Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #150

Note: Today’s words are tough. If you’re doing a series and can’t work them in, skip your series and do a regular submission today.

Larry Brooks of Storyfix choose today’s challenging words. If you wish to write a book, Larry will save you a ton of time, effort and heartache. Show him some comment love and visit his site.

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. Pick
  2. Verisimilitude – the appearance or semblance of truth or reality; quality of seeming true
  3. Dominatrix – a woman who is the dominant sexual partner in a sadomasochistic relationship
  4. Imbue – To inspire or influence thoroughly; pervade; To permeate or saturate; To stain or dye deeply
  5. Eviscerate – To remove the entrails of; disembowel; To take away a vital or essential part of
  6. LaparoscopicType of surgery, also called minimally invasive; Pertaining to a type of minimally invasive surgery in which a small incision (cut) is made in the abdominal wall through which an instrument called a laparoscope is inserted to permit structures within the abdomen and pelvis to be seen.
  7. Wizened – lean and wrinkled by shrinkage as from age or illness
  8. Engorged – Overfull as with blood
  9. Epiphany – A revelatory manifestation of a divine being; A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
  10. Histrionic – Of or relating to actors or acting; Excessively dramatic or emotional; affected.

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


134 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #150”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Bippity, bippity, bippity, Chewbacca, bubba, bubba, bubba.”

    “Billy, your verisimilitude is imbuing. Sing it again Sam.”

    “Bobby, Bobby, boobie, boobie, chillawinga.”

    “Billy, you’s histrionic and engorged with laparoscopic talent. Sing it again Sam.”

    “Mountain, fountain, oyster, boister, Honey Nut Clusters.”

    “Billy, you’d eviscerate on America’s Got Talent. You’s a audible dominatrix. Sing it again Sam.”

    Picky, picky, pokey, mamma, mamma, mooey.”

    “Billy, you’s … hold on a second Billy. I just had one of them there epiphany-type thingies. Look at our skin. It be all wizened and discolored and infected lookin’. Damn, Billy! Dis sun screen we’s been rubbin’ on our skin ain’t sun screen. It’s pipe Draino. It’s like we’s on acid. Hey, Billy. Did you see the size of that chicken?”

    “Bippity, boppity, boop. I just pooped.”

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    Before her epiphany the Dominatrix known as Ms. Pick was imbued with an histrionic desire to eviscerate. After, although some doubted her verisimilitude, her laparoscopic elbow surgery let her grow from wizened to beautifully and happily engorged with joy.

  3. margaret says:

    Sometimes on Sundays if I am bored and flipping through the channels I pause on the E channel long enough to let ridiculous entertainment with no verisimilitude of how normal people live imbue
    my brain.

    You can watch the one with a wizened crypt-keeper Hugh Hefner and his entourage of almost-underage bimbos who like to dress (if you can call it that) in get ups from dominatrix to cheerleader.

    Then there is the show where nobody has any talent, but obviously having money buys you a show…..”The Kardashians”. This is great if you like to watch the histrionics of rich people with
    questionable ethics, chemically engorged lips and laparoscopic – inserted boobs. (yes, they do that).

    Pick any of these reality shows and you will have an epiphany that money can’t buy taste or class
    and you would rather be eviscerated than live the lives of those pathetic caricatures.

  4. Anne Wayman says:

    rotfl almost and exactly why I don’t have television!

    • margaret says:

      I’m embarassed to say that I am a total TV baby, Anne. The problem is that some of those shows have gotten so ridiculous and it is a sad commentary on our society and how values have changed.

  5. Rebecca says:

    The senator loved dominatrix type women. Power and money made it easy for him to have his pick of women. If the public knew what he did in his private life, they’d probably want to eviscerate him for it. He was a master of verisimilitude and even impressed himself on occasion. The senator loved to imbue his audience. He’d have them in the palm of his hands just by walking to the podium. He was anal about getting a yearly and sometimes six month medical checkup; he could be a bit of a hypochondriac. His latest visit to his doctor included a laparoscopic surgery to make sure his ‘insides’ looked clean. The senator was by no means wizened – good genes and strategic plastic surgery was the key. He was meeting with his latest conquest, and his manliness was engorged to brink of explosion. The senator usually had an epiphany or two just before he was about to attack and conquer. Then again, it could have been the histrionic nature of the act.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: YOu had me at his manliness was engorged! 😉 Words fit in perfectly.

    • Way to go, Rebecca. Ya think we need to post a NC-17 or R rating on CCC #150? LOL

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Rebecca-guess he doesn’t have a Twitter account. 😀

    • Chris Fries says:

      What a great piece, Rebecca!  And totally accurate — I’m always amazed at the stupidity of some of these high-powered men in the public eye, sexting and twitting their engorged manliness all over the place.  Seems like very day there’s another wiener in the news…  What the Hell’s wrong with people?

    • Lydia says:

      You hit the nail on the head. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is how a significant percentage of public servants whose platforms include the phrase “family values” spend their free time. :O

  6. Jen says:

    Well, crap. This was going to mean surgery, and not some easy, in-and-out laparoscopic shindig. No. This would be a major undertaking. If the engorged, instantly black and blue skin surrounding my geometrically twisted knee wasn’t evidence enough, the blood from the nine inch long gash from which I picked gravel seemed to seal the deal. I thought I might hurl.
    The day started warm and clear. I awoke to the sounds of whippoorwills and the scampering of raccoon feet. I crawled out of the tent and surveyed my domain, for my domain it was. I was the dominatrix of this mountain and I would eviscerate that peak with agility and grace. I was going to kick some climbing ass. The fresh spring breeze imbued me with confidence and a verisimilitude of strength.
    It was a hazy simulacrum, that gauzy veil of strength, because when the snake slithered across my path, I collapsed with histrionics that rivaled a tribal dance gone horribly awry. My desperate leaping and bounding and shrieking and screaming caused my climbing partners to enter their own histrionic fits, but at my expense. They dissolved into hysterical laughter. Jerks.
    They did nothing but watch as I landed badly, my booted foot striking a rock at precisely the wrong angle. A herky-jerky, graceless tumble sent me spiraling down the slightly graded, flat rock face and into a heap six feet below them. I stopped screaming long enough to take in the mangled mess of my leg. The epiphany washed over me like raw sewage; this was going to hurt. But worse, I knew I was no longer the brash climber who climbed out of that tent just hours ago. That fall took me down, down to a wizened wreck of a person embarking on a long date with rehab.

  7. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … I couldn’t resist … Lol! This was definitely a challenging Creative Copy Challenge.

  8. Fred Flintstone chuckled at the wizened beast, practically choking on mashed turnips. The blood of freshly killed rats had imbued the root with an intoxicating aroma that had proved irresistible. Taking one look at the engorged, somnolent cat, Fred swooped in confidently to hasten its rate of extinction. Stupid cat.

    Instead of his usual rushed butchery, Fred decided to try to eviscerate the saber-toothed cat using a laparoscopic technique perfected by Barney. Selecting a sharply pointed bone pick, Fred slit the throat to drain the blood. After a few moments, he reached down through the new mouth, feeling for anything that could be pulled out. His fat, clumsy fingers could not find purchase on the slippery organs. Frustrated, Fred sat back on his haunches, trying to think of some way to preserve this beautiful pelt.

    Imagining Wilma in a new skin turned on Fred’s lizard brain. A bloodlust epiphany flooded his memory. Fred recalled the mating ritual that had produced Pebbles. He evoked vivid images of such verisimilitude that he could hear his histrionic screaming and feel the dominatrix taking her pleasure ahead of him. Sensory overload sent Fred into a paroxysm of vicarious ecstasy.

    Excited now, Fred flipped the cat over, lifted its tail and plunged deeply, without shame, into its nether orifice. With a grunt of satisfaction, he yanked out a fistful of steaming entrails.

  9. It’s the first Tuesday of the month.
    You know what that means!

    Sweet, sweet burning, searing pain smeared in tears, snot and sweat!

    I’ll beat the devil right out of you, boy!
    She’s hissing and laughing.

    She’s pulled your engorged member from the diapers and you’re praying for release while she whacks it over and over and over again with a riding crop.

    You’re paying her.  Ms. Lucretia Blackleather has your fucking gold card locked up in her dresser. 

    You don’t give a rat’s ass that she was just plain Bobbi Rogers who probably served your supper or sold you a shirt a few years ago.  Now, she’s your dominatrix.

    She says you’ll obey and will continue to hold your ankles no matter WHAT and it’s true.  Her words, tone, crackling leather…  They imbue every statement with a certain Verisimilitude.

    After Ms. Blackleather it’s Mistress d’Agony and then it’s the wizened old broad who burns you with a cigarette and then it’s Mrs. Squashyournuts or…

    You forget. 

    It’s all the same thing.

    Take your pick.  They’re the same person.
    You do the same histrionic sissy-boy play-acting. They max your cards and eviscerate your bank accounts. 

    It’s ritual.  It’s redundant. 

    After years of this shit, you miss a session in the not-so-dark and non-mysterious “dungeon” of Ms. Someone-or-another because you’re recovering from a Laparoscopic job on your football knee. 

    You have an epiphany.

    You call Amex.  You cancel the card.  It took an army of whip-crackers more than a decade, but they beat the devil.

    Right out of you.

    • Incredible. Carson, if this isn’t the beginning of a novel, I don’t know what is. I really want to see this Elmer Gantry come to life on the pages of CCC.
      Awesomely done!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Carson: DAMMIT CARSON! I already use the word awesome for your CCC#149 challenge. This tops that one. Such talent in this place!!!!!! I love the CCC. You guys make my day.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Hey Carson-great to see you back again-what a ride – so to speak-;-) loved it.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Good man — canceling the card will prevent getting beat on by impersonal, dominating, offensive, and evil deviants.
      And of course I mean the credit card companies, with their interest and charges.  ;^)
      Great job, Carson!  Extremely creative and engrossing.

  10. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … Uh oh! Good point. My post could be too provocative for some folks on CCC. Then again, it’s no different from film, cable, and prime time television. Lol…

  11. Kelly says:


    The game was on, no doubt about it, and the histrionics had begun.
    A low wail was came up in his throat when the dominatrix began her torturous routine, and it soon billowed into a matinee performance of his twitching and groaning, her vicious amusement. He thought he could barely control himself, but the truth was he couldn’t at all. This was no laparoscopic; this was full-out murder… if only the target of her cruelty weren’t dead already.
    Oh, she was skilled at the setup; she let him watch her eviscerate the first victim, then a second and third, knowing that he was both repulsed and fascinated by her cold knifework. His mouth was watering, yet oddly dry. He cleared his throat repeatedly in between sounds of flesh severed from its mortal confines. He tried to look away— he did! —but she imbued every stroke with more drama than the situation required, looking up every few seconds to lock eyes with him, and he had to watch.
    She knew it. He was certain that she wore the smallest, chiffonlike whisper of a grin.
    “Take your pick?” she asked, waving a knife at a pair steroidally-engorged breasts, knowing his guts would roil at the very thought. And there it was—a wink. She was mocking his weak constitution, his contradictory desires and beliefs. Damn, but she was cruel. He seemed to have aged a hundred years in the last fifteen minutes. He felt his face shrivel into that of a wizened old codger, and he longed for the codger’s ability to howl out loud about things that might offend him.
    Things that should offend anyone, really.
    She gave off a verisimilitude of being sympathetic to him when there was no knife nearby, but there were times when her inner urges were so strong she simply could not resist. then she transformed into this… this madwoman… and he became the (not-terribly) silent victim in the room.
    The only one who could scream, yet he was the helpless lover who wouldn’t dare. Because yes, he did love her; that epiphany had come to him long ago, and he held fast to it, even when she was deep in her frenzied state.
    Even when her parents and their friends were coming over, and his normally calm, contented vegan wife, was wildly mutilating chicken for eight.

  12. Cathy Miller says:

    If Mary had her pick of the litter, she always seemed to be drawn to the story told with the ring of verisimilitude. She left the dominatrix attitude to her mother whose propensity for Johnny Walker would imbue her sad, pathetic life.

    Mary did all she could to eviscerate the sins of the mother from her laparoscopic view of the world, lest she fall to the wizened fate of events beyond her control. Engorged with a sense of purpose, Mary’s epiphany happened early in life where the histrionics of a sickened mind was no match for the peace she knew in her soul.

    Life was worth living and Mary embraced it with all of her heart.

  13. Rebecca says:

    @ Cathy … No way, no day. Senator ??? is smart enough not to do that and laughs at amateur politicians who get caught with their pants down. He hires and surrounds himself with the best of the best. Understanding ‘the art of discretion’ is a must. His staff and contacts know the consequence of betraying him. How invincible is he? Oh my … This sounds like another ‘novel’ idea. I need to sell some of my ideas 🙂
    @ Mitch … Lol … I forgot about graphic novels and comics.

  14. Jake says:

    The phone rang, waking Howard from his nostalgic reverie.  His muscles subtly tensed as any hope of a slight elation from reality began to eviscerate.  He sighed, then coughed as he listlessly reached for the phone.  It was Tiffany, his secretary letting him know that his meeting at 2pm had been cancelled.  Apparently Jim Harper, acting manager of Laromy Fabrications, had called in sick.  “Cancellation due to intoxication”, Harold muttered causing Tiffany to chuckle.  Jim was an older man, at least 10 years Harold’s senior, but looked much older.  Well weathered from industry, his wizened skin told much of his story with visual clarity.  Years of living in the industrial wasteland they called home had grinded him down like the steel they endlessly produced. Occasionally Jim and Harold would share a drink, but Harold tended to avoid any more of a relationship than they had.  He didn’t much care for Jim and knew that Jim’s feelings were mutual.  Their monthly meetings created a verisimilitude of friendship, but they both knew that it was a façade created to keep appearances at a productive level of normality.

    Tiffany asked if they would be rescheduling, and that she would be glad to pick a convenient time if Harold wanted her to.
    “Not right now.  I’ll send him an email after lunch and see what he wants to do.  Thanks anyway, Tiff.”

    “Are you sure?  You know how you tend to forget rescheduling these things.”

    “I won’t forget, Mother.  Writing it down as we speak.”
    Tiffany was a bubbly and rather histrionic young woman, but very professional.  She was short, thin and had straight dark hair that covered her shoulders.  Even in the intense heat of Summer, she usually wore long sleeve shirts to hide her tattoos.  Her thick black framed glasses gave her a trendy look of an artist or musician.  Although Harold never understood why, Tiffany admired Harold greatly.  She had worked for the company as his secretary for 4 years and had become irreplaceable.  Because of her rather colorful and darker past, working for Harold immediately began to imbue Tiffany to strive for more.  She admired his hard work, and despite his often depressed demeanor, she cared for him deeply.  Last year, when Harold was in the hospital for a laparoscopic procedure, Tiffany made sure that all pending work was completed and took care of all the day to day details that kept Harold out of trouble.  She even made sure to visit him each day, since the corporate hospital was just down the street.
    When Harold met Tiffany, she was working as a dominatrix in the village red-light district, just west of the DenonCorp Township.  There were many evenings when Harold reluctantly found solace there, although he never talks about it now.  “Just another method of blowing off steam” he had convinced himself.  When he met Tiffany in a village restaurant, they connected immediately.  Talking over dinner and drinks, they both engorged themselves on Mediterranean cuisine and deep conversation.  Harold found himself enjoying Tiffany’s company and thought that she was witty, smart and engaging.  His desire for companionship outweighed his desire for her services, and they spent the rest of the evening smoking cigarettes and discussing how life led them to where they were that night.  In a reluctant and mutual epiphany, they both agreed to not darken the streets of the village again.  Instead they joined forces in the corporate battle of good and evil and the rest is industrial history.

  15. Chris Fries says:

    Happy 150th, CCC!!!
    And — Wow!  Tough words!  The one that threw me at first was ‘Laparoscopic.’  Since my series is set in 1949, I had to see if that had even been used back then.  But according to the mighty oracle of knowledge Wikipedia, the first procedure on a human was done long before that.  So good enough for me…

    So this is the dramatic peak of this series — the next-to-last episode, in which almost all is revealed. Enjoy!

    The Look of Murder — Part 23

    I’d had an epiphany while talking to Anderson, and there was someone I eagerly wanted to talk to, because I had a few questions for him. 


    All the things that were bothering me kept coming back to him.  He was avoiding me.  It seemed like he’d gotten pretty chummy with Margaret, and now she was avoiding me, too.  And something he’d told me before about Powell now kept ringing in my ears, and I wanted to pick his brain about it.

    I stopped at my office.  First, I checked the phone book for Samuel Dotson, Attorney at Law.  It had his office listed, but luckily there was also another entry with a Grosse Pointe address.  Perfect — he and Margaret Thurston were practically next-door neighbors.

    The second thing I did was retrieve my revolver.  I pulled it out of the locked file cabinet, loaded it, and slipped it into the pocket of my jacket.  I’m no gun-slinger, but I have to admit the heft of it felt good.

    I swung by Dotson’s office, just to see if he was there, but the place was locked, dark, and quiet.  The black Caddy was still parked in the lot.  After seeing it again I realized how much it looked like the dark sedan that had sped around the car after I’d had a few rounds popped at me outside Anderson’s house.


    Things were falling into place; my mind was becoming downright engorged with revelations.  How could I have missed them all before?  I guess it’s just too easy to look past the people who you worked with closely.

    I sped over to Dotson’s home address.  It was a white plaster-covered two-story manor, surrounded by a tall, spiked iron fence.  There was extensive landscaping — potted ferns and flowers were arranged around the yard; thick ivy climbed up one end of the house; and an ancient, wizened elm grew in the front yard, with white benches arrayed around it.  Lights were on outside, and a long, white car sat in the driveway. 


    I parked outside the gate and pushed it open by hand, then went up to the entrance.  For a half a second, I thought about knocking, but then decided I wanted Dotson to be caught off-guard.  If I gave him any time to think before talking to him, he could wrap even the wildest lie in lawyer mumbo-jumbo and make it shine with sham verisimilitude. I lifted the gun out of my jacket and tried the door.  It was unlocked.

    The door creaked faintly as it opened and I stepped inside, onto a stone-tiled entryway.  I could hear soft voices coming from down the hall and I moved that way.  The low flicker of candlelight coming from the room ahead that seemed to imbue the stone floor with the cold chill of a mausoleum.

    Or maybe it was just my nerves.

    I turned the corner into a sprawling living room.  Candles were burning — white tapers in long holders set on tables around the walls.  A heavy stone-faced fireplace was lit, adding more dancing light to the scene.  Dotson and Margaret sat next to each other on an overstuffed leather sofa.  Her hands were in his; he was eying her like a wolf ogling a sheep.

    I raised the gun and stepped into the room.  “Well, ain’t this cozy?” I said.

    They both turned to look at me. “Mr. Sharpe,” Margaret said, and then gave a slight smile.

    Dotson scowled at me like he wanted to jump off the davenport and eviscerate me with his bare hands.  “What in Hell’s name do you think you’re doing, Sharpe?” he said.  “Barging into my personal home and bringing a gun.  Are you insane?”

    “I don’t think so,” I said.  “But then, if I was, I would probably still say the same thing, right?”

    Dotson didn’t reply.  I moved closer.  “There are just a few questions I have, Dotson.  And for some reason, both of you seem to be unavailable.  So I thought I’d try and catch you at home.”

    Margaret spoke first. “Sam felt it would be best to not return your calls,” she said.  “To give you some time to recover.  He said you’ve been so traumatized by all you’ve been through.  The bodies and the shooting, I mean.”  The firelight twinkling in her dark eyes almost held me transfixed.

    “Be quiet, Dear,” Dotson said to her, patting her hands and setting them in her lap.  “I’ll handle this.” 

    He stood and I gestured with the gun. “Stay where you are,” I said.  “Dear,” I added with a sneer.

    “Sharpe, there’s no reason to bring a weapon to my home,” he said.  “We’re all friends.  We don’t need these histrionics.  Please put the gun away; Margaret’s been through enough.”

    “Just shut up for a moment, Dotson.  I only want to ask both of you a few things; just to see how your answers fit into the puzzle I’ve got in my head.  If I’m wrong, I’ll put the gun away, offer my deepest apologies, and leave you lovebirds alone.”  I jerked the gun towards Dotson.  “In the meantime, plant yourself for a moment.”

    He lowered himself to the sofa and crossed his arms.  Margaret just looked at me.

    “First,” I said. “What do both of you know about Vivian Powell?”

    Margaret spoke first again.  “Only that she was evidently sleeping with my husband.  I might have met her at a company Christmas party or something, but other than that I didn’t know her.  I never picked up a single hint that Charles was cheating on me.”

    I looked at Dotson.  He shrugged.  “Nothing.  She was evidently some floozy that Charles had connected with.  Vivian Powell hardly seemed like his type, but I can’t believe he would turn away from Margaret for anyone, so there’s no telling what his type was.  She might have been some sort of warped dominatrix for all I know.”

    I kept my eyes on him.  I agreed with him about finding it hard to believe anyone would cheat on Margaret.  “You had no idea Thurston was involved with Vivian?”

    “None at all.”

    “What do you know about Vivian’s husband Warren?”

    Dotson held out his hands, palms up and shrugged again.  “Never met the man and didn’t know anything about him.  It seems that he was obviously upset that his wife and Charles were involved.  Upset enough to kill them both.” 

    Margaret didn’t answer.  But I didn’t look at her.  I studied Dotson’s face.  There wasn’t a twitch, or a furtive look, or any indication that he was telling me anything but God’s own truth.

    The man lied well.

    I told him so.  “You’re lying, Dotson.”

    “What do you mean,” he said, trying to feign surprise.

    “When I saw you at your office the other day, you brushed me off when I mentioned Vivian Powell.  Told me I was wasting my time on a wild goose chase if I ‘went after the floozy wife of every deviant I meet.’  That struck me as an odd way to describe someone you’d never met.”

    “Calling her a floozy?  There was the film of her posing nude.  I think that qualifies.”

    “No, not her, Dotson.”  I held his eyes.  “Him.”

    “What are you talking about?”  Dotson said.  “You’re crazy.”

    “You called him a deviant.  Why use that term, if you didn’t know anything about him?”

    “I don’t understand what you’re saying, Mr. Sharpe.” Margaret said. I turned to look at her.  She was beautiful, her dark hair shimmering in the firelight.  Thurston had to have been insane to even consider fooling around on her.

    Dotson leapt off the couch and slammed into me, pushing my arm to the side.  I held onto the gun as he grabbed for it.  We fell, tumbling onto the thick carpet. I pulled the gun forward as he tried to wrench it from my hand.

    It went off. 

    Margaret screamed.  I shoved Dotson off me and rolled to the side.  He tried to crawl but collapsed and fell over.  There was blood on his chest, seeping through his shirt.

    He was rasping as he tried to breathe.

    Margaret jumped up. “I’ll call an ambulance,” she said, rushing out of the room to find the telephone.

    “I wish I’d killed you when I shot at you,” Dotson said in a gasping voice.  “I wanted to remove you like a cyst; a fast laparoscopic surgery. Just a quick, small cut. No mess. No scarring.”

    “Well, I’m glad you missed.  But you killed Thurston and Vivian, didn’t you?” I said.  I wanted to hear the truth from him.

    He didn’t say anything.

    “Come on, Dotson.  Spill the beans.  You’re hurt bad. Admit it, while you still have time.”

    He closed his eyes, and then nodded.  “Thurston was scum.  Margaret deserved better.”

    “So that’s enough for you to kill them?”

    “I didn’t plan on it at first.  I went to the cabin just to talk to him about the Powells.  But that tart was there, and they were playing peek-a-boo with the camera.  I guess I snapped.  I beat him with the camera and then made that wench take me back to her apartment.”  He winced and gasped.  “But I had to do it.  For Margaret.”

    The blood was getting thicker, spreading fast down his shirt.  I tried pulling off my jacket and pressing it hard onto the wound.  It didn’t seem to help.  He gasped louder.

    “How did Powell get the gun?” I asked him.

    “It was one I’d had for years.  I left it at Anderson’s house and then called the cops.  I wanted them to find it.  Like they’d found the film I left in Margaret’s room.  But I guess Powell found it first.”

    “That’s the other thing.  Why did you try to incriminate Margaret with the film?”

    He coughed.  Blood came out of his mouth in a fine spray.

    “I knew it wouldn’t be enough to convict her and I would take over her defense and put it all on Powell.  Margaret would see me as her rescuing knight.  Then she’d start to care about me.”  He coughed again.  The blood was heavier.  “It almost worked.”

    I looked up.  Margaret was standing there.  The shock on her face let me know she’d heard enough.

    Dotson coughed and gagged.  His eyes closed and he exhaled as his head slumped forward.  I felt for a pulse.  It was gone.

    It looked like the cops were going to find me with yet another body on my hands.

  16. Lydia says:

    I’m taking a break from my series for this prompt. You were right, Shane – it was tougher than usual!


    Tuesday TV with Nancy
    The woman on the couch floated to the brink of consciousness just as Debra and Gary sailed into the second hour of Wake Up, America.
    “I never knew there were so many uses for rutabagas!” Nancy’s eyelids fluttered open as Debra beamed with verisimilitude at a short, stout man hurriedly mixing a white paste.
    “Tyler! Jessica!  Are you up?” Nancy yelled as she struggled to untangle a burnt orange afghan from her feet. Tyler thundered down the stairs, the tips of his blond hair tinged with green today, one sock pulled taut against his calf while the other clung to his big toe like a torn spider’s web flapping in the breeze.
    “Have you brushed your teeth?” she asked.
    “I’m going to be late again.”
    “Gingivitis is the leading cause of tooth loss! Do you want to have dentures before you turn 30?”
    “Bye, mom. I’ll be home at 8.”
    “At least pick up some mouthwash on your way!”  The neh of a hungry newborn interrupted her.
    “Jessica, feed that baby! You’re going to become engorged.” Upstairs a bedroom door slammed shut and a few moments later the wails abruptly ended. Nancy groaned softly as she stood up, adjusting her nightgown as she slowly lumbered to the kitchen. Both counters were covered with crusty dishes and pots half-filled with cold, slimy water.  She clicked on the television set, plugged the sink and began mixing more dish soap with the hot water coursing out of the faucet. Jessica carried her small bundle into the kitchen soon after the first layer of dishes had begun to drip dry.
    “We’ll be late tonight,” Jessica said. “Liam has a doctor’s appointment after class and then I’m staying a little late to help Whitney out.”
    ” Ask the doctor what’s wrong with him, eh.”
    “Nothing wrong with Liam, mom.”
    “Of course there is! When he was born he looked like a wizened old man. Then he lost six ounces in three days and now he has those funny white dots on his head. Any doctor worth his salt will at least do a blood test. What if he has progeria?”
    “It’s just a checkup.” she said flatly.  “We’ll see you tonight.” When the last pots were dunked into the cooling water Nancy walked back to the living room. Gary and Debra had been replaced by the first morning talk show, Joanne.
    “Today’s topic: Dominatrixes and the Priests Who Love Them!” the television warbled histrionically.
    “Garbage,” Nancy muttered as she changed the channel.  Crime Spree: New York was a re-run but she had always liked this episode. There was something so cozy about watching a handful of pretty young things being eviscerated by the neighbourhood hermit before Liz and Carly finally crack the case.
    “It’s always the quiet ones,” she said to no one in particular. “That blonde should have known not to trust him as soon as he said he needed zucchini. It was July, for pete’s sake.” Nancy quickly made a sandwich before Dr. Dave’s show began.
    “I had an epiphany when my father was diagnosed with cancer,” Dr. Dave began.
    “That would make a good middle name. Maybe my next grand-baby will be Nancy Epiphany. It has a certain ring to it.” Her thoughts shifted to darker things when Dr. Dave began talking about the dangers of laparoscopic surgery and the top five warning signs for colon cancer. Nancy leaned over and grabbed her cell phone.
    “Linda!” she said as soon as her sister’s voicemail beeped on. “You need to talk to Dr. Greene about constipation. I think you have colon cancer.”
    She dozed to the tune of the local news after the good shows dried up in the afternoon. At 6:07 she woke up with a start when Drake Lively imbued an interview at a homeless shelter with his fervent belief that willpower can overcome any obstacle.
    “I guess I should start supper,” she said and walked to the kitchen.

     Ahh Larry, such fine words you have chosen. Nothing like using wizened and eviscerate at the same time. I love it!
    Reynolds Part 6
    Pick yourself up off the ground you worthless pervert.” Mal said when his anger had cooled somewhat. Simon Brubaker started to rise to get back in the chair. His breath rattled through his broken teeth and didn’t quite make it through his broken nose. His right eye was closed, the engorged bruise turning more purple by the moment.
    Mal hoped that he still had the skill to imbue a suspect with humility and fear. It appeared that he did. Brubaker spat blood and snot through his broken teeth and then seemed to have an epiphany. Reynolds smiled to himself. He did still have it.
    “Ok, “ Brubaker began. “I do watch people in the other room. Mostly there is just some sex play, sometimes a dominatrix works over a guy for a while. Last night was, well, just wrong.” Mal didn’t feel like Brubaker was being histrionic in his confession; it had the verisimilitude that Mal liked in a confession.
    “Did you record it?” the detective asked. Brubaker nodded. “Thought so.” Mal said and called for the officer at the door to take Brubaker away. “Man,” the uniform cop said. “what happened to him?” “Resisting arrest.” Mal said. The cop nodded and took Brubaker away.
    Mal returned his gloves to his coat pocket and went back to the closet to look for a very sick videotape.
    He had just rewound the tape that was in the video camera and was preparing to watch it, standing, not wanting to go anywhere near Brubaker’s chair, when his phone rang. He fished it out of his pocket and picked it up on the fourth ring. “Reynolds.” He said into the receiver.
    “Mal this is Bob from the Medical Examiners office. We just got that body on the table, you know from earlier. Did you look closer than this guys face?” Mal shook his head and then realized that he needed to speak into the phone. “No.” He said. “I just looked at the face and the pool of blood under him. He still had clothes on.”
    “Right.” The medical examiner said. “He did have clothes on, but he was tortured something awful and then either redressed or they did it by pulling up his shirt. I have no way of knowing which. He would have been dead in just a few minutes from exsanguination even if they didn’t destroy his face. They must have been trying to hide his identity.”
    “What the hell did they do to him to make you so jumpy about it?” Mal asked. “Well,” Bob began, “We haven’t done the actual autopsy but, well, the soles of his feet are in shreds. Like he had been running over broken glass. He has been castrated.” Bob cleared his throat and continued. “His penis has been removed and we haven’t found it. He has two fresh laparoscopic incisions in his abdomen, we don’t know why. What was really surprising is, well, the softball size hole right around his umbilicus through which he eviscerated. There are absolutely no intestines left in him. And there is no sign of them.” He stopped his litany, no knowing if the detective still heard him. “Mal,” he asked. “Still there?”
    “Yea.” The detective said in a quiet voice. “This keeps getting worse and worse.” “Sure does.” Agreed the Medical Examiner. “Thanks Bob.” Mal said and hung up the phone. He knew then that those voodoo symbols were part of something bigger and not just crap that kids had scrawled on the wall. He took a deep breath and pressed play on the video recorder.
    The sound on the tape was horrible. The wall was not kind to the recording of those on the other side. The tape started out dark. Brubaker must have been waiting for the “show” to begin. Lights began to come on, the square industrial work lights that the crime scene techs were using now for their work. The people who were on the other side of the wall had brought their own equipment with which to do their dirty work and then left it for the police to solve the case.
    Eventually people came into the frame. Two large men dragged in the victim that had been found. He was kicking and screaming something inaudible as the burly men laid him on the ground and kneeled on his arms. Another burly man appeared and sat on his legs. All three men wore a sort of a crimson tabard, and they all began to chant in unison as a wizened man in a white tabard approached and withdrew a scalpel from an old fashioned leather doctors bag.
    Mal hit stop on the tape and ran back to the crime scene. He needed more. He needed to see what the techs had found. He thought he knew the old man with the scalpel.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Whoa — pretty intense stuff, Justin!!!
      Reynolds definitely has an edge to him, and the scenario is gruesome but gripping.  Excellent story-telling!

    • Justin, you have some serious writing chops.
      Everything about this scene is gruesomely realistic.
      Any chance we get to find out who the old man is? 🙂

      • @mitchell it’s all coming…that is a fun thing about a series, there are lots of ways to take it based on what the next words are.  sometimes I think it may be better to do individual stories that are self contained but it is fun to do the long form thing.
        Thanks for your kudos!
        @chris thanks for the comment, knowing people like the story keeps me writing more on it.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Justin-lovin’ the story-gruesome stuff-and chilling.

    • Lydia says:

      This reminds me of something that could have been on The X Files. Spooky!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin M: Oh, man! That ending was something else! Great story too. I can’t wait for more of this.

  18. Rebecca says:

    @ Chris … Thank you!
    If I studied psychology, I would do my dissertation on this subject. I’m fascinated by men and women who, in my opinion, can be reckless with their lives. Why tweet pictures or post them on FB? What’s the thrill? What happens if an employer finds them? What happens if grandma and grandpa see them? Gross … Plus, the photos are not professional looking. The lighting is horrible.
    I’m also fascinated by people who have affairs because it seems like a lot of work to me, not to mention the ‘ugly’ karma that it creates. It’s just fascinating 🙂

    • Chris Fries says:

      No kidding!  There’s got to be a huge element of self-destructiveness involved.  Like maybe they can’t come to grips with having such powerful, high-profile positions when their deep inner-voices are telling them, “you’re not good enough. You don’t deserve this.”
      So they end up finding ways of screwing it all up and crashing and burning.
      It kind of makes sense — in many cases, I think the quest for power is a way to try and override those same inner self-doubting voices.
      Goes back to my old cynical thought:  Anyone who volunteers to run for office has already demonstrated such a huge character flaw that they should automatically be disqualified from the job.  ;^)

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Rebecca & @Chris-That’s what I say every time-how can they NOT know they’ll be found out-like Tiger Woods-did you really think not one of those legions of women would tell the story? Especially with the rags paying big $$ for it.
        You’re right-there is something else to that self-destructive behavior.

  19. Anne Maybus says:

    They were bright red and engorged, just within hands reach.  I touched them hesitantly, picked one and gave it a gentle squeeze.  The wizened old man they belonged to sat bolt upright and in a histrionic performance, berated me in some foreign language.

    “It’s ok.  I won’t hurt”, I said.

    It was easy for me to say. I guess he thought they’d burst.   I palpated again while I looked at him from under my eyebrows.  The dominatrix in me was awakening.

    A touch, a squeeze and a squeal.  Yep. That made my day.  Oh, I’m a bad girl.

    I stood there, looking at the shiny red things, so swollen that they must have been painful.  What could I do with them?   I tended towards the laparoscopic approach. I could always stuff them with something to retain their shape and delicacy.   On the other hand, I could eviscerate them and remove the engorged parts completely.

    Verisimilitude won the day.  A little scraping and stuffing was the way to go.

    The old man had long since stopped yelling at me and was watching me with suspicion written all over his face.

    Suddenly one of the balls popped.  With flesh bursting everywhere and dripping through my fingers, my hands were imbued with sweet red stains.   I couldn’t help myself.  I just had to taste.  Tentatively I licked one finger.  And then another.  And again.

    An epiphany!

    Sauce.  I would make tomato sauce!

    “I’ll take the whole box, please.”

  20. Rebecca says:

    @ Lydia … You never know. I often wonder, “What’s happened to our society? Where did we take a wrong turn?” I don’t know.

  21. meek willed says:

    I was glad I had ran to the hide out when ever I had got this angry before it had been cause someone or some group had decide to pick on me which was a histrionic mistake as it end up making me want to eviscerate their over engorged body’s but fortunately someone had all ways done something to stop me and or calm me down.
    Just then  had an epiphany as my anger left and thought of the dominatrix that is my girlfriend fill my mind and as I thought of her I notes the feelings of love, passion and desirer she imbue inside of my heart and I know I would have these feelings far beyond when we would be old and wizened and that my mum did not seen the verisimilitude of this fact.
    After having calmed down for some time i notes small laparoscopic sized scratches I must have got on the way here.

  22. Sorry for the tardiness. Had a long weekend down around Stockholm without any internet. Got the words yesterday and wrote up this episode when I finally got some time. Hope you guys enjoy!

    Roger had a difficult time of choosing the right words for telling his story to Katie. He couldn’t just pick randomly from the verbal tree. That wouldn’t show the verisimilitude of the situation. He had to will himself towards the correct usage in order to present the matter in its true light.
    “Katie, I took that pipe, and I swung at the glass door. The alarms went off. Not knowing what to do, I chose the dumbest choice in front of me, i ran into the building. Within minutes a guard dressed like a dominatrix was on my trail.”
    His audience raised her hand. “No, you’re already going too far. Why would there be a guard dressed all in leather there?”
    Roger shook his head, raised his hands and shrugged his shoulders, all in the same motion. “I really don’t know why, but trust me, I was just as confused except I had no other choice than to keep running, so that’s exactly what I did. The fear of seeing her dressed like that would imbue you in much the same manner.”
    “No. I would have stayed,” said Katie.
    “Fine, whatever. But really, shall I eviscerate this story of all the important matters for you?”
    Katie shook her head.
    “Ok, so getting back to the story. I was running from the dominatrix and finally found a place to hide. The leather squeak so loud that I could hear it from my hiding place. It was not a good night for her to wear that outfit. And I remember thinking to myself why she was wearing that in the first place. But that didn’t matter. I just kept holding my breath until she left. After the squeaking subdued, I let myself breathe. Only then did I notice where I was standing. I was in a laboratory. Something stirred inside of me to go and investigate the environment. My eye caught a small spy camera that someone must have left behind. I grabbed it in hopes of perhaps, much like a laparoscopic surgeon, to look in things and take a little look around, without causing too much of a mess.”
    “Why did I ever come out here,” Katie muttered under her breath.
    “Because you know I’m not crazy. But that’s beside the point. Anyways, I looked under some wizened cardboard boxes and sooner or later came upon this engorged metallic egg. The egg looked brand new, but the boxes it was in seemed really old. I couldn’t tell if they were only trying to fool people like me by hiding something new in something old or if it really was old. Then I had an epiphany. If this egg really was old, who would really remember it? No one, right? And so I took it and ran back out. The dominatrix was no where to be see.” Roger paused and showed a histrionic glint in his eyes. “Now that I think on it, I don’t think the dominatrix was a guard at all. How strange is that?”

  23. That dominatrix didn’t present any verisimilitude with the others he had been with. It was his brother who had fixed that party. He had him pick: either that or nothing. He was going to get married the day after.  Sleepiness was  on it’s way to imbue all it’s being, through the fluid dripping on his catheter. It had happened a laparoscopic invasion of his abdomen. They believed it to be cancer and the camera of his own reality show had seen him inside and had finished to eviscerate all doubts . It was nothing of the sort. Just a cyst, maybe due to all the worries and doubts over these last weeks of preparations. He looked at the catheter attached to the back of his wizened hand. The years passed by and he felt this was his last chance and that this cyst was as if a last attempt of sabotage from his own body to his happiness. In his face, an engorged smile while the dominatrix played with him on the hospital bed. His brother watched the door of the room, afraid of the authority of some nurse or doctor who showed up. After all, it was a Hospital , not a brothel. Rick laughed out loud, histrionic. He had not much of a notion of where he was. His brother tried to shut him up with a «shhhhh!». It was only then that he had this epiphany: life was what he was experiencing in that moment and nothing more. 

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