Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #197

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. Hold
  2. Know
  3. Noise
  4. Long
  5. Believe
  6. Quiet
  7. Soft
  8. Fall
  9. Stone
  10. Lost

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


62 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #197”

  1. KathleenL says:

    All is not lost
    As my tears fall.

    Softly, Quietly
    I believe the noise
    Of silence
    Can be deafening.

    Others stare at a stone
    Holding tight to

    How I long to hold you.
    Like a beggar waiting on the
    Generosity of strangers for beer change.

    Knowing I will see you again,
    It will have to be enough,
    For now.

  2. Frank Ruiz says:

    Momma wasn’t one to mince words.

    “You know you’ve got to hold onto it, right?”

    Little did she know I’d lost it long ago.

    “I know, Mama,” I replied in the pre-scripted exchange we’d have at least once a week.  “They’ll never buy the cow if they can get the milk for free, right?”

    “Oh, yes!  You couldn’t get any righter!  That’s how I landed your Stepdad.”

    It would crush her if she knew.  Those long nights when she worked the graveyard shift.  Even sometimes on the nights she was in bed with him.  After having to hear their carnal noises, the sound of my bedroom door opening would inevitably follow.  Quiet footsteps would get closer, louder, until he was hovering over me.  His hands felt like stones chafing against my skin, but his lips were soft.  As much noise as he made with Momma, I could barely believe how quiet he was with me.  I guess we all do what’s necessary to keep our secrets.

    He told me that, by the Fall, he’d confess our love to Momma, but it’s Winter now and nothing’s changed.

    He can’t treat me like Momma, and once I’m gone, he’ll be lost without me.  My only regret is that I wish I could see his face when he comes to my room tonight and finds I’m not there.

    • Jen says:

      Whoa. Skeevy and compelling all at once. Nicely done.

    • Good stuff, Frank! A switch from the usual expected horror. This reminds me of V.C. Andrews.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Frank. This blew my mind!  This line will haunt me forever: “As much noise as he made with Momma, I could barely believe how quiet he was with me.  I guess we all do what’s necessary to keep our secrets.”

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks for the comments, everyone!
        @Jen: Yeah, I was creeped out as I was writing myself!
        @Mitch:  Thanks for putting me onto V.C. Andrews!  I wasn’t aware of her before your mentioned, and my piece is definitely like her stuff!
        @Jeanette: Thanks, and yup, silence usually hides the unspeakable!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Fantastically awesome and creepy. Now that I have kids, these types of stories have a whole new effect. Write on.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks, Shane!

        Yeah, my first child (a daughter) is supposed to be born this week, so I’m also creeping myself out with this one!

  3. Here is my entry to the game today:

    Believe in
    what you know

    Filter out
    the lost noise

    Don’t fall
    like a stone

    Hold on
    to soft hope
    Long for
    love in life
    See it
    only when quiet

  4. Jen says:

    You know that thing where you go all day long, trying to hold yourself above the fray and the noise, relying on the lost art of kindness to get you through? The thing I want, that soft, quiet, sturdy stone of silence will fall. I believe it will fall when my head hits the pillow.

    Alpha Centauri – Descent

    This close to the blazing star, the advance team discovered just how loud it was. After the long, quiet free-fall from the mothership, the noise from the solar wind penetrated the colony pod, wreaking havoc on the anti-grav struts. The particles were barely slowed by the pod’s light plasma shield. Something, probably a neutrino shower, was cooking the delicate instruments in the habitation hold.

    Miriam checked the monitors again. “I don’t know how much more damage the nutrient tanks can take before auto-stasis reversion kicks in.”

    Lal looked up in alarm. “If that happens, we’re going to have a riot on our hands.”  The prospect of two thousand rudely awakened passengers was not pleasant. Lal stood up and hopped over to the flight control computer. He punched a button marked Comm Link and dialed in a frequency.

    “Morgan! Status report!”

    A tinny voice barked from the FCC’s speaker, “How the hell should I know! We never trained for this! I’m trying to use solar panels to absorb the rays but, without knowing what kind of rays are hitting us, I might be magnifying them!”

    “Computer projections from the Feynmann Soft Photon Detector show 75 per cent probability of neutrino bombardment. Recommend you switch from solar to anti-matter plates! One per tank!”

    Morgan’s reply was terse. “Are you crazy? My squad is not equipped to handle those plates. We’ll be annihilated!”

    Lal spoke coldly into the microphone, “Morgan, your failure to comply is highly disturbing. Thousands of lives are at stake if those tanks are breached. I demand you secure them at all costs!”

    “No! We’re getting out of here!”

    “No! Remain at your post!” Lal pushed an emergency lock-down button.

    “Screw you, Lal! I’m not one of your Peace-keeping minions! The black guy always dies first in the movies. Well, not this black guy! Open that door at once!”

    “Sorry, pal. We can’t risk having all those citizens running amok. The pod is in low orbit. ETA is 14 hours. I believe we are finished here.” Lal disengaged the microphone.

    He faced Miriam. Her soft green eyes seemed to condemn him for all eternity. As his heart turned to stone, he growled, “I assume I have your full cooperation, Officer Godwinson, should the situation demand a show of force.”

    Miriam sighed her assent. Silently, she prayed that this mission not be lost before touch-down.


    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Mitch.  So, I never read the stories before I post mine because I want to come from a clean slate, but lo and behold me and you picked the same name for one of our characters. Great minds do think alike 😉 I love Mitch’s sci-fi…It’s the only one I read!

      • Thanks, Jeanette. The coincidence is even more striking, since I’m borrowing my names from a game. I think I’m going to do this one for a bit, with such encouragement as you give, how can I not? 🙂

        • Frank Ruiz says:

          Awesome piece, and great news that you’re going to continue it!  Can’t blame Morgan for not wanting to be annihilated by antimatter!  Let’s see how he deals with the rudely-awakened masses when they threaten him, though!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: Another entry I’d like to see as a book. That black guy line came out of left field and made me chuckle aloud.

  6. Jeanette R. says:

    Miriam gently twisted the doorknob while balancing the wicker tray on her forearm. Walking into the darkness, her flip-flops clapped in unison down the old wooden steps.  Slowly slipping out of them, she stepped softly into the basement.  

    The faint smell of damp cedar filled the air.  She spotted him lying on his bed holding the headphones tightly to his ears. As his abilities grew, so did his sensitivity to noise.  It finally had led him to move into the basement almost two years prior.  

    Carefully placing the tray on his nightstand, she tugged on his sleeve.  He was never startled.  He would always know if someone was near.  It was part of his gift.

    As a child, he never lost at hide and seek type games because he would simply close his eyes and wait for the sensation.  It would start slowly, like a long train approaching from afar, and gradually would get stronger and stronger until he knew exactly where the person was hiding. The sensation was hardly bearable if the kids had taken a fall or somehow injured themselves.  His body would shake and throb as if a thousand stones were being pelted at him.  

    As the years progressed, he began to sense emotions, as if reading a mind through feelings. Sitting in class became a chore because his body would absorb the various vibrations causing him to never feel settled or at peace.  The students would mock him and ask to be told their futures.  

    Not opening his eyes, he grabbed for his mother’s wrist, wrapping his fingers around her pulse.  “I believe your heartbeat is way too fast for so late at night. I could feel it as soon as you entered.”

    Tilting her head, she grabbed the headphones from his ears.  “Sorry, I tried to be quiet.”

    • Jeanette, this is fun! When you bring your awesome powers of observation to bear on a totally new class of mythic character, magic happens.
      The best part of your story comes at the end – we may be expecting mom to be going through something, but she was just trying to be quiet! LOL great!
      Now I want to dig up that other-worldly entry (wasn’t it a space sport that you made up?)

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Awesome intro to your Protagonist and his powers, Jeanette!  I hope you continue the series so we can read about his powers further!
        AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish⇄AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish
        Detect language » English

        AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDetect languageDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish⇄AfrikaansAlbanianArabicArmenianAzerbaijaniBasqueBelarusianBulgarianCatalanChinese (Simplified)Chinese (Traditional)CroatianCzechDanishDutchEnglishEstonianFilipinoFinnishFrenchGalicianGeorgianGermanGreekHaitian CreoleHebrewHindiHungarianIcelandicIndonesianIrishItalianJapaneseKoreanLatinLatvianLithuanianMacedonianMalayMalteseNorwegianPersianPolishPortugueseRomanianRussianSerbianSlovakSlovenianSpanishSwahiliSwedishThaiTurkishUkrainianUrduVietnameseWelshYiddish
        Detect language » English

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: Yeah…exactly what Mitch said. Super job!

  7. Clarabela says:

    “Hold on just a minute and be quiet. There is something you should know. Stop making so much noise and let me tell you what happened. I have wanted to tell this for such a long time. Please believe me when I tell you, I never meant for this to happen.  It was so easy to fall in love with you. Such a soft place to fall, such a wonderful place to be lost. If I had only known, you had a heart of stone.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Clarabela: Welcome back! Missed ya! Great piece here, and that ending just rocked.
      Thanks for the vote on the top 10 blog site (even though you need to state why you like it for it to count. Rules and all. :O   )

  8. margaret says:

    I don’t know how long you can hold your breath…
    before the noise fades into quiet death.
    You must believe you have a soft place to fall
    when life becomes challenging and you’ve hit a wall.

    Keep your spirits high at whatever the cost..
    don’t give in to self pity or you will be lost.
    There are friends and family, you are not alone.
    Grab their life preserver, or you’ll sink like a stone!

    NOTE:  No, I’m not depressed or anything…it just came together. 🙂

  9. sh13151223 says:

    Long ago it was quiet and serene, a garden of love and beauty around the vicinity. Then came the stone fall of consumerism and it lost it’s chastity, trade and greed pulled it’s nails and teeth out. Believe and hold on, a soft and weak whisper from within vibrates midst all noise, I know, I believe life will rejuvenate and prosper.

  10. Sorry about that, my enter finger got happy and the comment went in!  anyway:

    “Silence in the courtroom!” Boomed the diminutive man in the executioners hood. “Judge Percy Steelhoffer presiding!”
    The previously soft noise began to fall to the quiet whispers of insects scrabbling over hard surfaces. The judge took his seat on the bench and began to read.

    After a long pause he said, “The state vs. you Meddling Kids also known as Mystery Inc. also known as Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, and Scoobert “Scooby” Doo. How do you plead Meddling Kids?”

    Before anyone could stop him Shaggy blurted, “You’ll never get away with this!” and Fred promptly punched him in the face. “It’s your fault we got arrested this time anyway Shaggy.” Said Fred. “Just couldn’t keep your trap shut and let Velma tell the police.” He hit Shaggy again as he ranted. “Just had to go on about sandwiches and food and….” He trailed off as two burly bailiffs pulled him off of Shaggy.

    Even Scooby was surprised at the scuffle but refused to get involved. The two bailiffs pushed Fred into a chair and proceeded to hold him there. The judge was banging his gavel and shouting for order.

    Everyone had to believe that there was no way Mystery, Inc. was going to get away with having lost the Stone of Knowing. The real thief would have to come out himself, and fall right into Fred’s trap.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin M: Haha! I LOVED this. I just watched that show for the first time in about 10 years the other day. My son and daughter had never seen it before.

  11. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. You know hows I longs for da big-boned gals, right?”

    “Yeah. I believes I’s seen a few tons of ‘um to know dis is true. Why you fall so hard for um though?”

    “They’s so soft. I get’s lost inside da blissful folds. I puts my head ‘tween those boobies and the whole world goes quiet—dat means there ain’t no noise cause it ain’t noisy—and I can hardly hold in my Little-Billy-joy. Those skinny gals is nice, but I ain’t into bonin’ skippin-stones.”

  12. Pam says:

    He was lost. The clearing in the rainforest showed the remains of an ancient civilization. Too bad they hadn’t left a handy map, or a signpost for him to follow.
    He sat down on the ruins of a stone wall and listened for any noise of other people. He couldn’t have been that long when he stopped to tie his bootlace. He couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t hold on and wait for him, but in the minute he’d been stopped, the rest of the party had completely disappeared. It was completely quiet in the clearing, without even the sound of insects chirping that had kept him company under the canopy of the trees.
    It was getting darker, and for a moment he wondered if the sun was setting. Then rain began to fall, soft, warm and wet, on his face and bare arms. He turned his head to the sky and tried to drink in the rainfall. He didn’t know how long he would be alone, but at least the rainforest would make sure he didn’t die of thirst.

  13. Kelly says:

    His breath is so soft when he’s sleeping like this. I’m stroking his hair, thankful that they’re able to get him to hold down the meds that allow him an hour of peace.
    I know it won’t last. The quiet of dawn will be broken by an endless stream of robotic nurses (who provide precious bloody little in the way of nursing), crisply “doing their duty” (rousting him from his slumber, depriving him of his tenuous grasp on sanity), just to keep me from stroking his hair and listening to him breathe a little longer.
    I want to shout at them, and every day the urge is worse. “Can’t you people see that he doesn’t need the poking, the prodding, the noise and the strained cheer anymore? Can’t you just give him the meds and leave him be?”
    They think I don’t believe in what they’re doing. Bloody busywork, I wish I could tell them, and you’re damned right I don’t believe in it. I could throw a stone in the pond outside and have more effect on this cancer than you’re having for all your charts and fancy beeping machines.
    They tell me not to give him up for lost.
    I haven’t; I’ve only tried to follow his tired eyes, always focused on the horizon now; happy, in his way, to have my fingers run through his soft brown curls, but patiently waiting for the last leaf on the tree to let go.
    On the pond below, the fall of one final leaf makes a small, but beautiful, wave.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kelly: That last line is classic Kelly. Super job. Reminded me of when we had our first child. Nurses came in every 10 minutes from everything to giving us a fresh newspaper to refilling the ice. At some point we both realized that too many damn’d people were coming in. We wished for 30 minutes of peace which never came.

      • Kelly says:

        Shane—Sometimes I have no idea where these things come from, but yeah, I’ve been in the hospital way too many times and it always is like that. This poor dude, didn’t need anybody rushing him toward what-comes-next. I felt so bad for him after I wrote it!!

        P.S. It was actually the idea of stroking “his” hair that came first, then I had to make a story to figure out who “he” was.

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