My Weekly Writing Challenge

If you’re looking for a quick writing challenge, why not give these a go?:

OPTION ONE: Write a fifteen-word story with the words WICKED, WRITER and WAR in it somewhere.

OPTION TWO: Write a poem or limerick on the theme of FUN.

OPTION THREE: Your word of the week is the PAST. What does that mean to you? Happy memories? Sad times? Family relationships? A deep, dark secret? Your piece can be fact or fiction. 

Thank you to everyone who gave last week’s challenge a go. Here are the wonderful results:

OPTION ONE was to write a fifteen-word story with the words GOLD, EVIL and LOVE in it somewhere.

Michael crafted this great story:

Mr Gold was pure evil but still sought love. He found it in Mary’s heart.

Sacha Black found time in her busy schedule for a clever story:

Gold’s ‘dark one’ evil was never a match for Belle’s love, she won every time.

OPTION TWO was to write a poem or limerick on the theme of SPACE.

I don’t know how Keith Channing does it, but he always delivers some amazing limericks:

In the sixties there was a great race
To throw humans far into space.
It wasn’t too soon
To put men on the moon,
And no-one had egg on their face.

In the race to the moon, the US
Sent up thirty odd craft with success.
From the CCCP
Less than twenty we see,
But forgive me, I shouldn’t digress.

For seventeen years the Space Station
Has been the source of much elation.
I hardly need speak
Of our own Major Peake;
A credit to all of our nation.

Now, when we go into the void,
There are many who get quite annoyed.
They think it not funny
To spend so much money
They believe could be better employed.

For myself, I am always impressed
By the levels to which we’ve progressed.
One thing about space,
It’s a bloody big place;
It demands, and it brings out our best.

Please visit Ladyleemanila‘s site to see her entertaining limerick:

Now for Bindu’s interesting take on space:

Space, now isn’t that what we all pine for?
Space for a spread-out comfortable living,
Space where we share and there’s scope of giving,
Space in someone specials shrinking heart,
Space to chit-chat, to pour out one’s thought.

Space that has been so vast, immeasurable and infinite,
Appears to have become distant,far out of reach.


David Harrison is very witty:

An outrageous old stripper called Grace
Stowed away on a rocket to space
On arrival at Saturn
She was booed as a slattern
On Mars she was called coarse and base.


Option three asked you to write about the word PHOBIA.

Enjoy Keith Channing‘s super piece:

When I was younger, I wasn’t afraid of anything.

That’s not entirely true. Mum was in charge of family discipline; Dad was out to work all day, and it was Mum who had to deal with us after school and all day during the holidays. We knew what to expect from Mum. There was a range of punishments, depending on the severity of the crime and the extent to which it upset the well-ordered life that Mum tried to make for herself and for all of us.

Sometimes, if any of us didn’t show suitable remorse after the sanctions she’d meted out, or if we continued with the unwanted behaviour, she uttered the words that we all feared; the only thing that would bring us to our knees, literally. Yes, those words. “You wait till your father gets home”. We’d beg her not to tell Dad, and undertake never ever to repeat the offending whatever it was we did. And we meant it, we really did. At least until bed-time, when all undertakings slipped off, with us, to the land of Nod.

In fairness, I have to say that she never did tell Dad what we’d been doing; not in our hearing, anyhow. I always thought, though, that the hearty laughter we often heard from the two of them, long after we were (supposed to be) asleep, may well have had some loose link to our daytime escapades.

But that, and the school bully, was the only thing I ever feared.

The headmaster st school was a bit of a tyrant, too.

We never played in the old ruins by the river. Mum told us that a bogeyman lived there, and that he hated children. It seems that he took delight in causing pain to young people. She said he was worse than the monsters that I knew lived under my bed but she said were fig-mints of my imagination. I spent hours checking out all the sweet shops, but never found anything like fig-mints, so had no idea what she meant by that. The monsters were real, as everybody knows. When she asked me, I said they’d never attacked me because I never looked directly at them. That’s what you have to do; not make eye contact with them. It works. Trust me. Our dog always attacks the postman, to stop him attacking us. That works, too. We’ve never been attacked by the postie.

She told us not to take lifts from strangers in cars, because they don’t all like children, and we shouldn’t take sweeties from strangers and particularly never ever pick up sweeties from the ground and eat them, even if they’re still in their wrappers. Why? Because there are people who inject them with poison, to make children ill.

And we had never to let a policeman catch us doing anything naughty, because they’d box our ears and throw us in jail. And keep away from strange dogs, in case they bite. And don’t play in the long grass in case there are any snakes there. If they bite you, you could die!

No, I wasn’t afraid of anything. Except Dad, the school bully, the headmaster, the bogeyman, the monsters under my bed, strangers in cars or with sweets, policeman, dogs and snakes. I won’t say anything about the vicar, because I think Mum was afraid of him, too. She always hid behind the curtains when he came into our street. Yeah, and the rent collector, too.

I miss those carefree days; we were invincible!

Now it’s over to the wonderful Geoff Le Pard:

Ethel Phobia couldn’t understand why no one appeared to like her. She had nice hair, a pair of lips that would do service in a tomato salad and most of her own teeth. Her breath left barely any aftertaste and she had mastered control of her bowel, for the most part. Her figure, while tending to go out where fashion suggested it should go in, was fulsome rather than plump and, if she dressed conservatively then it was a phase and she was sure her liberal credentials would return soon. So why did people, men and women just ignore her? Just looked right through her as if she wasn’t there? She asked her mirror, a source of wisdom with just the right amount of total bitchery. Mirror thought for a moment. ‘It’s because you dead fatso. And drop the blue eye shadow.’

David Harrison has written something a little different. Enjoy:


An ambitious arachnid’s letter to his followers.

Dear colleagues one and all-male, female, large and small.

I would like, craving your indulgence, to take this opportunity to address you on the subject of PHOBIA. I write of course of that peculiar strain of phobia which appears to grip almost the entire human population of this planet we share, at the very mention of our species and the ensuing panic which then proceeds to engulf both sexes of its membership when we scuttle from our refuges within their homes and make an appearance on their living room walls, floors and ceilings. When we consider this, alongside our ability to render their bathrooms out of bounds by simply squatting in the tub itself, I am sure you will agree with me in regard to the considerable possibilities which present themselves to us.

Until the present, before this new realisation of our power had become clear to us, we believed that we were in in grave danger, given that the human species is several times larger than ours. Today my friends I say just this to you. No more! The tables have turned, the winds of change have blown. WE are the masters now!

So let us face the future with a new and well-founded confidence, in the unshakeable knowledge that it is our species which is the true ruler of our world. By our appearance we engender sheer terror. In our movement we create mass hysteria. Indeed simply by our existence we reduce humanity to a gibbering wreck of complete and utter impotence in the face of our advance.

And so I return to the considerable possibilities on which I touched previously, an example of which has just occurred. Upon crawling out from behind a curtain I have, not a minute since, sent a human female rushing from the room shrieking uncontrollably.

This and other such incidents make it clear to me that our domination of the planet Earth is not far in the distance. Others have tried by many means and failed. We, on the other hand, have only to present ourselves to succeed.

Comrades I exhort you. Let us march forward to our goal. Let us not shrink from our task. Let’s do it!

Yours most sincerely

Arachnid 33 (Black Widow Division.)







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28 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. A writer she will be but then a war so wicked rages in her soul.

  2. DrEMiller says:

    Reblogged this on Write of Passage and commented:
    Esther Newton has some new, “quick” writing challenges for you. Enjoy!

  3. Rajiv says:

    I will get back to you on the other two, but here is my 15 word one

    ‘That wicked writer strongly urged Don and Hillary to wage war on our common sense’

  4. Option 2 (some days it’s harder than others!) Posted here:

    I’m told that my humour’s home-spun;
    That the best I can do is a pun.
    I bet you’re a bloke
    Who’d laugh at my joke.
    I just want to have me some fun.

    I just ate a big, creamy bun.
    Any more, and I’ll soon weigh a ton.
    I think that I’d like
    To go out on my bike.
    It’s tiring, but might just be fun.

    Or I could do a nice, long road run
    With Georgie, my fit young grandson.
    We’ll eat up those miles
    With laughs, jokes and smiles.
    We’ll do that, and have us some fun.

    I wanted to buy a handgun,
    My grandson already has one.
    You don’t have to wait
    If you’re in the right State.
    Let’s do it and have us some fun.

    So we’ve ended ‘fore e’er we’ve begun
    And I’ve now set my phaser to stun
    The question is moot
    If I’d ever shoot.
    But let’s try it, and have us some fun.

  5. Option 3, posted as If I could turn back time…

    When I look over my past, I see more unwise decisions than wise ones, more bad choices than good ones, and more opportunities missed than seized.

    I frequently wonder what would have happened had I resisted family pressure and pushed on to university; had I been more resolute and taken, not the job my parents wanted me to, but one that I had chosen for myself. I consider the alternative futures I might have enjoyed, had I not confided in my supervisor that I was less than happy, and was wondering whether I could be happier in alternative employment; and the list goes on.

    There are two sides to every coin, and so when I reminisce, I congratulate myself on the wise decisions, the good choices, the opportunities I didn’t let go.

    But underpinning it all is my belief, not in predestination, fate, karma or whatever name you choose to use, but in cause-and-effect and in chaos, the butterfly effect. I know, that had I done anything differently in my past, made any decisions other than those I actually made, seized or let go of any opportunity differently to the way I did, then my present would be different. As would the present of anyone who has been directly or indirectly touched by the results of any of my choices or decisions (and let’s not forget the butterfly effect).

    And do you know what? I rather like my present. True; there are a couple of things I would change (mostly involving one of three symbols – £, € or $), but changing a part would change the whole and, on the whole, I don’t want to.

    And that’s all there is to say about it, really.

  6. ddmoonsong says:

    Hello, do we send our entries? By pasting them on right here?

  7. ddmoonsong says:

    I’m assuming so. Here’s my entry for option 2 –


    My tights are ripped, I do not care
    Pink hair, tulle skirt and a daredevil flare
    sumptuous breasts and a wicked smile
    these are enough for a job like mine

    Here they come with their slouching gait
    one and all – looking for a date
    someone warm, who will take them in
    as long as they’ve money, it is not a sin

    A girl’s got to eat, my mam used to say
    For good or for ill, be it night or day
    just call me, you know me, I’m always game
    many hands and no faces, to me all the same

    As long as you pay me, I don’t really mind
    if we do it standing, from the front or behind
    I’m not picky, not choosy, come on one and all
    we can rent a room, or go behind the wall

    A pert bottom, parted lips, with high heels and a wink
    I’ll have your interest and pecker, before you can blink
    Look no further, come hither, yes I am the one
    ‘Hey Mister, I’m Heather, let’s go have some fun!’

    This can be found posted on my blog here –

  8. Bindu says:

    The 15 words:
    Wee Willie Winkie, the wicked writer winked slyly at her, to stir a winking war.

  9. Pingback: Past …recall to a prompt – Believing Sight Unseen

  10. EDC Writing says:

    Destination Reached

    This maybe a little too long for here, your ‘Past’ prompt recalled a piece I wrote last year, I’ve re-posted and pasted here …

    Destination Reached

    “Turn left and continue to the end of the road”.

    “Okay let’s hope you got it right, this lane looks like it’s going nowhere”.

    He taps the screen, the satnav turns off. A second hand one, hanging by its twisted black cable from his rear view mirror. Appearance has never been his thing. He’s on a promise, of a sort. Something about her, the way she’d stood, so close, appealed beyond reason, the reason why he’s here.

    That was an hour ago, car boot sale, mostly tat and crap as usual. He goes most Sunday mornings, not much else to do. Her goods laid out on a knee high wicker table part covered by a faded lace shawl. A bit odd amongst the functional folding tables straining under the weight of stuff no one ever wanted and likely never will.

    Her curves he first noticed, fluidic, not an inch of her ever still. Let’s get real, it wasn’t going to be her smile or eyes, or anything remotely subtle that would work on him. Lust not his only weakness, two pairs of candle sticks, tarnished, caught his eye, his stare diverted from her to the silverware. He’d always had a thing about old silver, finger tips worn through endless rubbing, his prints almost unreadable.

    “How much for a pair” he asked, “which pair do you like most” she almost moaned as she leaned forward. “I’ll take all you’ve got” he grinned, “That’ll be quite a handful for you to carry around, sure you can manage them”, her words hung as she appeared beside him, stroking the stick he was holding. “I’ve more to show you … if you’re interested that is?” He didn’t need to say a word, his body answered for him.

    They got talking, beyond the obvious. She found his soft spot, her way in beneath the shallows of desire to subconscious memories of the only one he’d ever felt love from. Orphaned on his birthday, aged five, an open fire, a wicked lick of flame ignited, engulfed her. His mother, his father couldn’t reach to save, his heart failed, as he fell her screams all the louder, too much, their loss, he too young to take in.

    Gran took care of him, well she tried too, unscathed, least that’s how he first seemed. Her house, old, terraced, of another era, toilet at the end of the tree hedged garden. A shadow walk of fear at nightfall, looking over shoulders, even now he never locks the toilet door, or even closed it then. He had to see the light beckoning, he had to see his way back to her.

    In bright late noon sunlight, glinting off rows of disgorged cars, he told this young clinging nymph everything, more than he even knew. She asked no questions, sucked on his naivety, his need of complete release. His hand held as if cuffed, voluntarily arrested, she let her breathe be breathed in. Her green eyes never left his, pale blue, seen through, beyond colour, his soul exposed, restless. He gave a cough and shivered, as if not ready for the taking, she pressed, tight against him, her lips upon his ear and whispered, “we’re ready now, let’s go.”

    He took direction, her postcode familiar, local, he keyed it in, looked up from the dangling satnav, to see a now vacant slot where her table stood, grass undisturbed. The field around flat from wheels and footfall, his mind on amber, unheeded, his desire on green. He turned the ignition key.

    That lane, no more than a mile away, one he’d not seen before, no matter, he not one for rural bye ways, hemmed in by hedges, overcast by trees. He slowed, first bend blind, wound the window down, no sound, drove on, a long straight, accelerated, ditch either side, a smell, faintly sulphurous, he wound the window up. Another bend, much tighter, a slight incline dropped away to a stream, a ford, didn’t look too deep. He nosed the front wheels in, inched his way through.

    Too late, beyond return, he saw her. Old and bent, a grubby lace shawl around her shoulders held by long fingered purple veined hands at a bleeding creped neck. Blood oozed from her face too, raked by circling crows, she shuffled closer. He stamped the pedal to the floor, wheels spun on mud, tarmac there no more. Engine cut, fuel vaporised and vented. Sudden darkness took its hold, he’d never felt so cold. Windows steamed up, condensation froze, metal groaned, lightening jolted to his core. Neurons fired uncontrolled, thunder rolled, tyres exploded one by one.

    He rubbed the windscreen with his sleeve, mistake, as if it mattered. In that moment her ravaged face seeped in, needing sight of him, glass dissolving, she took his tongue. His scream an inner thing, resonating through bones, bowels voided. Adrenaline filled veins, throbbed, nowhere to run, arteries disconnecting, the ruin of her body permeating, corroding every cell of his. Eyes forced open, lids ripped away by curved nails, in agony to witness his passage through the gates of hell. Yellow light, candles, silver mounted dimmed. Her mortal form released, a green eyed beauty rose to find peace, youth restored, once cruelly cut, gutted in a past life, by an ever evil him, her soul reborn, his taken … final destination reached.

  11. Rajiv says:

    Hi Esther… My Mongrel Verse Brain is not working, but my Mongrel Yowling one is! Here is something on ‘The Past’

    Three venerable old men sat down to talk. For want of anything better, and to avoid leaving them to the nameless dark, let’s give them names. They are, for the purpose of this story, called Nehru, Gandhi and Jinnah.
    The three old men lived in that nebulous region between Heaven and Hell. Some call it the Spirit world. Others call it The Realm of The Damned. As old men are wont to do, they began to talk of the past, and their time on earth. They had been contemporaries, and each had imagined that he had done great service to his country during his individual lifetime.
    After talking a bit, and exchanging notes amicably, a strange realization came over them. Neither could agree on a common version the events of the past, or the effect of the events of their time on earth on their generation, or those that followed.
    Each cloaked their version in fancy figures of speech, and in the finest robes of imagination. At times they claimed that it was destiny that had shaped their actions. At others, they claimed that they were the agents of God, and were acting in his name. Each arrogated to themselves the best possible motives for their actions, and could only see the good in all that they had done.
    Anger coursed through their ghostly beings, and they flailed at each other in vain. Gossamer arms passed through gossamer bodies, and all that remained were spirits of malice and spite.
    Finally, they went to The Pearly Gates, and asked St Peter to be the arbiter of Truth and Justice between them. Each importuned him in the most wheedling manner possible, and fake smiles coursed across their faces.
    The Good Saint smiled, and said, ‘Each version represents the truth, and each version is a lie. Each represents your own individual truth, but not the whole truth. Neither of you would survive the memory of the past, and must seek comfort in your own individual history, no matter the cost to the millions of innocents who lived in your times’.
    With that, he closed The Gates, and left the three to wither and waste away.

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