Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #368

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. Bold
  2. Enzyme
  3. Muppets
  4. Crossword
  5. Secret
  6. Messenger
  7. Creative
  8. Oil
  9. Pretending
  10. Music

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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21 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #368”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    It’s not the butterfly that matters; it’s the fool who steers his ship into the storm that has an effect on everything. Of course, such subtlety was lost on Faylee Morrison, as she put the finishing touches on the secret formula for the goop that she hoped would supplant the toxic paint industry.

    Morrison, the creative genius behind Oryx Zombie Dyes, was that rare combination of business-savvy inventor. Her journey toward solvent-free coloring agents began when her daughter brought her a plate of green eggs and ham on her fifth anniversary as a mom. Tanya, smeared from head to toe with paint her father had carelessly stored under the kitchen sink, had proudly proffered the breakfast to her mother—just before collapsing at the foot of the bed.

    The doctors who treated Tanya had said she was lucky. Since she had spilled more paint than had been placed into the frying pan, her exposure to formaldehyde was minimal. The irritant had not caused serious damage to her airways. Additionally, the paint was one of the newer, environmentally friendly brands. Under normal use, the solvent would have evaporated over a larger surface area, dispersing its smaller volume of gases harmlessly.

    Faylee had raged at the mention of environmentally friendly. “Environment? Environment? What about my kid! Is that paint kid-friendly?” She took her rage out on her husband, colleagues and whoever had received the blistering emails fired off to Du Pont. Eventually, she calmed down. Nothing good ever came from shooting the messenger.

    She began to research the processes used in creating paint products. Some of the solvents in oil-based paints were so esoteric, she’d only seen them in catalogs and crossword puzzles. One of those words, alkyd, set off an associative brainstorm that led her to organic acids. From there, she grabbed her old notes on DNA, deoxyribozymes, milk-production and nano-replication.

    Faylee drafted her bold design ten days after her daughter’s. Scribbling in her notebook, while absently watching the Muppets cavorting to happy music on the big-screen television, Faylee figured out how to produce an endless supply of non-toxic coloring compounds. She could extract lipase, the main enzyme that breaks down milk fat, and engineer it so that it would add specific pigments to the lipids.

    With the foundation of the process firmly rooted in her mind, she continued to think it through. She came up with stabilizers, purifiers and pigment calculators. The only thing missing was the synthesizer. Faylee knew it would be prohibitively expensive to reverse-engineer a gallon of milk into paint. What she needed was a way for milk-production to be converted to paint-production. Biologically.

    She laughed delightedly. Paint farms! She would find a suitable animal to breed with her engineered DNA. She envisioned acres of land, dotted with contented, paint-lactating beasts. All she needed now was seed money.

    That was three years ago. Now, Faylee was desperate. Her original formula had worked so well that her second-generation cows were producing the entire rainbow. Along with the pot of gold came trouble: it turned out that PETA, kids and ordinary dairy farmers were appalled that Bessie and friends were being so mistreated.

    Stung by the backlash, Faylee’s startup scrambled to find a suitable alternative. They thought they had a winner with the oryx, a nearly-extinct African antelope. Faylee and her senior biochemist took a small team on an undercover mission to poach them from Ethiopia.

    Pretending to be wild-life preservationists, they managed to sneak into the Awash National Park and airlifted two dozen of the oryxes. The engineered DNA was introduced into the herd and, within weeks, copious amounts of fluorescent casein was milked from the mothers.

    Unfortunately, the company was hit with another disaster: the males took to eating their young. In order to prevent this, Faylee added an amino acid to the sex gene. This turned adult males into catatonic sperm donors. While this complicated the breeding side of operations, the population was no longer threatened.

    Her vision came to pass. Instead of contented cows, however, her mutated deoxyribozymes had unleashed a landscape of alien antelopes, horns eternally pointed skyward.


    Fun fact: Oryx Zombie Dyes is an anagram of deoxyribozymes, which are the catalytic enzymes of DNA.

  2. Sorry I have been away for so long. Major issues with my Mom, but she is doing OK right now. Also, lots of running around with my granddaughter to volleyball tournaments, at least that was a good thing.

    Don’t know if I will be participating every time. It all depends.

    Well, enough of that check out my attempt:

    ******************************

    The Lunch Hour

    She sat there watching the Muppets, while pretending to do the crossword. The sound was off, so she was also bobbing her head to simulate listening to the music while using dummy headphones.

    Actually, her creative juices were flowing like a thin oil. There was a secret enzyme that a messenger had delivered , which she had injected a short time ago to see if it helped her write a better report for her boss.

    The only thing wrong with this situation is that a company bigwig came through and yelled at her for not working. Jill quickly showed him the work schedule showing she was still on lunch break. The bigwig bought it and stormed off. Jill gave a sigh of relief, because she was really supposed to be working according to the new schedule.

    Moral: If you are going to goof off be bold about it.

  3. […] This is my submission for Creative Copy Challenge #368. […]

  4. K says:

    Here, you stand, pretending that the music called your inner critic subdues you into a state of complacency. Little do you know this voice clogs your mind with static; instead of acting as an enzyme–a producer of change–it bogs you down with its weight.

    Its secret lies not in its power but in your doubts: It feeds on your insecurities–its tricky wordplay a crossword you must decode. Yet with this advice, it serves no purpose for you. This messenger–no, harbinger–toddles along on its business and taunts you with its freedom and creative spirit.

    From the back, it almost resembles you except its bold,stubborn nature in pestering you is reminiscent of a well-oiled machine instead of the stale, stilted muppet that is you. And if you close your eyes and take in that voice, it is you.

    The saying goes that humans battle as though boats, beating against the rough tides buffeting them on their journey toward that light on the other side. Even if failure looms in sight, humankind can not resist that light. The tides people confront do not impede them in a physical sense; the waves are fragments of the past in which no one can escape. Battered by the past, who can say they have found success in their venture toward that light?

    But you, the somnambulant walker of life, embarked and did not set off far from the pier. Entrenched in the sea of your hidden skeletons, you allowed it to wash over and capsize you.

    And so when you look out of the window and the sunlight falls upon you like bleached hail, know that the fault is always with you.

    • bbanne says:

      You are in my head, aren’t you? If not, you’ve sure painted a great picture of the drama that plays out up there. I absolutely love the line “Entrenched in the sea of your hidden skeletons,..” Great work.

    • Anklebuster says:

      K.

      Wow.

      This was deep. I like the metaphor you chose to represent struggle and submission. And bleached hail was a fantastic description!

      Cheers,

      Mitch

  5. bbanne says:

    When you’re surrounded by Muppets it’s hard to be creative. You’d think their brand of craziness would trigger something wild and wonderful in the brain, wouldn’t you? But no
    .
    See, the problem is that they aren’t really crazy at all. They are just bits of fuzzy material to which someone else gives a voice and manipulates through a series of actions. They are pretending to be what you want them to be.

    For some reason it’s all getting to me today. I’d really like to speak to a human being, not someone who is a short messenger from management.

    “Oh, Kermie….”

    Can I tell you a secret?

    I used to love Miss Piggy before I came to work here in wardrobe. I loved her bold, brash and sassy personality and her really odd affection for a frog. (I know, right?) But it’s not real. SHE’s not real!

    Here I am, sitting by myself in the staff lunchroom, fiddling with my crossword puzzle and dribbling tuna oil from my sandwich all down my shirt. It’s lucky I’m eating alone because no enzyme on earth would get the oil out of Miss Piggy’s gowns.

    Imagine the fuss! I can hear her now, dobbing on me to management, little spy that she is. I’d be out the door in a flash. And that’s despite the fact that I’ve created most of their little bodies on my sewing machine. Yes, I made them all!

    But I know I’d be sacked. No goodbyes, no handshakes.

    Just cue the music

    It’s time to play the music
    It’s time to light the lights
    It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight

    • Anklebuster says:

      Ha-ha! This is fun. You personified Miss Piggy perfectly. I can just see her going ballistic over that oil. I never knew the lyrics to the show. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Mitch

  6. Meg says:

    In the Sunday Crossword,
    Not the lame easy metro words
    But the glossy head scratching clues
    I was lost waiting for a messenger from
    Anywhere to give me a secret clue to open what
    Was once lost. I listen to the music played
    Cheerleading thump thump
    Rah rah blah blah music.
    We are muppets sliding on the oil of broken cogs.
    Strings stay in place, not bold enough to become free,
    I linger de-evolving into enzyme goo to be filed away
    At the end of the day.

    I wish my creative side had more umph but for now
    A few words from prompts are linked together at
    Random intervals for a lunch away and then back
    To work stew and email fricassee.

  7. Lisa says:

    It is no secret.

    The music is bad.

    Really bad.

    The band consists of three grown men, dressed like muppets, pretending they know how to play instruments. I keep having flashbacks to ‘Gwar’ concerts. The guitarist with the Mrs. Piggy head keeps slathering his chest hair with some form of massage oil. I can’t keep from wondering whether their final set will consist of frying bacon.

    The band is almost as bad as this bold ‘pomegranate’ dress that makes me look like a cross-dressing ape from Little House on the Prairie. I knew when I agreed to be a bridesmaid that my friend’s creative personality was going to take this wedding to a level of insanity that only paranoid schizophrenics on a hit of acid could visualize. She didn’t disappoint. And how the hell is pomegranate even a colour? I didn’t even know it was a food until 2 days ago, let alone a colour! I wonder if there is an enzyme that can alter the bad taste this colour leaves in my mouth.

    I look around at the reception. It seems that the whole purpose to having the reception before the wedding is to have everybody completely blitzed for the actual ceremony. If that is the reasoning, it is a huge success. Melanie’s father-in-law was doing the crossword under the table when the messenger burst forth from the cake. He knocked his head on the bottom of the table, startled and cursing.

    “Hear ye, hear ye,” shouts the half-dressed Canada Post letter carrier into a microphone, “Melanie and Phil would like to announce that they eloped three hours ago. Enjoy the party!”

    I grab the nearest drink off the table and toss it back. If I have to wear pomegranate on the hottest day of the year for nothing, then we’ll see how to make the piggy squeal.

  8. […] Creative Copy Challenge is up and running again! That wonderful writing prompt site that provides 10 words to be used in a story, poem or other written form. It’s been a very long time since I’ve written purely for the joy of it. […]

  9. Chris Fries says:

    Hi again, all! How about a 10×10 about the hazards of first dates in loud pizza places:

    Bold choice,” Cliff said, “but please no anchovies on mine.”

    “Anchovy enzyme?” Brenda asked. Cliff shouted, “No, that’s not it.”

    “More hot Muppets?” Brenda laughed. “You’re a strange, funny guy!”

    It was like crossword puzzles with jumbled clues, Cliff thought:

    Every sentence was a secret joke that neither one got.

    He practically needed a hired messenger to communicate with her;

    His gestures across the table were creative but didn’t help.

    He shrugged, then dipped bread in the oil and smiled.

    She smiled back. He wondered if she was pretending, too.

    Their next date would definitely be someplace with quieter music.


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