Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #342

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 and around each of your words if you want them to stand out, but NOT REQUIRED THOUGH.

  1. Slither
  2. Abduct
  3. Author
  4. Budget
  5. Minister
  6. Insider
  7. Conjure
  8. Decision
  9. Remove
  10. Years

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.


72 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #342”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    Swoope Caliente’s decision to abduct a sophist from Swamp Logos wasn’t as rash as his sudden, swift motion toward the unsuspecting figure silhouetted against the night sky. Years of training, studying and field maneuvers commingled with relentless propaganda from the Minister of Territorial Defense to conjure a muddled zealotry. His ban from the Academy merely deepened his delusions. Caliente fancied himself a general, author of a brilliant campaign for the glory of Swampland.

    Swan Vee fought the urge to run. She had to budget her strength for the battle against the malevolent shape that slithered toward her. If it was one of the recruits from Swamp Campo de Batalla, she would be fine. Part of her learning covered insider information on the military’s preferred close-quarter combat tactics. However, she would be no match for any of the trained operatives. If this snake was an Adept, Vee would have to resort to mental gymnastics to remove it.

    Swoope reached his quarry. Swan felt a warm hand grip her ankle. Before the hand could yank, she pre-emptively fell toward it. The unexpected motion made Swoope loosen his hold. As he reached upward to grab her throat, she twisted violently to the side, trapping his outstretched fingers in her armpit. She flexed her thigh muscles, pushed down into the earth with all her strength and was rewarded with a crunch and a scream.

    Swoope blacked out.

    Swan Vee ran.

    • bbanne says:

      Wow, you know how to leave us hanging, Mitch. It always amazes me that you can turn 10 little words into such a dynamic story. Well done.

      • Anklebuster says:

        Thanks, Anne.

        Sometimes, I feel like I take the easy way out: Chicago Road, Minister of Territorial Defense. But, in a story context, it all counts, right? 🙂



    • Cathy Miller says:

      Love this ~ commingled with relentless propaganda from the Minister of Territorial Defense to conjure a muddled zealotry. Cannot get enough of this story, Mitch. ☺

    • kathleenMK says:

      Mitch ~~
      Nice addition!
      was rewarded with a crunch and a scream. I really like this… Good job Swan!

      Silly man… Swoope blacked out. he shouldn’t have underestimated her.

      Can’t wait to see what happens next!

      Write On,


    • Mitch, you always blow me away with your stories.

    • Kelly says:

      How I love your way with words, Mitch—especially admiring this bit:

      >>author of a brilliant campaign for the glory of Swampland.

      It’s so evocative—and that crunch and scream is pretty evocative as well! Yikes!

      • Anklebuster says:

        Thanks, Kelly. I hope to be able to improve even more with all this practice.
        Plus, there is a secret weapon: I’ve been watching a LOT of good shows on Netflix.
        I really admire the writers who can get the actors to bring their words to life.



  2. Tanja Cilia says:

    Like a Serpent

    Sliding slowly to
    Slickly author a decision.
    Slip through nets and years.
    Slither through life, an Insider.
    Slyly staring,
    Slit-eyed Minister.
    Snatch the moment, abduct the votes.
    Slimy, surreal, you conjure up lies.
    Slinking stealthily
    Spoilt and suave
    Shoddy, budget, human.
    Suspicious, and smug
    Supercilious, and smarmy…
    Sylphlike, human, snake.
    Slough your skin; remove your mask.

    This is a re-hash of my poem…

    Like a Serpent

    Sliding slowly
    Slickly slip and
    Slither through life.
    Slyly staring,
    Slit-eyed at Me.
    Slimy, surreal,
    Slinking stealthily
    Spoilt and suave
    Suspicious, and smug
    Supercilious, and smarmy…
    Sylphlike, human, snake.

  3. K says:

    The decision slithers into life, becoming an insider to every thought and feeling. Like a diplomatic minister, it conjures a congenial artifice and lures all into a false sense of security. Yes, everything would turn out fine except that it will remove every friend and acquaintance gained and will nullify the thought of residing in this place called home for the rest of the forthcoming years. It, though born out of hastiness and temper, budgets its time, but even after a few failed attempts, it abducts this author in its cold arms and whisks me off within the shroud of night. Dawn arrives as I pen this, and although it represents a fresh start, a sense of dread fills me.

    Is it wrong that I had expected more?

    Perhaps it is, considering my nomadic lifestyle; only three years separate each place of residence. But like the fool I am, I had retained my expectations of staying grounded after the three year hump. Yet on that day when it came wrapped in heated words and anger, tears had been shed, expectations had been obliterated, and friendships had been dissolved. It crushes me under the weight of something foreign, under the pressure and fear of beginning anew. Even if it knows this, it drags me to this place far from anything I had ever known. I know I must leave, but as I bid my final farewell to my friends and family, I find myself promising return in the next two years. Again, it may be my unwavering optimism, but I train myself to believe it. Reflecting on that promise, a twinge of disappointment wells up in me. I should have learned better: No one would wait up for someone chasing down time including time itself.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Diplomatic minister– love that. ☺ And it abducts this author in its cold arms and whisks me off within the shroud of night. Well done indeed! ☺

    • Anklebuster says:

      K, a ten-bagger preamble to a really powerful paragraph! I love the style and your wistful perspective.



    • bbanne says:

      I feel as though I’m saying “wow” all the time but that’s my reaction. Your opening few words -“The decision slithers into life,” are outstanding. Your whole piece is so very atmospheric. Congratulations.

    • Kelly says:

      I have to agree with Anne. The minute the decision itself slithered into life, I was hooked by the cool perspective. Well done, K!

  4. Cathy Miller says:

    Words slither in to abduct the author of time and budget. As minister of your soul, words are the insider to your life. How will you use them?

    Will you conjure up conflict or soothe with poetic rhyme? The decision is yours and the words you keep to remove the barrier of years gone by.

  5. bbanne says:

    Damn. She’d blown the budget again. The Minister would not be happy. If it wasn’t that his eagle-eyed insider had already noticed, she could have made the decision to remove some of the expenses.

    If only she could conjure up a few more dollars, she could cover the shortfall, but years of experience told her that such was an impossibility.

    Perhaps she could abduct the snivelling little creep. A fleeting smile crossed her lips as she imagined herself dropping his black robed body into the desert where he could slither like a reptile into the shadows.

    Forcing her mind back into reality, she realised that she was the author of her own downfall. What had begun as a piece of fun had spiralled out of control into a full-blown addiction. The money for it had to come from somewhere, and the funds were right there in front of her.

    The Minister wouldn’t have minded. He probably would not have even noticed a few dollars here and a few dollars there. It was all that new priest’s fault, coming into the presbytery and putting his nose where it didn’t belong.

    “Looks like it’s him or me,” she thought to herself.

    And the gears in her brain began to turn…

  6. kathleenMK says:

    Did he budget time and energy for all of this?
    A minister’s son still slithers when he abducts.

    Rational minds still have trouble believing he conjured up the day’s events. Fraud. Murder. Kidnapping. Rape. Sale of another human being. Canceling. Burying. Covering it up.

    His decisions authored the destruction of someone precious to many and the near destruction of those left in his wake. It is more than obvious he did not care.

    Insiders’ helped remove all doubt that the years he will spend behind bars should be rot with like kind treatment he thought was his right to inflict.

    He was wrong. He had no right. He had no right.
    May he get as good as he gave.

  7. bbanne says:

    I can feel the pain in this piece, Kathleen. I agree – may he get as good as he gave.

  8. Holy cow, this has been a week of……well, here is my entry. half done for 5 days, now finished!

    Pull damnit, pull!” Chandroc thought to himself as he came out of his reverie. He pulled his net in quickly, pulled it over the side and dumped it on the deck without even appreciating the catch. The years had not dimmed his fear of the strange woman from his village. As much as his brain screamed to cast his nets out again and fill the hold, fear made him take up the oars and pull for the shore, muttering prayers for his family with every powerful stroke that he took. He cursed his decision to go out so far today, How could he have been so stupid, but how could he have known? Fear and indecision warred inside of him as he tried to coax even more speed from his craft. Of course it had been 40 years. Of course the cycle was due this year, how could he have not seen the signs, remembered the legends?

    Two years before, when the new government was installed, Chandroc had brought up the possibility of HER return at a budget meeting, and was silenced by the minister of finance. He tried to speak with the Governor, and was rejected. He even had tried to go through one of the insider flunkies that the adminisration had slithering through the capital, but to no avail. He had even tried to persuade the local author to write a book about the horrors, and failed. He had since concentrated on his work, getting his fish, working his land, and taking care of his wife and children. Here now, rowing for his life, he could not conjure up a reason why he had forgotten about HER and the horrors she brought with her.

    Even now, rowing for all he was worth, he could not remove the image of his village 40 years ago, burned, blackened, eradicated. He could still smell the woodsmoke, the charred bodies, he could never forget the blackened pile that had been his mother. Everything Chandroc had known was gone, except for him.

    He sat near his mothers body for most of the day, crying, trying to figure out what to do. The sun was going down when the man came and stood in between Chandroc and what was left of his mother. Chandroc started as he saw the unfamiliar boots step into his line of vision. He grabbed frantically for a rock, for a stick, for something that could be used as a weapon. He was kicked soundly in the ribs for his troubles, and knocked into unconsciousness.

    He awoke on some sort of cart hours later, chained hand and foot, abducted by slavers, for that was all they could want a skinny boy for…

  9. Kelly says:


    The only lamp in the room that still works
    sports a dust-covered 40-watt bulb
    The moon’s too bright, or you don’t want to see
    so you rehang blinds with heavy towels
    The sheriff made off with your car
    but you hadn’t used it for years
    You slither your hands over wet clay at midnight
    making music that nobody hears

    The fireplace wall stacked with half-made decisions
    It used to be for love
    A shelf or two would contain the grey
    but the budget’s all used up
    To an insider maybe it’s art
    A visitor never presumes
    You minister nightly to emptiest vessels
    while they poultice your wounds

    Davey, I want to conjure the daylight with you in this gloom
    I want to separate the story from the author
    remove the rocks and just enjoy the water
    I want to warm your back
    as you drive your motorcycle
    I’m the only one who knows
    your naked tunes

    Let’s abduct tomorrow from the moon

    I made such a mess of human touch
    Potter’s wheel don’t ask much
    of me
    Drive these hands into dark fears
    She never hurts but she never cheers
    Only once in a while
    I wish I could see—
    wish I could say to you, Woman
    let’s get out of here
    Let’s kidnap joy, and disappear

    • Anklebuster says:

      Kelly, this is incredible. You had me at wet clay 🙂

      Seriously, though, I enjoyed the whole tone of this piece and the music at the end just rocks!



      • Kelly says:

        Aw, thanks Mitch.

        It was nice to come back from vacation and find that the muse was ready to work with these two Challenges this morning. (I never know with my muse!) Glad you enjoyed this one.

    • bbanne says:

      Kelly you always capture me with your writing and this piece is so alive that I can see everything clearly in my mind. I am right there.

    • kathleenMK says:

      Kelly ~~
      ..abduct tomorrow from the moon
      I love it!

  10. […] This is my submission for Creative Copy Challenge #342. […]

  11. A little late:

    The serpent slithered quietly behind intent upon abducting him, and keeping him away for years.

    The minister of publishing made the decision to conjure the big snake and instructed it to remove the author as a contributor to the budget. It seems the author had been self publishing works that went against the beliefs of the coven.


    Just because you are an insider does not mean you are safe from persecution.

  12. kathleenMK says:

    She stepped up to the podium next to the jury box. Only four seats were filled. Filled with four barrel-chested badge-sporting men from another state. They had all shared an introduction less than 20 minutes prior.

    The judge had read her Victim’s Impact Statement and knew how much time needed to be budgeted for the victim’s family’s response as the matriarch took the helm speaking on behalf of both of the day’s victims.

    “Judge would you like us to sit?” the defense attorney asked.

    The judge surveyed the courtroom and saw that if he allowed the defendant to sit at the accused’s table it would make it so she would have to be right beside him. He quickly decided that would not be a good idea.

    “No. You will stand right here the entire time she is speaking,” the judge said and then he nodded at her.

    “Your honor, thank you … for letting me speak,” she said even though her words where falling on some deaf ears. Remember you are speaking to the court, not ‘him’.

    The attorney standing in front of the bench leaned to his right, whispering to the orange clad defendant. His words could not be heard by others in the courtroom, but the change in the orange blob’s body language lead her to quickly write yet another cutline – “Don’t you look at any of them, but you’d better at least make it look like you are listening to her or this judge is going to get pissed off at you even more.”

    The orange blob kept his back to her and all in the gallery, jury box, and well of the courtroom, but tilted his head to the right dropping his shoulder a little.

    “I am not sure when someone makes a decision to abduct someone, let alone what causes this type of thought to be conjured up,” she said looking up at the sky a couple of years ago on yet another day she was struggling to come to terms of what had occurred.

    Within days after the accused committed his day of crimes — slithering between nine Class 1 felonies budgeting time for raping his target and stuffing the 6 foot 2 inch limp body of his first victim of the day into a 55 gallon barrel — an insider said, “he is a minister’s son.”

    “Judge, let me remove all doubt, Ethan, my son, mattered to many of us…” she said with a heavy quiver in her voice.

    The orange blob may have authored the day’s events, but my son’s death helped to write the end of a long life of careless crimes and brought closure to a lady who has been looking over her shoulder for 22 years.

    Her strength began to wane, the tears began to win. She raised her right hand, looked the judge in the eyes, “Sorry judge.” She swallowed hard and took a couple of deep breaths. Everyone in the courtroom waited for her to regain her composure.

    • kathleenMK says:

      Opps… I missed one —

      The judge had read her Victim’s Impact Statement and knew how much time needed to be budgeted for the victim’s family’s response as the matriarch took the helm speaking on behalf of both of the day’s victims.

      • Anklebuster says:

        Actually, you didn’t, but if you want, I can replace this wherever you prefer.

        This is a sad but powerful account of a painful day. You did a great job fitting the words in appropriately, Kathleen!



    • bbanne says:

      Kathleen, I can feel the pain quivering through the whole piece.

      • kathleenMK says:

        Anne (hope I spelled that right? with an “e” at the end (My post surgery mind is concerned now.) ~~
        Glad the feelings felt were effectively communicated. It was a pain filled day for me and mine.


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