Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #245

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. Middle
  2. Content
  3. Wall
  4. Wonder
  5. Roam
  6. Reach
  7. Clash
  8. Run
  9. Long
  10. Chill

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.)

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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

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38 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #245”

  1. Bert fell. For the first and last time in his 18 years, his extraordinary sense of balance failed. Three men caught up to him an instant later. They stood over his inert form for a second, before whipping out their weapons.

    ***

    Amanda felt a chill in the base of her spine. She used her roam to reach him. Wonder of wonders, she was just in time to stop his bleeding out. She picked up three foreign scents, stored them for later. Bert came first.

    ***

    Claire chanced a peek from behind her wall. If Amanda sensed her, all would be lost. But she had to be certain. With a brief pulse of energy, she knew. Damn. Time to retreat.

    ***

    Bert was content to wallow in the healing glow. He completely disengaged from his motor cortex. Amanda’s soothing essence, freed from the clash with his defensive willpower, sped through his body.

    ***

    “What happened out there?” Claire looked at her doppelgängers. The middle one, visibly quaking, answered.

    “He was too fast. You should see him run!”

    “We took too long to sniff him out.” The smallest one added. “By the time we had detected him, our essence was nearly depleted.” It offered the weapon as proof.

    Claire screamed when she touched the dirk. Instantaneously, her doppelgängers faded into mist.

    ***

    Amanda felt the punch right between her eyes. Without a second’s hesitation, she summoned the ether, bent the universe to her will. For a brief second, the tortured visage of her Mother flashed before her. In a minute, it was over. She was free to mate with Bert.

  2. Sean Murphy says:

    He raced down the highway towards the rising sun, driving one handed as his right arm hung out the window, reveling in the rush of chill wind. He’d driven all night, reaching the outskirts of Albuquerque just before sunrise. Apart from a single stop to max out his ATM card and then discard it, along with his cell phone, it had been a straight run – east till morning.
     
    As he passed through the outer limits and got closer to the center of town, he hit a wall of slow moving traffic. Content to relax after the thrill of the highway, he rolled up his windows, leaned back in his seat, and slowly moved forward. He’d been fearful the light of day might wash away his newfound sense of freedom, mocking his hopes and reverting him to a white trash killer on the run. Instead, he felt a renewed sense of hope. The morning seemed to welcome him to a new chapter of life, and the mood of the traffic around him, though slow, felt boisterous and full of energy.
     
    Rolling forward, he peeled out of the mass of traffic, ducking into a side street and parking. He felt the need to roam on foot, plan his next move and get a feel for the city. Locking the Mustang, he started back towards the main street. He might have to change cars at some point. He didn’t think anyone would ever find the body he’d left in the desert, which meant they shouldn’t be looking for him too hard, but there was no point making himself easy to find.
     
    Back on the main street, he started following a crowd of people, all seemingly headed towards the middle of town. From the atmosphere, it felt like some kind of carnival was on. The new sense of life within him drove him towards the hum of people. He’d felt like a fringe-dweller most of his former life. His new self would be at the center of things, he decided.
     
    Thinking about the future led him to consider possibilities. What would the new him do for a living? He’d been a fairly good mechanic before, but the urge to cast of old habits clashed with the idea of retaking that trade. He’d heard backpackers picked fruit for money on the road. The thought of spending his days out in the open resonated through him.
    Before long, his walking had taken him to the entrance of a massive field of color. The smorgasbord of pastels took a moment to process, and he rocked back on his heels, a wondrous grin spreading over his face as he took in the huge field of hot air balloons spread out in front of him. A banner above him proclaimed it to be the International Balloon Fiesta.
     
    “Pretty great, huh? It gets me every year?” It took a moment to realize he was being addressed, and he was surprised to see who had spoken.

  3. Sean, I’m glad you decided to continue this! Do you watch Breaking Bad? This driving chapter rolls along, just like one of those dusty highway scenes. I enjoyed the imagery!
     
    Cheers,
     
    Mitch
     
     

    • Sean Murphy says:

      Thanks Mitch, – I watched the first season but was turned off because the story depressed me 😛 I don’t deal well with non-happy endings. Hopefully this one turns out ok 🙂

      • Sean, I understand. I couldn’t tear myself away – the power of the cliff-hanger that Platt and Wright refer to in all their discussions of their Serialized Fiction.
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         
         

        • @Sean – I like how he can’t quite balance his new freedom with the fear of getting caught…then the ending spikes that. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  4. Although Erin had never met Brian before, she recognized him. His red hair made him stand out in the small crowd at the train station.

    He moved quickly to her. His short stocky body adorned in well worn jeans and cowboy boots. His grey shirt looked new and matched the hat in is hand.

    “Brian O’Connor” he announced in familiar brogue.

    “Erin Kelly” not knowing what else to do, she held out her hand.

    He shook it softly. “A wee bit smaller than I expected, but as pretty a lass as Ireland has ever produced. Not bad for a mail order bride.” His generous smile moved toward eyes that matched.

    “Not bad for a Wyoming cowboy.” she gave back with equal humor.

    Erin was excited to see that Brian drove a Model T instead of a wagon. She had never ridden in a car before. “Prepare your self, we have a ways to go yet.” he said as he loaded her trunk.

    The road met the contour of the land with a washboard surface that made it impossible to talk and made the two hour ride seem extra long. The country was much more desolate than she had expected. A contrast she could not help but compare to the lush rolling hills of Ireland.

    He leaned to her ear and pointed. “The ranch starts here.”
    In every direction high mountain prairie rolled out in a soft green grass, laced with snow capped mountains. A small herd of cattle roamed a hillside dotted with small white flowers that brightened with the setting sun.

    Out in the middle of nowhere, the road dipped down into a small dale. Erin was surprised by a small house. The fine white clapboard building flanked by two barns. They scene was backed by a large stand of trees that clashed against a rocky cut in the hill.

    “It’s not much but it keeps the wind and snow out.”

    “Lovely, just lovely.” she smiled.

    Brian took her hand and helped her out of the car. 

    The large porch made a grand entrance for a small room, plain and simple. A table and two chairs sat next to a large kitchen cook stove. A small ice box and cupboard stood in the corner.

    He carried her bags to one of the two tiny bedrooms. “This will be yours for now.”

    A blue quilt adorned the single bed butted up against a short dresser topped with a water pitcher and bowl. The same white flowers from the prairie in a vase.

    “There is milk in the ice box, biscuits and jam on the table, the out house will be to your left. I still have chores to do.” He lit two lanterns and stepped into the evening.

    Not realizing how hungry she was Erin woofed downed half the biscuits and half of the milk. Saving the other half for Brian.

    After a trip to the outhouse, Erin made her way to the light in the barn. Brian looked up when he heard the wind catch the door. He was kneeling in a stall bottle feeding a new calf. 

    “His mother died, he’ll be our baby now.” concern showed on a tired face. “Turn in, it’s been a long day, don’t wait for me.”

    “Thank you, Good night.”

    She paused at the door. “Thank for making this easy.”

    Erin snuggled down under the quilts. She felt the ache of travel dissipate. Content, she dropped into a deep sleep.

    The bedroom window had just taken on it’s morning glow when Brian knocked on the door. “Erin, coffee’s on.”

    Erin wrapped herself in the quilt to keep the chill off and moved into the kitchen.

    “I hate to leave you alone, but I have 16 head that have run off. I can’t afford to let them wander another day.” He poured her coffee and handed it to her.

    “Thank you.”

    “Chores are done. I shouldn’t be long. I’ll be back in time to show how to feed the new calf. I am sure you can find your way around the kitchen.”

    He reached for the rifle on the wall and headed for the door. She noticed he had a slight tilt forward and wondered if it was from forging into to the the infamous Wyoming wind or from keeping the wind at his back.

    “I’ll be fine,” she promised.

    Erin stood on the porch and watched Brian hoist him self into the saddle. He tipped his hat to her and she waved.

    Little did she know, she would be figuring out how to feed the calf by lantern light. And trying to keep their first meal together warm in the oven.

    So unfamiliar with this new land, Erin couldn’t even begin to imagine all that could have happened to him. 

    • Sheila, wonderful! I’ve only ever watched a handful of westerns and you’ve made me want to watch another – or, better yet – grab a period piece from Amazon.
       
      (If you’ve written one, already, please share the link)
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       
       

      • @Mitch – Appreciate the compliment. Nope nothing from me. Never tried my hand at writing stories publicly until I came here. I write copy for a living…but it’s pretty technical.
        I live the “Westerns” all be it much more modern. There are water wars, belt buckles the size of dinner plates and polished shit kickers in church on Sunday.
        I would suggest some Ivan Diog or Annie Proulx’s “Close Range” – You would love their finely crafted words. 
        My sweetie pie’s favorite Western author is Larry McMurtry.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Sheila: Excellent! Drew me and and now I want more. Perfect start to a story I hope you continue.

  5. A day late in the feed, here is my poem:

    Climbing
    Never content
    to be in the middle
    we reach for the clash
    run for the long wall
    wonder if we can jump it
    and roam to something greater
    without time to relax and chill
    we strive to be on top and keep climbing
     
     

  6. siggiofmaine says:

    The day starts out chilly
    for the long 26.2 mile run up a mountain.
    I wonder what thought process
    said “I’ll do that” happened to those
    who will try the run
    by reaching into their inner strength
    as the mind roams during the run. 
    In each race, the body hits a wall,
    wants to stop,
    and clashes with the will of the mind
    to keep on going to the end.
    It takes mental strength, physical strength
    and endurance to run a long race
    Being content to stay in the middle of the pack
    surrounded by others to encourage each other
    is one way finish the race.
    Finishing the race:
    easier said than done.
    The long inclines and curves
    make the run seem endless.
    The athletes are content
     to run a steady pace,
    concentrating on the pack they are in,
    trying to reach their personal best.
    The will to continue clashes with the
    need to continue past the wall of fear
    roaming thru their minds
    just past the middle of the race. 
    The chilly day seemed to warm
    as they reached the peak
    of the mountain.
    The wonder of reaching the end
    of the miles of the race
    was exhilarating.
    Hallelujah ! 
    The race has been run !
    The wall has been met and
    conquered !!

    ============
    I am not an athlete, a runner or do I know anything about running a race.  This is pure fiction as anyone who does run will recognize.  Thanks in Advance for your patience and understanding.
    Siggi of Maine

  7. Shane Arthur says:

    “He’s a middle man. He’s content with that, Wally. No need wonderin’ why he don’t want to roam higher up the food chain like his brother. He’s reached his sweet spot. And being top dog clashes with his personality. In the long run, he’s just too chill to run the organization. Besides, we need a scapegoat for tomorrow’s job.”

  8. Rebecca says:

    It’s been a long road, but I’ve finally climbed over that writing wall, even though I often wondered if I should give up. Sometimes, you dream a dream but are unsure if you’ll reach it. There’s a clash between heart and soul and mind. It’s like being in the middle of a tug-of-war. You want to run and hide, but there’s nowhere else to roam inside your mind. You believe in your content, your writing. Sometimes, all you have to do is chill and let the pieces fall into place.

     

  9. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane… Thank you, and yes I am! I recently sold greeting card copy (look forward to selling more) and was asked to work on an independent film. 🙂  I do love creating writing.

  10. Liss Thomas says:

    Greg stood in the middle of a crossroad.  No longer content with the fading wall of glory from old times.  A little wonder, the trophies belonged to a younger fitter him from years past.  He could roam the earth over and never get back to that time, it hung well out of reach.  His physique, a clash of less than fit meets beer belly couldn’t run from here to the corner without wheezing for breath.

     He pulled a box from a closet and raked the reminders in.  It was a chore long overdue.  A chill shivered his spine once before he put the box into the closet and moved on.

  11. Nikki J. says:

    I laid awake in the middle of the night last night. Reminded myself that I need to be content, I mean, come on. The separation this time is only for a few months and not six to seven like last time. I still can’t help but wonder and worry if another wall might go up between us? Will our hearts roam away from each other again, or will they reach out and stay connected? Will our clashing opinions and views come between us again? My thoughts are running wild and I wish I could shut off my mind. I just need to remind myself that a few months isn’t that long. I just need to chill.


    *Not an extension to the deployment diaries series. Just real life crap. whoohoo 😉

  12. Bobbert says:

    THE CLIMAX
     
    Jerry was a misfit at school, but he loved video games. He wasn’t usually as good at them as his classmates, but “Dungeon Quest of Doom” was different. He had slammed past the first 14 levels in a week, struggling only on a few of the middle levels. For the last month, he had been struggling to finish the final and 15th level, and he knew it would probably take some luck. But each attempt took hours, because if you made the smallest error, your character died, and you had to start the whole level over. No one in his school had been able to win the final battle and save the maiden in the castle. He was going to be the first.
     
    After two hours of battle, climbing walls, running past blazing fireballs, long exposed forest paths and evil underground passages that brought a chill to his spine, he was roaming free in the plains by the maiden’s castle. He was going to reach the castle this time, and save the maiden. He climbed one final wall to reach the tower he was destined to visit. He wondered if he had the nerve to finish the quest, but and he was not content to just try. He might never get this far again. He had to save that maiden, who he could hear crying out to him in the headphones he was wearing, even with the loud game music blaring in his ears.
     
    He battled his way into the castle and all the way up to the maiden’s room. He dropped monsters and sorcerers alike, and finally he delivered the fatal blow to the evil king that had imprisoned the beautiful maiden. The door opened, and all he had to do was approach her to get the magic phrase that proved he had completed the game. His friends would be so jealous. He leaned forward on his seat in anticipation as his character approached the maiden. She said the name he had entered at the beginning of the game. “Jerry, my hero. You came to rescue me! And I want to show you this secret message that proves you have rescued me.” The climax of the game played a symphonic climax of powerful music in his headphones. She began to hold out the envelope with his secret message, and… ZAP! The music stopped and the screen went blank.
     
    He panicked and turned to see his mom holding the plug at the outlet and giving him that look. Then he groaned. “Aw Mom”
     
    “Jerry Travis Templeton! I’ve been calling you for 10 minutes for dinner. Now get down there, pronto!”
     
    He walked dejectedly to the table, realizing that he might be able to clash with the mightiest creatures of the kingdom and come out victorious, but he would always be forced to surrender to the mightiest of them all – his mom.

  13. Robyn Lostheart says:

    Freedom
    by Robyn Lostheart

    Complete liberty
    Existence without restriction
    Is this what I seek?
    If I were to obtain my desire
    What would become of me?
    A lonely soul to wander
    free to roam and wonder
    Shall I seek what I may?
    Touch the things that were previously out of my grasp?
    Feel the space where boundaries are no longer existing?
    Am I content with this unlimited freedom?
    Am I happy in this limbo?
    Rather I long for the clash of reason
    I stretch in search of a wall to enclose me
    I run to find a path to follow
    I feel for the chill of restraint to press on my skin
    Caught in the middle of aimlessness
    I reach for a hand to guide me
    I listen for a voice to lead me
    And when I feel like there is no way for me in this world
    You appear as my guardian angel
    Your presence caresses my fears and doubts
    Only embraced in your arms
    I am truly free

  14. Kelly says:

    RUN A LITTLE

    Write a little;
    read a little.
    Roam these broken rooms.
    Run a little;
    chill a little.
    Reach into your wounds.
    In the middle of the wall runs a long scar down to the floor.
    I wonder if you remember when you slammed into the door
    and threw the dinner table there.
    A Herculean task, to be sure.
    You had the strength of ten when you came home from the store
    and took your anger out on everything you worked for.
    I committed, I thought, to understand
    the content of this unreachable man.
    Clash a little;
    plead a little.
    Believe forgiveness heals.
    Run a little;

    wish I’d run a lot more.


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