Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #145

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of 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, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Kill
  2. Search
  3. Show
  4. Motivate
  5. Thrust
  6. Blow
  7. Mutter
  8. Fight
  9. Shake
  10. Refuse

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


117 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #145”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “I don’t know what’s motivatin’ you Bubba, but if you searchin’ for a fight, you’s found the right person. What’s dat you be muttering? Asshole? Blow me bubba! I’ll kill ya faster than you could shake yourself out of dat chair! You—”

    “Billy, wake up! You’s thrustin’, punchin’, and carrying on in a fitful dream.”

    “Oh, wow! Bobby, dat was one wild dream.”

    “Billy, what dream did you done dreamed?”

    “I dreamed dat I showed the Walmart greeter a smile, but he refused to smile back on account he was sleepin’, so I’s yelled at him and we got into it somethin’ fierce.

    “Billy, it’s probably on account of us starting work there tomorrow dat your nerves are all nervous and all.”

    “You’s right Bobby. I shouldn’t fret. Afteralls, how hard can a Walmart management position be?”

  2. Lydia says:

    Building up more mystery this round. Answers will begin to be provided on Monday. 🙂
    “I haven’t darkened the door of a church in thirty years,” Ed muttered under his breath as loudly as he dared. “They’d better not expect me to sing along.”  Sunday. 9 am. The church loomed before him. Paradise Presbyterian, est. 1898.
    “The Methodists didn’t know anything,” Marlene said. “Maybe this church will?”
    After the service Ed stood in the vestibule while Marlene quietly conferred with the pastor. The service had ended 20 minutes ago and the church was haemorrhaging visitors. When the flow trickled he began softly singing:
    Down in the valley, valley so low
    Hang your head over, hear the wind blow
    Hear the wind blow, love, hear the wind blow;
    Hang your head over, hear the wind blow.
    “Ed?” the women were staring at him. “Pastor Small is ready to go to the archives now.”
    “I doubt this will be a quick search,” Pastor Small said as they entered a small storage room packed with file cabinets. “Our archivist would kill me for saying this but he isn’t terribly organized and cannot be motivated to show his system to anyone else.”
    “Why not replace him?” Ed asked.
    “He’s been doing it for almost sixty years,” Pastor Small replied. “My predecessor tried to oust him. I was hired just a few weeks later. Some things you just don’t change.”
    “I’ll start by the door,” Marlene said. “Why don’t each of you pick a corner and we’ll work our way to the middle?” Their voices stilled. Occasionally someone would shake apart pages that had begun to grow together as they aged.
    “I think they’re arranged by topic,” Pastor Small said. “This cabinet is full of marriages and that one looks like births and adoptions. Where are the deaths?”
    “Here,” said Ed, thrusting open a reluctant cabinet. Another long moment of silence passed as they combed through the records.
    “Plot 117,” Pastor Small said. “This is odd. Apparently the headstone was destroyed in a fight a few years after Adela died. I can show you where the grave is, though.”
    “Do we know who fought?” Marlene’s eyes grew wide. “Why did it happen in a graveyard? Why wasn’t her headstone replaced?”
    “Your guess is as good as mine. The newspaper might have more information about that.”
    A conspicuous gap in the oldest section of the graveyard caught Ed’s attention immediately. The land had long since been blanketed with a thick layer of grass and dandelions. Marlene kicked a small pile of refuse off of the spot where the headstone should have been and stared at her great-grandmother’s resting place.
    “It doesn’t seem right that she’s alone,” Marlene said. “Everyone else is buried on the other side of town. When I solve this mystery I’m going to have her moved.”

  3. Anne Wayman says:

    With some deconstruction:

    · Cut and paste word list from email into a Word 2007 doc – I know, CCC says not to do it ihis way, but it seems to work for me.
    · Scan the list for a theme or sometimes a word that just sparks my imagination. In this case the theme seems to be violence or fighting which I don’t like much so I decide to see if I can move these words into something peaceful.
    · The phrase all this talk of killing, fighting etc. comes to mind – and it really is for me just a matter of moments.

    All this talk of killing

    They talk of the search so they can kill with thrusting blows, a fight to the end to show who’s right or wrong or better or worse. Motivated by anger I shake with indignation and fear and mutter then stop. Breathing in and breathing out I wonder how to refuse the violence begin to create peace.
    Well, I couldn’t track all the changes – about 15 minutes for this one.

  4. margaret says:

    I  would surely love to motivate
    that incompentent waitress to bring my plate…
    To get good service is such a fight;
    why can’t they only get it right?

    I thrust my hand into the air,
    but all she does is shake her pair
    and bend over with no underwear..
    (at the table of guys who don’t seem to care!)

    The food arrives, but Gawd! I mutter
    where the F’s the salt and the butter?
    The service blows and the food is swill….
    for a decent meal I now would kill!

    I search the bottom of my purse
    (while I suppress complaints both loud and terse)
    for a grubby coin, or maybe twos
    because a decent tip I do refuse!

    This might seem rude….yes I know;
    but my displeasure I need to show!

  5. Tanja Cilia says:

    Go for the kill and fight the good fight.  Show no mercy.  Motivate yourself and refuse to surrender. Search for the weak points, and thrust your sword in with a decisive shove. When you win, make sure to take all the stops out and blow your horn as loudly as you can. With a final shake of his head,  and the mutter of a few choice swear words,  he threw the Game of Swords instructions into the shredder.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Tanja: Super, super cool. Love the twist at the end. I bet that was fun to write.

    • Lydia says:

      Nice twist. I feel the same way about those games!

    • Tanja, that was funny! I can almost see him rolling his eyes…

    • Chris Fries says:

      Great snippet, Tanja!
      I love the flowery, but totally and completely useless language of the ‘instructions’.  Might as well have been: “Start the game. Try to win.”
      The only thing better would have been if the instructions had been poorly translated from the original Chinese: “Go out to killing. fight like goodly, to make show of not mercy making…” 😉

  6. Tanja Cilia says:

    Yes it was…I was just going to begin a column but I said hey, these words are worth procrastinating for!

  7. Rebecca says:

    I couldn’t shake the sick feeling I had when I say my cat Benny playing with a silverfish. I had to kill it. It didn’t take me long to search for tissue for I was not about to lose this fight. I didn’t mutter one sound as I squashed the silverfish quickly; I refuse to have bugs and creepy crawlers in my home. There was no time to show mercy. No one had to motivate me to do it. I wasn’t about to blow it. I felt bad as I thrust Benny, my cat, away from the silverfish. But, I wasn’t about to allow him to play with the uninvited guest.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: The sight of a silverfish gives my wife chills like nothing else on this planet. This submission hit home. 🙂

    • Lydia says:

      You captured the icky-ness of silverfish perfectly. They’re one of the few bugs that I’m afraid of. :O

    • Eww.
      I gotta take a shower. LOL
      You did a good job of conveying your disgust with those vermin.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Wow, I enjoyed this.  Being a cat person, I can identify with the image of tha cat playing with bugs and having to shoo them away as I kill the ‘prey’ they’d been toying with, LOL!
      A unique and creative use of the prompt words.  Very nice!

  8. Todd says:

    It’s been awhile, but here it goes…
    As the sun peaks over the hills to the west, two war horses, one black, the other brown, gallop at full speed. Steam thrust from their nostrils in the chilled morning air.

    The metallic warriors upon their backs, ready for a fight, hang on tightly.

    As they crest the hill, looking down in the valley, the battle rages. The knights prepare to engage, ready to kill the attackers of the convoy of pilgrims.

    From a distance, the first knight, a young handsome man named Michal, takes aim with his crossbow. A gentle squeeze of the trigger releases the bolt, as it flies true, hitting it’s mark.

    The second knight, the older and not-so handsome Geoffrey, sword unsheathed, strikes a death blow to the first of the enemy as he approaches the battle line. He is battle hardened, and refuse to show anything but courage.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Geoffrey catches a glimpse of his nephew, Michal. The two refuse to let the other out do him in battle. They motivate one another.

    Michal sees two Turks closing in around his uncle. He shouts, “Oncle!”, but there is just too much noise to be heard. Seeing no reaction, Michal works his way, continuing to search for Geoffrey.

    As Geoffrey comes into view, a mere 20 feet away, Michal watches as his uncle strikes the two attacking Turks, mortally wounding both.

    Off in the distance, a Turkish bowman takes aim, and releases an arrow. It has a Francs name written on it as it soars through the air.

    As the two knights give a small celebration in the midst of a bloody battle, a “TWANG” of metal striking metal is heard, and the young Michal drops to his knees. The arrow skidding across the metal breast plate, but found soft tissue in the right shoulder of the young knight.

    Normally, this wouldn’t stop a strong buck like himself, but the sharpened head nicked an artery.

    As the handsome warrior lay on the ground, his uncle runs toward him, slashing the enemy along the way.

    Kneeling beside his dieing cousin, he begins to shake uncontrollably.

    Out of nowhere, three arrows find their mark, two piercing Geoffrey’s back, and the third in the back of his leg.

    As the two lay in the dew and blood damped grass, they mutter to one another, “God wills it”.

  9. – Been a while since I’ve been here. Here’s to hoping I get out of the writers block –

    I stood there with my mouth agape unable to speak.  I tried to find the right words to say, to yell, to scream but nothing came out.  The fight continued.  I could do nothing but shake, no quake in fear as I watched her beat down with blow after blow to her opponents face.  The only part of my body that would move consciously were my eyes.  They would search feverishly for a security advancement upon our position.  If they got here an witnessed this attack it might be to late.
    “Dude, get in there and stop that.  She could kill him.” came red flannel shirt guy behind me, a witness to the entire incident.
    He was right.  She probably could if I let this go any longer.  I managed to take to steps forward, gingerly leaned down and softly spoke, “Sweetheart?”  I asked it in question form because I wasn’t sure if it was my wife underneath all the rage.
    She stopped, blinked, then looked up at me with a peaceful calm on her face like nothing was happening.
    “Oh. Hey Honey!”
    “It’s probably time to go.”
    “Uh.  Okay.”
    Mutter!!!” Came the voice of the bloodied face man on the floor.
    She snapped back to him.
    “What was that?!?!”
    “Oh you want your mother?!”
    “Well you should have thought about asking your mother first before you tried to take my seat!!”
    She thrust a few more well placed fists into his teeth.
    I grabbed her arm and encouraged her to stand up.
    “All right everyone, the show is over. Go back to your seats.”
    We started walking to the aisle and I asked the question that I should have asked when I approached the scene.
    “What would motivate you to do something like that?”
    “This is my first Tim McGraw concert.  I’ve been wanting to see him for 10 years.  And I refuse to let some jerk off say they don’t like one of his songs and get away with it.  I care for Tim to much to let that happen.”
    I make a mental note.

  10. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Glad to know I’m not the only one! I’m still trying to recover. I have an article to write but can’t concentrate on it. I’m lucky I was able to write something to submit for CCC 🙂

  11. Jen says:

    “I refuse to have this fight with you. Not now. Now when you’re all fired up.”
    He stomped his foot and glared at me. He let a breathe of hot, stinky breath blow from his nose. He continued to glare.
    I met his gaze head on. Sometimes I could just kill him. Right now was one of those times.
    I mimicked his angry breath, a mutter escaping my lips. “I do not have time for this.” He stood firm, expectant, like he knew he could motivate a change of heart, a change of mind. I searched the room, found what I was looking for and thrust it under his softened eyes.
    “See?” I demanded. “See? Fine. We’ll go for a walk.” I wanted to show him the leash in my hands but he was already shaking with relief and joy. He sat obediently as I clipped him to the nylon. He dashed to the door. We went for a walk.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: So … why aren’t you writing fuction full time?

      • Jen says:

        You guys are too kind to me. Honestly, I never thought I was that good at it. Been focusing my efforts on essays and features. But I could be convinced. May I take this moment to say that when I try fiction, I get lost in immobility? I find myself unsure what is supposed to happen next. Does that make sense?

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Jen: Oh man! I’ll say this again. Look in our sidebar for Larry Brook’s book Story Engineering (and his previous Story Structure Demystified book). If you are not blown away satisfied, let me know and I’ll buy the book back from you. You sound like the perfect candidate for his methods.

          • Jen says:

            I see what you did there. I like it. You convinced me. I’ll give it a shot. Thanks for the encouragement.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Jen: When I saw your comment about not knowing what to write next, it was as if Larry Brooks was saying the same thing in his blog posts. I had the same bleepin’ frustration. I always wanted to write a book (still do), but I didn’t consider myself a master of the craft, and I’m the type of person that must plan and structure. So when I found Larry, I became a disciple.

    • Awwww…LOL
      Stinky breath should’ve hipped me to the scene.
      But, I didn’t catch it, so, GREAT twist, Jen!

    • Chris Fries says:

      Beautiful twist — I loved this, Jen!
      “I mimicked his angry breath” — cracked me up, especially when its revealed its the dog wanting to go for a walk.
      Very well done!

    • Anne Maybus says:

      Jen, that was fun.  I think I’ve been there with our dog, too.

  12. Sisterhood of the Void – 5th Point
    Deep within the Bek Realm of Atefa, the anomaly began to search out large, planetary masses. The sisters watched in horror as some unknown thing thrust into the core of one particularly dense globe and initiated a chain reaction which caused the metallic center to shake. Initially, the motion was rhythmical, but it quickly devolved into a chaotic warbling that made the entire planet blow apart. In the next instant, the refuse – both energy and matter, were subsumed by the anomaly. The sisters detected a mutter of defeat from the dying sentience that had defined the planet.
    Even as planetary consciousness lost the fight against this elemental destroyer, the sisters stored the waves for future study. Afetar, third-generation daughter of Bet, began to analyze the sequence of events. The other sisters listened, enrapt, as she conferred with Bet and First Mother:
    Afetar: “The anomaly appears to use destructive waves to grow, feeding on matter and energy, but seeming to have no taste for consciousness. We already know from the earlier reports that Bed’s energy tended to inhibit interaction with matter. However, Bed primarily controlled matter itself so, apparently, this thing can break down inertial barriers.”
    Be: “What motivates those waves to behave like Ben energies?”
    Bet: “Ben energies have much lower amplitude, allowing them to more quickly balance surrounding energies. This thing has massive, almost unilateral amplitude and high frequencies. Why that is the case, I do not know.”
    Be: “Our consciousness almost seems to be at odds with its essence.”
    Afetar: “Exactly! Perhaps a bit of it dies as well? We have only seen plasma behave in this fashion, yet matter and energy are conserved. Where is the conscious signature of these planets? Why don’t they show up at all?”
    As if in answer, another planet was reduced to dust, its conscious drumbeat fading rapidly to nothingness. The anomaly was now three times larger than it was upon first being detected. Bet was worried that it would not only outstrip the Bed energies; it would also trivialize the altruism energies of the Bek line. Afetar pointed out, respectfully, that First Mother’s initial reports were overly optimistic.
    The descendants of Ben, who earlier protested any inference of malfeasance, now chimed in with suggestions for corralling this force. They fairly babbled nonsense, presumably relieved by Bet’s exoneration. Neva volunteered to create a harmonic damper around other large planets in the Bek Realm. Meanwhile, Avena proposed a percussive massage – to be applied directly on the anomaly. The singsong pings on the collective conscious sheet merely soothed the other sisters to the point of forgetting their purpose. Ben had to gently hush her progeny.
    Jebubba processed all these notes at the speed of Bej. She only understood some of it but something came to awareness of its own accord, which she immediately shared:
    “…Benum…” The daughter line of Ben honors the wisdom of Bet!
    “…Benumruvo…” There is power in numbers. A team of sisters, working as one can do more.
    “…Bejumnuno…” We must join quickly and harmoniously an expedition …
    “…Befumtujo…” To the Infinite Boundary, where we can rapidly discover what Bef and Bel, separately, were unable to learn: what is beyond the void and can we expel this anomaly?
    The ensuing commotion was so tumultuous that, even the anomaly paused its killing spree long enough to sniff at the powerful waves. Bej admonished her fourth-generation daughter, not quite hiding a riff of pride in Jebubba’s use of Bet energies. First Mother stammered a flat-out denial, knowing full well that her staccato barking had no teeth in the autonomous sisterhood. For once, she was completely ignored, as sisters volunteered to join Jebubba on her quest.
    “Whoa, whoa!” Jebubba enjoined her sisters. “Surely, there are sisters more capable than I to take on this task?”
    Bet punched out a meaningful and definitive reply: “You. Will. Lead. Us.” The force and authority of that conscious declaration brooked no disagreement. A short silence was broken by the eruption of yet another Bek Realm planet. With a new sense of urgency, the sisters turned to Jebubba expectantly.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: I CAN NOT wait to see how this whole thing unfolds, then go back and read again to see all the gems I missed the first read. Excellent.

    • Todd says:

      Mitch, your story is blowing my mind. I’m going to have to go back and read your other entries. Do you have a science or engineering background? I’ve always wondered this about sci-fi writers.

      • Todd, I’m glad you’re enjoying the story. Believe it or not, I’m neither a scientist nor an engineer. I just love to make up stories. Science fiction is my favorite genre so I knew that eventually, I’d want to try my hand at it.
        Here’s the thing (which I’ve mentioned before): I also love PC games. There are simulations and 4X games (Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate) that have rich worlds. Having the opportunity to create worlds on the PC is just another form of story-telling.
        So, I guess I’m all booked up in fantastical subjects. To get to the authenticity, though, I rely on Google and Wikipedia. I try not to put too fine a point on the facts, so my physics might make a physicist cringe – or at least chuckle at my ignorance.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Wow — Epic!
      Fabulous, thought-provoking, and incredible.  You amaze me with how much detail you can get into this.  Incredible.
      What will Jebubba do????

      • Chris, thanks for helping to keep that spark alive – the one that drives writers to continue.
        I truly have no idea what Jebubba is going to do, other than assemble a team. That anomaly is freaking the sisters out, though. I guess she better get to steppin!

    • Anne Maybus says:

      Another amazing submission.  Such detail. You always amaze me.

  13. Rebecca says:

    @ Lydia … I know … I keep checking the floor in my office to make sure there isn’t another one lurking somewhere.

  14. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … Lol! It was an eventful morning. I keep thinking, “what if that thing crawled up my pant leg?” OMG!

  15. Chris Fries says:

    Happy Thursday!  Here’s my entry for today’s words:

    The Look of Murder — Part 18

    At least I wasn’t in a cell. 

    But I was still sitting in a Flint police station with nothing to do to kill the time, waiting to get through the chorus line of cops who wanted to talk to me.  The city boys had responded to the apartment super’s call and those uniforms had interviewed me first at the scene, and then the detectives, and then I was given the invitation to come down to the station to flap my gums even more.  I generally try to be an obliging guy, so how could I refuse

    After a couple of hours of saying the same things over and over again, going over every detail blow by blow, I was still sitting in an interview room, waiting for the State Police to show up so I could have another charming chat with Detective Sergeant Alden.

    There’s nothing like a dead body to help motivate the cops and stir up their itch for some stimulating conversation.

    I’d called Dotson’s office but hadn’t been able to get him.  His secretary said she thought he might be in court, although he had nothing written on his schedule.  I wondered if he was busy getting Margaret released, but the secretary either didn’t know or wouldn’t tell me.  She did say she’d continue to search for Dotson and would have him call the Flint Police Department as soon as she connected with him.  Not that it would help me — I was hoping I would be gone from here long before she found him.

    The door burst open and I again saw the smiling face of Sergeant Alden.  He stood for a moment in the doorway, smirking at me, and then with a shake of his head and a sigh, he came in to the interview room.  Detective Jansen, one of the Flint detectives who’d wanted me to play blabbermouth earlier, came in behind Alden.

    “Mr. Sharpe,” Alden said as he took a seat at the table.  “It seems every time you come to Flint, you stumble across a body.  I may have to ask you to stay away from our fair city.”

    I started to mutter a smart-alecky comeback, but thought better of it.  I didn’t want to fight with these guys.  I wanted to get to the same answers they did. 

    “Look, Alden,” I said, “I could say something smart here, but I don’t want to waste time in a thrust-and-parry word-play dance.  Let’s just be straight with each other, OK?”

    He raised his eyebrows and widened his smile.  “Of course, Sharpe.  I’m all for that.  So let me ask you straight up:  You have anything in particular you want to get off your chest?  Maybe feeling a twinge of guilt over something you might have done recently?”

    I laughed.  “Nope.  Sorry.”

    “Yeah, I figured as much, but I had to take a shot. So how ’bout you just fill me in on what brought you to that apartment today?”

    “I’ve already gone over it twenty times with Jansen and his boys.”

    “Humor me.  Bring it up to legal age by making it 21.”

    “Fine.  Here’s the short of it:  I was given the name of Warren Powell by the secretary of Charles Thurston.  Powell works at Thurston motors and had interviewed for a promotion with Thurston on the day that Thurston had left to come up to the cabin.  I found Powell’s address and went to talk to him.  The missus wasn’t there, and Powell seemed a little skittish about it, which struck me as odd.  He said Vivian was visiting her parents.  I then discovered that Powell’s wife was originally a Miss Vivian Bennett from Flint, and her parents still had an address up here, so I decided to come up if she was there and if I could talk to her.  But it seems there was also another apartment address for Vivian Bennett, and even though it was a long shot, I thought I’d stop there first, just because it happened to be on the way.  I figured it was just an old address, but what do you know? Turns out Goldilocks was still there in the bed.”

    Alden nodded.  He looked down and picked at a fingernail for a minute, then brought his face up to meet me eye to eye.

    “So why do you care enough to go to all that fuss?” he asked.  “Someone paying you for the investigation?”

    “Nope.  This was just for my own curiosity.”

    “You got a habit of interfering in on-going police investigations, Sharpe?”

    “No, Alden.  I just don’t think Mrs. Thurston’s a killer, even though the Detroit Police seem content to try and pin it on her.  That means the real killer is going to walk away scot-free.”

    “Violates your sense of justice, does it?” Alden said, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair.

    “Yeah. That’s it.”

    “Well, she may still be good for it, and now maybe two charges, in spite of what you might think.”

    “And what do you base that on?” I found my voice rising, and I fought to control it.  Alden gave another smirk.

    “Well, if she’s going to rub out the hubby, it makes sense to rub out the other woman, too, don’t you think?”

    “So you certain this broad was someone that Thurston was fooling around with?”

    “I’m not going to reveal details about key evidence, Sharpe, but I will tell you that we’ve been busy little bees.  We have positively identified the body as one Mrs. Vivian Powell, formerly Vivian Bennett of Flint.  We also already have sources that can put her together with Charles Thurston on multiple occasions, and even have reason to believe that Mr. Thurston was paying for the apartment.  So, believe what you want, but in situations like these, the wife is always a good suspect.”

    Alden uncrossed his arms and leaned forward onto the table.  “We’ve spoken with Detroit police, and they’re going to hold on to her for a while longer, even though your friend Dotson was screaming to get her released.  We’ve also put out an A.P.B. for Warren Powell, and expect to have him in a Detroit stationhouse for questioning very soon.”

    Alden locked his gaze onto me.  “That enough for you?” he said.

    I thought for a moment.  Alden hadn’t mentioned the film, but I wasn’t going to say anything about it.  No need to tell him I knew about it and it only made his point stronger anyway. 

    “Ok, sure,” I said.  “All that may give motive, but it still doesn’t mean that Mrs. Thurston killed her husband or the other dame.”

    “That may be true, Sharpe,” Alden said.  “But we do think that she and Mr. Powell are both good places to start.  Don’t you agree?”

    I just looked at him. 

    I couldn’t argue, but dammed if I was going to agree, at least about Margaret.

    • Chris, you know what they say, “love is blind.” Seems our friend Nick has his nose wide open. Or did they use a different phrase back then? 🙂
      The story is really good. I like how all the pieces stay locked in their continuity slots.
      Carry on!

      • Chris Fries says:

        Thanks, Mitch!
        I think a good mystery story requires that continuity.  It cheats the reader if I don’t stay consistent and give an ending that doesn’t fit with what I’d written before.  I’m a newb at most of this, so it’s not like I have a lot of experience, but I’m trying hard to work towards an ending that gives that “Oh! Now I get it!” reaction, rather than “What?!? That don’t make sense! Back in episode X, you said such and such, and now your’re saying the opposite.”
        So I keep a summary going with a list of characters and a short plot outline to guide me towards the ending, and to make sure I get in what I want to in each episode.  I also go back and re-read previous episodes from time to time to make sure I don’t contradict myself.
        Not saying I’m 100% successful at this, or that anyone will really enjoy it, but I’m at least trying and this is great practice in a friendly and supportive environment.  What more could any neophyte writer want?

        • I hear you on the process, Chris. I constantly refer to my earlier chapters, in addition to an ever-expanding spreadsheet of “stuff I gotta keep track of”. The scary thing is that, like I just mentioned to Todd, I get booked up on the fantastical. In this story, I’m remembering a whole bunch of trivia about most of the sisters and dreaming up ways to use that information.
          I also appreciate this CCC environment. This is the first blog I’ve ever seen where the comments are consistently longer than the posts! LOL

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: That Sharpe is sure in love ain’t he! He’ll go to the edge of the earth to unearth this mystery. I love this guy.

  16. Anne Maybus says:

    I gave it a good shake but the stupid thing refused to open.  Since when did resealable bags put up such a fight, anyway?

    “Honey, have a quick search for the scissors will you?”

    “You don’t need scissors” he said.  “Here, let me show you how to do it”.

    With a smirk on his face and superiority in his voice he held out his hand.  I thrust the bag at him and turned to cut up the rest of the ingredients for the salad.

    Was that a slight curse I heard?  Hm, a slight red rising in the cheeks?

    I smiled to myself when I heard a whistle of exasperation blow from his not-so-superior-now lips.

    “Well, we might have to do without it” I said, sick of the whole thing.  “I guess we don’t need it anyway.  The pasta will be just as good without it.”

    I could have sworn I heard him mutter something under his breath about food to kill…

    “Well, darling, perhaps a little bellyache might motivate you to cook for once.” 

    It was my turn to smirk and feel superior knowing that he couldn’t even make toast without burning it.

    You’ll be pleased to know that the pasta was delicious and that I took my revenge on that bag later.  Scissors really come in handy sometimes.  That bag will never fight me again.

  17. Rebecca says:

    @ Chris … Thanks! I find myself looking at my office floor more than I used to. Lol … no creepy crawlers today.

  18. meek willed says:

    after recovering from a painful blow mum would not let us stay in any room with out some sort of supervision and muttering when ever she thought we were inappropriately close.
    so in the end after searching for things to do we ended up playing a fighting game on the Wii where sue refuse to give me an inch.
    she is so motivated an fired up all of her thrusts were in the right places to kill me and I was shake my remotes constently to recover from her pounding.
    she put on quite  the victory dances were quite the show which made up for being so humiliated.

  19. (A few days late, but better late than never, right? Anyways, hope you guys enjoy!)
    “Jensen, kill the switch. We need to drop speed fast,” shouted Commander Fuchs over the loud hum-drum of the engines.
    “Ok, sir.” Jensen reached for his communication device, “All hands on deck. Prepare for a sudden speed shift. This might be a little rocky.” He set the device back into place and put his hand on the lever. “Are you ready, sir?”
    “Always,” responded the commanding officer, leaning back, preparing himself for the shock. He didn’t know what it was, but changing speeds in his ship always reminded him of the shifting gears in his antique car back on Earth. There was a problem with the transmission, so every time it shifted up or down, it would jump and land a gear or two above or below where it should have been. That car left plenty of skid marks in its wake, just as he was sure this ship would, too, if it could.
    As soon as Jensen pulled the lever, the ship came to what felt like a near stop.
    “Sir, we’re going eighty kilometers an hour now. Optimum search speed. What do you think we should do now?” Jensen asked.
    Commander Fuchs straightened in his chair. “Show me the visuals up on the overheads. We need to know where to look. What the hell would motivate them to come all the way out here?” He scratched his head. “Dryer, get all the comms up. Let’s see if we can find them on the radio waves first. Then we can go do some hide-and-seeking.”
    Dryer search for half an hour but came up with nothing.
    “Ok, time for the hard work. Adkins, you’re the master tracker here. Where do you think they’d be?” Fuchs was getting a little nervous. Returning empty-handed would not be good. He needed to find the deserters.
    “Well sir, if you ask me, I’d have to say they’d be hiding in that dust cloud over here,” said Adkins, pointing at a smudgy spot on the map.
    “That looks like it’s as good a hiding spot as any other. Ok, let’s give this a little. Good thinking, Adkins.” The commander shifted in his chair. “Jensen, could you thrust us into that direction. Gently. We can’t blow it this time. We need them alive.”
    “Whatever you say, sir,” said Jensen, in more of a mutter.
    “What did you say?”
    “Yes, sir.”
    “That’s more like it. I’m not here to fight you. We need to get those traitors back. So let’s go.”
    The ship began to shake as it entered the dust cloud. Commander Fuchs began to sweat. If they returned empty-handed, the Grand Council would refuse to promote him to admiral. An even less desirable punishment would be waiting for him back at home. His wife, waiting for her brother, who was now leading the deserters.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Matt: THAT is quite a pickle you put the commander in at the end. No good way out of that one will there be?

  20. Casper says:

    He was pretty SHAKEn up as he SEARCHed his thoughts, what made her snap! She seemed MOTIVATEd enough to KILL him.Her face SHOWed no mercy as she MUTTERed some curses while she THRUST her boot to his face and REFUSEd to back off even though he was not putting up a FIGHT.
    All he had asked her for was a ‘BLOW‘.She did give him a BLOW to his ‘head’ !

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Casper: Welcome to the CCC. So glad you showed up and shared. I like this character. Does she like Tim McGraw too? (read the other submission and you’ll see what I mean 🙂 ) How did you like the exercise? Hope you’ll give it another go, each Monday and Thursday. Everyone welcome Casper to the fun.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Casper-Welcome to the CCC!

        Each week you will kill for another challenge as you search for the perfect combination to show the story inside. CCC will motivate you to thrust work aside and blow off the day in the rapture of another set of words.

        You might mutter and fight for just the right phrase, but you will never shake the feeling of joy or refuse the  challenge of CCC.

        Welcome to the addiction!

      • Casper says:

        @Shane : Thanks for welcome.This is an interesting concept,would love to hang out here and read these creative scribbles.Yep i think she likes Tim McGraw too, although wouldn’t be sure if she is the same female.

  21. Michelle says:


    I refused to shake his hand but he didn’t know it. I pretended to search for chapstick, muttering about the lack of humidity…killing time. “There it is!” I exclaimed showing him the tube, taking a moment to blow off lint. I had stores of anger to motivate me. If he wanted a fight, I was ready. He thrust his hand back in his pocket where it belonged.

  22. Kill!” he shouted.

    “I refuse!” I yelled.

    He thrust at me; I rolled to avoid the blow.

    “Stand and fight!” he shouted.

    “You can’t make me do it!” I yelled back. It started to rain.

    He muttered something, threw down his sword, and turned away.

    “What was that?” I demanded.

    He stopped. “I said, I don’t know how to motivate you, soldier. I quit.”

    I searched my memory for reasons, and came up empty. Except for one. “Show me the money,” I said.

    “I spent it,” he said, “on editing services.”

    “Shane’s?” I asked.

    He looked ashamed. “No,” he whispered.

    My fists began to shake uncontrollably. How. Dare. He. “Prepare to die!” I screamed, and leapt upon him.

  23. Clash of Father and Son
    “I’m going to kill you!!” my son screamed.
    “Not today!” I growled back. I searched for an opening, motivated to do him real damage after the rabid hostility he dared to show me.
    “Better run, old man!” He thrust his dagger at my heart, but I refused to stand still for the cocky little upstart. My hands began to shake furiously as I dealt him one crushing blow after another.
    “Stand up,” I spat. “Fight like a man.” I kicked at his lifeless body.
    “You cheat,” he muttered, “Next time I won’t go so easy on you.” As he put the wii controller down on the coffee table, he looked over at me and grinned. “Hey, want a sandwich?”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Holly: This is a great reminder of why I miss you around here. Well done.

      • Thank you, Shane! I hope you don’t mind my re-posting some of these on my own blog, too – I need to atone for all the metablogging I’ve been doing, lately, trying to win a guest posting contest. 🙂 My regular readers will tolerate such foolishness, up to a point, but I think there’s a price to be paid in blood each time I write the letters “SEO” or mention “social media.” My readers loathe Alexa and only put up with Google because they, too, find it useful on occasion.
        I hope the links send you some new participants and readers!

  24. Kelly says:


    The last of the blow was gone, and Sandy was insanely itchy to move. With lunch almost over, he couldn’t convince the others to get up from the lounge, so he was left to mutter about their lazy asses while they waved him off, and head out to the parking ramp for a smoke and a shake, alone.

    He leaned on his car for a minute and took a drag, giving a less-than-enthusiastic version of his usual wink to the No Smoking sign on the column beside his reserved parking spot. The smoke clung to him, barely rising in the close air of the ramp, reaching up and scratching at his eyes. Fuck. Everything seemed lazy today. He set the cig down at the edge of his hood, tossed his head to crack his neck a couple of times, and began to shadow-box. Fighting boredom. Fighting irritation. Fighting the sense that he was missing something… that all of them, his pompous friends with their pompous sportscars, and Sandy himself, with his ridiculous red racer, were flying from place to place only to pay for all the flying cars and the flying coke. Not because there was a damned thing about their lives that they liked… and not a damned thing they wanted to get to faster.

    They refused to get up and move. He refused to sit down and accept. Who was the bigger ass?

    When he’d worked up a sweat (or when he’d killed the sweat of that last line), he thrust his head in every direction once more to loosen up, and tried to motivate himself for the afternoon. I’m ready. I’ll get in there and show people a thing or two. I do love my job. I do love my job.

    As he walked back in to the building, flashing his badge absentmindedly to the temp at the staff entrance, he searched his blackberry for the afternoon schedule.

    Shit! I forgot about the bypass at 1:30. They’re probably wondering where I am.

    Before he had to hear his named paged all over the P.A., Dr. Sanderson started flying down the corridor, to get himself to prep.

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