Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #168

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Water
  2. Bother
  3. Discuss
  4. Sweet
  5. Sweat
  6. Sky
  7. Celebrate 
  8. Listen
  9. Free
  10. Promise 

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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126 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #168”

  1. Jeanette R. says:

    “Why do weeds grow faster than flowers and plants?  There’s a topic to discuss.”  Alexandra grabbed her water bottle and took a swig.  

    “Could you find a more boring topic, Alex?  It’s not your turn to pick anyway.  Chole, you promised you would have a good one for us today.” Penny adjusted her hat and turned on her blinking lights.  She always wore one clipped to her sports bra and the other clipped to the back of her shorts.  Although she never ran on the street, she always took extreme measures to be seen in the dark.

    Chloe sat on the floor stretching. “You guys, it’s 5am, the sky is dark, and I could give a crap about what we talk about on our run.  I just want this misery finished so I can go home and take a nap before my kid wakes up.”

    The personal trainer put down her clipboard and walked over to where the women gathered. “Hey guys listen, do you hear that? It’s Chloe’s inner bitch creeping out from under her sweat-filled sports bra. It looks like we are going to have to add a mile to our run to free her from her misery.”  

    All of the women groaned in unison.  Since they had decided to train for a duathalon a few months prior, their Saturday mornings were consumed with running and biking.  They had sacrificed happy hours, dinner dates, birthday parties and most of all sleep.  

    “Just great, Chloe. You’ve awakened the Beast.  Not to bring this up again, but why do we bother getting up so early and training? I mean, none of us is going to win the damn race.” The girls adjusted their Timex watches.  

    Penny and Chloe spoke in unison.  “For the damn medal!” Alexandra smiled and nodded her head in agreement. “Of course, ‘the medal’.  Oh, and the opportunity to celebrate and brag to co-workers for at least a week. And not feeling guilty for indulging in my sweet tooth.”  

    “Alright ladies, enough yapping and more running. Everyone ready? Let’s go!”

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Awesome entry, Jeanette!
       
      Chloe had to mess it up for everybody, but if I were one of those girls, she would have simply stated what I was thinking!

    • Jeanette, I enjoyed this inside peek at weekend warriors-in-training. It would be fun to listen to them “yapping” during their run.
      It’s been more than a quarter century since I even felt like running for a bus, let alone a medal. LOL
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: I love how you describe the day-to-day as if it was nothing … effortless and not forced, subtle and cool. Write on.

  2. Frank Ruiz says:

    Our bodies were the flowing water from two currents crashing together.  We were merged energy and swirling passion activated by love’s electromagnetic union.

    In the throes of ecstasy, it was hard to tell where one of us ended and the other began, so we didn’t bother trying.  Words couldn’t articulate what we felt, though we were speaking in tongues.  Our syncopated breathing discussed our intentions for us.  We were born fluent; listening and responding were our basest instincts.

    She was my sky; I was her earth.  Her sweat rained onto me.  Sweet to the taste, she nourished my arid heart.

    Our promise had been fulfilled, both in our actions as well as their results.  Our creative alchemy was free from the separate chambers we held them in for so long.  Now combined, we’ll soon be able to celebrate her arrival as the living embodiment of the love we share.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      Why do I picture you on a stage in some dark, damp basement reciting this fierce poem?  The words melted together and formed a fluid flow of love. Beautifully done.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        I miss those snapping fingers from poetry readings… not that I heard them for me too often, heheh.  Thanks, Jeanette!

    • Finger snaps. 🙂 (Jeanette started it.)
      This is awesome. And, just like that onstage artist, you’re showing us your incredible range.
       
      Way to to go, Frank!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • sefcug says:

      @Frank
      Loved it!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Hot damn! I believe if you read this submission to “her”, you’ll have a repeat. Great stuff.

    • Sara Robin says:

      Gorgeous and compelling!!  New takes and fresh words for the oldest ode-inspiring experience in the book….  I especially enjoyed the elaboration on wordlessly speaking in tongues.  Makes me think that one should never say, “it’s been done!”  I admire how you manged to evoke so many varieties of love, without any of them losing potency, or being corrupted: erotic, spiritual, paternal, familial, personal, universal.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, Sara!
         
        I enjoyed referring to all the forms of love with the same reverence, and I wish everyone else felt the same way about love’s more carnal expressions as well.

  3. Cherrywood Heights – Chapter 3

    The Cherrywood Free Clinic was packed. Dozens of displaced families had come to listen to the director, as she discussed yet another community initiative. Promise after broken promise had left most of the community sullenly apathetic – attending mostly for the sweet, conditioned air currently chilling the facility. They might die in the most horrible manner possible but, for the next hour, they would celebrate the evaporation of sweat.

    Bobbi Martin, the clinic’s director, knew that she had failed these people. But she also knew that she couldn’t give up on them. For one thing, they had nowhere else to go. Atop that ponderous deprivation of dignity, Bobbi balanced the heavy load of her broken heart. Her entire family had been wiped out in the first wave of massive earthquakes. Bobbi had tried to return to her beloved Long Beach home, only to be turned back on the Santa Ana Freeway. Like her adopted constituents, Bobbi had nowhere to go. Cherry Valley was the shanty town for her displaced spirit.

    Standing as tall as her 5’4″ buxom frame would allow, Bobbi continued to outline the preventive medicine program. Hardly anyone was paying attention – she could have suddenly claimed the sky was dripping blood and nobody would bother to go to the windows. As frustrating as it was, she knew that, when little Jimmy came down with a fever or Suzy skinned her knees, their mothers would make a beeline for the clinic. So, she muddled through and, finally done, asked if there were any questions. A hand shot up immediately.

    “Yes, sir?” Bobbi didn’t recognize the well-dressed man.

    “Doctor, I was wondering if, in addition to asthma screenings and blood tests, you’d be willing to provide vaccinations for infants, children and adolescents.” Abram shouldered his way to the front of the crowd.

    “We don’t have enough stock, nor do we have sufficient patient records to undertake an immunization program. Of course, our residents will have records, but they make up only about 30 percent of the post-quake community.”

    Abram bored his eyes into Bobbi’s as he eased into this charade. “Ma’am, with all due respect, I think you have a responsibility to protect the public health. The breakdown of basic services ensures that there will be a rise in infectious diseases. People are already defecating in the water upstream – and drinking it downstream!”

    Several people turned to listen to Abram. Many were indeed drinking from the streams nearby and they were unaware that the water was fouled. Abram looked around, shrugging apologetically, as if to say, “Hey, I’m just the messenger.”

    Reading his mind, Bobbi asked, “I’m sorry, who are you?” She didn’t appreciate his alarmist tactics.

    “Abram Smith, A. S. Pharmaceuticals. Forgive me if I seem to have an agenda here, but my company is very active in the state, coordinating with FEMA, Homeland Security and CDC, back east. We’re just trying to help.” He gave Bobbi his most charming smile.

    She bit. “Okay, Mr. Smith. I’ll take your suggestion under advisement. Please leave your card – I’ll call you.”  She turned to the others. “Any other questions?”

  4. Shane Arthur says:

    Not feeling that hot today folks. Great submissions so far. I’ll comment in detail tomorrow. You all rock.

  5. martha says:

    Our lives begin and end with water. In the beginning, amniotic fluid cradles us, surrounds us, nurtures us. We float quietly, comforted by the steady sound of our mother’s heartbeat. Once we are earthside, we still listen for it, that familiar sound bringing us back to safety and security, that sound that is the promise of love. As we grow, we find water again in our tears and our sweat; in the hard work that leads us to celebrate sweet success, our ambitions leading us skyward, our fears evaporating. We discuss our options and think about why we bother when in the end, water leaks from us, runs out like a river, until that last exhale, that final outward breath completing the circle that began with our first inward breath, free of the water, free of the heart cords that bind us together.

    • Martha, that was a lovely travelogue of a journey through life. The water metaphor rocks!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Martha.  Very nice.  My favorite line is “As we grow, we find water again in our tears and our sweat; in the hard work that leads us to celebrate sweet success, our ambitions leading us skyward, our fears evaporating.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Martha: Holy Bleep! That is my new favorite from you. Such a wonderful rhythm to that. Fantastic!

      • martha says:

        Thank you. The words in this challenge led me down a place I hadn’t thought of for a great while and it was quite exciting to see what came of it.

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          I thought this was amazing too, as your sustained metaphor between the cycle of water from and back to the ocean linked to the cycle of our lives was inspired! 

          Loved it!

    • margaret says:

      Beautifully crafted, Martha….a verbal painting.

  6. margaret says:

    I promise God to celebrate
    our earth and sky and life most great.
    I’ll take the bitter with the sweet
    give thanks for water, food to eat.

    Be thankful for a country free
    where I can always just be me,
    and never sweat the little stuff
    don’t bother Him or give Him guff.

    I’ll listen to my little voice
    discuss my options, make the right choice.
    It’s up to us , see the full glass
    not be nature’s pain-in-the-ass!!

  7. David Kirba says:

    If I could, I’d spend every moment with my little son. He’s only been around for a year and two months but I cannot imagine life without him.
     
    So when his lovely mother headed out on Sunday afternoon we decided to explore the new neighbourhood we’d just moved into and spend some quality father-son time together.
     
    Without bothering to discuss our plans with anyone we helped each other put on our shoes – I pulled his on for him and he threw my socks down somewhere in the vicinity of my feet – and out we went to celebrate under the beautiful blue sky of Addis Ababa. It was still rainy season but there were no clouds as far as the eye could see. The birds were singing, the air was clear – it was a beautiful day.
     
    With Jed in my arms, we headed out of the complex of buildings and found what appeared to be a large parking lot for trucks. My little boy decided he’d walk on his own so he wriggled his way out of my arms and onto the ground. I watched him go, I gave him a little space and I felt a little sad that he didn’t need his father anymore to carry him wherever he wanted to go.
     
    How fast time flies. A few months ago he couldn’t even turn around in his sleep. Now look at him go.
     
    Finding himself free to roam as he wished, he wandered over to a small herd of sheep munching on some grass down the hill. He’s a careful little fellow and he kept his distance. He listened to the noises they made and started imitating one of the sheep. The little girl grazing the sheep carried over a little lamb for him to pet. He laughed. It was the sweetest sound I’d ever heard.
     
    He then turned around and tried chasing a bird. Unfortunately he’s not so good with his feet yet so his efforts were in vain. He had lots of fun trying though. He was starting to sweat a little now so I tried telling him we’d better start heading home. But he’d spotted some cows on the other side of a little stream of water. I helped him across and he stared in awe at the animal which completely ignored him. Confused, he turned and looked at me. “Moo”, said I. “Moo moo”, said he.
     
    He turned and waved at a couple of old men walking by. They smiled, shouted some blessings his way and waved back.
     
    It had been an hour since we started our walk, the sun was going down and my son was starting to tire. He turned around and stuck his arms in the air – I guess he still needs his father every once in a while.
     
    Holding him close I made a promise that I hope I’ll be able to keep for the rest of my life – to spend as much time as I can with this little boy that God has entrusted me with and to always be there for him whenever he needs me.
     
     
     

    • David, that’s one promise that’s fun to keep! I still cherish those fleeting moments – for fleeting they are.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • David Kirba says:

        @Mitch: ‘Fleeting’ is the word I was looking for :) I never thought being a dad would be so much fun and I really wish it would all slow down sometimes…

        • David, congratulations! I know how you feel. There have been days that reminded me of the joy of being with my own father. I hope that someday, my children reflect back the same way…a cosmic thread connecting us through time 🙂
           
          Cheers,
           
          Mitch
           

        • sefcug says:

          @David
          If you think being a dad is good, wait until you become a grandfather.
          Enjoy being a dad for now though, it goes by real quick.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @David K. I could feel the love for your child in each word of this piece.  May you continue to be blessed with a lifetime of beautiful memories.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @David: Such a wonderful submission. I can relate completely. The other day, I went out for an hour, came back and got out of my car. My kids didn’t hear me. They were sitting on our deck next to each other with their backs to me, each eating a popsicle. Every 10 seconds or so my son would turn to look at my daughter and smile as if to say, “these are damn good popsicles, huh sister?” My daughter would return the smile and they both would turn back and look straight ahead enjoying the moment. I must have sat there for 4 minutes, too scared to ruin the moment by making any noise. Such a great picture in my head I’ll always remember.

  8. sefcug says:

    My mind was still a little muddled by the pain medications, but I seem to be OK now, so here in numerical order is my submission:

    *****

    The Anniversary Celebration

    They went down by the water, but he did not bother to discuss the implications of the agreement.

    She started to lick the sweet tasting sweat, and their combined juices, from his glistening nether region, while he looked to the sky. He saw a formation in the clouds which mirrored the way she had to celebrate their anniversary. He had failed to really listen to her when she said she wanted to set him free if he would just go along with her pretending they were praying mantises while having sex by the lake.

    Their love-making had been long and very satisfying, so he was shocked when she bit off the head of his penis and told him: “I know about your affair with my best friend. Now I am divorcing you, and setting you free.”

    Moral:
    Always think things through completely before making any kind of promise, and make sure you consider all consequences.

    *****

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @sefcug.  Whoa!  I’m new to CCC so I haven’t had the opportunity to read any of your pieces. I definitely wasn’t prepared.  I loved it!!
      I hope the pain medication wears off cause I want more ‘moral’ stories 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Steve: This was outrageous! And I loved it! Man, what a story.

    • David Kirba says:

      @sefcug: Didn’t expect that ending 🙂 Nice one.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Steve, awesome story!  If you’re willing to act like a Praying Mantis, prepare to suffer one’s consequences!

    • Steve, I was prepared for a moral but, ouch! Dental bobbitizing was the last thing I would have thought of.
      Good to see you here – hope the medication helps.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • margaret says:

      Yeowch, Steve,….here in my area, about two months ago it was big news that a woman drugged her man, then chopped it off with a kitchen knife and to add insult to major injury, put it down the garbage disposal! (and I thought you weren’t even supposed to put celery down there!)

  9. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. I needs me some water. Them shrooms we done ate—da ones dat taste like shit on account they grow in shit—to celebrate getting’ into da fraternity is making me thirsty and sweat like da dickens. Shit Billy! Dat man just turnt into a squirrel! His head looks like a big nut!”

    “Listen Bobby. You’s feelin’ da effects hard now. We’s about to go into the convenience store and get some stuff. Promise me you won’t say nothin. Long as you don’t says nothin’, nobody will know we’s sky-high and we’ll be in da free. Shit Bobby! Look at all da stuff in dis store! They’s thousands and thousands of items in here! Look at all the sweets and such! Look, an alligator is eathin’ a chilidog over yonder! Wow!”

    “Hey Billy. Did you done forget what we done discussed already? All I sees is a hippy girl in a tie-died shirt eatin’ a chilidog.”

    “Bobby, don’t bother gaters when they’s eatin’. They’s ornery, and all da people staring at us right now will think we’s rude.”

    • David Kirba says:

      @Shane: Hehe. That was funny 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Shane. Even under the weather you manage to make us laugh.  I read on a comment that you are going to have Bobby and Billy do Spoken Word… Please write it!

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Jeanette: Twer just a thought … somethin’ we thought we aught … stand in front of a crowd … bumpkin-ish and proud … actin’ silly … ain’t dat right Billy?”

    • Ah, getting the full college experience, hunh?
      Funny coincidence – I never drank beer until I joined a fraternity – and that’s only because they gave us Raw onions and dog biscuits during the ceremony (oops, I just violated the sacrosanct secret! Don’t tell, okay?) That brewski was soooo refreshing 🙂
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  10. A little late to this one but here is my entry:
     

    Love Under Rain
    As we lie here together
    free in sweet sweat
    trying to celebrate
    the promise of future
    we discuss the weather
    and listen to an angry sky
    as water falls around us
    without a bother

  11. Anne Wayman says:

    sort of a new form for me:
     

    I love hot water!
    Cold is just a bother.
    To discuss I’ll say it’s sweet.
    Makes me sweat under the sky
    And celebrate as I listen
    To its delicious freeing promise.

  12. Kelly says:

    TURN THE PAGE

    We took a helicopter over Niagara Falls to celebrate our wedding.

    Okay, we didn’t, just me. He’d left me three weeks earlier. But the helicopter was booked, and the champagne toast with me and the pilot, laughing and talking about the best-laid plans of mice and men… trying not to sound bitter…

    I know now, that was a better start to “the rest of my life” than the imploded nuptials had been. No promises made, no promises broken. And one of us would have, for sure.

    I didn’t really feel free until we were almost at the end of the flight. The pilot circled back around, just as the sunset and the falls began to do a magical dance. The water seemed to grind violently into the blues and purples of the late afternoon sky, and seeing it from our angle was at once intimate (we were, after all, the only ones in the world who would have this view, this night) and intensely public.

    Men aren’t meant to hover above such scenes, gazing voyeuristically at Mother Nature’s lap-dance. Yet here I am, intruding on her.

    “Listen,” the pilot said to me. I let the view slip from my eyes and tuned my ears in, instead. The groaning of the Earth!

    What was there to discuss after that? We flew back in awed silence.

    “It’s the sweetest job in the world,” he said to me as I got ready to leave. Who can sweat over life’s little tumbles when you see something like that every day? Not me. Hope I took away your bothers, even if it was only for an hour.”

    “Yeah. Thanks, man. I’ll think of this day forever when I need a pick-me-up. Funny to say that about the date I *didn’t* get married, huh?”

    I walked the hundred yards back to my car, and sat for what seemed like hours, eyes closed, smiling.

    Time to turn the page.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Kelly.  I dove into this story.  Just like Niagara Falls, the words pulled me forward and into the storyline and didn’t let me go.  My favorite line “Men aren’t meant to hover above such scenes, gazing voyeuristically at Mother Nature’s lap-dance. Yet here I am, intruding on her.”
      Well done!

    • Kelly, this is fluid poetry! Did you visualize this scene, or were you recounting it for us? (Not necessarily the non-event, just the lap-dance!)
      That is totally awesome!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: Oh, you clever girl you! When I finished reading this the first time, I said, “Hold on a sec; let me read that again. I think I missed something.” And “man” did I. So subtle you are!

      • KathleenL says:

        Kelly — SSSSSaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaeeeettttt! I like this… great imagery, spurred on by your words and our own experiences. Wonderful choice of double ontondras that most effectively worked here! I, a lover of writing them… or at least trying to achieve the proper goal with my attempts find it all read

  13. Nikki says:

    As Joy lay flat on her back looking at the azure sky, she listened to the water smoothing over the rocks beside her and wondered whether she should even bother to discuss the whole fiasco any further.

    She had thought it would be a sweet gesture to offer to celebrate her mother’s 50th, but instead her mother had made her promise to act as though it was simply another day in their lives without any special significance. She point blank refused to listen to reason.

    Wiping a trickle of sweat from her brow, Joy tore her thoughts back to the present and reminded herself to instead relish in the moment. Here, she lay free from all cares and concerns, blissfully cradled by the hot summer air as nature hurried on around her.

  14. Nikki says:

    Oh I hear ya 😉

  15. Rebecca says:

    Jane made a promise to herself to listen to her intuition when it comes to people and relationships. She’ll no longer bother with relationships that don’t honor her. Jane understands she has free will to choose whom she interacts with. This doesn’t necessarily include ‘blood’ ties. Jane learned many life lessons from last week’s Facebook debacle and chooses to celebrate them. Jane won’t discuss the matter further. It’s water under the bridge. Jane won’t sweat the small stuff anymore. The sky seems bluer – life is sweet.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Rebecca. Good for Jane!  No more drama in her life 😉

    • Yay, for Jane. It took me 50 years to reach that point. Nice one, Rebecca!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: Life is sweet indeed. I like how this character is breaking free. More!

      • KathleenL says:

        Rebecca — Your Jane… she is a smart gal. No discussion needed for the sweet smell success when one decides to celebrate, not allowing someone to pour salt in any previous wound and not bothering to listen to the once free flowing internal dialog of “should I” etc. due to a FB set of comments, let the others’ sweat it out. The skyline looks better at night when we keep our self-made promises … with water in my cup I raise a toast you Jane.

  16. Rebecca says:

    @ Jeanette … Yep … Jane affirms, “It’s alright to drift away and do your own thing.”

  17. Jen says:

    Wow have I missed you guys! Nice to be back. Looking forward to scrolling through your crazy minds. Here’s to getting back here regularly!
     

    “I mean, I get it,” Heather spat, her pink lips dry at the edges where a small bundle of nearly white foam sat, heralding her need for a tall glass of cold water. “I get it. We’re here to celebrate Mom’s birthday.” She made crazy lady swatting motions at her forehead, mistaking an oversized droplet of sweat for a swarm of flies. When she realized her mistake, her cheeks turned, impossibly, a deeper shade of the rosy, overheated and now embarrassed glow.
     
    I took two steps away from her as her frantic motions hinted at the gathering storm of panic; if we didn’t get her calmed down, it’d be Thanksgiving all over again…another holiday marked not with sweet memories but pockmarked by another episode.
     
    “Listen, Heather,” I started, then sputtered. I wasn’t prepared for a meltdown today, so my usual care with words around her needed a minute to arrive. The worst thing I could do is just tell my little sister to calm down. Telling Heather to calm down is like inviting a hurricane to your shack built on sand. No one needs that.
     
    “Okay. Let’s just get a drink and maybe sit in the shade.” I made a lame and aborted attempt to guide her by the elbow to the wraparound porch on which all manner of children and distant relatives wandered, shoving cake and potato salad into their faces, talking all the while.
     
    She managed to free herself from my erstwhile ministrations.
     
    “Derek.” She said my name like it hurt her mouth, like it was made of orange rind or soup with a hair in it.  Over her shoulder I signaled my wife, who had spent the day avoiding Heather, for this very reason. I always say marry someone smarter than you. I begged her with my eyes, willing her to send a kid or an aunt or anyone over with a bottle of water, or better yet, a beer. I made a hand signal I hoped was both discreet and obvious: send help! Send water!
     
    The blueness of the sky mocked the depth of black on her brow. “Look.” I tried again. Sammie’s bringing over a cold drink.” She glanced around and then back at me. “Heather, I know it bothers you. It bothers me. And yes, it would have been nice to discuss it before meeting him, but Mom has every right to enjoy her life and if he makes her happy, why not?”
     
    Heather pouted. Believe it or not, this was the cue I’d been holding my breath and crossing all my fingers for. The pout. Heather’s pout. She is so easy to read. It means we’ve managed to send the hurricane back out to sea before it hit land. It means the rising tide of panic had receded. A pout I could handle. She said, “Daddy’s only been gone six months? What the hell is she thinking?”
     
    “Honey,” I said while she tugged at the water bottle. She threw the white plastic lid into the grass where it was swallowed by the long, soft summer blades. “I don’t know. When all this partying is over, we can sit down with her for a talk. But let’s not do it today. Okay?”
     
    She heard my groveling intent. She pouted again. Then, she spit a mouthful of water in my face, laughed, and rose to run off. “Promise!” she hollered over her shoulder. “Not today.” And she was gone.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Jen. Welcome back. Incredible writing!

    • Howdy, Jen! This is a great welcome-back present. I love this sibling exchange. I can only imagine what that future “talk” will be like!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: That was outstanding. You sure know how to start an opening sentence, and the story was excellent. That Heather needs a good ass kickin’.

      @All: You guys should check out Larry Brook’s new Peer Review Service. Your CCC submissions are awesome, and even if you don’t have a full series/book written, you can submit and get review by many people. http://storyfix.com/announcing-the-launch-of-the-storyfix-peer-review-page

      • KathleenL says:

        Hello Jen! and Welcome back. I too am unable to be “here” as much as I would like and find myself missing the wordplay our cohorts lay down.
        “She said my name like it hurt her mouth…” I really like this discription. You created a fast moving smooth read that entertained, and for which I am glad you are back.

  18. Alisa says:

    Listen to me,” she said with frustration. “We have to discuss this. These swim lessons aren’t free. We’ve been coming for months. You have to put your face in the water eventually.”
    He stared at the sky and rocked back and forth on his heels; sweat glistened on his brow. “But the water bothers my eyes.”
    “Look, just put your face in the water and we’ll celebrate, I promise,” she pleaded. “Something sweet.”
    “Ice cream?”
    “If you want it. But you have to get your face wet.”

    • Oh, man, I am so there! Alisa, you been peeking in my diary? I HATE water! Can’t swim, and never participated in the swimming lessons during gym.
       
      You nailed the little feller perfectly.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Alisa: Said so perfectly. I’m in the process of teaching my son to swim.

  19. Alisa says:

    Does it really count as creative copy if it’s a conversation that you’ve had a million times? 🙂

  20. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … Thank you … I hear ya.

  21. Sean Murphy says:

    Wonderful writing everyone! I enjoyed them all. I’ve been a little swamped this week (second anniversary) but I hope to be back in swing by Thursday 🙂

  22. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thank you! I’m writing a YA (like writing it right now) novel based on Jane. I’m almost done with chapter one. Only 40,000+ words to go. 🙂

  23. KathleenL says:

    “Don’t bother with
    the water, I will just use this
    crimson liquid right here,” he said teasingly, tipping the goblet that he held
    over her chest. There was a sparkle in his eyes.

    He poured the Zinfandel over her exposed flesh. He could not
    help but notice her body was not objecting. The coolness of the wine brought
    rise to her. Her back arching in response brought a rise to him. This pleased
    him. He was determined to please her.

    His movements were smooth as he lowered his head to drink
    off of her perkiness. As his mouth began to move across her breast she began to
    sweat, ever so slightly. The light taste
    of salt mixed well with the aromatic sweet
    spices in the wine.  It did not matter that
    the sun was not high in the sky; the
    heat was building beneath his tongue.  But worry she did not as they were alone in
    the meadow, free to listen to the crickets, birds, and the
    flutter of the leaves moved by the light breeze. She allowed herself to relax on
    the quilt and enjoy that which his own body’s reaction to her promised. It was time to celebrate. No discussion needed.

  24. Revelers dance beneath the sky as rain –
    Sweet cloud sweat, water falling, after drought –
    Does slake the thirst of parched, dry, barren land.
    Nothing’s free – Listen! Hear the roaring flood?
    Don’t bother to discuss, just celebrate!
    Brilliant lightning promises a rainbow.

  25. Sara Robin says:

    The heat of the sun dominated her, made its mark on each of her senses — dappled red shifting behind her closed eyelids, sweet saltiness tingling her lips, and a single, slow bead of sweat tickling her temple as it slid toward her ear.  She didn’t bother to wipe it away, knowing another foot soldier of the sun waited close behind.
    She felt the elements battle for her being, their balanced back-and-forth soon breaking down from sensory discussion to flat out war.  Her skin cells slowly defected to the sun side, scorching themselves into the uniform of team sol; her eyes, too, caved to the dominant side’s pressure, with spots still dancing before her field of vision, even when she cautiously peeled back a lid; her mouth now permanently parched beyond memory of moisture.
    Only her sense of hearing fought back against the blaze, the urgent, repetitive crash of waves the water‘s sole weapon against its burning sibling in the sky.  She listened carefully as each new wave formed, first a lull betraying a silent struggle in the deep, the ocean kicking to break free from the grip of the sandy floor.  A moment of suspense — who would win this skirmish?  Then, CRASH, water declared itself the victor, and in the same breath, made a promise to gather strength and return again.  Each wave unique in its precise timbre but doggedly devoted to the central rhythm, a relentless refusal to give in.
    Its music flowed into her veins, redoubling liquid’s battle against the dominant sun.  Water would never win, exactly; but its stubbornness would eventually exhaust the celestial fire, as it always did, the sun eventually throwing up its hands and collapsing behind the sea in a final futile fireworks display of peach, orange, and violet.
    Under the truce of night, the ocean celebrated victory the same way it waged war: with the steady, patient pounding of the surf.
     

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      This is an amazing look into the forces of nature that we often gloss over in our beach outings.  Your beautiful descriptions of this scene and the struggle between the sun and the waves reminds me that my disconnection from nature has been too long in its span.  Only through mindful connection can we appreciate the nuances you highlight while we’re there.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sara: You were on fire with this one. Were you in the zone writing this? I bet you were. It read as if you were.

      • Sara Robin says:

        @Shane: it had that delicious feeling where each new idea appears at first to be a single, simple nugget — but once written down, turns out to hold a few different images, or the key to a new structure, inside it — just waiting to come out!

        • KathleenL says:

          Sarah — “…water‘s sole weapon against its burning sibling in the sky…” I had not ever thought of the water and the sky as ‘siblings’, but it is a wonderful analogy! It read like a duh moment… for me.
          “…
          Under the truce of night, the ocean celebrated victory the same way it waged war: with the steady, patient pounding of the surf.”  I really like this one too… ‘truce of night’ “the ocean celebrated victory’ ‘same way it waged war’ – Imagery, that got me. I still thought ‘she’ was a sunburned beach goer until you revealed it was the sun.  Cool. Thanks for the ride.


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