Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #616

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. Querulous
  2. Sagacity
  3. Prosaic
  4. Probity
  5. Precocious
  6. Pellucid
  7. Parsimony
  8. Paragon
  9. Obstreperous
  10. Mendacious

18 Comments on “Writing Prompt – Creative Copy Challenge #616”

  1. stormwriter2 says:

    “Don’t you dare to be MENDACIOUS with me, you little rapscallion!” cried Granny in her QUERULOUS voice.
    Tommy looked at her innocently, his large blue eyes PELLUCID and wide.
    “I would never be bodacious to you, Granny,” he said, solemnly.
    “Mendacious,” Granny corrected him. “It means don’t you dare lie to me, boy!”
    “I wouldn’t, Granny!” Tommy insisted.
    He looked like a PRECOCIOUS young lawyer for the defense, in Granny’s estimation, not in the least OBSTREPEROUS as most little boys were wont to be. Granny’s opinion of little boys was rather critical and she was notably PARSIMONIOUS in her praise of such. In the SAGACITY of her years, Granny had rarely (if ever) met a little boy with the PROBITY and general rectitude to be considered a PARAGON in her eyes. In her considerable experience, the only way to bring up a decent boy child was through the liberal application of the PROSAIC rod. She would not be accused of spoiling this child.
    “Go fetch me a switch,” she ordered.
    “But Granny!” Tommy reasoned. “I ain’t lied to you yet!”
    “Yet!” cried Granny. “It’s the ‘yet’ I’m gonna switch out of you! Now git!”

    • Ooooh, “rapscallion”! I haven’t seen that word in a while, and it makes me wonder why all the words with such marvelous sounds and textures seem to fall by the wayside over time.

      What a marvelous story! I do hope Granny (like one mother I knew, growing up) will set aside the switch, once she’s satisfied that the child has had time to choose a nice green one with some sting in it, all the while reflecting on the consequences of his little crimes. I remember being utterly horrified, watching my little friend being sent out a second time, because the first switch wasn’t green enough. But while he was out there, his mother explained to ME that it wasn’t her intention to hit him with it and the spanking wasn’t even the point. She just wanted him to think about what he’d done and have a chance for the “sorry” to kick in. 😉

      I also heard of a child (it might have been that boy’s older brother, or an uncle of mine – though I have trouble imagining that one) who got a spanking every morning, just for good measure, because mom knew he’d do something later in the day to deserve it.

    • Chet says:

      Wonderful! I love the boy hearing ‘bodacious’ instead of mendacious. Great characterization of them both with real economy of language.

    • KathleenMK says:

      Miss Stormwriter2 ~~ I am lovin’ the work “rapscallion” !
      Oh my goodness… them kids are either going into trouble or coming out of it…
      I love this story! Thank you for making me laugh today. I look forward to the next installment!

      Write on,

  2. stormwriter2 says:

    Yes, I’m confident that Granny will be satisfied without an actual hiding 😁

  3. “Rrrrriiiiiibit. Uuuuuribit!”

    Unless one of her students had learned to throw their voice across the room, that was not the usual postprandial burp from one of the boys. “Uuuuuribit!” Elise Southern slowly walked over to her filing cabinet and slid open the top drawer. There, blinking back at her, was an extremely fat bullfrog. A lovely specimen of low-pitched, full-throated, ribbutry. “Well. Hello, there,” said the teacher. She reached into the drawer and helped the frog out. “Who am I to thank for this lovely…gift?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

    Her students giggled, shaking their heads. “Not me!” they protested. “Nuh uh.”

    “Shall we have a small detention party this afternoon? Is that it? You all like this class so much you’d rather stay inside than enjoy what’s left of this sunny afternoon?”

    Their glee was dampened by the sobering specter of Mrs. Southern’s sentence. An hour of silence and additional homework. That’s what detention was, and they’d all had their fill at some point earlier in the year.

    Joseph sighed. “It was me, Mrs. Southern. I did it.” It wasn’t like he had any plans after school. He could read his book, be left alone, in detention. While the other children laughed in turns, like a chorus of squirrels, poor Joseph stood, eyes downcast. He tried to make himself small. “I loosed the frog on the lectern, Ma’am, and he flung himself right into that file drawer. When you slammed it shut on him, he couldn’t help his querulous croaking, Mrs. Southern. He wants to go back out on that playground, I just know he does–”

    “What a prosaic confession! You should ace the vocabulary quiz, Friday.” Elise sighed and looked around the room. “Enough, Joseph. You may sit down.” The boy’s contrition seemed genuine enough, but Elise knew them all better than they realized. She cradled the large bullfrog in her hand, then gently set it on top of Joseph’s desk. He pressed himself against his chair, staring at the amphibian in horror. “You may take it back to the playground now, but hurry back.”

    The wide-eyed boy tried, but could not force his hand within five inches of the creature. The girls giggled. Simon guffawed. “He’s skeered of a frog!” cried Freddy, pointing and choking on laughter.

    Jenny raised her hand. “Yes, Jenny?”

    “May I be excused?” She wiggled a little, in her seat, for the appearance of urgency.

    “Of course.” The teacher reached for a hall pass. Jenny took it, and as she passed Joseph’s desk, she adeptly scooped up the frog and slipped quickly from the room. It was a swift and subtle move; the girl had not even paused and the frog had not so much as flinched. During recess they’d named it Mr. Bojangles. She took it back to its hidey-hole behind the gym. The other children, thinking for a moment that Mrs. Southern had not seen this surreptitious exchange, started hopping up from their seats and yelping, pretending that the frog had leaped off Joseph’s desk and was now making its rounds from child to another.

    “Oh!” Gary leaped up and squatted atop his seat, his eyes following a line straight to Carrie’s desk.

    “Eeek!” cried Carrie.

    “It’s on top of your head, now, Joseph!” shouted Ben, pointing and laughing as Joseph, who thought he was the only one who knew better, swatted half-heartedly at his own head.

    “No, it’s on yours, Amy!” squealed Carrie, sparing Joseph further humiliation.

    “I think I squooshed it,” said Hubert, in his most morose voice, as he made a dramatic production out of examining the sole of his boot.

    Elise Southern stood at the blackboard, her back to the roomful of obstreperous children, and stiffened her spine. Lips pressed together tightly, Elise struggled to rearrange her expression. Having grown up with unruly twin brothers whose tall tales were as hilarious as their lies were pellucid, she was more than a match for this lot, but they mustn’t see her crack a smile, let alone laugh.

    Sagacity won the moment; Elise managed to shove the rising giggles deep down where the butterflies had lived since her first week of teaching, three years ago. “Mendacious,” Elise said, letting the chalk scritch painfully across the smooth, green surface of the board as she enunciated each syllable. “Men-day-shus. Who can tell me what it means?”

    The room fell silent.

    “Joseph? Can you tell me what that means? Mendacious.”

    “Simon,” muttered Joseph. “It means Simon.” Joseph’s innate probity made him the target of his classmates’ taunts, more often than not. Elise felt a tiny twinge of guilt, using it like this to ferret out the truth.

    Simon shrank in his chair, as if that would rid him of two dozen eyeballs that were now glued to his face.

    Mrs. Southern reached opened her cabinet, and brought out a large, cardboard box and laid it on Simon’s desk. “The Bellweather May Day bullfrog races aren’t until next week, Simon. I suggest you find a better training ground for Mr. Bojangles. IF you can catch him, again, after class.”

    Walking slowly back to the chalkboard, Elise Southern wrote the word, “Parsimony.” “Who can use the word, ‘parsimony’ in a sentence?”

    Jenny, returning to her desk, did not miss a beat. “Our teacher is not parsimonious with her mercy.” All the children nodded in hopeful agreement, sudden paragons of virtue and innocence.

    At that, Mrs. Southern could no longer suppress a chuckle. “Very good. Class dismissed.”

    (Cross-posting at https://jahangiri.us/2020/bullfrog-bullfeathers/)

  4. Chet says:

    Leslie was showing off her vocabulary again.

    “Toby, I see a brilliant future for you in art criticism. You are a precocious you man who demonstrates great probity when critiquing the work of others.”

    Jeez. All he’d done was use the word ‘pellucid‘ to describe the quality of her mother’s landscapes. Which was the perfect word really because it captured the liquid, translucent feeling she could create.

    But Leslie could be very touchy about her mother’s work, as if she was the sole person who could interpret Ms. T’s vision. But if she wanted to sling big words around, he was happy to play the game.

    “What I’m trying to say is that her paintings aren’t prosaic. They’re not something you hang in a hotel lobby.”

    “Don’t be so querulous,” she said but he pounced.

    “‘Querulous’ is saying something in a petulant, whiny way.”

    Apparently she didn’t like having her command of English challenged – particularly in English class – because she turned back to her desk and didn’t talk to him for the rest of the class. But then Mr. Cubeck, their teacher, told him not to be obstreperous after he questioned whether Hamlet should be considered such a paragon of self-reflection, so he could tell it was going to be one of those days. He was tempted to protest that he was serious but Mr. C would probably accuse him of being mendacious if he did, and then that would get around and the next thing you knew, his older brother Chubb and all his friends would be calling him ‘professor’ in the halls which kids around here did anytime he had the answers to the teachers’ questions.

    Huckerdown Township, on the edge of the prarie, was the sort of place where you were expected to behave with sagacity but not know how to spell it. You didn’t need fancy words to describe the weather or the state of your crops. Leslie was the only kid in school who just said whatever popped into her head and that was just because her mother had moved them down from Minneapolis over the winter and hated it here and so really didn’t give a damn. No linguistic parsimony for her.

    Just don’t try to critique her mother’s art.

  5. KathleenMK says:

    “Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to be querulous in nature, although I feel like it today as we rehash this,” Isabella said. “I thought I’d gotten over a lot of what he did….” It is clear, translucently clear, that I haven’t. Have I just shoved it down, deep down into the recesses of my mind in an effort to forget it all? She thought to herself.

    As if Marcus, the group facilitator, could read her mind, or was it the confounded look that grew on her face that gave her away, he spoke, but not just to Isabella. He addressed all sitting in the circle.

    “Don’t let the pellucid nature of remembering, that clearness that recollection and the ability to bring up how you felt back then make you think you haven’t learned to not focus on that hurt and subsequent anger,” he said, encouragingly, to all 8 of the gals sitting in the circle.

    “Mine … his probity. …” Sally said shaking her head as she fell silent, remembering how his righteous indignation often flared up. Marcus saw her wince.

    “The sagacity of it all,” Isabella added. “I mean … he used that uncomfortable (for me) shrewdness, he sported so often, to slowly chip away at the strength I have, had….”

    “Was yours stingy with his love?” Mikie asked.

    “Yes. I think he had an invisible parsimony badge,” Julia scoffed reflectively.

    The silence began to fill the air, each woman lost in her own thoughts and memories.

    “Many of the abusers are paragons at precocious manipulation. They are guys and gals who have taken mendaciousness to an art form,” the counselor reminded.

    “I think my guy was allergic to telling the truth. I wonder if he was trying to get a diagnosis of mendacious with tellin’ all of those tales?” Isabella said matter-of-factly as if it knowing her ex’s prosaic nature for not being able, or was it willing, to tell the truth was just his ordinary way of go.

    The laughter began slowly and grew amongst the ladies. The ripple effect around the circle was obstreperous Marcus thought, the noisy and difficult to control group of women were best to let cut loose. After all, they need to laugh at their exes.

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