran away.

    However, the women were not afraid. They listened to the jawboning ass all day.

    And nothing got done. For the women listened and the men ran.

    Lo! The crops failed and the dust pile high in the silos. Still, the ass spoke. And the ass did say:

    “A harsh winter will come smashing down from the mountains. You must hide within my hide. You must spin a yarn. Half of this yarn will be warped, yet it must be sturdy. Half of the yarn must be weft and barren of strength.”

    The women boiled the fur from the orange onager and spun the strands into yarn. They warped and they weft. They spoke of the jawbone, remembering its stories to each other.

    When the yarn was ready, the jawbone spoke:

    “Make cloaks for your men. Make rugs for your hearths. Make tapestries for your walls. These things will keep you warm.”

    “Dye the yarn so that my story can be told in the tapestries.”

    Thus it came to pass. And the women, they made amazing cloaks. They wove glorious carpets. They created tapestries, entwining his story in multi-colored threads.

    And the ass spoke no more. Yea, the jawbone of the ass separated from the decomposed flesh and landed in the earth, silent forevermore.

    THE END

    After a time, the men returned to their hearths. The women rejoiced and made soup. They offered gifts of cloaks. They told the men of the asinine stories. The men were hungry and did not listen.

    The men said to their women, “Go sip your soup with the other women.”

    And the women were offended. They took their broth and sat on their pretty rugs with the other women.

    In anger, the women ripped the tapestries. The wefts broke, and the story collapsed on the warped yarn.

    The orange onager was smitten from the story. The garble tinge became a Bengal tiger. And the tiger was covered in slime.

    The men were confused. And the women sipped soup. For the women knew the story.

    “So you see, my S-s-s-ilky, the Lord of the Ringing will be coming for you. It is foretold in teachings of the Holy Tripod. He will not come like a thief in the night. No, he will be quite forward. And he will be waiting. Even if we are busy. And you shall know him by his number. The number of the beast is sixty-nine.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: I have no idea what this is, but IT’S OUTSTANDING. I said to myself, “I’m going to look up a whole bunch of stuff on this submission.” Then I thought no I won’t because I love it without knowing. I’m sure you’ve hidden about half a dozen references in there.

      • Thanks, Shane. It is a silly parody of two well-known books. You made my day because, even though it is weird, you still like it.
         
        I’ve read science fiction that made me scratch my head. My first Orson Scott Card experience was sort of like, “WTF???” But he wrote so beautifully, I was mesmerized. (It was either Ender or Jason Worthing.)
         
        If you want, we can discuss the Holy Tripod. LOL
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

    • Chris F. says:

      Wow — I really liked this, Mitch!!!
       
      It’s a great blend of humor with so many gems– you wove a rich tapestry here, dude, and spun a great yarn!
       
      I picture a Gollum-like character in the intro/exit with the Tolkien echoes from the Lords of the Rings(ing) and ‘my Silky’ (precious).’ And the ‘orange onager’ was great, merging with the ‘jawbone of an ass’.
       
      Maybe it’s just cause my brain’s been too immersed in it over the years, but I even got a Monty Python ‘bring out the holy hand grenade’ vibe from the tounge-in-cheek telling of the ‘sacred texts’.
       
      And a great naughty-bits undercurrent here, too!  Holy Tripod, indeed, LOL!!! I was expecting the women would entice the men to do some carpet munching of their pretty rugs.  The two-headed beast lives!
       
      Awesome, deep, rich, and downright kick-ass!  Excellent, Mitch!!!
       
       
       

      • Thanks, Chris! That’s the spirit. You are finding the fun I had with this submission. In addition, I love how you read into the text – exactly the point of the whole exercise 🙂
         
        @Shane, You see where this is going, right? LOL
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

    • Patsi Sota says:

      Different but well liked!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Mitch-you are the master-I love, love, love your stories.

  14. meke willed says:

    It all started in a bar decoreated with brillint Kilim on the wall’s and plump seats around small table made of tripods with a round bit of wood on top.
    as the serene and Tenderness of the atmosfer was obliterated as a beautiful lady in an extravagant and Silky golden dress with matching heel’s changed the song on the player.
    she turns and walks up with such grace i’d sware it was Feline.
    she pused her hair off of her face an i so the most radiant blue eye’s id ever seen a small cute nose and a smill so warm it would melt butter this was all resting on skin so pale it shimmers in the light(even god would have a hard time proving hes not an Apocryphal creation of his).
    as walk up to me I had notest the men all over the room had ther Mandible were hanging gust above the floor and reseving Filthy looks from the lady thay here with.
    when she come had got to the bar she tured to me smiling and as she opend her mouth so speek a high painefull Ringing.
    next thing i know i had awakend from a dream and whilst smashing my alarm clock i tryed despily to holed on to the memory of it.

  15. Britnie Reed says:

    Rebecca lay on the kilim, and decided that her life couldn’t be worse. She knew it wasn’t the best idea, but she needed the money, her family needed the money. And, the worst part, everyone knew.
    As she walked down the brightly lit hallway, hours before, even her teachers mandible’s dropped at the sight of her. She didn’t look any different. She wore the same ratty Nike’s and oversized hoodie as she had the entire school year. Could they see that she had changed in a different way? No, but they saw the video.During lunch, her boyfriend took her outside and punched her with anything but tenderness with his rock hard fist. But she deseved it. Why did she let the man record it?!

    That weekend, as the man offered his deal, she refused to look at the tripod that sat disturbingly in the center of the floor, facing the king sized bed. She tried to pretend that it didn’t exist, that it was apocryphal, but as she lay on the kilim, she knew better than to pretend.

    Since that night, her usually feline walk became more agressive. But her walk wasn’t the only thing that changed, and soon enough, her parents would be home, and they surely knew the truth, the excruciatingly long list of the things that had changed.

    Rebecca heard the key in the door before she saw her dad, but in the split second between the two her ears were ringing louder than ever before. She hated herself. She took the filthy man’s deal, and now she was no better than he was. She felt like smashing her face into a wall.

    But, her father did nothing. He walked in, patted her silky head, and went into the kitchen to prepare dinner, just as he usually did. And her mother was the same. Nothing unusual, just… normal. And it was driving Rebecca insane.

    She WANTED to be yelled at, grounded for the rest of her life, told she was disgusting. But while school was ten worlds different, home was exactly the same, and she hated it.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Britnie: Welcome to the CCC. That was one powerful 1st submission for sure. Loved it. It made me yell two things:
      1. Young people should NEVER record themselves in compromising situations EVER.
      2. Parents should set limits.
      Great way to enter into the CCC. I believe people will love you here. Everyone welcome Britnie to the addiction.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @meke & @Britnie-Welcome to CCC!

        You’ll have a smashing good time that leaves you with a special tenderness for our creative oasis and its silky embrace with the Feline soul that has pure joy ringing in your heart each time you drop by.

        This apocyphal place of ours serves as the tripod to our lens on the world as we see it. From the filthy alleys of gloom to the bright kilim of woven dreams, each submission become the mandible support of the words just waiting to be heard.

        Welcome!

      • Britnie Reed says:

        I’m very proud that my parents set limits. I used to think that they were too protective, but seeing some of the things that my friends have done, I LIKE overprotective.

        Thanks for the welcome. I’m definately addicted.

    • Britnie, welcome to the CCC! Have mercy on us. This first submission is heart-breaking. No kid should ever feel that obligated to help raise money.
      You did a great job showing the after-effects of this child’s decision.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Chris F. says:

      Outstanding, Britnie!  Deep and filled with emotion.  I really feel for the protag.  I felt her regret and shame and inner struggle — you did a great job bringing it to life.
       
      One of the benefits of my having been young and stupid back in the 70’s and 80’s is that there are no records of it now that I’m old and stupid.  Today, kids have to live with the burden of EVERYTHING being recorded and lasting forever — the internet never goes away.
       
      Welcome to the CCC!!!

      • Britnie Reed says:

        I would know. Not from personal expierence but friends, for sure. Being only fifteen is was easy to write from a teen’s perspective.

        And thanks for the welcome!

    • Powerful and disturbing, so many kids make the same mistakes and live with the anguish of such decisions later.

    • Patsi Sota says:

      Welcome! Good writing.  Sometimes we need to listen to that voice, our parents voice, when it speaks in our head.

  16. Patsi Sota says:

    I knew as I was setting up my tripod that the background was apocryphal. How could it not be? There were mammoths in the background for Christ sakes! I tried ringing my agent on the satellite phone but all I heard was a silky voice informing me there was no one available to take my call at this time.

    The vixen lie on the filthy kilim, in front of the camera, looking delicious in her leopard fur. It barely covered her behind and the cleavage line was almost non-existent. I looked behind her and couldn’t believe my luck. I started to slowly back up with the camera. I just left the tripod there.

    The girl looked at me, then behind her, and back at me. The dawning on her face was absolutely comical, or would have been if not for the outcome. I could not have planned this any better. Her eyes grew huge as the realization set in. She screamed, once.

    The feline, grabbed her by the throat with 6 inch fangs protruding from its mandible. With a mother-like tenderness the saber tooth tiger closed its jaws, smashing the actress’s skull into many fragments, slicing into her brain and killing her almost instantly.

    “Cut, and that’s a wrap.”

    • Britnie Reed says:

      I don’t know what else to say other than AMAZING!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Patsi: This is devilish to the max. You must tell me more about this tale you created. Did she murder her? Is it part of the production? Well done.

    • Chris F. says:

      Excellent, Patsi!  Great set-up and twist at the end.
       
      I picture the saber-toothed lion suddenly stopping at the director’s call of “cut”, and then asking, “So was that ok?  I don’t know…  I wasn’t feeling it.  Maybe we should reshoot it…  What’s my motivation here, again?”
      ;^)
       

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Patsi-love the story within the story-well done!

  17. Ouch! That got my attention. You set that up perfectly.
    Great scene!
     
    Cheers,
     
    Mitch
     

  18. Cathy Miller says:

    The lyrics of Smashing Pumpkin played over and over in her mind
    ♫ I don’t want to fight
    every single night ♫
    Where had the tenderness gone?
    The silky nights of feline revelry that made her feel so special.
    The questions were ringing over and over in her mind
    An aprocryphal chant she did not understand
    A tripod hit of sadness, pain and filthy despair
    Kilim dreams gone gray
    The day her mandible shattered
    The day her life was gone

  19. Cathy, I know what you mean. You and many other here have inspired me to learn more about writing. Two minutes ago, I just purchased the Kindle version of Larry Brooks’ “Story Engineering” 🙂
     
    Cheers,
     
    Mitch
     

  20. The Saga of Bayou Billy…

    So I’m sittin’ on the front porch eating a big ol bowl a gumbo and that’s when I heard it! Sounds of anudder tourist smashing thru the bayou like they know’d where they was goin’. So I grabs me shiny new shotgun and starts loadin’ in the shells when this gorgeous feline of a woman comes thru the bushes lookin all exasperated. Her clothes were barely on her from all dem bushes grabbin a-hold of her, and she was filthy with bayou mud. Lord a-mighty she was a sight!

    I puts me gun down to go help the poor woman. Ever since my book “The Saga of Bayou Billy” was released  I hadda get myself a gun… that’s for true! People been comin’ from all over the place to interview me. My wife, my sweet Yvonne, she done told me three or two times it was a good thing we ain’t never hadda phone cuz it woulda been ringing offa da hook! Anyways, I put the shotgun down and rushed over to help this damsel in distress.

    Once I got me a good look at her my mandible done near fell on the floor. Lord a-mighty she was a looker! She had all the right bumps in all the right places, so I said to myself, “Self,” and I recognized the voice right away cuz it sounded just like me. “Self” I say’d, “You oughten not be lookin’ at her silky smooth bossom until you go back and unload that there shotgun. Cuz if Yavonne sees dis beautiful creature she’s gonna shoot me!”

    Being the gentleman that I is, I help’d the poor thing up onto the front porch. I put my arm around her with all the tenderness I could muster… c’siderin’ what I really wanted to do was jump her right then and there… but I know’d better. Not cuz it was the right thing to do, but b’cause if Yvonne saw’d me I be kill’d, that for true!

    Come to learnt that there reporter wuz from New York City. How come is it when ever someone gits hopelessly lost in the country, they always be’s from the biggest cities?

    Anyway, as she was recouperattin’ on the front porch she ask’d me if I knew’d the rug under my feet was a Kilim. I had no idea what she was talkin’ about. Then she done told me the dumbest thing I ever did hear… she said it was from Turkey. Lord a-mighty it was all I could do to keep from laughin’. This here rug weren’t made from no Turkey…it ain’t got feathers or nuttin’!

    She said the authorship of the book was Apocryphal in nature so she hadda come check. I don’t knows what that means ‘xactly so I just nodded like I knew’d what she meant cuz I didn’t want her thinking I didn’t write the book me-self.

    After she done finished her interviewin’ she asked if she could get her picture taken wit me. So we puts the camera on Tripod but just before the camera flashed, Tripod, our three-legged dog, done took’d off and ruined the picture!
     

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Kenn-OMG!!! Kenn and Bayou Billy are back! We missed you! I had to stop that dang work thing and say welcome back!

      Classic Bayou Billy-love it! 😀

      • 🙂 Good to be back. I miss writing the challenges. Today when I sat down to work on my next novel, Dead Hunt 2, I got a sudden urge to come see what’s new on the CCC. I just wanted to take a quick peek but as always, I see that list of words and ol’ Billy starts a yelling, “Hey, I gots me three or two stories I ain’t never say’d yet!” So I let Billy come out and play. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read the saga. Glad you liked it.

    • Chris F. says:

      Now that was a lot of fun!!!
       
      I’m new to CCC, but have waller’d around a bit back in the old-timey swamp and saw some o’ yer older posts.  Now it’s great to be here when yer here and I’m here and we’s both here at the same time and all…
       
      And for Bayou Billy:  Ain’t fame a bitch?
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kenn: Welcome back!!!!!! YES, Bayou Billy’s back. Dude, I’ve been tryin’ my best to fill in since you went on vacation. I done created two characters Bobby and Billy Bumpkin and have been having fun with them for the last two months or so. (Go check out all the entries.) The last two I had fun hijacking the Bayou Billy theme. I took extreme liberties! 😉 Awesome to see you back Kenn. Everyone if you have not read the Bayou Billy series, do so now by visiting the CCC Community Links page and look for Kenn Crawford.

  21. Julie says:

    She stroked the apocraphyl Kilim rug with silky tenderness and shook her head.
     
    “You filthy beast,” she said with a tight smile. She stalked around the room, feline, her caged fury on the verge of smashing the bars she had constructed around it. Her blood was pounding and there was a ringing in her ears.
     
    “You killed my husband and stole his priceless treasures and for what?”
     
    She loosed the chains and her rage burst out.
     
    “It’s a fake!” she spat. “Now get back in your ship, blast off back to your miserable, colourless planet and tell your Emperor you have failed! Go!”
     
    She rounded on the huge, mutant creature standing before her. Slowly it clacked is mandibles and stared at her with is thousand, compound eyes.
     
    “Go!” she screamed.
     
    Mutely the creature wheeled around on its tripod legs and loped out through the gallery’s shattered picture window.
     
    Her last sight of it was as a sillhouette against the setting sun on a distant hill. It paused and turned back towards her as if it wanted to communicate something – something sad and true – and then it was gone.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Julie: Without a doubt, you should continue with this story. I LOVED these types of stories. Super, super job of holding just enough back to make me want much more (You women are skilled at that 😉 )

    • Chris F. says:

      Excellent, Julie!  Extremely creative — I really enjoyed this!

  22. Kelly says:

    TERRIBLY TRUE STORY

    She was a high-maintenance woman and Evan knew it from the start.

    One assistant spread out a beautiful kilim across the width of the studio for her to prowl on. Took them three weeks to find the right one. The walls were hung with a silky rainbow of colors. The client could hardly wait to see the photos of her feline limbs stretched out toward his product; he envisioned a pan-Asian look for the background. She whined that the expensive kilim looked filthy, and that it would never show her legs off to their best effect. The rug was out in the first five minutes of the shoot.

    Another assistant took her abuse about the lighting arrangement, rearranging hoods to rake pleasingly across her well-defined mandible. They’d be charging overtime for all the fuss, for sure. The camera was set up before she arrived—never keep a diva waiting! —but now Evan had to wander around with his tripod, looking for a better location to suit that jawbone. Two assistants were obviously too busy to do it for him, and the third had to run out to get coffee that better suited the “lady.”

    Term used veeeery loosely.

    Was her voice still ringing in his ear or was she not done complaining? Third assistant returned as fast as her little legs could carry her, offered the choice of cream and sugar from the company kitchen with her last ounce of tenderness, and ended up drinking it herself. How vile of her not to have skim soy milk on hand for her majesty’s delicate tummy?

    There was nothing delicate about this lady. Evan thought about smashing his camera and giving up on his life’s work. He’d always felt the stories about models were more apocryphal than fact-based—in fact, most days his work was good fun—but the stories about bosses wives who insist they can be more fabulous than the professionals

    Those stories are terribly true.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: I’d have either quit or thrown some coffee on that one. Great job making me feel the frustration with people like this.

  23. Anne Maybus says:

    She strutted with feline hauteur along the sideboard, squeezing behind ornaments and thrusting her weight through spaces far narrower than she. 
     
    As she bumped the lamp, its crystal droplets let out a ringing note, like the wailing of mourners at a funeral.  Unconcerned, she rubbed her jaw along the smooth surface of the urn.  With a firm push, it toppled from its tripod and went smashing to the ground, spewing the dusty contents carelessly over the Kilim rug, 
     
    With a graceful leap she jumped down and strode across the rug towards the broken urn, shaking the filthy dust from her paws as she went.
     
    But what was that laying in the dust?  It looked like the mandible of a small creature.  
     
    The cat curled up beside the bone and, with soft tenderness, batted it with her paw.  She looked up at me with apocryphal innocence, all silky eyed and fake. 
     
    What a pity she had found me out.  It looks like another cat has to go. 
     
    Picking up the phone I made that call. 
     
    “Hello, Pet Funerals?” 

  24. […] To participate yourself, or just read other’s submissions, go to https://creativecopychallenge.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/writing-prompts-creative-copy-challenge-128/ […]


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