Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #230

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. Strike
  2. Tough
  3. Half
  4. Swear
  5. Whisper
  6. Different
  7. Hock
  8. Cry
  9. Shot
  10. Slippery

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


49 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #230”

  1. Alrighty, here is my entry for this one.


    tough blade
    splitting spine
    like cleaver
    through hock

    half shot
    swear cry
    fading into
    slippery whisper

    so different
    on battlefields
    no games
    played here 

  2. Chris Fries says:

    Sorry I haven’t had much of a chance to comment lately — been insanely busy these days!
    But at least I’m getting a prompt response posted, right? 
    This time, the words took me in a different direction than the 10×10’s I’ve been doing lately:

    One Shot

    Crandall fought the urge to cry out; to scream at the top of his lungs and flee in a blind panic.  He was so terrified he felt like he might hock up his stomach at any second, but he had to be tough.  The stakes were too high for him to break down now.
    He’d only have one shot — the Overseer would probably be exposed for a couple of minutes, tops. Maybe only half that. Crandall had to make sure he was focused and ready to strike when the time came.

    He closed his eyes and concentrated on his breathing to try and calm himself.  He even allowed himself to swear, if only in a whisper. It helped, but not much. 

    Crandall opened his eyes, exhaled, and then crawled forward on the rubble-strewn rooftop.  He moved slowly to minimize noise, but also to make sure he didn’t slide down the slippery tiles.  It would be just his luck to fall to his death before even reaching his chosen vantage point.

    At the edge of the roof, Crandall pulled himself up and perched behind the broken shards of a balcony wall.  He unfurled his stealth wrap and covered himself in it, leaving only a tiny gap for his eyes and his weapon.  He had a clear view of the courtyard below, but he should now be well-hidden from almost every angle. At least he hoped so.  The stealth wrap would protect against infrared, EM, and gravity-density sensors, but he could still be seen visually if any of the overlord’s security force came onto the roof and scurried close enough.

    He peered down over the rubble.  It would be at least another hour before the overlord’s armored convoy arrived, but the Zeltran security forces were already setting up positions and deploying their sensors.  Crandall could hear the scuffle of their talons as they worked.  He was thankful he hadn’t waited any longer to get into position.

    He tried to steady his heartbeat.  It was hard to do.  Crandall knew this would be sure suicide, but if he could eliminate the overlord first, it would be worth it.  Without their head, the Zeltran hive might be vulnerable; maybe enough that the remaining humans could have a chance.

    It was the only way Crandall could see a different future for his son.  To have a possibility for survival.  To have hope. To know more than to be steadily hunted and eliminated as part of the last remnants of humanity left on Earth.

  3. As soon as her father went into the bathroom, Lisbeth pulled a portable storage stick from her pocket and plugged it in to her father’s laptop. This was her one shot to strike back at him where it hurt. She clicked a few icons, typed a command and watched the stick glow as it transferred its payload.

    “Come on!” She whispered fiercely. The toilet flushed. The progress indicator was only half way across the little window.   The little remote-control program could not be activated without shutting down and restarting the laptop. She had a plan for that: She brought up a different window and deliberately caused it to malfunction. She heard the water from the faucet shut off. She began to swear loudly, for her father’s benefit.

    As he opened the door, the portable storage stick stopped glowing and a window popped up, telling her that the file transfer was complete. She quickly removed the stick, returned it to her pocket and clicked the “X” on the message window. She looked up casually and said, “You’re using an outdated driver. The webcam doesn’t work with this chat program.”

    “Take your time, it’s still late afternoon out there. She’s probably not home, yet.”  Cornelius sat on the sofa to wait.

    Lisbeth was shaking. With slippery palms, she brought the laptop over and sat down beside her father. She showed him what looked like a frozen screen. “I’ll just restart it and then go online for a new driver.”

    “Why, now, Lisbeth?” Cornelius thought he had her pegged. She’d turned out to be quite resourceful. Too bad she didn’t take the exit route he had offered. Still, threatening him and making a fuss about Laura made no sense. Since when did she care what his wife thought?

    “She called me a gold-digger. She thought I was one of your bimbos.” Lisbeth was thinking of a way to get out of there quickly. Perhaps he had given her an opening. She thought of her mother’s puppy, lying dead in the driveway after Lisbeth had backed over it. That was good enough: she began to cry.

    Startled, Cornelius could only gape at his daughter. “Well, I’ll be. You do have feelings. I thought you’d hocked them for that crackerjack Lex Luthor genius.”

    “Fuck you!” Lisbeth pretended to angrily mash the power button, ensuring that the laptop would be powered off. She theatrically slammed the laptop onto the coffee table. “I never expected you to understand, anyway!” With great drama, she sprang up from the sofa and stormed toward the door.

    Cornelius reacted quickly. “Whoa, whoa, there. Calm down. I’m sorry. I just …” He closed the gap and reached for her arm.

    Lisbeth took a second to spin around and glare back at him. “No. You’re not sorry. I’ve never seen a stitch of sorry on you. Tell, Laura, or don’t tell Laura. I don’t care. But you better not mess with Vanessa or those accounts!”  She swatted his outstretched arm and dashed out of the penthouse.


    “Waters, Lisbeth Watson is in the Towers. Get over there, now!” Captain Delaney switched off his phone, short-circuiting any nosy questions from his detective. He didn’t have the time or energy to make up a lie. He only hoped that Cornelius Watson kept his mouth shut when Waters got there. He made another call, this time to Pierce Michaels.

    While Captain Delaney was checking in with Watson’s lawyer, Detective Sam Waters was jumping into his unmarked and calling Detective Bateman. “Al, Sam. Watson’s daughter is in the Towers. How close are you?”

    “Ah, balls! I’m all the way over to Mulligan’s. I’ll get over there as soon as I can.”

    “Okay, man. I’m on my way. I’m about two minutes out.” Waters clicked off the phone and stomped on the gas. It was going to be tough catching her, unless it was a social call. Waters laughed bitterly. He knew she was up to something and probably didn’t want to hang around too long. If he missed her now, he might not have another chance. He flipped open his phone and called the Towers lobby.

    “Towers information. How may I assist you?”

    Waters recognized the stuffy concierge. “This is Detective Sam Waters. I need you to lock the entrance and have security prevent anyone from leaving through the emergency exits.”

    “Certainly sir. And what shall I tell anyone wishing to egress?”

    “Tell them to wait, that’s what! We have a fugitive in your building. I’m holding you personally responsible for securing the exits!”

    “But of course, sir. I have already alerted security. May I ask whom you are pursuing? Perhaps the person has already left?”

    “Vanessa Watson, to you. Did she come in?”

    “I haven’t seen her, sir.”

    “Never mind. I’ll be there in a minute.”  Detective Waters sped through a red light at 70 miles per hour.

  4. Wow, good story and was enjoyable read.  Tense bathroom scene copying the data.

  5. Jen says:

    I couldn’t sleep long. Not with the windows jammed open. Not in this city. If the early honking of cabs don’t wake me, it’s the vendors setting up just under the window, their voices warming up, ready to spend the day hocking tchotchkes and designer watches and ripoff bags with a cry to the suckers who flock here. They might as well just open their wallets and let these dudes just take whatever they want. 
    The thought of him leaving her bed, slithering out of warm sheets, leaving a whisper of his fragrance for her to cherish or regret. Or both. When I throw my legs off the futon, tough with odor and age and not at all the plush mattress I left back on the Island, the books I’d been reading in the small quiet of the night, which lasts mere moments, land with a crash on the wooden floors. 
    I’m disgusted with myself. She’s old enough to be my aunt. But that’s not the most appalling thing. I hear the slippery call of the trimmed hedges, the silent pool and flowing fountains back at the Island, the place i promised to never see again. And that monstrously, outrageously encompassing mattress in the large master suite on the northwest corner of the castle. 
    When I left, Aunt Esme and I had thrown our most strenuous verbal volleys, perfect shot after perfect shot. I spat at her, “I swear I’ll never be back. Don’t do this Ezz.” We Rothstone’s did nor raise our voices. We did not throw empty threats and we did not swear. Not the way the street vendors swear, after plucking more bills from idiots. It was half funny; both our refusal to say what we meant to say in no uncertain terms and the tourists being hustled. 
    Esme. My darling aunt and benefactress, charge of my trust for one more year was unhappy. “Dissatisfied,” she had hissed, a strike she knew would sting. She did not like my style of dress, nor did she appreciate my absorption in graduate school, where although our kind do extol the virtues of a solid education, we hardly are the ones to take our own studies seriously. There are people we can hire for that. Later, when we work. At the family industry. And of course I played the tired tune, asserting my independece, plotting a different course; I chose not only to attend school and apply for an advanced degree, but I chose a rather unbusinesslike course. For shame. 
    But she couldn’t let me fall to dirty, average person standards. There was still some money coming my way. I planned to use it in pursuit of Merritt.  

  6. Meredith says:

    Eddie suddenly spun around looking left, right, crooked, straight. He could swear he just saw her standing there in her jammies. “Stoner,” he whispered. No response. “Stoner, she’s gone.”
    “Hey you don’t have to whisper, dummy. We’re not trying to be stealth, you know. She knows we’re here.”
    “She’s gone. The girl’s gone!” yelled Eddie.
    “What??? You were supposed to strike her if she tried to run. What is wrong with you, man? Aren’t you tough enough? That thing ain’t in here. She must have it! We gotta find her now!”
    They tore out the door and tried to determine which direction Roxy went in.
    Alex walked down to the machine for a shot of coffee. His mind would not let go of AJ. The last time he saw him outside of AJ’s work at Slightly Loaded, AJ was ensuring him a life different than the one he was living now. Damn him. Alex fell for it, the loaded lines, the way AJ said all the right things, how he was over women. Yep, fell like a rock down a great big slippery slope of love. Now he was alone and AJ was back with Margaret. No one at work knew he and AJ had a thing. Most of them knew he was gay but that was different. If they knew he’d been with AJ, they’d be asking him questions and really, Alex knew nothing, absolutely nothing about the technology gangs running around Black Earth. He’d just heard of them. The IT cops always took care of that shit.
    Alex had a feeling AJ was in hock again. That must be why he was messing with this shit. That picture the woman at the bar had showed a left hand grabbing something off the light. And that hand had a tattoo, the black half of a yin-yang. Alex knew if they had the left hand, it would show the other half.  AJ must know Alex was in on the case. Alex took a sip of coffee. He felt sick. He had to get out for a while, get some fresh air.
    “Hey, Alex,” called Brian. “What’s up? You coming with us?”
    “We’ve got a lead on this Angel Jingo guy.”
    “I don’t think so. I’m going to stay around here and piece some more things together.” Alex just hoped he was good enough to make sure Brian didn’t see him cry.

  7. Lynne says:

    The forest was dank and silent under a lowering sky as our small party stood, listening.
    “There it is”, young Andy mouthed in an almost-silent whisper.
    I saw it. We grabbed our packs and tentatively crept forward towards our prey. Andy, in his 12-year-old enthusiasm, pushed through some bushes, startling birds into flight.
    “Shhh… Half-Pint, we can’t strike too soon and we don’t wanna scare it off”, I remonstrated, adding a glare for good measure.
    My brother, Joe, the older one (but not as good-looking as me) nudged me with his none-too-clean elbow and gave a glare of his own.
    “Look, Ben”, he said sotto voce, “You can act the tough guy all you like but stop frightening the poor kid.”
    Hell, the whole trip was about the kid. Andy looked from Joe to me and back, eyes wide but gleaming with excitement. With a sinking feeling in my belly, I just knew I couldn’t let him down.
    With a quick nod at Joe, I led them forward. Signalling for them both to move behind me, I raised my gun, flipped off the safety, and took a shot.
    I felt sick but at least Andy had got his wish – after years of hearing stories about the brave adventures of his good-looking uncle, he had finally shared one.
    The next night I went to dinner over at Joe and Ally’s place.
    “Well, this is a bit different“, Ally said, “We usually buy our ham hock at the supermarket.”
    Andy, Joe and Ally tucked in with relish. I pushed my food around my plate for awhile then excused myself and went onto the porch for a smoke.
    From the porch I could hear Andy, regalling Ally with the story of the great tracking and hunting expedition. I swear that boy tells taller stories than his uncle. As I thought about that ham that used to be a pig, I wiped my slippery face and wondered about whether to teach Andy the next lesson. The one where it’s okay for men to cry.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Lynne: If you don’t have a website to showcase your writing, get one immediately! Not having one is a bleepin’ sin. 😉 Seriously, get one!

      • Lynne says:

        @Shane: Thanks 🙂
        I don’t have a website for my writing and have no plans for one (not yet, anyway). I haven’t really been writing. As a child and teen I had some short stories published but, apart from one or two stories written for friends, I haven’t written anything for decades. I have been challenging myself with these (setting a time limit of 10 minutes per challenge) as a way of discovering for myself whether I have it in me to write. I’m not confident of my skills as a writer or storyteller but hope to reach a stage where I am comfortable with my writing. Then, I may be less inhibited about showcasing it. 

    • I enjoyed this, Lynne. Tall tales of the hunt. LOL




    • Lynne says:

      @Meredith, @Mitchell and @Kenn – Thank you so much for your comments. They are very much appreciated. 

  8. The Saga of Bayou Billy…
    So I’m sittin’ on the front porch eatin’ a big ol’ bowl a gumbo tryin’ to strike up a conversation with my wife, my sweet Yvonne, cuz she tinkin’ we ought to consider puttin’ the youngin’s back in school. I knows it gots to be tough on her wit them runnin all o’re the house. Not to mention half the time I swear them little sons of… ummm, “The Kid” mighten be readin’ this so I gots to keep it clean. So ya’ll lean a little closer so and I’ll whisper in yer ear.
    Pssst… y’all knows you is readin’ this on  a ’puter so why you gots yer ear up to the monitor? I ain’t judgin’… I’m just sayin’… yer a different type a person, that for sure.
    So where was I? Oh yeah, schoolin’ the youngins. So I thunk’d on it real hard for three or two minutes as I wuz bitin’ into a piece of ham hock and that’s when I say’d to myself, “Self,” and I recognized the voice right away cuz it sounded just like me. “Self,” I say’d, “Hammy’s little peg leg work’d mighty fine for him, I wonder if the Little Whipper Snapper would be able to get around if I done did the same thing for him?”
    In case ya’ll forgot, the Little Whipper Snapper done lost boat his legs when I throw’d him in the swamp and a gator done chaw’d them off.  I remember that day just like it was… ummm… when ‘xactly did that happen anyways? 
    Well that ain’t important, what’s important is I gots to test me theory before I takes away his wheelchair. So I’m thinkin’ maybe we should cut off one of Hammy’s other legs and see how it works out for him? I know’s ya’ll thinkin’ it’s just away for me to get sum more ham, but I really am concerned about little what’s his name. 
    Why just last week he was sittin’ in his wheelchair o’er by the Bayou and decided to have his-self a cry to try and git a purdy lil Cherie to feel sorry for him. She comes o’er and axes what’s wrong so he say’d, “I ain’t never been hugged.” 
    So that purdy lil Cherie done gived him a big hug. 
    So he smiled and say’d, “I ain’t never been kissed neither.” 
    She smiled back and done gived him a nice, long kiss. 
    Then the Little Whipper Snapper smiled bigger and say’d, “I ain’t never been screwed.” 
    The lil Cherie shot him a big smile then pushed him o’er the slippery rocks and into the bayou and say’d, “There, now your screwed!”

  9. Rebecca says:

    Do you hear the soft whisper of your life?
    It’s calling to you. Dare to be different and listen.
    You don’t have to hock your soul for the sake of others.
    Strike out on your own, even though it may be tough at first.
    Give it a shot, you may be surprised how easy it is.
    Swear to yourself that you won’t allow life to pass you by.
    Half of the world’s population cry out in pain.
    They’re on a slippery slope to nowhere.
    Yet, they don’t do anything about it.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: More fabulous advice. I shall try harder to choose words that don’t seem custom fit for your submissions. 😉

  10. Cathy Miller says:

    With the strike of the right tone, the tough become half of what they were. You’d swear the whisper of a different sound would have them hock their soul as they cry with a last shot of resistance on the slippery slope of pain.

  11. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. Maybe if you hadn’t-a hocked a loogie on dat secret service feller’s head and toldt him you whisper sweat nothin’s in his maw’s ear right before you swear at her and strike her ass while doin’ her dog-style—after you shot his dog—we’d be in a different place and you wouldn’t be cryin’ half as much ‘bout how slippery your anus is right now due to dat tough feller dat loved him some salad dat they done bunked you wit’ last night at dis here abandoned military base.”

  12. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thanks … and … I do love a Challenge. 🙂

  13. Kelly says:


    Sing a different song;

    Cry a different dry.

    Whisper that it won’t be long and swear the shot went high.

    If you strike half the world and I the other, will you smile?

    We’re living on a rock with a slippery slope to death.

    It’s tough to stay in hock so long the budget’s got no breath.

    I wish you’d sing a different song.

    This one’s steering very wrong.

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