Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #371

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. Subtle
  2. Essence
  3. Subterfuge
  4. Froth
  5. Rolling
  6. Wander
  7. Marvellous
  8. Streamline
  9. Operation
  10. Success

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.)

59 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #371”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    For Pyotr, madness was measured, not in froth about formless lips, but in the rapid rolling of rheumy eyes. Yet, even in this marvellous subterfuge, he was able to streamline the transfer of misinformation regarding Operation Herrenvolk.

    “I wrote ten little stories,” Pyotr muttered to the person who was pretending to be a reporter. Pyotr went along with the ruse. His final mission was that important.

    “Yes, sir. Ten stories,” the interrogator stole a peek at his watch.

    Pyotr shrugged. “It was an obscure site where members attempted to destroy blocks with random hammers. Despite the success of many of the members, it was, after all, priests at a convention.”

    “Okay,” the interrogator shrugged, not knowing how to respond to that.

    “Oh, should I have said, ‘preaching to the choir’? Do let me know if I’m being too subtle.”

    “You’re fine, sir.”

    Pyotr cackled, “I’m coarse. But I’ve forgotten how to speak the Mother tongue. They used that as an excuse to keep me from going on the Mothership. As if I wanted to freeze in my sleep while two million kilograms of metal, fuel and flesh wander through the galaxy!”

    “Ship, sir?” The interrogator edged forward, watch forgotten.

    “Not ship, ships! I used the stories to encode the names of each one. Nine decoys and the Mothership. You must tell what’s left of this world that we did not end.”

    “Of course, sir. I will do that.” The interrogator abruptly stood. Pyotr locked eyes with the imposter, before closing them in resignation. He knew they would end him, find and decipher his rantings and discover the Mothership.

    The sharp crack of the pistol crystallized Pyotr’s thoughts:

    They have only the essence of the exodus. Please, God, may they never learn that none of those ships is a decoy—ten mothers with the hope of humanity in their titanium wombs…

  2. annew says:

    I love the froth on a marvelously prepared cappuccino. The subtle mixture of the essence of fine coffee and steamed organic milk can be a real success. I love the subterfuge of art drawn up through the foam in shapes of leaves, names, faces… limited only by the wandering mind of the barista. It’s a shame to see the operation streamlined into impersonal efficiency, rolling out almost tasteless brew with no heart.

  3. kathleenMK says:

    I hate it when I am gone so long… but this will explain a lot — Kathleen

    She exuded a less than a subtle essences of elegance with her perfectly painted long manicured fingernails – she’s had them painted red most often for decades, her professional colored and styled hair – that classically mimicked her younger years and then there was her never inexpensive clothing accented by the 1-carate diamond stud earrings she sported. I don’t think she has taken them off since her father said, ‘It’s not much of an insurance policy so purchase something to remember me by after I am gone’ and that was 25 years ago. Add to that the subterfuge of burning strength, she really wasn’t as frail as she sometimes looked – this is how I might describe my painfully shy mother when I deliver her eulogy on the 20th of Feb.

    But I might not include that she often seemed to nearly froth at the mouth which always accompanied by the rolling of her eyes when any of us girls would show up wearing perfume. Her Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma first taking root in her sinuses and stomach assured me – most often, to hear, “When are you going to stop wearing that perfume?”

    But, I have to admit, I used to wander around wearing the same “Tabu” I have worn since my early 20s, because, in part, it was one of the first things she could actually smell again after the docs helped her to be victorious in battle number one.

    I remember how marvelous it was to make her temporarily sick to her stomach with the amount of garlic she could smell me cooking with. It wasn’t that I was adding spices to torment her … I was cooking the same way as I did before she took ill. But you see, it had been so long since she had been able to smell anything let alone her all-time favorite … Garlic! It was just great that she could smell things again.

    It was difficult on dad, mostly, as the menu had to be streamlined and much of all seasonings had to be removed from anything we cooked for her. Oh the changes cancer did to this lady over the last 15 years. And the family. Sigh.

    She lucked out and was only subjected to a minimally invasive operation on her eye when, for her third battle, the cancer came back in her tear duct.

    Success would not be her’s this time as she bravely lost her battle last month. With two daughters at bedside, the other only feet away, dad – her husband of 56 years – sleeping in the recliner that last week so he too could be close to her in the hospital bed Hospice had brought in. The dogs, two of her’s and my one, sitting either beside the hospital bed or on my feet in those last hours trying to bring their comfort into the mix.

    I am beginning to miss my mum.
    Patrice “Pat” (Wright) Kline Nov. 20, 1937 – Jan. 22, 2015

  4. Cathy Miller says:

    The voice held a subtle influence she had not felt before. Finally, the essence of who she was broke free of the subterfuge called life. The answers she wrote would be froth to most. But for her they were the light hidden in a rolling sea of despair.

    She would wander no more if the marvelous words would streamline all she sought. It had been a lifetime operation that left her weary and more than a little afraid. Success had been so hard to define, yet simple at the same time. Was she brave enough to try?

  5. Hey guys…whipped this one out, all in order!

    A subtle fragrance tickled his olfactory sense, drifting on the slight breeze. It was her essence that he could smell, a sensation that he had not experienced in years. He knew now that her death was but a subterfuge, a false trail that she had laid down, to hide herself from the world, and from him, for all these long years.
    He had known back then that she hadn’t really thrown herself away into the
    froth of the rolling surf, or that she had not simply taken to wander down some dark street to be killed in an alleyway.
    The smell was marvelous, bringing back the memories of Malta and the Philippines, the times when they had set out to streamline their operation and eliminate competition. That had been a success, and they had fallen so completely in love….but that was a long time ago.
    He tightened his grip on the cold .45, his thumb absently rubbing the shiny spot where the serial number had been filed off. She was near, and soon would be gone; for real, forever this time.

  6. […] Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #371 […]

  7. Chris Fries says:

    Hi all! I really liked this list of prompt words, and instead of a 10×10, I was inspired to come up with an impromptu story (with the words used in order).

    Here it is:

    A Fluke of Nature

    Doctor Nathanial Hawkins paused, uncertain how to respond to his newest client. As a highly-sought and very successful plastic surgeon to the rich and powerful, he’d almost become jaded to the odd requests he’d had in his career, but he still found himself flustered at what Brooke Swanson was asking.

    “I’m not sure it would be… in your best interest,” he finally said.

    “You don’t have to be subtle with me,” she said. “I want your blunt assessment, not your sugar-coated opinions. Is it possible?”

    Hawkins sighed and regarded her — mid-thirties, beautiful, excellent health, and obscenely wealthy. In essence, she was the perfect patient for much of his work. But she wanted much more than a tummy tuck or a new nose.

    “Yes, I actually think it could be possible. But I question the ethics of doing it.”

    She laughed. “I don’t care about the ethics. It’s my decision and it’s between you and me. I’ll sign whatever release forms you want to make sure your ass is covered. I only demand absolute secrecy. But I would hope you have had enough experience with the subterfuge needed to hide your work from the prying public.”

    In his mind, he ran through the procedures required. Each would be extensive and challenging. But they would also be ground-breaking.
    “You won’t be able to hide it forever,” he said. “Something of this magnitude will eventually leak out.”

    “I only need long enough to heal. Then my pilot and my staff will fly me out the US. I already have the island set up, thousands of miles away from the news media and the lawyers. All I’ll have around me will be the froth from the rolling waves and blue water in every direction.”

    Hawkins let his thoughts wander again. If what she was asking for worked, it would be amazing, unlike anything ever attempted. The results would be simply marvelous to behold. He would become even more famous — not just to the aging elite in a desperate search to maintain the illusion of youth. He would become a household name.

    And he had to admit to himself he was excited about it.

    # # #

    Hawkins removed his hat and wiped his brow. The tropical sun was relentless, but the view across the sparkling lagoon was spectacular. Brooke Swanson had chosen well on this isolated island. He followed the ripples as she swam up to the dock.

    “So what do you think, Doctor Hawkins?” she said after breaching the water. “You still like your work?”

    “Call me Nate,” he said. “They removed my license following the trial. I’m no longer technically a doctor.”

    “I’m sorry about that,” she said.

    “I’m not. It was worth it.”

    “I’m glad you feel that way. I flew you down because I wanted to make sure. And also to offer to increase your payment as restitution. I didn’t intend to ruin your career.”

    He admired the sleekness of the plasticized skin covering the buoyancy chambers along her sides; the intricate way the dorsal fin had been grafted onto her spine; the smooth streamline of curves as her merged legs flowed into the wide fluke of her dolphin-like tail; and the delicate way the embedded tubes ran under her cheekbones from her sinus cavities to the artificial gills implanted along her neck.

    She used her arms to tread water in front of him, her webbed fingers sweeping gracefully through the water

    He thought her even more beautiful than she had ever been.

    “You didn’t ruin my career,” he said. “You made it.”

    He laughed. “The operation was a complete success, and because of you, I’ll be forever known as the man who made a mermaid.”

    # # #

    • Anklebuster says:

      Chris, this was brilliant! I was literally leaning into the monitor with anticipation.

      Now, I want to know more: of course, why did Brooke want this? How does she live? Will Nate get more business? LOL



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