Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #199

Sonia Simone chose today’s words. Show her what you’re made of.

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. Peanut Butter
  2. Privileged
  3. Holiday
  4. Clueless
  5. Golf club
  6. Orange
  7. Frightened 
  8. Legs
  9. Miracle
  10. Knob

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


66 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #199”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! Check out dis letter. It’s from some feller named Shane. It’s says to tell Kelly to cover the kid’s eyes ‘cause we’s about to say some questionable stuff.”

    “Never heard of ‘um, Bobby.”

    “Me neither. Anyways, I went to da local golf club thinga-madoodle place today to steal us one of them there…what’s it call? I’m clueless of the name since we ain’t been able to use it throughout skool… Oh, yeah, to steal us a holiday tree for da celebration of Santa’s birthday. I was about to saw one down when dis man frightened me from behind. He said he was da groundskeeper and asked if I seent any gophers. He was just like us, ‘cept he was a bit strange. He was practicin’ his swing on some white and orange flowers and googlin’ at some privileged old golfer ladies’ legs while rubbin’ his golfclub knob. He said some old feller experienced a miracle yesterday by golfin’ his best game, but was strucked down by thunder on account he took da lord’s nametag in vain. After I told him I was stealin’ da tree cause I’m a college kid with no money, he gave me his sproutin’ kit, since seeds cost less den even Ramin Noodles he says. He gave me a recipe for peanut butter, onion and alfalfa-sprout sandwiches.”

    “Is alfalfa sprouts da same as those sprouts dat only grow in dat Asia country of Brussels?”

    “No, alfalfa sprouts look like nether-hairs, cept they’s white, kind of like an old man’s nether-hairs. Anyways, I weren’t too sure about da combination, so I got my gal from dat sorority Mu-Mu-Mu to let her dog try it out first.”

    “Did he like it, Bobby?”
    “I don’t speak dog, but I’m pretty sure he weren’t too fond of da alfalfa-hairs. I believes he likes his peanut butter with real hairs.”


    Just as the play-acting technicians had settled down to a humble space-meal of peanut butter sandwiches and orange slices, Nwabudike Morgan and his Gamma team charged into the mess hall like frightened bulls. The team pulled up short when they realized that every table was occupied. The newcomers quickly regrouped around their leader as the revelers stared with curiosity.

    “Alright, listen up,” Morgan spoke softly. “There’s no need to alarm these folks. We have to round them up and get them into the evacuation bays. If those coffins open soon, all the peanut butter on the ship won’t save us.”

    James Wallace, a senior technician, checked his wristwatch. Morgan noted the gesture and nodded grimly. Planetfall was still 12 hours away. His team had to act quickly. Insubordination was bad enough. His inspired plan to hijack some of the escape pods was likely to fail and land him and the entire Gamma team in hot water with Commander Lal. He nodded again, more decisively – his business training finally had a chance to prove itself.

    “Jim, tell Deirdre to make her way over here. The rest of you, grab a sandwich and fan out. Cover the exits!”


    Commander Pravin Lal punched in the frequency for Colonel Corazon Santiago. He was seething over the gross misconduct of both Morgan and Yang. The lack of discipline in the civilian engineer was not surprising. The insubordination of his Executive Officer was inexcusable. The brig would be brimming as this ship landed!

    “Commander? Santiago.” The ship’s Security Chief spoke crisply. Silently, she cursed the Commander for a fool. She was already aware of the destabilization and had ordered her squad leaders to don riot gear and take up battle stations. She was certain that the Commander was going to tell her to do something stupid like guard the nutrient tanks.

    “Colonel, as you are no doubt aware, XO has countermanded my lockdown of the habitation hold. His authority is hereby revoked. Arrest him! Then round up that fool, Morgan and put them back to work on those tanks!”

    It was worse than she feared. Yang was her superior officer and a friend. Santiago had dreams of running security on the new planet. Yang wanted to run the whole thing! They’d had many pleasant conversations. There was no way she was obeying the Commander’s first order. She thumbed the Comm Link:

    “Of course, Commander. As you wish.”

    “Report to the bridge when you have secured the hold.” The connection ended abruptly.

    Santiago tapped in a new frequency. In a carefully coded message, she instructed two of her squad leaders to take their teams down to the mess hall but to take no action until further notice. Then she switched to Yang’s frequency. This time, she merely thumbed the transmit knob rapidly – five clicks. It was time.


    Deirdre approached Morgan, a question in her eyes. When she was standing next to him, she whispered, “Not enough sandwiches for you?” Her playful tone melted as quickly as his frown froze.

    “Listen, Dee. You see all these privileged golf club members noshing in your exclusive kitchen? They’re about 30 minutes from being caught in a massive food fight! And they are clueless. As are you. Cosmic rays of some sort are bombarding the ship and destroying the nutrient tanks.”

    Deirdre’s pale skin faded to deathly white. She nodded for him to continue.

    “I’ve decided to commandeer some of the escape pods. Santiago’s stormtroopers won’t dare fire on them. The fuel tanks are highly explosive and they won’t risk destroying their future homes.” Morgan knew that each escape pod carried enough equipment and nano-materials to build one self-replicating colony pod. It would be just like the ship, minus the flight control module. If those were lost, the mission would be doomed.

    Deirdre looked faint. She tried to lean casually against the wall, as her legs seemed about to fail her. She barely heard any of Morgan’s mad plans. All she could think of was her beloved nutrient tanks. Outside of the hydroponics hold, which she had also designed, the habitation hold was her most cherished creation. It was a miracle of symbiosis between man and nature. She had achieved 99% post-recycled efficiency. Those tanks relied on human waste to fuel the synthesis of life-giving nutrients to her charges in the cryogenic tanks.

    Oblivious to Deirdre’s inattention, Morgan continued spewing his plan. He was counting on her cooperation in getting the Gamma team and as many of the mess hall occupants as possible to safety. He ended his monologue with a request for help.

    Deirdre looked up into Morgan’s eyes. “Um, of course. Yes. We’ll save those tanks. We must!”

    Morgan snapped back into his own focus. “What? Woman, pay attention! This shit is about to go down! This will not be one of your holidays! The tanks are lost! We need to get everyone to the evacuation bays!”

    Deirdre nodded dully. “Whatever, man.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: WOW! Do you storyboard this thing? I could not write anything close to this without a detailed storyboard. Awesome stuff.

      • I haven’t. I’m getting tired of switching between chapters, though LOL. I can actually see all this playing out.  In a sense, playing the game every night keeps the characters foremost in my mind.
        I did just create a spreadsheet for keeping track of the titles and team names – not that we’ll be seeing those once the pod lands.
        I kinda wanted to keep going … by Monday, I’ll have to reimagine some stuff, for sure. That’s the beauty of these prompts. Unlike with Sisterhood of the Void, I’m just horsing around. I’m deliberately not following the official storyline, where there is an assassinated Captain.
        I have to keep the faction leaders’ profiles intact, because their behavior on the new planet wouldn’t make sense, otherwise.

  3. Anne Wayman says:

    Getting political again:
    Peanut Butter, the food of the privileged 99% who long for a holiday.
    TPTB (The Powers That Be) are not only clueless
    but choose to stay that way while hanging out at that very expensive golf club.
    The orange caution light has been lit and the 1% are frightened, running on shaky legs, hoping for a miracle and looking for the knob to turn the flow of jobs back on, at least for awhile.

  4. Cathy Miller says:

    So sorry for being M.I.A. for so long. November was insane and so far December is not much better. Will try to catch up on my reading this weekend.
    Maria felt like she was wading through a sea of peanut butter. How she became so privileged to have so many on her holiday shopping list, she would never know. She was clueless about what to get for most of them.

    The truth was, she just wasn’t in the holiday spirit. She procrastinated to the point where online was no longer an option. She was down to the last name on her list – her boss. Now there was a reason for procrastination.

    She’d rather use a golf club on him than buy him one. Sighing in frustration, Maria wandered past the Orange Julius crowd, shuddering at the frightened prospect of actually eating something from the food court.

    The one good thing about putting this off – her legs sure were getting a workout. Then she saw it. A miracle in a mall. A shop that creates an image of a person on a pedestal. Perfect. If that didn’t fit her boss to a tee, she didn’t know what did. She latched onto the knob of redemption and pulled open the door.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: And I’m instantly reminded why I’ve missed you. Love how you used privileged here.

    • Mmmgalumph. That’s me, drowning in your peanut butter ocean. Oh, the imagery!
      And then to top it off with the most delicious symbol of all that’s wrong with the commercialization of the season:
      She latched onto the knob of redemption and pulled open the door.

      The irony of the source of redemption …

  5. Here is my entry for this one.

    Holiday for the privileged
    swinging their golf club
    while the frightened
    dine on peanut butter

    The clueless on two legs
    just another hollow knob
    unfortunately blessed
    with the miracle of luck
    Why does the sun’s
    bright orange glow
    shine brighter for some
    and not others?

  6. Sonia felt Privileged to be offered this Holiday but that did not stop her feeling Clueless about high society etiquette. Really she would much rather have had Peanut Butter sandwiches (with just a tiny Knob of butter) than … whatever THIS dish was. Some kind of fish? Her pink hair had somehow Frightened the genteel ladies of the Golf club, despite the prevailing fashion seeming to be an unhealthy Orange facial complexion and Legs the colour of Miracle-whip. She swore this was the last time she would speak for the NMRSA (Naked Mole Rat Society of America).

  7. adam says:

    Privileged Peanut Butter, became frightened after developing orange legs whilst in the holiday sun. His friend, Clueless Golf Club, should have warned him of the danger –  what a Knob. It’ll be a miracle if he gets things back to normal.

  8. Diane Hall says:

    Dangerous Preserves…

    As he woke in what appeared to be a makeshift communal coffin, Butch stared through the poor light at the vast sea of legs, arms and other body parts strewn at his sides.  He moved his head, and one limb brushed his cheek, leaving its decay clinging to his skin like a nervous abseiler.  He jerked with the contact then instinctively reached to wipe away the residue before realising the smell wasn’t that of rotting flesh but peanut butter.
    “Where am I,” he wondered, “and what sicko has done this?”
    He’d only been in the country 48 hours, and what he deemed a ‘holiday of a lifetime’, that only a privileged few ever got to experience, was fast becoming his worst nightmare.  He’d gone to bed in his hotel room, gazing at the setting sun, snugly nestled in the diminishing, orange sky, and had sighed with sheer pleasure.  His state of bliss sent him on his way to pleasant dreams, yet hours later he was here; dirty, frightened and reeking of stale, nutty sandwich spread.
    He tried to move, disturbing more limbs smeared with preserves; jam, marmalade and honey soon covered him as he scrambled furiously to find a gap in the lidded wooden box, however big, just so that he could escape his situation.  He smudged the sticky spreads and disturbed the chunks of flesh further still in his nervous race to find a handle, lever or knob – anything – that could release him from his prison.  His breathing became shallower and shallower as his hyperventilating sapped the sparse oxygen.  Within seconds his hands had brushed against something made of metal, something long and thin which felt like a handle.  Shoving severed heads, ankles and various other body parts from its path, he pulled at it, only to feel it lift completely with the exertion and remain in his hand.
    Squinting, he could now deduce it was a golf club.  The fact its wedge was covered in blood (or was it jam?) gave some clue to the role in which the club had played, the irregular angles of the shaft suggesting some force had been applied when used too.
    Although Butch couldn’t ascertain from where he was the thickness of his captive surroundings, he had the dilemma of bludgeoning the box into submission until an escape was created, knowing the consequential noise could draw attention to his actions.  “It’ll be a miracle if I get out alive” he muttered to himself.  To whether his captor was already in his vicinity, Butch remained clueless, but this didn’t stop him using every last bit of his energy to smash the wooden lid covering him and his scattered fleshy friends.
    It probably wasn’t long, but it felt like hours to Butch’s aching muscles, before he made a hole in the lid of the wooden box.  He slammed down the golf club and shakily moved to squeeze through the gap.  Once clear, his eyes struggled to make sense of the light flooding into the room from a large, picture window.  As soon as his vision was clear he realised he wasn’t alone.
    Across from where he stood was a huge guy, with long black hair, dirty hands and a menacing smile. Butch felt his body go rigid.  The guy was sat on a kitchen chair, calmly staring back at him.  Butch saw his hand move and his eyes quickly flicked across to see what the guy had reached for.  His heart sank as he saw the jar of Nutella.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Diane: That was outstanding. I’d say besides death and public speaking, being trapped in such a situation would be next on the list. Well done.

      What did you think of the challenge? Hope to see you back each Monday and Thursday.

      Everyone welcome Diane to the CCC. I’ll add your name and URL to our CCC Community Links page now.

    • This reminds me when my room mate said he tried to eat peanut butter 3 years old before he realized it was spoiled and went to the hospital with food poisoning.

    • Welcome to the CCC, Diane! You had me glued to the page. That was probably the jelly.
      I kept thinking – out of the frying pan and into the fire – but, I suppose going from peanut butter to Nutella is worse.
      I loved how the golf club figured into this: both a weapon and a tool.

  9. Diane Hall says:

    Thanks so much, for your kind words and welcome.  I haven’t seen your site before, I just responded to a link on Twitter, but I’ll stop by again!  I don’t know if it will be as often as twice a week, but I enjoyed the exercise so much that I’ll strive to repeat the experience!
    *Waves to everyone out there*

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Diane: We normally say, “Welcome to the addiction.” Be warned. If you do more than two, you’ll see what we mean. 😉

  10. Aslam Yaqoob says:

    Everything seemed to be a peanut butter for me. I was a privileged one to be self reliant  in every respect. My brain used to function above average.  Legs used to run like bullet. Strength of my hands were such that my parents had to change knobs every other month; my push was devastating.  I could peel off orange’s skin in a minute.  I was never frightened of thunder storm or of altitude.  I was relentless in my efforts as I knew I could do everything. I believed in miracles as I was confident to create them whenever I want. Self believe. Hah.

    Things have been changed. I am a frightened person now. I do go to golf club but just watch others whipping their sticks. I care for orange juice but I can not dare peel off its skin. People do not take me with them now to enjoy holidays, may be because I am not like them. At first I was clueless but now I know that time has squeezed my strength. I wish I did not despise my elders and those who are under privileged. I have realized that hurting feelings of those who under perform is ugly. I am experiencing it almost every day…………..

    “Old man switch off your lights, you are disturbing us”. Sorry! I have to listen to my grand children. So long!

  11. Anne Maybus says:

    *cutesy alert*  🙂
    On shaky legs I tottered towards home, frightened that concussion would leave me lost and clueless in some unknown street.

    It was a miracle that I made it back to the hotel.  The sun burnt orange through the garish curtains and made my head hurt.  I wasn’t used to the hot weather and I could feel the knob throbbing as it swelled into a landmark on my skull.

    Some holiday this was turning out to be.  After being hit on the head with a crazed golf club, I was ready to pack it in and go home.

    I could hear the thumping of heavy feet pounding up the steps to the door of our room.  He burst into the room, belly heaving as he gasped for breath.

    “Are you alright, Mary?  I’m so sorry.  My hat fell over my eyes and I couldn’t see a thing.”

    What was the use of whining about it?  I was privileged to have had a holiday at all, even at the expense of my head.

    “I’m fine,” I said, “but we’d better get back to work.  People are relying on us. December is our peak time, remember.”

    I patted his soft red-jacketed belly and pushed him to the door.

    “Go get them ready, hon.  It’s time to go,” I sighed.

    Once everyone was assembled and safely secured I treated them to a peanut butter biscuit – guaranteed to make each and every one cooperate.

    “OK Rudolph, you take first lead,” Santa said as we snuggled up safely in the sleigh.

    Ho ho ho, we’re off!

  12. sh13151223 says:

    Spread it over, spread it over lavishly
    that peanut butter of imagination
    between and over the slices of words
    I am privileged, privileged to holiday here
    its orange, appetizing, so clueless was I
    frightened of the golf club etiquette
    that was a miracle knob, CCC
    my legs couldn’t resist running
    running towards the scrumptious feast ahead

  13. Rebecca says:

    Mona’s favorite movie is Clueless; her favorite movie treats are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and orange soda. Her family and friends thought it was an odd combination. Mona always beat to her own drum. She didn’t care what others thought or said about her. What other people think of me is none of my business was her favorite saying.
    Working at the Smithson Golf Club in Southern California was a good way for Mona to pass the time, earn money and network with the privileged. Mona wasn’t frightened by the wealthy like some of her co-workers were. Honestly, they’re people too. She was a charmer and sometimes would let her legs do the talking. Mona always worked during the holiday season because she knew ‘the son of’ so and so would be on the courses playing a round of golf with daddy. It would be a miracle if she wasn’t noticed – but she was always noticed. Her mom always said, “Mona could charm door knob if her life depended on it.” Little did she know, her life would depend on it today.

  14. Rebecca says:

    @ Anne … Lol! I may develop and include it in my young adult short stories and poems collection. Who knows…

  15. margaret says:

    I’m clueless about what Santa will bring…
    a bright orange turtleneck, a fake diamond ring?
    A knob for the fridge that squirts peanut butter ?
    A set of plastic golf clubs I’ll throw out in the gutter?

    I’m frightened to think about about holiday gifts
    like velvet elf boots with five inch lifts!
    It’s a miracle Santa’s legs can still climb and not slip,
    but since he outsourced the workshop, those gifts are a trip!!!

    I guess I’ve been privileged and cannot complain,
    since the best gift is friends and family that are not insane!!

  16. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thank you … It was a lot of fun to write. 🙂

  17. […] Do you think the world is going to end in 2012? Mitchell: No, but if it does, forward my email to Alpha Centauri, […]

  18. having done #200 I thought’d I’d give this a bash also:
    Frightened was I that the peanut butter wouldn’t last throughout the holiday season.
    Clueless, was she that it would indeed turn a rather odd tinge of orange before we made it to the Xmas Golf Club Gala.
    A miracle it was that we arrived in time, for our legs were tired.
    But, alas, we forgot our invitations. The doorman, in his warm garments and fine top hat, wouldn’t let us in. Yet he knew it was we!
    To myself I thought, Damn you Mr. Doorman in your warm garments and fine top hat, you are privileged to be warm, but such a knob indeed.

  19. Kelly says:


    “Legs,” they called her, and man, when the lights came up—just so—on that stage she seemed to own, down there in Vegas in the early days, you knew why.

    Privileged trust-fund boys, manic mobsters, and Hollywood’s fringe scene made the drive just to watch the lights *stop* at her upper thigh. 2000 watts holding their clueless stares, right where she wanted ‘em, before continuing up her voluptuous frame to allow those ruby-red lips to moan torch songs long into the night.

    Men were frightened of her, she said. She had more offers back in high school, when she had stubbornly skinny golf clubs where those famous gams would one day appear, and, to put it like Legs herself would, “knobs up top that even a dresser drawer couldn’t lust after.”

    Later her sister came out to Reno to get a divorce, and stayed on as her manager. The two gals had a whale of a time back then, terrorizing the men of Nevada with their dangerous curves. When there were so few women, every day was a boy-toy holiday… and if they were lucky, once in a while the toy was one of those got-rich-quick types who loved to show his “friends” a good time in that oasis of flickering orange neon. She made good money and had a good time; she let friends pay for the drinks; and she and her sister invested in the little town when nobody else believed in it. No wonder she looked like she owned the place. In some ways, she did.

    Sure, she talked about settling down to a life of frilly aprons and station wagons and peanut-butter-sandwiches, but she was never cut out for that. Her sister had brought a little girl out to the desert, and being called “Auntie” as close as Legs got to domesticity. She and her sister rode those miracle limbs as far as they would take them, and then they got out. Times were changing, and a torch-singer’s got to know when to douse the light. Bought a ranch way back in the hills. Sat around on the porch drinking whiskey made ladylike with a dash of lemonade—Legs in a pair of shorts that was still far too short, in my opinion—talking about the old days.

    She took care of Mom pretty well in those last few years, though, for a woman who wasn’t much good at homey things. I wanted to quit school but she made me get my degree.

    One of the last things I remember her saying to me, when she came out to California to watch me graduate, was, “You’ve got brains, kiddo. You won’t have to use your legs to get what you want.”

    Ah, but those legs! I don’t think Auntie would have had it any other way.

  20. […] Do you think the world is going to end in 2012? Mitchell: No, but if it does, forward my email to Alpha Centauri, […]

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