Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #239

Chris Garrett (new member of the Copyblogger Family) chose today’s words. Show him what you’ve got and congratulate him for a well-deserved position.

This is a writing prompt. Bet you can’t do it! 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. Delusion
  2. Shredded
  3. Poutine – Canadian dish of chipped potatoes topped with curd cheese and a tomato-based sauce
  4. Platitude – dull; a banal, trite, or stale remark
  5. Ink
  6. Severed
  7. Wonky – unsteady, shaky, odd, stale
  8. Minx – a pert girl; a wanton woman
  9. Sassy
  10. Mounts

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
The Digital Writer
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there

52 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #239”

  1. My entry poem for today’s challenge,

    Red Ink
    She was a sassy minx
    living a wonky delusion
    instead of some trivial platitude
    behind shredded relationships
    a severed wake of mounts
    poutine of scribbled notes
    her book of life written
    in permanent red ink 

  2. Chris Fries says:

    Hey all,
    Sorry I’ve been a spotty CCC poster this month.   But the good news is that the April A-to-Z Blogging Challenge is over and I’m looking forward to spending more time writing again, including here at the CCC.
    This prompt led me to another 10×10*: 

    Delusion is the last refuge of the rejected,” says Tony.
    “She shredded you.  Just accept it, eh?”  Karl only shrugs.
    “Eat your poutine,” Tony points.  “It’ll cure your broken heart.”
    “Spare me your platitude, dude” Karl says. “It ain’t helping.”
    He looks at the ink freshly burned onto his arm.
    The “Jessica Forever!” could be severed — hand and all, maybe.
    That would remove the evidence of his wonky, wild weekend.
    But he would never forget how that minx snared him;
    her generous curves, her mesmerizing laugh, and her sassy smile.
    “So, can I call her?” Tony asks. Karl’s frustration mounts.
    *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).

  3. Van, Shirley and Quixote, their three-legged dog, stumbled out of the gas station’s bathroom. Each one had a legitimate reason for having a wonky gait. The next person to visit the bathroom would be forgiven for stumbling out without completing the intended task. Such was the reality of week-old poutine and too much wine.
    Van had not felt like cooking. He always made a huge mess during the process. While he had no problem entertaining the delusion that he was preparing a gourmet meal for an imaginary studio audience, he could not face the derision that was sure to accompany Shirley’s disappointment in his culinary performance. Her retorts always centered around the unjustifiable division of labor. She would sulk and take all night to do the dishes. The road trip would be delayed by her oversleeping. That, to Van, was reason enough to pull out the emergency rations.
    Buried behind Shirley’s mounds of lettuce and parsnips, the erstwhile butter tub held two servings of Van’s doggie bag from last week’s Valentine’s Day outing. As he dug it out, Quixote ambled in from his perch on the back porch.
    “Ay, Keyhole! Your nose is sharp as ever. I shoulda never told you that was a doggie bag. I’ll give you a taste, though, okay?”
    Quixote thumped his tail affirmatively. Satisfied with his order, he pushed through the screen to await the queen.
    Van debated tossing a quick salad. The ink-like pool in the bottom of the bag of lettuce deterred him. Instead, he shredded a couple of leaves onto two plates and topped it with paprika. He popped the butter tub into the microwave and zapped it for 90 seconds. While microbes tanned in the noxious concoction, Van rooted through the space under the sink for the Zinfandel. He looked up when Quixote barked.
    Outside, Shirley was coming up the walk. She dropped down beside her faithful pet, scratched his ears and recited the daily platitudes of a returning owner. She completed the ritual by rubbing the stump where his leg had been severed by the chipper. Quixote found this wildly titillating and Shirley made sure he was satisfied.
    “Get in here, you sassy minx! Dinner awaits!” Van held the screen door open, deliberately failing to give Shirley enough room to squeeze past. His free hand held a jelly jar of wine.
    “Hello, you horny old goat! Dinner smells delicious! Let me get out of these damned mounts.” She kicked off her come-hither heels and pulled the lifts from each shoe. She sat down, grateful for the Martha Stewart pillows on the K-mart chairs. She took the proffered jar and drained it in one gulp.
    “Easy, babe. I want you sober for tonight.” Van guffawed while refilling her jar. He dashed to the microwave, removed the butter tub and stuck in a Sara Lee cake. With his usual corny flair, he ladled the poutine onto each plate, careful to avoid smothering his inspired garnish. Finally, he placed the dregs on the floor for Quixote, sat down and exclaimed, “Bon Appétit!”

  4. I think I need to lay off the Dexter with this one 😉


    Platitude by Sassy Minx
    “Yes, what of it?”
    “That’s your forum name … Sassy Minx? Really?”
    “Don’t start that again. People don’t only go online to get dates, you know! What do you think? I put a lot of effort into writing that poem.”
    “I’m just saying, isn’t it a little … suggestive?”
    “Only to people who share your peculiar brand of DELUSION, Fred”.
    Fred pouted as he walked back into the kitchen and proceeded to add more shredded cheese to his freshly-made poutine. 
    On the return trip back to the lounge, Fred took time to adjust the wonky photographs in the hall. Shiny, happy faces of the bride and groom shone out from mounts that were still as brightly coloured as the day they were assembled. 
    The wedding certificate was signed with ink still so fresh it looked brand new. As fresh as the severed limbs of the many potential and past boyfriends securely buried beneath the concrete patio.
    Fred stabbed a fork into his poutine and stalked back to the lounge for round two of the argument which he knew he would never win. Which was ok, he had other ways to keep their relationship strong … 

    • Chris! It’s always nice to see you around here. Thanks for the fun words and congratulations on your new position.

      You know, I was gonna added shredded cheese to my poutine, but I thought the curds would have been enough. It’s tough to write about foods you’ve never seen.

      Severed limbs. Oh my. Conjures up a handful of old movies. 



    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Chris: I hope the next big announcement from you is the launch of your first fiction book. You’re a skilled, enjoyable word-slinger! This was such a fun read.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Great job, Chris!
      I love the dynamics of the scene, the tension in the conversation, and the added gut-punch of “severed limbs … under the patio” makes for a killer piece!

  5. Cathy Miller says:

    Marc was under no delusion that his life was going to get any better. He shredded all of his relationships and mashed them into a poutine mess of emotions. It’s no wonder his writing resembled a collection of platitudes, not worth the virtual ink used in his sophomoric attempts at expression.

    He severed hope for mediocrity, wrapped in a wonky set of words. Even his cat, Minx, seemed to have lost her sassy cry for attention, preferring the comatose life found in the room’s only sunspot. It was like the mounts of his life had been pried loose and he no longer held the means to fix it.

    And then he found CCC.

  6. I couldn’t help but watch them. Their booth was in my direct line of sight. The sassy blond was gorging on a large bowl of poutine and the dark skinned minx sipped a glass of red wine. Both girls looked about eighteen going on 25. Four inch turquoise heels extend from painted on blue jeans. Double D augmentations bursting the seams of matching halter tops. Colored ink spreads across their chests and arms, designs I can’t quite figure out.

    My interest mounts when a tall sleek woman sets a margarita on the table and slides in next to the blond. I guess 30 years packed in a body that sees the gym every morning. Brunette hair with a slight touch of auburn flows down her back and over her shoulders. She is stunning and impeccably dressed in a soft pink sweater and grey dress slacks. Silver sandals over manicured feet. One inch of bling on her wrist catches my eye, I wonder if the diamonds are real.

    From the purse in her lap she extracts two passports and white envelopes. I wish I could hear voice. Hear what she is saying as she hands them to the girls. They nod in unison as they listen to her instructions. She stands, glides directly to our table as she slings the purse over her shoulder.

    “Take a picture it will last longer.” comes from her lips, sounding like a platitude she has delivered many times. She moves off as the waitress steps in to take our order.

    I direct the waitresses attention to the two girls sitting at my table. As if severed from their voices they point at the menu, ordering bowls of poutine. I eek out “And they want root beer to drink” in a voice so wonky it surprises me and makes my girls stare at me and giggle.

    Their sweet laughter has shredded any delusions, bringing me back to lunch with my daughters.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Fabulous scene-setting, Shelia!  I love the descriptions, but they aren’t just throw-away descriptions of setting — It’s cool how you reveal the inherent tension in the situation by just a few choice words within those descriptions.  
      And your characterization is awesome!
      Excellent work.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sheila: Yeah, exactly what Chris said. You made me want to eat lunch! 😉

    • Sheila, you really put the third dimension into each character! This was so vivid that I have to repeat what you said to me: it was like watching a movie.

      I can even see the girls giggling and their hapless father. You know that glance that passes between sibs when a parent is “caught”.




      • Thanks guys, I am hooked!
        At first the list of words seemed a little daunting. Then the girls in the booth just showed up. I had to sleep on the rest. It would take me a year to write a novel at that rate.
        Appreciate the critique.

  7. Shane Arthur says:

    That dude had delusions of shredded sass, him and his wonky hipster glasses, inked fingernails and Levi’s super-skinny jeans mounting his flat, severed ass that he’d snake like a bowl of pourtine as he shuffled about like a minx in heat. He mouthed platitudes about sensitivity training, but he didn’t mind pretend-groping my male coworker from behind as he played to the crowd with the same skill only a macho-man pickup artist could equal. Yeah, my boss was something else!

  8. Late again, maybe Shane could float me the words a day or two early so I can get a jump on them!  anyway, Dead Dolphins at Daybreak, part 9

    Time passed, how long was not clear. Ryan’s tears ceased to fall, and rage filled him. He stood and gently placed a sheet over Kaetlyn’s face before reaching for the phone. He dialed the Chief first.

    “Where in the Sam Hill have you been Jones?!!?” The Chief screamed. “Kaetlyn’s been killed. Somehow it is connected with the dolphins.” Ryan replied. Silence from the Chief was a rarity, yet silence filled the line for a few seconds.

    “Are you there now?” the chief asked. “Yes, I am not leaving. Send the crew. I am the only one alive. There are at least 5 guys dead in my house, and Kaetlyn.” Ryan said. “I’ll bring them myself. Stay put.” The chief said and hung up. Ryan was impressed. He knew the chief liked him but this was unprecedented. He pushed the off button on the phone and was about to drop it when he thought of his cell phone.

    He dialed dispatch and asked to be connected to someone at the scene of the dolphin massacre. He got a Patrolman Jones. An involuntary smile touched his lips gently. “Patrolman Jones, this is Detective Jones. I was there earlier trying to keep things from coming apart.” Ryan introduced himself. “Yea, I know who you are.” The patrolman said, a chuckle in his voice. “We found your phone.” “That is what I was calling about. There are going to be cars headed to my place anytime, can you send it with someone?” Ryan said. “I’ll bring it myself, I just got the call to head over there.” He said. “Thanks.” Ryan said and hung up.

    He closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths, turning on his cop persona. When he opened them again, he was detached, focused, and ready to work; cop mode.

    He couldn’t start with Kaetlyn. That was just….not now. He had no delusion that this would be easy, and it wasn’t. Polaroid pictures littered the floor and shredded his psyche, but he didn’t let it crack the cop shell. He identified all of the men he had killed in the pictures.

    Each one performing some unspeakable act on Kaetlyn. He hoped that she had been unconscious for most of them. He gathered the pictures from the floor and sorted them according to the tattoos each man had. Soon, he would match the pictures to the actual ink on the men to make sure that all of them were dead. In all of this pain and debauchery he did not see the man from the chair, the man with at least 10 bullets in him. The man who flew away.

    That was a problem for later however. Sirens entered is hearing, slowly at first and growing louder. Moments later shouts of “Police!” reverberated through Ryan’s house. Footsteps covered the place along with more shouts of “Clear!” or “This one’s gone!” as they checked the place for hiding bad guys. Footsteps climbed the stairs.

    The Chief himself came through the door, walked to Ryan’s side, surveyed the polaroids and dead men in the room as well as the covered body on the bed. Silently he placed a hand on Ryan’s shoulder and led him out of the room. Ryan didn’t resist. They went into the other bedroom. The Chief said, “You look wonky Ryan, sit down, I am going to need you.” Ryan sat heavily on the small sofa in the room.

    “I am not going to sit here and blow platitudes up your ass.” The Chief said as he sat on the bed. “You ready to tell me what in the name of all that is good and holy went on here?”

    Ryan just sat, silent, staring at nothing. The Chief waited. Finally, after what seemed ages, Ryan began to speak. “Kaetlyn was the one Chief. We were ready to get married. Six more weeks until my leave, and we were going to do it. She was such a sassy minx that she was making me wait. Damn. Damn, Damn, Damn. We were going to head to Calgary for the Stampede, maybe some fishing. She wanted to try poutine whatever that was. I told her I was not going to eat anything that had poo in the name. She only laughed.”

    “What happened here Detective?” the Chief asked. “I am not entirely sure.” Ryan started again. “I got the call this morning about the dolphins. I spent the day there covering it and getting the bodies burned. A lady told me she saw the devil in the flames and something flying overhead. I dismissed it of course, but then I got a phone call. I let it go to voicemail. It was a threat against Kaetlyn. I almost flew here. When I arrived, there were men in the house. I don’t know how many. I killed every one I could, but there was one…I emptied about 10 rounds into him and he still stood, mounts the window sill like a horse, and jumps out. I got to the window a second later and he was flying away on huge, bat like wings. I don’t know what that was. A bit later I called you. I am not sure how long it was.”

    “Damn.” The Chief exclaimed, almost at a loss for more creative cuss words. Just then, a forensic guy came in with a plastic bag. “Sorry about this, Jones. But is this your girlfriends?” he held up the evidence bag. Ryan looked and gagged at the severed finger inside, still wearing the engagement ring that he had given Kaetlyn only a month before. The tech nodded and left the room.

  9. Lynne says:

    The call came in moments after I returned home. After a gruelling day at work, I was beat. 
    “Bonsoir, mon amour,” he said in that sexy growl that always got my heart beating as if to break free and leap around the room. “I’d like to see you tonight, chérie. How would you like some dinner, wine…”
    Suddenly, I wasn’t quite so tired.
    “… And me?” he finished.
    A quick calculation later, checking that my best sexy underwear was clean, legs waxed, and nail polish still okay from the day before, I agreed to meet Jules at his apartment.
    “I’m preparing for you a very special dinner,” he promised, “See you soon mon chou.”
    One of the many things I adored about Jules (apart from his sexy Québécois accent, buffed body, and ready smile) was his love of cooking. What girl wouldn’t adore a man who cooks? We had been dating for six months and, somehow or other, every time he planned to cook for me something else came up. He told me often enough about his experiences while working in a French restaurant in his hometown of Montreal. I was so excited that night-I was finally going to experience real, genuine, French cooking.

    The night sky was brushed with ink and dotted with diamonds as I floated up the steps to Jules’ apartment door.
    “Ah, mon lapin, you are here at last,” Jules said as he opened the door and Kissed me softly on each cheek. “I have bonne surprise for you. My, how you say it? Conjecture dish?”
    I corrected him gently, “Signature, Jules. I think you mean ‘signature dish'”.
    “Ah, oui. Yes, that is it”, he murmured.
    Stepping slowly around him, I gave a sassy little hip-wiggle and wee practised smile as I made my way to his dining alcove.
    Minx,” he laughed, grabbing me for a quick, passionate kiss, before pouring a luscious-looking red wine into two glasses. 
    “To us,” Jules toasted.
    “And here’s to the chef,” I responded as we clinked our glasses together and drank deeply.
    Excusing himself, Jules disappeared into the kitchen. I settled back with my wine to relax, unwind from my busy work day, and let the sound of background music wash over me. Half an hour later, the tide had gone out on the wine and I was feeling a little wonky. I closed my eyes and thought about all the fabulous French food I knew-bouillabaisse, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon. Ooh, I wondered, would Jules finish with a crème brûlée? My mouth watered as I sat, drank, and daydreamed.

    Jules brought me back from my daydreams with a thud. The dish he placed, oh so proudly, on the table between us looked nothing like my daydreams.
    “It’s poutine,” he explained. “A very popular dish back home”.
    It looked like something my cat occasionally deposits on my carpet, usually after making heaving sounds.
    “Is that fries, with cheese and gravy?” I asked, my voice wobbling.
    My words appeared to have shredded his pride so I quickly added a pacifying platitude.
    “I’m sure it’s tasty”.
    Wordlessly, Jules served some of the mess onto my plate. I shuddered as I took a small mouthful. Then, I looked down.

    There, amidst the curds, gravy, and who knows what else in this, Jules’ signature dish, was a shiny, hairless, thing. It looked suspiciously like a severed tail.
    “Um, Jules, sorry babe, but what is this?” I asked tentatively.
    “Argh! Tabarnac!” Jules shouted. Heaving a deep breath he added, “I am sorry mon chou, I thought I removed all the mounts“.
    “Oui, those mounts. They got in the pot but I thought I pulled them all out.”
    “I think you mean, ‘mouse’ Jules. Are you saying that you knew they were in the food but you served it to me anyway?” I asked quietly, shocked by what I suspected.
    Jules shrugged.
    Increasingly uncomfortable, I pressed Jules for some explanation. After all, chefs know they can’t serve food that had become a hiding place for furry things.
    I slowly and clearly asked Jules, “What kind of restaurant did you work in back in Montreal?”
    He responded in a whisper, “McDonalds”.
    I didn’t bother asking if he had ever been a chef.
    “It doesn’t matter anyway,” he said. “You Australian women love us Frenchmen. We are good, how you say it? Good lovers.”
    Stunned, I asked him the one thing I didn’t want him to answer.
    “What do you mean, ‘you Australian women’? You told me we met on your first day here.”
    “Certainement, we did.”
    Then came the clanger.
    “But a man is a man, you know?”
    I walked out without saying another word, leaving Jules to his delusion.

    Back home, I shredded my sexy underwear, cursing Jules and my stupidity all the while. By the morning, I felt a little better and by mid-morning at work I had started to see the funny side of my doomed-from-the-start love affair. The girls were gathered around the office water-cooler so I joined them. There was a frisson of excitement around Amy, our receptionist, as she related the story of a gorgeous French guy she met the week before.
    “He’s invited me to his place for dinner tonight,” she squealed.
    We all cooed and smiled. One of the others asked his name.
    Amy sighed, “Jules. Doesn’t his name sound so romantic?”
    “It sure does, Amy,” I replied. “Enjoy your dinner… But watch out for those mounts”.

  10. Rebecca says:

    David’s new ink was wonky. The minx on his right arm was sassy, even though she was done in black and gray. His mother’s platitude towards his fresh tattoo severed any chance of them reconnecting. She was delusional if she thought he gave a damn about her anymore. His mother shredded a person’s dignity in less than 2.5 seconds. It’s no one wonder he didn’t have long relationships with women. He packed for his trip to T.O. where he’d enjoy home baked poutine. He mounts his bike and takes off.

  11. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thanks! I’m not sure where this story came from. It’s sort of out of ‘left field’ for me. 🙂 I’m sure there’s a ‘personal development’ meaning somewhere in it.

  12. Bobbert says:

    Sharon was a very plain, not so young woman, who came from a wealthy family and was under the delusion that she was the woman all men desired. Instead, all men tended to view her as a sassy and aged minx. They usually severed contact with her not because they were intimidated by her sensuality, but because they feared that their platitudes may not satisfy her for long. Especially when she began to press them on the quality of her poutine, as she always did. No one wanted to be the one that shredded her self-confidence. Cooking or otherwise.
    Today, she was seated on a rather wonky chair, which she considered fashionable and elegant. It fit her nature well, and others just wondered from a distance how long the wooden mounts would hold her weight. Someone had even written on the side of the chair in plain ink writing, “Do not use.”
    So in a moment of great wonder, in some strange inversion of the universe, a man who actually adored Sharon walked up to her in hope. He was a good man, but not very stately, and she did not approve. He graciously asked if he may share a moment of her time to introduce himself.
    She looked him up and down disapprovingly, and said without any regret or hesitation, “No thank you. You are clearly beneath me.”
    At that very same moment, in a gesture that showed justice was still dispensed from the heavens, her chair collapsed. She fell with a shriek until her behind was squarely planted on the ground. And with the contact, she inadvertently squeezed the ink pen in her hand, squirting one flaring nostril with blue ink.
    Seeing her to have fallen quite a bit beneath himself, he raised an eyebrow and then just before tuning away, he said “Not from my vantage point.”

  13. Kelly says:


    Anticipation mounts for weeks. I know she can barely stand the wait any more. Finally, I severed the ribbons, opened the box, and peeked through the shredded newsprint used as packing materials.

    “Single moms do it all. All the time.” Bold ink, slightly wonky, on a bright purple background.

    Sassy minx of a kid got me the t-shirt for my birthday. What was I supposed to say, but “Thanks, Kiddo.” We parents have to offer platitudes to keep the kids happy every day, and I suppose letting her harbor the delusion that I might actually wear something like that out in public is no worse than any other parent’s faux joy at their funky birthday presents.

    Poutine for dinner. Terrible for me, but makes me happy, and it’s my birthday, dangit. I found the funniest little diner near us, where an old québécois couple makes it the right way. Fresh, gooey, and in ridiculously huge servings. I kinda hoped I’d drip some brown gravy on the shirt and render it unwearable.

    (I know, I’m awful. But don’t be surprised: Single moms do it all. The good stuff, and the bad.)

    I think I’m starting to like this shirt.

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