Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #181

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. Walk
  2. Face
  3. Too late
  4. Change
  5. Point
  6. Deceive
  7. Believe
  8. Crack
  9. Fall
  10. Spend

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


101 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #181”

  1. Here is my entry in today’s Word game;

    Too late to change the point
    as words deceive those who believe
    and those who spend their conscience
    blindly walk face first onto a false bridge
    each crack bringing them closer to fall
    sweet promises the road would be safe
    were nothing but lies and deception

  2. Rebecca says:

    It’s too late for me to change my mind,
    For I believe it’s time for me to walk away.
    To deceive me once, shame on you,
    And to deceive me twice, shame on me.
    I must face the atrocities I’ve committed,
    For it is I, and I alone, that allowed it to get to this point.
    I spend too much time caring what others think and feel,
    And have allowed myself to fall through the crack.

    • I like your similar theme and form, the focus on ones own mistakes based on someone else’s deceit is captured well.

    • This dark poem is intriguing, Rebecca: the first and last lines imply a point of no return. The second line seems to provide a resolution – bolstered by the next-to-last line. Yet, the shame on me and I must face the atrocities … implies no redemption at all.
      Am I reading this wrong? I’m thinking abusive relationship…
      Thanks for giving me something to chew on!

    • margaret says:

      One of my favorite quotes, author unknown, is “People will do to you what you allow them to do to you”. It is important to set boundaries in our lives and walk away before we do something we regret. Well done, Rebecca.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Rebecca This is an empowering piece.  And relatable on so many levels.  Awesome!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Rebecca-love the sense of power

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        This was a great piece on what I imagined was a woman preparing herself to leave an abusive relationship.  Powerful stuff!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: My life is having a dandy time of falling through the cracks right now. Great write. Captured the feeling perfectly.

  3. “Winston Churchill Fenimore Cooper! Get your narrow behind in here, right now!” Eva was seething. That boy was going to get it! She needed this anger, if she were going to be able to pull this off. Her little brother was about to become a pawn in a deadly game of mental chicken.

    “What? I didn’t do nothing!” Winston barreled into his sister’s tiny, dark bedroom. “It stinks in here. Whatcha doing, burning mice?” He noticed his mother’s favorite silk scarf on the floor beside a dirty yellow supermarket bag.

    “You know very well why it stinks, you rotten little monster. That thing didn’t walk up in here on its own.” Eva’s quivering finger accused the errant plastic bag of trespassing. “Get it out of here! Now!”

    Winston scanned his sister’s face, summoning all six of his little years’ knowledge of human psychology. Looking for a crack through which her impish prankster might peek, he was startled to find nothing there.  This was serious.

    “Eva, I didn’t do nothing! I wasn’t even in your nasty ol’ room!”

    “Stop lying, you little bastard! Do you expect me to believe anyone else in this house is sick enough to leave that – that thing in here? If you don’t take it out right now, I’m telling mommy!” Eva’s voice had risen to a shrill, menacing pitch. She was reaching the point where she could deceive her own mind. Encouraged, she continued:

    “I was out all day. Mommy and daddy are at work. You …”

    “Uhn-uhn!” Winston was alarmed at the implication. So what if he had the day off from school? He wasn’t about to spend time in the corner for something he didn’t even do. He shook his head violently, momentarily at a loss for words.

    Eva went in for the kill. Really, this was too easy. “I swear to God, Winston, you better get that nasty bag out of here now!”

    For the first time in his life, Winston became scared of his big sister. A mewling whimper started working its way up from his belly, propelling his skinny little legs towards the yellow bag. Now that he was focusing on it, he noticed the oddly sagging contours, the limp demeanor of the bag. Obviously, something semi-solid was barely contained within.

    Winston reached the bag. Instead of peering in, he looked back at his sister. Her evil glare made him quickly turn back toward the mysterious yellow package. Fearfully, yet filled with natural curiosity, Winston grabbed at the edge, using his thumb and forefinger. Slowly, inevitably, he pulled. As the material unfolded, it crinkled softly. Suddenly, the sound of rasping plastic gave way to a wet splash. A gelatinous blob of reddish brown mud plopped through a ragged tear hidden just beneath the fold. Several worms wriggled free of the suffocating slush.

    “Eww! Compost!”

    Winston yelped and jumped back. His thumb hooked onto the bag’s extruded handle. The thought of getting that smelly gunk on himself caused Winston to react in a way that guaranteed he would get exactly that: he jerked his hand away. His feet got tangled up and, as he began to fall, the slime arced up and gracefully descended. Too late to adjust, Winston simply covered his face with his free arm and braced himself with the other hand still gripping the half-empty bag.  He landed on the silk scarf and began to cry.

    Eva grinned. Yes! She was safe, now. Little brother was covered in filth. Mommy would be home any second. He wouldn’t have time to clean up and change his clothes, let alone obliterate the evidence now splattered all over her floor. Perfect.

    As if on cue, the front door opened. “Winnie! Eva! I’m home!”

    Three seconds later, “What’s that smell? Winston Churchill Fenimore Cooper, get your narrow behind in here right now!”

    • margaret says:

      Oh, evil, Mitch. The bad seed! I like.

      • Thanks, Margaret. I wonder if I subconsciously projected “Eva” as an appropriate moniker – sort of the way we all tend to label a particularly irksome person “Cruella”.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      Poor Winston.  I used to semi-torture my little brother but I wasn’t nearly as clever as Eva.   Till this day my brother comments on how I would make him shove his big ears into a baseball cap so my friends wouldn’t see them.  I don’t remember me doing such a horrible thing but kids will be kids 😉

      You kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what was in that bag.  Ewwww.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Mitch-love sibling rivalry-as a middle child of seven, I had plenty of it-heh-heh 🙂

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Coming from a guy who had a sister who also messed with him as a kid, I truly felt this story!  Great work, Mitch!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: I bet I’m not the only one that giggled while reading Winston Churchill Fenimore Cooper. That added such a great feel to this story.

    • Frank, Cathy and Shane: thanks! Sibling rivalries are fascinating. The best thing that can happen is that the bonds are even strong as the kids get older. I know it doesn’t always work out that way…

  4. margaret says:

    You can spend all your life waiting for God’s grace
    but if you don’t help yourself, you’ll fall flat on your face.
    Don’t deceive yourself that fate you can’t change
    you just have to believe you can your life rearrange.

    You must walk with a purpose, don’t let your dreams crack.
    I don’t care what they say, it’s not too late to go back.
    You can point a finger at what has gone wrong,
    but you alone are the composer of a good or bad song.

  5. Rebecca says:

    @ Justin … I see the similarities as well.
    @ Mitch … I watched the first season of The Tudors (Oh My!) along with SyFy’s Tin Man and The Adjustment Bureau this weekend. And … Sometimes, some of us wear ‘rose-colored’ glasses and don’t want to ‘see’ or acknowledge the truth when it comes to people (especially family) and situations.
    BTW: I love the name of Winston Churchill Fenimore Cooper. My niece’s name is Eva.

  6. Rebecca says:

    @ Margaret … Beautiful piece. I especially liked the second line.

  7. Rebecca says:

    @ Margaret … I agree with setting boundaries and walking away. I’ve been doing this lately and lost some people a long the way. I also ask, “Does this honor me?” If it doesn’t, I walk away.

  8. Jeanette R. says:

    “Be honest, how much would you spend on this?”  Jodi held up a discolored laughing Buddha with a cracked nose.

    Jarrod squinted his eyes trying to figure out what she was holding. “Considering that it looks like it could have been made in the Ming dynasty, I would give you about $5 dollars and expect $4 in change.”

    Jodi wrote $1 dollar on a label and applied it gently to the Buddha’s head. “I can’t believe you. If it were that old, you wouldn’t need this garage sale to go back to school.  You would be a gazillionaire.”

    Jarrod winked and pointed to a stack of books.  “All of those can be sold for .50 cents.  Although, in hopes of keeping things P.G. for the Granny’s, we should set up a separate erotica section.  We can lure those thrill seekers in with a taste of seduction.” He rolled his eyes back in mock pleasure and wrote “For Adult Eyes Only” on the side of a box.

    Jodi walked over to a table with coffee mugs and arranged them by color. “I’m so glad you’re going back to school. Your imagination is a terrible thing to waste. But, I thought it was too late to enroll this semester. Why are you in a rush to make this money now?  

    Jarrod sat on a wobbly stool and took a whiff of his black marker.  “Maybe cause ever since I came face to face with death, I thought I would do something with my life that mattered.  I love to write and create stories that people fall in love with so I need to perfect my craft. How else can I do that than pay $30,000 to some random institution?”

    “First of all, you could start by not deceiving yourself into thinking that a 30th birthday party is the same as a near-death experience and you could try going to community college rather than enroll in the most expensive college in the state.”

    “Oh, Jodi. Where is the fun in that?  I want to be knee-deep in debt, jobless and suffering.  It’s going to fuel my fire and have me write the next great American novel. You just wait and see.”

    • Yay for the starving artist, right? LOL. Obviously, a very talented artisted dusted her word brush across the CCC page today. It’s funny how folks turn 30, then 40 and claim crisis at each point.
      I’ve had 50 of em and each one is more fun than the last 🙂
      Truthfully, the hardest birthday was First Day on Earth Day. (An old co-worker used to sign all the office birthday cards Happy First Day on Earth Day!)

      • Cathy Miller says:

        Well, Mitch, I reach 60 a week after my Walk! Got y’all beat. 🙂
        @Jeanette R-love the natural flow of this story and the dose of reality from Jarrod. 🙂

        • See? That’s the spirit! Looove the birthday – embrace the face (of the Earth) – ommmmm.
          Happy First Day on Earth Day – In advance!

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            Jeanette, this was awesome!  The conversation between Jarrod and Jodi was natural and entertaining.  I wish I knew them both and could hang out with them!

        • margaret says:

          Ha!! ya think? I turned 61 in April and people never believe it. I don’t wanna grow up, and won’t let society tell me I’m too old to act silly, dress funny or say inappropriate things!!

          • Cathy Miller says:

            Margaret-this is why I keep you around-SOMEONE older than me 🙂 People can’t believe I’m turning 60 either-heck, I can’t believe it! Surreal!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: Write books! That is all.

  9. Frank Ruiz says:

    You don’t have to be on crack to be an out-of-control addict.  The path of addiction can be one we all find ourselves walking on, if we have the courage to face our behaviors for what they really are.

    The good news is that it’s never too late to change for the better.  For me, a key to addressing my addiction-issues included pointing out either the damage and/or the futility of continuing on my addictive paths, the benefits I’d gain by stopping my addictive behavior and doing other things instead, and/or all of the above.

    It wasn’t until I started taking hard-looks within that I realized I deceived myself into thinking I was indeed living a full, functioning life without much to point out as problematic.  It’s amazing what we can get ourselves to believe.

    The good news is that you can beat your addictions.  The bad news is that it’s a continuous struggle, as it’s just as easy to fall back into addictive behavior as it is to celebrate going “cold turkey” from your demons just moments before.  I’ve fooled myself into thinking my addiction was over, only to find myself back in the vicious cycle when seduction takes hold of me again.

    Oh, George Lucas, you callous pusher-man!  Why did I spend my money on blu-rays of your horrendous prequels?!  Being in high-definition doesn’t make them any better!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Frank.  You had me on the edge of my seat waiting for you to reveal your addiction.  We all have our addictions, my friend.  You ain’t hurtin’ nobody 😉

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Frank Ruiz-love the idea of George Lucas as a pusher. 🙂

    • Whew. I was gripping my chair, too. that was so compelling.
      Great entry, Frank! Demote the Remote.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, everyone, and yeah, I’ve got other things I shouldn’t be giving my money to aside from George, but he got the shout out today 🙂
        Mitch, I’m going to steal that “demote the remote” line!

    • margaret says:

      Ah, so true, Frank.  I don’t smoke, I don’t gamble, I only drink socially now and then, I love my food, but I wouldn’t say I was an addict. BUT:   My name is Margaret and I am a thrift shop addict!! I can’t stop!!! I am an accumulator! I have gotten so good at it that I find amazing treasures, but I collect more than I can sell. Twelve step program? sigh!

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        That’s definitely a mild addiction to have, and just like our addiction to CCC, it’s one that I think you can stick with 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: You clever dog you! I’m waiting for the red ray to come along.

  10. Cathy Miller says:

    Forgive me for my pitch, but when I saw the word Walk, I just knew it was a sign. This is Breast Cancer Awareness month and my last full month to raise the remaining $645 towards the minimum I need to participate in my 8th, 3-Day, 60 Mile Walk for breast cancer that takes place in November in San Diego. If you are able, you can donate here.
    In any event, please pray to the No Blisters gods for me. 🙂
    A 3-Day Walk of 60 miles is not such a big deal when you consider those who face the battle of cancer. It’s never too late to get involved and help change lives. Every journey starts with a single step, so just point me in the right direction, and I am happy to give it my best shot.

    I won’t deceive you. There’s been years where it was really hard, and others that seemed like a breeze. But, if you believe in the power inside, your resolve will never crack. So, fall in line and join the cause to give cancer a boot so all can spend the life they deserve with those they care for most.

    Thank you & walk on!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Cathy. What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday. Just this weekend, my hubby ran a 1/2 marathon in honor of the Livestrong organization (you should see his blisters..yuck!).  Our family has been affected by cancer and I pray we continue to see positive scientific advancements. I made a donation on your page and wish you happy trails! Thank you for doing what you do.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        Thank you, Jeanette! I really appreciate that. Let me know the names of your family members and I’ll wear them on the Walk to honor their battle. Give my congrats to your hubby-boy could I tell you stories about blisters! The last 3 years I’ve been blister-free-knock on wood.
        Thanks again!

    • Lettuce spray:
      “Oh Noble Esters. If you can smell your way clear, grant Sister Cathy Noble Esters on her walk, that her feet stay warm, dry and free of da funk.”
      There ya go.

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Mitch-LOL! Thanks so much for the incantation. I know I am good to go now.  😀 Also, thank you, thank you, thank you for your donation. CCC rocks-I love my CCC family. 🙂

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Thanks for your wonderful piece on a wonderful cause.  It’s great that you’ll be walking, and we’re happy to support 🙂

          • Cathy Miller says:

            @Frank Ruiz-is it any wonder why I love the CCC community?! What a great bunch of caring, supportive people. But, then we knew that, right? 🙂 Thank you, Frank for your donation. It is greatly appreciated!

    • margaret says:

      Great cause, Cathy…I wish you godspeed and a good hot-stone foot massage when you are done!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: You take a video of your efforts, put it on youtube and I’ll give you a post on the off days and you can write a post about it.

  11. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … OMG! I loved The Adjustment Bureau for many reasons. First, I thought it was a fast paced movie that didn’t drag on and on. Second, I could relate to the story because of the research I’ve been doing for the past four years on metaphysical topics and quantum physics. Finally, I thought the cast was spot on. I loved that the director didn’t use the same old, same old (with the exception of Matt Damon) actors and actresses. To me, it was like a breath of fresh air. I may watch the movie again.

    • Rebecca, I was scratching my head throughout. Mostly due to my inability to handle anything deeper than Sliding Doors and Groundhog Day. 🙂
      The concept was brilliant, though. Source Code was more my speed, too, though its plot was weaker.

  12. Rebecca says:

    @ Jeanette and Cathy … Thank you!
    @ Jeanette … It’s interesting that the character’s name is Jodi because I’m working with a recruiter named Jody. Great piece!
    @ Cathy … That was very moving.

  13. Rebecca says:

    @ Justin … I’m behind with seeing films. I still need to see the last Harry Potter movie. I’d like to see a ‘good’ comedy but haven’t seen any previews that look promising to me. All of them seem like the same old, same old.

  14. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … I forgot about Sliding Doors and Groundhog Day … Good movies. I too believe they could have improved the plot; however, they made the movie for the ‘general’ audience. If they went deeper, it could have really ‘freaked’ people out — it’s kind of like Avatar. James could have gone deeper with the plot but held back. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

  15. Shane Arthur says:

    Hey all. I’m sick (so is the whole family) so I’m just poppin’ in real quick to post my submission. I’ll try and comment on your submissions later today. Seventy comments already! You guys are awesome.
    “Hey Billy. Unlessin’ my memory is deceivin’ me and I’m too late to change it’s point of view, I believe da sayin’ you’s lookin’ for is, ‘Don’t walk on yo mamma’s crack, or it will break her sister’s mother’s cousin’s uncle’s back.’”

    “Bobby, dat was da one. Thanks. I also like da other one dat says somethin’ like, ‘If you falls on yo face, don’t spend time cryin’ ‘bout it cause you’s still moving forward.’ I try to tell da police dat every time I leave da bars, but my lips don’t move so good when they’s kissin’ da cracks in da pavement.”

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Heheh, who would have thought we’d get sage advice from Bobby and Billy!

      Hope you and your family feel better soon, Shane!

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Frank: Thanks. Speaking of sage advice, Bobby and Billy have more for this Thursday’s words, which Chris Brogan chose. The one I can’t wait to use is “Masturbatory”

      • KathleenL says:

        Shane — I read this deceiving serious piece to my daughter.
        I Love Bobby’s attempt to change his mind’s/memory’s point of view! So funny to share his wis-dumb with Miss E.
        We decided that if this is what you write like when you are sick… there is a world of untouched funnies to be read as yet.

  16. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thank you … And, I hear ya. It’s been a year of major changes for me. Right now, I feel as if I’m being pushed to do a major fall cleaning of my life so I can prepare for an awesome 2012. It’s been like a roller coaster ride … Weeeee!

  17. jaced says:

    ABOUT FACE! Fall does not deceive those who believe it’s never too late to spend an afternoon on a leisurely walk along the crack of change. That’s the point.

    – – – – –

    I’m featured this month in an interview over at SMITH Magazine. Check it out!



  18. Sean says:

    “Look, I’m not going to do it.,” Jason walked to the fridge, cracked open a beer, then turned to face Rebecca.
    “You have to.” Her eyes were fixed.
    Jason shook his head and took a swig. “Just cancel, I’m not going.”
    “We can’t cancel, it’s too late.
    Rebecca gently pulled the beer from his hand. “We don’t have a choice. Please go get changed. We’re going to be late.” She pointed toward the empty hallway leading to their room.
    Rebecca didn’t like to deceive him, never did. But she had to make him believe. And since they’d been married now for 15 years, and best friends for 20, it only took a thin crack to shatter illusion and crash reality with a hard fall to the floor.
    Jason emerged from the room 10 minutes later, grumbling, but in the nice shirt and pants his wife had laid out.  They rode the long 13 minutes toward her parents house, spending the trip mostly in silence.
    “Come on, baby,” Rebecca said, puling his hand and walking toward the front door. “It’s going to be fun.”
    “Like the flu,” he said.
    He opened the door and the room bellowed: “SURPRISE!!” The room rang with a chorus from all his family and friends. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!”

  19. KathleenL says:

    “Walking the Walk would be much easier if the pants were not down so low their crack showed,” Isabelle said to Shannon with much distain.

    “It’s not too late to help them understand,” Shannon said with a smirk knowning her friend could not resist sharing her wisdom with youth.

    “Excuse me. Young boy,” Isabelle said to the want-ta-be gang-banger as he got within earshot. He stopped surprised this lady even spoke to him. “You are deceiving yourself to the point of ridicule … if you believe that is attractive,” she said pointing at his droopy attire.
    The expression on his face changed from curiosity to bemused irritation as Isabelle stepped closer.

    “Times have not changed so much that I want to spend my day looking at your boxers 10 inches above your belted baggy jeans that you could not keep from falling down without that belt. You do realize that these pants are made with a waist band. I.E. that means the band of fabric is designed to go around your waist not your pelvic girdle!”
    Confusion filled his eyes. Disbelief was soon to follow.

    She casually reached her left hand out, smoothly, quickly, and effortlessly placing four digits in the back pocket of his pants. It did not take much effort, she barely pushed and down they came. All of the way to his ankles. It happened so quickly that he stood there dumbfounded for a moment or two.

    She smiled. No she smirked then smiled. Glee filled her green eyes. She turned her satisfied smile toward her friend. Slightly raising her eyebrows as her smile grew. She walked away from him as he grappled for his pants.

    “Did you see that look of shock on his face?” Shannon said with a smile.

    “Now maybe he will learn to keep it all up where it belongs,” Isabelle said as the laughter began to build.

    “Must not be too late,” Shannon said looking over her shoulder. “His waist has just been introduced to the waste band.”

  20. Shane Arthur says:

    @Anthony: Holy Bleep, Anthony! That was powerful stuff. I’d love for you to expand on this story.

  21. “Walk.”  She shrugged at the thought of a shooting in the rain and followed him through the cell door into a rash-lashed day. The row of young men in sagging fatigue pants with oiled rifle things watched his homecoming with old-soldier-eyes that blinked in the outside glare.

    She pushed him round to face them and reached to tie his hands behind the pole.

    He felt a final human touch; slim soft fingers. She had nice hands. But too late now for beautiful soft fingers. Nothing would change his future. He watched them point the things.  Would he deceive again, given another go round? He didn’t believe it would have made a difference, sighed, watched them do it.


    She saw his head fall forward as he slumped against the pole, held by the rope she’d tied.
    Revolting coarse rope. She rubbed her palms idly on her pants, grimacing at their roughness and her broken nails after months of this.
    And could she spend up large and get skincare?
    God, if only.  None at any price.

    She giggled in the rain.

  22. Kelly says:


    I spend half my time trying to do it right, and the other half feeling guilty about doing it wrong. Don’t we all? Perfection falls through the cracks on Day 1—and me, I’ve never been close to it since.

    You know what I’m talking about.

    Parenting’s a bitch.

    We walk a thin line—what’s too much discipline? What’s too close to being soft? It’s too late to change what you believe in, and maybe you wouldn’t if you could. We set down the little beings, wind ‘em up, point ‘em toward true north and let ‘em go, then spend the next (several decades) trying to react to our miraculous creations in anything like an ideal way. But reacting takes so much of our time that we forget what our ideals were. We’re just bigger wind-up toys—products of our own upbringing, for better or for worse. We face our demons or we don’t; we visit the sins of our parents on our progeny, or we do anything our own folks would never have done, forever overcompensating.

    Some of us deceive ourselves that we’re doing a good job. Some of us… well, we live with a bit more angst than that. Wind-up toys with eyes that cry real tears.

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