Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #360

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. Colony
  2. Sheets
  3. Bluster
  4. Awash
  5. Tilting
  6. Agile
  7. Scuttling
  8. Division
  9. Sandstone
  10. Play

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.)


28 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #360”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    A complete division of nanobugs came scuttling out of the newly erected sandstone wall that now surrounded the decimated colony. The agile critters sucked the chlorine out of the atmosphere before diving into the monstrous bees to finish them off.

    The film ended. The lecture hall hummed. Sergeant Van Allen piped up, “Well? Comments?”

    Jeremy stood up and began to scream. “Propaganda! Clearly, the government wishes to play with our minds, leaving them awash with lasting images of heroic technology. First of all, the wall was totally unnecessary, as was the dechlorination. We’re supposed to remember the constructive aspects—terraforming—while ignoring the highly improbable likelihood of a cargo train derailing in a densely populated area.”

    As Jeremy’s rhetoric began to lose its bluster, he tossed the handouts down toward the podium. “These recruiting sheets glamorize nanobug development to the detriment of non-invasive environmental control alternatives!

    “What’s with this fake ad, anyway? Why are we still hauling chlorine? Why is the train in this ad over 100 years old? Where did the stupid bees come from, anyway?”

    Murmurs of assent bounced around the lecture hall like a beach ball in a stadium. The sergeant smiled beatifically. Suddenly, he pushed a button on the lectern. Green gas hissed from ceiling vents. Tilting the microphone close to his lips, he whispered, “Wrong answer.”

  2. kathleenMK says:

    Mitch ~~ LOL…
    I do, espcially like, Murmers of assent bounded around the lecture hall like a beach ball in a stadium. I could see this…

    wow.. not what I expected at the end, but a great way to end it all.
    Glad I wasn’t in this guy’s class.


    • Anklebuster says:

      Thanks, Kathleen. I wasn’t sure how to end it. At first, the Sergeant was a professor. Luckily, this was just a chance to be creative, as opposed to making any sense. LOL



  3. bbanne says:

    Another brilliant piece, Mitch. You have a diabolical mind. I love it.

    • Anklebuster says:

      Thanks, Anne. Your follow-on was perfect!
      As an aside, Netflix presented me with something called Snow Piercer – a B-movie that should be in everyone’s Theater 3000 list because, trains! LOL

  4. bbanne says:

    There were no buildings left. The few remaining sandstone walls were tilting at a crazy angle. A few agile sheep bounced around the broken down fences and over piles of sandstone blocks, half buried in the long grass, but they were the only signs of life.

    It was a gorgeous spring morning, warm and tickled by a soft breeze, but somehow it still wasn’t healthy. We were the last surviving residents in the colony and although we’d buried the others, the area was still contaminated; awash with fear as much as chlorine and death.

    It was almost time for the next train to come chugging through the valley and over the bridge which served as the division between us and them. We knew what that meant. All the bluff and bluster in the world didn’t make the Sergeant’s words any more believable. We’d been there. We’d seen it firsthand. It was going to happen to us again and this time we might not survive. We knew the crash had been deliberate.

    But still, we may have our revenge for, ironically, the valley wasn’t enough to keep the nanobugs here with us. After the last episode, they had mutated into a powerful form of bug that seemed to have no predators and no limits. We’d watched as sheets of them went scuttling down and over to the real world. They seeped into the sewers which ran under the town and the railway station.

    But it wasn’t up to us to sound the warning.

    The nanobugs performed their play in silence and their metallic sheen made the real world look beautiful as it slowly died.

    In the distance I could hear the nearing sound of the train whistle. There would only be nanobugs to clear up the mess this time.

  5. Jacob was silent again. Jeremy was eaten four days ago and now only the three of us remained in the valley. I knew nothing we could do would stop the nanobugs from destroying the world. The colony that started the experiment was long eaten and forgotten. They, and people like us, arriving by trains every fortnight, were the perfect food for the nanobugs who knew no limits in their growth and became more and more agile with every level they achieved. The small screens on their foreheads showed us their stats – something used by the nano-biologists to follow their development. No nano-biologist survived their own creation, though. Now it was only the three of us and we knew we won’t last long.

    Our chlorine sheets were no longer a reliable protection. The chlorine had volatilized long ago and we only kept them because we felt more secure knowing we had something the bugs hated. Well, we used to have something they hated – now it was only another bulk we had to carry. No surprise Jacob left his sheet behind. He didn’t urge me and Mary-Ann to do as him though. As a matter of fact, he scarcely uttered a word…

    We had been walking for days on end now without spotting another living thing, but the cocoons were all around us – hanging from the trees, half-buried in holes in the ground, hidden in the cracks of ancient walls that marked the places of long-forgotten villages. We were not sure in which part of the world we were, but it looked like Surface Level 3, Dimension 8. The occasional small river and the nano-plants characteristic for the region suggested that we were somewhere in the area of the ancient state of France.

    I was thinking about all these useless things, trying to forget the bluster that followed the crash of the last trains. First, they were angry and shouting with rage, then they saw what was coming. Some of them started crying, others begged for mercy, still others just felt silent. Some were in delirium. And then the world was awash with nanobugs. None of the passengers in the train had a chlorine sheet and we couldn’t give them ours. All we could do was safely watch how they died.

    I felt the familiar tilting sense and the tickling around my navel. It was midnight on Surface Level 1, Dimension 1 and the Earth was inverting. This meant we had 3 hours till midnight and we would soon need to recharge. I could feel Mary-Ann thinking of the same thing – she had no appetite since she saw the last train crash and I perfectly understood her. And yet, if we wanted to at least have some chance of reaching Surface 1, we had to eat…

    Suddenly, Jacob spoke. His voice sounded so unfamiliar that Mary-Ann jumped and reached for her nano-gun. Jacob pretended not to see. ‘I have a plan.’

    I was surprised. It seemed he didn’t speak, he had been thinking. ‘The nano-scientists who created the nanobugs were instructed to leave a loophole in their design in case they were in a situation when scuttling their own creation was unavoidable’.

    ‘How do you know that?’, I asked. I was surprised and a bit incredulous. ‘No-one below third division is allowed to know anything about the plans of the nano-scientists.’

    ‘I am not below third division.’

    ‘Come on, don’t play with us. You are telling me that we had a high officer with us all the time? Couldn’t you do anything to help the people in the last train?’

    ‘No, unfortunately there was nothing to be done for them. And, as a matter of fact, I am not the only one above third division in our group.’ His eyes stopped at Mary-Ann. Her hand plunged towards the nanogun, but he was faster. A blinding green blast. No noise at all. When I opened my eyes again, her brain was splashed at the sandstone wall behind us.

  6. Tanja Cilia says:

    Sheets blew in the wind, hung on lines on the flat roofs of the honey-coloured, sandstone buildings. In the far-flung colony of Gerundial, in the Herald Division, doing the laundry was child’s play. Daily life was a scene from an old Hollywood film – the soapbox orator haranguing listeners with a measure of bluster, while tilting at windmills; the children, agile as monkeys, scuttling to and fro between the skirts and trousers of the adults, and merchants plying their trades in the open market.

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