My Weekly Writing Challenge

Last week, I had some new challengers joining in which was great to see. Welcome! I hope you enjoy this week’s challenge:

Option one: Choose as many words as you can from the following list and write a twenty-word story:

  • Secret
  • Vermillion
  • Rambunctious
  • Quixotic
  • Vision
  • Gordon
  • Paradigm
  • Karma
  • Taxi
  • Snowman
  • Sunglasses
  • Alliteration
  • Nincompoop
  • Pabouche
  • Macaroni

Option two: Write a story/poem, centred around any of the following emotions :

  • Hysteria
  • Horror
  • Hopelessness

Last week’s words for option one were:

  • Bubbles
  • Aquiver
  • Mellifluous
  • Champagne
  • Christmas
  • Serendipity
  • Nefarious
  • Dave
  • Aroma
  • Supine
  • Elephant
  • Van
  • Phosphenes
  • Nancy
  • Cromulent

Here are the simply brilliant results:

Kim Russell sent hers in first and it made me laugh out loud:

Nancy, all aquiver from champagne bubbles, thought it nefarious when Dave arrived in the van with the cromulent Christmas elephant.

It’s great to see Jane Basil back with an entertaining story:

Nefarious Dave employed his Christmas champagne bubbles, his melifluent coaxing, his cromulent aroma, his elephant…
Nancy, supine, was aquiver.

Helen Gaen used all fifteen words. Not an easy feat so hats off to her:

Aquiver, Nancy and Dave supine in the nefarious, cromulent van saw phosphenes and bubble elephants. Champagne aroma… Melliflous Christmas serendipity.

Debbie Johnston joined in for the first time with a super story:

Nancy the elephant was feeling quite Mellifluous after champagne bubbles sent her heart aquiver, getting her into the Christmas spirit

Jo Lambert also entered with an entertaining story:

Lying supine in the van, Dave knew too much Christmas champagne was the reason he was seeing dancing pink elephants.

Les Moriarty always gives us two funny stories:

Supine after too much champagne, Nancy was aquiver, but Dave was cromulent with aroma and bubbles, feeling nefarious at Christmas.

Popping the champagne was mellifluous. It was serendipity that Nancy and Dave had arrived in his van just in time.

I’m very pleased to welcome Petra Rovere for the first time. Here’s her fantastic story:

Nancy felt aquiver while opening champagne and tasting its aroma. Throwing Dave out of the van wasn’t nefarious, but cromulent.

Option two was to write a story/poem, centred around any of the following emotions :

  • Shock
  • Stress
  • Shame

Read and enjoy the results:

Adhin Shamina sent in a story, which covered all three prompts. Please visit her site and read her story:

Kim Russell also wrote a poem on two of the prompts. Very heart-felt:

Shock and Shame

Your heartbeat skips
a gap in time
with the shock
electric jolt
of realisation
blurs your vision
fades in
and then cuts
to shame
as it
your soul

Keith Channing is back from his NaNo writing and back with a bang. I’ve always loved his limericks and here he treats us to several:

Shock, stress and shame… the joys of owning a JRT

I woke up when it was still dark,
To the sound of a frenzied, wild bark.
I said, “Trevor what’s that?”
He said, “I heard a cat!”
That earned him another black mark.

The shock of the noise that I heard
Made me realise just how absurd
Is his incessant yapping
(He needs a good slapping)
He’s as bad when he sees a small bird.

Ev’ry damned day it’s the same,
The neighbours think I am to blame
But there’s no harder slog
Than a hot-headed dog
It’s more than the noise, it’s the shame!

When the bitch from next door is on heat
He thinks he is due for a treat.
She is looking for fun,
But Trevor’s been done,
He is, as they say, incomplete.

The poor lad is totally smitten
With the sight of a semi-wild kitten
He wants to give chase
All over the place
And believes it’s her turn to be bitten.

He never can catch her, of course
Though he chases and shouts himself hoarse.
He comes back in a mess
After all of the stress
Of attempting his will to enforce.

When he goes off with some new alarm
My wish is to keep him from harm.
I know that his prey
Will get safely away;
Lots of places to hide, on the farm.

It’s a different story with voles
And mice and lizards and moles
They’re easier to catch
And quickly dispatch
Except when they drop down their holes.

It’s then he lives up to his name.
He’s a terrier – they’re all the same,
If the ground’s not too hard
He’ll dig up the yard
Leaving super-sized holes – oh, the shame!

Winner of my latest flash fiction competition, Geoff Le Pard managed to sneak his story in just before I changed it to the new challenge. I’m so glad he did:

Greg’s Secret (Shame)

Greg was a big man, bluff, hearty, and no nonsense. A Man’s man. At school he was a sporting champion and head boy. At University he sailed through his degree and captained several sports teams. If those who knew him had been asked for one word to describe Greg it would be ‘confident’. He didn’t do doubt, couldn’t be bothered with guilt and sneered at those who underplayed themselves.

When Greg joined the company, the world seemed to be at his feet. But behind that façade of hubristic ego, Greg had developed a problem that, as the weeks turned into months, grew and grew and nibbled away his seemingly impenetrable carapace of bullishness. Every time he left the comfort of his own flat, Greg carried a fear so deeply embedded within him that, had he been forced to confess it, he may well have exploded. Travel was fraught with dangers, evenings out were potential traps for the unwary and holidays a thing to fear. But worst of all, Greg couldn’t play sport.

His friends pressed him and he cited an injury. They cajoled him and he said he was unfit, busy, tied to work. His best friend watched in disbelief as Greg shrunk and crumbled before his eyes. Finally after one dreadful day of watching his friends play a game of rugby and losing for want of a player of Greg’s talents, his friend took him on one side and asked the question.


Greg was a broken man. He looked at his friend, at those worried, sympathetic eyes and said, ‘I am ashamed.’

Again the question came.


And Greg held his head in his hands and said, ‘I am no longer a man.’

And his friend looked surprised and frowned and Greg, pain seared across his features, cried, ‘I can’t pee in public. I can no longer use a urinal.’

And his friend understood. He stood and left Greg to his shame. There was nothing to be done. Greg was truly emasculated.










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16 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. kim881 says:

    Gordon, a rambunctious, quixotic nincompoop, built a secret snowman with macaroni. His karma was vermillion sunglasses to correct his vision.

  2. kim881 says:


    the point
    of no return
    the hopelessness
    when horror
    holds you in its arms
    and sucks out your soul

  3. Hi Esther! I must be doing the pingback incorrectly because I wrote one for last weeks challenge. I also forgot to put it in the comments but will do better next time. I enjoy your challenges. 🙂

  4. Published today on my blog as Bobby’s not having a good day.

    “How did it go?” Emily asked Bobby as she returned to her cube from the boss’s office. She had a pretty good idea what Bobby’s answer was going to be; the downcast look on her face, the listless nature of her gait and the painfully slow turn of her head to face Emily suggested very strongly that the meeting hadn’t gone well.
    “Oh, the usual crap,” Bobby said. “From what he says, my socks need pulling up and my ideas bucking up. I need to get with the programme, be more of a team player, and bla bla bla. And her from HR was no help, either. I had hoped that, being a woman, she would see my side of things, but then I forgot, she’s a company person first and a woman only second, and a distant one at that.”
    “I’m sorry, Bobs. Anything I can do to help?”
    “Actually, yeah, there is, Em. Can you cover for me for an hour?”
    “Court day?”
    “What’re they reckoning?”
    “Brief says he’ll go down this time. Says he was lucky not to last time. Says the beak felt sorry for him.”
    “Who’s he up in front of?”
    “Could be worse, I suppose.”
    “Could it? How?”
    “Could be Jamieson. He’d bloody hang him!”
    “What; for possession?”
    “Wouldn’t put it past him. ‘An example must be made’ he’d say.”
    Bobby could feel the hopelessness spreading over her, weighing her down and causing her to sink into depression.
    “What’m I going to do, Em? I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”
    “Do HR know what’s going on with you?”
    “No, and I ain’t going to bloody tell ‘em, either.”
    “They might be able to help.”
    “What, that shower of ‘model employees’? Bet none of them has ever had to go to court to keep family out of jail. Bet none of them have had the pigs at the door at six in the morning with search warrants.”
    “Okay, Bobs. You go off and do what you have to. What d’you want me to tell old misery-guts if he asks where you are?”
    “Tell him I’ve gone to see the nurse – women’s problems. He won’t have the bottle to check on that.”
    “I’ll do that. Good luck.”
    Bobby put her coat on, picked up her handbag and inched listlessly towards the door. As she was going through it, she turned to face Emily and, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she said, “Where have I gone wrong, Em? First Jeff left me, now this. And he’s only bloody ten!” The door closed behind her.

  5. Helen Jones says:

    Hi Esther – here’s mine:

    A nincompoop in vermilion sunglasses hailed a taxi. Gordon, quixotic, tried to get in first, but lost a palouche. Karma. 🙂

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