Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #344

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. Act
  2. Tougher
  3. Quality
  4. Contribute
  5. Hockey
  6. Soft
  7. Sandwich
  8. Colour
  9. Hopeful
  10. Nimble

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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64 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #344”

  1. Kelly says:

    (Yes, I am on a poem/song-kick. 🙂 )

    DO OR DIE

    The lights are on a timer and the time’s getting low
    The crowd is putting on their coats and ready to go
    It looks just like a loss
    but lets contribute one last hope

    Hopeful doesn’t cut it in a hockey game
    or a crowded bar at midnight—works just the same
    I’m soft on the approach,
    but I want you to know my name…

    I want to see my colours in the rafters someday
    Sandwiched in between yours and a victory tape
    It’s a metaphor for all the shots
    we set up but just didn’t take…

    Didn’t take ‘em ‘cause the quality said Don’t Start
    Too many ice-inHabitants with warm, broken hearts
    We act like we don’t care,
    but we’re dying to play our parts…

    Gotta get a handle, gotta score in this game
    But I’m not quite as nimble as I
    used to be
    You’re sending all the signals with your lightning eyes
    Slicing up the ice-blue line…
    Come on, wing man—do or die

    Do or die
    the clock is running
    Do or die
    It’s getting tougher
    Do or die
    Looks like the night’s last stand…
    I’ve got you on my wing
    Now be my man

  2. Cathy Miller says:

    Should I act tougher than I am?

    Will the quality of my response contribute to who I am? Or should I dismiss the hockey stick slap of hurt to the soft side of my heart?

    Do I sandwich in the past and allow it to colour a hopeful today? Or nimble in my tomorrows for a future of my dreams?

  3. Anklebuster says:

    Audition

    Forget showing off: Maude had a tougher challenge. She had planned to twirl flaming batons blind-folded. After watching Hopeful 5074 sing We Are the Champions, while simultaneously swallowing a hockey stick, she knew she had to step up her game.

    Maude ran backstage to regroup. This was unfortunate, as she totally missed #5074 turning the colour of a regurgitated ham sandwich. Within seconds, #5074 collapsed upon the stage, twitching mortally. By the time Maude returned, the paramedics had cleaned up the ill-fated contribution to the talent show.

    She came to the wings just in time to hear one of the judges murmur softly, “The show must go on. Come on out, next contestant.”

    Maude took the stage.

    The stagehands, still expecting her original act, dimmed the lights and stood at the ready with fire extinguishers.

    Maude lit her batons and proceeded to swallow them. As the last of the second stick nimbly disappeared down her throat, the stunned audience burst into wild applause. The judges awarded her the quintessential acknowledgement of quality—a standing ovation.

  4. K says:

    His nimble albeit trembling fingers groped the ground until they brushed against soft fur. Weaving his fingers in the fur, Hyde heaved the animal onto his lap. He stared down at the animal cradled in his arms and marvelled at her beauty: Her silver hide gleamed under the feeble light emitted in the shroud of night, and as gleaned from his experiences, her canine face touted a proud expression, though he sensed her confidence had since wavered. The boy ran his hand down the wolf’s face and stopped at the top of her abdomen, untangling the knots in her matted fur along the way. The lack of reaction and pulse underneath his fingers robbed the hopeful glint from his eyes and reaped his remaining optimism.

    No longer would the boy feel her chest heaving under his touch. No longer would he feel warmth course through another creature.

    Hyde prodded the tip of her stomach before tracing a tenuous trail around the gaping laceration. An amalgamation of blood and organs spilled out of the wound, augmenting the macabre mess sandwiched on the ground. Hyde’s expression, though contorting into something of a grimace, twisted, a small smile playing on his lips. Even in the wake of his best friend’s death, his eyes refused to water, and his smile persisted. If anything, it sealed his fate: Just as she fell prey to a deep slumber, his emotions followed suit, and nothing would ever contribute to their awakening. More than the pain associated with her death, guilt pierced his heart. Hyde buried his face in the wolf’s fur and took in her scent.

    “I’m sorry.”

    Lifting his head, Hyde allowed his eyes to wander. His gaze settled on a purple book near him, and upon spotting it, he scooped it into his hands. The volume, low in quality due to its decrepit state, once held significance to him. Now, the sight of it hurt his eyes, yet he hadn’t the heart to toss it away. While blood stained it, the book also bore teeth marks. The boy muttered a curse underneath his breath. The incantation birthed a small whirlwind of dark smog which floated towards an unsuspecting dandelion. Once colliding, the smoke subsided, revealing a withered plant in its place.

    Hyde ruffled the wolf’s fur once more before attempting to carry her body onto his shoulder for leverage. Struggling with her hefty body, he managed to lug her across his shoulder and tucked the book underneath his other arm. And with that, Hyde staggered back into the forest. The flourishing fauna rustled in the thicket and witnessed as the boy edged toward the lake. Crows flocked toward Hyde as if embracing him. They utter cries sure to alarm the village of another’s passing, yet their caws sounded more melancholic in Hyde’s ears at the death of their brethren.

    The expanse of the lake, once a shimmering blue underneath the red sky, bled ink on this dark night. It, too, breathed life, yet it acted as a grave, receiving the life it created in return. Hyde set the wolf down on the lake’s banks before he gathered enough strength to give a gentle push. The carcass then drifted out toward the horizon. Hyde’s audience released cries of their own, but none were as prominent as the pups’ howls as they stood on the front lines. Hyde walked toward the three pups, knelt before them, and ruffled each one’s fur. They whimpered, leaning into his touch. A moment of silence solaced him, encouraging him back onto his feet.

    Departing the forest, Hyde plunged back into his world, awaiting his consequences. Despite entering the village, the crows circled overhead, a black halo above the boy. A wave of desolation swept him up as the brisk air exuding from the town overwhelmed him. At the gates, the color red seeped into the soil. Organs and humanoid limbs were strewn on the ground. Dismembered heads gaped at the monster- no, the reaper whom stole their lives as he strode through his dominion. Hyde wandered through the village, and synchronized with his hesitant steps, the lights flickered out in each house.

    The boy approached the inn’s steps and reached for the door only to find it jammed shut. A woman’s face studied him from the window then her eyes flitted between him and the door as if watching a hockey game. Hyde mustered the brightest smile in his arsenal. Disarmed by the boy’s grin, the woman immediately shut the blinds and turned off the lights. This paralyzed Hyde. But without protest, Hyde turned on his heel and ambled aimlessly through the village, the murder following him like a shadow.

    Monster: the populace now branded him as one, but it was they who took away life out of their prejudices and ignorance. It was they whose frigid chill stopped his friend’s heart. It was they whose neglect of their progeny birthed mistrust and the inability to emote. It seemed that assistance was given to those children who smiled and yet none came. Perhaps, it was life’s way of allowing him to become tougher, but one can only wear down a person so much before that person broke. The pervasive darkness clouding the hearts of this world sought to consume his being, and while it did not, a part of it penetrated his defenses that night.

    Weren’t they so cold?

  5. Culinary Arts and Letters
    A Fictional Reality Show

    Easton stepped up to the mic and scanned the hopeful faces of the eight young culinary artists who had survived the first five rounds of the competition. He calculated the odds of any one of them going on to become anything more than a sous chef and sighed. “Today’s challenge is to make a sandwich,” he announced.

    Callista had been studying the judges, learning their tastes. Ms. Stanton would, no doubt, prefer watercress, Havarti, and a grainy brown mustard on a flaky croissant. Mr. Chance would shun anything that didn’t involve a generous hunk of meat – with Chance, it was all “Paleo” this and “caveman” that. Darius Brown looked as if he were staring down Death by Boredom and losing – for him, it was all about the olfactory and visual intrigue. “Food should tell a story,” he was fond of saying. Rumor had it that Brown had undergone a procedure and now had to take all his meals by gastric feeding tube, anyway.

    In the first four rounds, no one had managed to please all the judges; Callista had survived by being merely adequate, and by failing to contribute to the judges’ collective disgust with some of the entrants’ offerings. The only thing they could all agree on was her nemesis, Lance Callaway’s, dessert. That would be a tougher act to follow.

    At the market, Callista selected the freshest cilantro, ripe red tomatoes, piquant purple onions, and juicy pineapples straight off the plane from Lanai. She would bake the bread, herself, so that it would be the perfect balance of soft and crusty, toasted to the colour of warm caramel and dusted lightly with sea salt. In the kitchen, her nimble fingers worked a mixture of mashed black beans, quinoa, cilantro, onions, and pineapple, forming it into patties roughly the shape of a large hockey puck. She pan-fried, then lightly grilled them to produce little charred lines reminiscent of the Kobe steaks she knew Chance preferred. She garnished them with fresh sprigs of cilantro and a dollop of spicy mango-habanero aioli. The top of the warm, fragrant bun she left tilted like a jaunty beret against the patty, and she hoped that that, plus a tiny side salad of perky baby lettuces and herbs would, perhaps, whisper their story – which she hoped wouldn’t be too tragic – to Darius Brown. At least no animals were harmed in the making of this production, and Callista knew that would win her points with Ms. Stanton.

    Easton watched the contestants as they worked. He thought back to the sandwiches his mother had made him, as a child – the endless peanut butter and jelly on Wonder Bread; the fried bologna and pickle; the fish sticks on stale rye. Whatever these kids were making, they weren’t “sandwiches.” He felt a twinge of unaccustomed emotion. Easton wasn’t sure if he longed for the familiar foods of his own childhood, or if he had missed out on something amazing. But it was fascinating to watch them transform the ordinary into something… something almost bizarre.

    Callista, though, stood out from the others. It wasn’t her culinary prowess that attracted Easton’s notice, but her brilliant, calculated strategy. He was onto her – he wondered if the judges, self-centered as they were, caught up in their own little worlds, would even notice the effort. He hoped the quality was as good as the idea – because, all cleverness aside, they would have to taste good.

    As the judges tasted the entries, they made little faces; their wrinkled noses, puckered lips, and raised eyebrows spoke volumes. But when they tasted Callista’s sandwiches, they closed their eyes, tastebuds transported in unison to Nirvana, from the looks of it – well, Chance and Stanton did, anyway. Darius Brown stared intently into the lettuce and nodded, quietly murmuring to himself and nodding, once, as if in accord.

    • Kelly says:

      Love it. Very visual (in spite of all the other senses you got involved)—so that I could see the whole thing happening! My favorite phrase is “staring down Death by Boredom and losing.” Cool piece, Holly!

      • Thank you. That was definitely one of my favorite lines, Kelly! I think we can always tell which lines the author had real FUN writing, can’t we? (And I struggle to avoid death by boredom sometimes – sometimes, just looking at an open Twitter window borders on that…)

    • Anklebuster says:

      Well done, Holly, including the oxymoron of the title. (Or should we say, redundant? LOL)
      Now, I’m hungry!

      Cheers,

      Mitch

      • Hahahah…well, it’s real fiction inside a fictional reality which is a sort of fiction in itself. Inceptivision! LOL Careful, there – I might decide to make you a sandwich.

    • bbanne says:

      “tilted like a jaunty beret against the patty,” Your descriptions are so vivid. I even went shopping with Callista and smelt the fresh produce. It’s a great story that I want more of.

    • Cathy Miller says:

      Hey Holly – so nice to “see” you again. 😉 Excellent (per usual). Made me hungry. The Food Network would love you. 😀

      • Thank you, Cathy! 😀 I posted it on my blog, and several people have suggested I write more about the characters. Even people who hate reality and cooking shows. NOW what? Ever feel like you’ve created some little monsters? Can’t honestly say I ever asked “What next?” of these.

    • Better hurry and copyright this one Holly….There are some strange shows out there and maybe they will pick this one up from you!

  6. […] See Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #344 for more details. […]

  7. bbanne says:

    With nimble fingers, she tossed the sandwich together and added it to the pile. She knew the men would be hungry and thirsty by now. A layer of tomato on the soft, fresh bread would help renew their energies.

    She’d been called from her bed in the middle of the night to help prepare food and drinks for the firefighters who had already been battling the blaze for hours. Her brothers were manning the fire truck out there in the wild bush, fighting the massive blaze that was sweeping up the gullies, sucked along by the wind it created for itself.

    Her brothers were made of much tougher stuff than she was but at least this was one way she could contribute to the fire effort.

    The radio chattered in the background, the quality of sound distorted by crackling static as the trucks drove into deep gullies which blocked the signal.

    As she boiled the kettle to fill the milk can with hot black tea she heard the radio squawk again but cutting through the sound came a clear voice.

    “We’re in Dry Creek Road and the fire is coming straight at us. We need help.”

    It was her brother speaking.

    The world stopped. She knew that all her brothers were on the same truck.

    The silence pounded her ears as the women stopped their work, holding their breath to listen.

    Still nothing.

    “Back to work,” her mother said. “No point standing here doing nothing. There are men out there relying on us. ”

    The act resumed and the piles of sandwiches grew higher and higher. The women packed the sandwiches into boxes wrapped in damp tea towels to keep them fresh in the face of the scorching heat and threw them into the back of the station wagon.

    Dogs barked as the smoke haze hung heavy over the town. It was almost morning and the orange colour was creeping back into the sky. Like a hockey stick rising into the sky, a dark plume of smoke signalled that the fire had hit something big.

    “Please don’t let it be them.”

    She and her mother carried the milk can to the car and jammed it in behind the boxes where it wouldn’t tip over.

    As the tail lights disappeared down the track, she stood there, at once both hopeful and fearful of the outcome.

    The radio burst into life once again, the crackling static disguising the call sign. She would sit there listening to the many voices until she heard the special ones again, signalling their safety.

  8. Ok, a long week of funerals and family stuff…finally got this one in, just in time to be halfway through the other.

    “Sometimes the deck freezes over and we use sticks to push around these flat rocks.” Jobar, one of the deck hands on the ‘Marietta’ told Chandroc. It was getting colder now, Chandroc had been on the fishing boat for 3 months now. Jobar continued, “We like to call it Po-wak, but some of the northern tribes call it hockey.” Chandroc smiled. “I can’t wait to try it.” he said and turned his attention back to the lines that he was minding. Time spent in the wind and constant saly spray had hardened Chandroc. The soft, weak body that the tougher kids had beaten and tormented was gone. The Man that was emerging from that boy was now quality, his life meant someting, his fish fed many people. Well, the fish he caught for Captain Hiaasen did anyway. Chandroc was always hopeful that everyone would remember the fishermen, out here in the cold and wet, every time they had one of pieces of salted fish on a sandwich.
    For now, he was content to contribute his share of the work, to learn the sounds of the nets, and to read the dark colours of the sea. He was learning to act on more than just his instincts, he was experiencing life on his own terms now. No one beat him. True, he was chastised for doing stupid things, or things that he was not experienced with, but he had a hammock on the lower deck, food in his belly, and warm clothes that were his own. And then there was the sea…..blue and beatiful on a clear day, a cold hearted, steel gray bitch during a storm. But he loved her just the same. He looked over the sea, calm and blue as the sun was setting, and spied one of the many shorebirds digging for grubs in the mud, nimble and beautiful in its quest for a meal. When there was thunder from the clear sky, a thunder that had been in his village only a few months ago. It was HER again, he was sure of it.

  9. kathleenMK says:

    I am a little late to the game, but catching up~

    His nimble fingers brought hopefulness to her day as they lightly traced lines on her exposed skin.

    Who needs a sandwich when we have each other, Isabelle said to herself as the quality of his soft touch on her skin gave her warming goose bumps.

    As their bodies fell together, at first or second glance, you could not see where his flesh ended and her’s began. The color of their already tanned skins began to be joined by shades of gold, bronze, and red as the sun contributed to warm the air around them as they lay among the rocks and the tide.

    “This pretending to like you is tougher than I thought,” Max said as the shutter repeatedly opened and shut behind them.

    “Oh, don’t act like I matter Max. You’d give up this modeling gig any day if they’d booked you rink-side at a hockey game,” Isabelle said leaning her head back allowing his lips a fair shot at her neck. He hesitated, closing the distance slowly so it could be captured in the frame.

    A chuckle escaped from both as the shutter could be heard capturing their made up moment.

    “Cut. Okay. We’ve got it you two. Thanks,” the photographer said. “I think we’ve got the shots the client wants. These shots will sure help sell this resort.”

    “Well, you did say hockey didn’t you?” Max questioned with a smirk as he drew back from his workmate. She returned his playful smile.

    As they righted themselves, Max, being the gentleman that his parents had raise, extended his hand and Isabelle accepted the assistance getting up from their reclined position. She couldn’t help but notice the coolness of the water that now surrounded her feet and ankles was refreshing.

    He playfully pulled her towards him, stopping her forward momentum with is body. He quickly wrapped his arm around her waist steadying them both as the tide undermined their footing on the sand. He hesitated, but only for a moment as he had her where he truly wanted her – in his arms.

    She was too close not to notice the wonderful aromas that wafted up off of her skin – light coco butter and salt. And was that a hint of fresh citrus and spice? He took a deeper breath and sighing as he exhaled. He stepped back away from the rocks brining her with him.

    And are her lips salty too? he wondered, but not for long.

    Nanoseconds later he pressed his lips to her’s. He kissed her softly at first and then, as he encountered no resistance he deepened the kiss. Both of their core temperatures began to raise, but not from the heat of the sun this time. He brought his free and up behind her cradling her head in his hand. He gently pulled her in a little tighter. Their chests and hips met again, they swayed as one now in the tide. An uncontrolled moan escaped her throat as his tongue played at her lips.

    Darn it Isabelle, you are were not suppose to let this happen,” she silently scolded herself as her mouth opened and their tongues began dancing together. She needed to steady herself. She reached up finding a well-defined set of lats to hold on to. Oh his back is…. One hand stopped near his spin the other stopped near his shoulder.

    The tide attempted to undermine his advances. She allowed her grip to tighten upon his frame. He gracefully stepped back, bending at the knees he took their bodies to the sand. He lay down in the surf not wanting this moment to end. He increased his hold on her as she tightened her embrace. Encouraged by a lack of resistance he began caressing her bare back.

    Their breaths quickened. Their hearts beat faster. Blood rushed within their veins.

    “This is great you two! Glad I didn’t have my camera put away. The lighting is great. These may even be the best shots of the day.”
    They slowly pulled apart, a light chuckle escaping from their vocal cords.

    “Oh yah. He’s still here,” Max said as he looked past her and saw Tim lying on his stomach getting the shots at their level. Max slowly released her and lay back on the hard wet shoreline.

    “Yah,” she said softly. Placing a hand on his chiseled abs.

    Moments later Max sat up. The realty that they were not alone began to sink in. He became glad for the tight swim trunks he wore. Getting to his feet just after Isabelle he allowed his eyes to linger on her landscape.

    “This is better than hockey anytime,” he said in a near whisper, hoping she would hear.

    He was rewarded, yet again, as she looked back at him smiling with a twinkle in her eyes that assured him he could ask for more.

    “So … how about a drink and some thing to eat?” he asked.

    “Hey, yah. Why don’t you two go rinse off and we can go to the Harbor Hut, up on the pier? It’s my treat,” time volunteered up.

    Max and Isabelle shared a playful smile.

    “Yes, a cold shower might just be what the doctor ordered … to get this sand off … of me … before sitting across the table from you.” She quickly added, “you two,” as she grabbed her towel and duffel bag and headed across the warm soft sand to the open-air show.

    Max followed suite as he did not want to miss an opportunity to shower with her, even if it was in public he looked forward to seeing the water run down her body.

    • bbanne says:

      Wow, that’s steamy. I am glad you took the time to catch up, Kathleen. I’d hate to have missed this piece. Might need a cold shower, myself. 🙂


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