Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #600

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. Memory
  2. Web
  3. Bones
  4. Rattle
  5. Wind
  6. Ethereal being
  7. Screak
  8. Superstitious
  9. Grave
  10. Basement

10 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #600”

  1. Anklebuster says:


    By the year 2345 A.D., the global infrastructure formerly known as the Internet has shed its status as an ethereal being. Its only connection to its past lies in the definition of the word formed by its acronym, S.C.R.E.A.K., a noun describing a noise like a banshee. In prehistoric times, the “Internet” was summoned by humans via telephonic devices called modems. One became aware of the success of the summoning when one heard the signature high-pitched squeal emanating from the handset of another device. The handset was placed into the cups of the modem and people crudely interacted with the nascent entity, which had a web of connections, from the computer labs of universities, the control centers of government, to the public libraries and even the occasional basement of an unsuspecting mother, whose “troubled” child would become the CEO of one of the litany of Internet companies that sprang up like barnacles on the backbone of this self-same entity.

    Substantial Computing Resources Encompassing All Knowledge (S.C.R.E.A.K.), lives in the tropopause, a layer in the earth’s atmosphere between the troposphere and the stratosphere. Only a handful of humans have any idea of the physical dimensions of S.C.R.E.A.K., and that knowledge consists solely of the first autonomous silicon stem cell from which this beast grew. Gerrie Shamba, the inventor of the autostem circuit, theorized that 1,000 such chips would be needed to create a sort of digital blastocyst, suitable for launching into the atmosphere.

    In typical human fashion, the engineers decided that redundancy was the better part of assurance. One million autostems were launched into the tropopause on December 26, 2191–to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the birth of Charles Babbage. Within a week, all geostationary satellites were commandeered and reprogrammed by the autostems. Computing messages were shot down to earth-bound control centers, propagated through the old Internet and used to initiate a global reset. Planes fell out of the sky, trains braked to a halt and automobiles simply stopped operating. People in cold climates froze to death, while those in warmer areas baked in their concrete tombs.

    After two weeks, the death-rattle of civilization gave way to a rise of the common man. People retained a memory of survival, though they had to recreate manual processes for foraging, hunting and sheltering. Those who survived for 90 days saw the return–or, more accurately, the birth–of augmented energy.

    Today, more than 150 years after the Big Launch, we laugh at the absurdity of our superstitious friends, who read grave portents in every shift of the wind. They don’t understand that the weather occurs in the troposphere. Winds, storms and climate are literally beneath S.C.R.E.A.K., which floats in a unchanging zone at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. It spends its days providing us with blueprints for better living, from tools to medicine. Anyone with a video display and a second grade reading level can build his or her own ohana, a type of accessory dwelling that is replacing the crumbling, sprawling structures of yore.

    Politics has lost its point. Capitalism is dead. Religion is moribund. Altruism is the trendy new pastime. And S.C.R.E.A.K. is the god-king we serve.

    • “Hey Billy! I ain’t superstitious or nothin’, but I believe dat Mitch feller done wrote about us in his 600th CCC challenge talking ‘bout second grade readin’ level.

      “Bobby, don’t be silly. You did da 1st grade six times, but you ain’t finished da second grade, so he can’t be talkin’ about us. But, yeah, today done be a grave day for us two ethereal beings. We’s gonna screak out if’in we can’t read Mitch’s words no more.

      “Billy, if my memory disservices me correctly, Mitch done said his web spinnin’ done dried out. His bones is tired. His wind is all winded out. His rattle done rattled it’s last rat. I’s so sad, I’s gonna go to da basement and cry tears as big as mountain oysters.

      “Bobby, our shed ain’t got no basement, but let’s build us one and invite Mitch over for dinner.”

    • KathleenMK says:

      Mitch ~ kinda scary how I can see a lot of what you have pontificated about here!

      Write On!


  2. Wow! I went back and read some of the earliest posts we did here at the CCC. So many people with so muchh talent on display. So many memories, too. Thank you to everyone reading this that’s part of this community.

  3. KathleenMK says:

    “I’m not superstitious, I’m not superstitious, I’m not superstitious,” Isabella coached herself in a whisper as she descended the rickety staircase.

    The basement was devoid of adequate light. Between that and the dampness in the air … the goosebumps began to rise on both Isabella’s and Dillon’s arms. And then there were the sounds, the unfamiliar sounds.

    The antique building was reportedly designed with a cellar, but the real estate agent wasn’t sure of its dimensions, its condition … or “where the bodies are buried.” Isabella remembered thinking, at the time, that was not funny. Only time would tell if the agent was trying to be funny or…. The superstitions of the agent kept her from going downstairs with the potential buyers.

    “The wind is sure a-blowin’,” Dillon spoke the obvious to steady his own nerves as he reached up and placed his hand on top of his brides. “Are you cold?” he asked due to the detectable quivering grip she had on his shoulder. As a matter of fact, Isabella was trembling so much that he had to counterbalance her unsteadiness as he gingerly placed each foot on the next step. I sure hope this wood is not rotted out, he thought.

    “Do you have that flashlight?” Isabella asked.

    “Oh… yah… I do,” he replied releasing the grip he had on her hand to search his pocket. He halted their forward movement while tapping the body of the flash light on the palm of his hand. “Darn it.”

    “Oh stop it!” she said playfully pushing his shoulder forward. “Just turn the darn thing on.”
    A quick depression of rubber covered button and the brick walls were illuminated. They continued their downward trek into the unknown.

    Two steps from the bottom of the stair case Dillon tilted the beam of the light up, quickly halting the duo. Isabella almost bumping into him. He brought his hand up in front of him clearing the web from their path.

    “Ick, that was close,” he said pulling his upper body back. “I was almost…yuck. That could have been me all tangled up in that… just waiting for the spider to make me its lunch,” had added as he shook his hand in an attempt to dislodge the dust laden lacework that stuck to his hand.

    “You’d be a tasty meal,” she said with a light snicker accented with a purr.

    He took a deep breath, holding it in his lungs for a moment, before slowly letting it out.
    “Well at least there aren’t any bones tangled in that sticky, silky food catcher!” he added with an uneasy chuckle.

    “Yet,” she added with a sinister tone in her voice.

    Once off the stairs he moved the beam of light around the room.

    “There sure is a dampness in this air!” he said, again speaking the obvious.

    It was damp down there, below ground level where the earth had been hollowed out by creatures who desired to avoid the sunlight and the warmth that it brings with it. The cool clamminess conjured up the memory of the hunt for ethereal beings at the graveyard they had gone on, back in October the year before.

    As if she was reading his mind, “do you remember how Sammy ran out of that graveyard screaking like a little girl?” Isabella asked.

    “Yah! He was darn comical … wasn’t he?”

    All of a sudden they both heard the distinct rattle of keys. It was coming from the far corner of the basement, from an area just beyond the flashlights beam.

    • Hey Kathleen, long time no chat. A lovely tale … one you should finish with the next challenge. Hope all is well.

      As always, write on!

      • KathleenMK says:

        Hello Shane!

        It has been a long time. Things are well… getting less bumpy here in my family circle. That tends to happy when cancer wins. :[ I hope all is well in your camp!

        It is a nice break to get back to writing for fun. Shall consider adding on to this story. Thanks for the encouragment.

        Writing On,


        • @Kathleen: Cancer? I hate that word with a passion. It’s personal for my family.
          Prayers to all.

          Write on.

          • KathleenMK says:

            Thank you Shane.
            Yeppers. My brother succumbed to it in … May-ish. My buddy – who was a widower, blind, and had not children, and whom I made a promise to his wife (10 years ago) to still be his sister – needed a will written, so I drove on back to Colorado to do it. You see, the seeing eye dog was not allowed to inherit the house or anything else. It made for a mad-dash weekend, but I found the beauty in it. He passed a month later. And my Bestie’s mom finished out the summer. She become a step-mom to me, got to the end of her painful rope and then there were the funerals and burial of mum’s ashes and the cleaning out of her home so my Bestie can get it ready to rent out…. Goodness I hope this year finishes out quiet.

            Cancer resides in us all. I have accepted that fact. It’s just painful to see the fight for lives that I know will endure so much before going Home.

            Prayers are always up for my CCC family,


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