Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #266

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 entering your submission into the comment field, 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. Afraid
  2. Ruin
  3. Throw
  4. Reflect
  5. Breathe
  6. Flank
  7. Stretch
  8. Flame
  9. Plenty
  10. Slip

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


39 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #266”

  1. Liss Thomas says:

    Continuation . . .

    Allie pulled and twisted her wrist trying to free herself from the creature’s powerful grip.  She latched onto a tree limb and held fast, afraid and unwilling to be a part of its grotesque plans.  Clamping her eyes shut, she tried to breathe but air seemed in short supply.  The creature hissed and pulled, crushing her bones as its grip hardened before it unleashed a sickeningly wet howl.
    Allie felt his hold slip and opened her eyes to see Belinak, the troll and the Guardian flank the hideous beast, a sword tip stretched through the creature’s chest.   It reached for her, clawing the air before Belinak snatched it back by the hilt of his sword, throwing the creature to the ground, the sword trapping it in place.  Its clawing continued, ruining the blanket of flowers around it.
    “We must hurry, the others have had plenty of time to recover,” the Guardian said.  He rose up on his hind legs and shifted, claws replaced by hands, fur replaced by skin and clothing.  When he was done, he stood as a man.  He led them into his dwelling, a small wood structure not unlike the troll’s.  An ornate full length mirror stood in the corner.  He placed his hands on either side causing a blue flame to erupt around it.  The reflection clouded before it cleared again.  Allie’s gasped at the sight of her bedroom, purple bedding, stuffed animals, it all looked the same as when she left.  She looked back once at Belinak and the Guardian before she finally went home.
    Allie woke with a start.  Her eyes flashed open hoping it had all been a dream.  Feeling the pillow beneath her head, she knew she was home but she wasn’t covered by her purple blanket.  A dark cloak kept her warm.  Warmer still was something nestled against her stomach.  She pulled the cloak back to reveal a cat sized reptile laying against her.  It opened one eye and yawned before turning over on its back.  Allie rubbed its belly and it began to purr.
    The End!

  2. State of the Ward
    His Side
    I don’t know why she is afraid to have this baby. Shoot,  I’m the one with plenty to lose. If the stretch marks and baby fat ruin her flanks, it will reflect on my rep. She already looks raggedy; I’ll have to slip it to her in the dark from now on. Who am I kidding? She’ll hardly have time to breathe, let alone throw her legs in the air whenever I want to get me some. Heh, I’m probably looking at the future “old flame.” Definitely looking old.

    Her Side
    I don’t know why he’s afraid of this baby. I bet he’s worried about the so-called flame of our passion. Selfish bastard. He will ruin this relationship if he doesn’t learn to reflect on what’s important. Look at him, giving me fake encouragement, telling me to breathe. I wish I could throw him out of the room. It was just a little contraction. Wait until our little bundle really starts to stretch me wide open. Ha! That’s what he’s worried about, isn’t it! Well, you better listen to me. I’m more than just a flank steak and there are still plenty of good guys out there, if you slip up.

    The Truth
    Listen to her. Here we are, in the home stretch, preparing to flank the fortress and breach the wall. Instead of trying to breathe and throw herself into this campaign, she’s already plotting her next conquest. Luckily, I have plenty of time to change her attitude. I’m just afraid that, if I don’t get some oxygen, the life flame will sputter out. Wait a minute! My lungs aren’t working yet. It shouldn’t matter. Oh no! What has slipped around my neck? I can’t throw it off. I better send out a distress signal. Help! Help! Choking here! Let’s not ruin the moment. Ah well, I guess I won’t get to publish my discoveries on quantum reflection. I wonder what daddy looks like …

  3. Lynne says:

    Business had slowed at Hôtel Mystère, as it had across the whole city since women’s bodies started turning up. Naked and strangled, so the press reported, these women were said to be the victims of a deranged sexual-thrill killer. “Forget the killing part,” Serena thought as she waited, bored, behind the hotel’s reception desk, “I’ll just take the sex bit, thanks.” Serena had been meeting the hotel’s security guard on her afternoon break every day for the past week. Philippe was hot, so hot she worried she would burst into flame if he ever got around to touching her. She knew she gave Philippe plenty of hints but, so far, he had shown no inclination for taking things up a notch.

    Slouching behind the desk and biting her fingernails, Serena waited impatiently for the relief receptionist to arrive. The clock marched on. She saw Philippe slip out earlier and wondered where he had gone. Would he be back? She was afraid that she might have blown things with him yesterday, with her throw-away line about sex being part of a healthy diet.

    “Huh,” she mused, “It would be just like me to ruin a good thing before it’s even had a chance to be a great, good thing.”

    Serena stretched and tucked a loose strand of her long hair into the normally-tidy French roll she wore when she was working. With her blonde, green-eyed, curvy-figured good looks, she wasn’t used to trying to gain a man’s interest. Usually, she had to fight them off. Running a hand over her flank, she reassured herself that she was still as trim as ever. However, it was Philippe’s hands she wanted on her. Thinking that maybe today would be the day, she quickly finished tidying her hair and applied a touch of lipstick.

    As if her thoughts had conjured him, Philippe strolled into the foyer just as the clock struck the hour. Sending a smile her way, he tapped his wristwatch and lifted an eyebrow in question. Shrugging, Serena indicated that she was alone at reception and couldn’t leave until her relief, Anna, arrived.

    Philippe nodded and, pointing a finger to the ceiling, called out, “I’ll see you in my room soon.”

    Disappointed that her break time was running out, Serena watched him stride away. Turning to the telephone, she dialed Anna’s number and waited. With no response from Anna and nobody to relieve her, she was stuck at the desk, anxious, and more than a little upset. 

    Breathe, girl, breathe,” Serena admonished herself as she waited, fuming, while the afternoon turned into evening and her opportunity to spend time with Philippe that day slipped away. As her shift came to an end Philippe was settling in for his night duties. Anna still hadn’t turned up.

    After a long soak in deliciously-scented bubbles, Serena prepared a comfort meal and settled down to eat it in front of the television. In the midst of pouring a glass of red wine she glanced up at the screen. A photograph of Anna reflected in her vision as a news reporter recounted how, this afternoon, Anna’s landlord responded to the sounds of a struggle. He was too late to save her. Anna was the latest victim of the infamous Asphyxia Fiend. Shaking, Serena picked up the phone. She needed comfort. She called Philippe.

    • Oh no, don’t call him! LOL
      That was fun to read – it looks like a screenplay.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Lynne: Excellent. You already have me yelling at Serena not to call the wolf for help. 😉

    • K says:

      No! Don’t call him! I wonder why Serena doesn’t suspect him.

      • Lynne says:

        She doesn’t suspect him (yet) because (a) she is smitten; (b) he is a security guard and therefore one of the good guys; and (c) he is not showing any obvious desire for sex, despite her hints, yet the murderer is reportedly into erotic asphyxiation. 
        These writing challenges are throwing up their own challenge. I have been working towards a book that is completely different from anything I have written on this site. I’ve been using the challenges to break blocks. I look at the words and set my own challenge to write something that stands alone within 10 minutes. I then give myself a timed limit to check what I have written and then post. From copying the ten words down to posting, I allow myself a maximum 15 minutes. 
        I don’t expect anything I write here to be very good, but I have to say that I love reading the comments. 
        But, one interesting thing has happened – Philippe is starting to take over my life. I don’t write mystery or crime stories and never thought I might want to. In my mind though, Philippe is fleshing himself out and demanding that I tell his story. I keep telling him that I can’t be his ghost-writer and I’ve never even been to New Orleans, but he just says, “pffft!” and shrugs his very gallic shrug and ignores me. 
        Serena keeps interrupting and saying her story is the important one. She argues that she is not as clueless and trusting as I think she is, and she is keen to prove it. 
        So, I might let those two keep trying to convince me. They are both very insistent and pretty darned stubborn. I didn’t expect that of them when I quickly wrote these few entries.

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Lynne: Ahhhh, the magic of the CCC! It burrows in there and has an effect, one way or the other. 😉 Loved what you revealed with this.

        • Lynne, I love how you described your dilemma. I predict a very good story will emerge from the creative struggle.
          Funny, I said the same as I felt compelled to write my first (awful) detective story. It was as if the villains and heroes were playing in my personal home theater.

  4. K says:

    No matter how much I denied being in pain or how unafraid I lead on to be, fear consumed my every thought. One slip of the tongue could ruin the thin boundary between life as I knew it and suffering. The saying went that a person reflected the people flanking him or her. I guess somewhere in the process I came to resemble my parents. While my dad spewed venomous words at my mother who retaliated in her shrill voice, I threw my fists against the wall, hoping this continuous routine would reach a standstill. Plenty of times throughout a day, a hand stretched out and shake my shoulder. I reared my head and snapped, permitting the vile profanites to stream out of my mouth. Wide eyes regarded me speculatively, and my brother retracted his hand. He asked me in a quivering voice if our parents ceased their senseless farce. Reminded of them, my flaming temper ignited. I stormed down the hall into my room, slammed the door shut, and locked it. Next thing I knew, sonorous bangs reverberated from the door. Pleas calling for me to allow him in whirled in my ear. Ignoring my brother, I flopped onto my bed and wrapped the thin blanket around me. I clamped my hands over my ears, wishing my surroundings would melt away in the heat of events. Even with sound muted, I could clearly perceive my mother lashing out at my brother, nagging in that familiar acerbic tone. 

    Tears blurred the perimeter of my vision. Part of me believed that I should get off scot free as I was deemed a mere child. But as I have experienced, once people were deprived of their dependent source, their situation began to collapse. I was the one at fault for further corrupting this dysfunctional family. Forcing myself to lie down, I heaved large sighs. I stared at the monochromatic ceiling, willing myself to fall asleep. I remembered back to when life seemed to be a wonderland that I believed dreams helped me escape from this harsh world called reality. What a stupid child I have been. 

    Having courage didn’t mean that I didn’t experience fear. Giving all of my strength and will to forge on didn’t mean the guarantee of survival. Breathing didn’t mean I was living. No, it didn’t.

  5. Here is my entry for this poem:

    Not Looking
    Plenty of ruin to reflect upon
    mistakes flank your every move
    afraid to reflect; afraid to breathe
    lest you stretch the pain and slip
    finally throw yourself into the flame 

  6. Shane Arthur says:

    Freeflow in under two minutes . . .

    Who’s afraid of ruin? I throw myself in front of risk’s reflection daily, breathing it in while flanking it with outstretched positivity, determined flame-a-plenty, and its pink slip.

    • K says:

      It’s amazing how you fit those ten words in two sentences. The last, few words made me imagine someone heading to detention with their head held high.

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @K: Read that again; I’m giving risk it’s pink slip, telling it I am the master of my life. 🙂

        • K says:

          Ok, now I see the meaning of it. Sorry. Sometimes, I interpret things oddly. Anyways, these lines give strength especially since I was feeling down yesterday.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @K: “since I was feeling down yesterday.” Whenever I feel down, I have a saying. It goes, “Tick, tock.” This reminds me I only have so many heartbeats left so no use spending them feeling down. Works well. 🙂

    • Good one, I saw someone looking at bright side of being laid off, maybe looking at other opportunities or time to start a business.  

  7. Rebecca says:

    Don’t throw away your dreams because you’re afraid to pursue them.
    Just breathe and stretch your body to invoke the violet flame within.
    Don’t allow darkness to flank your body, mind and soul.
    You won’t ruin your life if you slip and fall. 
    You have plenty of time to complete your mission.
    Reflect on the choices you have made thus far and own them. 

  8. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane… Thank you! I’m taking your advice and compiling a 365 day calendar or book from CCC entries. I have 59 so far. 🙂

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