Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #270

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. Little
  2. Animal
  3. Empty
  4. Awake
  5. Hold
  6. Grip
  7. Crazy
  8. Wise
  9. Sink
  10. Alone

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.)

56 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #270”

  1. My entry for this poem is one of unfathomable loss and a mistake that ended a child’s life, thankfully I don’t have this experience personally but read about it in the news and see it on TV so I can visualize it.

    Terminal Mistake
    Awake in the night
    held in the grip of sickness
    crazy with unknowable pain
    couldn’t I be a wise animal
    who leaves a little boy alone
    now just staring blankly
    an accursed empty sink
    if only I changed actions
    and put the phone on hold 

    • Liss Thomas says:

      I am not a parent but I imagine it’s one of the greatest/terrifying jobs in the world.

      • I have two boys ages 8 and 5 right now, I always had a security minded approach (I am an IT Security Manager at my day job) and that security applies to everything in life.  Never can be too careful.  My biggest advice I tell new parents is to assume that your baby, toddler will try to kill itself and you as a parent have to out think it and prevent that from happening.

        It really is true, they will put ANYTHING in their mouths, pennies, buttons (chewed off a couch)…etc and so many choke hazards.  Parenting is not for the lazy :) 

        • Kathleen K says:

          Justin — Well said, “Parenting is not for the lazy.”
          As a mother of three beauties… it is a wonderful full time job, especially in their self-disruptive years. 

          This is empathetic to the issue. Well done.   

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin G: Ohhhh yeah, that is powerful indeed. Biggest fear as a dad is something happening to the young ones. I’ll never forget when my son was born and how I had the realization that I no longer cared about myself. And I mean that in a good way. All the bullshit I worried about didn’t mean anything at that point. I remember the relief I had at this, but I remember the instant fear of everything else kids flooding in too.

      • Yeah, as a parent now seeing stuff on the news when stuff happens to kids affects me emotionally like it never used to before I had kids, you feel bad of course but now you can truly empathize and feel the fear of what if it happened to you.  Parenting = gray hairs for sure.

    • My first son did just that. He got into his grandma’s handbag and gobbled down some of her medicine. That was the scariest moment in my life.
      You’re right, we learned our lesson after that!

    • K says:

      Oh, how depressing! I watched something sad last week, and this just adds to it.

  2. Liss Thomas says:

    I don’t know why I felt compelled to follow the little animal as he scurried down an empty hole.  At least I hoped it’s empty.  Earth seems to come awake with my intrusion as other small creatures emerge to stare as I follow the first.  Curiosity takes hold as I grip an exposed root to keep my balance as the hole tilts at a crazy angle.  A wise person would turn back, I tell myself, but I often don’t listen to my own advise.  As I sink further down I find myself alone in the dark.  I don’t feel as curious anymore, my little white rabbit is nowhere to be seen.  I huff in frustration and consider going back for only a split second and that’s when I see it.  A brilliant smile floating towards me.

  3. Shane Arthur says:

    For the love of little animals; look at that treat! Oh … my … god!

    Forgotten tingles just emptied.

    I’m awake after years of bitter slumber — a butterfly kissing my neck … holding my attention … gripping my wonder.

    How crazy; a morning premonition whispered to me like a wise man, telling me she would happen today.

    So, do I sink feeling utterly alone … or follow her invited flutter to a new flower?

    • Awesome visuals, forgotten tingles just emptied.  Really like that sentence.  

    • Shane, every so often, you pull back the Billy and Bobby John Deere cap and show us your layers.
      This was so totally cool and different.
      Write on!

      • Kathleen K says:

        Shane… Mitch said it sooooooo well. — Kathleen

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Mitch: Haha on the John Deere! :)  I’m a city boy; didn’t get my rural on until 12 years ago. This was a fun write indeed.

        • Shane, the first time I walked into a John Deere shop, I asked the salesman to show me the lawn mowers. He started showing me those big ol’ ride on lawn mowers.
          I told him, “I only have two acres, I was thinking of something smaller.”
          He looked at me like I had fallen from a very tall tree. “Oh! You want a push mower. Where you from?”
          I told him. “Philly.”

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Mitch: That’s too funny. I can see that so clearly in my mind. I could never afford a proper tractor for my 5.5 acres. Our high-end lawn mower tries to keep up the best it can, but we have to get a farmer at the end of our road to mow once or twice per year. Our neighbors have the best of everything though. Bastards! 🙂

  4. For the first time in forty-five years, Zener did not rise. All of the little diodes huddled quietly around the heat sink, waiting in vain for him to come awake. What they did not know was that Zener had had a breakdown overnight and died alone, like a mortally wounded animal.

    The funeral was joyous, as none of the diodes had the capacity for grief. They cracked wise, told crazy Zener stories and generally acted like amped up fools.

    They were so absorbed in their current behavior that they didn’t notice when the needle nosed pliers got a grip on Zener and yanked him away. No, they didn’t see the empty holes that used to hold dear Zener. He departed with very little resistance.

  5. Kathleen K says:

    Mind-ful Conversation…Continued

    “I am feeling a little like I might have made the wrong decision, Lovie. I wake each night, yes, night … my sleep patterns are so crazy, but I guess you see that.”

    “Sorry mom.”

    “Oh Lovie, don’t look so sad. You’ve given me many a sleepless nights. The ones you gave me … hope you know I wouldn’t trade them in for all the tea in China,” a small chuckle escapes from her. “I wonder if I will ever be able to regain my grip on sleep?” she thinks with wonder-lust a moment for rambling on …. “But no, not now, instead I lay awake, alone, with a sinking feeling that that caged animal will not pay enough of a price to satisfy those who feel empty and have only your memory to hold?”

    “But DNA does not lie Momma, just like you’ve always said. He’s no longer the wise ass he thought he was.”
    “No, no I bet he is not. Sadly Lovie, you are right. I hate being right and on that same page with you,” she swears she could almost hear his sigh.

    “Wednesday Momma, Wednesday.”

    “Oh Lovie, too many Wednesdays thus far though,” she said curling up in a ball in the middle of her bed holding on to herself and the prayer that she made the right decision. 

    • Kathleen, I know that, deep down, writing these words give you comfort.
      {{Virtual Hug}}

      • Kathleen K says:

        Mitch — The words do and don’t give me comfort. But I promised I would write “it” and look into publishing it in case it helps one other parent… God forbid they have to go through “it” as well.  And thanks for the Hug Mitch. Just what the doctor ordered.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kathleen: Mitch’s idea is a good one. I’m sending you another virtual hug.
      {{Virtual Hug}}

      • Kathleen K says:

        Shane — Thank you too. I know you guys have been here with me down this bumpy road. And your support has been something that I have been grateful for and have held on to on some of my toughest days.


  6. K says:

    I’m playing catch up. This one was painful for me to write. It’s pretty long, so read at your own discretion.

    Losing her grip on reality, Sarah gasped and dropped the bowl of scalding noodles. Its contents spilled out, and the container clanged dully on the ground. Sarah inched away from her spot by the door left slightly ajar, holding her breath. She hoped she hadn’t caused a disturbance or alarmed anyone on her whereabouts. When the door opened farther, Sarah snuck behind the door and sidled against the wall. As lithe and little as she appeared, the wooden surface grazed her nose. Fighting against the urge to sneeze, her heartbeat expedited, singing in her ears. The door drew in. Sarah relaxed and slinked out from behind the door. Before taking another step, a hand clapped her on the back then travelled down the length of it. Shivering at the foreign touch, Sarah craned her head only to encounter dark, beady eyes.

    Hold on,” the reptilian voice addressed. “Where do you think you’re going?” Sarah cocked her head to the side and frowned.

    “Oh, I forgot,” the man towering over Sarah sighed, “you kids can’t hear.” A grin spread on his face at a thought. “Which makes it all the better.” The headmaster’s hand slipped down into the waistband of her skirt. Sarah grunted at the unwelcome contact and shoved him away. The man’s eyes darkened with desire. The girl edged to the left, getting a glimpse of the interior of the office. Strewn on the table, a wide-eyed young girl Sarah’s age struggled from the ropes digging into her skin. Her school uniform was discarded in a heap on the ground. She met Sarah’s gaze and opened her mouth, vehemently shaking her head. Stunned, Sarah stared at the girl, unable to assist her friend at the mercy of the headmaster. Sarah awoke from her stupor once the headmaster stooped down to eye level. He stroked her hair. 

    “Such a beautiful girl,” he commented, knowing she couldn’t perceive it. His other hand crept up her shirt. Sarah shook her head and shied away. Frustrated at her continual refusal, the headmaster lunged toward her. She turned on her heel in a split second and broke off into a dash. Sarah’s mind swirled and thoughts of Halie surfaced. Was it wrong of her to abandon her friend? No matter. She lured him away from Halie, buying her some time. Glancing past her shoulder, she received the expected spectacle. A silhouette bobbed on the walls, tailing after her. 

    Sarah burst through the bathroom door after rounding countless corners and running through corridors, figuring her safety was guaranteed here. To Sarah’s dismay, she occupied the otherwise empty bathroom. She darted into the stall farthest from the door and locked herself in it. Sitting on the covered toilet, she brought her legs up to her chest and waited. A couple of seconds passed. During this period of delayed action, Sarah’s sanity deteriorated; she felt as if she was going crazy. Sarah replayed her last image of Halie in her head, and the tears that welled up in her eyes began to spill over. Her fate would mirror Halie’s if the headmaster materialized in this very bathroom. 

    Hearing the faint sound of a door slamming, Sarah flinched. Her hand flew up to her mouth to contain her miserable sobs and hiccups. Once feeling the headmaster’s presence the next stall over, Sarah contrived an idea. Sarah scrutinized the movement of his shoes and dropped to the ground. Timing his languorous strides properly, she managed to squeeze herself through the crevice dividing each stall. The stall door from the cubicle she once resided in rattled as the headmaster tried to pry it open. Sarah brushed off her tears with the back of her heand then made a break for the exit.  

    A force rammed into her before she made it, sending her into the second stall from the door. The headmaster constrained Sarah in between the toilet and his body. Sarah thrashed around in his grip and shoved him, feeling like a threatened, trapped animal.  The headmaster, unable to calm her, kicked her in the stomach and watched as she withered in his grasp. Hot tears streamed down her face, distorting her vision but not enough to blur the spectacle she witnessed. The man seized the moment and unfastened his belt. He pulled down his clothes. His hands then wrapped around her hips and undid the zipper on her skirt. Sarah widened her eyes, shouting to the point her throat was raw and fatigued from her useless screams. The headmaster ceased his actions after forcibly removing her undergarments. He allowed himself a minute to admire the small girl before him. His eyes lit up as he touched her milky thigh. By this time, Sarah expended all of her energy trying to fend him off and could only cry. She squeezed her eyes shut, subjecting her body to the headmaster.
    “Hey!” the headmaster’s head swiveled to the direction of the exit. “Is anyone in here?!” The headmaster clamped a hand on Sarah’s mouth to muffle her screams. “Hello?!” Three knocks sounded from the door. After two minutes passed, it seemed the voice behind the door had given up and went home. The man lifted himself off of the poor girl and began dressing.
    “You’re lucky this time, girl,” he stated to no one in particular. Once fully clothed, he turned to the quivering girl. He gestured to his mouth then made a motion with his thumb across his neck. Sarah nodded, sniffling. The headmaster left afterwards without any regard to her, leaving Sarah alone in the stall. Staggering to her feet, Sarah quickly sunk back down to the ground. She covered her mouth and released an animalistic sob from the back of her throat. The headmaster wasn’t called wise for no reason; his craftiness led him to do these unspeakable actions for five years straight without inciting the police’s suspicions. Not only could Sarah not hear, but she had no voice as well. The final sign of the headmaster cut deeper than she imagined.

    “If you tell anyone, you will die.”

    • K, I haven’t been this angry since we watched Roots.
      That’s powerful writing, to evoke such rage in a reader.

      • K says:

        And it’s really sad that this had ever happened. There was an incident I based on about deaf kids being abused by their teachers for years. All the teachers received was two years in jail at most. It’s a travesty, so I’m glad it invoked anger.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @K: Powerful, powerful stuff! Well done.
      And to any person in the world who resembles your character, may they be Pulp Fictioned in the most medieval fashion possible.

  7. Kathleen K says:

    K — I took the time to read this, because you took the time to work through it and write it. I am sorry for the pain that it caused you to write it. It is a powerful piece. It drew me in. I wanted to read, read, and read it all. 

  8. Briony Coote says:

    The cattle car had been waiting on the tracks while the SS guards made their checks to make sure the upcoming bridge did not hold any unpleasant surprises. But the all clear had been given and the cattle car set off once more, taking its human cargo even closer to gas chambers and ovens at the other end. But for some of that cargo there had been one crazy chance: a loose floorboard in one car. The hole had been steadily worked upon until prisoners could drop out of it whenever they got the chance. 

    The cattle car rumbled across the bridge, leaving behind the latest person to drop out of that hole – little Olga Majewski, only ten years old. Then it disappeared out of sight. 

    An awful, terrifying emptiness filled the landscape around Olga. She was all alone now; her parents were gone. Their final words had been: “Promise us you will live! Promise us, Olga!” Olga only had time to nod in reply, and then her parents pushed her out of the hole. “Goodbye, Olga! We love you.”

    Olga began to shake, tears filled her eyes, and her heart ached for her mother and father. She was tired, too – so much so that her body couldn’t feel her empty stomach properly. But young though she was, she was wise enough to know she must not let any of those things stop her now. She must live, like her parents said. She had promised. So, with every ounce of strength she could muster, Olga forced herself to stay awake, keep a grip on herself, and not let her spirits sink. 

    Now Olga turned away from those awful tracks and dreadful emptiness and headed into the nearby forest, hoping for some place where she could find shelter. Maybe she could find a burrow where she could hide, like that rabbit she saw once. The rabbit was being chased by the most vicious dog she had ever seen. The dog almost caught the poor rabbit when it saw the burrow in the nick of time. It vanished down the hole just as the dog’s jaws were about to snap on it. The frustrated dog was left snarling and growling at the hole and pawing its claws into the burrow. Now Olga was now in the same position as that poor hunted animal. She could only hope that she would be just as lucky. She had promised.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Briony: Love these powerful, emotional submissions, especially ones based on historical events. Write on.

    • Briony, here’s a belated “Welcome to the CCC” for ya. I like this story, too. How much is based on fact and how much is fiction makes for a fine reading experience.

  9. Cathy Miller says:

    The little hurts ignited an animal inside the empty channels of his heart. The demon that slept was now awake and took hold of all he knew. 

    The grip it had on his mind opened the floodgates to crazy thoughts that he’d be wise to ignore. But it was no use as he felt his control sink into a cavern of hatred that was his alone.

    The hunter was back on the prowl.

  10. Cathy Miller says:

    @Mitch @Shane – thank you, gentlemen. Always a pleasure. 🙂 I’ll be back later to catch up on my reading pleasure. 🙂

  11. Jennifer says:

    Abby lay awake at night, feeling as empty as the big house she was staying at. There was a draft that flowed thought the manor that caused Abby to huddle under the blanket like a little animal scared and alone.

    “What was that noise?!” her mind fluttered, pulse raced, scaring herself crazy.”I need to get a hold of myself! I need to get a grip on reality!” as she wandered down the hall to turn on the light in the kitchen and discover the sink faucet dripping.

    The not too wise, Abby returned to bed unknowing that the Splottown Stalker was still watching her through the window.

  12. Rebecca says:

    It’s easier not to be wise
    And measure these things by your brains
    I sank into Eden with you
    Alone in the church by and by
    – Lyrics from “I Alone” by Live
    Awake now and sink your teeth into life.
    Taste the juiciness and allow the sweetness to fill your empty soul.
    Hold on tight, get a grip and don’t let go.
    Allow your animal power to come forth.
    It takes little effort to enjoy life.
    Get wild and crazy whenever you can, it will be good for you.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: EXTRA BONUS POINTS FOR MENTIONING ONE OF MY FAV BANDS!!! Love how you’re incorporating these music quotes.

  13. Briony Coote says:

    @Shane and Mitchell: thank you for your compliments. Historically, there was at least one instance of people escaping from those infamous cattle trains through loose boards in the floor. I think that would make the premise for a good fiction novel or two, if it hasn’t been done already.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the welcome last week and the comments both last week and this week. Just now getting to catch up on some of the posts.

  15. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane… Thank you! I couldn’t resist incorporating the lyrics from “I Alone” by Live. They’re one of my favorite bands too. 🙂

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