Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #294

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. Mysterious
  2. Invisible
  3. Rose
  4. Mother
  5. Confuse
  6. Scared
  7. Pity
  8. Rage
  9. Uncertain
  10. Forever

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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41 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #294”

  1. […] is my submission for Creative Copy Challenge #294. Click on over and take the challenge yourself, or just read the comments to see what others have […]

  2. Sarah slowly came to the realization that she was lurching. As soon as she made that connection, her physical essence reasserted itself alongside her consciousness. She became an “I” again. An entity with needs. Sarah began to assess, acclimate and adapt. The hunger she had felt earlier was now almost unbearable. At first, she put it down to having been hospitalized. Yet, as her acclimation continued, she sensed a newness about her; something deeply flawed, like salt-water down her nostrils.

    Now, why did I think of that? I’ve never been to an ocean.

    Another voice answered: But I have. Feed me!

    Sarah looked around for the mysterious voice. Even as she swiveled, she knew that the voice was inside her head. Belatedly, she noticed that her head felt hugely heavy, supported by massive muscles in her neck. She acknowledged the invisible speaker:

    I’m hungry, too! Where are we?

    Gaia Prime, Gamma Quadrant, Rose Sector, Milepost, unknown.

    I don’t know what tha…wait a minute! Gamma Quadrant? Dragon eggs experiment?

    Affirmative for Gamma Quadrant. Indeterminate for Dragon eggs experiment. Uncertain node reached.

    Oh, what are you, a computer? Did I jack into the University mainframe?

    Negative. I have a mother but no board. University is in Alpha Quadrant. Affirmative for Gamma Quadrant.

    Sarah was confused by that cryptic remark. Then, she burst out laughing. This voice had a sense of humor – brains and brawn, the complete package! She was laughing so hard, she fell over. The deafening crash scared her more than it hurt. In fact, she didn’t feel the usual sensations associated with falling on her face. She felt as if a thousand little ants were crawling over her body. Then, nothing.

    After a few seconds of lying still, she did feel something else – rage – from the voice. It was demanding to be fed. She snarled right back:

    How did you manage before I got here? Go get your own food!

    Negative. Unable to comply. Your affliction has bound to my obedience node. Now unable to consume flesh.

    I’m sorry my vegetarian lifestyle doesn’t suit you. Oh, no! Are you going to make me watch you eat meat? Are we that bound up?

    Affirmative, Miss Bookbinder. We are bound forever. A note of pity had crept into the mysterious voice.

    Sarah couldn’t figure out who she was bound to, but the hunger pangs kept her from thinking clearly. Images of raw, dripping flesh filled the panoramic screen of her mind. Super-imposed was a rusty chain that appeared to squeeze the meat together. Instinctively, Sarah knew that the voice was projecting its idea of the internal conflict. As the image solidified, the dripping blood formed a word from her past:

    Omophagiaphobia…

    Sarah gasped. Professor Psycho?

  3. +Mitch Allen
    Omophagiaphobia? I had to look it up, but it makes sense with the story line though.

  4. Liss Thomas says:

    Ulvang, the Wolf King, descended the steps in a slow lethal manner. Rebecca felt guards grabbing her arms and pulling her upright. She watched him reach the bottom step and move toward her.

    “We need her alive. I’ll forgive her this time. Afterall, the love of a mother toward her offspring can fuel a rage few of the male species can fathom. But perhaps we can use it to our advantage. How did Tomas come to be in the human realm?” he asked.

    “I don’t know. He never spoke of his mysterious past,” she said.

    “Do not confuse my understanding with pity, human. I know he received help from someone in this realm that now resides in yours.” The king turned to the guards. “Threw her into the circle.”

    The guards formed a circle in the center of the floor, some in full wolf form while others stood upright. They snarled and howled as the woman was thrown into their midst. The first lunged for her, biting and clawing at her calf. Rebecca drew herself into a ball as others attacked her back, neck and arms. Those who stood upright, having a distaste for human flesh, kicked at the woman and inflicted blows causing welts and large dark bruises over her skin. Soon the pain melted away along with her consciousness.

    Rebecca woke in her cell, uncertain of how she’d gotten there. Ulvang wanted from her a secret she didn’t know. An invisible calm washed over her. No longer scared or what they could do to her, she rose from the cold stone floor, content to be tortured forever if it meant Tom and Jill’s safety. She staggered to the far wall and cupped her hands as the stones seeped spring water and drank her fill. She hissed as she washed the scars and bite marks clean. Afterwards she made her way to the pile of hay which served as a bed and lay down.

    The door to the cell clanged open causing Rebecca to sit bolt upright. King Ulvang walked in carrying a small bowl of cooked meats. His nose wrinkled as he slid it over to her.

    “I’m sending another group into your world to find her. Make no mistake, I will have her. It would be so much easier on both of you if you cooperated. Tomas has taken her away, moving north. Perhaps if I use you as bait, I can draw them out into the open,” he said.

    “Well forget it! I won’t let you use me to get to them. Get out!” She shouted.

    Ulvang made to leave but turned back quickly. Rebecca saw the glint of a knife seconds too late.

  5. mistyfan says:

    It was all very mysterious. And mysterious was a very mild word for it.

    In hindsight, an alarm bell should have rung when the Wilkinses heard the place was so cheap. But they thought nothing of it except their good fortune to find a good, cheap place for two young newlyweds to feather their nest and raise nestlings. But the first warning sign was the grandfather clock at the bottom of the staircase. Every morning it would stop at 2am. Although they were puzzled, they hadn’t taken too much notice of it at first. They just reset it. But it kept on happening again and again. Every morning they found that clock had stopped at 2 am and they had to reset it. At first this had been just an annoyance. But as it kept on happening they began to grow worried. They began to wonder if something was wrong.

    But they weren’t scared. At least, not until the night that Mrs Wilkins woke up for no reason. She was surprised to find that the room was freezing cold although it was the middle of summer. All of a sudden, it was as if invisible, icy fingers were clutching her throat, leaving her gasping and fighting for breath. Her dreadful choking noises woke her husband. “Helen, what’s wrong – what the blazes?” He found himself shuddering violently from the cold and his wife looking like she was suffocating.

    All of a sudden the fingers eased slightly; Mrs Wilkins flopped back against the bed, shaking and whimpering. “Some-something was strangling me…something w-was strangling me.”

    “Something was strangling you?” echoed her b>confused husband. “Oh, for Christ’s sake, you just had a bad dream, Helen.”

    “But why’s it so damn freezing cold, John?” Mrs Wilkins snapped. “That isn’t a bad dream, is it?”

    Even her skeptic of a husband had no answer for that. They did not sleep for the rest of the night.

    They did not sleep the next night either – for it was even worse. Mrs Wilkins was awakened by yet another blast of cold. And then she screamed as something rose,/b> up over her – a mist that had no real shape or form but she could feel the rage – a terrifying, disordered rage that seemed to exude from the thing. And she heard the words, “I hate you Mum…I hate you Mum….”

    Mrs Wilkins yelled into the dark, “Leave me alone! I’m not your Mum!”

    There was an awful stillness…and then the thing seemed to inch forward…

    It was too much; Mrs Wilkins leapt out of bed and ran screaming from the bedroom. And from then on she refused to sleep in that room. She took up residence on the sofa. “I feel much safer here!” she declared.

    “Come on, Helen, you’re not going to sleep on the sofa because you keep having bad dreams in that room?”

    “They’re not bad dreams!” Helen wept. “Something’s in there and they hate their Mum! I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not sleeping in that room ever again!” She wouldn’t set foot in that room either.

    John did not believe in the supernatural, but the longer he dwelled in that room, the more uncertain he became about his own skepticism. There was now an atmosphere in that room that he did not like. He couldn’t pin it down or find words for it, but he came to dread every moment he spent in that room. He could not sleep there either and it was not long before he was joining his wife in the living room.

    But they couldn’t sleep in the living room forever and both knew it. Something had to be done. “I think we’d better find out more about this house,” John said.

    “Ask Mr Greg next door. He’s so old that he must know everything that happened in this town from the day it was founded.”

    John plied a gentle, offhand question about the history of his house; he wasn’t going to mention anything about ghosts. But Mr Greg caught on immediately, and with a knowing shake of his head, he said, “I think I know what you’re getting at, and I’m not surprised. Don’t you know there was a murder there?”

    “Murder? The agent didn’t tell me anything about murder.”

    “I’m not surprised; he’s so desperate to get rid of the place. Nobody’ll have it since Jake killed his mother there. Happened about three years ago. Pity poor Jake; he’d always been tied to his mother’s apron strings. And she kept ‘em so tight they just about throttled him. Even when he grew up she still kept ‘em as tight as ever. She was such a tyrant, a control freak – everything and everyone under her roof had to be under her thumb. Eventually the boy went off the rails; seems he found drugs and was using them to drug out the misery of his mother. But it seems one night he’d had too much and the drugs brought out all the hate he had for his mother. He went into her bedroom and strangled her….”

    John caught the key word. “Strangled her?”

    “Yes, Mr Wilkins, strangled her. And all the while he was screaming, ‘I hate you Mum, I hate you Mum!’ I remember because I couldn’t sleep that night, it was so hot. It was about two o’clock in the morning….”

    “Two o’ clock in the morning?” John’s face went dead white.

    “Oh yes, I remember looking at the clock to see how early it was, when I heard all the screaming and yelling next door: ‘I hate you Mum, I hate you Mum.” Then Jake came staggering out of the house, still screaming, ‘I hate you Mum’, and…and….”

    It was at this point that Mr Greg flushed deep red and bowed his head in shame and sorrow. “I wish to God I’d called the police then. If I had, I might have saved Jake’s life, at least….”

    “Why? What happened to him?”

    “He was found dead the next day. Blundered out of the house in such a state that he had an accident and got killed.” Mr Greg’s voice choked and he buried his face in his hands.

    There was a choking voice coming from John as well – he was shaking so hard that it looked like he was going to be violently sick.

    Next day, Mr Greg was not in the least bit surprised to see the Wilkinses move out of the house.

  6. […] Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #294 […]

  7. Jen says:

    How does one find those words for her child? She wasn’t planned, she wasn’t wanted, and she wasn’t the product of even a furtive romantic encountered. She was the product of rage and hate and power. Motherhood was chosen for me. And she was inside me, a lima bean sprouting human parts while I read up on books for next semester, pretending the soil was not deep and fertile. She was the invisible wound. I pretended I could think it away, this problem.
    But the problem wasn’t her. I know that. I knew that. The problem was obvious, even, on my limbs and in the pain of my groin, which ached from his force. The muscles that allowed me to run away from him reminded me that I had to run away from him. The queasiness I experienced when Da cooked red sauce on the gas stove, our Christmas Eve tradition, mocked my gag reflex, sending me blanching out of the kitchen as the bile rose.
    The poets were no help. The Gothic novelists, the post modernists, none of them gave me the answer. They supplied only more questions. Truth: I was scared and confused. I had not thought of procreating. To that point in my life, I did not think marriage or children would be my future. I was only right about one of those things. Later, I learned that some mothers have a bit of the mysterious about them, but that was not for me.
    I was never uncertain, though. If I did not open my arms to her, if I could not coax warmth from my heart, I never considered ending it. I was not moved by pity, for myself or this child. I was not inspired by some supernatural power. I simply understood the cause and effect and did nothing to stop her. There were days, when she was outside my body, when her garrulous smile and her flailing limbs reminded me of the forever of her, the forever of her genesis. But when she grew, I ignored it.

  8. Lisa says:

    I turn the pocketknife over and over in my hand, rubbing my thumb against its sharp open blade. My grandfather used it to carve wood in the basement. It sat amongst the army of well-used tools on the workbench until I pocketed it in secret over a week ago. I had no intentions of stealing it or even any idea what I was going to use it for when I was downstairs in the basement that day alone. The smell of fresh cut wood made me both nostalgic and sick to my stomach. An uncertain dichotomy of emotions overtook me.

    Bad things often happen in the basement where only he and I spend time. I love the fact that my grandfather took the time and the care to show me how to carve, each pull of the rasp allowing a little more of my creation to emerge from a blank piece of wood. I can create anything from just a lump of wood, a duck, a rose, a person – anything my imagination could come up with. I love that he even pushes me to get each piece perfectly balanced and to work at sanding even more when my fingers already ache from working. However, every ounce of attention seemed to come with an unspoken price. It has now been more than six years of payments.

    The basement is also a refuge to me. It is a place to hide from the rest of the world when I am scared or confused, a place to explore the multitude of mysterious tools and treasures that my grandfather brings home from various auctions. A lamp waiting to be fixed, parts of a motorcycle peeking out of various boxes, tools and books everywhere. It is a hoarder’s dream. Gram, who is more of a mother to me,  only ventures down here to retrieve something from the freezer or put in a load of laundry and only when absolutely necessary. Because of her bad hip, she finds getting up and down the stairs difficult. The basement is always dark and there is a damp musty smell that sits under the odor of freshly shaved woodchips.

    I started junior high this year, which means that I am back in the same school as Darryl and back to the constant torment of bullying. Grades 5 and 6 had been marginally better because Darryl and his friends, being older, had moved up to junior high while I stayed behind to finish elementary school. For those two last years in elementary, I could take the bus again and the school days had been easier. But now I was in grade 7 and they are in grade 9. Every morning, my stomach hurts and I dread the wait at the bus stop. I tried waiting until the last minute to catch the bus but then it means facing my father’s morning rage. Every morning, I try to put on the mental armor that deflects the harsh cutting words and ignores their actions. All I have to do is make it to the safety of the classroom without showing them that I am vulnerable. Recess and lunch are a challenge to stay invisible and then I just have to endure the long bus ride home. I can do this for just a year, providing he doesn’t get held back.

    Today, my homeroom teacher, Mrs. O’Halloran, unintentionally made my life even a little more difficult. I know she was only trying to help. I was hanging around the homeroom door at lunch, waiting for the hour to be over, hoping that Darryl and his friends had found someone else to torture. My luck didn’t hold out as they grabbed one of my notebooks and were tearing pages out, taunting me. I refused to respond, holding in my anger and tears.

    Mrs. O’Halloran had just come around the corner and was opening the classroom door when she noticed what was going on.

    “Lisa, please come in here,” she requested. Staring at my shoes, I obeyed.

    “Is there something you want to tell me?” she asked. I mutely stared at the floor, rubbing my hands together and trying to will a hole to open up in the floor to swallow me into another dimension. I said nothing.

    “Lisa, has Darryl been giving you a hard time? I want you to tell me because I know something has been going on for some time.”

    I said nothing. The pity in her voice chafed at my pride.

    She stood up from her chair and went to the door. Fearfully, I watched her step into the hallway.

    “Darryl, please come in here.”

    His large hulking figure appeared in the doorway and he glared at me. I looked back to the floor. The teacher took the notebook from his hand and set it on a desk.

    “I want to know why you have Lisa’s book and just what you think you were doing,” she demanded.

    “We were just kidding around”, he responded gruffly.

    No matter how hard I tried to hold the tears back, they began to flow. I tried to wipe them quickly away with the back of my hand, hoping neither of them had noticed.

    “Well, you can explain that to the principal after you apologize” she said.

    He looked at me and silently mouthed the words “you’re dead.”

    I walked home from school, an hour and fifteen minutes of fully expecting to see him around each bend. Finally I arrived “safe” at home.

    Gram was nursing a drink while she watched afternoon soap operas. “Where’s Corey?” I asked. From her slurred answer, I gathered that my younger brother was outside playing somewhere. Thankfully, my grandfather is at work.

    Going to the basement, I sat at the workbench. My head feels like it is full of cotton, dull and painful. I really have no idea how I can do this every single day. For what could feel like forever. There seems like no way life will ever get better. Everywhere I turn just seems to come with more pain.

    I stare blankly at the knife in my hand. The blade has been filed sharp several times. Slowly I press it against my forearm and pull it towards me. Sharp pain leaps into consciousness and blood wells up, beading on the line I’ve just created. It drips onto the concrete floor, staining dust and woodchips.

    My head feels clearer and I draw the next line.

  9. mistyfan says:

    This could be my last challenge for the next few days as I am going on holiday. But I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  10. Hey CCC ~ Two eye surgeries and 60 miles in 3 days and I’m finally back. I still need the refraction follow-up to the eye surgeries so any typos, I blame on that> 🙂 Ha! I missed you all and wish you all a very happy, healthy & prosperous 2013!
    =====================

    Who is this mysterious person who has been all but invisible around here of late?

    She rose to the status of Queen only to make like a mother and get buried in the day-to-day stress that life throws our way. So, as not to confuse, allow me to introduce myself.

    I am one who welcomes all as words dance across CCC walls to be forever seared in our hearts. It’s a pity that I had to miss even a single day of challenges that are all the rage. Although my presence may be uncertain, my heartfelt praise lasts forever.

  11. First off, I would like to admit that I did not make the ten words in this story bold. This works out to both my and my reader’s benefit, however, as, more than anything, I would like you to focus on the story of this piece. That is what really matters.

    What follows is my interpretation of the video game “Limbo.” Those familiar with the game know that the game offers very little background as to how the boy first got into the woods. There is no dialog, and the end, too, is very cryptic. Therefore, 70% of this is mere speculation. I wrote this in a considerably short two hours (taking into account various interruptions that lasted maybe thirty minutes collectively), and I did not read it over. I apologize if there are some inconsistencies with the plot of the game, as I have not done anything having to do with it in months. I can honestly say I really got into it, and I managed to sprinkle in all ten words. Thus, without further ado:
    Albeit his mysterious tendencies, Rory was considered brave, sociable, an innate leader. Rose, on the other side of the spectrum, was shy, reclusive, and laconic. For the most part, she preferred invisibility, and it came her way. The mother of these two rarely seen, they were oft found away from home. In the park, where they frolicked among the tall grass, or in the forest, where they lazed in the afternoon light from the top of an abandoned tree house, the siblings kept together like wolves in a pack.
    In August, the siblings were often joined by other children in the forest, and they played together until the late hours of the afternoon. A common game was Peter Pan, as the other boys were keen on making Rose their Wendy. Rory was always confused as to why the others circled his sister as they did, coaxing her to partake in the game, but nevertheless he always insisted on being Peter Pan. On account of his charisma he was never denied this role, and Rose secretively thanked the heavens for it; she only felt comfortable when Rory was the one taking her by the hand and carrying her through the woods, past the traps of the evil pirates and the impish contraptions of the lost boys.
    On the third day of August, of the second summer of the lost boys, Rory and Rose had a day to themselves. The pirates were holed up at sea, unable to greet them, and the lost boys busy with another undertaking. The rain fell plenty, swallowed plenty, and obscured plenty.
    Later in the afternoon the light grew much dimmer than the norm; though the rain had stopped, the clouds lingered, blighting the lumens of the sun. When it finally became clear enough to venture the short trek down the wooden ladder from the treehouse, Rose hesitated. Scared of the prospect of tripping on the slippery planks which comprised the ladder, she shuffled back a few inches.
    His sister spoke no words during this action, but Rory could sense her unease. He took pity on her, and, with a quick pat on her soldier, he began descending the roped ladder. Rose peaked at him through the opening in the treehouse’s flooring, uncertain of his safety.
    All proceeded satisfactorily until the third rung. The warm, damp wood fell away from Rory’s feet, and in turn, Rory fell to the ground.
    He lay on the forest floor, unmoving. Taken aback, Rose leaned out over the opening. Her balance shifted, and her body followed, flying out of the gap and onto the ground next to him.
    Rory stirred weakly. Night had fallen, thought the darkness felt strange. Perhaps it was merely the fact that he had never remained in the forest after dark, but the space around him seemed monochrome, even woodland lights mere shades of white and gray.
    He looked around. Rose was nowhere to be seen—perhaps she had gone back without him? Did she know the way back?
    No. Rory held the greater affinity for navigating the woods.
    A firefly buzzed by, its pearlescent bottom shaking from side to side as it hovered through the air.
    Its light reflected off Rory’s eyes, like a beacon, and he followed it through the woods. The further he traveled the more his rage grew, his sister out of his sight, puddles of water left from the great rain impeding his step, the forest creatures heckling him and stalking him like predators.
    For a moment he thought he saw his sister, but the image vanished after he had followed it for a few steps. Even so it had only been a silhouette, a faintly familiar figure in the distance.
    After a time, Rory met the lost boys again. However, something about them had changed. They looked at him with embittered eyes, tried to ensnare him with fatal devices. They meant to kill him, Rory was sure. They left him for dead at the feet of a massive, carnivorous spider. Just barely, he evaded the beast, but the monster itself faced the greater wounds.
    When he and the lost boys next met, Rory chose to do the killing. It was him or them. Although, something strange repeated over regular intervals. Just when Rory thought he was dead, he woke up again, in the supposed spot of his death. The firefly buzzed on. He kept walking.
    Eventually the wood faded, eeked out by the urban gallows of a city. The new landscape contained devices far more infernal than the previous. Rory “died” more often, but he pushed on.
    There came a contraption Rory could not evade. His body shattered through its glass encasing, and faded into black…
    Rory stirred weakly. He knew what was going on. The ground underneath him was soft, wet, as he pulled himself up.
    The forest. Again? Rory pondered whether this would continue forever. Would he follow the firefly for all eternity, held captive by its ceaseless glow?
    Up ahead a silhouette leaned over a spot in the ground. A treehouse above, a rope ladder, all were in view.
    Flies circled the ground beneath the ladder. Two silhouettes once there stood, now decayed in the earthen nightfall’s rot.

    • I now realize I said “summery haze of autumn.” Feel free to substitute that with “august.” Again, I did not read this over, and the wording just ebbed and flowed (the ebbing more apparent than the flowing in some cases).

    • DIL, this is brilliant. One of my favorite things to do is create stories based on computer games. I hate the term “Fan Fiction” because I rarely stick to the script.

      Whether you stuck to the script or not, I enjoyed this narrative. I loved the way you showed respawning – without telling.

      I suspect that, with a few more chapters, you would have me wanting to play the game!

      Cheers,

      Mitch

    • @Drowning: Welcome to the CCC. Isn’t it amazing where inspiration can come from? Hope to see you back here frequently.

  12. The mysterious invisible punched me in the face – made it rose colored like a motherfucker. Confusion rampant. Scared shitless indeed. I pity myself between rages. The uncertainty is just that … and forever.


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