Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #203

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. Sting
  2. Clear
  3. Mass
  4. Waiver
  5. Choose
  6. Open
  7. Visit
  8. Pride
  9. Line
  10. Heal

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


50 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #203”

  1. Okay, a little bit of a downer poem, but I see people really in need and those complaining how bad off they are while children go hungry.  Blame the news for inspiring this one.

    Lucky Woes
    Heal the mass sting
    as buyers choose between
    pride and damnation
    as they line store coffers
    with a waiver of debt
    and clear their conscience
    with the next open gift
    lamenting bills
    without a visit
    to the folks
    who are truly
    in need

  2. Frank Ruiz says:

    The sting of being crestfallen never gets easier to take.  You’d think I’d be clear on this by now, given the mass of past evidence: my attempts to find kindred spirits usually end in failure.  But no, with each new group or movement that I learn of, I feel as though they could be exceptional, special, and worthy of a waiver from historical precedent.

    So, I choose to visit them, hoping to find the open, healing organization I envision them to be.  What I invariably discover, time and again, are the same old organizational lines drawn around protecting egos and pride, and my quest for true egalitarianism is dashed once more, as it always is.

    • Nothing like trying to find an group only to realize it’s flaws and doesn’t live up to expectations.

    • Frank, this is so true. I stopped going to fraternity meetings because of this political drama.
      Very well-writ!
      But, don’t give up. They’re out there … somewhere.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Thanks for the comments, guys.

        Like you both said, it totally sucks, but thinking I may have passed over an ideal group by not checking them out also sucks, so I’ll be a glutton for punishment again in the future, I’m sure 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Frank: Holy Bleep! I have not heard the word crestfallen in so many years I had to look that up just to make sure it meant what I thought it did. Great word choice. I hear you on the group thing. I remember the day I decided to become an unaffiliated voter many years back. Such a great day. I’m tellin’ you…you don’t know how much a silly one-letter designation does to your input and processing of political data. FREEDOM. I tell people to try it during an off election year. If I’m not proven right, simply reregister.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Yeah, freedom and independence, and the discovery that you really don’t need anyone else co-signing what you feel is right, is a wonderful feeling, a celebration of our individuality.

        I enjoy that feeling on occasion, but then when I return to interacting with folks, all I want to do is find more people like me.  Ah, the life of a walking contradiction 🙂

  3. Time does not heal all wounds. This was proven when Billy felt the sting to his pride, ten years after he cleared waivers and was released from the team. In fact, time made Billy choose between chronic visits to the open house of what-if and mass mailings to the occupant residing in the regret motel. With Jim Beam as his guide, Billy tried to slam the door and shred the postcards.

    Absence does not make the heart grow fonder. This was proven when Billy’s wife drew the line in the sand of their marriage and dared him to drag his sorry ass over it. She turned his what-ifs into silver linings, stitching them deftly into the dark cloud of regret. Her spirit-lifting platitudes were no match for the spirit-drowning power of the bottle.

    Twelve years from the day he was released from one team, Billy opened the door to receive his last piece of mail – from a process server.

  4. margaret says:

    On Christmas morning I choose to rest.
    Then I visit with family and friends I love best.
    I signed a mental waiver a long time ago
    that God’s in my heart… so to Mass I won’t go.

    I feel the financial sting that the holiday brings,
    but feel great pride that I handmade many things.
    It is clear to me when someone opens my gift,
    that imagination and creativity do spirits lift!

    I heal my tired body with laughter and talk,
    and draw the line at post-Christmas sales….at this I balk!!


  5. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! I waved hi to Tres-ie-Sue on my approach, but she ain’t waiver nothin. She just turnt all 300-pounds of her mass wit dat Oh-God-HE’S-coming look. It stings like a bee sting from a bee dat stings wit’ bee stingers when them gals makes it clear they ain’t interested in reopenin’ da lines of communication, or healin’ and revisitin’ old wounds, especially when da man ain’t da king of da pride.”

    “Well, Bobby. Like them bees, if dis man/woman process ever chooses to loose its sting, dats da day we all die from boredom.”

  6. John F. Moynihan says:

    Chester Johnson couldn’t believe it. For the second time in two weeks, fire trucks were sitting in front of the house he was living in. The front yard was crawling with firemen, the neighbors were gathered to gawk and, once again, the media was there, cameras at the ready. What was missing this time was the smoke and ash.
    Just for a second he took himself back to the pain of that night when he felt his faith in God waiver as his life and the lives of his family hung in the balance. It wasn’t enough that he’d been battling a slow-growing, but persistent, cancer for the past two years, or that his small business had collapsed under the strain, or that now he sometimes had to choose between making a house payment or paying a doctor bill. Life just had to sting him with a devastating fire that took all they had.
    “Has it really only been 10 days?”, he said to his wife, Linda.
    “Yes.” she replied, resting her head on his shoulder. “But it seems much longer.”
    With time to think, the events that transpired the night of the fire had became more clear to him.
    He had been sleeping soundly until a firm, even voice said, “Chester, get up now!”. He got to his feet and only then smelled the smoke. He went to open the bedroom door, but felt heat as soon as he reached for the door knob. That quickly, he leapt into action. Chester spun around ripped the covers off his wife and swept her up in his arms. In just a few seconds they were out the window and on the front porch roof. The late December air was cool, but Chester felt only urgency.
    Next he moved quickly to the window of his son’s room, pulled away the screen and called, “David, get up! Come to the window.”
    Chester watched as the covers stirred and David crawled out of bed. Chester reached in, grabbed his son under the arms and wisked him through the window.
    Linda put her arm around her son as Chester said, “Get as close as you can to the edge of the roof.” With sirens growing louder Chester knew help was near.
    Now he faced a bigger problem, how to get to Emily.
    Emily’s room was at the back of the house, down the hall and around the corner from David’s room. Chester knew it wasn’t a good idea, but he climbed into David’s room.
    Linda screamed his name, but he had settled on a course of action. To turn back now might cost his daugther her life. Chester stopped just for a second to assure his wife he was in God’s hands, although he was not really that sure it wasn’t just God’s fist closing around him. He slammed the window shut and raced to David’s bedroom door.
    David’s door knob was just warm to the touch and Chester thought, the fire is still on the south side of the house. He took a deep breath, threw open the door and came face-to-face with a wall of smoke.
    Dropping to his knees he crawled quickly down the hall and made the turn to Emily’s door.
    Getting off his knees, he called her name as he flung open her door, then closing it quickly behind him he walked to her bed and picked her up. Now if only the firemen had arrived. Emily’s room had no roof to step out on, so Chester opened her window and began to call for help. Emily, startled by being suddenly awake, and by the urgency in her father’s voice, began to cry. Chester, knowing they were in a waiting game now, willed himself to calm down and reassure his frightened child.
    He had just began to consider dangling Emily as far as he could down the side of the house and dropping her to the ground below when a ladder slammed against the side of the house. A few minutes later, with the help of a fireman. He and Emily joined Linda and David in the street in front of the house.
    By now the fire was ragging and the firemen backed off, doing their best to contain it and protect the homes of Chester’s neighbors. With the collapse of the roof came the stunning realization that all they had in the world was now engulfed in flames, never to be seen again.
    The following week was very trying. They each felt anger they had lost their home, or joy that they were alive, or sadness at the memories lost. Worst of all, for Chester, was that he had to swallow his pride and take charity from others just to have a meal or a place to stay.
    Linda’s boss found them a rental to live in and her co-workers raised $1000 to help pay the rent. The parishoners at St. Agnes, the church Chester and Linda belonged to but rarely attended, donated food and clothes. On his regularly scheduled doctor visit, the office manager told him not to worry about his bills for now. That they would work things out when things got better.
    On the Saturday before Christmas, just six days after the fire, Linda’s sister had come to take his wife and children shopping for a few small gifts to exchange, Chester decided he would go to St. Agnes for Mass. Afterwards, Chester took a few minutes to visit with his pastor, who assured him God always had a plan. When Chester left the church a line of his fellow parishoners were waiting to greet him. He shook each hand and thanked them for their support and words of encouragement.
    The days that followed were quiet for the Johnson’s as they began to settle into a new routine.
    Then came Christmas Eve. The children, resilient as children are, were consumed with what goodies Santa would bring. Linda was busy preparing her part in the feast to be held at Chester’s Dad’s house.
    Chester was sitting peacefully in his chair, feeling strangely strong and, even more strangely, unconcerned with his misfortunes. From outside he heard the roar of a diesel engine. Then there were flashing lights. He got up from his chair and opened the front door. Outside were two firetrucks, covered in Christmas lights and burdened with what seemed to be a mountain of gifts. Chester could only stand their with his mouth open as Linda and the children raced past him and out the door to greet the generous men and women who not only saved their lives, but were now saving their Christmas.
    Now, with his children surrounded by toys and new clothes, and his wife wrapped safely in his arms, Chester’s thoughts turned to what his pastor had said.
    “Chester, that was God’s fist closing around you. Not to crush you, but to protect you so you could save your family.”
    Finally, for the first time in nearly two years, he smiled a genuine smile.
    Then deep inside his body, Chester Johnson began to heal.
    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @John: HOLY BLEEP! THAT WAS OUTSTANDING! What a fantastic story you created here.
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

      • John F. Moynihan says:

        Thanks Shane.  It took me three challenges to get this story out.  I was working hard to convey a feeling of urgency.  I hope the story made your heart race a bit.

  7. sh13151223 says:

    Pride stings, made her waiver from the promise she made to herself. To clear the mass of misgivings, that make things complex, is not falling to the line drawn to build up the basement of what she thought would be the perfect persona of dreams. To choose the best, always, and visit that open-ended rainbow of perfect good name that can heal every dark patch made, she dreamed on…….hands feel sticky with hot mass that she had to clear without hurting the baby-pride who waiver his promise of using the potty and choose to answer the call most primitively in the open making the visitor giggle whom she hated for being the most perfect and  the first in the line of the approved circles. She thought of some heal for the sting-fling at her self-esteem.

  8. Rebecca says:

    The sting of life can be worse than that of a jellyfish,
    But if you choose to open your eyes and not waiver,
    You can heal your mind, body, and soul and clear your life,
    It’s a mass undertaking to swallow your pride,
    And allow peace and quiet to visit you on a daily basis,
    Can you be like Johnny Cash and walk the line?

  9. KathleenKL says:

    Mind-full Conversations –Continued
    Son, the sting of the words have, in fact, created a clear path for me. I agree, Lovie.
    The mass of obstacles have dissolved before me. It is just not the path I expected to be on.
    Yes son, I shall do my best to not waiver off of the new path. You know me well enough that when I make up my mind, I don’t go back. I learned that lesson long ago with your father. I promise not to beat this marriage into the ground any further. Yes Love… Those are nervous tears, but they are sad tears as well.
    It is not just the loss of your step dad in my life; in your sisters’ lives…They are a bit selfish too. I am not used to making such a big move without you, without your moral support; without you dear.
    Choose to be a happy person … that is what you always told me.

    Yes son I know. Good to hear you were listening. I am opening myself up to newness of it all. It took me a couple of weeks to wrap my head around these changes… but here we go!
    I am setting up visits with others I know from high school etc. and some I don’t; after all, I need a job dear. There will be folks who will make you smile. Your sister has paved the way for a visit with my friend who took us all to Red Lobster, that you all like. Yes, yes, and make me smile too son. I am going to do my best to not let my pride draw a line, a negative line in the sand that will stop me from healing the multitude of wounds you can see in your momma…..   

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: Wow. That was powerful, emotion-packed stuff. May 2012 be a great year for you.

      • KathleenKL says:

        Shane – 2012  is bound to be better… after all I figure this family hit rock bottom back in September of 2010… and now we are on an upswing… getting rid of the chaff that gets in the way of the path that I am to be on. The girls and I have made the successful drive and move (2,239 miles) just before Christmas… and spent a Christmas with my core family — mom, dad, 2-sisters, their hubbies and a couple of grandkids. It was nice. Just waiting on the furniture and house goods to show up… and applying for some jobs … LOL

        Happy New Year to all of the CCC family

  10. Aslam Yaqoob says:

    I had been under a mass of agony most part of my life. I was stung by most of the people I met. I still have crystal clear image of my school life. How I was not chosen as best player of the school despite my unblemished track of records in every sports. This experience wounded my pride which can never be healed. The dilemma did not end.  Whenever I visit or open my memoir I find myself shrouded by mean and selfish people. They would line-up and hurt my feelings.

    Despite all odds and dreadful memories, I always give waiver to every person for misdeed he/she does to me. I do not sever my ties with anyone just to avoid being hurt again. I am learning to live like others now. I feel as if I am becoming a part of this society.  People do not hurt me anymore. They fear that I would hurt them back. 

    I believe the day is not far-off when everyone will become the same. Selfish and mean.

  11. Pam says:

    I’m not having a go at people who have cosmetic surgery here, just wondering if some people might benefit from other approaches first…

    Plain Jane
    ‘Thank you for choosing Blue Line for your cosmetic surgery. We take pride in our results and promise that you’ll be happy with your new look.’

    The screen flashed up images of before and after pictures. The before pictures were always badly lit and showed an unhappy person, while the afters could have been models.
    Jane looked at the mass of forms the receptionist had given her to fill in. There was just the waiver to sign now, which declared that any delay in healing or results which were not as perfect as the computer prediction couldn’t be held against the doctors.

    A nurse came over to Jane and smiled. She had lovely clear skin and well defined features. Jane wondered if she had had surgery herself, or if she was just blessed with good genes. She didn’t like to ask though.

    The nurse asked if this was her first visit to the clinic, then took Jane through to the consulting room. The window was open and Jane could hear the sounds of birds from outside.

    ‘Now Miss Pearce, perhaps you could just explain a little about why you want a procedure and what you would like to be achieved.’

    The use of her title – Miss – stung a little, making Jane think of old maids and women who were unloved. Memories of teasing at school came back to her. She had been ‘plain Jane’ then, and plain Jane she had remained ever since, with no confidence and no beauty.

    ‘I want to feel good about myself,’ she began timidly. ‘I want to stop being plain Jane. I might even change my name too. I just want to be someone better, someone who people like, someone who’s beautiful and everyone wants to talk to.’

    She stopped as tears started rolling down her cheeks. The nurse patted her shoulder sympathetically and offered her a tissue. Jane blew her nose delicately and thanked the nurse.

    The older woman looked at Jane and considered. ‘You know,’ she said after a moment. ‘I think you would be perfect for one of the all over packages.’

    Jane looked up with an expression of pathetic hope in her eyes.

    ‘In the all in one package we start by working with what you’ve got and seeing what we can make of that,’ the nurse started explaining. ‘We give you a complete makeover – hair, make up, clothes, the works. After that we have the option of changing your name, if you would like to.’

    Jane looked up. ‘But, what about the procedure?’ she asked. ‘I thought I would have surgery to fix everything.’

    The nurse smiled. ‘Miss Pearce, for some people surgery is the only thing they can do to make themselves feel better, but I can tell you’re special. You’ve got a special spark inside you somewhere, and we should try to bring that out a bit before we offer you surgery,’ she said.

    ‘We’ll start with a visit to the hairdresser. How do you feel about going blonde?’

    ‘Blonde?’ Jane repeated. ‘I don’t know, all those beautiful women on TV are blonde and…’ she stopped and smiled. ‘Oh, yes! I think I’d like blonde.’

    The nurse smiled back. ‘Good, I’ll book you in to start your treatment this afternoon.’

  12. Kelly says:


    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum
    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum

    ba dooom ba dum
    Whatever you choose
    ba dooom ba dum
    You’re gonna lose

    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum
    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum

    I’ll make it clear,
    I’ll draw the line
    you aren’t here
    don’t waste your time
    Your wounded pride
    may never heal
    but now you’ve lied
    you’ll never feel

    My he…aling love
    pa dum pa dum
    never again
    pa dum pa dum

    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum
    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum

    You made a mass/ive mistake when you ran for her gate
    can’t get a wai/ver for her favors from me…
    You say you’ve got / an open wound and you need my lovin’ soon
    did you think / about that sting when you went to hear her sing?

    You took a visit to ‘nother hive
    You better like that honeybee
    ‘cause now you’ve lied
    you’ll never feel

    My he…aling love
    pa dum pa dum
    never again
    pa dum pa dum

    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum
    ba dooom ba dum
    pa dum pa dum

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