Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #163

Today we have something special. I sent out some tweets asking bloggers to give me one random word for this challenge. The following 10 bloggers played nice and contributed (blogger #1 chose word #1, etc.):

  1. Graham Strong – Graham Strong’s Novel Writing Blog
  2. Cyndi Tefft
  3. Nicky- Freelance Medical Writer
  4. Maureen
  5. AmyBeth Inverness -  A little science, a little fiction, a little romance, a little friction.
  6. Amy M. Young
  7. Alisa Bonsignore
  8. Stacey Cornelius – creative marketing advice
  9. Sarah E. Olson
  10. Nikki Groom – Resonate

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. Moist
  2. Frogs
  3. Piglet
  4. Dream
  5. Ack
  6. Heartbreak
  7. Pickle
  8. Meddling
  9. Degenerate
  10. Rambunctious

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


65 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #163”

  1. Cathy Miller says:

    Some people I follow on that list! 🙂

    The morning air was moist with the hint of rain. The frogs were croaking good morning and a piglet was crying for its momma. The setting seemed lifted from a dream and I had to pinch myself to make sure I was awake.

    I walked along the water when I fell hard onto the grassy shore. What had I tripped over?

    My eyes scanned my path when suddenly I saw it.

    Ack, oh my God.”

    I backpedaled and felt the heartbreak of my discovery. Half buried behind a fallen log, I saw a hand extending in a silent plea. My heart pounded at the pickle I found myself in.

    “Me,” I murmured, “what about this poor soul?” I knew she was dead. The blue tinge of color mocked her scarlet nails.

    I wasn’t one for meddling in someone else’s business, but this had just become mine. Whatever degenerate left her here needed to be found. With a hand that shook badly, I pulled my Blackberry from its holder and called 911.

    “911, what’s your emergency?”

    I could barely control my quivering voice, “I found a body.”

    The quiet morning gave way to the rambunctious sounds of sirens, police dispatch, and my own labored breathing.

    What had my mother said that morning?

    “Have a nice day.”

  2. Amy says:

    The rain misted down, just enough to get the blades of grass moist, while the frogs sang out their heartbreak, love songs in the dying light. The scene was like a dream – no meddling children, who had spent the day chasing the new piglet around the farm and being generally rambunctious.
    They’d been loud enough to annoy Old Man Smith whose “Ack! You degenerate kids!” could be heard from the house next door. They weren’t bad at all, just not used to the fresh air and large open spaces of the country, which lead them getting into a pickle every now and then.

  3. margaret says:

    Rambunctious I’ve been forever
    but meddling almost never.
    You cannot call me fickle
    unless I’m in a pickle.

    I’ve been known to holler “ACK”
    when in a dream moist frogs attack!
    And a degenerate I’m not,
    when I proclaim that Piglet‘s hot!!

    It’s a heartbreak, though to me,
    that people are not always free
    to believe in who they are
    and to follow their own star.

  4. “What is the most degenerate biology experiment you can imagine?” Professor Hawthorne loved to shock his freshmen. They thought they were going to be quizzed on last week’s frogs. Their looks of studious heartbreak were priceless. The professor spun on his heels and left the room. He had no intention of meddling with the group dynamic.

    “What the fuck?” Jeremy looked around at his classmates. His rambunctious outburst hinted at juvenile mutiny – seeking only a few corroborating cohorts to actualize the threat.

    Ack! I spent all night studying … for this?” Sarah was mildly annoyed. Her dream of pre-med seemed more like a pickled nightmare, two weeks in. First remedial math, now this bullshit.

    Fred, who fancied himself a comedian, piped up, “I say we all write the same thing. Something like performing a vivisection on a live piglet.”

    “That’s redundant, moron!” The anonymous retort earned a few chuckles. It seemed to open the floodgates. Others began to chime in, creating a hubbub of bewilderment. Books slammed closed, blue quiz books slid meaninglessly to and fro, while pens clicked and tapped in disgust. The instruments of learning were missing the compass of reasoning.

    Slowly, however, the voices settled down to the moist undertones of nervous beginners not quite ready to don their capes of independent thought. One after another, the students opened their blank books and began scribbling.

    • Anne Wayman says:

      would that it were that easy to quiet a classroom of teenagers!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Mitchell Allen. Best line for me “voices settled down to the moist undertones of nervous beginners not quite ready to don their capes of independent thought.” 

      How true that is when you are a freshman. It wasn’t till I went to college that someone asked me what I thought. I was like “me, have opinions. Wtf?”  😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: I’ll second what Jeanette said. That line flowed with effortless grace and power.

  5. I stood as still as I could, palms moist, head pounding. Two rambunctious children ran circles around me. From the corner of my eye I saw a stuffed Piglet flash past, tucked securely under a small arm. His too-bright sweatshirt had neon green frogs doing gymnastics across the back.
    The other sported a Bill the Cat t-shirt with a single word: Ack. I appreciated the sentiment and the illustration.

    I hoped playtime wouldn’t degenerate into an inevitable squabble, or worse, crying fit.

    I wanted to ask the woman sitting near the window to corral them, but knew better. Parents take exception to strangers meddling into their business.

    My dearly departed grandmother would call it a pickle. I tried not to think about the heartbreak she must have felt when I announced there would be no grandchildren, ever.
    “It was her dream,” I reminded myself, “Not yours.”

  6. Anne Wayman says:

    Those 10 bloggers were rambunctious, and their submitted words degenerated into a meddling pickle. It was heartbreaking! Ack! All, however, was not lost. That end was also the beginning of a dream where piglets were happy, and the frogs had plenty of moisture and the world worked for everyone.

  7. Flash! Look at her go 🙂

  8. Shane Arthur says:

    programming note: Figures! I’m swamped today. I’ll post and respond later today. You guys rock!

  9. Jeanette R. says:

    Continued from CCC #162

    The moist towel she had been using over her eyes was sitting in a clump on the ground. She stared at the water escaping from it to under the credenza in which she sat.  “The headaches have gotten worse… and so have the dreams.”

    “Do you need me to turn off the lights?  Perhaps we can light some candles. I have a desk lamp I can use to take my notes” Dr. Gomez studied her reaction.  He noticed she looked frail and probably had lost a few pounds. 

    Since last year, Margaret had been a steady patient of his.  Her diagnosis was a textbook case of paranoid personality disorder.  She would usually involve herself in degenerative relationships, which would cause her enormous heartbreak on the account of confirming her suspicions of the world.  “I knew he was scum of the Earth. If I weren’t meddling into his work affairs, I would never have found out he was cheating. He was a sick puppy, he would stick his pickle wherever he found room. ”

    Dr. Gomez walked over to his patient and motioned for her to lie down on the couch. “Have you thought more about the phone call?” The patient put her arm over her eyes and mumbled something inaudible. 

    “Was that a yes?” Dr. Gomez picked up his purple pad.  He wasn’t thrilled with the color choice of his assistant but he decided to roll with it.  It was a step in his own therapy to break out of his routine. 

    “It’s all I can think about.  I keep playing it over and over in my head. What should I ask myself?  What do I want to know? What if I’m miserable in the future?  What if I’m paralyzed from a skiing accident and I can’t even speak?  What if..”

    “Margaret, let’s take this line of thinking in another direction.  What if things are great?  What if you had a breakthrough in therapy and life has gotten easier.  My favorite quote is that ‘worry is the misuse of your imagination.’ Think about that.  You could be using that mind of yours for..” His patient got up from the couch, grabbed the phone receiver and started to dial.

    “Ack!  What are you doing? You can’t just dial any number on the phone. Hang up right now!”  Margaret stared at him in horror and slowly put the receiver down.  After a few labored breaths, the Doctor reached for the phone.

    “I appreciate your rambunctious enthusiasm, but I have to dial it for you.  When the person, ‘you,’ answers remember they will think you are a friend or family member.   So don’t be alarmed if they call you by a different name.”  Dr. Gomez consulted his files and found the number to dial.  He handed her the phone when it started to ring.

    “Hello?  Bill put those frog looking things in the box with the piglets. Why she collected all this shit is beyond me. Hello?  Is someone there?” Margaret froze.  She covered the receiver. 

    “Doctor, it’s not me.  It’s a man on the other line.”  The doctor was taken aback. This had never happened before. He motioned for her to keep talking while he grabbed for the manual on his bookshelf and started to flip through it. 

    “Hellllllo?  Is anyone there?”

    “Hi, yes, sorry my cell phone broke up.”

    “Cell phone, who calls it that anymore?  How are you, Penny? I thought you were supposed to come over and help us clean this shit up. “

    She could see the doctor doing a hand gesture out of the corner of her eye.  She looked up to see horror on his face.

    “Oh, I was, um, just calling to see if I should bring anything?” She shrugged her shoulders and covered the receiver. “What the hell is wrong with you?  You want me to hang up?  You’re freaking me out, Doctor.”

    The doctor knew that overreacting to the situation would just make things worse so he slowly put the book away and walked over to her and grabbed her hand.  She kept listening to the person on the line.

    “Hey are you still there? Bring what? We are trying to get stuff out of here not bring anything in.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of chotskies are in this house.  Margaret was hoarding her entire life in this one bedroom apartment.  Whatever, I’m sure we can get it all sold on Ebay.  Hopefully that will pay for her funeral.”

    • oops! LOL
      That was great! She should have listened to her gut.
      Speaking of great, that line about worry is awesome!
      Well done, Jeanette!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: That was so awesome. You took me right inside this person’s head and took me on a ride too. Love when that happens.

  10. Alisa says:

    Eeyore stood knee-deep in the moist soil, listening to the frogs. He was still reeling from the heartbreak he felt when he discovered that his tail was missing. He had a dream that Piglet had put up signs announcing his “LOZT TALE” but only that meddling Rabbit had responded, complaining that they had misspelled the words, and wasn’t that just another sign of a degenerate society? Eeyore didn’t even know what that meant. All he knew was that he was still lacking a tail, and if he didn’t find it soon, he’d be in a real pickle.
    The frogs suddenly fell silent. Eeyore knew that this could mean only one thing: his rambunctious friend, Tigger, must be nearby. “Ack!” he cried, crouching down to protect himself from a bouncy Tigger attack.
    Yes, I have a preschooler. How can you tell?

  11. Jake says:

    Piglet awoke just as the sun was slowly creeping through the small window in his tree.  He felt unusually rambunctious and uneasy, and groggy from another restless night.  He walked into his kitchen and poured a cup of coffee; a choice he later regretted.  Caffeine only increased the anxiety that infected his soul, but he needed to wake up.  Another night without sleep  would only cause his mood to slowly degenerate throughout the day and coffee was the one thing that kept him hanging on.

    The dream still lay vivid in his mind, eerily real and yet nightmarish.  The frogs leapt through his house, colored pink and purple like the Heffalumps and Woozles that Pooh often spoke of.  But these characters were not the whimsical pranksters whose sole purpose was to make off with ones honey.  No, these creatures were far more sinister, and their nocturnal antics bared down on Piglet’s fragile psyche.  Laughing as they leapt from one part of the room to the next. “Ack!  Ack!  Ack!” they screamed as Piglet did his best to hide.  “Ack!  Pathetic Parenthetical Pink Pharaoh shall perish at our hands!”  What did it mean?  Did it matter?  Piglet wept in fear.

    He  walked outside, the ground still moist from last night’s rain.  From where he stood, he could see Pooh coming out of his house.  “Under the name of Sanders?!” Piglet hissed under his breath.  “Lying sack of shit!” he thought.  “Stuffed with fluff?  More like stuffed with shit!”  He had reached his breaking point.  The thought of Pooh meddling in his life any further only caused Piglet more fear.  He’d had enough of the constant lies, the careless theft, the arrogant barging in at lunch time, demanding what little honey Piglet had.  He had to do something, but the thought of what that meant sent a surge of fear through him.  The heartbreak would be all too real, although not from Pooh’s death, but from the loneliness that would follow.  The thought of further isolation within the Hundred Acre Wood forced Piglet back inside.  The tension continued.  The dichotomy remained.  He was in a pickle.  Not a pickle that he could bite, but one that would soon bite him.              

  12. Adam M says:

    It’s moist.
    Something is moist. Something is moist and painful.
    Like a dream, meddling in the affairs of degenerate little pigs… little piglets.
    It’s really painful and moist. And I need to get somewhere, I need to get up.
    I opened my eyes and had to bite my tongue to keep myself from screaming. I could feel my leg twisted into a strange shape, and felt the blood welling up into my pant leg.
    Sometimes being rambunctious sucks. I really need to leave jumping to the frogs.
    I was in a pickle, I wasn’t sure how long I had been out, but it couldn’t have been long if I wasn’t surrounded by black suited thugs yet. Grabbing the bottom of my shirt, I started ripping pieces of it off into little bands. Thank goodness it was already torn.
    I took a few ragged breaths and spotted a usable slab of drywall debris, and got to work binding my leg with a makeshift splint. It wasn’t going to be pretty, but I couldn’t stand the heartbreak of being caught again. I was also banking that my pants would be enough to slow down the bleeding.
    It would have helped if I’d known where I was.
    Allowing myself a few grunts and acks, I tried to stand up, using the wall as a support. Making my way towards a large pile of construction refuse, I searched for something to use as a crutch, and prayed to whoever would listen that I would get out of this place. Preferably alive.

  13. Sean Murphy says:

    A zombie story, part 6 (continued from ccc 162)
    This one was a bit of a challenge, but I definitely liked the way it turned out! This time we’re exploring a bit of Grant and Dave’s past and how they came to be where they are.

    The evening air at the rest stop was moist, heady with the scent of eucalyptus and damp soil. The familiar sound of frogs chirping as twilight conquered the day eased his soul after weeks spent in the core of the infected city. Surrounded by nature, leaning against the cinderblock wall of the small roadside bathroom, he could almost believe the world had returned to normal. Except that the memories wouldn’t rest. The long drive up the highway, lined with deserted cars, had stirred thoughts of the outbreak Grant has been trying to suppress.
    They’d been at an end of the world party. The irony wasn’t lost on Grant, though he didn’t believe the zombies were the ancient Mayan predictions they’d used as an excuse to throw a kegger on campus. But it was 2012, and it had made a good theme for the biggest party of the year. They’d draped the great court in red and orange streamers, hired out special lights, smoke machines, the works. They’d even built a fake volcano in the central walkway. On the night of the infection, the trees had seemed to dance with fire, like an unformed dream of the sun’s surface. The party was big enough that he and Dave had both been there, though his brother was in his third year and Grant was just a freshman.
    He could still see it clearly. How he’d struggled to follow Emily’s shock of jet black hair through the smoke and the crowd of rambunctious students doing their best to get pickled on cheap beer and vodka-infused punch. How his pulse had raced when she’d cornered him at the volcano, those perfect lips brushing his cheek as she whispered for him to follow her somewhere more private. He’d felt almost delirious as he followed her through the crepe paper hellscape, like a lost traveller following a will’o’wisp. They’d been flirting with each other since they’d been paired up at orientation, but he hadn’t known how to take it further, and hadn’t dared to try. He’d approached the growing feeling between them as something both dangerous and delicate, scared he’d either break it or be broken by it. He could scarcely believe that she’d finally taken it out of his hands by making the first move.
    He had no problems with women in general. Though often quiet, and academically inclined, he shared enough with his brother to break any stereotype of awkwardness. He knew girls tended to find his delicate features attractive, and could be charming when he chose to. But he was introspective enough to have avoided any deep entanglements throughout high school, preferring to keep any admirers as friends, rather than girlfriends. Emily had changed all that. Something about her had tugged at him soon after they met, meddling with his usual cool front and drawing him in. Perhaps it was that she was even better at being reserved than he was. On the surface they’d shared the usual polite introductions and conversation, but something in her eyes had made him think of ocean depths and concealed mirth. She always seemed to know something he didn’t, and he could never tell if she was secretly laughing at him instead of with him when he resorted to his trademark humour. As they’d grown closer, he’d felt like an explorer, uncovering the hidden depths of a concealed city. Often their time spent together would consist of long, considered silences, each one taking comfort in the lack of need for words. Then, one of them would make an observation, and conversation would flow unhindered. Dave had found it creepy, Grant smiled as he remembered. He’d said being around them was like hanging out with pod people, starring into space for hours. But the weeks of silences and quiet murmuring had brought them to the brink of something more.

    And so, as he’d finally caught up with her, in the shadows of a stone entryway outside the great circle of lights, anticipation rode on his shoulder like a wave. The moonlight had enhanced the contrast between the pale ivory of her skin and the inky silk mass of her hair. As he’d hesitantly leaned in, cupping her chin upwards to kiss her, it was as if all his prayers had been answered. For that long, perfect moment, he felt warmth flood through him, like golden threads of perfection weaving themselves into his being. Everything was perfect.
    And then it ended. He still felt the lurching sickness of heartbreak, thinking back to that moment. They’d been locked in that first kiss, pushing back and forth as they tested the boundaries of this newness. Then something had changed in her. He’d felt her slim hands slacken, falling from his side. She’d opened her mouth as if to say something, but only a muffled “Ack” had come out.
    He’d pulled back from the kiss, anxious that he’d done something wrong, preparing a quip to cover his dissapointment if he had. Instead, he’d been captured by her eyes. Those deep green eyes, full of mystery and amusement, and this night, for the first time, something warmer. He watched, helpless, as they widened for a moment in alarm. Then, with devastating speed, he saw the perfection there degenerate into nothingness. It was as if all the complexity and mystery in that gaze was swallowed up with a pop, as blackness crept across the emerald of her pupils, filling her eyes until they were empty of everything but his reflection. Suddenly, as never before, her gaze focused on him and brought forth, not longing, but desperate, primal fear.
    It was at that moment that he heard Dave screaming out from the courtyard like a wounded piglet.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      Sean: Hot damn! That was the best episode in this series. Awesome job.

    • Wow. Can’t say much more than that. This is a riveting story. I always wondered how “the” Zombie Apocaplypse starts….
      Loved the line “but something in her eyes had made him think of ocean depths and concealed mirth.”

    • Sean Murphy says:

      Thanks guys,
      This episode was probably my favorite so far. It drew a lot more emotionally from personal experience, so it’s good to see it appreciated 🙂

  14. Shane Arthur says:

    “Ack Billy! I hope I’m dreamin,’ and I don’t want to be meddlin’, but it look like you’s in a pickle too. They’s four rubbers in dis here hamper. And they’s still moist with man-naisse. Look like your rambunctious piglet Billy-Sue was lookin’ for two princes wit two horny frog-toads while you was passed out.”

    “Bobby, looks like we’s got the long end of da short stick again. We’s love-struck degenerates, and dis here college is Heartbreak Hotel. Let’s just concentrate on our studies.”

    “Da Back Door is having 10-cent beer night tonight though.”

    “You’s right Bobby. Let’s study tomorrow.”

  15. Hana Frank says:

    Months later, when anger replaced heartbreak, she thought back to the beginning.
    From the first he’d seemed to be her dream man. A beautiful god with peacock eyes and lips as moist and red as strawberries.
    She remembered those early days of breakfast in bed.  Remembered how he would press his mouth to her ear, whisper “my little piglet,” laughing at her delight in food and the sensual.
    She’d cooked for him, paid for his meditation retreat with the great Baba Ack Mutanda, paid his rent while he studied great works of philosophy. She resisted the  warnings of meddling friends. But still, underneath she felt odd moments of doubt, like rambunctious frogs struggling towards the surface.
    And then that terrible day when he lowered his book and announced he was going back to Germany. He’d spoken as casually as a man ordering a pickle sandwich.
    Things had begun to degenerate quickly. She clung to hope while he withdrew a little more every day.  When he left for the airport she had only unpaid bills and a $20 plastic buddha as keepsakes.

  16. Kelly says:


    in a dream of heartbreak, the rambunctious pickles
    will always degenerate
    into moist frogs meddling
    with your boisterous, flop-eared piglet

  17. Rebecca says:

    The rambunctious frogs were in a pickle because the moist swamp attracted a plethora of uninvited, meddling guests like Harold, the piglet from the neighboring farm. He wandered into the swamp with his head hung low. He had a dream of being a ‘show’ pig but it was dashed when Farmer Tuckers chose Juniper to show at the fair. Harold felt like a degenerate. His heartbreak was written all over his face. “Ack! Who are you?” shouted Morgan. Harold fainted. He never saw a frog before.

  18. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thank you! I surprised myself with this story. I’m feeling very groggy today. Lol!

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