Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #279

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. Empty
  2. Motion
  3. Carve
  4. Energy
  5. Wish
  6. Pass
  7. Taste
  8. Memory
  9. Ideal
  10. Depth

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.)


44 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #279”

  1. My entry for today is certainly not an original idea, but was fun to write.

    Returning Her
    A wish put into action
    you can taste her memory
    her empty vessel of a body
    ideal and at proper depth
    motion of the ceiling opening
    storm’s energy electrifying
    watching lightning carve paths
    should this test finally pass
    she would return to you 

  2. The nanobot had reached the ideal depth in the sleeping human’s brain. Dr. Jeffrey Freelander paused, as the virtual image of the thalamus enveloped him with the anticipation of crossing a threshold. He was nearly overwhelmed by the taste of discovery, the vista of uncharted territory, the tactile motion feedback from the nanobot’s tentacles. He took a deep breath and – ever so patiently – began to carve his way into the history books.

    As Freelander maneuvered the titanium probe through vast, empty gap junctions, the Quantum Grid server recorded electrical impulses sent by the subject’s neurons. A pre-programmed band-pass filter smoothed the current and protected the delicate probe from spikes and sags. While the energy permitted by the filter was only ten per cent of all of the activity occurring in the synaptic clefts, it was more than sufficient for the task of mapping memory. Most of the body’s stimuli sent information through this area. Freelander shivered upon realizing that he was performing a real-time brain dump.

    Eight hours into the exploration, the subject woke up. She yawned, rubbed her eyes and smiled as they focused on the intent face looming over her. She lifted her lips to the pursed mouth and kissed it lightly before joking, “I wish I knew what was going on in that head of yours.”

  3. Liss Thomas says:

    What Scares You?

    Victim, age 7
    When I was a kid I was afraid of our fireplace.  We had a sunken formal living room and the space was really dark at night.  And it didn’t help that I watched an old movie called ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ where creepy little creatures hid away in the fireplace.  *shudders*
    Mother needs a serving dish from the buffet in our formal living room.  I don’t mind going there now with a stream of sun light washing the room.  I rush down and drop Tuffy, my stuffed pup on top while I rummage through the cabinet depths for the dish.  Finding it, I rush out and give it to her and await the taste of homemade lasagna. 
    Dinner passes as the sun vanishes.  Mother lets us watch ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in her room but as the credits roll she sends me and my sister to bed.  Kisses are had all around and I don’t complain about bedtime but as I settle down for sleep a memory flashes, Tuffy.  My mouth empties of spit.  Wishing I had remembered earlier, I consider going to sleep without my beloved Tuffy by my side.  Guilt carves an image of my tortured puppy in my mind and I have to rescue her.  A flashlight would be ideal but my glow in the dark bouncy ball will have to do.  I gathers as much light as it can before I am ready to conduct a rescue.  Shadows seem larger and shift quietly behind me.  I dare not look back, darn you flying monkeys.  I peer through the open door and spot Tuffy across from the fireplace.  Energy from my glow ball evaporates and becomes useless.  Run!  I tell myself and bolt.  I reach Tuffy before any creatures immerge from their watching holes.  I can’t stop, though, I feel their presence behind me.  They follow a silent whisper behind, clawing at ankles, invisible motion of elongated shadows twisting my mind.  Two steps more, my room’s bright light cheers me on and I spring for my bed.  Creatures, shadows and an over active imagination dissolve in the brightness.

  4. Sandra Jones says:

    I sit here trying to carve the ideal, imaginative and insightful story full of creativity and depth. But alas, my mental  energy is bordering on empty. Just the motion of looking at the keyboard is giving me a sour taste in my mouth. I have written a variety of stories some of which are committed to memory that are fun and humorous that I wish I could pass on to you now. However, it seems you will just have to imagine it.


    Very well Done Mitchell. 

  5. Jennifer says:

    Sam moved through the motions of the meal.

    “Pass the yams.”
    “No thank you.”
    “Empty the plate before dessert.”
    Yes, ma’am.”

    Food was just a means of energy for Sam and Thanksgiving dinner the ideal hell for someone who could not taste. Especially for someone with no memory of taste at all.

    Every year Sam volunteered to carve the turkey so that he could make a wish on the wishbone. Every year he made the same wish, just one taste. Every year he was disappointed.

    Sam stared at the depths of the dessert table disheartened.  He could not bring himself to try even one more bite of disappointment.

  6. Anthony Smits says:

    The dark green depth didn’t ever offer friendship. But mostly Micah felt it content as he rowed or sailed on it, accepting scaly bounty into his net at every pass.  Not this water: cold, in angry motion as gusts continued to pummel it; it spat. Empty of care, it doused him and slapped his face. The vile salt taste frightened him. He kicked and sucked air before the next wave swirled through his hair.
    The others? He searched for heads. A piece of the mast – maybe the whole thing, he couldn’t tell – surfed close and he grabbed it. Not ideal, yet something to help carve a few more moments in this life. His heavy boots weren’t coming off. He choked on another seawater mouthful. 
    In childhood play he’d swallowed it. Rising from a dive, disorientated, he’d come up under the platform and hit his head; ten strokes from the beach, he’d survived that fright. 
    Panicked by the memory, fighting it, he coughed, spitting seawater. Desperate to live, he needed to find more energy to survive this. Damn the feii, and his decision to flee. He should have challenged -wait, where was his crys? He released a hand from the splintered mast and felt at his waist. The pouches were both comfortably full. More icy wet splashed his face. Micah wanted to scream at the broody black sky. Stop molesting us! Then all at once every wave calmed as the brief out-of-nowhere storm gathered up its wind and swept away. Emboldened, Micah made a immediate wish for a new boat, too.

  7. K says:

    Peering out from the second story window, he spots a woman around his age stop at the intersection and smile widely as she fiddles with her phone. He frowns, averts his eyes, and seats himself in a chair. He runs his hand through his hair and sighs. Anger manifests in his thoughts. If memory serves him, he bumped into her man not too long ago. At that point, he didn’t want to believe the truth, but it turns out he knew the answer all along. Why is it that she never notices the ring she gave to that inconsiderate guy disappears at times? Along with her in the picture, ten others also exist by his side; that type of guy objectifies what he possessed, never gives any regard.
    Those words, though he wants to say them, serve as empty promises. At an given moment he mentions that guy in her presence, her temper flares, and she snaps, though there seems to be no logical reason behind her behavior. She says her man isn’t as bad as he demonizes him to be. Looking into her eyes, he relents and apologizes every time, saving his energy. He lies for her sake.
    Feeling the chagrin and indignation churning in his stomach, he bangs his fist on the table. He kicks the cup settled underneath it, and it flies toward the wall. Shards of glass burst from the wall from the collision and scatter on the floor. Set in motion, a ring rolls on the ground in circular movements until it ceases and clatters. He rises to his feet, approaches the mess, and kneels. As he listlessly picks up the shards, his mind wanders on the same subject.
    He couldn’t shake off the fact that a look of bliss and satisfaction crosses her face when she talks about that guy. Granted, he wishes for good luck and fortune upon her, but he foresees a life of misery ahead of her given the intimations. She reiterates she loves the guy, wants to stay with him forever, and trusts him wholeheartedly. Expressed with an unfathomable depth, he opens his mouth to say something, yet he can’t think of anything. All of her friends know that particular man especially his mannerisms and personality. Flames start to engulf her house built for two, but why is she impervious to something painfully obvious? Though the smoke impairs her vision, something more substantial blinds her. They say the ideal love makes one unperceptive. She seems to be as blind. He begs her to break it off.
    A glass remnant slices through his skin and forms a cut on his palm. He winces as the pain throbs in his hand and places the remainder of the pieces on top of the table. Debating on the ring, he decides to slip it on his right ring finger. Knowing this room contains no bandages, he laps up the blood slithering down his hand. The acrid taste of iron pervades his mouth and wreaks havoc in his throat. Before he leaves the room to head downstairs for bandages, he spots his phone lying on the large bed light up with a message. He unlocks the device and scans the text. Jennie, the woman he saw from his window a while ago, asks if he remains at his house and for him to forgive him as she had plans for her guy to attend before. To his consternation, he didn’t reply unlike usual and powered off his phone. Then, he throws the device against the bed’s headboard. Its outer covering pops out from the phone and both fall to the bed. He takes several books laid out on the bed and tosses them at the ground. Photos and sketches escape their bindings and descend to the floor in disarray. He kicks the dresser over and aims his fist toward the wall. 
    He hates that she didn’t understand him or his subtle warnings. He depises the wait for her to realize that she should let go of his hand. Whenever she approaches him with tear filled eyes and guises them with bright expressions for his sake, he feels like dying. Rather than venturing through the pain alone, he offers her share some with him, though of course she fervently denies assistance. Yeah, expensive cars, beautiful clothes, and high class restaurants all suit her well, but that guy beside her didn’t. While that man brushes her hair and spends time with her, he smiles like a hypocrite. How dare that guy have another woman in mind when a queen in front of him swore companionship for life. Why is she the only one who didn’t know? But more importantly, why couldn’t he express that properly?
    Heaving deep breaths to control his blithe fury, he assesses the damage. He bites his lip, remorse welling up. He bends down and scoops the books into arms. Setting them on the bed, a knock halts further operations. He passes through the onslaught and strides toward the entrance. Once he swings the door open, he immediately regrets his choice instead of choosing another alternative. Jennie materializes and greets him with a hug. He recoils but nonetheless returns it.
    “Happy birthday!” she says. A grin sweeps on her face, and she retracts her arms. His gaze wanders down to her hand. A ring encircles one finger with the letters JJ carved into the inner part of the band. Recollections of Jennie donning a veil at arguably her most cherished event in life surface. She still retains her bright nature and steadfast determination even now. “Here,” she holds out a gift bag, “I got something for you.” He gains possession of it but says not one word of gratitude nor opens it.
    “I’m sorry,” he mumbles. He stretches out his hand toward her.
    “You don’t have to be. You’re bleeding! Wait, let me get some bandages.” she rushes past him and rummages through drawers. His eyes soften while watching her. 
    That guy who she swore to only look at for eternity didn’t love her. I wish he showed he did, he thinks. Guilt brews a storm in his heart, and he relives the living hell he concocted. Why couldn’t he rise above temptation and become a better man? How much longer did she expect to cry herself silly because of him? 

  8. The taste of jellybeans, nauseatingly sweet on my tongue, draws me back thirty years, swirling through the murky depths of my memory.

    It is 1982. He is the ideal boy, or so my 13 year-old mind thinks, as I pass the folded up note to Tracy while Mr. MacGougan is turned to the blackboard. The squiggles that the teacher is drawing are just empty markings of another language to me. Who has the energy for math when you are in love?

    “Pass it to Evan,” I whisper making a whooshing motion with my hand in his direction.  Tracy smirks, handing the note over, intentionally knocking all her books onto the floor at the same time.

    Mr. MacGougan turns just as Evan is unfolding the note. The red jellybeans enclosed inside fall to the floor, their noise seemingly stopping time.

    “Mr. Evan White, would you like to come to the front and share with us what must be your notes on this mathematical equation?” the teacher inquired.

    Scarlet flushes up the back of my neck and engulfs my entire being. I wish I could carve a hole under my desk and crawl inside. Whatever possessed me to think he, one of the popular boys, could like me, an absolute nobody? And now I have embarrassed him in front of everyone. God, please strike me dead now.

    “Ma’am? Are you ok?” the teenage boy at the candy counter asks, touching my arm softly. Blinking my way back into reality, I step away from the gourmet jellybean samples and my eye catches the boy’s nametag – ‘Evan Jr’.

    “Evan. That’s a lovely name,” I stammer, “I have a cat named Evan.”

    I fail to tell him I have twelve cats in my second floor apartment, all named Evan. Twelve Evans who love me unconditionally.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Lisa: OH … MY … GOODNESS! That was awesome! That ending was SO you! By that I mean “the awesomesauce”. You know, you should choose the words for one of our challenges. Email them to me.

      P.S. The last two lines of yours are a textbook example of showing and not telling. Just two lines tells us a chapter’s worth of information about this character. So damn good!

    • What a tasty treat, Lisa. Great story!
      @Shane: I study your liner notes…

  9. Mick says:

    “Can you taste it?” she whispered in his ear sitting next to him drained of all energy from an early morning start.
    “Taste what?” he answered.
    “The dew in the air.” She smiled at him even giggling a little.
                    The morning mist expelled into the air creating a haziness between them that would not last they knew. Her feet dipped slightly into the coldness that lay under them of the Allegheny River. Their small island being the only barrier between them and the boisterous city. The morning came rising as if it to conquer Pittsburgh with its sun rays once again shedding light upon what is a new day. The warm colors so inviting yet the eeriness in the air so empty of words, or even ideals for words. They continued their conversation side by side under the misty blanket, and bedded peninsula to gaze at the beauty that was the light hitting the water with a mysterious smoke rising from the river into the mango colored sky.
                    “Personally I didn’t think dew had a scent.” He assumed looking at her hands bundled in her yellow, thin hoodie with the beloved game character from 1980; pacman.
    “Then how do you know it’s there?” she stared off into the distance asking her question as if the answers were in the wetness of her toes from the frosty river water.
    “Because I can see it, I guess.” He shrugged.
    “No, but have you ever really stopped to inhale that amazing smell of the morning dew.”
    “No, I haven’t actually.” He smiled back at her with a slight raise in his left eyebrow ‘how strange she was’, he thought to himself often however, endearingly.   
    Time passed as they sat there staring off into the distance that was the river. The moment instead of being an in depth conversation passed just like the time; strolling endlessly. Unexpectedly with one quick motion he grabbed her by both her shoulders and pulled her close whispered, “you’re so different”, into her ears then pressing his lips to hers, the chilling morning suddenly disappearing from her body. He released his grip only to see her putting her hands over her mouth smiling.  
    She sat at a smooth wooden table across from a woman sobbing ceaselessly, still covering her lips from the memory carved into her mind that once was her and him. Looking down at her tears that dripped from her face onto her small, firm hands she could only wish he knew he meant more while peering across the room at his casket.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mick: That was an outstanding first submission. Welcome to the CCC. The folks are gonna’ like you for sure. Look forward to seeing you each Monday and Thursday. Everyone welcome Mick to the best hangout in town.

    • Welcome to the CCC, Mick. That was an awesome account. The imagery starkly contrasted with the ending.
      See you tomorrow?

  10. Stephanie Lynn Nagel says:

    For Alyx- In memory of Cameron. 

    The Wishing Well

    I’ll throw a stone down the wishing well-
    All of our secrets it knows but will never tell.
    A magical carved out place for you and me,
    And a sea that is already swimming with tomorrow’s memory.
    But hold on to tonight and don’t let go,
    We can create the ideal us, I know it can be so. 
    We’ll just lie here forever in the depths of the Earth,
    And pass the time pretending we’ve never hurt. 
    I can still sense the taste of your lips on my tongue;
    Feel the motion of the air as my breath escapes my lungs.
    Science says that energy can’t be created, or so I’ve been told,
    But tomorrow came and with it a whole new world.
    Something is missing from inside me that was there before-
    Where what once was full is now just an empty hole.
    But I’ll keep throwing rocks so that maybe one day you can
    Come back to me through our magical wishing well again.

  11. Briony Coote says:

    What’s wrong with me? I used to love spending every spare minute I had on carving. Carving was my life, but I just don’t have the energy or the heart for it now. I’ve been like this ever since I had that blasted flu. It was a really bad bout that kept me laid up for weeks. I finally got out of bed but I just feel so down, so empty and listless. I don’t have the heart for anything, just going through the motions on everything – eating, sleeping, working – you name it.
    Gina says it’ll pass and I’ll recover, but that’s easy for her to say. It’s just breaking my heart, having no taste for carving, and my tools are gathering dust. I keep staring at my beautiful creations, hoping to get my old spark back, but I can’t get anything but memories that feel like they belong to another life. I wish I could turn back the clock but no chance of that. I slump over the table. I can’t do anything but stare down the depths of my beer and moan, “What do I do?”

    “We’re going to Fiji!” said a voice. I turn around and see a very proud Gina waving airline tickets. “What you, Frank, need is a holiday. So I’ve booked us two tickets for Fiji and we leave on Friday!”

    Holiday? Fiji? Now that does sound ideal. For the first time in days I feel some crumbs of life stirring in me.

  12. Shane Arthur says:

    My shell is empty.
    I lie motionless.
    Carved out.
    Void of energy.
    Wishing it would pass.
    Tasting when it used to.
    Just memories though.
    Idealistic chatter.
    From the depths.

  13. maria holt says:

          I woke to a churning sky. Moisture hung in the air, heavy enough to lean on. As I stood in the empty study, the first flakes began to fall in a graceful parabola, so few in the beginning minutes of the storm that I childishly pinned a wish to each one.    
         “I wish I’d gone with you, Victoria,” I attached to a lazy flake that fluttered by the  window. The memory of our parting, the depth of her pleading and the taste of our last kiss haunted me. I couldn’t, wouldn’t accompany her on holiday. Too busy, I’d said. Victoria thought she’d married a lawyer; while it’s true that I’d studied law as a young man, I didn’t keep lawyer’s hours, and she wisely kept any questions to herself.    
         On it went. I wished for more time with her, that we’d married earlier, that I really had been the man she’d thought and believed that I was. As the storm gained intensity, the wishes passed from benign hopes, from placid invocations, into the sinister ravings of a madman.    
         “Why did you not listen to me?” I screeched, as I flung my teacup into the fireplace. James, the butler, appeared at the door, his expectant face peering in. I glared at him and he scurried away, silent as the flakes that swirled white out the window.     
        It wasn’t anger, but the agony of reproach that tore at me. If I’d gone with her, she wouldn’t have been walking alone at night. If I’d convinced her to stay with me in lieu of another date, she’d still walk by my side. Alone, she was a target, and I knew this. Still, I let her go.     
         The scene played over and over in my head. If she’d listened, it all could have been avoided. With the energy that comes from savage admonishment, I recalled every detail of our last conversation. What she wore. How she smelled. God, her expression of forlorn disappointment. She’d picked up her bag and walked to the taxi. She didn’t look back. It’s all I can do.    
         James brought in my breakfast tray and left without a word. I glanced at the food, but couldn’t carve any enthusiasm for eating. The scones lay forgotten as I became lost in the motion of the flakes, shining obliquely through the pines. Beyond the garden was the mausoleum, its peak just visible through the dense vegetation on the estate. Inside lay the ideal woman, to whom I’d paid less attention to in life than in death. 

  14. Rebecca says:

    Wishing upon a star is fine as long you don’t make an empty wish; one that doesn’t reach the depth of your soul.
    Set in motion a new plan to rise above mediocrity – taste the sweetness of life.
    Pass the time daydreaming about your hopes and dreams and carve out a new memory of your ideal lifestyle.
    Be careful with your time for spending it doing mindless work or spending it with energy vampires will suck you dry and leave you brittle and broken.

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