Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #277

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’Tdo those, either.)

  1. Thrill
  2. Sound
  3. Burn
  4. Feel
  5. Consume
  6. Sand
  7. Easy
  8. Smile
  9. Tug
  10. Dust

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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81 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #277”

  1. Beware the tug of the sandman. He will snatch that easy smile from your face. He will consume your babies and burn your soul to dust. You won’t feel a thing, because you’ll be jacked in to the cyborg equivalent of an amusement park thrill ride. The only sound you’ll make is a death rattle.
    The medics will have to pry your cold, dead thumbs from that infernal device…

  2. Liss Thomas says:

    My throat burns and scratches like sand.  A warm hand soothes my brow.  It would be easy to sink back to sleep but I should be dead.  The sound of her voice tugs me toward waking, my mother.  I open my eyes and see her smile as she brushes her fingertips across my cheek.  I feel another presence moving closer, my father.  He sends mother away to speak with me alone.  He seems less thrilled to see me.  A consuming dread swarms like dust around me as I meet his gaze.

    I broke all the rules and the thrill of it no longer sustains me.  Father’s weighty stare falters and I feel his arms encircle around me.  Grief of it all consumes me and my shoulders shake with burning sobs.  Father speaks as the last of my tears subside; the sound of his voice brings an easy smile to my lips.  He gives me water to drink that clears the dust and sand from my mouth.

    “You should have let the human child die.  Why didn’t you come to us, son?” he asks.
    The thought of my human tugs painfully at my heart but father’s words confuse me.

    “Father, my human is dead.”
    “Your human lives because you live, son.” 

  3. Here is my poem for today:

    The Sand Man
    Missing that thrill
    the burn to consume
    now just a sand heart
    beats sound like coughing
    only just able to manage
    an easy smile dripping dust
    as you tug your lips back together
    still you don’t feel anything
    now that you are the sand man 

  4. Shane Arthur says:

    This thrill you speak of—what’s it sound like?
    Does it burn?
    Do you feel tingles?
    Does it consume your thoughts?
    Does it tickle like sand through toes?
    Is it easy or hard for you?
    Do you smile for days?
    Does the desire for more tug at you?
    And will you miss it when you’re dust?

  5. K says:

    Feel the words and phrases consume your entire being. Immerse yourself with sounds of a distant world; allow yourself to travel headfirst. Underneath your fingertips, the ink burns into the brittle pages, creating a vast universe. Experience the thrills of that universe no matter how childish they may seem. Now, transform those thoughts into something more. Don’t think. Don’t you dare look back. Easy comes, easy goes. If satisfied with your work, you will evoke some emotion from your peers. Tug their heartstrings. Make them bawl like a baby from the sheer beauty and magnificence of merely looking at it. Once you learn to smile after correcting your mistakes and presevere instead of surrendering halfway through your journey, you’ll arrive at the end of the road in no time. Rise to your feet after you fall and dust the sand off. After all, you’ve only begun. Perhaps we’ll cross paths one day, weary traveller.’
     
    “Ugh,” I groan. Banging my fist against the desk, pens roll off of it and descend to the floor, scattering everywhere. I thread my fingers in my hair and ruffle it. “What am I doing?” Heaving a sigh, I stare at the ceiling for a moment then my gaze drifts to the abandoned guitar on the bed. My eyes flickers from the instrument to the balled up wads of composition pages. A faint chord rings in my ears. I set the note onto the desk and approach my bed. Fumbling in my pockets, I fish out a pencil then grab a fresh piece of paper. Soon, a splatter of notes decorate the blank measures. I can’t help but smile as I’m transported onto a higher plane. Goodbye, sleepless nights.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @K: I believe your writing skill is skyrocketing since you first visited the CCC. Do you feel it?

      • K says:

        Somewhat. I think I have improved with time, but I still have a lot to learn, considering I can never finish ideas I begin. I remember coming here when all I wanted was to cure writer’s block. Now, it’s becoming a weekly thing.

    • K, this is a joy to read. I love how you transfer introspection onto your characters by way of some literary medium. Carry on!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       
       

    • Liss Thomas says:

      K, this submission is outstanding!  Take your own advise…

      Don’t think. Don’t you dare look back!   write, write and write some more!

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @K -Wow-well done-so many great lines. This is one of my favorites Underneath your fingertips, the ink burns into the brittle pages, creating a vast universe. 
       

      Very cool! 

  6. Cathy Miller says:

    I thrill to the sound of silence as I sail above the ocean glass. The sunlight burn I feel kiss my cheek sends a touch of warmth through golden fingers. My senses consume me as the sand flees in an easy race against a distant shore. I smile at the freedom as I tug against the restraint and the returning dust of time.

  7. Dust In The Wind says:

    There’s a strange feel in the air today. It’s almost as if the desert wishes to consume your soul. As I stand motionless on the empty plain, I wonder how anyone does it. How you can feel the burn of the sun, the dry dusty air on your skin. Of course for me it’s easy, I’ve done it all my life and I’m prepared to keep the secret with my life. There are others that come. Others that come when they need a place to hide, to run away. I hear the sound a mile away. The panting, need for shelter, water, or food. It thrills me to know my next meal is but a glance away. I smile as I hear the man sliding across the sand. His breath faltering, I can sense he has been running for quite some time. Although, I feel a slight tug at my heart when I think, people who come here, they come here to die.

  8. Shane Arthur says:

    @Cathy: The skill and thought you put behind the way you string words together isn’t lost on me. Like using thrill as a verb, and using double nouns like ocean glass.

  9. Stephanie Lynn Nagel says:

     
    I run my fingers through the sand as
    I tug at the corners of my towel-
    It must be aligned perfectly. 
    I am consumed with the thrill
    Of a beating sun on my back;
    Relishing in the burn on my skin.
    It’s easy to enjoy such pain
    When life has become defined
    By the sound of a mother’s cry,
    Painted smiles, 
    And the memorization of the verse:
    For dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.
    So I continue to bask in the sun;
    Burning my outer shell in an attempt 
    To always remember to feel,
    And to peel and become anew.

     
     

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Stephanie: Holy Bleep! You damn well better have a writing website. If not get one. That was fantastic.
      I hope to see you each Monday and Thursday from now on. Everyone welcome Stephanie to the addiction.

      • Stephanie Lynn Nagel says:

        Thanks, no I don’t have a site, as well as the time to write nearly as much as I wish I could. But thank you so much for your feedback! I typically don’t let people read my poetry, but I was really I intrigued by this site so I figured it’d be a good time to break out of my shell! I hope to put more time and effort into my writing in the future though… I just gotta get past school first! Haha (:

    • Welcome to the CCC, Stephanie! That was a deep submission! I’m asking myself a lot of questions about this meticulous person.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       
       

    • Anthony Smits says:

      Welcome Stephanie
      Thank you for sharing your poem. As one who burns at the slightest glimpse of sun, I cringed at your images.  A beautifully balanced use of those words.

    • Liss Thomas says:

      Nice!  Welcome to CCC and make sure to bring your sun block!

      • Cathy Miller says:

        @Dust in the Wind (one of my all-time favorite Kansas’ song) & @Stephanie – Welcome to CCC!

        Here you will know the thrill of accomplishment as the sound of creativity fuels a burn of excitement to each week’s challenge. You feel the addiction, allowing it to consume you as you sift the sand of forgotten prose to find an easy path to words.

        You’ll smile, you’ll frown, you’ll tug at all you know to sprinkle success with the dust of brilliance all of CCC knows.

        Welcome!

  10. Anthony Smits says:

    The herbalist stopped in the doorway, her slim fingers holding it open. In her other palm an open amyu crys glowed; it was only a small stone yet its soft light filled the hall and spilled out into the darkness. 
    “Are you certain, son?” 
    He wasn’t doing it for a thrill. Micah had heard her many times: it was dangerous; he might die; no human had ever – sure. He got it. “I want to do it.” 
    He’d waited ten years. 
    “All right, I’ll test you. “ She’d finally agreed; the child had worn her down. “But not until you’re grown.”
    Twenty now, Ma. Rare female-only ability? Try me.
    Rose nodded. With moist eyes, she turned without another sound and walked out of the cottage, closing up her crys and pouching it. He followed. A breeze ruffled his loose white tunic; dewy grass caressed his feet. Micah could feel anticipation burn inside; it bubbled up as each step brought his trial nearer. But it would set him apart from all of them. 
    Her words drummed in his mind. 
    You could use this to do great evil – but only once. The feii will see to that.
    If he decided to give Taylor Bull a little judgment for insulting him once too often, he wouldn’t tell anyone. Good luck to the feii finding out. But Micah didn’t want power; he wanted to understand. He wanted to know everything about them.
    He walked behind his Ma through the meadow; she stopped close to Big Rock. The twenty foot granite lump had probably rolled off the cliff when the world was younger. It made a grand lookout perch, though he hadn’t climbed it in a long time; childhood forever ago.
    Dawn song warbled from unseen birdlife; the trees shivered and waited for the sun.  He looked overhead; the stars had gone. Soon a new morning would turn the dark rock’s eastern face golden yellow. Was she waiting for it?
    Rose slipped the bag from her shoulder and bent to draw something out.
    “Put this on.” 
    It was just a crys belt; he could have worn his own if she’d asked.  He made them, after all. Micah buckled it on, breathing a scent of new leather; he stroked his fingers over the embossing. He’d look closer at it in more light later. There were two pouches; both were empty.
    She clasped his hands; she looked up into his eyes.
    “Micah, I only had one chance at this. That’s all I’m giving you. If you don’t have ability, it will be immediately obvious. It’s possible you won’t even get it apart.” 
    Snatches of conversations flashed through his thoughts. Rose had told him he couldn’t do the viridu. And he’d only been ten. Now he energised crops as well she did. He could master this too. But his mouth felt dry.
    She had a small package in her hands. She unwrapped a soft covering, and dropped it in the bag. A second covering followed.
    The hair on his arms tingled. He stood up straighter.
    In her hands rested a small wooden box. She opened it.
    The damn thing glowed! Not much; a dull red. But it seemed alive. 
    “Take it out, Micah. Hold it.”
    Micah took the uneven oval-shaped rock in both hands. It was the heaviest crys he’d held; half a pound perhaps.
    “Demonstrate your mastery over the fyu crys by splitting Big Rock.”
    “What?” Micah almost dropped the thing. Its glow had increased, so had its warmth. That was his test? Surely it was a joke.
    She picked up her bag, slipping the last covering and the box into it. “Direct the crys. Use your mind.” Her voice wavered “Or it will consume you.”
    She moved to stand behind him, offering some last advice in a whisper. “Don’t take it for granted; remember how you had to control the viridu before it would work for you.” 
    She spoke louder. “Start.”
    Micah remembered the hours he’d pestered before getting a turn with her viridu crys. And the hours of practice before the orchards produced evenly. Rose hadn’t told anyone why, when Micah was eleven, half the apple orchard produced no fruit for two summers and the other half ripened bitter, unseasonably early.
    But she’d chided him. “Why do you think we have to train with the feii for ten years?“ 
    Micah grimaced. He only had seconds for this. And he had to smash a rock with it, not gently nuture a corn harvest. 
    Not quite so easy. He wiped each sweating hand across his pants, in turn. The crys was rough, like sand. Micah stared at the huge rock some twenty paces away. He picked out a crevice. He hoped it was a weak point.
    He focused, staring down at the crys, then back at the crevice. He intentioned the fyu crys to separate, snapping his hands apart. 
    It did! The halves split, snarling; the jagged crystalline faces blinding him in a instant hot glare. It burned like the hottest sun, increasing in temperature every moment. He twisted his hands; the light fell off his face and splashed in a wide swath across the ground. 
    His eyes half shut against the brilliance, he tried to turn the halves so each hand wouldn’t burn the other. At midwinter he’d burned his hand when a log had fallen from the bonfire and rolled on it. This felt like that.  
    “No!”  He wasn’t letting go.
    “Concentrate! Her scream jolted him. “Aim for Big Rock.”  
    He heard her; he pictured his crevice. Angry at it, he ignored the burning pain in both hands and commanded the crys to obey him and converge its light. Mental effort spilled into sound.
    “Do it! Burn the rock!”
    A rolling, growling sound like approaching thunder surrounded him; the light twisted and swelled over him again, but he still didn’t drop the halves. Sullenly, it seemed, the thing changed shape again and all at once it didn’t frighten him. The light from each half drew together; it morphed into a beam and a line appeared on the rock. Another beam connected the halves together across the space between his hands; a triangle of fire. It intensified, turning nearly white at the centre and the thunder growl crescendoed.
    Crack! He gasped. He dropped a hand and the focused beam disappeared; dark red light shone again in a wide splash from each half and bathed rock and grass; his bare feet too. But now it wasn’t burning him. 
    She steadied him, caught his drooping arm. “Close your crys; put it away. In your belt.” She was crying. “Oh God, you did it.” 
    Micah joined the halves and pouched it; just another crys. The belt needed a tug; it was tight. He adjusted it, and giggled.
    “Wow. That has some power. Was your test like that?”
    He squatted, then slumped to the ground, all at once weary. He examined his blotchy, reddened hands, but the marks were fading. Rose knelt beside him, stroking his face.
    “I did it?” He grinned, lying back on the grass.
    While he reflected and his breathing slowed, the sky lightened further and the sun rose high enough to peek above the trees on the meadow’s far side; it turned Big Rock golden and sent rays through a crack it hadn’t lit before. 
    The light fell across the youth who didn’t see it; his eyes were closed. But Rose did; her smile jumbled both pride and relief. She smoothed a little dust off a wooden box she took from her bag and caressed his hands while she watched him sleep. 
     

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Anthony: Almost as if these challenge words were picked from your story here, and not the other way around. Great job.

  11. Cathy Miller says:

    @Anthony-so effortless-love your storytelling

  12. Lynne says:

    Easing her aged, aching, arthritic bones down onto the padded seat cushion, Ella sighed. Closing her eyes, she tilted her head towards the diluted sunshine of the early Spring day and settled for a moment of quiet reflection while she waited. She wished the youngsters had more imagination. They visited her dutifully every week and every week was the same-afternoon tea with the family while they each plastered on a smile and talked around her in raised voices. Nothing wrong with my hearing but damn! I’m sick of hearing how pretty this rest home is and how lovely the staff is. If I hear one more word about spring flowers, I will scream! Ha! If I do that they will probably think I’ve gone bonkers and decide I need sedating. Just the thought of that made Ella shiver.

    “Hey, El!” a shout interrupted her musing, “Are you dead or just turning zombie?”

    Laughing, Ella turned towards the sound. “Just call me Zomb-El, Reg, I’m not dead yet!”

    That’s the thing isn’t it? Ella thought. Those youngsters tippy-toe around me as if I am about to fall off the perch. They talk about me, reminding me of the old days when I was young, fit, and full of life but don’t notice that the latter is still true. Well, darlings, I think you are in for a wake-up call.

    Ella’s mind drifted back, remembering the sound, the smell, the excitement of those long-ago days on Muriwai Beach. Bob was alive then. Oh! He was some man-tall, dark and handsome-and he was all hers. Ella could still feel the warmth of his smile. How she missed him! After all these years, even the decades since Bob passed on, the love was still strong. Wistfully, Ella recalled the routine of checking the car, and Bob, with his boyish grin, giving a tug to his cap before driving over to the start line on the sand. The crowds screamed and those beautiful old cars thundered down the beach. Always, every race, someone would come a-cropper. Never Bob though, thank goodness. Afterwards, all the winners, losers, friends and fans would gather together to consume home-made picnics and large quantities of beer while they discussed modifications and planned for the next race. Good times.

    “I forgot something, Reg. Don’t start without me!” Ella roused herself from her reverie and headed back to her room.

    Quickly stripping off her frilly, old-lady lavender blouse, Ella reached for her favourite t-shirt. “Not Dead Yet”, the t-shirt proclaimed. Snorting with amusement at her family’s probable reaction, she pulled the t-shirt on and raced back outside to join Reg and the others.

    “Wow! Ella, you look luv’ly!” Ben exclaimed, “I swear you are the most gorgeous creature I’ve ever seen.”

    Blushing like a fifty-year-old in the grips of a hot flush, Ella just smiled. Those men, ha! Some things never change.

    Reg cast his eyes around the group, eight now, all lined up across the rest home driveway, and queried, “Are we all here?”

    Glancing at her watch, Ella asked, “Would you mind if we wait a few moments? My daughter and her family will be arriving soon.”

    The lined, elderly faces of the gang lit up and the air was pregnant with excitement. They each nodded, smiling, and settled back to wait.

    “We haven’t been spotted have we?” Ben asked nervously.

    Reg assured them all that they were safe, and then asked, “El, will you take her for a burn while we wait? I can hardly wait to see what you’ve done to her.”

    A thrill raced down her bent spine at the thought, but Ella shook her head. “Easy boy! You’ll see soon enough,” she said. “Here they come now!”

    The eight elderly folk, who, common wisdom says should know better, moved slowly into place. As the gleaming late-model BMW progressed up the driveway towards the group, Reg raised his hand.

    “Everybody ready? On your marks, get ready…Go!”

    Engines revving, the gang of old reprobates shot off down the driveway. Ella laughed uproariously as she cranked up her souped-up, modified mobility scooter and roared past her astonished family, leaving the BMW in a cloud of dust.

    “I’m not dead yet you buggers!” she cried. She was still laughing five minutes later when the police car pulled her to a stop.

  13. Anthony Smits says:

    Hilarious, Lynne. 
    You evoke the West Auckland spirit wonderfully. I can hear tuis.  

  14. DR says:

    *Your favorite unnamed duo are back.*

    He knocked a bit of dust off before passing me the cherished novel. He said to consider it a gift, from him to me. The secretive thrill brewing inside of me was too much to hide, and I could not help holding back my smile. I thanked him as I began to let my fingers feel the well-worn cover and dusty pages.

    The sound of his low voice broke me from my nerd moment.

    Now don’t let this book consume all your time. I know you’ll want to sit down and read all day and all night to finish this page-turner. I realize the story will tug at your thoughts when it is not in your hands, but you must resist.

    It won’t be easy I thought to myself. This trip I’m embarking on will want me to sit on a beach, on a towel in the sand under an umbrella and read, read, read. And then to prevent the burn from the hot sun, I’ll retreat to the indoors and continue my page-turning marathon party of one.

    Be safe on your trip. There’s a lot of crazies out there.

    I nodded my head in agreement before a hug was given and a thank you whispered.

    An internship was upon me and I was ready for the challenge.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @DR: Welcome back. Missed ya! Well done on this. Reminds me of the sun burn I got on my first day of vacation last week. Forgot to put the lotion on.

  15. Jennifer says:

    A thick cloud of dust filled the shed when Elena threw down the heavy sack she was carrying.
    “You may think this a thrill for me, but this really isn’t easy for me,” Elena coughed with a sick smile as she opened the thick canvas bag.
    Sean choked on his gag and tugged on his bonds tring to free himself.
    “You will consume all of this bag of sand. You may feel a burning sensation as it goes down, but you will not make a sound. And most importantly you will not gag on my new shoes.”
    As Elena searched for a funnel, Sean finially managed to untie himself. He quietly wrapped the rope around the bag of sand, closing it. He took aim.
    “And what do you think of…”
    Elena never go the chance to finish her bragging as Sean pelted her with the bad of sand square in the jaw.  Her brain settled among the blood and dust on the shed floor. 
    As Sean lit the shed on fire he made a phone call.
    “How about a vacation in Mexico, Jeana?”
    “What about your wife?” Jeana asked hesitantly.
    “I don’t think she’s going to be a problem any more.”

  16. Rebecca says:

    Do you let your worries consume you every day?
    Do they tug at your heart strings and create heart burn?
    It’s easy to let go of worry… You have to decide to let go.
    Dust yourself off and go outside and feel the sun upon your face.
    If you live near a beach, stick your toes in the sand.
    Don’t make a sound; just breathe in the gloriousness of a new day.
    Smile. Life can be a thrill ride, a good one.

  17. Briony Coote says:

    I’ve been late with this one because I was caught up with other things. But here it is now.

    Mariya was sitting out on her favourite rock in the sea. It was the perfect place to watch the goings-on out on the distant beach in peace and quiet. Mariya settled down to stroke her comb through her beautiful shining hair, and smiled as she watched the antics from afar.

    Some of them never did very much. They just lie there all day, taking it easy in the sun while they read books or fell asleep. But others were more active despite the burning heat of the summer. There were some children playing volleyball using the net on the beach and shouting happily. Oh, and there were some more children, playing tug-of-war with a long piece of rope that their dad had used to tie a dinghy to his car roof. Unfortunately Dad miscalculated the tide – it’s gone out and he has to wait for it to come in before he can get his dinghy out on the water and take his children out on the sea for the thrill they were so looking forward to. But they’re determined not to mope while they wait and they’re having lots of fun with Dad’s rope.

    Her smile evaporated as she watched some bully kick sand into a child’s face. She could hear the sound of the boy’s wails as he rubbed the sand out of his eyes and bully just stood over him and laughed. But then her smile returned as she watched some other children creep from behind, take a huge bucketful of sand and give him a huge dusting with it. Ha, ha! Now it’s the bully who’s rubbing sand out of his eyes while they’re all laughing. Now that he knows what it feels like, perhaps he will not do it anymore….

    All of a sudden, Mariya feels a growl in her stomach. It’s so sad to tear herself away, she was enjoying that bully getting punished. But she cannot keep watching on an empty stomach. So her glistening mermaid’s tail slides her into the water and into the depths of the sea. Once she has found something fit for a mermaid’s consumption she will be back on the rock to watch more capers from these humans on the beach.

  18. I can hear the joyful sounds of children playing summer games and a dog barking in the distance. I remember the thrill of adventures that filled up summer vacations as a child. It seemed as if those good days would never end. Sandcastles, ball games, tug-of-war, and bicycle rides consumed every waking moment. Briefly, I smile at the dusty memories. Life seemed so easy then.

    I try to focus my attention on those thoughts instead of the task at hand. Blood stains my arms up to the elbows, the sleeves of my shirt dyed in deep red hues and bits of gore. My hands feel numb from the constant vibrations of the saw. I know that I must burn the evidence. No one can ever know this story.

  19. […] Creative Copy Challenge 277 […]


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