Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #356

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. Sailing
  2. Reduce
  3. Anaconda
  4. Bank
  5. Storm
  6. Radical
  7. Functional
  8. Extinct
  9. Survivor
  10. Treacle

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.)


23 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #356”

  1. bbanne says:

    I could feel the anaconda of doubt gripping my vitals and squeezing the confidence right out of them. Sweat as thick as treacle coated my palms so that everything I touched seemed to stick. My vision was blurred and barely functional. I could not see to read my script.

    I took a deep breath and tried to reduce my nerves and halt the radical dancing of my knees. My career in public speaking looked to be extinct before it was even birthed.

    The faces looked back at me expectantly as I stood there, silently panicked.

    I turned to grip the lectern only to see the first page of my speech free itself from my sticky hands and go sailing off on the gusty wind. I knew that I couldn’t bank on my memory in a situation like this. Hah! What memory?

    I am nothing if not a survivor, though. As I stood at the lectern waiting for the storm of applause to die down, I reached into my bag of tricks. Always lead with a joke, I’d been told. How bad could it be?

    So I began to speak.

  2. Anklebuster says:

    Your mind is a bank that can never be overdrawn. Deposit each book, album or movie and your unique paracosm will never become extinct.

    You can play mental Survivor, sailing down the Amazon, outrunning the scary anaconda to save J. Lo, before you both tumble headlong down the treacle-well.

    Those were the last, mad words of the now deceased Dr. Mortimer Washington-Bulwer-Lytton, great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the inexplicably famous novelist for whom Storm held a particularly purple meaning. No doubt, the ancestor had bequeathed his radical writing genes to his progeny, as this missive clearly demonstrated.

    Yet, as with all such prose, it is simple to reduce to its functional essence: your mind is a creative sponge, from whence you can squeeze the most imaginative experiences.

    – Sorrowfully, The Family

    • bbanne says:

      That’s a very creative response, Mitch. Well done. “Dr. Mortimer Washington-Bulwer-Lytton” – could you have come up with a crazier name? It ties the story together, doesn’t it?

    • kathleenMK says:

      Mitch ~~ Okay.. so after I have already been to the dictionary for Anne’s (I assume this week’s list is courtesy of Anne) choice of “treacle”… by the time I got to the treacle-well” I said aloud “eeeeee” and my face contorted thinking of the think capturing liquid that was in the well. 🙂

      <em…you mind is a creative sponge, from whence you can squeeze the most imaginative experiences. LOL I love this…

      And now I feel bad for the family of this … writer, yes, that is what he is, this multi-named word loving fella.

      (Made me wonder if my grandfather looks down from heaven and wishes I would stop, LOL, tellin’ folks “I think my writing comes from my grandfather.” hehehehehehhhehehehehe


  3. Kelly says:


    Outside my door, they stand, sighing heavily.

    It’s the last time they will stand so close, and both of them know it.

    I don’t quite understand peaceful endings. I’ve known losers and winners, survivors and the dead. But this notion of a decent dénouement, two people who can’t make a go of it sailing off in their own directions after reasoned conversations and mutual agreement? Radical stuff.

    Apparently the world on this side of the door is a little more dysfunctional than it is in the hallway, where tiny forgotten details now pass between the weary, slumped frames of my neighbors.

    Soon to be my neighbor, singular. I wonder who had to leave their key on the kitchen island. Who I’ll nod a Good Morning to tomorrow as we both scurry off, rapidly greying mice a little bit late for work, hoping to sneak around the anacondas to our desks without being eaten alive. Again.

    Thank goodness for the No Pets policy, I think, grimly wandering in my mind from mice to cats and dogs. Bank accounts and 42-inch televisions to sort out, but no wondering who keeps Fluffy.

    Their exchanges have reduced now to an eerie quiet. Is she crying, or is that his tears I imagine darkening the slate tiles? No rainstorm, anyway—not enough to slick the floors—but only a mist of resignation from still-loving eyes.

    At first I could make out their words, not only devoid of the rancor I associate with simmering anger, but also of the treacle I expect from people in denial. My neighbors are neither. Today, they are higher beings than I can comprehend…. their baser instincts, nearly extinct. I would wish them peace as I sit on my sofa, uncomfortably transfixed by the warm, moist silence on the other side of the wall, but I think they’ve already found it.

    Now I hear only the shuffling of a little coin in his pocket, the zippering of her coat, perhaps too slowly, a slight squeak as someone’s foot searches for the ground that slipped out from under them months or years ago.

    They walk out together, toward the car where only one of them will sit down and drive away.

    Holding hands.

    • CarsonB says:

      This is good stuff. Love the outsider-looking-in perspective and the last two lines are a fantastic double gut punch.

    • bbanne says:

      Oh Kelly, that’s beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. Absolutely lovely piece of writing.

      • Kelly says:

        Thank you, Anne. I really appreciate that.

        The words “survivor,” somehow, did it to me. After thinking about that one word, the rest wrote itself.

    • kathleenMK says:

      Kelly ~~ Bravo, not only an effective use of the list of words, but a wonderfully moving story told. Made me think of a time in my own life. Hummm


  4. CarsonB says:

    Fuckin’-A, let’s crank up the Survivor.

    Da. Da da da. Da da da. Da da daaaaaaa.
    Eye of the God-Damned Tiger!

    What’s your prediction?
    Ha ha ha.

    Storm warnings are bullshit and we’re sailing way too far off the bank. As we eat through boom box batteries and guzzle Meister Brau, the few remaining functional streetlights in Shitsville slowly reduce to yellow pinpoints. We all get quiet and mellow. The party is alive, but the crazy is extinct.

    The little wannabe radical who jibber-jabbers about freeing Nelson Mandela is warming up to me and I guide her left hand, by the wrist, toward my lap. She’s having none of it. Bobs and weaves her head and strikes like a snake. Teeth to the neck. Seriously. She bit me. For that?

    What the fuck?
    They call me the Anaconda.

    Yeah, whatever. And by the way, bitch, anacondas aren’t even poisonous.
    Then skip the treacle. Your neck is still gonna look like shit.

    Treacle? Can someone explain this girl? What does that even mean?

    Little serpent didn’t kill me in 1984, or 1994, or 2004.

    Boats, churches, lawyers. She can’t kill me. I’m a fucking survivor. Eye of the Tiger.

  5. Cathy Miller says:

    We go sailing along, taking little notice of all we hold dear. Actions become rote, as we reduce all that is not the same.

    Our dreams slither home like anAnaconda to constrict the routine we bank on. A storm of radical thoughts is brewing. Our functional life is disturbed. We grasp for what we know, fearing all else will render us extinct.

    We are in survivor mode. We break free of the treacle sound of complacency.

  6. kathleenMK says:

    Cathy ~~ ….We are in survivor mode. We break free of the treacle sound of complacency.
    This is so spot on. Been there, done that. And you hit the nail on the head. Bravo


  7. kathleenMK says:

    Story Continued from CCC 354

    “How did you survive those … what did you say it was … seven or so hours?” The nurse said in awe, as her internal thought belied her usual bedside manner and escaped out her mouth.

    Dumbfounded at the question –, a question with an answer Sarah was not sure she could put her finger on — Sarah sighed, More like ten or twelve,. “Well,” Sarah began flippantly, “I reduced my stress level by relying on my bank of knowledge of songs. When I ran out of things to sing I rapped. I rapped about sailing on the high seas to Australia. Yes, Australia, one of the places on Ethan’s bucket list. Now we won’t be able to go there on our honeymoon — running into an Anaconda that the love of my life slayed for me and because it was so big we not only had food for the trip, but both were able to make a matching set of boots and belts out of him. Yep I rapped,” Sarah responded.

    But what many do not know, and Sarah just wasn’t up to explaining, is that she knew that to survive. She was determined to be a survivor. After all it was in her blood. She knew she needed to stay functional and alert at all times, in case there was an opportunity to get free. She was not willing to be sold into any sex slavery or worse yet, let him make her become extinct.

    Being ‘readied for sale,’’ it is such a radical concept; the selling of another human being … today … in the year 2010. The phrase stung her ears when her captor said it to her the first time and now, each time she remembers it… it hurt more than just her ears – and would for years to come. Who does that? Sells another human being? Sarah thought, in American no less… as she sat there trying to make sense of it all. But as she sat on the hospital gurney a storm of thoughts came flooding in at her. Thoughts that were going to cause her night terrors. Thoughts that were going to cause her day terrors. Thoughts that made all thoughts fight realty like a swimmer in warm treacle filled pool.

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