Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #178

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. Log
  2. Long
  3. Lucky
  4. Loose
  5. Love
  6. Lick
  7. Lips
  8. Lemon
  9. Least
  10. Legal

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


80 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #178”

  1. James stood at the corner of Reyes and Linus facing north into the park.  He pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked the time.


    But he already knew that.

    He took a breath and even said a quick prayer.  He let out a slight chuckle because he had never thought of doing that before.  Maybe this time will be different.   Maybe it will change things.  It was worth a shot.  He didn’t have much time.  He walked into Shepherd Park in the direction of the benches near the knolls.

    This scene has played out many times before.  This time had to be different.  This time had to be the one.  He was going to do what he felt needed to be done and then hope for the best.

    Off in the distance he could see her.  His window of opportunity was short and he had to get to her without interruption.

    From the left a homeless man came up to James.

    “Sir, can you spare some loose……”

    “Here you go Reggie…” James hands over his wallet before Reggie could even finish his sentence.  He hopped over the log boarder started off into a sprint and stopped a few yards from her.  There she sat on a park bench reading a book.  She was beautiful.  He’s never seen her any other way.  He slowly approached her as she moved her bangs behind her left ear, licked her middle finger turn the page,  uncrossed her legs and placed her left leg over the right one.

    He stood awkwardly, and softly called out to her, “Katherine?”

    Katherine looked up and held her hand up to block the sun, “Yes?”

    “Hi.  My name is James.  James Copeland.”

    “Do I know you?”

    “Currently, no.   In the sense of the meta-physical universe, you know all about me and I know all about you.  Look, I know you don’t understand, but do you mind if I sit next to you?  I swear I mean you know harm.”

    “I don’t know.”

    “If it makes you feel safer, there’s going to be a couple of cops walking around the corner in a couple seconds.”

    “How do you???”

    Just like James promised, two park and wildlife police officers in conversation walk around the corner and stop by a nearby table.

    “How??  How did you??”

    James sighs and takes a breath, “I’ve always hoped the explanation would somehow remain.  It takes up precious time.  If you can believe it or not, I am living the same twenty-two minutes over and over again.  We’ve had this conversation and some derivative of it numerous times.  I’m stuck in time loop, for a reason I’ve not come close to understanding.”

    “I think I should leave.”

    “I knew you were going to say that.  You ALWAYS say that! But Katherine, we’ve sat on this bench for countless minutes talking to one another.  We’ve gotten to know one another.  I know your name is Katherine Rhodes.  You’re twenty-seven years old and a pharmacy technician.  You called in sick today and you come here to read.  It reminds you of your father and mother.  They’ve been gone six years.  You like peanut butter but not jelly.  You prefer your mashed potatoes prepared with the skin still on .  You enjoy tea with extra lemon.  You’ve been to every continental state and have a picture from each state in a mural on your living room.

    So you’ve told me.

    You’ve also been hurt before.  In such a way you can never really open up to a man your innermost feelings and dreams.”

    “I don’t ever remember meeting you.”

    “You never do.  No one ever does.  Just myself.  Everyone goes back to doing what they were doing when it starts.  At One-thirty, everyone leaves, and I return to one-oh-eight and have to relive this over and over again.  In the span of countless twenty-two minutes over and over, I’ve witnessed and learned things that other’s forget.  But none of that really matters.  The only thing that matters is what I’ve come here to tell you. ”

    Katherine stares right into James’s eyes.

    “I love you Katherine.  I love you.  I want to say I’ve loved you from the time I first laid eyes on you, but it’s been so long and I’ve wanted to tell you so many times.  But not every meeting comes out the same.  I only have a short amount of time for you to fall in love with me, but right now it doesn’t matter. It can be fate, course correction, or I’m just a lucky guy to be able to spend as much time with you as I have.  But I fully believe that the whole point of this… this event. Is because of us.  God.  The Universe.  Whatever wants me to get it right.  It wants me to open up to you just like you’ve opened up to me little by little over the course of, I don’t know how long I’ve been doing this.  It wants me to tell you that you can be loved, Katherine.  That you can be loved by me and we can beat this thing and when it turns 1:31 we’re still going to be here together and we’re going to cherish each moment afterwards.”

    Katherine takes a second to comprehend it all.

    “If what you say is true and you really do know all this about me.  Have you ever tried this before.  This.. This confession?”

    “No.  This is the first time.  I’ve never told you how I’ve felt.  I’ve never told you about the time loop.  I realized I was holding that back when we’ve disclosed ourselves to each other over the….. what I can only assume have been years I’ve been meeting you here.”



    “If it’s only 22 minutes when do you sleep?”

    “I usually just go to a park bench and sleep until the next reset.”

    “And during these ‘resets’ you go back twenty-two minutes in time??”

    “Yes, to the exact geographical point I was at 1:08.”

    “And you’re the only one that remembers?”

    “As far as I know.  Everyone is doing what they were doing twenty-two minutes prior as well with no recollection of what just transpired.”

    “What all have you done?  Seen?”

    “A lot!  There’s only so much you can get accomplished in 22 minutes.  So it’s been pretty much all been legal.”

    Katherine sat there, trying to take it all in.  It was all new to her.  This man, new to her.  But he knew all about her.  He knew things that she’s never shared with anyone.  She didn’t want to be hurt, but she didn’t think she could not at least take the chance.

    “All right.  I believe you.  I believe everything.”

    “Oh, Katherine!”

    James leans forward to embrace her and squeezes her tight.

    “You better not be a psycho!”

    James laughs, “No.”

    Katherine embraces him as well.  A genuine smile crosses his lips as he closes his eyes finally feeling safe for the first time in…. in a very long time.

    He opens his eyes and James is standing on the corner of Reyes and Linus facing north into the park.  He pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked the time.


    But he already knew that.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Eric, WOW!  This was an incredible read!  It reminds me of Penny and Desmond from “LOST” (and “Groundhog Day,” of course), and I love how his start time is always “1:08 p.m.” (the sum of the “LOST” numbers).
      Delicious bittersweet ending too!

      It’s also awesome that you made his time-loop 22 minutes, as it could be a pilot for a half-hour TV show!

      • Frank. I didn’t even think of Penny and Desmond, but yes, it reminds me of the phone conversation they had when he was flashing thru time.
        Bravo on catching the LOST 1:08 reference.  I’ve incorporated LOST in a lot of my stories on here.  Whether it be the numbers or names of characters or locations with reference to the show.  Check out the street names of the corner where he starts out.  As well as the park.  In addition to the names of the characters (minus the last names).

        And I included inspiration from Groundhogs Day as well.

    • Awesome. The homage was LOST on me but the story is powerful!! Two exclams for you, Eric.
      If you keep this up, I’ll finally understand time paradoxes 🙂

      • KathleenL says:

        Eric — I did not get to watch Lost. Would like to, but the one episode taught me I needed to do it from the beginning.

        I STILL liked this! Kept me reading, reading, reading, reading! Bravo

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Eric, that was so cool, man! love these types of stories too.
      As for lost, I was lucky enough to be married to someone who’s mother was best friends with Terry O’Quinn (Locke’s) wife. We went to his house around 4 times for parties. Such cool times they were.

  2. Martha says:

    The log house nestled in the lee of the valley. It looked incongruous next to its neighbours. Newcomers to the community wondered how long the house had been there, surrounded by buildings more commonly seen in the suburbs. It was lucky said the real estate agent how it got grandfathered in by the town council. There were many who challenged the legality of its continued location, and though many had tried, the log house, a fancy cabin really, could not be shaken loose from its foundation. Nor could it be renovated said the agent interrupting my reverie, populated as it was with thoughts of wainscotting, skylights, and wraparound porches. That’s ridiculous,” I said. “I love a challenge. What could possibly stop me from renovating my own property?” The agent pursed his mouth as if a lemon had unexpectedly crossed his lips. He licked them nervously and for the first time, I noticed how faded and battered the For Sale sign really was. He sighed and allowed that getting permission to renovate would be the least of my worries. His reluctance was clearly palpable, like a lump found in the soft secret spaces of the body. “I haven’t told you yet about the owner. There are some unique conditions governing the sale …”

    • Ugh…. One of those sellers… When I was selling Real Estate, I worked with quite a few of them.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Martha, great story, and awesome hook to make me want to read more!  What is it about this owner that has the Real Estate agent so nervous (and great descriptions of the agent’s discomfort, by the way!).

        • Martha says:

          Thanks. I met quite a few myself Eric when househunting years ago. I couldn’t get over how persnickety some sellers were. Some specified they were taking fixtures: lamps, switch plates etc. Kind of took the shine off that house. And some of the agents: wow, they were experts at turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse.
          Frank: I am not sure where I am going to go with this. Thanks to the challenge, I now have a folder of great starters. Now I have to get them to a place where they are finishers!

    • Heh. A fun real estate tale. I wonder what the conditions were.
      Here’s a nice turn of phrase: His reluctance was clearly palpable, like a lump found in the soft secret spaces of the body.

      • KathleenL says:

        Martha — Ditto to the boy’s comments above. I will look forward to seeing if there is another installment. Buyers are bad too. My sister instisted on the seller Leaving two country door full length decorations! LOL

        And you are right many a good story beginnings have been born here.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Martha: That was splendid.

  3. Frank Ruiz says:

    “Jesus!  I barely eat, but look at how big you are!”

    “Yep, it sure is surprising.  I think I get a little bigger each time.”

    “I know you do!  I wouldn’t feel this sore if you didn’t!  Maybe it means you’ll get lucky and we can stay together a while longer.”

    “That would be nice, but let’s not get our hopes up, okay?  I think it would just hurt too much for the both of us.”

    “I suppose you’re right.  Might as well enjoy this time we share, no matter how short it is.  From the moment I let you loose to the time you leave me: it’s all we have, but at least we know how to enjoy it.”

    “Amen to that.  Love’s funny, ain’t it?”

    “You can say that again!  I never would have expected we’d be talking, much less me feeling how I do about you.”

    “I feel the same way.  I used to just shoot through here minding my own business, but now I try to stick around as long as I can before leaving.”

    “Well, the legal system can beat and cage me, but they can’t lick my heart, so I’m glad you’re here to receive it as a gift.”

    “You treat me so well, Burgess.  I never thought anyone would want to look at me, much less share what we have.”

    “Hey, I feel like the last lemon at the used-car lot my damned self, so I’m glad to have someone too, believe me!”

    “I don’t think we have much time left.”

    “Yeah… I can see that.  You’re starting to break up, so we’ll have to say goodbye soon.”

    “Don’t be sad, Burgess.  You know I’ll be back tomorrow around the same time.”

    “I know, but the rest of my day in this Hellhole is all the worse without you.”

    “I hear footsteps outside!  I have to go!”

    “Damn it!  Let me steal a kiss before you leave.”

    “You’ll get in trouble!”

    “I don’t care!  It’s worth it if I get to taste you on my lips one more time.”

    “You’ll have to kneel down to get to me.”

    “Let me do it quick, before – -”



    “Fuck!  The guard!”


    “You don’t understand – -”


    “…  Yes sir.”


    “Don’t hit that handle!”








    “Fucker.  Well, I’m alone again, thanks to him.  Until tomorrow, my love.”

  4. Larry should at least lick the lucky lemon loose from his lips, for the love of Pete. Is that even legal, one might ask. Only if the lemon comes from under a long log.

  5. margaret says:

    It is not legal to lick an eagle,
    or dance with a hog on a fireplace log.
    You’re considered loose if a bull you goose
    but might get lucky if you love a ducky.

    Lemon trees feed honey bees
    and honey on your lips keeps chocolate off your hips.
    If none of this makes sense, at least I’m weird, not dense!

    I could make up a song, but this has gone on far too long!

    • Margaret, this could be Strawberry Letter #24. Quick question, is it better to goose a bull or bull a goose?

      • KathleenL says:

        Miss Margaret — You did it and no you are far from werid… or at least you are no weirder than I. LOL
        “…honey on your lips keeps chocolate off your hips…” Clever… I made me want to get the honey … at least for a try.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ma: Lovely, lovely, lovely. You should get Sean to put all your CCC poems into a Kindle book.

  6. It turns out that the lemon juice didn’t blind my eye – the damned seed what squirted  out quick as lightning, that’s what done it. I was going to sue the preacher.  What? Because the lemonade stand was on church property. Huh? Exempt? For real? I’m not up on that legal stuff. I think you’re full of it. But, whatever. I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. I had just figured, if I’m lucky, he’ll settle. Never mind, never mind. Want to hear something sick? That nasty eyeball juice trickled down to my lips and I just had to lick it.

    Ha, ha! You so squeamish.  Mop that shit up, yo. I don’t want my dog all up in that. So, long story short, that’s how I met your mother. She looked so pitiful, standing there with that half a lemon, crying and boo-hooing and shit. Wait, that was me. Your moms was screaming, wringing her hands and jinkin’ back and forth like some crack ho in a rowboat. As fucked up as I was right then, I fell in love with the cow, log legs and all.

    Ow! That’s my good eye! I was just trying to give the story some flavor. Lil punk. You want to hear the rest of the story or not? Gimme one a them smokes. Back in the day, we could get ’em loose for a nickel a piece, how ’bout dat?  So, your moms gets the preacher and he drives me to Mercy. But they have me sittin’ around for hours, on account there was a lot of tree ahdge, which is French for “no insurance”, which I didn’t have. It’s not? Who asked you, anyhow?

    By the time they got to me, the juice was gone from my eye. I took a peek at it from the men’s room. It was all crinkled up like a crushed styrofoam cup. They took me in the back, knocked me out and scraped all that shit out. Want to see?

    Oh, man! You gotta stop doin’ that. Don’t no woman want a man with a weak-ass stomach. I guess that’s why they give me the patch, though. I wouldn’t want to be scaring everybody on the bus.

    At least now, you know why I prefer sweet tea. Pass the jelly.

    • KathleenL says:

      Mitch, Mitch. Mitch! Yah’ll had me ga-fawing from the get-go! Great dialog, moved fast. I like how it jumped around, like real converstations!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        This was awesome, and I loved how you kept us on one side of the conversation.  It reminded me of eavesdropping on someone having a phone conversation, but this guy didn’t have that option, so he had to see his son puke a few times!

    • Kathleen, thank you! I was laughing “at my ownself” writing this farce. I sent it to my dad and he was howling. 🙂
      Frank, thanks for the compliment. I’m glad that eavesdropping sensation worked out. I was practicing creating an unseen character.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: Not only would I pay for your books, I’d pay to hear that conversation with your Pops.

  7. Stacia says:

    Yum: Lemon-yellow thongs, torn. He licked her long neck with love and lust. At least it’s legal – no lips locked – doesn’t count as cheating. Though he’s hoping that he’ll get lucky tonight, no doubt without a price. “I’m home,” wife returns, stares; all hells break loose while the screen requests you to register a membership that comes with a monthly fee, ’cause you said ‘Yes’ when asked, you want some more? Log off.

  8. Kelly says:


    Too easy to log all my days with you
    I’ve been lucky at love, it’s true.
    A long time coming, loose in this city
    licking my lips at the least lemon that passed me
    learning a lot about liars and loafers and bastards.
    But now that you’re here, and you’re what I’m after
    and you take things slow, when I’m wanting faster
    when you finally say, let’s get off this coaster
    make it legal at last—I say

    Let’s stop this chatter and

  9. Anne Wayman says:

    Ah the Ls.
    I log
    My long trip
    Feeling lucky, loose and maybe in love.
    I lick my lips free of luscious lemon drops
    Knowing this, at least, is still legal

  10. For some reason the feed comes to my email the next morning (Friday) so I am always late for the Thursday game, here was my poem entry and I bet you can guess which my favorite line was.

    Buyers Remorse
    One of my least favorite things
    always a sucker for loose lips
    and slow long lucky love lick
    aftertaste a sour lemon indeed
    as the legal log is falling on me

    • KathleenL says:

      Justin… I am just late to the game by nature, it seems!
      Great play through!

      • Thanks, I eagerly await the new game, sometimes I will hit the site early on the day a new game starts and be to early and just page refresh every hour until I see the next game starting.  This is rare though.

    • Heh. Justin, I can’t help it. I guess your favorite line is
      and slow long lucky love lick
      Being that this is the third straight poem, I’m in interpretive overload: is this about marriage? (Why buy the cow when the milk is free?)


      • Yeah, kind of like someone who repeatedly marries and regrets.  Maybe cause I have been watching movies about these things, 6 Wives of Henry Lefay, Everything Must Go…it must be influencing how my poems come out.

        • KathleenL says:

          Justin & Mitch — hum… I was not on the same page, but now, after Mitch’s question… I can see this perspective.
          Now it’s an even more Ingenious use of the list. 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin G: Love how you combined love with buyers remorse here.
      Not sure about the feed. I’ll pass that along though.

      • Shane, I don’t know if you use Feedburner or not, but you can set it to only publish the Feed at a certain time of morning and if you publish after that time then your feed doesn’t show until next morning.

  11. KathleenL says:

    The long log lay before her.
    “I am a lucky gal,” Shannon said as she licked her lips. “Why do they taste like lemon?” she wondered.
    She brought her focus back to the ever hardening wood that she so desired; the object of her affection.
     She became loose in the knees, again.  
    “Awe, yes,” she said as she was mindful of it rising before her. She so loved how it made her feel each and every time she pulled on it.
    The chain saw started up without incident and she began carving.

    Author’s note: I kept it legal, at least I made you think, I hope.

    • Puzzling, I see at least 2-3 different interpretations not sure which one is implied.

      • KathleenL says:

        Justin — I will admit I am born of a dirty mind and have one of my own… but… as a Picaso tells each viewer its own story… so may this.

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Haha, awesome story, Kathleen!  I love stories like this, because they lull the reader into the assumption that they’re getting a naughty glimpse into the author’s mind, but at the end the reader finds out it was their own mind that created the naughtiness!

          • KathleenL says:

            Frank — me too. :}
            I like being able to have the fun, lead folks, no… HELP lead folks wherever their brain feels like going and then bringing them back to “my” center for the moment.

    • Kathleen, having read your reply to Justin, I had to smile as I reconsidered the alternatives.
      Naughty. Delightfully naughty.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: You had my mind falling down a dark gutter lined with lots of yummy possibilities. 🙂

  12. siggiofmaine says:

    Loose lips sink ships was an old saying back in the day.Scandal could metaphorically sink a ship. To be a bit sly aboutthe world of the sailors R and R licking lips was the least obvious way to let the un-lucky in love know that the least legal profession was on the loose .It would be difficult for the long arm of the law to add the ladiesand the gents to their legal log of loose women and un-lucky sailorswho wished lucky in love equalled legal at least. The long hand written log of the captain of the ship might be written with lemon juice…it’s invisible ink you know…to prevent the loose lips from sinking the ship with it’s gossip.

    • Ha-ha! Who knew? I tried that lemon juice thing when I was a kid. Didn’t quite work out. I love the repetition of the key phrases.

      • KathleenL says:

        siggiofmaine — I like the use of the words more than once as well. It comes across so — poetically — great rhythm in the read.
        Mitch — I did not try the lemon to write with… had some invisible  counterpart.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Siggi: Outstanding. I’ve only seen one person do this since we started. Our buddy Steve did that way back when. Well done.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Her least favorite thing was to be stuck in one place for a long period of time,
    Lucky for her, travel took her all over the world,
    She was chosen to be its partner.
    Her love of art and culture transcended barriers that most could not break,
    Many languages crossed her lips; she spoke fluently and with ease,
    She was a loose, free spirited woman, who didn’t care what people thought.
    She was of legal age and beholden to no one,
    Life was an adventure and she wasn’t about to squander opportunity’s knock,
    Time would not lick her, not like it had so many before her.
    Her travel log filled quickly, jetting her from one place to the next,
    There was no one to long for because she was never alone,
    The lemon yellow sun shined upon her today and gave her a kiss.

  14. KathleenL says:

    Rebecca –  I like this.
    She was of legal age and beholden to no one….” Wonderful line!

  15. Shane Arthur says:

    I’m back! You all can blame Ma’s son Sean Platt for that. Just finished editing his 6-book series Yesterday’s Gone. What a great time it was editing that sucker! You guys should check it out on Amazon. Anyway, I’m catching up now, and I’m taking it easy this week on editing so I can catch up here and relax a bit in general.
    “Hey Billy. Those gals we picked up last night was barely legal, but they licked their lips and shooked their lemons better den any MILF we ever done did. They was wild and longin’ for some lucky, loose lovin’ just like our fraternity brother from around these parts said thy was gonna be.”

    “Bobby, they lived in a more backward holler den we did. I still can’t believes Peggy-Mae-Sue had a log crossin’ da crick to get to her half-wide trailer, and I can’t believes you farted when we drove by to pick them up, forcin’ us to drive by them actin’ like we didn’t see them when they ran over da log to da street. Da stink didn’t leave until the third pass, and the gals was gettin’ tired running back and forth. Da least you coulda done did was roll down da window.”

    “Yeah, sorry ‘bout dat Billy. Dat Squirrel-nut slurpy from last week was still hijackin’ my system.”

  16. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane & Kathleen … Thanks! I wanted to write something different.

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