Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #361

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. Return
  2. Porcelain
  3. Neptune
  4. Sacrilegious
  5. Joust
  6. Afraid
  7. Pluck
  8. Landing
  9. Influence
  10. Prerogative

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.)

16 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #361”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    Galactic Command decreed that the mapping of the Trans-Neptunian Objects in the Kuiper Belt could only be completed by sending manned ships to the outer planet and building a space station in its orbit. Though command claimed that information from that outpost would provide valuable research, we all thought we were going to be surveying minable rocks for rich folks.

    I was on the 17th ship in the Ninth Fleet. Nothing spooky about those those numbers. But, that ship was cursed! We had to return to base shortly after launch, because some fool had forgotten to top off the hydrazine tanks in bay 24. Okay, okay, it was I who was the fool. Under the influence of Maui Wowie, I had fallen asleep on the porcelain throne until well into the pre-launch countdown. By the time I had awaken, I had missed my check count. Oh well!

    After two weeks of thrusting through Einsteinian Wormhole #508, affectionately known as the “Einstein’s Bellybutton Joust“, Ninth Fleet emerged less than 400,000 kilometers from Neptune. The ship’s curse manifested again, when the captain exercised her prerogative in revealing the true mission to the crew:

    “We will not be building space station modules. Hell, we’re not even stopping on Neptune. We’re heading straight into the TNOs in a hunt for the cradle of humanity. I’m afraid our ship had the misfortune to pluck the short straw—we are the landing party. Our destination is MakeMake.”

    I barked a laugh of bitter irony. The superstitious fools in Galactic Command didn’t know their history. That miserable chunk of rock was originally called Easterbunny by its discoverers, due to the fact that they had found it shortly after an ancient holiday in A.D. 2005. In keeping with the silly nomenclature conventions of the day, the rock joined its brethren in the Kuiper Belt by being christened in the name of a pagan creator deity.

    The sacrilegious circle was completed by the desire to keep the original nickname intact. By chance, a primitive island of the same name was the home to the Rapanui, whose mythology included a fertility god named MakeMake!

    I’m gonna die looking for God. They’re gonna make me meet my Maker. Ha-ha.

    • bbanne says:

      The Easterbunny rock? Hahaha. It is so out of place in a futuristic tale that it really stops the reader in their tracks. And as always, you end with a killer line, Mitch. I love your work.

      • Anklebuster says:

        Anne, I appreciate your compliments. Thanks!

        The name was so serendipitous, I had to include it in the story. It is lovely when you choose words that lead to such delightful discoveries. I trashed the first version and went with this one, once I realized the irony of it. 🙂



  2. Tanja Cilia says:

    The porcelain Neptune had been elevated to the status of god. The landing of the ship that heralded its return had been greeted with sacrilegious honours and lascivious feasting. The influence wielded by the High Priest gave him the prerogative to order this to happen. Those who did not agree were afraid to show their displeasure. It fell to Pluck to joust with the status quo.

  3. bbanne says:

    “joust with the status quo” – brilliant! Tanja, i don’t know how you manage to fit all the words into such a short piece and not only does it make sense, it makes a powerful piece of writing. I sigh in envy.

  4. bbanne says:

    Can I pluck up enough courage to return to the table? It isn’t that I’m afraid, but all those raised eyebrows had really had an influence on me, sacrilegious girl that I am. I can almost hear Neptune thrashing about in his watery kingdom, demanding answers.

    I hadn’t done it on purpose, although now I have tried it, I guess it will be my prerogative, won’t it? A joust of elbows over the bountiful table had made me drop my big, juicy prawn. Landing in the tomato sauce, it lay there in its porcelain bath, turning as pink as the cheeks of embarrassment.

    A collective intake of breath and whispers of “She’s supposed to use the tartare!” told me that everyone had noticed.

    Perhaps I’ll wait until no one is looking before going back for seconds.

    • Anklebuster says:

      Hmph, says I. I much prefer cocktail sauce! LOL They’re not called tartare parties, after all…
      Do folks really get bent out of shape if you “misstep” at these social gatherings? I can understand gasps of “No double-dipping!” But dictating to my tastebuds?

      You sure gave me a lot to think about, this morning. 🙂



  5. The bell rang. As always, Mrs Kepenek disregarded it as if she was deaf and took another two minutes to explain the last point of the lesson. It was the last class and Henry was eager to leave and get the first possible bus to the city centre where he was expected to take part in the Friday ice-cream eating event organised by his best friends from the rivalry school across town.

    “And for homework,” continued Mrs Kepenek, casting dangerous looks at those trying to silently pack their bags, “I want you to write a short story incorporating the following 10 words: Return, Porcelain, Neptune, Sacrilegious, Joust, Afraid, Pluck, Landing, Influence, Prerogative. I know that some of them are hard, but you are in 5th grade now and I expect you to be able to use a dictionary. Goodbye, class.”

    “Goodbye, Mrs Kepenek”.

    Henry grimaced. This time, he didn’t even try to convince himself that he will do the homework on time. Usually, he promised himself he would do it on Saturday morning, but Saturday would come and go, and so would Sunday, and Henry would usually write something in the pause before class. Not this time, though. This time it was too hard.

    And since boys in the 5th grade are not allowed to know, much less use, swearwords, Henry thought bitterly, “I am afraid I don’t have the prerogative to take this old witch by the red-dyed hair and stop her sacrilegious influence on us by smashing the porcelain figure on her desk in her head and then joust with her around school until I recruit enough volunteers to pluck a few trees out of the ground, make a catapult and return her to her native Neptune, the freaking alien. Hope she has a successful landing.”

    “I am day-dreaming again,” Henry thought, suddenly startled. “And I am being violent again, how awful of me.” He packed his bag and left the room. “Well, I can’t do all that, but at least I can spit in her coffee the next time she sends me to get her one. That will serve her.”

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