Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #189

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. Shy 
  2. Ground
  3. Luck
  4. Treat
  5. Touch
  6. Face
  7. Desire
  8. Need
  9. Urgent
  10. Done

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


106 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #189”

  1. Anne Wayman says:

    I’m done being shy! My love is urgent and grounded in more than luck. No trick, just a treat, a touch and in the face of desire, more than a bit of need.
    am I really first today?

  2. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. It’s as urgent as an 80s song sung by them foreign fellers dat I get over my bout of shyness with the ladies and get R done. Lately, when the gals looks me in da face, I looks to da ground like a bull dat ain’t got his bull-juice no more, and I can’t talk nothin’ but jibberish around ‘um on account of my nerves being nervous and touchin’ other nerves. What’s up wit’ dis?”

    “Bobby, you’s a beta-male but you’s in luck. Dis is trick-her-treat day and you’s in for a treat. I knocked on dis feller’s door today for some treats. He was dressed as some superhero feller named Roissy. His superpower is findin’ his way into da pants of da ladies. He told me, “Consume dis with your candy,” and gave me a book on da true desires and needs of woman.”

    “Let me read it Billy! I needs it PASA!”

    “Oh shoot, Bobby! I’m so sorry! I done ate da book just like he toldt me to!”

  3. margaret says:

    I am not shy, but need to face the truth….
    that for trick or treating, I’m too long in tooth.
    I have an urgent desire to dress up and try…
    but can’t get my broom off the ground..damn! it won’t fly!

    I guess when Halloween is over and all is done,
    I’ll head to Walgreens to begin my fun.
    All of their candy will be on sale for half price,
    With any luck, I’ll score chocolate real nice.

    I’ll nibble some here, and I’ll nibble some there,
    I won’t snarf it all down like I was a bear.
    Just a touch of sweetness will keep me happy
    cuz if I eat too much I’ll just feel crappy!!


  4. Jeanette R. says:

    She stared at the crackling fire with its majestic colors of bright orange and gold.  The contractions were two minutes apart now. The stopwatch had been thrown to the ground during her last pain cycle and she observed the midwife searching for it.

    “Hareem, I believe it is under the bed.”  

    The midwife kept her eyes low and nodded.  Although extremely shy, she was the best in the village.   Despite her full calendar, the birth of this baby took precedence.  

    Sitting up, the towel fell slowly from her face into her lap. She felt her forehead and it was cool to the touch. She had received urgent care when they noticed her temperature had rose to unhealthy levels.  A mixture of juniper berries and ginger were fed to her to treat the fire that raged in her body.

    The elders desire to keep her healthy made all resources available.    The child whom she carried would bring much luck to the village.  They had been waiting for centuries for this moment.  Scripture dictated that the seven billionth human born would completely change the direction of the new world.  It was written, so it shall be done.

    Mashrem felt the tug of pain in her groin and prepared herself for another agonizing round.  She grabbed the corners of the bed sheet and closed her eyes, focusing on the need for this world to have a messiah.

  5. “Of all the rotten luck!” shouted Jack. He didn’t want to look at his sister’s face. Jill had come tumbling down the hill after him. Although it was his head that had hit a jagged rock, it had done no harm. Poor Jill, however, had caught an errant stick in the throat and a bramble to the eye. Her limbs were twisted at such horrid angles, he felt an urgent need to realign them. But he knew better than to treat a mortally wounded victim.

    “The ground is so, cold, dear brother. Come hold me.” Shy, even at the moment of death, Jill closed her eyes against her strongest desire – the touch of another human. It was this foible which had caused her to jerk her hand away from the pail when Jack had tried to steady her balance.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: HAHA! I loved this. You should try to tackle all the nursery rhymes as you did here. Reminded me of the book Go the Fuck to Sleep. NaNo!

    • Jen says:

      So you’re saying she had it coming? Nice. Loved it.

    • Hi Mitch,
      You know, the world will never be the same. In comes the 7 billionth and out goes an old standby. What will the name of the nursery rhyme be now? Jack . . . And Pail?

      • Thanks Vernessa! I suspect that Jeanette’s messiah will be too busy saving the world to rescue long-forgotten tomes of children’s verses.
        And that’s exactly how Jack and Pail come to make sense in this world. Think of Little Red Riding Hood. For most, it’s a personification of an innocent. In fact, it’s an article of clothing.
        Let us not forget the banality to which we consigned the rich tapestry of Aesop’s Animals…

        • “an article of clothing” . . . You elicited a belly laugh that time!
          I still think of Aesop’s and Grimm’s from time to time. Now I wonder if I read them over and again because they came in huge volumes that I could sneakily read with a pen flashlight after the parents yelled “lights out!” (That’s why I wear glasses.)
          Fairy tales spark rebellion. (That’s why Jill broke her crown.)

    • Dee says:

      Oh my, am I a little twisted because I laughed??  Will she be Zombie Jill now??

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Mitchell.  This is fantastically creative!  Talk about reality hitting fantasy.  Reminds me of the  show “I shouldn’t be alive” with Jack being the one interviewed.

  6. Thanks, Shane. I was continuing a long-standing thread from my blog: Jack and Jill: All Funk’d Up.
    Speaking of which, Samuel L. Jackson slayed that story!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: That’s funny stuff. Don’t remember the Samuel Jackson slaying. Point me to something.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Mitch, awesome reinterpretation of the “Jack and Jill” story!  It was “Jack and Jill: Gravitas Edition!”
        Shane, you can hear Sam Jackson read Go the “F” to Sleep here: http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DhNhnCD0EZtE.

        • Hey Frank! Thanks for your compliment.
          I suppose I’m under the dual influence of ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm. Quick poll, which one is your favorite?

          • Dee says:

            Love both but leaning toward Once Upon a time – I’m a sucker for a story that has chicks that kick ass and I have a feeling we are going to be seeing some kicking 🙂

          • Ha-ha! If I had been the one to say that…
            Once Upon A Time has a more familiar feel and a slick way of showing the fairy-tale world.
            To be honest, I was ready to off Grimm after the first five minutes. I HATE when camerawork resorts to that cliché devil-spawn morph double-take. First of all, I always spill my coffee on my lap and utter something the kids shouldn’t hear. Second, it reminds me of the let-down moment when Devil’s Advocate went straight to home. LOL
            But, I would like to see how long it’s going to take for the Grimm world to wake up to the danger.

          • Dee says:

            I’m giving it a chance because I like the sidekick.  A werewolf who is trying to be a good guy, gotta admit I like that.
            I would have hated Once Upon a time if they had made the protagonist a simpering little princess who was just waiting on her fainting couch for a knight to swoop in and save her. I just hope they balance it with some strong male characters too.  The sheriff is a possibility…

          • Rumpelstiltskin can’t apply for that position? He’s the Hannibal Lecter of Magical Kingdom! LOL
            I think Once Upon A Time has sturdier legs – and not because of the rump-kicking! The plot is laid bare, the adventure just has to unfold. With Grimm, you have this nebulous, yet familiar plot. It may be interesting if the story goes into why the Grimms are being reaped – that made me smile…

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            I’m finding Once Upon a Time to be the more interesting one for me, but I think it’s only because the guys writing for it used to write for LOST 🙂

          • That’s why my wife likes it, too, Frank.

    • Shane: Go The Fuck to Sleep! As read by Mr. Jackson
      NSFW, for any drive-by viewers. Don’t worry, YouTube makes you prove you can smoke cigs.

  7. Frank Ruiz says:

    Halloween’s a great holiday to give kids a chance to grow beyond their shyness.  When wearing a mask and costume, children are offered an additional layer of protection when facing the world.  In addition, their costumes provide anonymity and the ability to blend into the herd they wish to join, since everyone is in disguise as larger-than-life characters.  Finally, the reward for children who try getting over their reluctance to interact with new people is better than usual on Halloween: candy, just for knocking on doors and saying “Trick or treat!”

    This was the cost/benefit analysis I ran for myself as a young boy when venturing out into the Halloween world one year.  I felt great that I got over my fears and joined some neighborhood friends in collecting candy from everyone who would open their doors to us.

    One thing I didn’t account for, though, were the candy predators of the Halloween ecosystem: bag snatchers!  It was just my luck that some older boys were out stalking the young kids in order to pilfer their bags.

    Two of them approached me and my friends.  My two friends were smarter than me about what to do in this situation: they ran and jumped into the bushes.  By the time I figured out I was alone on the street with the predators, they pounced on me!  My face hit the ground as they pushed me while grabbing at my bag.  Although I didn’t put up much of a fight, I did manage to keep a grip on my bag.  The handle stayed in my hands as the rest of the bag ripped.  Candy was all over the street, and my attackers scooped up what they could before running away.

    When my friends came back (long after my attack was done, revealing that none of them felt an urgent need to risk trouble along with me), they helped me scoop of the candy that remained, and I put it into my pockets.  With my cheeks raw to the touch, my desire to get some healing care from my Mom superseded any thoughts of replenishing my candy losses.

    As I said, Halloween offers a great opportunity for growth and interaction, but sometimes in ways you never anticipated!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Ha! Never thought of Halloween like that, but it’s true. Neat way for kids to speak out.
      I personally know someone that was a candy robber. He didn’t amount to much, so justice finds a way to serve.

    • Frank, this reads like one of those tales that I used to see in the old Readers Digest. You paint such a great picture of the innocence, before shattering it with the darkness of reality.
      Beautifully done – go get you some Walgreens! LOL

      • Jen says:

        This was true for me, too. Masks are a great…um…mask.

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Thanks for the comments, Mitch and Jen!  I’m definitely looking forward to the discount candy, and I still admire the folks at the comic-book conventions I sometimes go to who still have fun putting on masks in crowds 🙂

    • Dee says:

      Oh man – that makes me so mad – i want to go back and beat them up for you! Gives new meaning to the phrase “mean streets”!

      • Frank, I wasn’t expecting candy robbers! I was ready for the rest of your erudite analysis … I went from “hmmm” to “What!”
        Nice setup and segue into another perspective.  I don’t recall candy robbers when I was growing up, but like the great train robbers, I guess they were there from the first knock.
        Keep hanging onto your handles, man! 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Frank. I had my taste of kids hiding behind their masks and showing some unpleasant behavior yesterday.  It’s an interesting case study to observe people when they aren’t being held accountable.  Is it true colors or just an opporunity to go against the grain?

      And by the way, if I was there and they tried to jack your candy, I would have helped you out for sure.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks for the comments, Dee, Vernessa, and Jeanette!

        I should have hung out with you ladies when I was a kid, instead of the fair-weather dudes I ended up with!

        That sucks to know there’s still kids who use their anonymity to be up to no good, but as long as their would-be victims keep holding onto their handles, then maybe those kids will learn it’s not worth it!

  8. Jen says:

    I watch the ground, illuminated by the clunky flashlight I hold in my sweaty fingers. I’m trying to balance a heavy pillowcase and keep up a good pace. I need to keep going. I can see the wiggly worms of cracks in the sidewalk. I can hear my brother babbling next to me, his legs all stumbly and fat, slowing down the urgent mission. And we still have the cul-de-sac and the weird lady behind our house to get to.
    He’s so slow and shy, I stop taking turns with the doorbell. I touch every button now, because all I desire is the treat each lit front porch promises. It’s not luck. It’s not even my scary face under stinky stage make-up that makes people want to fill my bag with candy. Frankly, I don’t even care why they do it; just don’t stop. I can’t wait til we’re done and I can race home, pulling fatty fatty stumble legs with me so I can lay out my takings and begin eating.

    • “fatty fatty legs” You awful, awful awful person! Don’t you know you should have left him home? That candy is only going to make things worse! 🙂
      I like the detail of the pillowcases. I had only seen that on television – we always used the 25-cent paper shopping bags from Woolworth’s (yeah, I’m that old.) I still remember marveling at how the metal tooth kept you from stealing a bag …

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: You made me feel sad for this fat brother character. You hide so much more behind these words. Loved it.

    • Dee says:

      Oh My!! I had completely forgotten that we used pillowcases when I was a kid.  We really did lol.  You had just the right tone in this – the older sibling disgusted with the younger one. lol Mean but spot on 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Jen. What a great perspective.  I saw some trick or treaters that fit the bill with your characters.  Your attention to detail makes your stories sing.

  9. Hello Favorite Creative Peeps!
    Here’s my offering today…
    Shyly looking down, he flicked his tobacco stick and ground it out with his scuffed work boots.  Nothing was as urgent as his need for her to treat him –  again — to the ever-so-slight touch of her fingers sliding down his face, forehead to chin. As luck would have it, the reverie was interrupted by his vision of Travolta making the same gesture … wife, daughter, son. Desire quelched. Done in … again.

  10. Dee says:

    I was angry.  I wanted them out of my head.  I didn’t ask for this and I was damned if I was going to just roll over and do what they wanted.  I ran across the frozen ground, down through the ravine to Simons’ house.  He had the touch. He could help me.  He would know what needed to be done, how to treat this thing.
    I slipped on the icy rocks. This urgent desire for answers was making me careless. Even a wolf can run out of luck up here. 

    “Jae, wait!” I could hear him in my mind but I ignored him.  He thought I was just shy.  Shy!  After what the rogue did to me!  I would face them down. Every last one of them. I wanted my family back.  I wanted my life back!  I could see a glow.  Simon would have a fire going on this cold night and I needed to be behind closed doors in front of that fire before Aedan caught up with me.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Dee: Super cool! I can envision this being a cartoon like Watership Down. Remember that one?

      • Dee says:

        Nope…lol.  This is in the way of a bit of experimental back story for Jae and Aedan.  If I take the plunge for nano they will be a part of it. I am currently reading Story Engineering and James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structuring, trying to wrap my head around it, I have large blanks to work out.  Simon is an old friend too. There will be more about him later. 🙂

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Dee. I’m really liking this story.  Just like the Twilight series, I love the backgrounds as to how each person became a vampire/wolf.  I look forward to you developing this. Good luck!

  11. […] Creative Copy challenge 189 […]

  12. Really dark one today,

    Immoral Treat
    A shy kid
    a need for attention
    Luck didn’t
    touch this face

    But instead
    ground his spirits
    Urgent desire
    what he has done

    Immoral treat
    resisting life beneath his

  13. Rebecca says:

    Desire and need are two different things. Is it urgent that you take a trip around the world? What about purchasing a new car? Is it more urgent to make sure your children have medical care, food, shelter and other necessities?
    Face yourself in the mirror, don’t be shy about it. Ground yourself for a weekend and just do it! By reaching deep inside the depth of your soul, you’ll touch your inner being and uncover the mysteries of your life. This can only be done by you.
    You can choose to treat your life as a soap opera and fill it with unnecessary drama. Or, you can create your own luck and live the life you’re meant to live. Only you have the power to shift and change your life. No one can do it for you. What do you choose?

  14. Alisa says:

    Today I’m finally going to make the time to do a challenge, rather than having it sit in my inbox and taunt me. 🙂

    He was a little bit shy, holding my hand as if my touch would protect him from scary Halloween decorations. He walked up the darkened pathways and rang the doorbell. He stared at the ground, his face full of the urgent desire that all kids feel for candy. As the door opened, he turned to me, panicked. “I forget what to say!” he stage whispered. “I need help!”

    “Trick or treat,” I stage whispered back.

    Relief filled his face. “Trick or treat!” he shouted to the kindly neighbor.
    “You’re in luck,” she said with a smile. “I think I might have your favorite candy right here.”

    “M&M’s!” His smile was wide enough to fill his entire face. “Thank you!”

    He ran to me, his hand reaching for mine. “Whew, that was fun. I’m done.”

    “You know,” I said with a laugh, “you can go to more than one house.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Alisa: I’m so glad you did do the challenge. You shared quite a touching scene. Now that I have kids, the scene is that much more touching. Thanks.

  15. Swami Sampurnananda says:

    Shy ?

    Is that it? Is that why you have not begun writing? Are you fearful that you would be laughed at when the end of the month comes? But there is no use now thinking about it. The boats are burned up. The only way out is the way ahead. Let us look ahead. What is the first one?

    Ground.The grounds  you stand on. Nothing is more solid than that on which you stand. Listen, let me tell you, you are going to do it this November. You are going to complete your fifty thousand words and this is only going to be beginning of more things to come. You look around. It is a vast space around you and the whole of it is friends with you. What is not yours, may I ask? You are not trying to possess a thing, so everything ends up as yours, does it not? Every place is yours. Everybody is your kin. Every little bit of know-what about anything is a thing of joy for you and a thing to write about because your joy is in writing. You are lucky that writing gives you joy. It is a great treat God has laid before you. So just start.

    Here stands God in front of you. If you stretch your hand you will Touch his Face. But you need to really, urgently, desire His presence. Then it will be done. You know that. Now start. At it! Attaboy!

    Maybe this computer into which I am typing,responding. Or is it the old man up, God writing all these, when I just typed Shy?

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Swami: Welcome to the CCC. that was a great 1st submission. Great way to tie NaNo into the challenge.
      Everyone welcome Swami (and Ed who did challenge #8).
      Adding your names to the CCC Community Links page now.

  16. Kelly says:


    Jack was a little shy of 16 and a little out of touch. He was the kid luck urgently tried to avoid. If he hoped for a break, something broke. If he wished for a friendly face, he got his face ground into a locker full of sweatsocks. You know the kid.

    I treated him like anybody else. Heck maybe I even treated him a bit more kindly. I had a sense of how vastly unfair life was being to Jack, because life was pretty darned cruel to me too, but girls—yeah, I’m gonna go there—girls have it easier in high school. We all have a desire to belong and we feel like we might drown in the social whirlpool of our teen years, but for a boy who’s even a little out-of-the-ordinary, just one step out of lock, the alpha males are merciless abusers in every way. Jack’s psyche hurt as badly as his body, and still he needed to act like nothing phased him just to get done with his day.

    If I saw something happen to him in a lonely corridor (abnormally full of jocks and one scrawny, misplaced art student), I tried not to notice. It would sting him too much to imagine witnesses. If I heard the names he was called, I helped him along while he sloughed it off with a phony laugh and a loud, “Eh, no big deal.”

    “Yeah. They’re losers anyway, Jack. Everybody knows it.”

    Jack knew it, too. I told him. Other sympathizers told him. His parents told him. We all felt powerless to offer anything but moral support, but we did what we could. Everybody goes through it in their own way. Even the alpha males feel some weird version of what Jack was going through, they’d tell us in school assemblies on bullying—they wouldn’t act that way if they didn’t have their own deep inadequacies to hide.

    “They can’t even spell ‘inadequacies,’ Jack. Don’t worry about them.”

    “Eh, I don’t worry. It’s no big deal.”

    Yeah, he was a little out of touch. Nothing bothered Jack.

    Then one day Jack didn’t come to school. We heard a rumor that he’d taken a bunch of pills at night. His Mom went to get him up in the morning, and thank goodness, they got him to the hospital on time. Jack didn’t come back for five or six months. Getting help or something.

    When he came back to school, he was a shell. He was never directly picked on again… those jocks didn’t want to pick on someone that fragile, it wasn’t any fun. But the hollow, lifeless boy who wandered our halls wouldn’t have noticed, anyway. Even his friends—were any of us, ever, really his friends?—even his friends never got anywhere near him again. Jack had already left us.

    The next year he got into art school, like I always knew he would. At graduation, his parents were loud and proud… and I thought you could see it in their eyes, they were infinitely grateful that God had given them another chance to help their sweet boy to thrive. They’d always been some of the nicest parents I knew.

    When he got to college he enrolled in wonderful classes with fellow students who knew intimately every slight he’d ever gone through. It was a land full of kids who’d made it to the other side of lockers full of sweatsocks, just like Jack.

    In the second week of school, far from anyone who could find him in the nick of time, Jack, whom nothing bothered, Jack, who’d been gone for 18 months from the body that dragged him through his no-big-deal life, Jack, beloved son of the nicest parents I knew; Jack finally hung himself in his dorm room.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: THE BEST EVER! So outstanding on so many levels. Stretch this out into a book. The opening paragraph reminded me of Larry Brook’s storyfix post today. Go and read it.

  17. sh13151223 says:

    Luck grounded him today
    the face he desired most
    is before him like a treat
    it touched him deeply
    as the shy cute face
    starred at him softly
    he was done, no need to say
    as eyes gazed on unwinding stories
    there remained no urgent things
    time and thoughts flowed carelessly.

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