Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #288

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.) NOTE: Our bolding plugin is gone, so you’ll have to put <b> and </b> around each of your words if you want them to stand out, but NOT REQUIRED THOUGH.

  1. Shake
  2. Approve
  3. Continue
  4. Attach
  5. Hold
  6. Through
  7. Lie
  8. Lasting
  9. Naive
  10. Reward

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.)


48 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #288”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    A Hole in the Sun
    Sarah Bookbinder was in bad shape. She had contracted a case of MMH – Mind over Matter Hypochondriasis, possibly as a side-effect of lesions on her brain that developed after her intense session in Professor Psycho’s experiment.

    She was a serious problem for the seventeen medical professionals that comprised the entire health care industry on Gaia Prime. If they couldn’t shake her free from this obsession, the Bookbinder Guild was unlikely to approve the undertaking of the new edition of the Physicians Desk Reference. This threat was actually the impetus for a radical treatment. Doctor Graft had made a sarcastic remark about letting the girl rot, and conjuring up new texts. Doctor Probe laughed for a moment before a momentous idea struck her:

    “I was just about to chastise you for that callous remark when I realized that your idea can be used to prove to Ms. Bookbinder that she is perfectly healthy, apart from those benign lesions. Check this out.…” She conjured up a fat blue book. She asked Doctor Graft to look up something.

    Doctor Graft immediately turned to the index. “Why, it’s blank!” He flipped through the pages until he noticed some text. “Wait, what’s this? ‘ methohexital sodium: Should be used only in hospital or ambulatory care settings that provide for continuous monitoring of respiratory and cardiac function. Immediate availability of resuscitative drugs and age- and size-appropriate equipment for bag/valve/mask ventilation and intubation and personnel trained in their use and skilled in airway management should be assured. For deeply sedated patients, a designated individual other than practitioner performing procedure should be present to continuously monitor the patient.‘ Why is Brevital so thoroughly listed?”

    Doctor Probe said, “Because it was the last thing I remember looking up. We’re nearly out of Brevital and I was dismayed to find no alternatives. The point is, our mind-over-matter can only attach the image that we hold in our memories. If you were to conjure up your own copy, it would be based on your experience with the book.

    Doctor Psycho disagreed, violently. “Bullshit! Even students can conjure up animals, tools and food. Your PDR is blank because the collective web through which mind-over-matter assembles atoms is too sparse! Just like Dragon eggs in Gamma Quadrant, not enough people here have spent enough time with any one book to generate a complete replica.” To prove his point, he conjured up a blank bible.

    Doctor Root was appalled. She picked up the bible and cast it into a flame that suddenly appeared on the conference table. As the pages burned, she sputtered, “How dare you perpetuate that blasphemous lie. May God herself have mercy on your hardened heart! You’re both wrong about em oh em. The Universe listens to us and provides that which we most fervently desire.”

    Doctor Psycho snorted. “Yeah? Well, let me see you call up a bible!” He slammed his fist on the table. The flame danced a bit closer to him.

    “I have no desire to reproduce the lasting word of God! Mind you, that fire is your future if you don’t change your ways!” Doctor Root pushed away from the table and stalked out of the room.

    Doctor Psycho produced a cynical laugh along with a red fire extinguisher. “She’s so naïve. Any more of you holy rollers want to discuss your eternal reward? No? Then can we please get back to Probe’s excellent idea?”

    The table, with its silence, assented.

  2. K Beach says:

    We can not continue to leave the door unlocked for you. Lasting the distance relies upon a trust to grow in our hearts. The lie that you leave us with, maims us to be wretched and renders us barren. To overlook the hold you wish to have on us, would be to reward your lies or to attach a naive belief upon experience. We will not leave the door unlocked and we will not give you keys because we do not approve of insufficient concern for us. I see you shake and rumble and try to come back to a home you have run through with mortar bombs of deceipt. We are close for business of any kind. We are locked, bolted and wait for your cold to consume you out there.

  3. K Beach says:

    close should be ‘closed’.

  4. Jen says:

    It happened in the way it always does, and she punished herself for that, too. She could not shake the mundane. She could never be more than her sex and her brain, and her beating heart, which meant that she had to experience the same things other humans experienced. It was is if in her resistance to touch she could show she did not approve of this ridiculous turn of events.

    I’ve visited enough hospital rooms to have seen the posture of health and the posture of the willless as they lie, waiting for the white light or the blinding sun or the gates that pearl our imaginations. The Duchess rebuked those as the only choices and continued to exert her empirical reign.


    “Mother,” she corrected. She had just woken from a days’ sleep and still with the correcting.

    I sighed. She relented by flicking my hand, which lay next to hers on the sheet.

    “You don’t have to hold on.” She did not bother to open her eyes to roll them.

    “How droll. Eloise. I am not holding on. I am living. I am lasting.”

    I stood and brushed my hands across my lap, smoothing the fabric of my pants, then the fabric across the bed, then straightening the blanket that covered the foot of the bed. I ran my hand along the thin tube that attached my mother’s arm to the drip. I followed the curve and dip of the tube, tracing the origin up to the bag. Through the tube, through the pin small catheter at the end, she was fed. She continued on liquid food and pain meds.

    “I’m not saying hold on to life. I’m saying you don’t have to hold on to your throne. Can’t you just try to rest? Just let them help you?”

    “They can help me all they want, Eggs. I don’t need any more friends.”

    “By which you mean, one friend. You have one friend.”

    She shook her head and had enough energy to snort.

    “Shows what you know. My daughter, showing her >b>naive experience of the world. Again.”

    This was my reward. For bending and bowing, for genuflecting to Dr. Granding for a lifetime. Derision and disrespect. Still.

  5. […] Creative Copy Challenge #288 […]

  6. zennjennc says:

    Lesson Learned

    Marie gave a shake of her head to approve the shoppe owner’s terms of lasting servitude. She remained as the old witch’s apprentice despite the continued abuse the hag dolled out in her direction. Marie was no longer the naive, young girl come to sell her wares at the apothecary shoppe. She found a way to make the old witch believe she was holding up her end of the bargain a clever lie, all while plotting the sweet reward of the old woman’s death. It was through Marie’s many lessons, through her many travels through space and time, that she had learned to become unattached.

    It was a lesson Marie had learned the hard way. During one of her early lessons, Marie saved a small girl, named Leah, from a burning home. The girl was orphaned and Marie took her as her own. She wanted the child with every fiber of her being. But she could not keep her from the old woman who did not share the same sympathies.

    Marie tried to hide Leah from the old witch, but she discovered the village they were hiding in and sent soldiers to raid the small farming community. The soldiers burned the village to the ground. Leah did not make it.

    Marie vowed never to get attached again. Never to love again.

    Here’s the link to it on by blog with all the boldings:


  7. Continuation…

    Jill’s door exploded into splinters as her father forced his way inside. He took a quick survey of the room and saw claw marks through the window.

    “I’m here, Jill,” he said as he took hold of her and pulled her from the bed. She continued to shake and sob as he rushed from the room. He pushed open the door to his own room and switched on the secondary alarm. Blue currents flashed at the window, lasting only a moment before fading to nothing. Satisfied, Tom sat with Jill still in his arms.

    “What did you see, Baby?” he asked. Jill’s grip increased.
    “It was just a bad dream, I guess. It couldn’t be real,” she said.

    Tom recognized the lie and went along with it. “Lie down and get some sleep. I’ll keep the monsters away.” She rewarded him with a small smile before he put her under the covers. Tom stood watch by the window, not naïve enough to think there wouldn’t be another attack. He needed to take more drastic measures to keep her safe but knew she wouldn’t approve. He attached a silencer to his pistol, set it beside him and waited.

  8. Mistyfan says:

    Continuation from CCC281 onwards.

    Meanwhile, back at Gestapo Headquarters the knocked-out Lieutenant had been brought out into the corridor. He lay on the floor while an army doctor bent over him. Gestapo Headquarters always had a doctor on hand; his chief job was to patch up tortured prisoners as best he could.

    Hold him steady, nurse,” said the doctor. The nurse clutched the man gently but steadily while the doctor rummaged around in his bag for a syringe. Over them, a still-fuming Straum hovered. His posterior was still throbbing, but he had slapped down the doctor’s offers to help him. He was the prickly pear sort who didn’t take help from anyone.

    The doctor plunged down on the needle and the Lieutenant began to stir even more, groaning and moaning. His eyelids flickered, his irises dilated as they drifted in and out of focus.

    “Will he be all right, man?” Straum snapped.

    “It’s a bit early to tell, sir. He’s had a concussion. I think it’s only a mild one, but concussion can lead to some very nasty and lasting effects….”

    The man began to mumble. His lips seemed to be struggling to say something, “Gab-Gab….”

    “Gab what, dummkopf?”

    “Sir, please! The man is concussed!” The doctor pleaded.

    But at last the word came through: “Gabon….”

    “Gabon?” Straum snarled. “What is Gabon?”

    “G-Gabon…Gabon…on – oohh…G-Gabon….”

    “Gabon?” Straum echoed. “Gabon who….?”

    It was then that another officer, named Fenkelbaum broke in. “Gabon? Henri Gabon?”

    “What?” Straum’s eyes bulged. “The terrorist Gabon?” He was not too familiar with the terrorist, but he knew that name and the crimes attached to it; even the Gestapo knew him for a risk-taker and was notorious even among the resistance for it.

    Both officers looked down at the Lieutenant, who was nodding his reeling head. Straum lunged forward, seized the man by the collar and began to shake him. “Gabon! Tell me about Gabon! What about Gabon?”

    “Sir, please!” The doctor tried to pull Straum off, but Straum slapped him away. He continued to shake the Lieutenant as if he was trying to make the answer fall right out of the man. “Gabon! Gabon! Tell me about Gabon!”

    Something seemed to rattle out of the man’s still dazed senses. He pointed to the bathroom. “Th-there….”

    “There?” Straum snarled. “There’s nobody there, fool!”

    “H-he was there….” Now the Lieutenant showed real signs of life. “In there!”

    “How can he be in there? There’s been nobody there but the cleaners and plumbers!”

    That only served to jolt the man into life. “Plumbers!” he just about wailed. “He was one of the plumbers!”

    “What!” It was then that a snarl of skepticism creased Straum’s lips. “One of the plumbers? Gabon walked right in here as one of the plumbers? You expect me to believe that? What do you think I am – naïve?”

    Just then, Fenkelbaum clamped his hand over Straum’s arm. “Just a minute, Straum. If this man thinks he saw Gabon, we must look into it.” He did not approve of Straum’s attitude; a good officer must never dismiss any lead without investigating it first, no matter how ridiculous or slim it might be.

    Straum pulled away. “Tchah! Why look into a fool who slipped on a bar of soap?”

    Now it was the injured Lieutenant who got angry. “I didn’t slip – he slugged me!”

    “He slugged you?” Straum scoffed. But the look in the Lieutenant’s eyes looked earnest and sincere enough to Fenkelbaum. He knelt down beside the man and, in a commanding but gentle manner, managed to prompt everything that he could get out of the concussed Lieutenant. And when he’d finished, he barked out to every officer in sight: “Get down to Duvall Plumbing, arrest everyone there, search every inch of the place, and don’t leave any stone unturned!”

    He looked at the still-scowling Straum. It was then that he had an inspiration: “One more thing – whoever finds Gabon will get double the reward!

    Straum’s face now lit up with greed and he leapt into the crowd of officers who were scurrying off in pursuit of Gabon and the impending reward.

  9. K says:

    Continue this lasting lie. Unable to shake their opinions, will your attachment toward her give the truth away? You tell yourself to hold onto reality, but I’ve spotted the hole through the shield you’ve contained yourself in. I try to alert you of my discovery, but your logic prevents me from doing so. It confuses me. A rational, knowledgeable person such as yourself should know avoiding the problem doesn’t eradicate it, and yet, you tackle it head on in hopes it would fade over time. And for what reason? Approval? It seems like a naive reward in my opinion. I pity you. You, who claim superiority over me, fall to the mercy of a simple habit: love.

  10. kathleenkl says:

    Mind-full Conversation … a continuing project

    I bet he is shaking in his state issued orange crocks now…. Huh!

    Yes, you heard that news coverage correctly, “Another woman, kidnapped and rapped while she was walking home from the grocery store.” And yes, that woman sounds like she is willing to testify. And yes, other females in Oklahoma are … yes, there are three there as well.

    Yes Lovie, 1990 means he’s been doing this stuff since he was 19, and earlier, too.

    I, too, am wondering how many more victims will be coming out of the woodwork.

    You are right; there is no way to approve what he has done. But I do not know of a lot of people that would approve of his choices of behaviors. I know no God who would approve. No God I know; no God his Pastor of a mother knows. No, Lovie, no God that you now know.

    The life of lies are coming to the surface.

    Yes, DNA is a wonderful thing. It has a lasting effect in life doesn’t it…. Yes, it even has a lasting effect after death son. Good one.
    I find myself wondering how much more does the DNA collected off of you hold? How many more crimes will be revealed? This DNA … it continues to reveal so much more.

    Yes, your sister is hopeful, if not naïve, in her hopes that the rewards for this family will come through easily, but the more crimes that are coming to light, the more charges.

    Holding him accountable is important… and now… that “… fire bombing at that mall… makes me wonder what other crimes he will be attached to.

    • Anklebuster says:

      Hi Kathleen! Nice to see you here.



    • @Kathleen: Hard to believe after so long the trial persists. Wishing the best.

      • Kathleen Kline says:

        Shane — I know is. But it has only been 2 1/2-ish years…. there are others waiting longer, oh so much longer. Justice and the legal system are slow moving mistresses.
        The other victims of this Orange Blob have waited … well, 20 + years, which would be waiting longer than their family member was actually alive to find out the who and all.. [DNA — it, next to my daughter-in-law’s escape, is going to be the key to his down fall. And the needed process of the Who, if not some of the Whys for many families across this nation are more than worth the wait.]

  11. Lisa says:

    The park appears empty. A crisp autumn wind blows through, fallen leaves chasing each other to and fro amongst forgotten play equipment. The chains of the sullen swingsets creak, moaning their memories of children’s playful squeals. A teeter-totter sits alone in the far corner, red paint flaking off, betraying the rust peeking through. It seems that this place of joy is really a lie, a naïve attempt at happiness. If you take the time to look beneath the façade, to really give the carpet a thorough shake, you will notice the grime beneath. Discarded needles tossed carelessly amongst the sandpiles under the slide. Crinkled empty beer cans take up residence under the bench where mothers once sat watching their children play, while rewarding themselves with warm coffee, gossip and a moment of peace. Life is a twisted mixture of joy and misery.

    But if you continue to scan this scene, you will notice a small figure in the back corner, tucked in discreetly by the fence. A little girl huddles against the cool wind, pushing a stick in the sand. Coming closer, you see that she is drawing crude figures. A tiny house, a child with a mother and father on each side. They are all holding on tightly to each other. A crooked sun sits proudly in the sky, complete with a happy face, its beams reaching out in every direction. It is a masterpiece amongst grains of sand that even Monet would approve. You are distantly attached to this child through pleasant reflections of your own times of childhood.

    But warm feelings are not lasting, they cool quickly as reality sinks in with its icy grip. This is a child forgotten, left alone to brave the elements of this harsh world. Unwanted. Months of dirt have built up, she is unwashed and sores are evident. Fresh tears have washed streaks down her tiny face. She looks up and you are struck by the absolute beauty of blue eyes peering out from beneath crusty lashes. There is an angel within, waiting to be released. “Father?” she asks innocently, stretching out a tiny hand.

    The police tape whips with great fervor in the autumn wind, straining to be released to chase the leaves in the playground. The season’s first snow has begun to fall softly, covering the entire scene in a sterile white blanket. A policeman stands by as another man takes photos of the small figure huddled by the fence. She is now partially covered by a blanket, too little too late to offer the warmth a blanket is meant to provide. Her cold dead hand grips a stick. Looking for the drawing of the family that you saw in your dream, you see the sand scuffed as if it has been redrawn. There is now a great father figure in the sky, clutching the small girl to his side.

    You realize that her father has taken her home.

  12. Another quick freestyle:

    Why can’t I shake this?
    I need a belief I can approve.
    Or should I continue to attach and hold through the lie of lasting naivety and the reward of ignorant bliss?

  13. Jamie Graham says:

    “Nod if you approve and shake your head if you disagree” said Zak, but Jay just sat there motionless.

    “You can only hold out for so long you know” Zak growled, but Jay carried on looking blankly ahead.

    “If you continue to be so naive, you won’t be doing yourself any favours” said Zak, his voice getting louder.

    Zak had had enough. He decided to attach a collar to Jay’s neck and took him through to the kitchen.

    The lasting silence was about to be broken as Jay opened his mouth. Zak said “Lie down and you’ll get a reward“. Jay barked twice and gobbled up the chocolate treat from his owner’s hand.

    It’s hard to stay mad at a dog for long.

  14. Jamie Graham says:

    Oops, my bold formatting went a bit wrong!

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