Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #251

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. Sand
  2. Beep
  3. Pound
  4. Vibrate
  5. Shudder
  6. Rock
  7. Sequence
  8. Short
  9. Sound
  10. Pull

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 #251”

  1. Some times you just don’t want to get out of bed!

    You pound the beep machine
    it’s sequence making your soul shudder
    sound rock like sleep cut way too short
    as you wipe sand from your eyes
    pull the blankets off in defiance
    vibrate your face with your hands
    and prepare to face the day

  2. The room went dark. A shudder went through the room as Kamillah played a funeral dirge. The synthesizer’s Rock preset couldn’t enliven the somber A-minor chords. The massive speakers caused the floor to vibrate, which further added to the audience’s discomfort level. With a final pound on the keyboard, Kamillah segued into her video presentation.

    “If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it…” the old man stopped, clutched his chest and fell over, dead.

    “Look before you..” the spry old lady tripped over a tree root and catapulted over edge of the canyon.

    “He who hesitates is… ” the sharply dressed man stepped off the curb into the path of an oncoming bus.

    “Ugh! I’m literally between a rock…” the girl screamed as the meteor crashed onto the roof of her station wagon.

    “Dude, she is two bricks short…” The boy was crushed by a ton of bricks.


    The lights came on. The video player winked off, its beep the only sound in the room. Kamillah faced her teacher. She glared at him. How dare he pull the plug on her?

    “Really, Kamillah, you’re going to have to do a better job of showing irony,” Mr. Wilson chuckled. “I mean, after the first vignette, the sequence was as predictable as the subject matter you ridicule. We have to ‘draw a line in the sand.'”

    “Sorry, sir. Does this mean you don’t want to see what happens to Miss Sanchez in her seventh grade English class?” Kamillah gave a wicked smile.

    “Oh, go ahead!” Wilson had an embarrassing crush on the new teacher from Atlanta. He supposed it was no secret. He bent down to reinsert the video player’s plug.


    “Today’s exercise will teach us to be better writers. We’ll go around the room, reciting the worst clichés that we can recall from our library trip. Michael, why don’t you start?”


    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: How in BLEEP did you think of this? Which word initiated this super creative creation?

      • Shane, this was a perfect storm of Past, Present and Future:

        I used to collect contradictory proverbs.
        Between Becca’s Foreign Identity and Platt & Wright’s WhiteSpace, I’m primed for mind control!
        An unwritten novel on my hard drive includes some cold-blooded educational institutions.

        During this brainstorm, I kept looking at the words and telling myself – don’t do the obvious, stay away from clichés like the plague! LOL

        But, the real magic word was sound. Because I was thinking of clichés, it occurred to me that the biggest cliché around is the old tree falling in the forest.




  3. Jace Daniel says:

    Old MacDonald had a rock, EE-I-EE-I-O,
    And on that rock he had some sand, EE-I-EE-I-O,
    With a short beep here and a pull sound there,
    Here a pound, there a shudder, everywhere a vibrate sequence,
    Old MacDonald had a rock, EE-I-EE-I-O.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jacec: HAHA, MAN! Super cool job here. I bet you write music don’t you? Great to see you back again. How’s the book going?(I still need to finish that sucker, but with the amount of editing I’ve been doing for Sean this past few months I’ve had little time for my own reading. Loved the first two chapters though. Your character names rock.)

      • Jace Daniel says:

        Hey, old friend!

        Going great. Been consumed for the past few months, working with an editor, getting the paperback edition of Under Angels finished. It’s done! You dig a good ghost story? Under Angels is a supernatural thriller set in legendary tunnels beneath Los Angeles, available on Amazon: http://underangels.com/paperback

        Did the first book signing this weekend in Los Angeles. Killer turnout. There are another couple signings set up for the summer. The book’s now available at a few stores in LA. (LA folks, you can pick it up at Williams’ in San Pedro and Chevalier’s in Mid-Wilshire.)

        NOTE!!!: Just in time for Father’s Day, you can come grab the Kindle edition of Under Angels for FREE! Tomorrow and Saturday (June 15 and 16) only. Get on it: http://underangels.com/kindle

        Check out the Under Angels book trailer here: http://underangels.com/trailer

        Have fun, and watch your step!

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Jaced. Thanks for letting me know about the Kindle version. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get to the printed out version of your book, but I’ve been able to listen to books with Kindles narration feature lately. Super cool when I’m tired and can’t read another word. I had to get used to the computer cadence barrier, but I’m used to it now and quite like consuming books this way now, so that may work out perfect for me finishing your book.

    • Jace, it’s great to see you here! I have been enjoying the adventures of your published book.
      CCC is the stamping grounds for some really awesome talent!

      Rock on, ol’ farmer!




  4. There is sand in the crack of my ass. There should never be a gritty substance anywhere near the human ass. It is just an unwritten rule.

    While I am sitting on a rock pouring the beach out of my shoe, my phone vibrates in my back pocket, completely catching me off-guard. Another thing that should be nowhere near my ass. I make a mental note to set my phone to beep. Who is calling me at this hour of the night anyway? It is a short sequence of long and short vibrations and I know not to bother answering it. Instead I take it out of my pocket and throw it as hard and as far as I can. It disappears into a swell, taking a contact list acquired over the past few years to a watery grave. I wipe the sand from my hands.

    I came out to the beach to get away from everyone, to get away from the insanity of the gossip train and how everyone seems to feel that it is ok to talk about me as if I am something that needs to be fixed. Their misguided concern and helpful advice has caused me to pull away rather than draw me in. The walls have been rebuilt in my mind and new boundaries set in place.

    I came out here to pray and to ask for guidance. The sound of the waves pounding on the shoreline is like a deep baritone voice giving comforting advice.

    I shudder briefly, knowing that I once came out here praying for the waves to take me into their watery embrace and put an end to the constant voices in my mind.

    Now I am praying for the voices outside to come to rest and leave me in peace. 

  5. […] Creative Copy Challenge 251 […]

  6. Liss Thomas says:

    “How do you feel, Jill?”
    “How do you think I feel?  I’m covered in sand.”  Jack nodded and  tapped at his computer.
    “Hey?  Are you even listening to me?”  she asked brushing her arms to dislodge the imaginary grit.
    “Yes, of course,”  Jack said as he completed a sequence of keystrokes.  Jill began to rock in place her arms wrapped tightly around her.
    “How do you feel, Jill?”
    “I’m cold.  Should I be cold in here?”  She pulled her sweater closer around herself.
    “I can fix that,” he said adding a short code to his string of commands.  A shudder ran through Jill’s body.
    “How do you feel, Jill?
    “I am fine.”  Jack adjusted the string of commands.  A short beep signaled a successful reboot.  Jill began to pound her fist against her chest, twice, three times, fives times.  Staring at her hand as it began to vibrate, there was no alarm in her  features.
    “How do you feel, Jill?”
    “All systems are functioning  within parameters.”

    • Liss Thomas says:

      here is an update.  I tried to add a missed word.  

      “How do you feel, Jill?”
      “How do you think I feel?  I’m covered in sand.”  Jack nodded and  tapped at his computer.
      “Hey?  Are you even  listening to me?”  she asked brushing her arms to dislodge the grit.
      “Yes, of course,”  Jack said as he completed a sequence of keystrokes.  Jill began to rock in place her arms wrapped tightly around her.
      “How do you feel, Jill?”
      “I’m cold.  Should I be cold in here?”  She pulled her sweater closer around herself.
      “I can fix that,” he said adding a short code to his string of commands.  A shudder ran through Jill’s body.
      “How do you feel, Jill?
      “I am fine.”  Jack adjusted the string of commands.  The sound of a short beep signaled a successful reboot.  Jill began to pound her fist against her chest, twice, three times, fives times.  Staring at her hand as it began to vibrate, there was no alarm in her  features.
      “How do you feel, Jill?”
      “All systems are functioning  within parameters.” 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Liss: One of your best! Really!

  7. Paul says:

    ‘Don’t pull, Lauren. DON’T PULL!’

    ‘Well, how am I supposed to get that tube off your hand?’

    Sylvestre didn’t have an answer, but that particular problem had deserted his thoughts for a moment. Lauren had entered them; she was beautiful when she pouted, he thought. Tonight she had her hair scraped back, smoothing her usually furrowed brow, and her skin glowed orange from the recent application of bronzing lotion. Sylvestre sniffed that chemical tang deep into his brain, storing it for his lonely moments. It would be saved alongside the sound of her snoring and the taste of her hair.

    The respite was short, as his fingers spasmed in the depths of the Pringles tube again. Those last few crisps he was trying to grasp were well and truly crushed now. Normally he could squeeze his hand in and pinch those remaining morsels with his fingers – easier than tipping the container and showering his clothes with crisp crumbs – but tonight his hand seemed to have grown. It was stuck fast.

    ‘Just leave it a minute. I’ll think of something.’

    Lauren pouted then, scarlet lipstick glowing dangerously. This distracted Sylvestre some more. He knew one thing: he didn’t want to have to explain this sequence of events to  doctor. No tale that resulted in his hand being stuck in a snack receptacle could be a good one. He knew another thing; he didn’t want to rock the boat with Lauren either. He couldn’t prevent a shudder at the thought of disappointing her, though with a Pringles tube for a hand her disappointment may well be inevitable. It was bit naff compared to a hi-tech robot claw or even a stylish hook.

    His phone began to vibrate on the table, flopping around like an excited electric fish. Lauren glowered.

    ’Aren’t you going to answer that?’

    ‘I can’t – I’m right-handed and that particular appendage is currently indisposed. As you might have noticed.’ Sylvestre clanked his new hand on the table top.

    The phone vibrated, somehow more vehement, higher voltage.

    ‘Can’t you use your left hand?’

    ‘No, I…No…I can’t.’ Sylvester figured that today was a bad news day, so he might as well bury some other stories: ‘I’m deaf in my left ear.’

    Lauren glared. ‘Well, you need to do something about the noise: my head’s beginning to pound.’ She rubbed her forehead – now slightly creased – to emphasise the point.
    Sylvestre stretched his left hand to the phone, careful not to hit the screen and connect the call. He saw that it was his mum phoning, but before he could do anything else the answer phone awoke and took over. He knew he would regret that later; most mothers preferred their children to recorded messages.

    Especially his mother.

    ‘There. No more noise.’

    Lauren opened her mouth to speak, but the phone interceded and she said ‘Beep’ instead of whatever she had intended. Sylvestre tilted the screen and saw a text message from his mum. He did not want to read that.

    ‘Are you going to read that?’

    ‘No – it’s only my mum.’

    Lauren stood, stooped and tapped the Pringles can with scarlet acrylic nails. It echoed hollow, as though there was no longer a hand inside. ‘I’ll leave you to sort this,’ she said and walked away. Sylvestre couldn’t react to her alarming change in demeanor – his fingers had spasmed again – occupying him and allowing Lauren to escape.

    He yanked his hand from the tube, ignoring the warning twinges from abused fingers. As his knuckles scraped the edge of the carton, the skin was torn and salt and vinegar stung his wounds.

    The remains of the crisps he had been hunting had been ground to dust within his fist; the crumbs poured through his fingers, the diminishing sand of time.

    He sighed. He stood. He brushed the mess from the sofa. In the kitchen he ran the cold water tap and rinsed off the salt, blood, vinegar and crisps that littered his reclaimed hand. He took another tube of Pringles from his busy cupboard, bright orange cheese flavour this time. It’ll be alright, he thought. Gareth will come over tomorrow night.

    Sylvestre returned his mother’s call.

  8. Paul, that was cute. Reminds me of Gavin and Stacy.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Continued from CCC #250
    Beep! The sound of car and scooter horns was deafening, but it brought a smile to Gianna’s face. She was used to car horns from driving in Chicago, but it was different in Italy. The drivers in Italy didn’t make her shudder and vibrate with anxiousness. The sequence in which Europeans drove fascinated her. They drove fast, but at least they knew where they’re going. They also pounded the pavement, not like in the U.S. where most people drive. 

    Gianna planned to do some of the touristy stuff like see the Coliseum and other attractions. But she wanted to go the beach and stick her toes in the sand which is why she would visit the Italian Riviera, Venice and Tuscany. She may even try rock climbing. Life was short and Gianna was being pulled in a different direction, one that will lead her on a journey she could never have imagined.

  10. Bobbert says:

    Glad to have discovered this site. It’s very interesting to see how people form a short story out of the word sets. Have never tried my hand at fiction before, so here’s my first amateurish attempt…
    Charlie felt a cool breeze on his face, and it was refreshing. He could hear the sound of a blowing wind from above him. But he was in his own little world as he looked once again at the next hold just a short distance above him. He couldn’t retreat from this spot. His only hope was to pull himself up. Yet the next grip point was too far beyond, even if he could find a way to lunge. Others had told him that he’d never make it, but he was stubborn.
    He felt loose sand on his fingers, threatening the grip that was holding him up. His fingers spasmed and vibrated from the prolonged exertion. Fatigue was setting in, but he had nowhere to go until he made it to that next hold. He willed his hand to stay on the rock. He took a quick look down and shuddered. Sweat rolled over his brow and stung his eye, but he didn’t even notice.
    Looking up at the wall of rock, it seemed to stretch upward forever. His knew his strength was fading. Foolishly, in his moment of over-confidence, he had refused to have any ropes attached. Too late to wish for one now.
    He looked over at his climbing partner, who was working the rock independently to his right. She was beautiful. As he thought of her, he almost lost his concentration, and his grip. It was just a moment, but it caused his finger to slip, and he felt the sand again on his fingertips.
    Charlie already knew what was coming next. It was inevitable. He told himself not to look down. This was it, but he was going to keep his composure. So many seem to lose it in the end. Not him. He would go gracefully. He looked once again at his wife climbing next to him. Nearby, but out of reach, she focused on her own next handhold. He thought about how she would be watching him as he fell. He didn’t want to think about it. But he felt proud that she was strong enough to reach the top. He said a silent good-bye with his eyes as his grip weakened. So close to the next hold. If only he could gather his energy. But he was slipping, and there was nothing he could do about it.
    In a final last ditch attempt, he tried to will himself up to that next hold which mocked him from just out of reach. But he already knew it was beyond his grasp, and he was too weak now from the exertion. His felt his head throb and his heart pound. Everything began to move as in a slow motion sequence. He heard his pocket watch beep one of the hourly alerts that he used to track the passing of time. He tried to look over at his wife again, but was denied by the sudden awkwardness of the fall. He heard his own voice roaring in frustration and surrender. And then it was over.
    He descended 9 feet onto the padded mat below, while his brother shook his head slowly in disappointment. 
    “Come on Charlie. Even with the easiest set of holds, you can’t finish the shortest climbing wall in town. Your wife made it the first try. Seriously, you need to stick to sky-diving. When it comes to falling, you’re a natural.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Bobbert! SUPER! If that was your first attempt, all I can say is why in bleep did you wait so long to write! Super job, and that ending was so damn cool. Welcome to the CCC. Hope to see more of you each Monday and Thursday. Everyone welcome Bobbert to the fun.

  11. Shane Arthur says:

    Like sands through a beep in time, don’t pound life to vibrate, or shudder at it’s rocks. Your sequence is short. Sound your inner alarm, and pull life’s trigger.

  12. Meredith says:

    Cont. from CCC 231, a long time ago.

    Roxy’s day off was mostly spent cleaning her apartment after those thugs released a tornado in it. It seemed their sequence of events did not include orderly conduct. She shuddered to think of their hands on her stuff or her and began the round of order making. All the while the scene at Slightly Loaded the other night beeped in her head like a morning alarm going off ’til eternity. Or maybe that beeping was stemming from the bump she received when a rock cut her run short, pounding her to the ground. After locking what was left of her door, she sat down to rest for a bit. She figured she’d be looking for a new place later. Damn.
    Alex got little sleep as thoughts of AJ pulled him in all directions. Every time he heard a sound, he expected AJ to be knocking on his door asking for help. But that was kind of stupid, he realized, as of course he’d be working on AJ’s case. It was his day off, but he really didn’t want the time or space of being alone and doing nothing. He wanted to find AJ, and he had a sense he knew where he and Margaret were (if she was with him). For that knowledge, he was thankful he didn’t have to report. He got up before sunrise, pulled a few food items together and headed out.
    Margaret got up in the early dawn and went into the kitchen to start the coffee. Oh yeah. No electricity. She would miss the vibrating bean grinder and the smell of fresh brew. Not to mention the feeling of being alert. Ugh. She sat at the table and stared out the window listening to the soft purrs of AJ’s sleep. shock rippled her spine as her bare feet brushed sand under the table.

  13. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … I hear ya! I’ve put my intention out to the universe that I’ll be in the UK at the end of July to the middle of August. I’d like to ‘fit in’ France and Italy. 🙂

  14. Robyn Lostheart says:

    My head pounds the unforgiving wall and I sink to my knees. 
    My throat is raw from my futile screaming and my mind is drowning in dread.
    How long has it been? Anytime now, he could pull that lever and it would all be over.
    “Quick, there’s no time!”
    I whirl around to see a man dressed in an immaculate business suit. His closely cut hair is nearly white, and his eyes are colder than ice. 
    “Take this and escape. I’ll be waiting.”
    He tosses me a device than flashes away. 
    I stare at the empty air where the man used to be, then examine the item in my hand.
    It’s an explosive.
    A smile creeps onto my face as I rig the dynamite against the rock prison. Finally, something I’m good at.
    I punch in the sequence, setting the short timer, and flatten myself agains the far side of the cave. 
    Beep. Beep.
    Beep Beep
    The sound is deafening. Sand is flying in the air as thick as a swarm of locusts. The room starts to vibrate violently. The walls shudder dangerously, begging to give way.
    Only a few seconds later the integrity crumbles and debris is starting to pound my shield.
    I stand there for a few minutes to survey the damage, but soon flash out.
    Time to save the world.


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