Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge # 511

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 before and after each of your challenge words if you want them to stand out, but NOT REQUIRED THOUGH! Or, as cleverly done by a CCC-er you can CAPITALIZE the challenge words in your piece.

  1. Fleece
  2. Longjohns
  3. Sniffle
  4. Dreary
  5. Hypothermia
  6. Ice crystals
  7. Sugarplum
  8. Woolens
  9. Nor’easter
  10. Apt

14 Comments on “Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge # 511”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    The elves huddled together as they waited for the Sugarplum Express to the North Pole. It was due to arrive in the maelstrom of the nor’easter, but was apt to be tardy. Santa was probably still getting drunk on elderberry wine and–of course–the train couldn’t leave without him.

    Despite their natural immunity to hypothermia, most of the creatures couldn’t help feeling dreary. Fleece, the youngest, was the exception. She amused herself by resisting the impulse to sniffle, which she thought would snap the ice crystals slowly lengthening down the tip of her nose. The effort was for naught, as the nasal stalactites succumbed to her intermittent giggles. She wiped her nose on her mittens and tried again.

    Lichen Longjohns watched the little elf with a pang of envy. As he pulled his woolens tighter around his shivering body, he tried to recall his carefree youth. He regretted belatedly that he never played in the snow. He decided, at that moment, to rectify the oversight.

    Lichen broke from the huddle, scooped up a handful of snow and was just about to toss it at his friends when the Sugarplum materialized out of nowhere and squished him flatter than a paper snowflake.

    • KathleenMK says:

      Mitch ~ as I sit here, in my little office, just having come in out of the cold… I wish I was immune to hypothermia; maybe I should stop dressing like a Californian and go back to dressing like the Ohioan or Coloradoan I have been before…. But I digress from this delightful read.

      And glad to have gone back to the read with nasal stalactites and then the childlike feelings and then… not!

      You’ve done it again, I am smiling. Thank you. It’s been too long since I have allowed the joys of the season to lighten my load.

      Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

      Write On, please!


      • Anklebuster says:

        Kathleen, your heartfelt comments are humbling and encouraging. I am happy that my words can help you begin to enjoy the season. Thank you!



        • /chet says:

          Yes Mitch, I love the nasal stalactites too and I love that final twist to keep the story interesting. You reminded me of seeing some horses once, standing in a field with icicles hanging from their noses. It really happens!

  2. KathleenMK says:

    “Mum, why are you just sitting, motionless, computer-side?” she looked up from the keyboard she had not touched in hours, past the ceiling that held the roof and the snow, toward the voice she knew she was the only one to hear it. “If you sit there much longer Hypothermia will set in.”

    “I know son. You are right,” she said softly.

    “Why don’t you go stand or sit by the fire while this nor’easter blows through?”

    She rose, albeit hesitantly, at his suggestion. As she approached the fireplace the warmth from the flames fleeced the chill that had been settling into her bones. She rubbed her hands together as she held her hands above the flame.

    The woolens that covered her legs began to hold the heat.

    “Remember how we used to fight to get the best spot, in front of the fire?”

    The corners of her mouth began to rise. “Yes, you three standing there in your longjohns, sniffles egged on by the mention of coco and stories….”

    “And one of us trying to get you to say… move over and give – whoever sniffled – a closer spot next to the fire!” the glee in her son’s voice was undeniable. “Wasn’t there something about sugarplum fairies and who knows what else?” He did not wait for an answer, “Those were great times Mum.”

    “I am glad you think so Lovie. They were apt entertainment on the ranch and for childhood.”

    “They helped with those dreary long Colorado days Mum.”

    “Thanks son, for saying that … for stopping by today. Your visits help keep the ice crystals from adhereing to my heart, well, at least for long periods of time.”

    “Awe mum, you’re not cold hearted, dad lied about that for years, you are just broken hearted.”

    “You are right Lovie. But I did smile, deep down inside, at the neighbor’s lights display this year; it has music and all.”

    “I saw that Mum. I miss the house aglow in lights too.”

  3. /chet says:

    The nor’easter had been howling for three days, putting a good two feet of snow down around the cabin. I took out the snowblower and the shovel a couple of times a day, just so we could get to the wood pile and the garage ok. But the plows wouldn’t bother coming all the way up here until it stopped so we were settled in for the duration.

    It was what Karen liked to call ‘woolens weather,’ where we pull out the heavy socks and sweaters and even wear the scarves she knit indoors. The big log house was sturdy and snug and I could easily warm it up more but she had a frugal streak and didn’t like to burn more oil than we had to.

    “Your granddaddy was a lumberjack up here. Come up here in 1917 after the big war was over. Did I ever tell you about that?”

    She liked to recount family stories the on dreary days like this, when we were in the depth of February with a bad case of cabin fever and her annual winter cold had settled in. But I knew better than to tell her ‘yes.’ She wasn’t telling it for me anyway.

    “Said he’d had enough civilization to last him a lifetime. Said Maine had just enough folks to keep him company. After he married mom, she convinced him to move back to Boston. Go to law school. He never told her nor anybody else for that matter, but he told me. When we came up here on vacations. Told me how much he hated the city. Called the people down there a lot of names, even his clients. ‘I’ve got to work for all these sugarplum fairies, sweetie,” he said to me. “They pay the mortgage.”

    She gave a sniffle, blew her nose, and wandered around the main room, touching things.

    “Land this far north in Maine, it must have been pretty cheap,” I said. “Especially back in those days.”

    She looked out the window at all the white flying around and pulled the fleece throw closer around her skinny shoulders. She held our her hand and wiggled the empty tea cup hanging off her finger. I pulled on a glove and stepped out the back door to break off another icecycle off to melt. She’d heard something somewhere, probably on some middle-of-the-night T.V. show, about the healing power of water from ice crystals.

    “It was. Daddy bought every acre he could. ‘Keep the bastards from cutting it all down,’ he said.”

    “Mom used to sing a song about a lumberjack to him. Something about how he didn’t shave, just hammered his beard back in and bit the hairs off inside. He used to laugh whenever she sang it. He told me that the lumberjacks, they all put on longjohns come November and rubbed themselves all over with bear grease and didn’t take it off until the end of March.”

    I handed her a fresh cup of tea made out of some magical herb they grow in Mexico.

    “He said that was how come none of them froze to death. Also how come he lost his sense of smell.

    “I remember,” she laughed and took a sip of the tea. “I remember I said ‘Daddy, don’t you mean *hypothermia* and he looked at me with his narrow little eyes and said ‘Speak plain girl. Unless you’re trying to confuse somebody.’ I guess he learned that from being a lawyer.

    She sighed and said, “I never knew what to believe.”

    Which seemed apt because I’d done some double-checking before I came up and as best I could tell, my grandfather was a big corporate attorney after the war and made a killing in real estate and bought all this land intended to build a big resort on the shoreline until the Great Depression hit and changed everybody’s story line. I wasn’t sure what to believe either.

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