Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #244

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. Die
  2. Line
  3. Highway
  4. Realize
  5. Hate
  6. Mistake
  7. Drive
  8. Why 
  9. Mood
  10. Rate

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


41 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #244”

  1. Today’s poem is a rather bleak picture but it happens all too frequently.

    Did he realize he was about to die?
    his mood of hate; his fatal mistake
    why drive angry and cross the line?
    in a bright flash on this highway grave
    cars become steel and plastic tombstones
    a rate too costly measured by families
    impaired drivers come in all flavors 

  2. The highway to the center of my brain is puckered with the potholes of love, hate and every mood I’ve ever encountered in my 82 years. It was a mistake to let this young tart drive down that white line. I only realize my error as I stare at the unwashed hair thrashing, while my heart rate syncopates with the crusty pistons of my crankshaft: arrhythmia of the worst sort.

    Am I going to die in this alley? When they find me with my trousers around my ankles, will they know instantly – or will they wonder why?

  3. Jeanette R. says:

    It’s been awhile. Oh how I’ve missed CCC…

    She sat with her legs crossed, tapping her left foot while letting her sandal dangle from the other.  cigarette hung loosely from the side of her mouth.  The smoke blended seamlessly with the early morning haze.  He had promised not to drive home if he got too wasted.  She had promised to never have another cigarette.

    At the rate they were going, the mistakes jar would be full by Friday.  She had put a dollar last night when she flipped him off, blaming her mood on PMS.  That’s actually what she wrote on the edge of the dollar as her reason for contributing. She had shoved it near the bottom so he could only see the money he put into it.  But it didn’t matter, around midnight, he emptied the jar and left with the dog. 

    The backyard wall bordered a highway.  She hated the house because of its proximity to the interstate, but she would find herself spacing out and studying the way the headlights bounced light off of the metal gate. He said it was a good investment because the line between their property and the city’s was so small, if they ever needed to expand, they would get paid.  She said she would die a hundred deaths before that would happen.

    The sound of crushed gravel jolted her.  She jammed the cigarette into the bench and glanced at her cell phone. It was 6:00 AM on the dot.  She didn’t realize how long she was sitting there.  The dog came running up to her and she mindlessly pet him.  He wouldn’t say why he left or where he had gone, so she just held out the jar. 

    • Mistakes jar, I remember leveraging one of those with my kids a while ago (swear jar) never really worked too much, they got excited to fill it up.

      I like the setting and tone of the story. 

    • Jeanette is baaaack! That was simply fun to read! I love the final phrase.
      I’ll bet there is a waiting room at Jeanette Casting – filled to standing-room only with characters wanting to be portrayed in one of your vignettes.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: Holy Shite! I did miss this one. What a great submission too. You can write ANY interpersonal relationship and make me want to buy the book about it.

  4. There it was lined up very first at the car show. My dream car, 1964 Super Stock Dodge in Daytona Red.

    I’ve rated it #1 on my list since way back in 1972. I was waiting tables at Keith’s Diner. Every day after work I would watch Ilene, the prep cook, slip in behind the wheel of her Dodge 426 Hemi. 

    Actually, she looked pretty funny. Her wrinkled face and platinum blond hair sticking up just above the dash. The engine roared as she slowly eked out on the highway. It wouldn’t take long for me to zip past her in my Pinto.

    Then one day, as I stood watching her leave, she stopped and asked if I would like to take her car for a drive.  She slid over, I got in the drivers seat. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Just as she was about to toss me the keys I made a mistake I’ve always hated. I asked her why she picked a car like this. Her mood changed fast and I was out the door.

    As if to prove her self, Ilene hit the accelerator and screamed out of the parking lot. My Pinto and her Dodge Super Stock never met on the highway again.

    I have lusted after that car ever since.

    Caressing the deep red paint, I imagine jumping in, pulling out on the highway, down to the track for a few hot licks.

    I realized I had crossed the line again when I heard “Hey lady! can’t you read? The sign says don’t touch.”

    Turning my own deep red, I hurried off, the Beach Boys playing in my head “Go granny, go granny, go granny go.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sheila: This is just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! You’re really nailing these submissions. Can you sense this in your writing? I can and I believe I’m not the only one.

  5. John F. Moynihan says:

    Adam watched the scene unfold before him. 
    “I’m going to die.”, he said to himself.
    Not fifty feet away a Honda Accord was tumbling towards him.  It had been moving south on the interstate when an suv drifted into it’s lane from the left.  Why the suv was traveling so fast, or crossing the line, Adam would never know.  The Accord tried to change lanes to the right, but was met by the sound of a horn.  The driver overcorrected, a deadly mistake, clipping the rear end of the suv.  The sedan turned sideways.  A trailing big rig, traveling at a high rate of speed, tattooed the Accord sending it tumbling towards the shoulder.  That’s where Adam, with a trash bag in his hand, was attending to the section of roadway he had adopted a few years before. 

    His mother, who would drive him to school each day when he was a teen, always said, “I hate to see all this trash on the side of the road.”  So in her memory, he signed up for the Adopt-A-Highway program. 
    Adam had heard the sound of the horn and then metal on metal.  He looked up in time to see the Accord in midair.  It only took a moment to realize he had no where to go.  He was already feeling flying glass reach his arms and face, when he thought, “And I woke up this morning in such a good mood.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @John: That was most excellent. That ending sentences was icing!

      • John F. Moynihan says:

        Thanks Shane.  I was blocked for a couple of months.  I could barely write my name.  These last three just jumped out of my head.  It’s nice to have the words flowing again. 

  6. Paul says:

    Did I want to die? Stupid question, I had once thought; now I wasn’t so sure. If there was a line I was sure I had crossed it, probably some time ago on this highway to death. When did I realise? Too late, was the trite answer.
    It was quiet where I lay. I was sure that I was the only live thing in the vicinity, enormously surprised if I wasn’t. It was still, almost serene. I could hear the damp muck beneath my body suck up the precious blood I leaked upon it. I hate the silence, the void. It’s ominous.
    My watch stopped working some time ago. I don’t know how long I have been lying in the mud, my life oozing from my side, but it feels like a while. The sky is dimming, reddening, and the stars are blinking and winking at me. I make my second mistake: I close my eyes and sleep, just a little, but enough.
    The car’s speeding, but that’s ok; I’ve only had one bottle of beer. Something happens, I can’t drive the car. Too late I realise that I forgot my seat belt – my first mistake – and I meet and quickly greet the windscreen – Just passing through, I mentally quip.
    I find myself in a ditch, the mud eagerly hugging my broken body. I can move my eyes, but not much more, and they can’t help escape my predicament.
    I’m warm, though. Strangely warm. I realise why – the thorny bush embedded in my side, and the blood running from the wound. It even has some bright red flowers soaking up the sunshine. It lifts my mood, to think that I may die with a flower in my innards. There have to be worse ways to go. I’m not thinking of any at the moment, but they are surely there. Just out of reach, like the irritating bugs that surround my head. I watch them fly around, dizzying myself, distracting myself. There’s not much else I can do.
    When I wake I can hear sirens approaching. They are getting much louder very quickly; at this rate they will reach me imminently. For a moment I am glad. My saviours approach. And then, the very wind that brings news of my salvation, carries the aroma of fire on its wings. My nose twitches, the stench increasing. I figure it must be my car, smouldering in the night, lighting up the dark sky like a beacon. It has saved me. Ironic.
    But there’s something else in that air, something more fragile, but burnt all the same. Toby.
    I can’t cry. My eyes aren’t working any more. Nothing is. I’ve made my third mistake: believing that dying is more difficult than living.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Paul: That was bleepin’ fantastic! The way you introduced Toby, then janked any further details from my questioning was superb.

  7. Sean Murphy says:

    Continued from CCC #243

    He felt like a perpetual fog had been lifted from his mind. As he walked away from the smoothly filled-in grave, passing through the ruins of his childhood haunt, he realized he’d spent the years since running away from his father’s house on autopilot. He’d run to get away from the beatings, stolen what he needed to keep going. He’d only stopped running because he was up to two strikes and junkyard work seemed like a safer bet. With increasing clarity, he thought back on his relationship with Sandy, seeing it for what it was – convenient sex and mediocre company. It was the life of an animal – stimulus and response, nothing more.
    It had been easy to throw his life away to beat the nameless cuckold to death, because he had nothing to lose.  A bitter chuckle leaked out as he slipped into his mustang – how pathetic it seemed now, an entire life with no meaning. But he had crossed a line, and facing down the end of his freedom had shown him his mistake.
    Kicking the mustang into drive, he let it roar for a moment, reveling in the sheer aliveness of the sound echoing through the desert air. His mood soared with the sound, and he surged off towards the highway, plans already forming in his head.
    He wasn’t going to die without having lived first. The hate he’d held within him all these years bubbled out suddenly, filling him with rage at the unfairness of his childhood, black anger at his father, then was suddenly gone, as if a deep cyst in his soul had been lanced. The body behind him faded rapidly out of his thoughts, consigned with the rest of his past 23 years to another life that already seemed like an old black and white photograph against the sweet colors of the lightening morning desert.
    He knew the wise thing to do would be to drive home, pretend everything was normal, at least for a while. If Sandy talked, his disappearance would rate suspicion. But he didn’t intend to be around to answer any questions anyway, and the thought of returning to that trailer was like crawling back into a too-small cage. The car he drove was the only thing in the world that mattered to him now, and the run rising out over the desert seemed like the promise of a new life.
    Why not?

  8. Rebecca says:

    Continued from CCC #241 | 242 | 243
    “Touché,” said Richard. His heart rate accelerated. He knew the line was drawn. But he wanted to take Alexandra on sensual highway that went on forever.
    Alexandra wasn’t going to die tonight. She had a strong drive to live. She realized Richard’s mood changing. He was softening, and she and couldn’t afford to make a stupid mistake. She must not start playing the “why me” tape in her head. No, Alexandra had to take all of her hate and channel it into her strength. 

  9. Steph says:

    With a shudder and loud pop I heard the engine die.  The car began to slow.  I had to man handle the steering wheel to coast the car across the white line and onto the shoulder of the highway. “Why me? Why Why Why?” Crying out to the emtpy cabin, tears running down my cheeks.  I wanted to drive far away. Get away from the life that was tormenting me. I rummaged in my purse for my phone. The black screen lit up with a push of a button, sliding my finger to unlock the screen I pushed the icon that read web. I was typing tow companies into the search bar and I began to realize I didn’t really know where I was.  Fortunately the phone did it asked me if i wanted to display the gps and to find one close.  When the list of tow companies came I pressed the first phone number.  The phone began to ring.  After two rings a ladies voice answered,”Good afternoon than you for calling Highway Hookers how can I help you?”  “I need to get a tow, can you tell me your rates?” I asked.  “Our hook rate is $85 and we charge $4 a mile.” she replied.  I thought it must be a mistake.  The ladies tone was more annoyed as she repeated the rates.  God I hate it when people talk down to me, I just couldn’t believe what she was saying.  “ok, I guess I really don’t have a choice.  I am on highway 101 eastbound.  I just pasted center street exit.” I told the woman.  “what kind of car?”  “A green 1993 toyota camry.”  She told me someone was on the way.  I could feel my mood lift a little as I hung up the phone.  I was going to get it fixed and be on my way again in no time.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Steph: Welcome to the CCC. Super first submission. You made me feel for this character and want to know what happens next. Hopefully, you will let us all know what does on Monday’s challenge.

      What did you think of the challenge?

      Everyone welcome Steph to our addiction. Write on.

  10. Clarabela says:

    Pam felt like she was going to die. She made a mistake and turned onto the wrong highway. She had traveled more than 100 miles in the wrong direction and now she found herself  alone, in an unfamiliar place. She could turn around and drive back to the main road, but the gas gauge was approaching  E. So she turned off onto a narrow, dark country road in search of an Exxon station.
    “Why didn’t I stop at the gas station ealier?” she thought. Pam headed further down the road, hoping to find a small town with a gas station.  A mood of foreboding came over Pam as she thought, “At this rate, I will run out of gas before I find a station.”  Thoughts of serial killers, shallow graves and cabins in the woods filled her mind. “Why did I see that stupid movie?  Why did I let Peter talk me into seeing that movie? I hate horror movies.” A few more miles. Surely there would be a town at the end of this  road. Then she heard it. Her engine began to sputter and she knew she had come to the end of the line. Her car was out of gas. 
    She sat there for at least 30 minutes, blaming herself for the unfortunate circumstances she found herself in. Pulling out her cellphone to call AAA, Pam saw the low battery indicator. There was just enough power to make a call. 
    “…Yes, I do realize that it is 2AM”
    “…OK…How soon can you be here? Thank you”
    They would bring gas and she would be happily along her way. She tried not to let dark thoughts enter her mind as she sat along in her car. The doors were locked and the windows were up, even though it was a warm summer evening. 
    “They will be here any minute. What is there to be afraid of?”
    A pair of headhlights appeared down the road and their approach ease Pam’s fears. But the lights did not belong to a truck from AAA.

  11. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thanks so much. I’m having fun with these characters.


    I miss Billy & Bobby. 😦  I liked those two characters!

  12. Shane Arthur says:

     Die, man! There’s the line on life’s highway. You realize it now. Too tired to hate. Mistakes don’t mean anything now. Drive yourself under life’s bus. Why fight it? The mood is right. The rate is nice.

  13. Nikki J. says:

    The beginning of the end… I’ve always wondered if my dad had that moment. The moment where he realized it was the beginning of the end. He was going to die. That his kidney disease had crossed over the line, and he truly started dying.
    Was he driving on the highway like I was today when the phone call came? Did he realize that his test results weren’t “normal” and just “okay”? Was that a sign to him? Or did he just get that news and keep on with his life until the disease really started to take over? Did he hate it as much as I do? Did he wonder if it was his fault? That maybe he made a mistake and should have taken his health more seriously? Or did he drive away those thoughts and not even both asking “why?” Did he keep a good mood and attitude in his final years? Did he look back on his life and rate it? Wishing he had done things differently? Will I?
    ***Not apart of deployment diaries series

  14. Bobbert says:

    Jack was in no mood to pickup his brother from one more sleazy bar after he had too much to drink or got in a fight. He would rate getting out of bed for another taxi trip as nearly as much fun as cleaning out the sewer line at his dad’s house. And he wasn’t sure which one smelled worse. He had to draw the line, but his brother would never take a taxi. He would drive anyway. Why didn’t Jack ever call his other brother? Because he knew he could count on me, that’s why. The responsible one, who will get out of bed and into the rain at any early morning hour.
    Jack was beginning to hate his brother, and somehow this trip brought the entire history into mind. He realized that his brother always took it for granted, that he could impose on Jack. And he realized it had been a mistake to let it go so far. 
    But as he drove down the highway, he saw a set of four crosses off to the side that commemorated three boys who had been killed by the man remembered by the fourth cross. He wondered how that family could have allowed a memorial of a drunk driver to be right next to the crosses for their own sons who he had destroyed. He wondered if there was a brother, who had drawn the line and refused to pick him up that night. Did they really have to die?
    It wasn’t fair. For good or bad, right or wrong, he could not take a chance of something like that on his conscience. He said a prayer that God would change his brother. And he said another prayer for the parents who lost their boys. And, finally, he said a prayer for the one he felt the saddest for, a person he imagined may exist silently in the background – that other brother who tried to draw a line.

  15. Kelly says:


    Mood affects the heart rate;
    wine affects the mood.
    You made the mistake
    to drive me here
    without wondering what we’d do.
    Why do we die
    little deaths every day
    and the big one, before we’ve bloomed?
    We get in the car
    and we make the drive
    even if
    the highway’s wrong
    We don’t realize
    that we hate our lives
    ‘til we hear a line
    from a brand-new song
    By that time
    we’re too far gone
    and the wine
    no longer soothes.

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