Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #161

Today we have Derek Halpern,  list building specialist,  choosing today’s words. Show him what you’ve got.

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. Indomitable – incapable of being overcome, subdued, or vanquished; unconquerable
  2. Civilian
  3. Incessant – Continuing without interruption
  4. Creep
  5. Initiative
  6. Creative
  7. Impossible
  8. Chaos
  9. Inebriate – to make drunk
  10. Triggers

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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104 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #161”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: I’ll be away all day and night today. I’ll stop in briefly if I can.
    Be good, have some fun, and hold down the fort until I return.

  2. margaret says:

    In life there’s Poohs and Tiggers
    and creeps to push their triggers.

    Some folks feel that life to navigate.
    means chaos and being inebriate.

    Then there’s a small, creative cluster
    that is impossible to fluster.

    Life’s challenges are incessant
    and we must keep our gumption present.

    Some civilians are indomitable
    where others react quite vomitable.

    Initiative  you need to take
    so that your spirit doesn’t break

    You can be a timid Pooh
    or let your Tigger through!

    IT’S REALLY UP TO YOU
    TO BE HAPPY OR TO STEW!!!

  3. Jeanette R. says:

    “Isn’t she a royal bitch?” Lisa shifted in her car seat and stared straight ahead. Her passenger had made the ride uncomfortable in less than five minutes from picking her up.

    “I mean, she’s my mom and I live with her and she’s a bitch so I can’t imagine working for her.  She must make your life impossible.”

    Lisa’s job was one of her triggers and she cared not to think of it outside of business hours. Why the hell did I answer my phone? She thought.  Just an hour before she was enjoying M&M Thursdays (Martini’s & Meatballs) at a local Italian restaurant.  She had just started to enjoy the inebriated buzz of her cocktails when her cell phone vibrated in her purse.  She didn’t recognize the number but answered it anyway. It was her boss calling from home saying she needed her to pick up her daughter who had threatened to run away…again. 

    “Lisa, she’s at the airport this time.  My credit card company called to tell me there was a charge of over $1,000 for an airline ticket.  I have to hand it to her, she’s getting creative with her destinations.  She was headed to Dubai.” Lisa wanted to throw her phone across the bar. 

    “She’s not a bitch to me. I mean, your mom is really smart and takes initiative to get things done.  It’s not easy being a female manager in a male dominated world.”  What am I saying? I sound like an idiot. Why am I entertaining this spoiled brat?

    “Well she’s dumped me off in several clinics trying to ‘fix me’ as she says. There’s nothing wrong with me. I just see through her bullshit.  You should see our house.  It’s pure chaos. She’s incessantly on the phone with people or checking her email.  She could care less about anyone but herself. She gave me a birthday card last week and it had her companies name on it. She didn’t even have the decency to go out and buy me a card.” 

    Lisa wasn’t sure if it was the liquor creeping into her conscious or if she truly felt an ounce of compassion for the girl.  She glanced down at her Louis Vuitton purse.  What does this girl have to complain about?   I could work for 10 years and not afford that damn purse. Us working civilians don’t have the time nor energy to complain about our feelings.  We have to pay our own bills and buy our own purses.

    Lisa pulled up to the multi-million dollar mansion.  All of the lights were off except the huge porch chandelier.  Lisa hoped that her indomitable spirit would allow her one day to own something so beautiful.  She already had multiple degrees and had worked in her field for over ten years but her dreams had not yet been realized.

    “Well, here’s your stop.” Lisa stared at the girl as she gathered up her purse and let out a heavy sigh. 

    “One day it won’t be so easy for her to catch me.  I’ll escape somehow.”  The girl slammed the car door shut and walked away.

    Lisa laid her aching head against the headrest.  Not on my watch, kid.

    • And the anonymous service of the civil servant goes on. How sad. You really nailed a sentiment, here, Jeanette. I love it! That last sentence hits me where it hurts. We talk about misspent youth but, what about a misspent life?
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Jeanette R. says:

        @Mitch. Isn’t that the eternal question?  Are we living our lives to the full potential? Some days I say yes, other days I’m not so sure.  That’s what I love about writing and reading…you can try on different lifestyles in your mind and take them for a test drive.  You can pick up the traits/habits you like and discard the others. You are in the driver’s seat.  So buckle up 😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: This is your best yet. I bet you knew this after finishing this too didn’t ya? 🙂 Enjoyable read indeed.

  4. Frank Ruiz says:

    Hey, Margaret and Jeanette, awesome entries, and you ladies are fast too!
     
    Margaret, I love your call to let our Tiggers out!  Your poem is wonderful.
     
    Jeanette, your story is awesome!  I love your ability to drop my mind into a movie, taking the ten words given every time and painting such a rich scene!  I wish we had an “M&M” Thursday at the bar near my job!

  5. Frank Ruiz says:

    Most of us are responsible citizens moving through our civilian lives without standing out or disrupting the flow of things.  External appearances can barely tell us apart; we all spin as cogs in this social machine that never stops.

    Look a little deeper, though, and you can see that many of us are living on a razor’s edge, ready to slip into the dark embrace of chaos.  All it takes are the right triggers.  It’s in providing these triggers that I thrive.

    The freaks come out at night, and the freak living in each of us starts railing against its cage after sundown.  We’ve been civilized for centuries, but savage for millennia.  That’s only a thin membrane of evolutionary decorum holding back our base urges, incessant in their demands to be satisfied.  Which do you think is going to win out?

    It’s not easy for some, but everyone has their tipping point.  A few of my targets just need to inebriate themselves in order to dissolve their “stay in your lane” daytime façade.  For others, you have to creep into their subconscious with subtle comments that attract their naughtier sides.

    She was a tough nut to crack, but nothing’s impossible.  We all want to break free of society’s constraining shackles if we’re convinced we won’t be worse off for it.  Her barriers were high and thick, though.  I had to be creative.  Hopefully I was gaining points with her for showing some initiative and sliding down the bar to start up our conversation.

    I was stonewalled after using every angle I knew to get at her.  She wasn’t having any of it, but I could see the animal she had hiding in her, so I thought I still had a shot.  I’m used to bedding down the women I find here pretty often, no matter who they are, so this was putting a dent in my ego.  This is what I do; the one thing I excel at, and I revel in my power.  I’m nothing if I can’t conquer, and I’m afraid she’s looking like my indomitable challenge.

    Finally, she starts to perk up.  I actually get a smile out of her!  I didn’t even realize what I said to her.  Whatever it was, I need to stay on that track.

    Wait.

    She’s actually looking past me.

    I turn around to see what really hooked her interest.  Turns out it’s who she really wants to be with tonight.  She was a stunner, and it looked like they’ve known each other for a while.

    I backed away, admitting my defeat, but solaced with the knowledge that I had the wrong equipment to give her what she wanted.  Those two women are going to have a wonderful night together.

    We all have our triggers.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      Great ending.  I can’t wait for my book club meeting tonight to inebriate myself from my “stay in your lane” facade.  This was such good writing. I had to read it a couple of times to fully absorb it.  Which is always a good thing. 

      My favorite lines “We’ve been civilized for centuries, but savage for millennia.  That’s only a thin membrane of evolutionary decorum holding back our base urges, incessant in their demands to be satisfied.”
       
      We got a hot one here!  This was great, Frank.

    • Frank, this rocks. The rhythm and cadence of your writing never lets up until the climax.
      There are two lines that are simply awesome:
       
      We’ve been civilized for centuries, but savage for millennia.
       
      A few of my targets just need to inebriate themselves in order to dissolve their “stay in your lane” daytime façade.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch

      P.S. [edit to say “wow” I didn’t even see Jeanette’s comment]
       
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Print this and frame it! Outstanding job! Damn!

  6. Martha says:

    It was the incessant cheeping of the alarm clock that finally penetrated her brain and reminded her that it was time to get up. If her mom was here, she’d whip open the curtains, throw open the windows, and tell her it was time to get the stink off. Her mom, the indomitable, impossible and let’s not forget, Cecilia thought, frequently inebriated former Beet Queen was a force to be reckoned with, even when her life had descended into chaos. Being retired and reduced to civilian status hadn’t agreed with Lynette although if she was honest, Cecilia could recognize that the military lifestyle hadn’t always agreed with her mom.  What Lynette called showing initiative was often labeled insubordination. It was her creative approach to managing inventory that finally did her in, although Cecilia suspected ensuring she got her daily tot was more likely the root of her dismissal. Cecilia sighed. Her mom was lucky that she’d escaped with an early retirement for “medical reasons” rather than the dishonorable discharge her daughter had thought would be more likely. It was no use reminding herself of all the triggers her mom’s alcoholism provoked in her. One day at a time, one day at a time, she repeated to herself.  And yet, she couldn’t ignore it. “Why’d you do it Mom?” she’d asked with more than a little exasperation creeping into her voice. Her mom had said nothing, but lay there, her lifeless eyes speaking volumes. Cecilia shook her head to erase that last image.  It was time to get up and go to the funeral. It was time to say goodbye to Cpt. Lynette McColl (Ret.).

  7. Anne Wayman says:

    At first they found indomitable, even though a civilian. He was incessant with his creeping initiative that most saw as a creative but impossible scheme that would result in only chaos. However, once he was inebriated it was clear his triggers misfired more often than not.

  8. Aniket Khujneri says:

    Once there was a con artist..he was indomitable! and with years of practice in his profession that creep became so creative that he also mastered the art of even cracking mission impossible! His new thinking, initiatives and destructive mind incessantly helped him in breaching the cops everytime. the gutsy guy always triggered the police before every robbery!! being a civilian he always made the cops in chaos and despite of efforts by the police he always made the whole system inebriate shame by his charismatic work!

    • Yep, that’s an apt description of a successful con artist. Great job, Aniket!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Aniket: haha. I’d like you to put a name to this con artist and create a series with it.

      • Aniket Khujneri says:

        haha….shall we name the series Catch the Creative Con! (CCC)
        name of the artist would on the name of the person who has the most creative posts! 🙂
        really getting addicted to CCC….

        • KathleenL says:

          Aniket — Glad you broke your last post and became inspired. I have to agree with Mitch… I could understand the creep

  9. Frank Ruiz says:

    Jeanette, thanks for the good words!  I appreciate you taking the time and effort fully absorb what I wrote.  I may be a victim of academic writing, as I know we’re known for our uncessarily overdone sentences!

    Martha, really powerful story.  It’s always painful when a child has to bury her parent, but even worse when she knows her Mom was responsible for her accelerated journey to the grave.

    Anne, it’s amazing how you managed to put all the words into such a short space!  Very impressive!

  10. Here is my contribution for today’s poem, again another rush I am swamped at my day job.
     

    Restoring Freedom


    Against impossible odds
    an indomitable civilian
    proclamation triggers
    incessant chaos


     
    A creative initiative
    inebriate expectations
    halting the power creep
    restoring freedom
     

  11. Deadly Winter’s Game

    Indomitable Snowman – him no melt
    Civilian casualties – that mean “killed”
    Incessant barrage snowballs – endless pelt
    Creep delivering bullets – score a welt.
    Initiative required! Make him wilt!
    Creative awful weapon in toolbelt?
    Impossible to snare him – him too svelte.
    Chaos in the killing zone – ambush dealt!
    Inebriated soldier – no pain felt,
    Triggers solution: fiery catapult!

  12. Alisa says:

    On his command, the squad would creep forward towards the seemingly indomitable target. One shot each: 12 triggers pulled, 12 bullets. It was an impossible mission. He hoped that there would be no civilian casualties in the chaos.
    “Are you still working on that screenplay for your creative writing class?” his roommate asked. “Your incessant typing kept me up all night.”
    The writer rolled his eyes and continued typing.
    His roommate pulled his chair away from the desk, forcing him away from the computer. “I’m going to take the initiative here, and see to it that you’re thoroughly inebriated by the end of happy hour.” He leaned in and looked at the screen. “Consider this my ‘impossible mission.'”

  13. Jeanette R. says:

    @Alisa. I remember those old college days with the annoying roomates always wanting to party. I miss that!  Well done.

  14. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! Where you done gone off to last night? I done went to da wrong class dis mornin’ and fell into some indomitable luv with dis lady-gal dat I was arguing wit incessantly whiles you was tardy. She talked all proper like, like one of them there civilianized Gray Pupon commercials, on account of she done gone through eight years of college already and is fixin’ to be a soft-more next year. She thought I was a creep, but since she’s seen I’s got some initiative with da ladies, she’s already done found all types of creative ways to take my under-britches off.”

    “Bobby, it’s impossible for me to explain what done happened. It was pure chaos. I done woked up starring at a strange ceiling over a strange bed. I looks down and sees I’m naked wit my scrappy lizard lookin’ like a sleepin’ turtle. Den I looks over and sees dis gal starring at me smilin’ wide. I knows I was inebriated last night, but I musta been sober when I woked up, cause da sight of her done triggered da throwup.”

    “Was she really dat bad Bobby?”

    “Da throwup looked better. But, you know what. Now dat my two brain cells done thought it over a tad, I’m kinda fallin’ for dat gal. She had a purdy tooth. I can’t remember her name, but her roommate, da one dat was takin’ care of two fellers at the same time last night, her name was Bobby Sue.”
     
    Just stoppin’ by to drop this in before I forget it. Will comment later guys. You guys rock. Bye.

    • Triple Ewww! This is so grossly funny, I don’t know where to turn. Pretty vomit, single-toothed vixen and the indomitable Bobby Sue.
       
      Wow!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Gotta love these guys, every time lol!

      • KathleenL says:

        Shane, Shane, Shane, Shane, Shane –“…indomitable luv” I didn’t know there was love like
        this!
        “…creative ways to take my under-britches off.” Okay…
        hope my laughter wasn’t too loud there.
        “….Da throwup looked better…” Yuke
        Shane, EEEEEEeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Really! Yuck J
        “… my two brain cells done thought it over.”
         No doubt. And I do love this self analysis
        Bobby has! It’s priceless and funnier than all get-out! Thanks for takin’ the
        time and makin’ me laugh.

  15. maria says:

     
    His name is Mr. Parks. I’ve been seeing him for about two months but I’m sure I like him. My problems are impossible; he prattles on, incessant to the point of ridiculousness, about ‘my triggers’ and ‘group therapy.’ Sometimes he has good advice, such as when he insists that I take initiative and move out of my mother’s house, find my own indomitable spirit, but I always seem to find creative ways around his ideas.
     
    Here we are again today. Amidst the chaos of my life, he tells me I need to read Norman Vincent Peale’s ‘The Power of Positive Thinking.’ That nails it for me. I need serious help, but he’s a civilian in the middle of a nasty war, thinking that because he can empathize with the victims, that somehow helps them.
     
    I pay his nice secretary, a woman who looks like the neighborhood inebriate, and creep away, back to the house, where the first thing I do is call and cancel my upcoming appointment. Then it’s back to the Internet, trying to find someone, anyone, who can help me.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Maria: You fit those words into this submission effortlessly. Unbold them and I would not know which was which. Great job.

    • Maria, your character scares me. The local news just had a segment on “The Dangers of Self-diagnosing”, so I can see where the character might feel that the Internet is a manageable asset.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  16. Frank Ruiz says:

    Alisa, Mitch,and Shane, thanks so much for your comments!

    Alisa, I wish I was like the writer in your story, writing screenplays in college.  It would have made things much more fun!

    Mitch, your poem was awesome, and it made me wish I had rhyming skills during my D&D days so I could recite it to my Dungeon Master!

    Shane, your story had me laughing throughout my read!  “She had a purdy tooth!”  Only one?  Haha!

    Aniket, Justin, and Maria, I loved your stories too!

    Aniket, it seems like all I see are Con Artists on the TV these days, and they all follow the description of the one you describe here.

    Justin, awesome poem!  I love how poetry makes the images burn in my mind more vividly.

    Maria, your story also painted a vivid picture in my mind.  It’s often the case that we’re underwhelmed when seeking help from supposed experts.  Hopefully the internet can help your Protagonist learn that we might be the best shot at helping ourselves.

  17. Rebecca says:

    @ Margaret … Loved your poem!

  18. Rebecca says:

    Michaela, Rava’s mom, worried the home would be in complete and utter chaos because Julia was staying with Rava. Julia was a creative type – Michaela was the complete opposite. She wouldn’t hang out with people who’d have contests to see if they could inebriate each other in a fast amount of time. To be fair, this only happened once at Julia’s 30th birthday party. Julia knew Michaela’s ‘triggers’ and would push them to see if she could push her out of her comfort zone. It usually backfired. Michaela thought Julia to be impossible and indomitable. Rava liked this about Julia – total opposite of her mom. Julia, however, took the initiative to offer to watch Rava. That was progress. There was no incessant argument about not having the time or not ‘feeling’ right about it. Julia was into her feelings. She believes she’s more ‘awake’ than most people. She always says, “I’m not a typical civilian who’s easily led like a sheep. I allow no icky thoughts to creep into my mind and control me.” She was out there, so to speak. But in a good way.

  19. Adam M says:

    “Johnathon,” I said curtly, even as a felt a cold sensation creep up my spine.
     
    “Turn around, this will be easier without your impossible attitude,” he lowered his gun down and reached into his pocket, producing a set of small handcuff keys.
     
    “What are you doing?” I spun around and thrust out my cuffs, listening to the incessant pounding at the door. “Better question: what are they doing? That door wasn’t locked when I came through it.”
     
    “Lockdown,” Johnathon said hurriedly as he unlocked my cuffs, “it automatically triggers if the council is thought to be in danger.” I felt the metal slide off one wrist, and the cool air hit my raw wrists, making me flinch a little.
     
    “That’s a… creative solution.” I turned around and held up my other hand.
     
    “No time, they’ll override the lockdown any second and…” I cut him off with a punch to his solar plexus. He doubled over with a shocked look on his face.
     
    “I’m not going to have you become some useless inebriate civilian because they think you helped me,” I said quietly, leaning forward. “Just tell them I overpowered you in all the chaos.”
     
    The door made an audible clicking sound and I could see it opening. Taking the initiative, I pushed him harshly up against the door and started running down the fluorescent, sterile halls. Maybe getting out of this place wasn’t going to be as indomitable as I thought.

  20. Sean Murphy says:

    Alas, my creative initiative has this week fallen in the face of the incessant creep of sore throats, headaches, and fevers. My normally indomitable constitution has raised the white flag like a cowering civilian, letting the virus lay down chaos throughout my body. Truly, this distressing state makes it impossible to think clearly, and triggers in me the desire to inebriate myself with cough syrup and throat lozenges.
     
     
    Sorry all, no zombies this week 😛 hopefully I’ll be feeling better soon though 🙂

  21. Rev. Criss says:

    The creep stands toe-to-toe with me, triggers nausea with alcohol breath so potent it would inebriate me, as the metal pod shrieks to a halt at West 4th Street.  Chaos ensues as an incessant wave of civilians defines impossible through my failure at being indomitable, rips my hand from its grip on the pole and hurls me onto the platform.  Then I take creative initiative and push forward with the tide, back into the car.

    • Rev. Criss says:

      Probably better as a 34th St. experience, but W4th came to me first.  Someone said it takes 500 words to get the 10 words into what they’re writing — I looked at the words for what they have in common for me.  That made this idea pretty easy for me.  It’s also a “write what you know” moment — being born/raised in NYC and riding the subways since age 7.  I’ll try some others and see if I can be this concise.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rev. Chriss: Wow! That was powerful stuff. Write on.

  22. Cathy Miller says:

    With the indomitable resolve of the innocent, the young woman clawed at the wood planks sealing the lone opening to the hellhole that had been her life for the last two days. Or was it three? No matter. Her small window of opportunity was now.

    She was a civilian in this war of wills, but she kept at her task with incessant concentration, unwilling to allow the evil form to creep back into her conscious mind. She was done crying. What had it accomplished? Her only initiative now was finding a creative solution to an impossible situation.

    The dank room echoed with the sound of her efforts as her muscles screamed with the chaos of fear and unrelenting need. She found her body skidding across the cement floor as suddenly a wooden barrier to freedom tore free. Laughing with an inebriate joy, she felt the triggers to hope release in volcanic eruption.

    “Leaving so soon?”
     

    • Jeanette Ruiz says:

      @Cathy Oooooohhhhh.  This put a chill up my spine.  You painted such a vivid picture.  Nicely done!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: So … this will be part of another book right? Loved it indeed.

      • KathleenL says:

        Cathy
        – I like the opening of this piece… it triggers
        an impossible intoxication…. Yes,
        words can inebriate this semi-creative mind. Civilian though I may be, I look forward to reading the creepy chaos other wordsmiths  put
        to the page. It is a thirst oh so indomitable
        that my initiative to have my
        employer pay me while I read CCC-ers “pennings” … is..  an incessant
        drawI can’t wait to read more as the ending,
        is not an ending at all… right, says the wordjunky.

  23. Hana Frank says:

    The old you saw galaxies of time, rolling on forever, as shiny and incessant as stars. You felt bullet proof and indomitable, like Superwoman. You liked to inebriate yourself on junk food, alcohol, cigarettes, late nights dancing at ear splitting night clubs. Sunday mornings you woke to a dry mouth and a buzzing sound in your ears.
     
    There were so many creative ways to flirt with danger. You climbed into cars and beds with strangers, experimented without a seat belt, without road maps, bungee jumped into life’s shark infested waters, into chaos.
     
    But the green civilian who borrowed your body is far behind. You’ve assessed the damage and now creep on wards, a more prepared and cautious soldier. You take the initiative, alert to the triggers for bad health or death. You google heartresearch.com. You meditate, go for long walks, take omega 3 supplements, eat low fat everything. You make lists and stick to routines. But the years are whizzing by, faster and faster, like bullets.
     
    And although it’s impossible, you want to roll on forever.

    • Jeanette Ruiz says:

      @Hana Frank.  My green civilian escaped my body years ago. This was very creative. I loved it!

      • Hana Frank says:

        Thanks Jeanette : ) – I love the way random words force you to be a bit more creative. I’m finding that responding to these prompts is a great writing exercise.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Hana: Your best yet! Super, super job.

  24. The Day One Fell
    They were an indomitable team. From their civilian childhood, through the incessant mumblings of various family members who said that the military was not a worthwhile career for them, or who predicted they would wash out.
    Jamie nearly did, but with Morgan always there, urging and encouraging, the creep through the mud and the bullets whizzing overhead were almost bearable.
    They had taken the initiative to enter the military together. It would take a creative excuse to give up and go home. Saving face would be impossible.
    In the chaos of the desert they clung to each other. Danger lost its power to inebriate. Whatever triggers a soldier to go off the deep end held no power over them as long as they had each other.
    It was what they were meant to do. They could have retired after being wounded. They didn’t ask.
    They could have written their families about how frustrated yet fulfilled, miserable but fortunate they felt in the service to their country. They didn’t tell.
    They fought for their country, until the day one fell.

  25. Aniket Khujneri says:

    @ all…since day 1 of my inception into this creative platform i fell in love with it! back to back stories, such lateral thinking! hats off to all the members! As a man advances in life he becomes more serious and conscious in life, i think i have found the right path to advance in life….
    love,
    ani 🙂

    • Jeanette Ruiz says:

      @Ani. I too have fallen in love with CCC.  I love the freedom it allows for all writer’s to express themselves.  I no longer hate Mondays…or Thursdays 🙂

  26. KathleenL says:

    Mind-full Conversation – continued

    “Hey there Lovie. I have come to realize that I find great comfort in the fact that the creep has not been free to roam this earth freely since that night. Never again will he be a civilian, this makes me smile … a little, okay maybe a lot … inside, sometimes even openly. Okay, this is hopeful, of course. The jury has not even been seated yet; the evidence has not been laid out for a jury of his peers – that sticks in my craw.” There is always an ache in her chest as she said it… “‘a jury of his bloody ass peers’, his bloody peers… what — people who sell drugs? People who have timber-selling businesses? Kidnappers? Rapists? Human traffickers? Incestuous murderers?

    “No, no those type of peers … most of them … don’t sit on juries,” a small uneasy chuckle escapes from her voice box, “Yah son, I hope they don’t too.

    “Did I tell you, Loive? We do have a court date. September 12th,” she sighed deeply, wonder if he could hear her; if he was listening. Yes, she could feel him. He was listening, albeit, in that moment of distance he was checking on his girl. He was back now. “She knows Lovie. She knows,” she said reassuringly.

    “The jaded side of me knows juries are made up of humans… and humans are fickle. I am worried, Lovie. They have to judge the evidence by the letter of the law,” she sighs again. “I don’t know … I don’t know the D.A. very well, I don’t really know the evidence, even if we feel it is indomitable I don’t know if the evidence they have can prove ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’. I don’t know how good his defense team are. I have only had a glimpse. Although the D.A. reassured dad and I, the very first time we spoke, that he had ‘three people from his office on-scene that night to ensure nothing was messed up.’ But, right now, it is impossible for me to have confidence in things I don’t know. You know, Lovie?

    “Yes, Loive… I have seen the D.A. and the Defense attorneys in action, at the Prelim… You are right. But I am confident that the chaos of that day will be torn apart by the defense. Hell, I am, and have been, worried they will try to blame it all on yah’ll. You’ve heard me say that to our girl. “Good defense attorney’s” do that, you know. Blame the crime on the victims. It’s their job. After all, someone is paying them to try to save this rat bastard’s life. And, as you have heard me tell your sisters… ‘They find value in his life, even if we don’t Lovie,’” he had grown accustom to his mom’s ability to look at things from more than one perspective.

    “But… I don’t think a jury will believe a 19-year-old boy,” she paused momentarily, a smile growing on her face as she looked up at the family photo, “they will call you ‘a man’, ‘a young man’ but you were just a boy, a boy, a boy, my boy on his way to manhood, Lovie,” she said with much affection as her stomach cramped, knotted, the smile was replaced, breathing became labored, halted… the tears silently trickled down from her eyes, again.

    It took a multitude of moments, but she regained control over her breathing. She left the tears alone. Since she stopped whipping the tears away many, many months go – the rawness of the skin around her eyes had actually gotten healed– her checks remained damp.

    “No, I don’t know how long this trial will take, honey. I did asked the DA; he said it would go until it was done. The Court does not set a time limit on it. Not like out here. But maybe its trials like this… not just a difference between states.”

    The unknown of how a Oklahoma’s court system ran was an incessant reminder of the lack of control she had over this, “Over anything,” she said aloud to him as her stomach drew tight again, followed by an audible moan leaking from her lungs, muffled by clenched teeth.

    After much pause she said, “He only plans to let it run its course. Sure makes it hard to plan our time away from home.”

    Extending her left arm out, she reached for her cup of soothingencouragement. She brought the cup to her lips. The aroma of the French Roast was comforting. She drank, slowly, emptying half it’s contents before putting it back down on the table.

    “What gives someone the initiative to do that?” she said shaking her head. “What kind of person does it take to be so creative with moral rights and WRONGS?” she was yelling inside. “What triggers a person to think any of that stuff is acceptable?” she sighed and said, “I know Lovie, you don’t know either. I know, I know… it’s not what any of us expected out of him. I know Lovie. I know.”

    She looked up as he felt his hand in her’s. Changing her focus, his touch did, she became lightly inebriate with memories of him.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: Most excellent submission. You control your thoughts. That bleep can never take that away from you. He took your son, but he’ll never take your spirit (or your son’s).

      • KathleenL says:

        Shane — Thanks. For the kindness… you are right … that fella, as long as he is behind bars, cannot hurt my baby boy any more; nor my girls,; nor anyone out of Orange. I hope my Mind-full Converstations are not too heavy. I think they will end up making an okay surviver’s/endurer’s booklet. Maybe. It feels better to let it out in this form. It was better than the nightmare I was having just before I wrote this.

  27. Jeanette Ruiz says:

    @KathleenL  Quite powerful.  Good job.
     

  28. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thank you! I’ve been working on the plot and character development. I thinking about a 300 page YA novel. I need to create an outline. Usually, I’m not one for outlines, but…

  29. Kelly says:

    [REDACTED] MOUNTAIN. 1 JAN 1968

    Dear Joe,

    Well, I hope you guys had a good Christmas. Sure wish I was there. Your package got through—Lord knows how—I read your letter with a tear in my eye, I won’t lie to you, and I passed around a few of the smokes to the guys. Thanks! You sure know just what to get your brother for Christmas!

    How’m I doing?

    It’s the boredom that’ll kill you.

    That’s what they always say, but I’m not so sure anymore, Joe. By day we creep along in the jungle mud ‘til we’re soaked. We fry all night—it’s impossible to sleep, really—in tents so full of holes that bugs the size of badgers can walk in. Nobody’s got any initiative anymore, we just muck, muck, muck along with every day the same. The heat makes you crazy, the lice make you itch, the quiet isn’t quiet because we’re paranoid (and we should be!) about what it’s hiding, and then one day the incessant noise stops bothering you, too, and that’s the day when you start thinking boredom would be pretty nice.

    Oh, to be young and ignorant and never have come to this green hell. What I wouldn’t give to be back to my old civilian ways, sitting around a campfire, arranged like creative chaos on the side of the mountain with you and a few of the gang, too inebriated to hike back down ‘til morning!

    Don’t let Mom read this letter, Joe. Let her off easy this time, ha ha! I know she’s got the indomitable ol’ pioneer spirit and all, but I hate for her to think of me wasting away like this. And I guess I don’t want her to hear my whining. I hope next time I write I can at least tell you a story of some great battle we went though. Something more heroic than sitting here like the poor trapped ducks that we are, waiting for the hunters to pull their triggers.

    Love to all,

    Billy

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Flawlessly worked in those words to make them invisible, even though you bolded them. Well done.

      • Kelly says:

        Shane—”Inebriate” is hard to work in and sound natural, but the rest flows pretty well, eh? I thought of them creeping along in the Vietnamese mud, and away I went with this one.

  30. Greetings group. I’m new, my name is Jaclyn and I look forward to connecting. I am submitting this from my iPad therefor it won’t let me bold the words. They’re all there, I think. That said, I present to you my prompt entitled “A Lesson From Lola.”
     
     
    Inspiration and wine are triggers that help Lola with her initiative to grow as a creative. When curled up alongside a glass of vanilla laden Pinot Noir, Lola can create the impossible works she has longed to write. During these silent hours of wine fueled solitude, Lola is an indomitable idea machine, a wizard of words. But one too many glasses can lead to chaos as headaches and blocked emotions creep into her aura. The moral of Lola’s story is that wine need not inebriate, rather it should liberate and awaken the incessant initiative to stand out as a civilian of culture. This is a lesson from Lola.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jaclyn: A late welcome to you! Great first submission. Don’t worry about the bold stuff either. We understand.

      Let us know what you thought of the challenge. And make sure to stop by each Monday and Thursday.
      Adding your name and url to our CCC Community Links page now.

      Everyone welcome Jaclyn to the addiction.

  31. Cathy Miller says:

    @Jaclyn-Welcome to CCC!

    Here the indomitable flow of words transform from civilian prose to masterpiece. The incessant flow of inspiration will creep into your soul, taking the initiative of banning mediocrity.

    The creative patter you once thought impossible shatters the chaos of doubt to inebriate you with its power, which triggers the addiction we now share.

    Welcome!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy:

      “She’s indomitable, man. No civilian should have such power. The incessant consistency is creepy.”

      “Yeah, my number one initiative is to be like her.”

      “You’re creative, man, but that’s impossible. The chaos in your brain would melt it by trying. Sure, the thought inebriates, but Cathy’s the only one who can finger the trigger.”


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