Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #171

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. Game
  2. Safe
  3. Burn
  4. Line
  5. Hint
  6. Shine
  7. Lead
  8. Wait
  9. Feel
  10. Look

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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96 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #171”

  1. Frank Ruiz says:

    “Make sure he’s not looking,” I whispered.

    “You know he can hear us, right,” was the deadpanned reply I received.

    I felt burned by her comment, but taking the lead made me feel better.

    Our target swooped his gaze across our faces.  As long as we waited to move until after his eyes passed over us, we were safe.

    “I wonder what it feels like to be up there, staring down at us with such power,” I asked.

    She snapped at me again: “If you stopped talking and kept moving, you might find out!”

    In the midst of her reprimand, he spun around again.  I saw, so I was able to freeze in time.  She didn’t.  In an instant, she was gone.

    Before she left, I could see how hurt she was by the circumstances.  In her effort to keep me quiet, it was she who lost it all.  I saw her tears shine from her cheeks before she was gone.

    Things can change that quickly, without a hint of warning.  I swore he wouldn’t get me.

    I was close enough to see the line separating me from his ultimate power.  It’s proximity seducing me to lose my careful approach.

    With my hand nearly at the goal, he whirled to meet my gaze before I could stop myself!  NOOOooooh!

    “Red Light!”

    Damn it!  I was out of the game.

  2. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! Game over! Run! They’s lookin’ to kill us on account of our poetry prowess  be missin’ da pro part”

    “You’s right Bobby! We ain’t safe here! They’s fixin’ to fill us with lead, shiny boot tips, and tomato paste. Dis be our hint to make a UVwhatever-line to da fraternity house!”

    “Wait for me Billy! My other runt toe done flared up wit the gout again!”

    At the fraternity house

    “Shoooo! Hey Billy! We barely made it out of dat in one-and-a-half pieces. I feel much safer here leanin’ next to dis cattle prod dat they’s gonna burn funny Greek letters into our arms wit later tonight.”

  3. Anne Wayman says:

    geeze I love these things!
     

    Hey, I’ve invented a game. I assure you its safe and you won’t get burned. I’ll feed you a hint to help you shine and maybe even lead. Wait! You won! How do you feel? How does your blue ribbon look? Congratulations!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Anne: Anne Wayman – CCC Slayer!

    • Anne, this was an intriguing shorty. I’m almost afraid to ask, “Is that sarcasm?” LOL
      So many people who bemoan the blue ribbon for “Participants” fail to acknowledge how that makes the child feel. I’m of two minds about the whole thing, having had the pleasure of watching my kids win such things.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Anne, great, compact piece, as usual.

        Mitch raises a good point: this could be interpreted either as the thrill of an easy win, or as one of those “games” where people “win” just by showing up.  I like it either way!

  4. (:Smiley Extrodinare :) says:

    Its a game, don’t you see?
    Lead yourself out of the grimy dungeons and look. Listen. Can’t you take my hint?
    Do you know what true terror feels like?
    This is your time to shine
    This is the time to burn the years
    they wait in line
    Step out of your safety zone
    Or else stay there for the rest of your life.
    Step out of your safety zone
    and live.

    • Cool entry, Smiley. This is a really good message for those who are so afraid of dying that they forget to live.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Welcome, Smiley!

        I agree with Mitch, as this is a great call to not let fear stop you from really living!  Every time I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, I haven’t regretted it (including joining the CCC!).

    • Jeanette R. says:

      Hi Smiley,
      This line stood with me throughout the poem “Lead yourself out of the grimy dungeons and look.”  I just substituted ‘dungeons’ for ‘cubicles’ 😉
      Welcome to the CCC!

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Smiley-Welcome to CCC!

        Welcome to the best game on the internet. It’s a safe bet this won’t be your last visit. Each week you’ll burn through work to get a line on the next challenge. Here’s a hint (in case you don’t already know), CCC is totally addicting.

        Here the words shine as they lead you though a maze of ideas that cannot wait to be heard. So, put up your feet and take a panoramic read through the channels of creativity. It’s always worth a second look.

        Welcome!
         

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Cathy: The spam filter must be upset that business and computer crashes have kept you from us. I’ve instructed it to not put you, Mitchell, and Jeanette in the pending folder. 😉

  5. “Check.” Shekhinah sipped his ice-cold Yoo-hoo as his game piece slid gracefully onto the f6 square.

    Abaddon was losing. Shekhinah’s white queen was literally burning hot lead into Abaddon’s open king. But wait! A knight in shining armor was ready to defend his dark liege. Without looking for consequences, he snatched the queen. The black king was charred but still standing proud.

    “Checkmate.” Shekhinah’s bishop inched over from d6 to e7, pinning the hapless king like a beetle specimen.

    “Hold up! Hold up! That ain’t mate! How’s that even possible? I took all of your pieces?” In fury, Abaddon swept the board and pieces from the tree stump.

    “You are such a baby. I told you, you can’t be good at everything. You suck at chess. Even back in 1851, when we suggested the moves, you obviously had no idea what was going on.”

    Abaddon pouted, still miffed. “Oh yeah? Well, there are quite a few people who said your moves were stupid, too! How do you feel now, superstar?”

    Shekhinah finally lost his patience. “Don’t you get it? It wasn’t our game! Man has choices and we simply guide their hand. You apparently relish destruction over redemption. Yet, despite all those captured pieces, white’s army prevailed because the bishop redeemed the queen’s sacrifice!”

    “Bah!” Abaddon muttered. “Immortal Game, sacrificial allegories, blood of the lamb. Let’s wrestle! I’ll kick your ass!”

    Shekhinah cracked up. He knew his brother wouldn’t stay angry. He was just a sore loser. He swallowed the rest of his Yoo-hoo and tossed the bottle over his shoulder. The shattering glass sparked a memory. “Hey, how about last night, huh?”

    Abaddon scowled. “You think you’re slick, don’t you? Trying to get a line on my legions? That’s a complicated causation chain. What makes you think the doctor will get the hint and respond appropriately?”

    “I’m not sure. Just as in the chess game, you think your legions are safe. The trouble is, you have no concept of sacrifice. You are a spiritual vampire.” Shekhinah stopped, not wanting to provoke his brother.

    Abaddon, still scowling, replied, “Sacrifice? Connect the dots for me, man. All I saw was a big-ass rock flying through the window.”

    Shekhinah grew weary of this back and forth. Like a genetic mutation, Abaddon just didn’t have the coding for altruism. No matter how many times the subject came up, it always ended in checkmate, with Abaddon falling on his sword. Still, they had little else to do but over-analyze everything they’d done to the human race.

    Shrugging his shoulders in the grand Gallic fashion that he’d always thought was cool, Shekhinah simply said, “Eh, what will be will be. Got any more Yoo-hoos in that bag of yours?”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: big rock flying through the window. Did you just cross link a submission to another one, you sly dog you? Well done.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Mitch, your extended metaphor of the checkmate from the game board to Shekhinah’s and Abaddon’s long-term game with humanity as its pawns was awesome!  I also love how you’re connecting each of the story pieces together to see the tapestry of causation coming from these two Gods, who are at least 150 years old!

        Every new chapter draws me in further.  Keep ’em coming, please!

      • [The WordPress Editor is acting strangely. Ha-ha, I misspelled strangely as strangley – same thing, right?]

        Thanks, Shane. You reminded me that I forgot to place the title at the beginning.
        Sometimes, I think a submission is more compelling when it just begins. 🙂
         
        Thank you, Frank and Jeanette! Your enthusiasm and support for this story gives me all the ammunition I need to keep firing away.

        I love how a story can transport you in such unexpected ways.

        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Mitch.  I have to apologize…  You see, at the mere mention of Yoo-Hoo’s my eyes glaze over and I’m transported to a simpler time when I would drink the left over coconut Yoo-Hoo’s  my parents left from their poker nights.  I liked mine over ice, they preferred it with Cognac.  So I was totally lost in thought the first time I read it.

      However, the second time I read it, I focused a bit and loved the usage of chess to give us more insight into the relationship between the two ‘God’s’ and also an idea of what the heck is going on in Cali.

      I’ve said it before, but the way you humanize these two (ahem Yoo-hoo’s) really elevates the reader to a different level of thinking when it comes to higher powers.

      Keep it up.

  6. Sheryl says:

    When it comes to politics at work do you learn to play the game? Play it safe or walk the line? If you want to shine, be a leader, then wait, look, and feel out the situation. I’ll give you a little hint; you don’t really want to burn that bridge up the ladder. It’s a long hard fall to the bottom.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Sheryl, excellent piece on workplace politics!

      I’ve had to learn the lessons you present here the hard way, through trial and error, so your words are definitely appreciated!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Sheryl. Short, sweet and right on.  Many people need to take your advice.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sheryl: That should be on cubicle walls world wide. Grinning here!

    • Sheryl, the phrase that makes this message stand out like an embossed exclamation point is this:
       
      “[Y]ou don’t really want to burn that bridge up the ladder. It’s a long hard fall to the bottom.”
       
      We are taught to never mix metaphors but this is one tasty concoction! Thanks for ignoring those rules!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  7. Jeanette R. says:

    “Pick a number between one and ten.” The referee held out his hands like a magician revealing a magic trick.  

    All twelve team members stood fidgeting in a crooked line. Those closest to the end could feel a slight burn on their legs between their steel shin guards and boots.  The smell of singed hair filled the air.

    Wait, you’ll rig this game for sure.  Let me flip the coin this time. After all, I think I earned it.”  Leonardo pushed the referee and produced a half dollar from his pocket.

    “Ohh, look at the shine on that baby.”

    “Shut up, Gary.  Stay focused.”

    Leonardo called out ‘heads’ as he flipped the coin.  

    The referee cautiously inched forward. “Tails!” He yelled.

    Leonardo rolled his eyes and started bouncing his shoulders.  Since he was the sole survivor from the last game, it was his responsibility to take the lead of the team. Last week’s massacre almost ended his league’s chances of going to the championship, but Leonardo was able to recruit more players for today’s match.

    Leonardo scanned the stadium. The crowds were scarce. The games had created it’s own underground monetary system with people using their betting tickets as currency on the black markets. Once the government got wind, they would set up shop outside the stadium and beat offenders to death. The tickets quickly lost their value and the games lost their luster. Since women weren’t allowed inside, only the retired government officials came out to support.   

    The referee held up the blue flag, which gave him the authority to start the game.  “Gentlemen, welcome to Peligros stadium.  If you care to be safe and live to see your kids again, listen up.”  The ref snickered and made eye contact with Leonardo who gave him a look that sent chills down his spine.

    “We all know the basic rules of soccer, no?” Everyone nodded in agreement.  “Well, we’ve simply added volcanic pits throughout the field and around the goal posts. Your opponent cannot directly push you into them but they can force you to jump in by other ways.”  The referee pulled ropes from his messenger bag and prepared himself for his favorite part of the speech.

    “Please take the ropes and tie each others hands.  Leo, I will do the honor for you.” Leonardo rolled his eyes.  

    “Now, when you lose a player, and you will, you can not call in a sub.  You must continue playing with the number of men on the field.  No exceptions. And remember that the ball responds to the magnetism of the lava so it may not always move the way it should.” The referee grabbed the ball and threw it at the opposing team leader.

    Leonardo stared at each teammates face looking for a hint of weakness.  He saw none. He threw up his hands and gave a mini fist pump.  

    “Alright! We are going to kick ass and take names today.  I can feel a victory.  Let’s make Rio proud!”

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Awesome story, Jeanette!  I can feel the heat from those lava pits as I read your piece!

      This is my type of story!  Hopefully we’ll get more chapters from this neo-fascist Brazilian sportsplex in the future!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: Super creative stuff you came up with there. What word made you think of this? Fun, fun read.

      • Jeanette R. says:

        @Shane.  The word ‘game’ kept replaying in my head and throughout the day I thought of this twisted game of soccer.  Maybe cause my hubby has ESPN2 on heavy rotation in the house 😉 Thanks for the compliment.

    • Jeanette, you’ve been holding back! WOW! As Shane says, “This is your best submission yet!”
      I love the premise, the setting and the aptly-named stadium (I took Spanish in high-school, LOL).
      Will there be more? Please…?
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • Jeanette R. says:

        @Mitch. Thanks!!  It’s very different from anything I’ve written so I need to see where my brain takes it. I love how CCC forces me to go outside of my comfort zone.  I look back at my stories and am amazed at all the different topics I’ve covered.

    • Sara Robin says:

      @Jeanette – great job crafting a believable, yet thoroughly otherwordly “entersportment” (borrowing Jen’s term from #172)!  What do I have to do to avoid getting drafted into the big leagues!?!

  8. The light starts to shine
    through the broken blinds of eastward facing window.
    My corneas burn
    at the slightest hint of morning
    I’ve lost track of time
    And how long I’ve had to wait since my last drink.

    They tell me I need to quit.
    To give it up. It’s what is best for me.

    Screw them!

    I have to live my life as a game.
    Always adjusting. Always thinking about the next time I score.
    With it, I know I’m safe. I know I’m secure.

    Like a slave, I’m lead
    Down the line I’m familar with as it calls my name.

    Eric….

    I don’t recognize the man
    as I pass the mirror.  He looks like crap

    And I feel just like him.
    How much further?

    I get to the kitchen,
    Open the fridge and take out a can.

    In an all too automatic motion
    I pop the top and down the ice cold goodness
    and become raptured
    as the sweet necter from Heaven passes through my veins.

    I can start my day now.

    I love me some Dr Pepper.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Haha, your ending was classic!  I think you’re looking into my future tomorrow morning, except for the drink, of course 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Eric.  Nice twist at the end!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Eric: Great submission. You know, Dr. Pepper has always been a weird drink for me. I LOVED the taste of that stuff. It’s one of the strongest/best tasting sodas out there, but I never would buy much of it because it just wasn’t as popular as Coke and Pepsi. So, silly how that worked growing up.

    • Yay, Eric! Ya got me. That was a brilliant piece and a refreshing ending (puns, anyone?)
      Nice to see you, again!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  9. margaret says:

    When I feel creative , burn midnight oil….
    get the lead out, make my brain boil…
    I’ts safe to say that’ s when I shine ….
    do my best work, the game is mine!

    A hint of slacking is not fine,
    less than my best I’ll draw the line.
    I’ll wait to create till the mood is there,
    and stock some chocolate in my lair.

    I’ll crank my music up real loud,
    put myself in an inpired cloud.
    There is no formula, no rule books…
    but how I feel is how my work looks!

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Awesome poem and awesome look into your creative process!  I yearn fo rthe same environment, but I tend toward the pre-dawn hours rather than the late night.  Two ends of the same magic period 🙂

      • margaret says:

        Thanks, Frank…I actually sometimes do the pre-dawn thing as well. Whenever I feel inspired is when I get the creative juices flowing and accomplish the most. When my children were small I would often work well into the night once they were asleep. It was my time and the house was  quiet. Now any time is my time!

    • Enjoyed this poem as well, music often puts me in an inspired cloud.

      • margaret says:

        Thanks, Justin…I actually need good music to do any type of work, whether it be stuff around the house or creative work. The engine doesn’t run without music fuel. 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Margaret.  I liked this!  I think I’ll pop in a CD right now 😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ma: I love your style. So glad you’ve been here from the beginning making me smile.

    • This is a nice poem, Margaret. The ending says it all.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

      • margaret says:

        My ex husband would tell me that he could always tell by my doodling how my phone conversations were going….if I was happy and talking to a friend it would be hearts, flowers, birds, happy squiggles.  If I was talking to a government office or some problematic person I would draw little ugly monster heads and geometric lines. LOL

  10. Look, you moron. I’ve played the game once or twice before – I know how this goes,” she rolled her eyes.

    Greg knew she was a pro; he’d felt her sting a few months back when she’d sold the Anderson Farm out from under him. He still felt the burn every time he had to drive down that dirt road in front of the place … which was s twice a day.

    That place was right up his alley and he could almost feel the cold cash in his bank account right up until the very second that woman turned his own sale against his brokerage firm.

    “No, you look,” he countered back. “I’m drawing the line on this one! You may believe you’ve got the lead in this town, but your tiny little office is far from safe!” He wiped the beads of perspiration from under his bangs, which reminded him that due to this little scene in the middle of her office – and in front of her employees, he’d missed his haircut appointment.

    She took an exaggerated sip from the slender coffee mug and pursed her lips as she sat it back neatly in place on the coaster.

    “Ya know, Greg,” she nodded, “you’re probably right. You should draw the line on this one. After all, if you aren’t able to sell your own aunt’s condo, you may as well turn in your real estate license.”

    His neck turned a faint hint of red from the hatred this woman stirred in his head; he forced himself to wait until his temples stopped throbbing before replying again.

    “Gloria, you have no right! She was my aunt, too!”

    Feigning a slight giggle, his sister tapped on her desk with a golden ball point pen. “You never did shine, even as a kid, Greg. I guess some things just don’t change.”
     
    The stained glass in her office door shuddered when he slammed it behind himself. “Just you wait, Sis,” he mumbled as one hand slid down into his suit coat pocket. His fingers found the blade and a grin emerged across his lips. “We’ll see what changes in this town!”
     

  11. Whipped this one out:
     

    Living
    Look at your life
    put it all on the line
    feel the future shine
    play the game hard
    don’t wait or play it safe
    take the hint and lead
    burn all doubt and fear
    start living now!

  12. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been busy writing and missed a few challenges. Here’s a new one…
    “Feel the burn! If you want to look good and shine, you must take care of your body. Follow my lead,” said the fitness instructor. Dixie took the ‘hint’ from her sister Jill who kept bugging her to get back into the ‘dating’ game. Robert, Dixie’s husband of five years, was killed in a motorcycle accident a year ago. She believed Robert wasn’t safe riding a two-wheeler. In the back of her mind, Dixie couldn’t help but wonder if she perpetuated the accident with her worrisome thoughts. Jill thought she was nuts and kept telling her to get out there and meet new people, new friends. Dixie enrolled in a Zumba class which was supposed to be fun; she couldn’t wait until the class was over. It’s been six months since Dixie moved in with her sister and brother-in-law. She feels as if she crossed a line, like imposing on her sister’s life.

    • Jeanette R. says:


      @Rebecca. Welcome back. I hope you are working away on your YA novel :)  I read a food blog last night from someone who lost her husband unexpectedly from a heart attack so that was fresh in my mind when I read your piece.  This line was quite insightful. “Dixie couldn’t help but wonder if she perpetuated the accident with her worrisome thoughts.”  I’m sure many of us blame ourselves for things that happen to us that are out of our control.  Well done.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: I could just feel Dixie’s tension and emotion exploding. Couldn’t imagine being in that situation. Well done.

  13. KathleenL says:

    Mind-full Conversation 
    (A Continuing series of chats)

    “It’s postponed,” she says trying to put her game-face on… “time to celebrate impending closure has been delayed again, Lovie,” she worries he can see through the bravado. “Feel free to cuss; I know many of us are.” Frustration and disappointment filled her cells. 

    “I did, I did explain it to sister,” she tried to answer the
    questions coming at her.

     â€œAs soon as I got wind of this I discussed it with her, I did
    not wait, so she could tell her boss,
    maybe get some work days back.   Listen,
    Lovie … it’s water under the bridge,” she tried to sound like she believed the
    words she said. “We can’t sweat the small stuff… and a six-month continuance is
    small in the scope of things… you know Lovie?”  

     â€œOh… the Defense team said they were not ready to defend
    him. I know, right. When will they ever be ready to defend against his actions?
    It’s all gonna lead us to the same facts
    at the end of the day.

     The tears welled. “I know it’s got to be tough on our girl,”
    her chest began to ache all the way down her left arm.  A hint
    of numbness burned in her fingers
    and hand. She attempted to take a deep breath. “It’s got to be hardest on her,
    huh Lovie?” trying to change her focus. “All of this getting ready to testify
    only to have a legal wrangling ….”

     Moments of silence fill the air.

     â€œIf they think they can plan to have the case heard in the
    dead of winter when the roads are not guaranteed to be safe to travel down and your family won’t make the trek … well,
    they have another thing comin’,” she said as the streams of frustration ran
    down her face.

    She turned her sad
    eyes to the sky, only to be greeted by a stream of sunlight – the Theophanous
    — that had just broken through the clouds.  She smiled at the warmth in her heart as well
    as on her face as her grandmother shined
    upon her.

     â€œHello grandma. He is beautiful isn’t he; I am glad you like
    your great-grandson,” her smile, although slow to her lips, grew in her heart
    most. “Thanks for keeping an eye on him for me ‘til I get there. Yes, he is a
    sweet boy. Yes. Oh son … I promise I shall not hasten my arrival. Don’t bother yourself
    with that kind of worry Lovie. I don’t mean it. The line of stairs do not go in both directions,” a sigh of defeat escaped
    from her lungs. “Plus, I have too much work to do down here…. And you’ve got
    grandma, my grandma to look after
    you. Yes, I know. I am glad you get to see that I was tellin’ yah the truth all
    these years. Each time you were warmed by her appearance. Now you know why it
    was so important for me to introduce you to that presence of God’s Light…the
    Theophanous… my grandmother, your grandmother’s mum. Yes, Lovie, she has been
    watching over us for years.” A peacefulness eased the corner of her worries.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: Wonderful. More!

    • Jeanette Ruiz says:

      @KathleenL.  You taught me a new word, Theophanous. I had to Google it.  Your stories brought up a conversation with my father and I and he admitted to me that he speaks to his deceased mother all the time.  I too speak to a good friend of mine who passed away years ago.  A scent will catch me and I’ll automatically feel her presence.  Keep on writing.

      • KathleenL says:

        Shane — I am blushing, thanks! Promise… More is coming.

        Jeanette — Oh, I hope my big smile is not too bright through the monitor! How wonderful… I am honored that something I wrote brought up a wonderful discussion between you and your dad!!!!!! OHhhhhhhhhhhhh thank you for sharing this with me. Pretty darn cool. And… thanks for stepping out of a sometimes comfort zone and sharing your connections too!  I am glad I am not alone in this. Years ago… I thought about writing a book entitled something towards the effect of — A book Of Visitations.  Maybe … it’s still in the cooker. 🙂

  14. Randy made a game of herding the ants down the sidewalk, slapping his palms against the concrete on either side of their single-file death march. Now and then, he’d dip a finger in vinegar, or Coca-Cola, and trail it across the line, laughing as the ants’ orderly processional fell apart, confused and chaotic, as if they’d gone blind drunk. Eventually, one would pick up the scent of the ants that had gone before, and he would drop clear, powerful, chemical hints for the others. Order restored, the ants regrouped.
     
    Randy kept his back to the sun, so that the ants could never quite escape the ominous shade of the leering giant that hovered over them – not until the last minute, that is. And just when they crossed over the line, into the bright, warm, safe embrace of the sun, Randy would whip out his magnifying glass and home in on the lead ant. The focused ray of sunshine blinded the tiny insect, stunning it into stillness long before the agonal writhing began. The ant reared up and fell to one side, comically, and twitched. Randy wondered if ants had nerves that could feel what it meant to burn.
     
    Randy tugged at the nose hole on his compression mask. This “second skin” had become a prison and a refuge. He hadn’t seen his own face in nearly a year, not since the fire. He could wait to look. Forever, maybe. A part of him envied the ants.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Holly: WOW! What a story. You had me thinking one way, that BAM, the end comes and I had a whole new perspective. Great job. Continue this.

      • As I told someone on my blog, I’ve actually gotten smacked (playfully, mind you) by readers for doing things like this. And still, I just can’t seem to NOT do things like this, if you know what I mean. They just come out of my brain that way.

    • Jeanette Ruiz says:

      @Holly.  This was very entertaining. Your words painted the scene beautifully!

      • KathleenL says:

        Holly – I like this! You drew me in… with great phrases like: “…ants’ orderly processional fell apart, confused and chaotic, as if they’d gone blind drunk….”  And “…into stillness long before the agonal writhing began…”  And then you flopped me over… with the reason behind his burning desires. Wow. Not what I expected. Cool.
        Whoever is tellin’ you it is shameful for you to come play here…. Tell them that the  game we play here is a safe one … for those who are not afraid to allow the hints of leaders to enable them to line up the words. Sometimes… even some of our submissions shine in the face of wordplay.

        I too understand the burning desire to see what encouraging crumbs we are left to feed our writing needs.  Let those scare-d-cats wait on the sidelines, look-on as they will. Show them the fun and the possibilities! Keep up the good work.

  15. Sara Robin says:

    He had crossed the line several hours ago.  He knew that.  She had given him the hint and he had refused to take it.  It was his bridge to burn, if he wanted.  Leading the way, abandoning the safety of wait and see behind him.  A game of cat and mouse?  Of mouse and trap?  He could feel her looking at him, her eyes on his back like a pair of headlights, shining straight into his gut.  He wanted them off…. wanted her gone.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sara Robin: Such a great submission. Welcome.
      I sure hope to see you each Monday and Thursday. Let us know what you thought of the process. Everyone welcome Dara to the fun.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        Better late than never- my apologies-we had a death in our family and I’ve been out of state

        @Sara Robin @ Alison -Welcome to CCC!

        If you’re game for a challenge, CCC is the place to be. It’s a safe haven for the inner muse as your burn through the words peppering your soul. Line by line, the momentum builds, without a hint of strain. Each challenge will let you shine as they lead down a path you’ve never been. You can hardly wait for the next one.

        Words make us feel. Words unite us all. Words are the look we love.

        Welcome!

  16. Sara Robin says:

    @Shane: Thanks for the welcome!  This is definitely addictive, and a great way to get in touch with my neglected creative writing side!

  17. Alison West says:

    It really was just a game. She tried to convince herself that she was safe, but deep down she knew it was real. She could crash and burn at any time. He’d make her go back to the end of the line, or worse. Without a hint of sarcasm, she told him she loved him, just to make him shine. She took the lead, dancing around him seductively. He reached for her. “Wait,” she whispered. He didn’t want to wait, he wanted to feel the heat of her against him. He wanted to hold her close and look deep into her honey eyes. She was the special one, he had found her. She wouldn’t try to escape. He’d have her forever.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Alison: Welcome to the addiction we call the CCC. Love your style. What did you think of the challenge? Let me know.
      Everyone welcome Alison to the show. I’ll add your name and url to the CCC Community Links page now.

  18. Alison West says:

    @Shane Thanks for the welcome! I thought the challenge was fun, and certainly am looking forward to doing more. Helps stretch the mind and all!

  19. Kelly says:

    INTO THE VALLEY

    The burn line was still over a half-mile away. Any hint of safety the boys had felt before was vanishing, replaced by the familiar feelings of excitement and power mixed with dread. The shine on their masks was gone, and they’d taken on the look of greying bears; flakes of charred forest were stuck to their suits from head to thick-booted toe.

    Sam had waited a long time to become team leader in this division of forestry. She smiled through the smoke, a 48-megawatt grin fueled by pure adrenaline.

    Time to make this controlled burn do its work and save some houses. Time to take the boys down into the valley.

    Sam gave the signal.

    Game on.


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