Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #253

Sorry this is late. I got a late start, then the bleepin’ Internet decided to take a dump.

This is a writing prompt. Bet you can’t do it! Take the 10 random words below and crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story! 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. Long
  2. Standard
  3. Wide
  4. Scale
  5. Form
  6. Dome
  7. Depth
  8. Spring
  9. Stamp
  10. Remember

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


34 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #253”

  1. Bobbert says:

    It had been a long time since that first mission. The scale of the operation was enormous. He remembered the form of the first mars station, and the domed style covering. About 20 feet deep and 100 feet wide. He was on the first team, and he had committed to spending the rest of his life on mars with the team. The commitment was standard practice, and yet the wait list of volunteers was in the tens of thousands. Heads of all the leading nations lent their support. Each astronaut explorer had believed that if mankind was to survive, it would take colonization of space. But after twenty years and thirty new station components added to the little village, another truth had set in. They were still dependent on mother earth for their supplies and repairs and just about everything else. Only their oxygen was sustainable.
    They had devoted their lives to a vision, and now the truth had spread into the understanding of the entire mars colony. This was not the hope of a future for mankind. There was no man-made spring on mars. They had not placed their stamp on the planet. This was just a visit by a few small men. The real beginning of man’s future in space was still science fiction.

    • Indeed it is, Bobbert. Indeed it is. It’s cool how we both chose the Sci-Fi genre from these words.

      Your story makes an interesting commentary on the current state of space exploration.




      • Bobbert says:

        It somehow seems natural (to me, anyway) that we both chose SciFi, but I suppose it is anything but the natural conclusion from that word set! Loved those last words of Captain Santiago, btw!!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Bobbert: Damn! You are a writing machine lately! Seriously, you should have no problems writing a book when the time comes. Cool scene you painted here. Carry on!

  2. The standard-bearer of the fourth dimension was out of its depth at the Infinite Boundary. Here, light devolved from photons into droplets of liquid helium by the presence of a massive black hole. This stamp of quantum compression was only possible on the cosmic scale. It barely tugged at the hyper rocket that hurtled at twice the speed of light toward the black hole. 
    Captain Victor Santiago could not remember being more frightened. His flimsy craft was about to spring across the event horizon of the largest mass ever detected by humans. Intellectually, he knew that geometry would not pull an Einsteinian disappearing act – the crushing forces only worked at sub-light speeds. Still, he shuddered at the thought of space literally collapsing into a long and wide  two dimensional sheet. Of course, the world of the Flatlanders was astrophysically impossible. Time, however, seemed to be playing true to form, obeying the principles of the Casimir effect by bending space into a pretzel. Captain Santiago was heading right into the doughy knot of a wormhole. He keyed the microphone:
    “Attention crew. We are approaching the Infinite Boundary. The thin walls marking the Dome of Creation may be theoretical images on a page from our lesson books, but the reality of looking God in the eye is upon us. Say your prayers – I’ll see you on the other side.” He nodded to his navigation officer.
    “Rocky, take her to FTL five!”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: That doughy knot reference was the awesomesauce! What word sparked this one? So damn cool.

      • Liss Thomas says:

        Awesomesauce!  *giggles*

        Did you make up the scientific space stuff or is it true?  I had to read it twice to convince myself, ‘yeah, I know about photons, I knew that’.

        • Liss, I’m like the magician when it comes to this stuff: I’ll never tell. LOL
          Actually, I’d like to think I made up some interesting effects for light near a black hole. I throw in some authentic sounding folderol and serve it up with real acronyms, like FTL, which stands for Faster Than Light speed.

      • Thanks, Shane. Believe it or not, all of them – I’ve been thinking about my “Sisters” all alone in the Void. The word dome did make me think of a visual I have whenever I think of the Infinite Boundary from that story.

  3. Robyn Lostheart says:

    Remember the time when the universe was vast and incomprehensible
    When we could look out at the world
    Content in the depths of our naivety 
    Satisfied to merely revel in the unknown
    Interest in our surroundings was inevitable
    For we marvelled at the mysteries of spring and snow 
    We gazed at the expansive dome of the sky
    We stood on our earthy foundations
    We observed a plethora of life and light
    So in our embracing of such conundrums 
    our curiosity began to pique
    Meters measured the mountains
    Scale defined the seas
    Form expressed in the language of numbers
    Sky exposed as layers upon layers of mist
    Reality was now long and wide
    Everything had a category
    On everything
    a label we would stamp
    Our world is now a calculated standard
    Scientific and mathematical
    But I challenge you to
    Remember the time when the world was vast and incomprehensible
    And all we could do was 
    revel in the unknown
    and we were content 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Robyn: Wow! What’s so clearly evident is your love of language and words. Nothing was wasted in this submission. Every word had punch. Everything so well thought out. If anybody wished to learn how well you can write, all they need to do is study this submission.

    • Nice and powerful word flow here, Robyn. It made me think, too. And, you know what? I revel in the unknown of this vast world. I guess that’s why I love sci-fi. 🙂

  4. Liss Thomas says:

    Long shadows stretch in sinister form before me like tentacles reaching.  A standard panic attack, I tell myself with eyes searching wide for a culprit.  Shadowy forms scale the dome of the church, ready to spring out from unknown depths.  I remember to breathe and inhale air in gulps.  Quickening the pace, my steps stamp out an erratic code. Be afraid, run!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Liss: That was awesome. Reminded me of when I was a computer instructor and had a panic attack when the company I worked for forced me into a huge class with a subject I felt I had not mastered. Two minutes in, I could barely breathe and sweat was pouring out. My body was physically and emotionally shutting down. I had to get another teacher to finish the class. Sucked royally, but I soon mastered the material and no class size phased me after that.

    • Yikes, Liss! This made me think of that poor character portrayed by Jack Nicholson in As Good as it Gets. You did a great job summoning demons!

    • K says:

      Liss, I thought your submission for this challenge was wonderful. I like how it was a bit dark and suspenseful, but most of all, I admire how you can create a scene without going into too much detail. I usually ramble until it becomes too lengthy, but I liked your scenario. Short, but attention grabbing. Any tips?

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    Another quick, free-flow (loving it. I never would have thought about anything like this naturally)

    “How long’s a standard double-wide?”

    “Forty feet. We can scale it up or back though. All custom-like.”

    “Standard’s fine. Where’s the order form. But I want a domed porch added first. By the way, what’s the depth of the spring for our wells here in this trailer park? Need to put in a manual simple pump in case power goes out.”

    “Ten feet. You can practically stamp on the ground and water comes out in these parts. But, remember, you’s livin’ near the water. Ain’t no springs necessary here.”

    • Liss Thomas says:

      Shane, your the King of Free flow!  You ever try Flash Fiction?
      I personally can’t write a complete piece under 2000 words! 

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Liss: Not sure exactly what the term “flash fiction” is, but sounds good. Let me know.

        • Liss Thomas says:

          Flash Fiction are complete stories but the word count is 500 – 1000 or less.  The Chinese call it ‘smoke long’ because you can finish the story in the same time it takes to smoke a cigarette. :o)

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Liss: Don’t think in the 253 challenges we’ve done I’ve ever done that. May have to try it though.

    • A free-flowing submission about spring water. 🙂
      I sense Billy and Bobby, somewhere in the background, near the treeline…

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Mitch: Yeah, good ol’ Bobby and Billy creep into my mind regularly. I still need to finish compiling them into a book. The first three words popped out and I had to stick with it. I remember the thought as I plowed forward of how in the hell I was going to finish something about a trailer.

  6. Okay, here is the poem for today and curious to see how it is interpreted.

    Depth of this spring dome
    covering this town like a stamp
    remember the scale of the sky
    when it was wide open
    and the sun’s form shone
    long standard hours upon us
    now partial darkness eternal
    bubble protection our savior
    or really our impending doom? 

  7. K says:

    Okay, my excerpt might be a bit messy, but here goes. Please comment or criticize on the writing. I wrote it simply, so don’t expect a lot from it. 

    Did you know that once Death stares at you in the face that you were bound to die? That Death wasn’t one standard, concrete form but instead manifested itself to align with your most personal fears? Maganimity is not a virtue Death possesses let alone acknowledges. Mercy is a faithless conviction of self-assurance Death steals.

    Long, wide strips of dirt roads crossed at intersections, coercing me to opt for one of them. I inexplicably rounded the corner to my right. My eyes flickered to my blind side, expecting for that silhouette to be calmly approaching me at its encroaching pace. To my consternation, there was no such thing. Beads of sweat drenched my entire form, cascading down like torrential rain. My lungs were dancing on top of a white-hot fire, attempting to sustain this debilitated husk of a human. The only thoughts that throbbed dully in my mind were to continue running despite my condition and the choices for impending forks in the road. Left, right, straight…they consumed my concentration. My heart was hammering in my chest, threatening to burst through the confines of the satin sticking to my skin. Ineffable, paralytic fear coursed through my veins and provided me with the adrenaline I craved for sustenance. Although I described those feelings through those small scale words, nothing could measure the depth of the intensity and veracity of those sensations that haunted every fiber of my existence. 

    I was a rat trapped in maze; I was merely a pawn in his wake. I was in the king’s domain, edging closer and closer to my final destination he had contrived for me. 

    Left, right, right, straight. This maze, as I had figured out along the way, was dome shaped. It allowed nothing to be thrusted into its arms and nothing to escape its grasp. The tenebrosity only ensured this fact, surrounding me in its embrace. The turret-like hedges acting as fortification for this “garden” malignantly glared at me, whispering threats in synchronization with the intermitten breezes. Paranoia naturally caught up to me, and through the impediment, I constantly envisioned that form cloaked in darkness trailing me in that deliberate pace of his. With my focus centralizing from across my shoulder, my bare foot stumbled over an overgrown branch erupting from the sodden earth. I wasn’t able to ascertain my balance, so I tumbled over and landed on the loamy soil. Pain flared up in my side where I prominently landed as a result of the impact. My hand hurriedly latched onto a groove of the stone wall before me. I staggered to my feet, and my eyes frantically flitted behind me. Lurid orbs greeted me. A gasp escaped my lips, and I take a step back. But I suddenly remember I had arrived at a dead end. In retaliation to my shift in movement, the shadowy figure’s hand constricted my wrist, pinning my arm as well as my body to the wall with no opening to slip away from his grasp. I writhed under his oppression to no avail. My fate was already sealed with my ineptness. The date of my death was stamped on my forehead by him. I resigned my futile resistance, becoming limp. Resting in his hand was a blade which reflected the feeble light shed by the night sky. The dim illumination also exposed this entity’s identity. A demonic grin played on his lips along with the mischievous glint clouding with pure lust that gleamed in his eyes. His other features were unaltered. Although I feared him more than anything at the moment, a tugging sensation ached in my heart. My gaze couldn’t help but soften around this person. He was still so beautiful. 

    “Now you can’t go anywhere.” his voice whispered in my ear ethereally. A tear escaped, descending to the ground. Distracted by the timbre of his voice, I didn’t notice the knife stab into my stomach, ripping into my flesh on contact. Having no choice but to thrust a sound from the recesses of my throat, I let out an airy groan mixed in with a scream. My vision simultaneously flickered from the trespassing darkness to my final grip on reality. I felt the serrated dagger dig into my throat, creating wounds that were beyond human reparation. Heaving my last breaths, the darkness had finally consumed my line of sight. It soon bathed me in that inky murk. This chapter of my life, the spring of it at least, had reached its last page. I had reached my final destination.

    There’s an odd rumor that a guy searched all around for someone. There was also a rumor that a few days ago at night that a girl who’d been escaping had vanished with a scream. Death comes in many forms. For the one who cheated him, she now resides in her final destination: in the arms of Death.

    • Liss Thomas says:

      K is for Kreepy!  But in a good way!

      When I write I try to avoid too many adverbs, the ly words usually can be dropped for a better verb, I.e. fell ackwardly could be lurched.  I also fight against the verb ‘to be’ in all it’s forms, was, were. 

       ‘ I wasn’t able to ascertain my balance, so I tumbled over and landed on the loamy soil 

      • Liss Thomas says:

        Sorry the rest of my comment faded into nothingness.   I’ll have to stop making comments with the ipad!

        You don’t need the first part of the sentence, it could read  ‘I tumbled and landed sprawled on the loamy soil.

        The more you write the tighter it gets.  You’re doing great!  Keep Writing! 

        • K says:

          Thanks, Liss. It makes me happy to gain some feedback on what I wrote. Thanks for the tip on my overuse of adverbs. I usually go overboard on that. I didn’t think anyone would reply because my entry was amateur-ish compared to others and lengthier. I really appreciate your comment.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @K Welcome to the CCC. No need to preface your comments with qualifiers. You did great, and the purpose of CCC is to crush writer’s block, so don’t worry about how well you’re doing relative to other writers (although I sometimes shake my head in amazement too about how bleepin’ good some of the writer’s here are).
      Everyone welcome K to the beginning of his journey to keeping some literary ass!

  8. Rebecca says:

    An Ode to WordPress 3.4

    I long for the day when my personal development website functions again.
    I chose to spring into action and update to WordPress 3.4 instead of waiting for WP 3.4.1. 
    I knew there was a chance WP 3.4 didn’t have my stamp of approval, but I figured it would be up to
    standard with great form and scale.
    Little did I know the depth of issues I could possibly face.
    My eyes grew wide as I couldn’t login to my admin interface. 
    The depth of my anguish grew deeper and deeper as my plugins returned an error. 
    The dome light in my mind went on, and I deleted my original theme and most plugins.
    I remember when I my personal development looked they way I wanted to. Now it looks
    generic and lonely. 

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