Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #225

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. Strange
  2. Track
  3. Whatever
  4. Band
  5. Crush
  6. Private
  7. Leave
  8. Wild
  9. Recipe
  10. Slang

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


79 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #225”

  1. Stacia says:

    OMG, he’s reading my diary

    That’s it. I’m utterly crushed. 
    There’s the chili oyster recipe, my secret aphrodisiac appetizer to lure him in bed.  Then there’s a list of cut-out lingeries from magazines I read, since I still couldn’t decide which to pick for our first night. I also thought about which band to play to when we do it – Earth, Wind & Fire or The Isley Brothers? No, I should just go with Barry White instead. But then I love Mr. White too much to choose which track to put on. And the rest of it are private entries, about him. Well, the whole thing is about him. My strangest obsession and my wildest imaginations, even after all these years we’re dating.
    “Wow, you never told me you’re one wild girl,” he goofed on me.
    Whatever,” I shrugged.
    “What’s ‘sexcited’?”
    “That’s my slang for promiscuous,” Mumbling my words.
    He puts away the book on that page written about the time he first kissed me, and I was sexcited. Then he looks at me with that goofy smile he always had. I walked him to the door but he didn’t move. He didn’t want to leave. We’re already late for the dinner.
    And guess what happens to a newlywed in the bedroom.

  2. Jen says:

    The smoke settled me. The stinking alley an oasis, a retreat from those people, as soon as I heard the calming sound of the lighter against my skin, the hiss of flame, the crackle of tobacco. The second I inhaled a rush of deep smoke and nicotine, I found my corner of nirvana amid the trash of the elite. Standing in the cold alley, so many stories below them, and yet, I knew, so far above, a wild synocpation in their strange dances. 
    Ten minutes don’t last forever. I flicked the butt into a pile of butts, its red tip smoldering. 
    Whatever. A ribbon of cold wind flew past my face, stinging my eyes and nose before I forced myself back into the crush. 
    A tired band played, too loud for these geezers; one thing these private parties always get wrong. As if in a fit of youthful grasping, the planners convinced themselves of their hipness, solidified by their musical guests. You could always tell when they were trying too hard, going for edgy or contemporary, or avant. How did this gauche display not embarrass them?
    Back in the expansive custom kitchen, all muted grey tones and obscene pastel gestures, the bustle carried me toward another tray, unending trays of unending sparkling drink. Burdened with a fresh supply and latent curiosity, I took my leave of the kitchen, tracked the room with expert eyes, scanning for empty glasses, but more so, searching for her. 
    Mmhm. Still out on the balcony with Mr. Chest Implants. I had just the recipe for him. Making my way slowly through the press of organza and wool, through pancaked makeup and gallons of aftershave—and here I’ll say I don’t care how much that shit costs per ounce; Too much is really too much—I arrived at the wide open doors, the noise behind me, a still silence ahead of me, between the two. 
    I caught the edge of his slangish offer, willed myself not to drop my tray, not to drop to my knees in hysterics. Dude. Really? His suggestion probably took more out of him than he expected, because his face was funnier than hers. She was bemused. He concealed, nearly, his fear. 
    She laughed. A muted laugh that stuck in her throat and did not extend to her smile, a frozen red slash. Of course, that could have been the botox. 
    My job was to ply the partygoers with intoxicants, and so I made no apologies about taking this moment to approach the two with my offerings. As she took another glass, her fingernails nearly the same blushing color of the liquid, she glanced one moment at me. 
    I winked. My very best wink. 
    She might leave with him, but she’d be thinking of me. 

    • Jen, this is brilliant. The perspectives are so cool – little reminders of the previous passage.
      Sentence of the week: 
      A muted laugh that stuck in her throat and did not extend to her smile, a frozen red slash. Of course, that could have been the botox.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: YEAH, exactly what Mitch said! So cool!

    • Chris Fries says:

      Wow.  amazing, Jen!  So smooth! 
      I love what you’ve created in this series.  Great characterization, a marvelous skill at the shifting voice and PoV between the characters, just so, so much to admire here.
      I second (third?) what Mitch and Cathy said — that was a great line in a piece filled with them. 
      Awesome and amazing work!

  3. Cathy Miller says:

    @Shane: You asked for a continuation – you got it….

    The strange film of rage lifted from eyes focused on one track. Her breath rasped from a power she had not known she possessed.

    Was he dead? She felt no shame that she wished him so. Whatever would happen, she knew that would never change.

    A band of tension that she thought might crush her began to ease as she looked for a way out from this her private hell. Preparing to leave, she cast her eyes once more at the monster who thought to steal her soul.

    Her heart raced in a wild retreat as she bent close to his bloodied form.

    “I hope you suffered.”

    Giving one last stomp to his skull, she found the recipe for escape had always been hers as she left him to this hell ground, the eternal slang of death.

  4. Jen says:

    Oh, she’s a badass. Crushing his skull, the slang of death. Wickedly wonderful! 

  5. “Alright, I’ll leave you to sort all that out. I’m going to hang around and wait for Captain Delaney.”

    Detective Bateman paused. “Listen, man. Don’t wait on him. I’ve given you enough to do your own independent research.”

    Detective Waters picked up on the hesitancy. “Sure thing. Can’t be making cake with someone else’s recipe. I’ll call you when I get something.” He ended the call and stared at his notepad. Watson, you sanctimonious bastard. We’re closing in on you!


    15 minutes earlier …

    Detective Sam Waters never made it to the Crime Scene Unit. He had just left Captain Delaney’s office when his cell phone chirped. He saw that Detective Bateman was calling. For some reason, a squirt of adrenaline soaked his heart. He took a deep breath. “Al, Waters. What’s up?”

    “We got that sonofabitch! He was victimized by the scandal and decided to crush the perps with a wild scheme of his own.” Detective Bateman described an elaborate ploy with the kind of hurried detail reserved for people who normally rolled their eyes when he started pontificating about Wall Street.

    Not surprisingly, Detective Waters responded, “Whatever, man. That’s sounds great.  Listen, Delaney’s going to question him about his family and his daughter’s head injury. Can we tie him to both cases?”

    “Not yet. Get this. Thomas Bentworth was the mastermind behind the scandal. Watson has a motive for killing him, but of course, we need to link him to the mystery woman, who probably did all the shooting and stabbing.”

    “What about my vics?” Detective Waters was slowly becoming disinterested.

    “That’s the best part! They were the trustees administering Thomas’ trust fund! The money was moving in the wrong direction, though. We lost track of it somewhere between the Caymans and an IPO.”

    “Um, what?” Detective Waters had thought about taking notes but changed his mind after that last statement. Instead, he tried to follow along. “How do you mean, the money was moving in the wrong direction?”

    Detective Bateman laughed. “I know, right? The slimeballs embezzled the funds under the guise of Koenig making a buy for his own account. Pearson managed that account when he was at Lehman Brothers. However, we all know they tanked in 2008. This paper trail is pure fiction. Koenig created a dummy partnership through which the embezzled money passed. The partnership is a Private Equity Fund specializing in initial public offerings.

    “The audit trail points to the investment pool but, get this. The shares in their portfolios represent only a fraction of the incoming capital. If this were a legit company, this disparity could be explained by a sell-off or recapitalization. Hell, if these boys weren’t so careless, it would have taken years to sort everything out. As it was, the dumbasses set up the books to make the distributions appear to have been debt-funded.”

    Bateman guffawed before continuing. “They forgot to create a trail for the subordinated notes! I mean, it would have taken no time to make a fake portfolio of maybe two dozen companies.”

    Detective Waters cut through the slang. “So, where is the money?”

    Bateman, clearly not finished spinning his yarn, answered huffily, “Who even knows? Like I been trying to tell you, the money passed right through this phony LP and our best guess is that Pearson and Koenig diverted it to another off-shore account. They were quite the merry band of thieves, until they ran into Watson, apparently.”

    Finally, Detective Waters pulled out his notepad. Cradling the phone and wishing for the hundredth time that he had splurged on Bluetooth, he started scribbling questions. “What tipped you off about Watson, though?”

    “It was strange, man. The man is into oil, hydro and gas. His last dozen acquisitions have all been infrastructure support businesses. Except one. He bought a bloodstock agency in Maryland.”

    Detective Waters sighed loudly. “In English, man! What the hell is that?”

    “Horse farm. Not just any horses. Thoroughbreds. This company basically has a nursery for cranking out racehorses. No connection whatsoever with the energy sector. One of the FBI analysts dug deeper and found out that the farm is bankrupt.”

    Detective Waters was scribbling furiously. “Okay, I’m following you.”

    “Watson never wrote off the loss. In fact, he cooked his own books to show a small profit of one point two mil on the sale of ten yearlings. Obviously, the man has no horse sense.”

    Even Detective Waters laughed out loud at that sorry pun. “Sounds like the classic trap of investing in a chinchilla farm and not knowing anything about running it.”

    “Exactly. At first, we thought he was just indulging his daughter’s interest in the sport.”

    “Horse racing?”

    “Nah. Equestrian. She’s been in a few national events, so I’m told. Anyway, guess who was the largest investor?” Detective Bateman didn’t give Waters a chance to speak. “Thomas Bentworth’s trust.”

  6. Meredith says:

    Finally, the cops decided to leave and patrons filed out after them. Roxy was extra-tired tonight, having kept her guard up for an extra three hours. As she walked home, she ruminated over the strange happenings that night. One thing kept calling her attention – the cops were looking for something missing. Who gave them a wild tip something was missing? How did they know? And who took it? All good questions, she was certain, but no answers were floating into her head.

    She turned left onto the railroad tracks, her favorite part of walking home. They always reminded her of putting pennies on the ones near her house as a kid or just watching the hug engines go by. She loved it when she awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of a train. Whatever might be bugging her, a train could fix.

    Passing the back of the old bakery, she smelled all the delectables from recipes probably hundreds of years old. She suddenly felt lucky; she didn’t usually get to pass by here  at this time of the morning. Arriving at her apartment complex, she unlocked the private gate opening into the courtyard. She liked her little place in a sixer, the slang her neighbors used to call their complex of only six units. She carefully opened her door so as not to crush Magill, her cat. That cat always wanted out as she got home and acted as if she’d not been out in years. They just passed in the night.
    As Roxy pulled her uniform off, she felt the relief of discarding an old worn out identity. She knew she’d be back at it, but for two nights, she’d at least get a break from that dive. She started to wad up her pants and toss them into the laundry bin when she noticed a strange red band around her right pant leg about two inches from the bottom. What the hell? It had better come out, she thought, or someone’s going to have to answer to me. It must have happened in all that hullabaloo.

  7. sh13151223 says:

    A recipe for escape
    to leave the old track
    whatever, he longed in earnest.
    To crush the band of old identity
    to wipe the slang of the loser
    to be private for a while
    and to rediscover the strange soul
    the wild natural self. 

  8. Jeanette says:

    It was my grandmother’s wild idea.  She says we have too much stress and this would help us.  As soon as we walk into the room, I sneeze.  It’s smoky and smells strange. We are late. What else is new? 

    We go to the back of the room and sit with our legs crossed.  All the purple mats are lined up in a perfect line.  I count ten people.  A girl from the back corner looks at us and smiles.  My mom puts a scarf over her head.  Her hair is growing back now but she still covers it.

    I immediately want to leave. This is weird.  The teacher is telling us to breathe in deeply and on the exhale pull our stomachs in like we are going to sneeze.  Everyone does as she says.  I can’t keep track of what I’m supposed to be doing, so I stop. Whatever… 

    I look over to the woman in front of me and she has a tattoo of a guitar on her forearm.  It’s really cool with an apple in the middle where the hole should be.  Maybe she’s in a band?  She has another tattoo on her neck but it’s something I can’t make out.  I think it’s slang for a bad word.
    There are sayings painted on the walls and what looks like recipes.  An ounce of honey can cure a  cough…ginger can cure indigestion. What can cure my boredom? 

    Both my grandma and mom have their eyes closed.  They are really focusing on their breathing.  I want us to move past this part so we can actually move our bodies. My feet are falling asleep.
    My mom’s face has changed.  Her eyes look tired even when they are closed.  It crushed her the day I found out.  I don’t know how she thought she could keep it private, but I knew something was wrong.  Her scarf is really pretty; pinks and purples swirl around the ribbons. 

    The teacher tells us to stand to begin the class. She says to pick an intention of someone or something we would like to dedicate our practice to.  I choose my mom.  I wish for all of my energy to fill her up and heal her.
    I look at her and her eyes are still closed.  Her head is slightly tilted near her chin and her hands are in prayer position.  My grandmother is standing with her eyes closed too.  Maybe this wasn’t such a crazy idea.  Maybe we could join our powers for good.  It’s worth a try.

    • Meredith says:

      Jeanette, you sucked me in with the first line. This was beautiful. Your flow is so natural.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Jeanette-what a beautiful story and so real-loved it!

    • Jeanette’s World. That’d be a cool title. All these stories have to live somewhere! they are so precious.
      One of your talents is getting just the right tone to the main character. this one called for snarky with a subtle change in attitude. You nailed it with these two lines:
      What can cure my boredom?
      I wish for all of my energy to fill her up and heal her.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      I think I’ve finally figured out how to explain your style. Some writers tell their stories as if giving strangers directions, but you show them with the same easy showing-sense that you’d expect to find if someone were talking to their friend next to them that is already familiar with the specifics of the scene. Know what I mean? You don’t come out and say, “Hey, my mom has cancer.” You say, “Her hair is growing back now but she still covers it.” You don’t force the story with big words, you let the process of your readers filling in the blanks move it effortlessly. Find ANY workable story idea and write a book.

    • Jen says:

      I agree with everyone here. What I like is that you don’t underestimate your reader’s ability to figure out what you’re sayinng, AND you give your characters humanity. Like the way you skip from how did my mo think I wouldn’t figure it out to how pretty her scarf it. It’s almost jarring, but tells us more about the narrator than that her mo has cancer. Really great. 

    • Chris Fries says:

      Really nice Jeanette!  I love the narrator’s slow and subtle transition from bored to involved and compassionate.  And the depth of character and the situation you develop with the clues about the Mom’s cancer adds tremendous emotional impact and reader involvement.
      Tremendous job!

  9. Chris Fries says:

    Hey all,
    Yesterday was a crazy day, so just getting to this today.  Here’s another 10×10* — this time featuring a familiar CCC scenario:  The murder detective at the scene of the crime…
    “…Killin’ What’s Inside of You…”
    Strange Brew‘ played endlessly — the iPod was on continuous loop.

    The track featured Eric Clapton singing and playing kick-ass guitar.

    But despite whatever the victim might have liked about them,

    he and the band Cream were now both long gone.

    Someone had decided to crush the skull of the guy,

    abruptly ending the poor sap’s private sixties musical flashback review.

    I needed to figure out who’d leave the music playing,

    after breaking in and carrying out this wild, grisly killing.

    On the wall, in streaky black paint, a recipe for

    “electric blue stew” was written.  Was this warped, twisted slang?
    *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).


    • Jeanette says:

      @Chris.  Whoa Nelly! You’ve got my attention!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Chris Fries-electric blue stew-Love it! 🙂

    • Yay, Chris! LOL You had fun with this one, I can tell.
      So, the master of the 10×10 seeks new worlds to conquer?

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: I don’t think I’ll ever get over how cool (and difficult to pull off) these are. Well done. Make sure you are keeping a local copy of everything so you can easily compile these into a book.

    • Jen says:

      Another fantastic submission. But, all I can think about is that old Canadian hosers movie. You know, wasn’t it Strange Brew? Anyway. stellar. 

      • Chris Fries says:

        LOL!  I loved the McKenzie brothers from SCTV!  Yeah, that movie was early 80’s.
        The song “Strange Brew”  (with the lines “killin’ what’s inside of you” and “electric blue”) was done by the band Cream in like 1967.  Eric Clapton was around 22 at the time (it was after John Mayall’s Blues Breakers and the Yardbirds, but before his solo career).
        Here’s a video of the song (the video’s trippy, but this has the best sound quality): 

        This is a “live” version of it from a British TV show — the band (Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce) are lip-synching and the sound’s not so hot, but it’s interesting to see a young psychedelic Clapton playing a Gibson SG — he’s been a Fender Strat guy for most of his life:


  10. Ingrid says:

    I’m sorry we’ve been away! The enthusiasm of the FB posse seemed to wane… but we tried again. So here is our group story.


    *Strange* feelings were coming into Rick’s mind. Nothing seemed to be real, only insane images. 
    He could not quite keep *track* of if he was awake or asleep. *Whatever* it was, he knew he must move on. The *band* had become a vortex of infighting.
    With one personality trying to *crush* another at every opportunity. *Whatever* the outcome, only one would survive.
    Rick took the drummer, Beater, aside for a *private* talk, “Look man, things can’t continue this way,” he said, “it’s messin’ with my head dude.” 
    Beater replied, “It was John Lennon who said, ‘We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and *leave* it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it.’ And I intend to keep watering it.”
    Rick thought for a moment he might just have to *leave*, screw it all. But then again…
    *Wild* thoughts started running through his mind, this was a torment, as if the band had followed the *recipe* for success but had lost their essence in the process. And then, with a wave of intense emotion – all his tormented thoughts and feelings shaped into a beautiful, haunting melody.
    And Rick realized his random and uncontrolled thoughts were like the beauty of *slang* to modern language, an expression of the real world where people lived: multiple interpretations for any moment in time.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ingrid: Awesome to see you back. And another awesome contribution. Are you having problems with the bolding too? Let me know.

  11. troy worman says:

    The strange tracks left by whatever it was proved a crushing blow to the band of skeptics. They huddled and debated leaving the area to the wild thing and its own devices, vowing to never reveal the finding. But before they were able to bring their dialog to a consensus, they were interupted by a raspy voice speaking in the local tongue, an unfortunate language begot of Latin and Shakespearean slang.
    “Is this a private meeting?” The voice strained.  The skeptics turned to find a white rabbit carrying a basket of what appeared to be Easter eggs. “Deceit is a recipe best served cold,” the rabbit contrived, pulling one of the eggs from the basket.  “I mean, deceit is a recipe for disaster!” It spat.  Then the rabbit lifted the egg high above its head in defiance.  The egg was a pale yellow color, the color one might paint a baby’s room if this was not a time when it was fashionable for people to chemically engineer the sex of their offspring.
    Then rabbit put the egg to its mouth, pulled the pin with its teeth and tossed it in the direction of the skeptics.  The explosion was muted as the heavy aethersphere severely hampered the movement of any sound in this world.

  12. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy! Stop Track Changin’ my Word doc for a sec, and come look at dis strange file someone leaved on da P-Drive.”

    “Bobby, what you talkin’ ‘bout?”

    “Dis file here. Must be some wild city-slang or somethin’. It’s labeled ‘Hair-pie Recipes ppt’ and whatever it is, it’s crushin’ da network drive’s free storage space.”

    “Maybe it got somethin’ to do with big hair bands or somethin’. It’s in da big boss’s private directory though, so we probably ain’t supposed to open it.”

    “You’s right, Billy. That wouldn’t be—” click, click.

  13. Kelly says:


    It was a strange track, all grown over with wild roses and yellowing ivy, wandering up a rocky hill in the woods. A recipe for ripped jeans and cold, wet feet to some. The remnants of a wooden sign lay crushed on the ground by the side of the rusty iron railway; Helen could just make out the fragments “No Trespa– Private Pro–” half-obscured by leaves and mud as she approached.

    But this didn’t make any sense to the determined 13-year-old with a fraying red backpack, graffitied all over with band names and lyrical slang, weighting down her slight shoulders. Whatever may have been meant by the sign at one time, long ago, surely could not apply now—after all, a train’s route belongs to everyone!

    Setting aside logical questions of whether the sign or the track came first, Helen braved the thorny canes and set off to open the next chapter of her life.

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