Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #518

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. Solitary Man
  2. Song Sung Blue
  3. Sweet Caroline
  4. America
  5. Heartlight
  6. You don’t bring me flowers
  7. Cracklin’ Rosie
  8. Diamond
  9. Showman
  10. Anthems
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16 Comments on “Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #518”

  1. All I can think in response at the moment is, “Don’t go breakin’ my heart…” The news yesterday was sad, but could have been sadder. I hope that Neil is taking time for himself and his health; I feel so incredibly fortunate to have seen him in concert, not just once, but twice.

    • KathleenMK says:

      Holly ~ I totally understand. I too am a big fan of all of Mr. Diamond’s giving to the community/fellow man, at large, with his music. I am sorry to see that he has to retire from touring, but glad he will still be doing the writing that helps, I hope, make him happy.

      I too have been lucky enough to see him in concert, a couple of times. Once was at the Greek Theater in California; his second appearance there and then once at the Forum, in California.

      Kathleen

  2. Tanja Cilia says:

    To his public, in America and overseas, he epitomised the gregarious showman; but before he found fame, he had been a solitary man, prone to composing anthems and dirges about everything – and anything. His crooning song sung blue could make concrete statures weep. He was torn between Sweet Caroline on one side, and Cracklin’ Rosie on the other; he wanted to give the diamond ring to his heartlight – but which one of them was she? The phonecall decided it for him. “You don’t bring me flowers any more…” Rosie complained. He chose her – because Caroline did not care enough to nag.

  3. Anklebuster says:

    It was a dark and stormy, hot August night. The Inn was empty, save for Sweet Caroline and Knock-kneed Diamond. She was the barmaid; he was the innkeeper. On this baleful night, there were no tankards to refill and no rooms to be let. Caroline and Diamond sat around the broken-down piano, hoisted their own tankards and lustily bawled out their favorite anthems.

    The drunken revelry was rudely disrupted by rapping at the door.

    Diamonds are forever (forever, forever)
    Throw your diamonds in the sky if you feel the vibe
    Diamonds are forever (forever, forever, forever)
    The Roc is still alive every time I rhyme.
    Forever ever? Forever ever? Ever, ever? Ever, ever? Ever, ever? Ever, ever?”

    Knock-kneed Diamond staggered to his feet. “Who dares to cut me off while singing Song Sung Blue?” As he shuffled to the door, the rapping continued, louder and more insistent:

    I was sick about awards
    Couldn’t nobody cure me
    Only playa that got robbed but kept all his jewelry
    Alicia Keys tried to talk some sense to them
    30 minutes later seems there’s no convincing them
    What more can you ask for?”

    Diamond threw open the door to reveal a solitary man, drenched from head to toe. His umbrella was inside out and bent; his trench coat was tattered and muddy.

    “Hark! Who goes there?”

    “Greetings, friend. I’m just a showman from America, traveling west. Can ya feel me? I need a place to sleep.”

    Diamond eyed the stranger’s jewelry and fine, muddy shoes. He stumbled backward to admit the man. “Well, then, welcome to Cracklin’ Rosie!”

    The man strode in, tossed his useless umbrella aside and sank into the nearest chair. Caroline rushed over to take his coat, but he waved her off. He pointed to the tankard she still held and asked, “That for me? Damn, y’all got some quick service, up in here!”

    Caroline certainly didn’t want to disabuse the man of his opinion, so she plopped the tankard into his muddy hands. She offered her bar rag to him. Again, he waved her off.

    “Ma’am, I’m looking for a bit more than a dishrag to clean myself up. Ya feel me?”

    Misunderstanding, Caroline squeezed the man’s biceps and nodded agreeably.

    “Caroline! Manners! No wenching before quenching! Them’s the rules!”

    “Oh, hush, Knockie. You don’t bring me flowers”. She turned and winked at their guest.

    The man, warmed by the strong ale, remarked, “Yo, I heard y’all beltin’ out tunes, earlier.”

    Caroline beamed. “We were just fooling around. But, what were you singing, out there?”

    Diamond came over before the man could answer. “Listen, pal, we got stew and French bread. You want a room?”

    The man said, “Sweet!”

    Diamond fired back, “No! a twin bed and a tub for a bath. The water is extra.”

    The man laughed long and loud. “Aw man, you trippin’. I mean sweet, like her name in a song.”

    Caroline squealed, “Oooh! How did you know?” She twirled around seductively.

    Diamond grunted and disappeared into the kitchen to heat up the guest’s meal.

    ***

    Dawn cracked. The rooster crowed. The guest, surprised to see Caroline snoring softly beside him in the tiny bed, eased on out of it.
    He didn’t remember the bath, though the tub was a filthy, muddy pond. He didn’t remember her bringing his cleaned clothes, either. But, as he brushed his teeth and combed his hair, he remembered her humming about turning on your heartlight.

    He was sure she meant that she wanted him to come back, but he was traveling west. And it was time to go.

    • KathleenMK says:

      Mitch – No wenching before quenching… LOL!

      I loved this tale! You have entertained this girl, agian. Bravo.

      Write On,

      Kathleen

      • Anklebuster says:

        Hi Kathleen,

        I’ve been in a cave; only after I had hit submit, did I learn (via Holly’s comment) what inspired this list. I was wondering why all the songs were Neil Diamond’s!

        Anyway, this is the kind of stuff I write when not unduly influenced by current events.
        I’m glad you enjoyed it!

        Cheers,

        Mitch

  4. Chet says:

    “Aren’t you sweet Caroline? What are you taking down to that poor solitary man?”

    Caroline lifted the red checked kitchen towel sheltering the contents of the basket on her arm and showed her dear mother the contents: a thick liverwurst sandwich; a container of her own homemade coleslaw, crispy pork cracklin’, rose in a tiny, individual serving-sized bottle, plus one of her mother’s self-published poetry collections, “Anthems For America;” bubbly, overwrought exaltations to “the simple people who make this nation great!” She knew how to butter up the old lady.

    “I am so blessed that he enjoys my poems,” she said, touching the cover. “That my little efforts can bring light into the dark corners of someone’s life.” She sighed, then changed her tone. “Although I do wish Marvin would stop being so stubborn and tell the police what they want to know. Then we could have the trial and get this whole terrible ordeal over with.” In her drawl, her mother pronounced ‘ordeal’ like it was two words: “or deal.” Like there was a choice.

    “He insists that he is innocent mother,” she answered, dropping the towel back into place. “And I believe him.”

    Mr. Grabber was her boss at First Farmer’s Bank. He was a real showman, an accomplished magician with a beautiful baritone singing voice. With his tricks and his cheerful aura, he made the people of Heartlight County Georgia feel safe parking their money and their valuables inside the bank’s massive marble walls. Even now, locked up in a cell in the basement of the police station, insisting to the county prosecutor that he had no idea who could have ransacked the safety deposit boxes over that weekend, he had put all the officers at such ease that they had no problem granting the pretty young bank teller visiting privileges every few days.

    He explained how it would work on her very first visit.

    You don’t bring me flowers or anything unusual like that, right?” he said. “Hand foods will do. Soft things that will naturally leave some residue. Oh, and a book to read. Drill a tiny hole in the back few pages. No one looks there.”

    “I’ll always be singing a song when you arrive,” he continued. “What song doesn’t matter, the tone is what you listen for. If it’s a song sung blue, all ‘woe is me’ style, then it’s too risky. But if I sound all chipper, then its a go.”

    As she walked down the stairs behind the Sargent, she pictured how her mother would be bragging at the fellowship coffee after worship service, full of how her beautiful Christian daughter was out visiting the ailing and afflicted. Mr. Grabber was singing “We’re in the Money” and laughed out loud when he saw her approaching. “How lovely to see you my dear,” he said. “What have we here?”

    She made sure to leave a box of freshly baked cookies tied with a red, white, and blue bow for the Sergeant as she left.

    Cleaning the dishes after returning home, she day dreamed about being someplace tropical, on a beach, where people waited on her for a change. She found the first hard stone in the mayo at the bottom of the cole slaw container, the second in an uneaten bit of liverwurst. Carrying the previous book she had loaned him, “Celebrations of the Heartland,” back to its place on the shelf in the living room, she deftly fanned the pages in front of her and glimpsed the last diamond, the biggest so far, as it slipped out and fell silently into the pocket of her apron.

    • Anklebuster says:

      Oceans Alive, Chet! You have the makings of a comedy-thriller, here. I enjoyed the way you used the words, especially your deft handling of Cracklin’ Rose!

      Cheers,

      Mitch

      p.s. pork cracklins are so yummy! LOL

      • Chet says:

        Pork cracklins are so good indeed. I don’t dare have them in the house or all my time at Weight Watchers will be for naught.

    • KathleenMK says:

      Chet ~ I couldn’t agree with Mitch more! You have more than the beginnings of a grand story! I hope you continue on with this one!

      I like how you lead this reader down the path and surprised me with the diamonds in the rough.

      Write On,

      Kathleen


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