Safe Word – an ISG Writing Exercise

These three words were chosen:

  • Plethora
  • Stine
  • Alcohol

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



Seth considered the stein on the bar in front of him, watching the wooden edges warp from the crisp clarity of reality to the blurred edges of drunkenness. He tries to remember just how much alcohol he had consumed, and found that he couldn’t even remember when he had arrived at the bar, and, he realized, trying to look around, seeing black spots, and refocusing on the blurry-non-blurry mug, that he didn’t even know what bar he was in.

“‘Sappening,” he managed to say, but he wasn’t sure to whom. The word was long and syrupy, his perception twisted, and he reached out to touch the bar. His fingers met something smooth and silky, not at all what his eyes told him to expect to be underneath the mug, and he knew that it meant something, that he should be concerned about something. Again, he focused on the there-not there mug, and tried to think about lifting it to his lips. Had he drank from it? Had he even touched it? Could he touch it?

He reached it again, but still that strange warm silkiness beneath his questing fingers, though it looked like he was touching the edge of the bar. It was a familiar bar, brown wood, like every other inn he’d even gotten drunk in.

Drunk. His brain seized on the word. He’d had a lot to drink then. How much to drink?

“Plethora,” he breathed, the word escaping his mouth, but he wasn’t sure where it had come from. He didn’t think one could have a plethora of drinks, that alcohol wasn’t measured that way, and he saw the liquid as a huge lake before him, cool and clear.

“Really, pet?” a silky voice said as the mug vanished into surrounding darkness. “I didn’t expect the safe word yet.”

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Rory cleaned what he thought was the twentieth stine that night. Looking around the packed pub, he didn’t think the dish washer job was going to slow down any time soon. Now that the dragon was slayed and rotting at the top of the hill, there was a plethora of alcohol being consumed. The ripe bodies of warriors filled the tables, and spilled out of the double doors. Ruckus laughter and bawdy jokes wafted into the nearby forest.

After years of being destroyed, the small town was finally rid of their nemesis. It had taken the band of fighters months to locate the beast, and they had lost many men in taking it down but at last, there would be peace. Rory smiled as yet another tray of stines was piled next to him.

He hurried, happy to help them revel in their victory. He had lost a cousin to the beast only last week. A terrible noise cracked above their heads as part of the roof was ripped off and a terrible roar echoed in the night. Rory felt himself wrenched from the pub and pulled into the sky.

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“I do not think you would say a “plethora” of drunks.”  Shayna said looking at the soccer team almost falling over themselves at the other side of the bar. 


“Well what would you call them? A gaggle of drunks?” Tabitha asked her taking a sip from her chocolate martini. 


“Maybe a herd?” Shayna said as she watched one of the loudest players pick up a beer stein shaped like a boot. As he tipped it back declaring “Dos Boot” all the beer splashed down his face. Instead of being upset the whole group cheered. 


“It is amazing what alcohol will do to a pack of drunks?” Tabitha said realizing she had made eye contact with one of the pack, and he was making his way over to their table. 


“Oh God” Shayna said realizing what has happened “I told you not to engage”.  


Tabitha downed the rest of her drink readying herself. 

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Manny walked into the saloon, it had seen better days based on the plethora of bullet holes in the wood that made up the bar, but he was use to being in dangerous places. He walked over to the bartender, his spurs making an intimidating sound with every step. For a small town, the bar was fairly well stocked and there was more than one type of alcohol to choose from. “What will it be?” Asked the bartender.

“Whiskey,” Manny replied, he knew it was an unexciting choice, but reliable. “I’m looking for a man. His name is Eric Stein.”

“Never heard of him,” the bartender answered nervously.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

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