Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #280

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. Sign
  2. Plume
  3. Call
  4. Dawn
  5. Long
  6. Way
  7. Turn
  8. Doubt
  9. Keep
  10. Stay

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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54 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #280”

  1. The orange fireball sank silently, leaving no sign that dawn would never again come to the Valley of Bleached Bones. The hardy residents concluded their daily prayers, gathered up the accoutrements of their servitude and began the two-hour trek to the tents.

    Bilal smirked. He couldn’t wait to see how quickly these zealots would begin to doubt the power of Alpha Cenaturi B. Of course, these primitive creatures didn’t live long enough for the cycle of the binary stars to complete. New Terra was about to enter the Twilight Zone – a half-year of black nights and blue days, with no sunrises. The planet’s proximity to Alpha Centauri B during this time ensured that life-giving star rays reached the surface. However, the celestial dance was, essentially, an extended total eclipse.

    A little girl creature scampered over to Bilal and offered to stay by his side in order to keep him from falling into a ditch. She placed her warm furry hand into his gnarled mitt and grimaced – a facial expression that passed for puppy love amongst the young ones.

    That simple gesture wiped the smirk from his face. A pang struck his breast. The girl would be an orphan before the sun rose again. By the time she mated, her own offspring would be watching their final sunset of the year. Bilal nearly choked out a sob. What happened next made him scream.

    “Bee-lau. You sad for me? You think I not understand twin stars? We born knowing. Alpha Mom and Alpha Pop shine their knowledge as we come out of maternal plume. They show us the way, the truth and the light. We do not turn aside at the hour of darkness. We come when we get the call. Just as you came to us.”

  2. Calli says:

    All these years I waited, waited for a sign. A sign that gave me the green light to be who I wished to be, and there it was. Flying above my head flew a big, but graceful hawk. Its eyes focused on something just beyond my field of vision. As his plumes gracefully move, imitating the movement of the wind, he calls to his mate, the one he loves, the one that from dawn ‘til dusk stays with him forever. The one that will never doubt the decisions he makes but rather follow him and pick him back up when he falls, the one that keeps his temper at a minimum when he can’t support his family. The one that won’t turn away and rather stay when he goes ballistic and loses his cool, the one that will travel a long way from home to stay with him in his time of need. The one that will cherish him ‘til the end of time.  And with this sign I say, “I do.”

  3. Jennifer says:

    MacDonald crested the hill at dawn that bitter winter’s morn to find a plume of smoke beginning to rise from what was no doubt his home village. A sign to turn around, stay away, but the journey home had been long and the call for home and family made even more powerful by the smell of burning homes.
    As MacDonald ignored all the signs to keep away and raced his way down the hill to find his family in the panic, a soldier’s sword plunged deep into his abdomen. He prayed for his family that he was so close to reuniting with, as his warm blood spilled onto the snow.

  4. K says:

    Plumes of smoke billowed from the doorway, deterring Hana from what could’ve been the exit. Turning another corner, she coughed into the sleeve of her hoodie and kept her hand above her stomach, staunching the blood from secreting out of the mouth of the macabre laceration. She strayed from combustible obstructions laid before her in this labyrinth of a house and stayed between the borderline of life and death. Tenebrous blotches dotted her vision in sporadic intervals, and before long, her fatigue caught up to her. Hana collapsed underneath the sheer magnitude of her exhaustion. Sweat drenched her body from the intense heat that only augmented the pain in her stomach. Wincing, she gripped the ripped, coarse fabric tighter in her hand as she staggered back to her feet. She managed to step forward then waved her free hand in front of her to ward off as much smog as she could. Lying not too far off, a flight of stairs had not yet been devoured by the voracious flames licking its victims in the building at the time. Doubt stained her thought process as the smog veiled the room. Corridors and doorways swirled, yielding to her disorientation. No one way directed her to liberation, but the toxic air fed her lungs, weakening her thrumming heartbeat. Her labored breaths escaped her lips, and she knew it as a sign that in this debilitated condition, she could no longer endure traversing in the demons’ keep. Bent on her resolve, she headed toward the stair’s open arms. She cast a furtive glance above her, though dense walls of smoke covered every inch of the house. 
     
    Premonition rang true as a hunk of wood engulfed in flames descended from the ceiling. Hana scrambled to the right to evade the projectile. Unfortunately, the move sandwiched her between a dry bookcase in the corner and the enormous piece of wood. Hana struggled but tucked her feet underneath her before the fire singed her legs. Flames danced in front of her nose and jumped as if taunting her with its bright coloration. Hana patted the ground beside her, debating if she should get to her feet. Her gaze flitted to her left and upward. Fire crawled in a languorous pace along the wall and incinerated the first shelf. Coughing severely into her sleeve once more, her lack of strength inundated her and constrained her to this position. Something clattered on the floor next to her. Switching her hands, her tremulous hand grasped the object and cradled it in her lap. She swiped her finger across the screen and unlocked her phone, streaking its front with lurid red. Instead of typing 911 like a rational person whose life could end in a second, she found herself dialing another number. Upon realizing that, she erased the number and shook her head. The icon in the corner of the screen indicated two percent battery power remaining. Hana resigned and swiped her fingers on the familiar numbers. Regret chided her like a mother after she clicked call. She felt lightheaded when the few rings reverberated in her ear. 
     
    “Hello?” a male voice greeted, oblivious to the situation at hand.
     
    “Help,” she croaked then released a cough. 
     
    “Hana?! Did you-”
     
    “Please, I’m right here. There’s not much time.”
     
    “Ok, just stay right there! Don’t move.” Hana chuckled.
     
    “Don’t worry. I won’t be going anywhere. Don’t come by yourself. Get help.”
     
    “I’ll be right there.”
     
    “No, you can’t,” she protested. “You’ll-” Before she could elaborate, the other line had been disconnected. She faced her phone which held the time for a minute before flashing with a nearly empty battery. It had read 6:23, considerably past sunrise. So, we made it past the dawn. Looks like you all will make it after all, thought Hana. She stared down at the gash mutilating her torso. Because of misconceptions and envy, those girls tore through her stomach with a dagger, thinking the snake called pleasure blessed her with life belonging to their supposed husband, Hana’s good friend. They set the building on fire, leaving her as good as dead. Yet through the murky apprehensions, she survived past sunrise, though not for long. Her eyelids waged a lost war with unconsciousness and drooped. Slipping into obscurity, the warmth of dawn entered her mind. The horizon shimmering with hues of yellows, oranges, and blues remained etched in her mind as tears poured from her eyes. In the blinding light, a hand brushed them away.

  5. Liss Thomas says:

    Sorry, I’m going creepy again.

    What scares you…shadows

    Dawn seems a long way off as the shadows of my room turn into faces and figures not meant to be seen.  Their outlines stay at the corner of my eye.  A quick turn reveals nothing which heightens my awareness.  No doubt it is my imagination that keeps me awake.  I call to mind the movie I should not have watched at night.  My logical side says fear of the unseen phantoms is a sign of madness but it rises like a plume and forbids sleep.  I shut my eyes anyway but noises filter through my ears from unknown sources and creep me out more.  Lights on.  

  6. […] Creative Copy Challenge #280 Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Story A Day September.Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]

  7. C. C. Wr. M. Stone-Etcher says:

    At the first sign of dawn, the flowers stretch their long necks (in a manner seemingly premeditated and yet still so awesome). They turn their plume-like petal–heads east and stay affixed as Sun gradually makes way to pay his daily visit.
     
    “Where is Moon – she so beautiful – that you all keep telling me about?” asks Sun.
    “It is doubt (of herself) that always has her running from your call,” they say.
     
    Slowly too, does Sun then proceed to leave the assembly-room using the exit gate (found in the west).

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @CC: Welcome to the CCC, CC! ;)  Loved the style you used here. What did you think of the challenge?
       
      Everyone welcome CC to the fun!

      • C. C. Wr. M. Stone-Etcher says:

        Thank you for the warm reception. Thank you for the appreciation.

        Lol. And. As fot the “CCC, CC.” …

        I really enjoyed this challenge, Shane. I am always apprehensive when it comes to sharing my writing in a space as public as this. However, this challenge allowed m.e to let go and share. With that said, I hope that I shall be engaging more with you all and the challenges that you put up :).

    • Welcome to the CCC, C. C. Wr. M. Stone-Etcher. Having seen this entry, your name takes on a new significance. I love the idea of Sun and Moon walking among us.
       
      I’m glad you’ve thrown your talented hat into the ring.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       
       

      • C. C. Wr. M. Stone-Etcher says:

        As with Shane, a double ‘thank you’ to you too, Mitchell. I am glad that my efforts have been met with appreciation.

  8. Her beauty emanated, a heavenly glow around her being and everyone she touched. The way in which she tossed her head, the wave of soft black curls following, rolling over her shoulders like an ocean froth. She turned heads wherever she went, leaving slack-jawed men in her wake. Her laughter was a siren’s call, melodic and contagious. Even if she were dressed in rags, it appeared that she were wrapped in the brilliant plumes of a peacock. This was a woman who loved life, who never doubted herself, or what she could do. She was on top of the world and had every intention of staying there. 

    Several small children played on the kitchen’s worn vinyl floor, one toddler hanging at the hem of her skirt. She looked tired, worn out and done in. A smudge of flour decorated her cheekbone, just under the blossoming purple bruise. Her once long black hair was now cut short, her bangs hanging slightly over her dark eyes. Tears threatened to fall but she was determined never to let her children see her cry. Turning her head, she caught her youngest daughter’s eye and forced a smile. The toddler smiled back in a toothless grin. As long as she saw the beauty in her children, she would keep on keeping on. She turned back to the baking that needed to be done to feed this family of eight. It needed to be finished before he came home from work; tired, angry and likely drunk, looking for a fight. She was hanging on to a life she never planned.

    My knuckles are swollen, bulbous and ripe with arthritis. I finger the edge of the tattered photos. They are chapters of one story, all one life but still a series of different lifetimes. These images and memories show the story from dawn to my current dusk. Looking through pictures with eyesight that is failing and every movement a different pain, I faintly hear my budgie chattering at the cat. All of my senses seem to be preparing for the end, but my mind still is rich with memories and life. Today my hair is white and thinning in areas, no longer can I toss it over my shoulder, my neck barely moves for the pain. My children are grown and scattered about the country, seldom calling to offer news of their lives. My husband is now dead, he was bitter right to the end. Each morning as my eyes open to this world, I wonder if I will be shown a sign of the next life to come. But today I am alive, truly alive. I bask in the warmth of the sunlight streaming in the window every morning. I glory in the hues of the sunset each night. I soak in the comfort and warmth of my cat purring in my lap as the radio’s country music serenades our afternoons. Every treasured moment, every breath inhaled, is a testimony to God’s grace of giving me life.

  9. Been a really crappy week, here is my entry

    Pressing Onward
    The plume of smoke
    call to stay away ignored
    doubt a sign of the times
    as you keep pressing on
    a long way travelled
    why turn back now
    only company left
    is the breaking dawn 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin: If crappy weeks were a poker hand, I’d call you and raise you $20.
      Press onward soldier!

    • Justin, I’ve never imagined being that alone…you managed to inject that hopelessness in those lines.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       
      P.S. I hope the weekend counteracts the week for you!

      • Thanks, with tomorrow being my birthday I am hoping things get better as well.  All my stress comes from getting into a contract with a company that has horrible business practices and I got suckered.

        Meanwhile, the poem actually was not inspired by my own events, though certainly I felt like that when dealing with the company.  I tried to picture someone in the aftermath of an apocalypse desolate, isolated and not having any choice but to press onward searching.

  10. Rebecca says:

    And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”
    from The Five Man Electrical Band, 1971
     
    It’s a dawn of a new era, where people are trying to find their way home from doubt.
    If you hear the call, answer it and stay the course. It won’t be long before you find your purpose.
    Turn from the naysayers who’ll try to keep you stuck on the hamster wheel of life.
    Put a feather in your plume and walk with confidence and greet the new you.

  11. Anthony Smits says:

    The call had come. Chilled by wind from snows a long way off, he reached the turn in the road at dawn. Every doubt bubbling, he waited under the station sign. Truth be told, with wounds healed, he hadn’t wanted to stay any longer while others fought and died.  Now he could go back.
    Here it was: a plume of white puffs; it dissipated as the whistle which made it echoed in the valley. He looked down the road behind, to the house which had been home. Normal life could keep until later. He tramped down to the tracks to wait for the train, his overcoat belt-end dragging unnoticed across the cobblestones, fraying.

  12. Shane Arthur says:

    Did this real quick with not a ton of motivation – it happens!
     

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    It was a sign.
    A plume.
    A call to action.
    A new dawn had arrived.
    A long way; too far to turn back.
    Doubt rushes in.
    Plays for keeps.
    Stays put.

  13. Briony Coote says:

    Tarana stepped back from the seer’s fire and watch the plume of smoke curl upwards into the air. She screwed her eyes and let her third eye take command. The third eye did not see the smoke; what it saw were the signs that appeared in every puff, billow, wisp, crackle and spark. Today these would be the signs that would foretell the fate of the upcoming battle with King Carnuggan and the usurper Miedras… 

    Her third eye gazed upon the hills where the battle lines had drawn. She could see the military camps on both sides and gazed down upon the feverish preparations that both sides were making. There was the clash of slashing swords, the thunder of hooves, and the pounding and hammering as war machines were being constructed echoed down the hills as both sides trained and prepared for the following day. There would be no sleep on either side – it would be a long, gruelling night of preparation, prayer, and anxiety and doubt wrestling with hope and courage….

    The prophetess’ third eye now turned to the crack of dawn on the following day. King Carnuggan now raised his trumpet to his lips and sounded the solemn, righteous call to battle. A fearsome roar went up as King Carnuggan’s army now thundered their way down the hill towards the oncoming armies of the usurper….

    Now the billowing smoke was just smoke again as Tarana’s third eye closed. She had seen all that the Gods would allow her to see. She alone would know who would keep the crown and stay on the throne until the Battle of Berragh had been fought in three days’ time.

  14. Briony Coote says:

    Tarana stepped back from the seer’s fire and watch the plume of smoke curl upwards into the air. She screwed her eyes and let her third eye take command. The third eye did not see the smoke; what it saw were the signs that appeared in every puff, billow, wisp, crackle and spark. Today these would be the signs that would foretell the fate of the upcoming battle with King Carnuggan and the usurper Miedras… 

    Her third eye gazed upon the hills where the battle lines had drawn. She could see the military camps on both sides and gazed down upon the feverish preparations that both sides were making. There was the clash of slashing swords, the thunder of hooves, and the pounding and hammering as war machines were being constructed echoed down the hills as both sides trained and prepared for the following day. There would be no sleep on either side – it would be a long, gruelling night of preparation, prayer, and anxiety and doubt wrestling with hope and courage….

    The prophetess’ third eye now turned to the dawn of the following day. King Carnuggan now raised his trumpet to his lips and sounded the solemn, righteous call to battle. A fearsome roar went up as King Carnuggan’s army now thundered their way down the hill towards the oncoming armies of the usurper….

    Now the billowing smoke was just smoke again as Tarana’s third eye closed. She had seen all that the Gods would allow her to see. She alone would know who would keep the crown and stay on the throne until the Battle of Berragh had been fought in three days’ time.

  15. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane… You’re welcome! I never knew who sang the song, originally. I know Tesla remade the song back in the ’80s.


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