Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #158

James Chartrand of MenWithPens choose today’s words. After you submit, visit her site and pester her to write a fiction book. 😉

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. Trapeze
  2. Spectacular
  3. Magician 
  4. Unicycle
  5. Spandex
  6. Mysterious
  7. Innovation 
  8. Originality
  9. Totem 
  10. Jugglers

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


85 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #158”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: I’ll see you guys later today. I’ll submit my own then too. Crazy, busy day today.
    Have fun.

  2. Anne Wayman says:

    hey James and crew:

    The trapeze artist was spectacular, a magician on her unicycle, sexy in spandex and mysterious too. Her innovation and originality made her almost a totem as the jugglers joined stood on her shoulders all the way across that high wire.

  3. margaret says:

    I go weak in the knees, when I see a trapeze….
    with a totem of people as tall as a steeple.
    Spectacular tricks and magician‘s hijinks
    leave mysterious questions to ponder, methinks!

    Originality rules, like unicycles with mules
    and I hesitate to berate
    when jugglers do break a plate…

    And the clothes that they wear,
    like spandex on a bear
    make them move with such grace
    (though I prefer to wear lace).

    I do get frustration when a show lacks innovation
    so Ringling for kids is ok,
    but give me Cirque Du Soleil!!

  4. Rebecca says:

    Continuation from CCC #153 — My Day at the Circus

    I’ll never forget the day The Dragomir Family Tightrope Walkers lost Draco Dragomir. He was also a trapeze artist and magician known for his originality. He didn’t copy Houdini like everyone else did. Mom said Draco was popular with the ladies. I didn’t know what she meant or how she would know he was popular with the ladies. I didn’t ask.

    The Dragomir family was known for their spectacular costumes. Dad said they were made out of
    spandex, and that it was alright for the men to wear them since it was a part of their act. Otherwise, no man should wear spandex. I remembered how the Dragomirs’ costumes shined when the spotlight hit them. Mom said they shimmered and glittered like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. I didn’t know what she meant by that either. I was only seven-years old and was excited to be at the circus. I remember being mesmerized by the unicycle riders and jugglers. I didn’t know how the riders could balance, but I remembered wanting to try it.

    After Draco went Splat! I remember our town being draped in a mysterious cloak. The innovation of the police department wasn’t like it is today. We had to wait until more police showed up to escort all of us out the arena. I thought Detective Hammersmith was a mean looking man. I remembered how he chopped on his cigar as he looked at Draco. It was said that a totem was found around Draco’s neck that day. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Devonshire, teaching us that some cultures use totems for protection. Draco’s totem didn’t protect him. Maybe it cursed him instead.

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. Dis college campus is full of weird folk. Look at all these odd fellers and lady-fellers on dis here common area.

    “Dat skateboardin’ feller looks like a magician how he’s disappearin’ his tongue down dat pink-haired gal’s throat without getting’ any of her chewin’ tobacco on it.

    “Dat other feller wit the bearded chest and wife-beater trapeze shirt is jugglin’ bowlin’ pins on account of he probably don’t want to totum back to da bowlin’ alley on account of he probably stolt ‘um.

    “And dat white feller wit da dreadlocks is givin’ my stomach some dread on account of he’s wearin’ camo spandex with no under-drawers and don’t know dat unicycle he’s ridin’ done worn a hold in um right where his oysters is peakin’ out.

    “I even overheard a hippy feller talkin’ ‘bout how him and his girlfriend don’t use no rubbers cause they don’t want dat plastic to end up in da ocean inside Flipper’s gills. What’s a rubber Billy? Is dat like a prophylactic or somethin’? Anyway, he says dat him and his girlfriend use a jizz rag instead of wastin’ paper towels dat would end up in da ocean inside Flipper’s gills. Say’s they keeps it right next to da bed. What’s jizz Bobby? Is dat like spermatozoa or somethin’? And who’s dis unlucky Flipper feller?”

    “Bobby, those big words and these here people is mysterious thangs. And dis her place sure don’t look nothin’ like dis here brochure wit dis innocent girl on the cover sayin’ we’ll find innovation, originality, and a spectular, friendly atmosphere. I sure hope dat pledgin’a frat is as easy as advertised on dat flier hanging from da telephone pole.”

    “I don’t know Billy. Right before he done smashed a beer can on dat other feller’s head dat he called a God Damn Independent, dat meathead frat feller doing a three-story beer bong over yonder said not to call his fraternity a frat ‘cause you woundn’t call your country a cunt.”

  6. Martha says:

    The male trapeze artists began their spectacular finale incorporating the building of the human totem pole that was a signature move. Their lissome bodies were clothed in spandex decorated with mysterious symbols and highlighting all their physical attributes. The audience held its collective breath as one man balanced himself on the unicycle crowning the top of the human tower. The magician who acted as the emcee gestured to the jugglers to begin their volley of clubs, dishes and balls accompanied by a crescendo of music, soaring to the highest beams where the trapeze team waited for the final signal. In one amazing swoop, the Cirque du Soleil demonstrated once again the innovation and originality they had become known for around the world.
    Note: on four occasions, I have been lucky enough to see performances by Montreal’s renowned Cirque du Soleil. I had intended to continue a story I started last week, but the words today would not let do anything else. If you ever have a chance to see Cirque live, go and be transfixed at what the human body can do. It is worth every penny!

  7. Sean Murphy says:

    Grant didn’t exactly feel spectacular after a night spent nestled into old bags of cement mix, but at least his eyes could focus after a few hours of sleep. Even if it was interrupted by the relentless moaning coming from outside the broken glass of the old warehouse windows. He allowed himself a momentary grin, thinking back to the night before. He’d felt like a magician when the old deadbolt had finally given way to his nimble fingers. He’d pulled Dave into the darkness and slammed the iron door behind them, the mustiness in the air seeming inviting after days spent smelling rot and decay.

    He looked around now in the dim morning light, taking in crumbling brick walls, empty shipping pallets, and discarded tools. Neither of them had had the energy to check the place out last night, past ensuring there were no undead surprises in the closets. Looking around the wide open space, he didn’t see anything mysterious about it. Certainly no food, and they were getting low. They couldn’t stay here long. Unfortunately, getting out might be harder than getting in, and that certainly wasn’t a cakewalk. Walking toward the daylight let in by the empty windows, he allowed himself to hear the perpetual moaning that he’d unconsciously learned to tune out. One look out past the broken glass confirmed what he already knew. They were waiting. Eyes filled with inky black pupils turned unerringly upwards, staring at his head like jugglers eager to catch that last spinning ball. He shuddered slightly and pulled his head abruptly back inside. You’d think you’d get used to that stare, but it seemed like every one of them carried the originality of fear in that empty gaze. Each of them struck him a little differently, like a hammer chiming a bell at a new angle. He preferred not to think about it.

    Turning to his brother’s form, stirring on the bed he’d made from a wooden pallet, Grant decided it was time to move.

    “Ready to face a glorious morning in the sunny suburbs, brother dear?” He queried, his customary acid sarcasm serving to cover the queasiness he felt, “Our adoring fans are waiting for us to make an appearance, and I know you hate to disappoint.”

    He was rewarded with a shadow of his older brother’s confident and winning smile. “You know me too well, little man, but what can I say. The people, they love me, alive or dead. So, how are you gonna get us out of this dump, since you got us in here in the first place?”

    It felt good to see Dave tease him again, but he couldn’t help but note the tone of entreaty in the last question. It was strange for Grant to be the one calling the shots now, and he wasn’t entirely sure when the dynamic between them had shifted. His older brother had been popular all his life, a natural born leader, and, as he said, people loved him. Grant hadn’t resented him for it – he’d looked up to his older brother, but had been content with more solitary pursuits, learning to open locks, climb rock walls, and vault over obstacles. He’d always joked that it might save his life someday, but he hadn’t expected to be proven right like this. Whatever the reason, his confident and outgoing brother had grown more quiet and passive the longer they were on the run, while Grant had thrived, in his own way, under the pressure.

    “Come on over here,” he motioned his brother to follow as he walked back towards the windows, steeling himself not to look down.

    “I’m not sure staring at the view is going to help us get out of this mess, little brother” came the reply from behind him.

    “Come on, brother dear, show a little innovation,” Grant replied wickedly, “After all, necessity is the mother of invention.” As he spoke, he pointed up to what he’d noticed earlier. There was a power line running out over the street below them, from just above the gaping windows to a building on the other side. “With the power out pretty much everywhere we’ve been, I’d say it’s safe to cross.”

    “What do you want to do, ride across it on a unicycle? That’s a hell of a long way to crawl, and in case you haven’t noticed, I spent the last few years playing football – I’m not a trapeze artist like you.” The unmistakable quavering of fear was spreading through his older brother’s voice.

    “I bet you’d look dashing in spandex though,” Grant’s mockery was almost automatic as he searched for a way to reassure his stricken-looking role model. “Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan. I saw something in one of those storage cabinets we can use – we did it all the time in gym.”

    “If you say so, short stuff – lead the way.” A flicker of confidence crept back into Dave’s voice at his assurance.

    Grant tried to focus on that confidence as his brother followed him away from the windows. Dave’s hand gripped his shoulder a little too tightly, as though he were a totem that would keep them safe if he only stayed close enough. He hoped his brother’s trust wasn’t misplaced.

  8. The Mysterious Game of Souls

    Lurchin’ Louie lit the lamp
    Pushing back the moldy damp.
    Spandex cap upon his head
    Swallowed up our growing dread.

    Amblin’ Amber arc’d the axe
    Swinging down on all our backs
    Bungee cord around her waist
    Yanked her up in timely haste.

    Trapeze Tommy torched the tent
    Roasting our old elephant.
    Fire hose between his legs
    Saved us from the powder kegs.

    Twisted trio took their turn
    Failed to score more than one burn.
    Devil passed the Ouija board
    Gave us time to cry, “Oh lord!”

    Justice Jugglers jived and juked
    Trying not to be rebuked.
    Flying dagger missed its mark:
    Lurchin’ Louie in the dark.

    Totem Tower tossed a torch
    Amblin’ Amber took a scorch.
    Greasy smoke all in our eyes
    Kept us from a sizzling prize.

    Chainsaw Catchers clipped a claw
    Spectacular, dizzy fall.
    Trapeze Tommy lost that round
    When his hand bounced off the ground.

    Justice Jugglers jumped for joy
    We took out their flying boy.
    Devil snatched the Ouija Board
    Passed it to his weakened horde.

    Demon Duo doubled down
    Broke my brother’s tender crown.
    Amber roared with evil laughter –
    Poor lad’s brains had tumbled after.

    Lurchin’ Louie launched a lance
    Missed me by the barest chance.
    Elephant a bit too slow
    Took slight damage to his toe.

    Satan’s servants squared the score
    Baby brother was no more.
    Devil made us play again
    One team simply had to win.

    Jaded Jugglers jabbed a jaw
    Tossing Tommy’s erstwhile claw.
    Knuckle sandwich caught a tooth
    Amber’s curses were uncouth.

    Lurchin’ Louie last one left
    Amblin’ Amber bled to death.
    Devil squished her into goo
    Passed the Board to Lurchin’ Lou.

    Impish innovation ill
    Lurchin’ Louie for the kill.
    Reached into magician‘s hat
    Sprinkled us with Rabbit scat!

    Oh! Originality!
    Ten points for hilarity.
    Elephant made as if to flee
    Certain airborne allergy.

    Dirty Devil deemed his due
    Sure as hell was to accrue.
    Slid the Board once more to me
    Barely holding back his glee.

    Justice Juggler jammed that jeer
    Smartly wiping off that leer.
    Spinning end to this ordeal:
    Death by unicycle wheel!

  9. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … I couldn’t resist continuing the story with today’s words. They were a “match made in heaven.” Lol!

  10. Adam M says:

    They tell me that dealing with a highly politicized organization, especially a shadowy secretive one, is like working on a trapeze or riding a unicycle: you need incredible balance, timing, and if you fail, you generally do it in a spectacular manner.
    I take a more innovative approach: it’s more like being a lion tamer and magician. Just stupid enough to stick your head into their mouths, but just smart enough to know the difference between illusion and lunch. I hoped.
    “Very mysterious, the lights in my eyes, sitting the shadows so no one can know your secret identities,” I rasped, my throat still dry, “I suppose you all go into the back and worship around some great big totem. I’d hoped for a little more originality.”
    “Flippant as ever, I see,” the electronic, distorted voice came from all around me. They had quite the speaker system built into this room. “We had hoped that time would mellow you.”
    “Funny thing about enough time, it…”
    “Enough,” the electronic voice reverberated, but slightly more feminine this time, “You are familiar with The Jugglers?”
    “Sure,” I chuckled slightly, “I also like to wear spandex and prowl over rooftops. Don’t waste my time with paranoid legends and internet fantasies.”
    “It’s amusing. You yourself are thought a legend, and yet you’re so quick to dismiss another,” there was a familiar arrogance in this voice that sent a chill down my spine, “They are real. And they are moving.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Adam: That was outstanding, tight writing there. Super job. You have to continue this. You did a fantastic job of holding back just enough to instigate a ton of questions. love that.

    • Adam, you brought it, man! This was awesome. Here is a poster caption for sure:
      I take a more innovative approach: it’s more like being a lion tamer and magician. Just stupid enough to stick your head into their mouths, but just smart enough to know the difference between illusion and lunch.
      I hope this continues…

  11. Three Ring Office
    The computers were down again. Jenna leaned back in her cubicle and stretched. Computer down time was good; it meant an automatic break for all the peon-level employees who could not do their jobs without computer access.
    She stood up, letting her gaze wander around the circus that was her office. Bob, the maintenance guy who always wore tie-die was fixing an overhead light. If the ladder failed, he might end up doing a great impression of a trapeze artist.
    Marta was a spectacular magician. Somehow, even without access to the database, she seemed to be able to pull accurrate numbers out of her hat.
    Steve always managed to somehow look like he was riding a unicycle. Maybe it was his extreme height,or the way he tended to nervously sway forwards and back as he stood.
    Mavis was the spandex queen. She would probably feel right at home in a sideshow tent with her garishly bright and overly tight leggings, even though they were mostly hidden by her circus tent of a dress.
    The guy with the brown tie was mysterious. Maybe he had something to do with security, but no one really knew. He came and went at odd times, and never seemed to have a particular destination in mind.
    Jenna ducked just in time.The managers had come out of their offices, spouting something about innovation and originality that somehow didn’t apply to people who sat in cubicles and answered customer service queries.
    Her eyes glanced to the latest totem they had distributed to everyone in the circus.It was a stress ball, the kind you squeeze, shaped like a port-o-potty. Inspirational indeed.
    The monitor blinked, telling her everything was coming back online. She and her co-workers would have to end their spontaneous break. It was time for the jugglers to go back to work.

  12. maria says:

    “Who’s that guy?” Bethany nodded her head to the far table. A tall man sat alone, with only a cup in front of him. His dark suit looked new; his hair, nicely cut. I wondered what he was doing here.
    “Must be the magician,” I said, as I finished my pancakes. “After ‘The Magnificent Michael’ kicked the bucket, they had to get a new one.”
    “Oh, that’s right.” Bethany narrowed her eyes. “Well, he looks like he could use a friend.” I shook my head. Bethany never was one for originality, but it was true enough. The man looked out of place among the trapeze artists, the jugglers, the haggard fellow who rode the unicycle. When the clowns raced by, he recoiled, covering his mouth like he was about to be sick.
    Bethany stood, sliding her hands down the spandex suit that fit her every curve. She glanced at me. “How do I look? Mysterious?” Are you kidding me? In spandex? Mysterious?
    “Um, you look spectacular, Beth. Just…try for some innovation. You know, some of that stuff you’ve been reading up on.”
    “Oh, honey,” she growled, as she slunk away, “it’s just sex. And he’s one more notch on my totem pole.”
    I threw away my trash and placed my tray on the table, looking back to see    Bethany sitting across from the guy, her hands laced together under her chin. He looked nice enough. I just hoped she’d be gentle. Good magicians were hard to find.

  13. katirra says:

    Jugglers carrying M16’s and wearing hot pink unicorn spandex strutted their way into First National Bank of Spectacular Ring Master’s. A nervous teller gawked awkwardly as the shirtless hunks flexed and shouted, “We’re the mysterious and bodacious Brother’s Grimm & we’ve come to take your money dudes!”

    An orangutang magician somersaulted down from a trapeze suspended from the ceiling. “Freeze scum or I’ll turn you into a basket cute and cuddly puppies!” Rolling their eyes the villains continued screaming threats and scary propositions.  

    The ginormous totem sitting in the corner scoffed at the lack of innovation. Certainly none could match its ability of originality on the fly. Shocking all, it stood on wooden legs and hobbled to the robbers who promptly fled, yelling for their mommies.

  14. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thank you! I think I’ll keep going with this one. I like writing the scenes from the perspective of a ‘seven-year-old.’ Of course, the seven-year-old grows up and is curious about what really happened at the circus.

  15. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

    James stood and stared warily at the skimpy bit of spandex in her hands. It was blue, bright blue, with vivid pink streaks and gold sparkles.

    And Shane sat there smirking.

    “Come on, it’ll be spectacular, James! All your fans will love it.” And giggle their asses off.  “Think of it as Men with Pens innovation. Originality at its best! You’ll be the most impressive copywriting magician ever!”

    “I’ll be the fucking laughingstock of the blogosphere, that’s what I’ll be,” she muttered, still fingering the not-much-there outfit. “I don’t do spandex. I do jeans and Nikes.”

    “You’ll do exactly this if you want the fame that goes with it,” Shane pointed at the skimpy suit. “We’ve discussed this.”

    “No, we talked about the trapeze and the unicycle,” James shot back. “Not dressing me up like a peacock.”

    “Not a peacock,” Shane rolled his eyes. “A living flame, rising from the mysterious totem of the First Nations to reincarnate the Phoenix and restore hope to the people. You know the script. You wrote it.”

    “Living flame,” James snorted. “More like flaming idiot. You’re not seriously expecting me to do this, are you?”

    “You said you would,” Shane replied calmly.

    “I said I’d stand with the jugglers,” James tried to save herself. “Jugglers. Not drag queens.”

    “Yeah, well, you can’t have everything,” Shane smiled sweetly. “Besides,” he added, his grin widening. “I convinced Brian to promote the show on Copyblogger at $49 a ticket. AND split the profit with you. I’m sure you remember how many people showed up the last time you made a splash like this on his blog…”

    James bit her lip. She eyed the glittering outfit. She shot a glance of daggers at Shane. And then she started wiggling out of her jeans.

    “Fine. Fine. You win, alright? You win.” Another piercing glare at Shane. “But don’t you ever ask me again, you got it?”
    “Never again, James,” Shane cheerfully replied, already thinking about the handsome bet he’d just won because Brian hadn’t believed James would go along with it. “Never again.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @James: Forget info products. If you did this for real, you’d make a killing on this launch. 🙂

  16. When you’re part of a circus, you can see a lot. As a matter of fact, hanging from a trapeze gives you a spectacular view of the magician performing tricks on his unicycle down below. From up here, it’s hard to notice the tear in his spandex pants. However, you can see that he has a mysterious and uncomfortable look on his face as if he’s trying to hide something from the audience. He performs the same act every night – quite obviously innovation and orignality fall low on the totem pole in his book. I’d much rather watch the jugglers

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Elise: Haha. That was hilarious. Welcome to the CCC. I like your style already.
      Hope to see you each Monday and Thursday. What did you think of the exercise? I believe doing these prompts kicks writer’s block into permanent submission.
      Everyone welcome Elise to the fun. I’ll add your name and url to the CCC community links page now (Your url isn’t working though).

      • Hi, Shane!

        Thanks for the warm welcome! I did enjoy the exercise. I’ve been writing since the cradle (not literally) and enjoy it. I do believe it helps with writer’s block, and I do plan to keep “partying” with all of you! 🙂
        Oh, the URL is for a blog that I plan to launch no later than the 22nd. So, it will be active soon.
        Thanks again!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Elise: Oh, we party. This place is hoppin’ with literary party-pros. We won’t be satisfied until every writer on the planet joins the addiction. 🙂

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Elise-Welcome to CCC!
        Here words fly on the trapeze of creativity to form spectacular prose with a magician touch. Your unicycle ride stretches in a spandex world of welcome where the mysterious is right around the corner. Innovation begins with each week’s challenge as the stories revel in originality and rise to a totem pole of strength, while the CCC family becomes the jugglers of dreams.


        • Shane Arthur says:


          “Yeah, man, Cathy’s words dance on a trapeze of skill. It’s spectacular to see, like a magician’s play book. Like a unicycle rider doing 360s.”

          “She’s smooth as spandex for sure. But still, it’s mysterious how she does it constantly like this. Perhaps her innovation is in the repetition?”

          “I think that helps. One thing’s for certain though; she gets a A for originality, and her CCC Welcomes page is getting so big a juggler would sweat if he had to toss such a totem.”

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Shane-I’m telling you-you could be the Welcome King 🙂
            I’ll be back later to catch up on some reading and non-welcomes. 🙂

  17. Alisa says:

    “Who would put spandex on a totem?” he asked.
    “It’s art,” she replied. “It says here that the artist’s work is known for its innovation and originality. It’s been described as both ‘spectacular‘ and ‘mysterious‘ in The New Yorker.”
    “Pfft, what a bunch of bull,” he said. “Is that the same reviewer who gave four stars to the magician on the trapeze?” He turned towards the window and looked out on the square below. “I’d rather watch those jugglers ride a unicycle. Now that’s art.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Alisa: YES!!! You nailed that so easily. If you unbolded the words, nobody would know which was which I love that.
      Speaking of love, I love your website logo. I have not seen such a clean, simple, kick-bleep logo like that in quite some time.
      Anyway, hope you enjoyed the exercise. We do them each Monday and Thursday so hopefully you’ll become addicted like the rest of us.
      Everyone welcome Alisa to the party.

      P.S. I think you and Cathy Miller will get alone nicely considering you both apprear to have similar business interests.

      • Alisa says:

        Thanks so much! I saw a tweet about it from @MenWithPens and the timing was right because… uh… needed a little bit of procrastination distraction. (There are no clients here, so it’s safe to admit that, right?)
        I just recently had the logo created by Jason Wedekind at http://genghiskern.com. He also did drop-dead-gorgeous letterpress business cards for me. I’m very happy with the way things turned out.
        And as long as I’m chatting away, I have a bit of a split writing life. There’s my “real work” writing for clients and my fun project blogging over at http://whatwouldbettydo.com.
        Nice to meet you!

        • Cathy Miller says:

          @Alisa-Welcome to CCC!

          Trapeze on over whenever you are in need of a spectacular time. With the wonder of a magician, the incomprehensible becomes poetic and a unicycle the latest vehicle of creativity. We take the meaning of words and spandex them into our own. Sometimes mysterious, sometimes a beauty of innovation, whatever form they take, the originality of each is unsurpassed.

          So, add to the totem of characters and join the jugglers of time who come home to CCC.


  18. He was a magician of spectacular innovation and mysterious originality in our lovelife. Never did I know how he was going to surprise or titillate me at any turn. Our relationship, however, was a steamrolling trapeze act, always threatening to dive into the tiniest glass of water from miles above. “Doomed”, my mother used to say, “Your marriage is doomed!”

    It was a muggy Tuesday afternoon. I was grateful for the air-conditioning in the grocery, as I leaned over the meat counter. A bead of perspiration dripped off my ‘jugglers’ (this was my husband’s pet name for my girls) onto the glass barrier protecting the packaged bologna below. The meat man’s eyes opened wide and I could see his pupils dilate. “I still got it”, I thought to myself, not noticing that he was looking past me over my left shoulder. Hearing the squeak of rubber on tile, I turned in curiosity.

    There my soul-mate, my partner of 13 years, was balancing between the aisles on a unicycle with the largest bouquet of dandelions I had ever seen. He was clad in nothing but purple spandex shorts, which did absolutely nothing to hide his magnificent totem pole.

    I squealed in laughter and dropped my meat.

  19. Anne Maybus says:

    It was raining so hard it could peel the spandex off a trapeze artist in mid-air.  We dodged and weaved through the crowd, skipping puddles and sheltering under the umbrellas of strangers.  Like jugglers, we kept the lunch orders out of the rain, swapping them from side to side and hiding them under our coats.

    The black skies were spectacular and the odd bolt of lightning struck like gods totem into the earth.  I made it back to my office with the sound of thunder announcing me. With a quick wave to my friend I raced indoors to shake off the rain.

    “Lunches!” I called out as I sloshed over to my desk and put them down safely.

    “Must empty my shoes out”, I thought to myself.

    “Points for originality, Boss” I said, handing him a boring salad roll.

    Like a magician, he pulled out his wallet and brandished a tenner in the air.

    “Keep the change”, he said.  “You’ve earned it today.”

    “What innovation is this, Boss?  Don’t start a habit you can’t keep up.”

    With a twist of his eyebrows he put on a mysterious look and said “I’ve got more money than I know what to do with, today.  I’m happy to share.”

    Very puzzling.  What on earth was he talking about?

    I went back to work.  My project was due for completion today and my client had been very hard to handle.  Pleasing him while still meeting the safety requirements was like trying to balance a ball on a unicycle – impractical and infuriating!

    It wasn’t until later when I went to pick up my printing from the computer that I saw it.   I could feel the eyes watching me and I turned to see my boss look quickly away, feigning innocence.

    Smart aleck.

    There at the bottom of my papers was a sheet filled with copies of a ten dollar bill….

  20. Anna Ellis says:

    Trapeze artists? Can’t stand ’em.” Joe cast me a sideways look. I didn’t bite.
    I’d left Hicksville at 14, the new assistant to The Spectacular Swen Garlii, Swedish Magician Extraordinaire. You grow up fast riding a unicycle in undersized spandex. I ditched him, but not before I’d completed my circus training. You’ve heard of The Mysterious Harpy? No matter.
    Ten years later, I’m back, this time with Joe as my trusty sidekick. All investigators need a Joe – no innovation, no originality, just a walking mountain of pain to deter the seamier side of the business.
    I push myself away from the tent wall. “OK, Joe, let’s go interview those Totem Jugglers.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Anna: Welcome. I LOVE what you did here. You are quite the writer I can tell. Everyone welcome Anna to the fun. Hope to see you each Monday and Thursday.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Anna-welcome to CCC!
        We swing through CCC on a trapeze that reaches spectacular heights of fantasy and creativity. The magician of words rides in with unicycle precision, dressed in the spandex of yet another challenge.

        Many find it mysterious how the level of innovation returns week after week with an originality that is all our own. With great stories we build a totem of memories as we become jugglers of the greatest show on earth.


  21. Okay, just got back from my Rome cruise vacation a few days ago and caught up on stuff.  I knew I had to start doing a Creative Copy Challenge, I needed my fix.  Here is my entry today:

    Spandex wearing trapeze circus performer
    a spectacular totem of originality
    prodigy child of mysterious innovation
    or simply a magician in disguise
    an act bordering preternatural perfection
    putting unicycle jugglers off their game
    a once in a lifetime performance
    they didn’t even know his name

  22. Kelly says:


    What kind of a magician are you?
    Others are jugglers or sword-swallowers; not you
    You don’t hop on a unicycle to make me smile
    The only trapeze you swing from is two feet high
    No spectacular jokes, (thankfully) no spandex suits
    No innovation at all!
    You’re a totem to un-originality, I must confess—I’ve seen your tricks before
    What is this mysterious hold you have, when no one in history has captivated me like you?

    Who’s there?
    Orange who?
    Oh, darn, I forgot. I start again, okay, Mama? Knock-knock!
    Who’s there?

    Ah. Mystery solved.
    No one in history has called me Mama before.
    Love you, little comedian, little acrobat, little magician
    You’re the master of making rings around my heart

  23. […] Word challenge from Creative Copy Challenge […]

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