Second Campaigner Challenge - Nursery Nightmares

Surprise, surprise, I'm right up against the deadline for Rachael Harrie’s Second Campaigner Challenge.  Again.  Ahhh, procrastination - how I embrace you. Anyway, Rachael's made it extra tough this time with five different prompts and five different ways to use those prompts.

Prompt 1:

Two people are sitting together under the remains of a concrete bridge. Their backs are against a rusted bridge support. One person’s leg is cut. The other person has wet hair. 

Prompt 2:


Prompt 3:


Prompt 4:


Prompt 5:



Second Campaigner Challenge

Do one or more of the following:

  1. Write a pitch/logline for a book based on the prompts (less than 100 words)
  2. Write a short story/flash fiction piece of less than 200 words based on the prompts
  3. Write a poem with a twist using the prompts as inspiration (in less than 200 words)
  4. Write a story/poem in five sentences, each sentence based on one of the prompts
  5. Write a poem/flash fiction piece (in less than 200 words) about the water pear *without* using the words “pear”, “spoon”, or “droplet”.

For added difficulty/challenge:

  • Complete at least three of the above activities and tie them all together with a common theme (feel free to either state the theme in your post or leave us to guess what it might be)
  • Write in a genre that is not your own

I completed three of the activities, and I think my title gives away my unifying theme. All three take place in a dystopian world, which is not my usual genre,

Nursery Nightmares

First up is option one - write a book pitch, and I've incorporated items from all five prompts. According to Word, it's exactly 100 words.

In a world where London Bridge still stands, nothing is the same: Red Rover refuses to come over, the Spoon cheats on the Dish with a pear, Jack and Jill’s hill is actually a garbage dump, and instead of twinkling, the Little Star exploded.  But from amongst the chaos, a special girl emerges: songs dance through Mary’s head and narrate how things are supposed to be.  She’s always been quite contrary, so she sets out to put things right.  She’ll need all her courage (plus all the dynamite she can find) because whatever it takes – London Bridge is falling down.
Next up, I tackled option three - a poem with a twist, which I've based solely on prompt 1.
Jack Sprat and his hefty wife,
Were living a life full of strife.
They tried their best to keep food on their plate,
But who could guess the last time they’d ate.
The apocalypse had come
Without leaving a crumb;
So they spent all their days
Trying not to feel crazed, 
As they looked far and wide
For something that could be fried.
But after miles without finding even an egg,
Mrs. Sprat got a nasty slice on her leg.
Her husband did his best to carry her back,
But her solid frame was too much for Jack.
He set her down against a crumbling bridge,
While she rambled on about their old fridge.
He flopped beside her, his hair dripping with sweat,
“I love you,” he said, his voice full of regret.
“I love you too, so accept my last gift.”
And she stabbed herself in a motion quite swift.
Jack gasped, screamed, and then finally cried.
“You’ll have plenty to eat,” she said as she died.
But he wasted away, ‘cause it wasn’t as simple as that,
For as everyone knows Jack Sprat could eat no fat. 
And for my third and final piece, I went with option four - write a story with five sentences where each sentence is based on one of the prompts.
A star exploded sending radioactive particles to a planet called Earth.  The particles bombarded a mischievous child in red who usually spent all his time in a corner, and they morphed him into a monstrous creature who destroyed cities while shouting, “What a good boy am I,” as he demanded children be sent to him as playmates (and sometimes snacks).  One brave family searched for a magical wooden weapon with the power to liquefy solid objects, since that was the only way to defeat the rampaging beast.  The monster had destroyed the only bridge leading to the weapon, so the family swam across the river; and when the father sliced his leg on a submerged rock, the mom stayed to tend his wound while the two kids hurried toward their goal.  The weapon’s unlikely hiding place was a landfill long abandoned, and the brother and sister searched for hours until they found it; and then they pretended to be the creature's next tributes to gain access to him, aimed the weapon, and the monster dissolved into water that swept across the land, cleansing it of the rubble he'd created.
Whew, I think I got sillier as I went.  Some of the sentences in that last one are real doozies!  If you thought my entry was worthy, you can go here and 'like' it - it's entry #108.
So did you tackle Rachael's prompt-apalooza?  If so, let me know where to find your entry so I can read it.  And let me know what you thought of my efforts in the comments.


MISH's picture

Wow! This is fun & light-hearted. Nursery rhymes will never be the same... such a fertile imagination!
I like your unique interpretation of the prompts. Good job.
I'm no.#103

Sally's picture

Brilliant - I loved the use of nursery rhymes and the poem was great with the twist. (#47)

Elizabeth Towns's picture

Great, great, great. I had so much fun reading your submissions. Especially enjoyed the poem and the 5 sentence story. Good writing! I am #107. Also a new follower.

Sara Bowers's picture

Lol. Loved the lighthearted take on the prompts, especially the pitch. Well done.

David P. King's picture

Guess what? You've made it to the second round of judging. Congratulations! :)

Nick Wilford's picture

These were such fun to read. Great use of the prompts, and the humour really came through. This made me giggle in particular: He set her down against a crumbling bridge, While she rambled on about their old fridge. Great job!

Alynza's picture

Who would have ever thought nursery rhymes could be so cool. Really loved your take on the challenge. Very unique indeed. :) I'm #36

Lauren Waters's picture

So clever! I don't know which piece I like the most! Great job!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank you for the kind words everyone - I was in a kooky mood Friday night when I wrote these, so I had no idea what people were going to think.

David - Exra thanks to you for delivering such exciting news - whoo hoo!

Doreen McGettigan's picture

Congratulations Jocelyn you have been shortlisted to the next round of judging!!

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Yippee! Thanks, Doreen, that's great news!!

Jenn Baker's picture

Wow, you tackled a lot and I really feel like you got a complete story in that last one. I particularly liked the pitch! I want to read that boo now, please. A twisted, dark take on nursery awesome!

C.B. Wentworth's picture

Wow! I love the whimsical, almost allegorical sense of these pieces! :-) Awesome job!

Cindy Thrasher's picture

Very original! I loved the Jack Sprat poem!

Susan Rocan's picture

That is the most original piece I've read, so far! I loved the poem. I even laughed out loud so my hubby asked what was so funny!

Jessica Salyer's picture

Wow, nice twist on nursery rhymes. Love the way you used the prompts. Nice job.

Tia Bach's picture

So impressed, not only with your amazing take on the challenge (LOVED the poem!), but that you did multiple ones. Kudos. I'm voting!

I'm #106. Clearly we were both pushing it to the wire. ;-)

Jocelyn Rish's picture

Thank you for the sweet comments, ya'll!  Happy to hear I made people laugh.  :-)

C.M. Brown's picture

You are seriously twisted! Great fun, what a unique idea focusing on fairytales!

Stacey Mitchell's picture

My favourite part was the pitch - that sounds like a book I'd definitely like to read!

Cortney Pearson's picture

LOVED THIS!!! Oh my gosh, what a clever take on the prompts! I'm seriously ogling over it right now, especially that pitch! NICE WORK!!!! I would so pick up that book and read it! :D

Jocelyn Rish's picture

With y'all saying you'd read my pitched book, maybe I should make this my next NaNo novel!

Jenn B-H's picture

No pressure, but YES! ;-)

Andy Brokaw's picture

Like does not convey my feelings strongly enough. We need an "Absolutely freaking love" button.

Rachael Harrie's picture

Awesome entry Jocelyn - I really loved how creative this was! And so clever to weave in all the nursery rhyme references :) Congratulations - I've awarded you second place in the Judging Round! Make sure you check out my post to see the cool prizes you've won :)

Congrats again!



Jocelyn Rish's picture

Wow, that's super exciting news!!  Thank you so much, Rachael!  There were so many great stories out there, so I'm very honored.  

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