Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #224

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. Contain
  2. Pretend
  3. Knock
  4. Vision
  5. Wonderful
  6. Fun
  7. Magic
  8. Count
  9. Grab
  10. Seal

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


68 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #224”

  1. DR says:

    Maybe I misjudged these silly arcade games. Maybe I too quickly dismissed them as child’s play, something a burgeoning aspiring writer shouldn’t waste time with. I assumed it was mind numbing to play these games. I read books, watched high-intellectual documentaries, and tried to keep up with world events. I have a vision of my future, and video games, of any kind, were never apart of my childhood raising.

    So imagine my surprise when I was introduced to a game… and actually enjoyed it! At first, I was horrible and couldn’t grasp the concept. But, at the urging of my friend, I kept at it. After a couple hours, I could hardly contain my excitement. I was winning! And he wasn’t letting me!

    This is wonderful, I thought to myself, barely hiding my smile. These arcade games are too much fun, once you get the hang of them. I cannot believe I had been so deprived. Thanks a lot Mom and Dad.

    “Annnnd down for the count!” my friend shouted out loud as I snapped out of my daydream. I need to pay more attention as I went to grab the controller. I need to focus if I wanted to win again. It’s not magic when you win at this game. Well, maybe it is when I win. I tap as many buttons as fast as possible. That’s how I unlock the cool combos. At least, that’s my strategy. It’s nice to pretend like I know what I’m doing. It throws him off sometimes.

    “Shall I say I’m heading on a undefeated streak?” he asked me, grinning.

    “You better knock on wood. I am preparing to win this next one!”

    Whether he went on to further crush me in the game and become undefeated or not, I won’t say. I will seal my lips and forever never tell.

    • Jen says:

      I try to play games with my kids; they kick my butt every time. Now, when they want help with a game, they say, “We’ll just wait for dad.” Still. fun work here. 

      • DR says:

        Thanks! I hear you though; when my sisters and I play our Mom, we beat her almost every time. Our Dad doesn’t play games very much, but we beat him too. haha All in good fun!

    • I’m like Jen, I can’t beat my kids at video games. But I make up for it with old-school card games.

      I love how the character blows a mental raspberry to the parents.



    • Chris Fries says:

      This was a fun one, Dee!  You used the words so smoothly that if they weren’t highlighted, I’d never know they were there.
      And I love video games, but I like the geeky strategy types.  I’m no joystick jockey — I like to win by thinking, not by spasmodic twitching, lol!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Dee: Love what you did here. Brought me back many years to when my brother and I went to the arcades. I remember thinking it was spelled R-K. Haha!

  2. Certainly not an uplifting one I come up with today, considering the positive words.

    Ending of a Fairy Tale
    We can’t pretend the magic is there
    the wonderful fun seal between us
    will contain no vision of future bliss
    as we grab fleeting happy moments
    a count becoming few and far between
    that will knock away this fairy tale 

  3. Jen says:

    “You,” he said, his rosebud pink lips flicking into a smile with just a dash of wicked. 
    This could be fun, or at the very least, amusing. “Yes?” I pretended not to know what was coming. Another smile, barely contained on his broad face. 
    “You are a vision.” 
    Certainly not original, but points for effort. The smile really did count. Two broad rows of expertly aligned enamels flashed in the dim light. Excellent veneers. I wonder which doc did those? The color, the precision. Really, quite a good job. I resisted the urge to ask. One never knows what one might learn at these bashes. 
    I offered him a limp fish hand. The girls would have giggled to see me offer the international symbol of ambivalence. He earned himself more points on my selective, subjective sliding scale. He did not grab in a thick fist of manliness. He did not prove his testosterone levels by pumping my arm like one of those quaint wells one sees at old timey tourist spots. Instead, like a polished boys’ school grad, he slid his large palm into mine, touching thumb web to thumb web, just firmly enough, creating a vague seal between us. 
    I eyed him more fully. “Have we met? I mean, before?” I know everyone, and I know everyone who knows how to properly shake hands. 
    “Don’t think so,” he said. “James Thurston.” 
    Oh, he was a puzzle. “Hello, James Thurston. I’m…” 
    He interrupted. “You are magical.” 
    I tried not to, but a girlish giggle escaped me and the warm heat of a blush crept up my skin. I touched a finger to my neckline and took a sip of champagne. 
    “Might I add, what a wonderful laugh you have.” 
    “Really.” I drawled. “That’s simply too much.” I tried to give him my best frozenly neutral face, the one I reserve for my Neiman’s shoppers when they show me the exact thing I want. 
    “But of course, I know who you are,” he said. Of course he does. Who doesn’t? I was trying to decide if being known was like a minor annoyance or a boon when he said the last thing I expected, certainly at this kind of shindig. 
    Knock boots?” 

  4. Stacia says:

    Never Lose Sight

    Should stars fall down on you, catch them one by one. You want to grab hold of them as each one is ingrained with magic (and other wonderful things). Seal them safely in your pocket wherever you go, protect them with your firm hands, and when you come home, put them in a container. Every time you reach to your container, you’ll be counting your blessings. So how do you spot these stars? They’re everywhere, in every moment – it’s ever-present. You must use your vision. Don’t rely on the things you see and hear. Don’t answer every knock on your door, because once reality sets in, you can’t play pretend anymore. No more containers of hope, no more stars falling, and life’s just not that fun anymore.

  5. Like all good magic, the real thrill was in the speculation, afterward. Detective Sam Waters was coming down off that wonderful high he and Detective Al Bateman had reached at Mulligan’s Bar.  As he drove back to the station, he could barely contain his excitement. Sam was not naïve enough to pretend that he and his sometime adversary had experienced workplace transcendence. At best, the two had set aside their petty differences to grab on to the slimmest of circumstantial threads.
    Now, Bateman had gone off to a meeting with the task force, armed with Water’s vision of Cornelius Watson’s complicity in the largest financial scandal in state history. He would be looking for a link between Watson and the Bentworth victims. Waters had the fun task of digging into Watson’s family life. Together, the evidence would be insurmountable, a solid chain of links that would wrap up Watson and his accomplice.
    He pulled into one of the assigned parking spaces for Homicide Bureau personnel. He hoped he could count on a little support from Captain Delaney. Someone senior was going to have to chat with Watson and, if the Captain wasn’t up to the task, Waters really didn’t want to go over his head. He knocked on the Captain’s door and marched in.
    Captain Delaney listened to Detective Water’s theory, interrupting only once, to request clarification of the emergency room records. When the detective had finished, Delaney glanced down at his blotter for a moment before turning a steely gaze on his intrepid investigator. 
    “You’re not going to seal this one so easily, Detective. Watson is one of the proverbial pillars of the community. He has any number of legitimate reasons to withhold personal information. You yourself said that you weren’t considering him a suspect.”
    Detective Waters sighed. “That was premature on my part, sir. Call it a gut feeling, but I am positive that the only reason he didn’t pursue the threat to complain about our being there in the first place is that he doesn’t want the attention. Certainly, when I called to confirm his daughter’s name, his natural venom should have shot out, yet despite his shock, he simply confirmed the information.”
    Captain Delaney waved off the detective’s conjecture. “Whatever. Listen, I’ll handle this. If it leads anywhere, I’ll have Bateman follow up through the task force. Now, have you got anything else on your victims? I can’t have you off on a wild goose chase.”
    “Yes, I’m rechecking the lobby’s security cameras,” lied Waters. He had gotten what he came for. No need to antagonize the man.
    “Good man. Keep up the excellent work, Waters. Who knows, there may be another commendation in your future.” Captain Delaney spoiled the praise by punctuating it with a derisive snort.
    Waters closed the Captain’s door without another word. He decided to visit Jacob in Crime Scene, to turn his lie into some semblance of truth.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Excellent job, Mitch.  Although, I did kind of miss the “15 minutes earlier…”
      I wonder why the Captain is so hesitant?  Think he’s wrapped up in this?  LOL! I suspect ALL!
      Great work, Mitch!

      • Thanks, Chris. I have a greater appreciation for the work you put into your detective story. 🙂
        Did you ever package that up for readers?
        Ah, the 15 minutes schtick. LOL. I was in a reflective frame of mind when I wrote this one.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: Cool, very cool. Solid writing.

      • Thanks, both of you.
        Your continued support really helps me decide to push through to the end. I’m reaching a point where I feel like it’s time to wrap it up, you know?

    • Jen says:

      They’re all rotten! The lot of them. More please. Turn the lie into truth. 

  6. Adam M says:

    “Hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it,” my roommate said in between slurps of ramen. I made a playful grab for his chopsticks, and knocked them out of his hand. “Mhey,” he protested as he leaned over and felt around on the floor for them.
    I laughed and took another drink while he searched. He was a vision; noodles hanging half-eaten from his mouth, like something straight out of one of those cheesy Sci-Fi shows he always watched.
    “Alright, let’s pretend I’m interested — which I’m not — but let’s pretend I am,” I said as he drained the last bits of his soup. “What makes your suggestion so much more wonderful than anything else?”
    “Beer,” he intoned  as he slid the bowl across the coffee table to join the others. I leaned over to feel through the nearly empty case, and threw him another can. “It’s because it’s just FUN, that’s why,” he broke the seal, and threw the tab into a pile that had at some point developed around the trash can. I had lost count of how many there were hours before.
    “You’re going to have to do better than that if you think I’ll ‘barely be able to contain my excitement’ for your brilliance” I said, laughing as I shook my own empty can to see if there was anything left.
    He drained the last of his beer, and crushed the can on his head. “Fine, then I’ll just show you,” he said as he stood up and dropped his pants. “Now for the magic.”

  7. Meredith says:

    Darkness broods…
    The last request knocked her over as if she were the last stem of an annual caught in a November wind. What a day. From the moment her teenaged daughter said, “I hate feminists” to the one in which she had to grab a few rags to clean up after the container dropped from the fridge… Then this, this latest request. Was she supposed to pretend she was ok with it? Yes, she guessed so. She’d already made the deal with her wife they didn’t have to ask permission. Crap.

    Today’s Thursday. Ok, she thought, I have a day to pull myself together. Then, maybe then, this weekend can be wonderful or fun, even.
    Sophie’s vision for her life hardly met with the realistic version bombarding her wherever she turned. Despite memories of her pre-medication days, she couldn’t seem to get any real magic going anymore. Not that she stopped trying, as it seemed something innate to her constitution constantly pushed her hope levels. She never really counted that, though. She didn’t consider the magic innate, not after it pretty much left her in a ditch to waddle through this thing called life. She’d figured it would go away someday like everything else she couldn’t seal inside her head. That was her safe, everything in, nothing out.

    • Meredith, I like the way this opens. Perhaps because of the name of your character, I could see this as a movie, titled Sophie’s Vision. The last two sentences confuse me. “It” would go away because it couldn’t be sealed in her head. But her head is a one-way safe…?
      I’m just not reading correctly, right? 🙂

    • Chris Fries says:

      Very intriguing, Meredith.  I actually kind of like how we never get to know what this ‘last request’ is that sends the narrator off into a funk of inner ditch-waddling.
      And a safe of ‘everything in, nothing out’ don’t sound so safe to me, lol!  At some point, that seal is gonna blow!
      Nice job!

      • Meredith says:

        Chris! Awesome response. Sometimes that last request, when written, seems so unimportant, so trivial to the reader. I didn’t want to risk it. Yeah, it’s not safe, but she don’t know that…yet!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Meredith: Again, you have a wonderful style of holding just enough back for me to fill in the detail as I see it. Wonderful.

  8. Chris Fries says:

    Sorry for the delay — yesterday was crazy so just getting a chance to do this now.  Here’s another 10×10* response:

    Martha Takes Out the Trash

    Contain yourself,” Martha said to her hyperactive dachshund Baron Fuzzface.

    “Don’t pretend you didn’t hear me.”  Baron Fuzzface just panted.

    “You always knock me over when we take out trash.”

    Martha sighed.  Her vision of wedded bliss had faded again.

    Yet another potential Mister Wonderful had turned into Selfish Asshole,

    and her souvenirs of dating fun had become hurtful reminders;

    Worthless junk that emphasized how the magic had fizzled out.

    Martha loaded the cans.  Baron Fuzzface kept count by jumping.

    She watched the trash; saw the burly trash-man grab it.

    He winked at Martha. Baron Fuzzface barked like a seal.

    *10×10 = Ten lines of ten words each, using the prompt words in order and in number position within each line (the first prompt word as the first word in the first line, and the second prompt word the second word in the second line, and so forth).


  9. Rebecca says:

    I can’t pretend … I miss the fun and wonderful Creative Copy Challenge. I lost count of how many challenges I’ve missed. 

    I must knock out this entry before the creative magic leaves my mind. I must grab hold of this opportunity!

    My eyes are drooping and my vision blurs. I’ve been writing all day, tweeting, and updating Facebook too for a client. I’ve also been reading, and at times, skimming The Hunger Games.

    I need a vacation so I can rejuvenate and recharge my life battery. I’ll have to contain my new energy and seal it up in a bottle.

    • Meredith says:

      Rebecca, that’s great! Love it!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: This was great. I know the feeling. Although I have not missed any challenges, I’ve been struggling to keep up with comments and my own submissions ever since Sean Platt started his own publishing company and I’ve been kicking it into overdrive on the editing. The CCC is always there calling my name and I miss it when I have to stay away even for a day.

  10. molly says:

    in that wonderful magic pretend the vision will grab your heart,
    spin it around, knock it down…all in good fun,
    we jest.
    counting stars, our fate is sealed,
    in this one moment that contains all-
    silence frolics about the night like a drunken sailor straight off the boat.
    We share a breath and marry a dream to the moon.

  11. Rebecca says:

    @ Meredith Thank you!

  12. Cathy Miller says:

    He could barely contain his excitement. Peering through the grimy window, he took comfort in knowing his pretend world was about to become real. His heart began to knock against his chest as the vision of what would soon play out bloomed in wonderful technicolor against the backdrop of his mind.

    “Let the fun begin,” he smiled at his murky reflection that opened to his room of secrets.

    The lock clicked like a gunshot straight to her brain. Blindfolded, her hands tied, her body began an uncontrollable trembling. She hated its betrayal.

    “What do you want?”

    “It’s time for a little magic,” whispered a voice she had begun to loathe.

    She began a slow, methodical count of his footsteps. One, two, three…she waited, anticipating the grab before it happened.

    Putting a lifetime behind it, she kicked out her booted feet and was rewarded with the sweet, cracking sound of bone, accompanied by a wail of pain.

    The blindfold slipped just enough that her next shot was captured in cinematic delight by eyes gone cold with resolve. It was time to seal his fate.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Cathy: YES! I love your creepy guys, and I was not expecting one to get bested. Continue this…pretty please!

  13. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … I know. I’d like to go back and check out the challenges I missed. I’m outlining a ‘new’ story idea and there could be some words that would fit in with my idea. 🙂

  14. sh13151223 says:

    Emotions sealed in
    Knocking out uncertainty
    pretending calm
    tears contained 
    to grab the last straw
    contemplating everything wonderful
    believing love’s magic
    clearing the vision
    counting on the fun filled smile
    she entered the stage.


  15. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. I can barely contains my anger. You just about sealed your fate as my former secretary wit’ dat coffee you knocked over into my man-oyster reservoir. It were so hot, I lost my vision on a-count of them wonderfully painful stars was occupyin’ it. It ain’t fun demotin’ people and I ain’t gonna pretend it is, but da magic’s done gone. Grab your things from da basement; I’m demotin’ you to my vice president. Your corner office is over there.”

    • Diane Krause says:

      Shane — I like this guy! And since I live so close to the Louisiana border, I understood every word he said. I think he and Violet Marchmellow could be in a book — we should get together and talk. :) 

  16. Kelly says:


    All of us in the meeting stopped our bickering for just a moment when the song began. And continued. I counted to ten under my breath, trying to contain my annoyance, and pretended not to notice as almost everyone made discreet grabs for their purses or pockets, wondering if somehow their cell phone was giving this clear signal that they had other people they’d rather be talking to.

    Who would interrupt our most critical meeting of the year? Visions of every single attendant raising their hands to say “I would if I could” kept me from asking the question. When the business was struggling, as it had been for far too long, it felt like everybody was willing to knock us, rather than trying to lift us up. Rather toxic atmosphere in which to chair this meeting. The magic was definitely gone. And I’ll admit it’s a fun song under the right circs, but what kind of professional has “Born To Be Wild” as their ringtone, anyway?

    The ringing stopped, then began again, over and over. It echoed around the room and rattled in my rapidly-emptying head, until finally I’d had enough. “We’ll finish this meeting via emails, folks. Now would you all go back to your desks or go take smoke breaks and find out who the heck keeps getting this incredibly important call?”

    The sheep exited the room, baaing quietly to each other. Frankly there were days when I wished I could fire every single one of them. Now I’d have to write and field half-a-dozen emails just to seal the darn…


    My cell phone was telling me I had a text.

    I pulled it out of my briefcase and checked the message:

    “Hey Mama, calling for 10 min. Switched 2 new tone, just so U’d know it’s me & U still don’t ansr. Test went gr8. Tx 4 drilling me last nite. CB & I’ll tell U more. k bai”

    Kids are wonderful, aren’t they?

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