Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #521

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. Development
  2. Notification
  3. Switch
  4. Full moon
  5. Asteroid
  6. Cohort
  7. Ichthyologist
  8. Stellar
  9. Inkologist
  10. Historic

 

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15 Comments on “Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #521”

  1. Anklebuster says:

    To be honest, I’d always thought there was something fishy about our neighbor, Dan. He called himself an ichthyologist, but his many tattoos suggested he was probably just an inkologist with a knack for transferring rainbow trout to human skin. When the cops came to take him away, they carted out a dozen computer printers, boxes and boxes of ink and two barstools with sinister red splotches on the seats. It was an historic moment for the denizens of Greyback Mountain.

    “Emma!” I called my wife. “Emma, they taken Dan!”

    “Oh, no! Who’s going to feed the wolffish?”

    “The what, now? He can feed himself in jail. If he’s so wolfish, I’m sure the other criminals will gladly share their food.”

    “You old fool! I’m talking about Dan’s aquarium. He showed me his power head, you know.”

    This was a new development. I was not aware that my Emma was Dan’s cohort in his fishy business. He’d best keep that power head zipped up or, I don’t know what! I didn’t let on that her blithe notification had set my hackles on end. Instead, I muttered something about bloody stools.

    Emma musta heard me, because she had an alarmed look on her face. Her good eye was wider than a full moon as she asked me if my stomach hurt. I looked at her quizzically.

    “Oh, dear! I hope you don’t have hematochezia.” She wrung her hands and paced nervously around the throw rug.

    “Hema who? I ain’t got no hemorrhoids!”

    “John, listen to me! I warned you not to switch your diet. Rabbit stew was perfectly fine! Now, look at you…”

    “Woman, please. Hush up, now. I said Dan had bloody barstools over there. Probably on account of he was doing something to his tattoo customers.”

    Now it was Emma who eyed me warily. “Tattoos? What? Dan is a printer repairman!”

    “I knew it! All that ink. He was probably cooking the books.”

    “You’ve been watching too many ‘Breaking Bad’ reruns.”

    “Ha! It’s better than those scientificky movies you devour. Like the one with Morgan Freeman and the comet crashing into the earth. What was it again, Deep Throat?”

    Emma gasped, “Deep Impact! And it was an asteroid.”

    “There you go, talking about body parts again. Mind your mouth, woman. I don’t allow no cussin’.”

    I was truly getting sick of Emma’s high-and-mighty airs. So what if she knew all that stuff about dog poop and stellar objects. She always got to be the smartest lycanthrope in the room!

  2. KathleenMK says:

    Mitch!!!! Mitch!, Mitch!
    I hope you got some laughs out of this one as well! It is fabulous! You had me chucklin’ from the first paragraph ’til the end. Thank you. I needed one of your ditties today! And thank you for sending me to the dictionary!

    Now you make me want to write a ditty instead of cover letter.

    Thank you for Writing On!

    Kathleen

  3. KathleenMK says:

    Sam’s desire to be remembered as a world class Ichthyolgist had him darning a wet suit and a deep-water tank. After adjusting his straps he inspected his regulator, mask and fins. Seeing no cracks in the rubber he turned his attention to his underwater camera.

    “I hope the full moon brings out a fish no one has seen before,” dive-mate Geoff said.

    “Or at least one that sailors from Christopher Columbus’ time told tale about,” Sam said mostly to himself.

    “Maybe you can get some shots of a Frill Shark or a Giant Tube Worm, and sell it to Salt Water Sportsman’s magazine,” Geoff said with the zeal of a child.

    Sam’s cohort had ascended a bit too quickly one to many times and so Sam was relegated to do all of the dives; it was a development that Sam did not mind.

    “It was fun being able to get a photo and write that article about the Snipefish,” Sam admitted.

    “And the pay wasn’t bad,” Geoff reminded his friend, still grateful his lifelong buddy had shared the payment with him.

    “Maybe I will find a Lustrous Pomfret,” a hint of hope lingered in the air.

    “You could see any number of these guys down in the mesopelagic depths,” Geoff said as he dropped anchor.

    “I am hopeful the bioluminescent nature of these big guys help my mere human sized eyes see them before their big cartoonish eyes see me,” Sam said before entering the water.

    As Sam descended he was treated to a stellar view of the nightlife in the sea. Geoff was right, the full moon was brining out a lot of creatures.

    Oh my goodness! Is that an Anglerfish? Yes. Yes. Look at that fleshy growth comin’ out of his head. Look at those big effing teeth! Sam snapped a series of photos of the often benthic fish. Bet Geoff will find it hard to believe that this usual guy, who usually dwells close to the sea floor is a pelagic.

    Sam decided to descend deeper to see what other treasures he could see. A tentacle from a colossal squid brushed Sam’s arm, startling him. Then the water changed hews.

    Is that… is that… oh my goodness… it’s a Cetus! Sam kept shooting photos of the extraordinarily big shark. “It could be a Frill Shark or could it be a Carcharodon Megalodon? Maybe. But what is that?”

    Sam saw a multi-armed part octopus, part human, part dragon creature coming straight at him.

    “It’s a Cthulhu! A Cthulhu! A Cthulhu!” Sam said, all awhile capturing its image.

    “Hey, get some great shots,” Geoff said into the wireless intercom.

    Moments later Geoff heard squeals and muffled moaning.

    “Sam? Sam? Are you okay?”

    A blood-chilling scream came next. Geoff began pulling in the safety ropes that were attached to Sam’s belt and the camera. Nearly exhausted the camera breached the surface before the belt. Geoff’s stomach began to churn as he could not help but notice the light from the full moon shown eerily different in a few spots on the belt.

    As Geoff pulled the camera and the blood spotted belt into the boat he stumbled back tripping over his own feet. He landed hard on his tailbone as he ended up sitting on the deck of the boat. His breaths came so quickly that he became light headed and passed out.

    When Geoff woke he found himself laid out on the deck. He looked around. He looked for Sam. Geoff sat up, grabbed the camera and began reviewing the photos. It was then his hands began to shake. Sam had, in fact, captured irrefutable proof that the Cthulhu was real.

    Rising slowly to his feet, he made it to the helm; flipping the switch he raised the anchor.

    “I’ve gotta make notification to the Coast Guard,” the words came out of his mouth as if it was shot full of nova cane. He picked up the handset of the CB radio, depressing the talk bar. “May day, may day. This is the Asteroid. May day, may day this is the Asteroid.”

    “Asteroid, this is the Coast Guard. What is your emergency, over?”

    “DDDDDeeeeeaaaattttthhh, dddddeeeeeaaaatttthhh of Sam Kanakekee. DDDDeeeeaaaattttthhhhh of Sam Kanakekee, over,” the near numbness of Geoff’s tongue lingered.

    “We’ve got your location, over? We are on our way,” the Captian said. “Is your anchor still down, over?”

    “NNNNNNNoooooooo.”

    “Drop anchor. Drop anchor Asteroid. Drop anchor,” the officer commanded.
    Geoff mindlessly followed the order.

    “We can be to you in 45 minutes. Are you okay? Is anyone else hurt, over?”

    “Roger that. Anchor dropped. Forty-five minutes. Roger that. Injured? Negitory. No one else injured. It was just me and Sam out here. Well, that’s not true,” Geoff’s voice trailed off.

    “Not the only ones out there? Confirm? Over.”

    “Not the only ones. There are monsters out here… over….”

    “Floor it Seaman Recruit. We need to get out there fast,” Captain McGuffy ordered.

    Forty minutes after the call came in the red and white cutter came up on the starboard side of the Asteroid.

    “Geoff Klinger? Are you Geoff Klinger?” the Captain asked.

    “Yah. Yah. I am Geoff. And this,” Geoff lifted the rope with the belt attached, “and this is all that is left of Sam.”

    ***
    “How about I skipper the boat back to the harbor with you?” the Captain McGuffy asked, hours later, after feeling satisfied with the investigation, Geoff’s explanation and the photographic evidence.

    “Sure, as long as you don’t mind if I go down under and grab a beer or three,” Geoff said, glad to not have to make the trip back by himself.

    “Sure thing. You come on back up quick-like and we will get under way,” the Captain said before turning his attention to his underlings. “Seaman, I’m gonna take the wheel here. You and the other men can follow us into the harbor. Have Seaman Recruit Snyder take the wheel on the way in, keep an eye on him. It’s time to get him started, but he might be nervous. Got it?”

    “You taking the helm of the Asteroid, 10-4; we will shadow the Asteroid all of the way into the harbor, 10-4, Seaman Recruit Snyder at the wheel, 10-4 sir,” Seaman Fuller confirmed his orders as he raised his right hand to just above his eyebrow.

    “Dismissed,” Captain McGuffy mirrored the underling’s salute.

    “I guess I shouldn’t offer you a beer Captain?” Geoff said lifting a silver bullet in the air.

    “No sir. It will look bad in front of the others. But thank you Geoff. Why don’t you pop a top and pull up a cushion right here,” Captain McGuffy suggested kindly motioning to the port side bench seat.

    “Ten-four,” Geoff said plopping down on the cushion. “Hey Captain … You don’t have to take these photos do you? I mean … it’s proof of Sam’s life’s work. It’s all on this camera. It’s proof we were not out looking for a whale of a tale?”

    “Well, I will have to take the camera into evidence for a while. I can download a copy of all of the photos, especially that one with his leg in that creature’s toothy mouth. But I can let you have it back. I know it’s important to the world.”

    “It’s gonna be important to his folks. They always thought we were just out here wasting money and time. But Sam proved them wrong today,” Geoff said before lifting the can to his lips.

    “Yes, sir. Yes he did.”

    Geoff drained the 12 ounces crushing the aluminum can with minimal effort.

    “Maybe I can even get the Harbor Inkologist to create a tear sheet of that mouthy beast and have her permanently put it over my heart,” Geoff said slapping himself on the left side of his chest.

    The caption under the tattoo and the headline of the article both read the same: Historic Sam-fish.

    • Anklebuster says:

      Whoa, Kathleen! You sound like seafaring sailor! I enjoyed this story and, maybe you didn’t intend ti to be funny, but I bust out laughing after reading this part:

      I can download a copy of all of the photos, especially that one with his leg in that creature’s toothy mouth.

      Sent me to the reference stack a couple of times, too!

      Cheers,

      Mitch

      • KathleenMK says:

        Thanks Mitch.
        You know we both like to research our stories so they sound authentic.

        And yes, I was hoping to make the reader(s) chuckle a bit. Glad it happened.

        I am glad we have fun with our writing. I am missed it. It felt really good to write today. And, as you see, the story lead itself and came out longer than I expected. Not that I am complaining.

        Here’s to Writing On,

        Kathleen

  4. Chet says:

    We were known around town – had been for years – as the “Ist” family. The local oddities. There was a framed copy of a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” cartoon in 1938 that featured the family. From time to time, somebody on the town council would propose putting up a historic plaque in our front yard.

    “Ist” was in fact our name. Had been since the clerk at Ellis Island rushing Great Great Grandfather Arkham’s entry form truncated “Istanza” and then yelled “Next!” before my grandfather realized what he’d done.

    But what made us infamous was that everyone in the family, from my great great grandparents on, were professional “-ists” of one kind or another. My dad was a chemist and my mother was a metallurgist. Brother Denny (nee “Denise”) was a psychiatrist researching gender identities. Heddy was what we called a double-ist: a Buddhist and an astrophysicist. She spent her time on top of some mountain in Chile mapping a cohort of asteroids convinced she would discover the one that was going to orbit right into the earth one of these days and return us to the stellar dust from which we’d formed. Mom was convinced it was because she’d been conceived under a full moon but we all said “Too much information ma” and besides what did that have to do with the Buddhism?

    Katie-kay, the baby, had become a marine biologist, on some ship in the mid-Atlantic studying tube worms that grew on super-hot thermal vents. To this day, she couldn’t call herself an ichthyologist without giggling. “That makes it sound like I study stuff that’s icky.” Which, if you saw photos of these tube worms, she did.

    So you can imagine it was real hard being the one who broke the winning streak. But that was me. Dad wondered out loud how my intellectual development had been stunted. The simple truth was that I just wasn’t cut out for the whole “education” thing. I was a so-so student and kicked around until I became a tatoo artist in the East Village. I hadn’t done so bad; I had several studios and I had perfected a unique form of color and style that made me the tatooist for the stars.

    When the notification letter came from that foundation that I had been selected for one of those genius awards, it threw the whole family into a real swivet. Not the trans-shrink, not the om’ing stargazer and not the student of “ick.” Me. And what was best was that in the award letter, they described me as an inkologist so I said to dad and mom “Ok – there you go.” Mom told me later that dad would describe me that way from then on, then switch the subject before people could ask any questions.


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