Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #615

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. Ubiquitous
  2. Truculent
  3. Torrid
  4. Torpid
  5. Timorous
  6. Surreptitious
  7. Spurious
  8. Somnolent
  9. Solipsistic
  10. Sagacity

17 Comments on “Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #615”

  1. […] story inspired by Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #615 and the words: Ubiquitous, Truculent, Torrid, Torpid, Timorous, Surreptitious, Spurious, Somnolent, […]

  2. The normally timorous Tilly put her hands on her hips and gave a truculent argument for dessert before dinner. “Daddy said coal miners get to eat dessert first! When I grow up, I wanna be a coal miner!” A very serious look passed between Mama and Daddy. Their surreptitious plot to make the horror of those old shafts sound like a grand adventure, with spurious rewards, were gradually bearing fruit.

    Tilly’s mother forced her lips into a wan smile for Tilly. “Well, now, that makes good sense. Coal miners work hard all day, down in those mines. They’ve earned the right to eat dessert first, if they want to.” She didn’t explain to Tilly that those old, spent mines would soon be their only respite from the heat, or that they often collapsed, due to the ubiquitous fissures in the rock, as the ground underfoot shuddered and heaved, trying to rid itself of a two-legged pestilence.

    A deep fissure had appeared in their back yard, only yesterday. The Culbersons’ house had vanished into a bottomless sinkhole, just a week, maybe two, before, taking the couple with it.

    The parched and torrid earth seemed to be opening mouth-like chasms, gasping for oxygen and fresh water. There was little left, between the sparse, increasingly toxic air and the scorching sun.

    “I found a grotto, yesterday,” Daddy said. “Water’s not too acidic.” That look, again.

    “What’s ‘acidic’?” asked Tilly, eating the hated turnips first, before the sweet carrot patty, under Mama’s stern and watchful eye. Vegetables were hard to come by, even using ingenious, living room gardening techniques passed down by Tilly’s sagacious, prescient grandfather. The roots, showing signs of rot that had to be carefully pared away, were the last of them.

    “Sour, like fermented apple juice,” said Daddy. A few teaspoons of vinegar probably didn’t have enough Vitamin C to ward off scurvy, but it was the best they could do, now.

    “Eww,” said Tilly. “Can I see the grotto?” she asked.

    “I don’t know,” said Daddy, appraising his spunky little girl. “It’s a long way. I had to climb down the old elevator shaft and walk through those dark tunnels to get to it. You’d have to be a good climber – very strong and very brave.” Encouraging a solipsistic interest in that dangerous, ancient colliery was now a survival skill, Tilly’s father thought, resigned.

    “Are there bats? Like in a cave?” asked Tilly.

    “Would that be scary, do you think?” asked Mama, concern written plainly across her brow.

    “No, I wanna see bats!” cried Tilly. “Mouses with wings!” Tilly flapped her arms. Mama and Daddy often called her “Little Mouse.”

    “Good! Because there might be bats. We’ll have to look very hard to find them, though,” said Daddy. Mama nodded, thinking how unlikely it was that they’d find any signs of life in the abandoned shafts. There wasn’t much time left to buy. In a few hours, a few days, maybe, the choice would be clear: burn, suffocate, or starve. The grotto, with its “not-too-acidic” water, might offer a fourth choice, a gentler choice.

    “Can we go tomorrow?” asked Tilly. Her excitement was giving way to happy somnolence. Daddy picked her up and her head dropped to his shoulder.

    “Let’s go now,” said Mama, clearing the dinner dishes and grabbing the backpacks that had been placed by the front door, earlier. Now, before the early morning sun began to penetrate the thinning atmosphere. “We can have dessert for breakfast, Little Mouse,” she whispered, her eyes glistening.

  3. KathleenMK says:

    Sagacity Prep, where knowledge is surreptitiously presented to the truculent. How may I help you?” Samantha said into the receiver.

    “I thought I was calling the school for wayward teens,” a male voice could be heard saying.

    “Well, yes sir, we do seem to have a ubiquitous number of torpid, often called apathetic, lethargic second decaders attending,” Samantha confirmed.

    “Oh, good. Then I might have called the right place,” the caller’s relief was audible. “I am timorous to admit, I have a somnolent pre-adult …” the caller hesitated before continuing, “… he claims he does not understand the materials put in front of him, but it’s …”

    Samantha, who had been working at the school for 10 years now, had grown accustom to how parents didn’t like to call their little love bugs bogus liars, let the silence last only so long.

    “Wait atorrid moment!” It was then that Samantha took time to look down at the caller I.D. She couldn’t help but recognize the caller’s name and number. “Mr. Rothschild, are you worried that your beautiful child is spurious, somnolent behaviors?”

    “Oh, you know it’s me?” the sadness fell off every syllable. “Guess I forgot to block my number.”

    “Don’t worry sir. Confidentiality is what I am known for,” she said trying to ease this high profile man’s worries. She then softened her tone of voice as if speaking with a young child, “But sir, I do believe that your son’s solipsistic views are not accurate.”

    “Yes Samantha. Thank you for your honesty. I think that his view that he, himself, is all that he exists is not a good sign.”

    “Do you need me to set an appointment with Dr. Spock for your son’s in-depth evaluation?”

    A new silence began to grow. Time nearly stretched, until Samantha heard a deep sigh. It was so deep it punctuated the sad frustrations that this father was feeling.

    “Yes Samantha. I think that would be best…. And Samantha …”

    She shook her head, even though he could not see her, “Oh sir, please don’t worry. This stays between us. I will be putting Xavier under my name, sir.

    “Thank you,” Mr. Rothschild said, thinking, I am willing to do anything to make sure Xavier does not turn out to be a school shooter or something worse, as he hug up.

  4. Chet says:

    The fear, though unspoken, was ubiquitous aboard the “High Seas Fairytale;” that no country would have us; no port would open; that like the Flying Dutchman, we were doomed to roam the waves until the last of us passed away. It seemed preposterous, ludicrous, that a thing so minute, so insignificant, something barely microscopic, could upend our world so completely and turn what was meant to be a holiday into a hell on earth. But then, as a history professor, I should not have been surprised. I’ve often lectured on how the world’s course of affairs can turn on tiny things. Besides, I knew it wasn’t the virus that was at fault but the idea of it. And ideas are never small.

    After the year and a half Margaret spent dying, we’d all agreed that we needed to get away from the house. The cruise was meant to be a way for us to regroup, reset ourselves as a family. Over the course of the ensuing months, we had changed. Oh had we. My son Jonse, a solipsistic loner at the best of times, had gone from truculent to torpid; my daughter Jag from torrid to timorous. They avoided the other passengers now, especially those of their own age group, preferring instead to loll on the recliners on the fan deck, somnolent as lizards baking in the sun.

    The day the Coast Guard air lifted emergency supplies to us, I heard from a crew member that the captain had been ordered to leave their territorial waters immediately. That was when I started seeing the fear in the crew’s faces too, and I knew our situation was dire. The captain ruled out any thought of making a surreptitious run for a harbor. Nations of the world were meeting us with warships at their borders. He’d been warned that we’d be rammed or worse if we tried to run the blockade. The fear of the contagion we carried had become that all-consuming for the people back on land.

    Then the rumors started: that we had been infected deliberately as part of a depraved biological warfare experiment or act of terrorism; that medication that could treat it was on the ship but that the captain was hoarding it; that the ships engines were being turned into crematoriums to quietly dispose of the mounting dead. The captain denounced them as spurious lies but they did their damage. I was losing hope and losing touch. With my family at risk from both disease and depression and the lifeboat hanging right there opposite our cabin, I decided that night that we had to try for land while it was still within reach.

    • Excellent! But so they make it? I want MORE!

    • KathleenMK says:

      Chet ~ Great tale! I like how you drew us in. … After the year and a half Margaret spent dying, we’d all agreed that we needed to get away from the house…. And then there is this yucky …that the ships engines were being turned into crematoriums….

      I love the tension and the suspense! You’ve got me wondering if they made it? Were they sick and died for his efforts.

      Bravo! Write On,


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