Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #160

Our own business writing specialist, Cathy Miller, chose today’s words. Show our Welcoming Queen some love.

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

  1. Glorious
  2. Promise
  3. Happy
  4. Positive
  5. Thankful
  6. Necessary
  7. Unbelievable
  8. Only
  9. Restrictive
  10. Free

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

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

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118 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #160”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. Oh man, I ah … I’s got a glorious hangover Billy. Lord, I promise never to drunk again, until I has to promise again. Billy, how … Billy? Billy? Where you at Billy?”

    Damn, Billy told me he’d wake me up for Accountin’ 101 class. Matter fact, he said he’d be happy to, lessen he was positive he was gonna shack up at some gal’s house. But I’m positive he never done got his tongue unstuck from dat ice luge, and ain’t no girls would talk to him for some strange reason after I caused dat diversion.

    “Oh shoot! My eyes is blurry and da room is spinning, but my watch says I’m late for class so I best be hailin’ ass to get there. Lord, I’s thankful you done made me a fast runner, cause it’s exam day and it’s necessary I done show up—still tryin’ to figure out what dat third nipple you done gave me is for, but we’ll chat about dat later.”

    Unbelievable! Billy ain’t here in his assigned seat. Matter fact, not only ain’t Billy in his assigned seat, some hot gal is sittin’ in it. I know she’s hot cause my underdraws are getting restrictive.

    “Excuse me lady gal. You’s quite da looker and I’m happy you’s sittin’ next to me but these be assigned seats and you’s sittin’ in Billy’s chair.”

    “No I’s ain’t.”

    “Yes you is.”

    “NO, I’s not.”

    “Yes you be.”

    “You must be mistooken.”

    “Listen here your hotness. I’s been coming to dis 9:00 A.M. Accountin’ 101 class since it done began, and Billy’s always done sat there.”

    “Well now feller. Dis here’s da 10:00 A.M. class. You’s in da wrong class.”

    “Ah … ah … um …yeah I guess you’s right pretty gal. I’s so hunged-over, I misread my sun-dial watch. Sorry.”

    “Dat’s alright. You’s funny … and kinda cute too. Here’s my number. Give me a call some time when you’s free.”

    “Wait pretty gal. Class is over, but you didn’t write down your name wit dis number.”

    “It’s Bobby Sue.”

  2. margaret says:

    As unbelievable as it might seem, I promise that you only need be positive in the way you think
    and be thankful for the necessary things in life that you’ve been given in order to live a glorious
    and happy life free from restrictive negativity!

  3. Dominica says:

    Settling down into my semi-comfy and well-worn theater seat, I was happy to see nobody had brought their newborn to the showing. A crying baby is worse than a cellphone going off. I also scanned the room to see if anyone bought any loud food items, like nachos. How a theater can sell such noisy food and then tell customers to keep quiet is beyond me. And luckily no one sat in the seat to my right, which would have made any right-leaning movement restrictive.

    This movie shall be glorious. I feel like a little kid again,” whispered my new friend. I think this might be the highlight of his week. Probably his month. He probably doesn’t get out much at his age. That stinks. I don’t want to get old. I want to be young forever, and free–

    He starts conversing again, so I jump back to reality and listen.

    Then I’m happy to see the lights start to dim, freeing me from our conversation. A hush falls over the crowd, and the seemingly endless parade of upcoming movie trailers commence. I’m thankful the trailers seem to hold my interest, as everyone else’s. Every person seems fixated on the gigantic screen, not a word was even whispered. I’m positive some people turned into zombies at one point, just staring and quietly moaning at the epic scenes of some trailers. It was quite amusing really.

    All I kept thinking was how unbelievable this film was about to be. It had to be. The directors made me a promise. Well, not to me personally, but I took it as just that. It was necessary this film blow everyone away or the chances of the sequel being produced would lessen. And then we would be left with only a memory of the first and the crushed hope of more to come.

    After the appetizer of trailers finished, the screen went black, the crowd garnered a collective hush of excitement, and then the film began.

    And just like that, someone’s cellphone went off. Great.

    • margaret says:

      A slice of life, Dominica…I love it. Theatres have started showing a film clip of “the notebook” with over-dubbed dialogue of supposed people in the audience. It’s really funny and brings the point across.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Dominica: Haha! That was great. Such a creative tale you are painting here.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Dominica- I love this phrase After the appetizer of trailers – I also love the bit about the noisy food-LOL-there are people who can make popcorn sound like they’re eating peanut brittle. 🙂 Great scene-setting!

    • Dominica, this was fun, and timely. We went to a nice theater last Friday. No babies, cell phones or broken promises. (Harry Potter finale for the WIN!)
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • KathleenL says:

        Dominica — Good story telling. Thanks for saying aloud what I have wondered: “How a theater can sell such noisy food and then tell customers to keep quiet…” made me laugh out loud…

  4. Anne Wayman says:

    Hey Cathy, happy words.
     

    It was glorious, a promise to be happy! Only positive thoughts and a thankful attitude were necessary and unbelievable results would be had. Even the price was non-restrictive – free is hard to beat. One had only to believe.

  5. Here is my contribution today, so busy at work so had to hastily eek this one out.

    New Regime
    A happy promise only necessary
    an unbelievable thankful crowd
    only positive cheers and shouts
    glorious sounds of change
    for a society now free
    from restrictive government

  6. Martha says:

    Cyn sat in the pew listening to the glorious peals that signaled the beginning of the soprano’s solo. It always sounded as if it should be a happy moment, the major chord heralding the promise of something special, but it turned, like a worm in the soul, reminding her that even in beauty, there was pain. The plaintive descant never failed to remind her of the restrictive nature of grief, how it choked her like a dam in a stream. She closed her eyes and let the notes run through her, like a ribbon of gold that still kept her tethered to the cold, hard wooden seat. The music brought colour to her life; it was as necessary as breath, as essential as love. She could not imagine a day when she might be thankful for the lessons her loss gave her, when she might be free of its weight. She was positive that those who said so were lying, trying to mask the vastness of the void that resulted. She looked at her hands, curled and gnarled, no longer able to stretch and run through the unbelievable changes the composer had included as way to separate the merely competent from the brilliant. Now, there was nothing left; there was only memory.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Martha: That was a powerful story, but you took it up a notch when you mentioned the curled, gharled hands. Great job there.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Martha- I simply love how simple words are used so differently and effectively by ourr CCC community-this was beautifully told!

    • Martha, I enjoyed this piece. I call it a piece on purpose: it seems as if the words were meant to be read andante – in counterpoint to the implied uplifting of the solo.
       
      I might be reading into it, but still, it’s a masterpiece with at least two levels of interpretation.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Martha says:

      Thank you. I enjoyed this challenge. And thanks for picking up on the pace Mitchell. I did want the words to be playing counterpoint to the story, although I realize now that I left out the second now in the last sentence.

      • KathleenL says:

        Martha — wow… well crafted.Vivid. I loved the: “The music brought colour to her life; it was as necessary as breath, as essential as love.”

  7. Jeanette Ruiz says:

    “I promise I’ll be back. Don’t cry.”  Anthony laced up his sneakers, stood up from his chair and walked backwards towards the door. 

    The look on her face crushed him. She shifted her weight to one side and took a few steps towards him.  She was still limping from her surgery a week ago but the doctor had seemed positive that she would heal quickly. 

    “Listen, all you need to do is stay home and rest. It’s the only way you are going to get better.”

    It was unbelievable how much he had grown to love her. Anthony had always been a loner.  He was gloriously happy being left alone to his passions of writing and playing the guitar.  But as all love stories go, she entered his life when he least expected it.

    In between a few business meetings, he had some free time so he decided to take a jog around his neighborhood.  His 50th birthday had gifted him with excess around his midsection, so he finally decided that he could no longer defy gravity and was thankful for the time he didn’t have to exercise. 

    In between gasping for air, he noticed he had a furry companion. Never an animal lover, Anthony shooed it away and tried to speed up.  To his dismay, his lungs were quite restrictive in allowing him to move faster.  Anthony noticed that his pest was having some trouble keeping up. 

    “You must have just celebrated a big birthday too.  You look like you’ve been around the block.” 

    After a good 20-minute effort, Anthony headed home.  And so did his new friend.  Since that day, Anthony would always be greeted around the same time for his daily jog. He didn’t see any tags so he figured he was dealing with a stray.  But this stray respected his limits and personal space and kind of just came along for the ride. 

    Whenever Anthony would get tired and take a break, so would the pest.  Whenever Anthony had a boost of energy and would take off, he would hang back and wait for him to slow down again.  They would motivate each other on those days that neither of them felt like running. 

    Then one day, the pest wasn’t there to greet him.  Anthony set out on his run and crossed the major intersection that led to a nearby park.  That is when he spotted it.  His furry friend was laid out in the street. He must have been hit by a car cause he just laid there. Anthony ran back home to get his car, picked up his friend and went to the nearest vet. 

    He had suffered a broken hip and would require surgery. “Oh what the hell, we old bags need to stick together.”  The surgery went well and Anthony was able to take his friend home with a few instructions. “It’s not necessary to baby her, but she does need plenty of rest and don’t let her run around”

    Anthony looked down at the ailing dog and thought that it was about time he had a lady in his life.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: That’s a great story there. My neighbor just lost her dog. I hope she finds a new friend soon. She seems lost without it.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Jeanette-what a great ending! Loved it!

    • Awwwwww! {sniff, sniff}
      We had to give up our Lab/Retriever to the SPCA. I was heart-broken. This story actually makes me feel better. Thanks, Jeanette!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Jeanette R. says:

         
        Thanks everyone for the nice words. I’ve never had a dog so I can’t relate with that bond but my husband has been working on me to get one.  Maybe this short story will inspire me to really consider it.  I hope everyone has a fantastic, productive week.
         
        Write on!

        • KathleenL says:

          Jeanette — You made me smile, laugh a loud and want to continue reading to make sure I was “seeing” what you were painting.
          And… it seems you now have had your first dog… you wrote him into your work. 🙂
          Dogs are great! they bring some frustrations, but they are worth the effort and help motivate, bring smiles etc.  Go-for-it.
           

  8. Cathy Miller says:

    Inspired by my 8th year of participation in the 3-Day, 60 Mile Walk for breast cancer -happens in November.
     
    It was a glorious day to share a promise. One made between two sisters and shared with so many more. Who knew you could be happy walking 60 miles, but that’s what I feel. For I now share the promise with my sister, a 10+ year breast cancer survivor and my Fight Like A Girl teammates – with three more survivors.

    To say it is a positive experience is not enough. It’s a time of thankful joy, and as necessary to my life as breath. It’s unbelievable what you can accomplish if only you try. It’s 3 days, 60 miles of restrictivefree caring about life.
     

    • Cathy, walk on, write on, live on! This snippet is inspirational. Thanks, too, for today’s words.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Cathy.  8 years of participation is incredible. And your sister being a 10+ survivor is even more amazing.  Here’s to many more years of good health and treasured memories. 

    • Anna Ellis says:

      @Cathy,

      What a happy and positive post. It was a necessary reminder to be thankful for my health. Perhaps only those who have witnessed the unbelievable struggle of those with restrictive or debilitating illnesses can be free to appreciate the promise of a glorious life.

      It was inspirational. Thank you.

      • Martha says:

        It was inspirational as was yours Anne. It’s always good to be reminded of how much we have when we are earthside.

        • KathleenL says:

          Cathy – Bravo, again 🙂
          Well laid down words of inspiration, of rightful celebration! Walking in conjunction with Love… nothing could be better. Nothing! Thanks for sharing the smile with me.
           
           

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: Let us all know how it goes.

  9. Read this story from the beginning – in one convenient PDF at SisterhoodOfTheVoid.com!

    Sisterhood of the Void – 15th Point
     
    …Bekumtuno…” Of course! Super specks. Jebubba heard First Mother’s unbelievable description of the children of Nil. In that instant, she made the most startling and conclusive jump ever made by a sister outside of the Bet line:

    “All we have to do is touch them.” The solution was so obvious! Quickly cranking up her mitochondrial recording mode, Jebubba repeated herself in her most booming, conscious percussive tone. “Our mutant cousins of the Void have reclaimed the elements. We just need to reach out to them to renew the cycle of creation.”

    The team pounded their collective agreement. Once the message was received back in the colony, Jebubba was positive that one of the sisters would comply. Atefa’s Bek Realm anomaly would be neutralized. The team’s immediate challenge was to extricate themselves from the clutches of the comatose First Aunt. For that, they needed Afetar’s analytical mind.

    Cringing from the resurgent sensations of insanity, the team focused on strengthening the badly tattered conscious sheet. Seninna and Rekikka reenacted their awesome power play. Unfortunately, Nil had already consumed most of the matter within the radius of Rekikka’s Ber energy blasts. The output was just sufficient to repair tears in the sheet. As the fireworks fizzled, the sisters’ conscious clarity was restored. Temporarily free from the restrictive psychoses of rage and jealousy, Jebubba quickly issued orders.

    “Afetar, we can’t pull away. What happens if we collide with Nil? Neva, Avena, any ideas for containment? Seninna, Rekikka can we attack our dear Aunt?”

    Afetar reviewed the library’s record of recent events, muttering calculations that only she understood. Neva gave her daughter a questioning look; neither one wanted to bring up silly suggestions like dampers and massages. They both turned to Jebubba with shrugs of resignation.

    Only Seninna and Rekikka seemed to show any promise of solving the riddle. They were making test blasts within the protection of the conscious sheet. As expected, varying the ratio of Ber energy to Bes energy seemed to increase or decrease the amount of matter annihilated. However, they were surprised that, at oblique angles of intersection, impacted matter deflected the energy pulses into a laser-like beam that tore into the protective conscious sheet, causing plasma to drip down like rain through a leaking roof.

    Afetar, noting the plasma drops, gave a cry of glorious victory. “I see it! I see it! The plasma! It’s behaving like the light shower from Universe 17 million plus seven!”

    Everyone stopped. Jebubba signaled for Afetar to continue. “Hurry, Afetar. What must we do?”

    Afetar was glowing, thankful to have this chance at analytical redemption. “We have to surrender the protective sheet. Nil is attacking it because of her revulsion to consciousness. This close to her, plasma will quickly cool to its constituent components of matter and energy – just what Nil needs!”

    The sisters felt a twinge of recollection in their mitochondria – both for the recent light show and for Sister Bel’s last conscious thought:
    “Universe 17 million plus eight has cooled considerably. There is no evidence of its having thrown off any plasma. Wait! I’m mistaken. The universe is the exact same size as every other universe in the Spot Realm!”

    Coupled with First Mother’s explanation of the plasma’s consumption, the team knew that Afetar had figured it out.

    Rekikka asked the obvious – and disturbing – question, “How do we get away while Nil is snacking on protons?”

    Neva finally spoke up. “Nil’s vibrations will be at rest. I can sense the need for harmony within her being. Feeding on matter should keep her happy long enough for us to escape her orbit.”

    Avena nodded helpfully, as if to sway the others. She could vaguely sense what her mother was feeling but, being more attuned to the song of universes, Avena was not as confident that the evil emanating from Nil could be placated.

    Jebubba could feel Avena’s reluctance, but it was not enough to overcome all of the positive thumps from Neva and Afetar. Even Seninna and Rekikka trembled with the anticipation of going all in. Jebubba squared herself mentally. It was time. Delaying only shredded more of the conscious sheet and she was not going to wait until Afetar computed how much material was necessary for success.

    “Let’s roll.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: Let’s Roll! Awesome. When you finish this, you should do a youtube video explaining how this developed. Amazing stuff.

      • Thanks, Shane. I would be confirming my insanity. For the past two weeks, I felt that I had painted myself into that proverbial corner. Somehow, re-reading the earlier chapters, I discovered the escape hatches in the floorboards of the plot. It’s almost spooky because I really had no idea what was lurking at the Infinite Boundary. When the team got there, I didn’t know – until this morning’s nth re-reading – how to get them out.
         
        Anybody else go through this with their stories? Am I certifiable? 🙂
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

        • Jeanette R. says:

          Would you mind if I named my first born, Jebubba? :)  “Temporarily free from the restrictive psychoses of rage and jealousy, Jebubba quickly issued orders.”  Ooowee!

        • Adam M says:

          Definitely not certifiable (unless we both are) – I’ve had a few stories that I hadn’t planned on continuing that I ended up writing more for, and going back over the earlier ones, it’s fun to find those little threads you may not have explored, or intended to explore, that let you take things in a surprising direction.
           
          I’ve started reading through the pdf you put up, and it’s been a fun read so far!

          • Adam, I’ve done that a few times here. I agree, there’s something magical about re-reading and discovering a new avenue to explore.
             
            Thanks for checking out the PDF!
             
            Cheers,
             
            Mitch
             

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Mitch-it keeps getting better and better. I downloaded the pdf-it’s a definite keeper. 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Cathy! I’m glad you like the PDF format. Shane suggested images – I’m getting a logo, but I’m reluctant to have this weird existence illustrated: I think each of us now has a unique “picture” of the different parts of the Void. I wouldn’t want to spoil that.
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

  10. Frank Ruiz says:

    Hi, everyone,

    This is an amazing website and a wonderful writing exercise.  The community here are all incredibly talented and supportive.  It’s nice to know such rich stories can be created in such a compact form.

    I’m attempting my first try today, and I’d like to apologize if the tone doesn’t fit, but it was the first thing that came to me as I wrote, so I wanted to stick with it.  I thought it would be interesting to take words that paint such a positive picture on their own and try to use them to create a scene that is much darker.

    Final disclaimer: This is definitely fiction!

    It was such a glorious promise: “Just join us, and your suffering will be done.  You’ll be happy here with us.  We’re not like the things you’re running away from.  We’re a positive group.”

    Looking back, I felt so thankful that I found them.  It was necessary to believe that it was my choice to come into their world.  It’s almost unbelievable that I ever felt that way, especially when I see them aggressively pursue those who will replace me.  The honeymoon’s definitely over, and that sweet, fleeting period when I first started was only done to draw me in.

    Every now and then, even I manage to voice my reservations: “Does this jacket have to be so restrictive?  I can barely breathe!”

    Some final soothing words from my handler sealed the deal: “It’s ironic, but if we don’t make sure it’s on tight, we won’t be sure you’ll be truly free when it’s all over.”

    “Are you sure this is the best way?” I ask.

    His answer is swift: “They’re the ones that have turned our lives, and your life, into the Hell we’re living today.  All you have to do is go in there and ignite the charges on your vest.  You won’t feel a thing, and the next thing you see will be everyone they’ve ever taken away from you.  You’ll finally be able to return to your family again.”

    Sounds like another recruitment speech, but it may be my only shot at finding what brought me to this point in the first place.  I hope for everyone’s sake today that his words will ring true for the ones I hurt as well as for me.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Welcome to the CCC. No need to qualify your submissions. You can write ANYTHING you want here.
      Great 1st submission too. I don’t think I’ve seen the perspective of a bomber mentioned here since we began.
      Everyone welcome Frank to the Triple C.

    • Jeanette Ruiz says:

      @Frank. That’s a powerful first story. This line was hauntingly perfect:  “It’s ironic, but if we don’t make sure it’s on tight, we won’t be sure you’ll be truly free when it’s all over.”  Welcome to CCC!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, Shane and Jeanette, I really appreciate the welcoming and the encouragement.  It’s a great resource and you’re a great community!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Frank-Welcome to CCC!
       
      You’ve landed on a glorious site where the promise of words make all of us happy. We are positive you will love what you find and thankful you gave the challenge a shot.

      Before long, CCC becomes a necessary part of your week where the unbelievable happens and only you can release the restrictive bonds of silence and set your creative words free.

      Welcome!

    • Welcome to the CCC, Frank. This first submission is brilliant, poignant and humanizing.
      Irony runs deep here – both within the context of your vignette and outside of it: if the world had the capacity to understand the uncertainty clouding the minds of people who do harm, perhaps it would change to the extent that such people would not be molded into existence.
       
      See? You got me thinking. That’s the magic of CCC.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • KathleenL says:

        Frank–Welcome to the addiction at CCC!Your darkness… it’s welcomed here. You will find an unbelievably free environment here. It is not necessary to feel the usual restrictiveness of assignment editors! Many of us are thankful for that. There is a promise of freedom here to write that which the words inspire you to: suicide notes, torturous dark ditties… but know that you will see these dark sides of life right next to sappy love stories where a man finds a dog and even slightly dirty ditties. Don’t worry about making the reader happy. CCC is all about making the words play well with each other; okay many of us know its not “all” about the words! But it is positively a glorious gathering place that only the word players gather.Welcome to the playground

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Kathleen: Ha that’s great. I see you’ve attended Cathy’s Welcome Message seminar. How come I wasn’t invited? 😉

          • KathleenL says:

            Shane — Could have sworn I saw you there! Maybe it was Billy? Don’t know… that was a few glasses of wine ago. LOL
             

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Kathleen L @ Shane-between the two of you, it’s good to know I have an option for a vacation 🙂

  11. Adam M says:

    “We’ve been… thankful for your assistance so far. But what we do now is necessary,” the third loudspeaker voice said, the distortion doing nothing to hide that they were wrapping things up.  I started to adjust my position and wrung my hands a little, wishing the cuffs weren’t so restrictive.
     
    “We promise that the end will be painless.”
     
    I could feel one of the large men move behind me. As he leaned down to pick me up, I pushed up suddenly, trying to aim for the soft part of his face with the hard part of mine. The sudden ringing in my already aching head and the sound of a body sprawling backwards onto the concrete floor, and I was positive that I’d succeeded.
     
    Unbelievable…!” I heard, half distorted and half yelled from across the room.
     
    Trying to focus, I flung my body into the man to my right, happy to see that I’d caught him off guard because of the bright lights blinding him as much as me. Sprawled on the ground, I took the opportunity to plant my knee squarely between his legs, hearing a satisfying, high-pitched wheeze.
     
    Scrambling to my feet, I could hear chairs being rustled and heavy footsteps coming towards me. I ran to the only nearby door. and spun around to fumble with the handle. Feeling it turn, I pushed back into the glorious fluorescent lighting of a hallway. Free!
     
    Except, I noted as I spun around to make a run for it, for the black suited man wearing sunglasses with a gun pointed at me.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Adam M: Damn! I wanted him to escape. I know how your character feels now. 🙂 Well done indeed.

    • Adam, that was funny. I bet there’s still a chance … if this is an action flick circa 2011. 🙂
      I love the graphic detail – I felt helpless reading this!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Adam. You are such a tease. I found myself squinting my eyes to adjust for the blinding lights. Awesome suspense build-up.

  12. Sean Murphy says:

    A Zombie Story, Part 4:
     
    It was amazing how, even surrounded by shambling corpses, those glorious golden arches could still evoke the sensations of deliciously fried meat and cheese, giving promise to a pair of hungry men. Grant stared out through the clear glass doors of the small fast food joint, watching the undead curiously. This was the closest he’d been able to get to the enemy in its resting state. They seemed not to notice him, slowly moving around and bumping into one another, hardly resembling the rage-filled beasts they had encountered earlier that day. Absently he noted the small details that were reminiscent of their former lives. They all shared the pallor, the black-pupiled eyes, the shambling walk, but the one closest to him still wore a tattered backpack, and his long dreadlocks made Grant think of university campuses. Another, currently rooting around an open trash can, wore what would have been an expensive business suit and tie. Death was the great equaliser, he supposed.
     
    He was distracted from his reverie by the smell of cooking meat, and his brother’s voice from the kitchen behind the brightly-colored counter, “Food’s up, come and get it!”
     
    Venturing past cash registers that were still entreating him to try the latest developments in slushy technology, Grant found Dave beside a working hotplate, already starting on a long line of surprisingly appetising burgers.
     
    “What, no happy meal? I heard this week you get a dinosaur toy and everything.” His brother ignored the sarcasm, and Grant picked up a burger anyway – he was too hungry to be picky.
     
    “Just by thankful one of us had a part-time job through high-school,” Dave retorted when he’s finished inhaling his first creation, “God knows what sort of monstrosity you’d come up with, given free reign of this place.” He returned to eating almost before the words were out of his mouth.
     
    “You’re an eating machine, you know that? Unbelievable” Grant shook his head, smiling despite himself as the second burger quickly went the way of the first. “Anyway, I’ve been thinking,” he continued after he finished his own meal, “This city’s too restrictive. We got lucky getting here across the rooftops, but we can’t move like that forever.”
     
    “So, you want to what, go bush? How are we going to make it out of the city, if we can’t even cross the street without starting a riot?” Dave’s resistance was only token, Grant could tell he’d come to a similar conclusion.
     
    “We do whatever’s necessary,” Grant declared, trying to keep a positive tone as he considered the riskiness of his plan, “I saw a four wheel drive in the car park outside with the door open, looks like the keys still might be in it. How do you feel about going motorised?” He chose not to mention that the keys were still attached to their former owner, who’d been struggling against her seatbelt when he’d noticed her.
     
    Dave’s eyes lit up, “I wonder if these things can survive being run over by a four wheeler.” He chewed silently for a moment, looking contemplative.
     
    Grant decided to let his brother finish his meal before filling him in on the finer points of the plan, “Only one way to find out, right?”

    • Martha says:

      Oh zombies! Creepily touching – I like the relationship between the two brothers.

    • Sean, I’m enjoying this monster mash!
      Quote of the day: “Another, currently rooting around an open trash can, wore what would have been an expensive business suit and tie. Death was the great equaliser, he supposed.”
       
      Shamble on!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sean: Damn, I missed this in my admin screen. Cool stuff here. I can never get enough zombie plot. Carry on.

  13. Sean Murphy says:

    Thanks Martha! This story is my first real attempt at character development & dialogue, let alone character interactions. Most of my earlier stuff was purely descriptive scenes and such. Hopefully it will improve with time 🙂

  14. Rebecca says:

    Continuation of CCC#159
    It was a glorious day for Rava. She felt free, happy, positive, and thankful her parents would be out of town for three-weeks. Her grandfather William, mom’s father, had a heart attack. This was unbelievable because William was in great shape; no one believed he was 65-years-old. Rava’s mom said it wasn’t necessary for Rava to travel to Philadelphia because the heart attack was mild. The only restrictive part about her parents being out-of-town was having Aunt Julia stay with her. Then again, Julia wasn’t exactly a saint. Rava’s mom wasn’t too thrilled about Julia, but she’s making an effort to become closer to her. Both Rava and Julia had to promise Rava’s mom that nothing would happen while she was gone. No wild parties and stuff like that. Wink-wink!

    • Rebecca, thanks for letting me know about CCC #159 – I missed it.
      These are both looking good. And Philadelphia appears. Yay. 🙂
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: Great interpersonal stuff here. And as always, love the twist at the end. Amazing what two words can add to a story.

  15. KathleenL says:


    Isabella’s Journal Note
    “As I am free, white, and over twenty-one, (as my momma would say) twenty-seven to be exact –I am thankful and honored that God has chosen now for me to embark upon the glorious promise. By this stage of my life I am all too happy to, thankful really, to be entrusted with you. In only nine months I am going to be a mom. Your mom! Unbelievable! The doc wants to be restrictive… “no horseback riding while you are”… in the belly, but that is so not going to happen. It is not necessary to change my behavior… I am more than positive that staying in shape… continuing on with my normal level of physical activity is only going be the healthy route. Okay, so I will not go out and get on a young unbroken colt for the first… nor the third time… but I will sit astride the old man. He is eleven, broke to death. After all, he will be needing to get used to you being around sooner or later… better now then never.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: Every day I look out my window and see our two horses. Loved this post.

      • KathleenL says:

        Shane — Thanks. Glad someone else understand the horse thing.
        The smell of them… the comforting smell of them… oh how I miss that.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @KathleenL This really captured my attention.  I’m curious to see what transpires.

      • KathleenL says:

        Jeanette — Thanks. I will see that more of Isabella shows back up again. Her absence has been… unavoidable, yes… that semi-true… but I feel her wanting to have her voice again, so she will be back… maybe a bit inconsistantly in Sept. but Isabella is back.  Glad you like her voice. She is also the speaker of the “Mind-full Conversations”… it’s just a later time in Isabella’s life line.

  16. Kathleen, this is certainly unique. I would love to see a continuation. Poor baby, bouncing and jostling and stuff. LOL
     
    Cheers,
     
    Mitch
     

    • KathleenL says:

      Mitchell — Thanks. Oh… there is more. And I promise to let you see it. I like writing the conversations that many of us really have…. for others to read… even if they are not heard… by all. HEHEehheheheheheee

  17. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … Your welcome!
    I’ve thought about moving to Philadelphia but would like to visit to see if it has a ‘good vibe’ for me. I’m in Ohio right now; it’s only a seven hour drive. But, I’m not sure if I could get past the winter/snow. It’s one of the reasons why I moved to Arizona. I had enough of winter weather.
    @ Shane … I couldn’t resist using these words. I’m definitely continuing this YA story.

  18. Frank Ruiz says:

    Thanks so much for the welcome, Mitch and Kathleen!

    I’m glad all sorts of writing has a home here, and the contributions that you two have made definitely show the high quality that abounds!

    Thanks again!

  19. Aniket Khujneri says:

    The Alps in Switzerland is glorious and it is the only moutain range that promises & ensures beauty of nature which will make u happy for sure, to be more precise a visit to the alps generates positive energies, and it enlightens the soul of the viewer. The viewer should be thankful to god for creating this unbelievable charisma! So Dont be restrictive and feel free to roam in this exciting new world of adventure! it is necessary for u to keep all your fears aside once u are on this breathtaking journey!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Aniket: Welcome to the CCC. You’ve done a great job of making me want to go to the Alps.
      Since this is your first time doing a challenge, what did you think of it? I’m always curious to know.

      Everyone welcome Aniket to the addiction. We do a challenge every Monday and Thursday. See you then.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Aniket – Welcome to CCC

        It’s a glorious day when a newbie arrives at the shores of CCC. Welcome to the land of promise where words are happy to join such a positive community. We are thankful for each submission that are necessary for the entertainment of all. It seems unbelievable that only 10 little words transform into such genius.

        So, welcome to CCC, where life is less restrictive and words continue to roam free.

  20. KathleenL says:

    Aniket – Welcome to the addition at CCC.

    I see that you look like you will be fitting in gloriously! This is positively one of my necessary stops, often daily. Unbelievably, the only requirement is … let your happy little fingers pound the keys as the words lead you.

    Thankfully the restrictiveness of the gatekeeper, i.e. Shane, is light leaving word-hounds free write wherever the words lead us to craft. Some of us will freely give you our opinions on your submissions, but… feel free to ignore any that miss the mark; admittedly, often I have found our CCC Family to be helpful with the effectiveness of my wordplay. So… It’s Thursday… hope you play again today.

  21. Aniket Khujneri says:

    thank u all for such a warm welcome and making me comfortable on this creative platform. i was so nervous while i was writing this but with the comments and welcome i received, feels like home now 🙂
    @ shane arthur..writing about alps inspired me while i was playin train simulator! i searched for the alps and while i was lookin over it, words automatically framed the whole picture!
    @ kathleenL @ cathy miller..thank u so much for the welcome..all i can say is i wish one day to come when i would be framing the words as creatively as u guys did 🙂 such an inspiring and enthusiastic environment i found here..”one destination coudn’t afford to miss” CCC rocks :)….

  22. Rev. Criss says:

    Only today I am free.  Unbelievable that it took 35 years to bring this glorious promise.  I am positive my restrictive circumstances were necessary; now I am happy and thankful it is over.
     
    [Something I could have written the day I moved to Upstate New York from NYC in 2004.]

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rev. Chriss: Love this short form submission. Several people here love this style too, so I’m sure they’ll love this.

  23. Kelly says:

    MOM SEZ—TAKE A BREAK?

    No glorious promise is necessary. I’m only thankful that you’re free, happy to see you so positive at long last. It’s unbelievable that sixth grade was so restrictive, but now you can swim and sleep and slack off for three months and await the fall without maintaining your learning or lifting a finger around here and I’ll be cool with that.
     
    NOT!!


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