Extreme Writing Challenge #37: “Cursed”

The spell is broken, the spell is broken!  I have slayed the mighty Writer’s Block!

My husband dragged me to see 300 in the theater last night.  It was a trade-off:  I would only agree to see it with him if he agreed to see a chick flick with me.  (Really, all he needed to do was mention that 300 would involve hundreds of half-naked men with air-brushed abs.)  Now that I have suffered through it (okay, okay, it wasn’t that bad), I can only compare my victory over Writer’s Block to one of the many intensely gory scenes from the movie last night.  I have shed the blood of Writer’s Block and declared my creative freedom!

I do hope that whole spiel was corny enough for you.  In all seriousness:  the challenge for today’s story was suggested by one of my readers. (Thanks Krista!)  I will reveal the challenge at the end!


Belle’s mom wouldn’t let her use curse words. Once, when Belle called her brother an “ass,” her mom duct-taped her mouth shut for two whole hours. Belle never understood what was so bad about curse words—they’re only words, after all—and that only made her want to say them even more.

Belle could count only seven curse words that she’d heard. Whenever she was angry or frustrated, she mouthed them to herself. They made her woozy, the way they rolled off her tongue. She knew a day would come when she would speak one aloud and she’d be grounded, probably even spanked. But Belle wouldn’t be stopped; she was hooked.

The problem was that Belle grew bored of the seven curse words she knew. She’d heard there were many more bad words out there—dozens, actually—but she wasn’t sure how she was supposed to learn them all.

On a Saturday afternoon when her mom fell asleep on the couch, Belle opened the phone book and punched the number of a random person: ANGUS, GEORGE.

“Hullo?” George muttered.

“George?” Belle asked.

“Yes, that’s me,” George responded.

“Can you tell me what’s the baddest, most awful word you’ve ever heard?”

George laughed, a gurgly, hearty chuckle. “How old are you, deary?”

“Seven,” Belle stated proudly.

“Why’d you call a stranger to ask for such a bad word?” George asked.

“Bad words are cool. The way they sound makes my heart flutter. But my mom never uses them, so there’s no way for me to learn them.”

George went mute—so mute that Belle feared he may have hung up. She opened the phone book to browse for another name, but then George began, “Well, there’s…” and he spouted off twenty-two of the worst, foulest words Belle thought must have ever been uttered. When he was done, George let out an exhausted breath.

All Belle could say was, “Wow…”

“You’re a rebel, deary. That’s rad. Now don’t go tell your mom you learned those from me.”

Belle, frozen by wonder, squeaked out, “No, never. You are so cool!”

Belle ended the call and ran to her room to record as many of the words as she could remember. When she was done, she stashed the paper under her mattress.

Later that afternoon, Belle’s mom found her daughter asleep on the floor where she’d thrown a tea party for her dolls. Her heart warmed at how pure and lovely Belle appeared there, a touch of drool collected where her head rested on her arm. She couldn’t ask for a better daughter.


The challenge was, as submitted by a reader:  Write a story without any dotted letters (j,i). It doesn’t matter if they are capital or not. If the letter, if lower case, would have a dot, then you can’t use it.

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