Five Words - writercize #AtoZChallenge 3.6

Please note: writercize (a portmanteau of write and exercise with a z for ... a twist? fun? street cred?) is participating in the A to Z Challenge through the month of April with alphabetical writing prompts. I'm skipping the stories behind the prompts so you can spend more time practicing and less time reading! Please participate, and enjoy!

writercize: Always a favorite on this site, I give you five words to use however you wish. Poem, flash fiction, sales pitch - let your imagination be your guide. It is always fascinating to see how each person interprets five words differently. Today's words come from Creativity Games' random word generator.

  • profit
  • mat
  • beggar
  • mirror 
  • nose

I love reading your comments and especially your writercize results, so please, drop me a line to let me know if this worked for you! Better yet, share your attempt with the world in your comment! 

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response. 

writercizer sample response:

Barnabas stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. Today was supposed to be one of the best days of his life, the day he would become master carpenter and ask Lydia to be his bride. He'd waited nearly a decade for this day, toiled and sweat over saws and nails and frames, accepted the early mornings and late nights, demeaning orders and hard physical labor. He'd waited so long for the day he could start a life of his own, the day he'd be paid in cash rather than room and board. 

Now he was sure it was all ruined. He'd live the rest of his days a poor, lonely man and Lydia would find another.

The crooked nose in the mirror, slightly crusted with red evidence of his fight earlier that day, did not bode well for Barnabas' plans. It wasn't his fault, he told himself. It was all the beggar's fault. The beggar had looked so desperate and hungry, so Barnabas offered him a slice of bread. Of course, it hadn't been Barnabas' to give - the bread belonged to the baker - but he was ready to pay the baker once he received his first wages.

Instead, the baker went to Barnabas' boss, complaining about the alleged theft to feed the beggar. Barnabas, eager to resolve the situation, told his boss that he'd meant to pay the baker once he'd earned his wages, and all would be settled by morning. But the baker didn't want to wait, and Barnabas' boss had paid the baker his money.

But not before sending Barnabas on his way.

"Boy, I will not share my profit with the likes of that beggar. You want to play Robin Hood, do it on your own time. You've cost me too much today. You are dismissed," he'd said.

Barnabas, knowing he would never become a master carpenter with the word 'thief' attached to his name, did what any desperate man might do. He punched the man who had told his boss and ruined his career. 

Running towards the baker, Barnabas shouted, swinging wildly, "I'd have paid, you stingy fool. Now I'm out a job and you're out a customer!" His fist landed first on the baker's left cheekbone, then under his chin. The baker's apprentice, seeing the altercation, had run out of the bakery and punched Barnabas square in the nose, causing him to stumble backwards and fall on the cobbler's mat.

Resigned to his fate, Barnabas began to whimper. Seeing that he was no longer a threat to their money or their faces, the baker, the apprentice and Barnabas' boss kicked up some dirt, spat at him, and walked away.

Once he'd pulled himself together, Barnabas had stood up and followed the scent of hops to the closest tavern. There he stood, in the tavern's restroom, pondering his fate. No carpentry. No money. Surely no wife. No future. What was he going to do next?


  1. I'm going to try the five words later on,
    Love the concept and your written piece,


  2. Here's my go at it:

    "Just because the beggar was found sitting on a mat in the street offering your mirror to whomever wanted it does not convince me that he was trying to make a profit from it or that he stole it."

    "No? Will a punch in your nose convince you?"

    Writer’s Mark

  3. This is a great site! Thanks for coming over and saying hi..and now I've finally gotten a chance to say hi back. Here's my try with your words. "To gain profit above the mat you can't be a beggar...unless in the mirror you see a wart on your nose" Inspirefly

  4. The beggar completed the last of of his 100 push-ups. He stood up on his mat, stretched, then bent easily to touch his toes with his nose. He peeked at his reflection in the mirror-like puddle beside him. Clink. He turned his head slightly and saw feet hustling away. Clink. More feet. Clink. And still another pair of feet. He stood up and checked the puddle. It was larger. Already, he had gained a profit to the day.

    That was fun. Thank you.
    I'm A to Zing at
    Take 25 to Hollister
    Don't be a Hippie

  5. Okay. Here goes:

    He looked in the mirror
    Beside the display
    With sunglasses
    Astride his nose.

    The price tag was higher
    Than he’d ever pay
    But the sun hurt
    The higher it rose.

    So he took up a spot
    In the shade that day
    And sat on his mat
    Writing prose.

    He sold all his works
    Took in money to pay
    For those sunshades perched
    On his nose.

    No longer a beggar,
    As an author today,
    He’ll profit even when
    The sun glows.


  6. nose to the mirror
    the beggar sat on the mat
    no hope of profit

    Wow, I haven't written a Haiku since high school, which was a long time ago. I don't like the process of writing but I love a challenge. This was fun! Thanks for stopping by and leaving the nice comments about the vintage dog photos.

    Donna at Donna's New Day

  7. I used the profit I earned from selling a mat to the beggar who is looking at his reflection in a mirror showing the awful hollow that was once his nose. :)

  8. It's fun to read the comments from those playing along. I just woke up and my brain is fried still, but I may come back to this!


  9. No profit organization selling mats and mirrors. We're not beggars so if you're not interested don't put your nose into the shop!

  10. Don't normally do fiction but may give this a go. Some great ideas already.

  11. It makes me super happy to see all of you trying out the writercize! Thank you for indulging me! What a talented bunch you are.

    I will respond to each comment and visit all of your blogs the beginning of this week. :D

  12. A haiku

    Beggar for profit
    His nose long in the mirror
    Fall against the mat

    Juliet and Regina atCity Muse Country Muse


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