Did You Hear That?

As you likely know, the term onomatopoeia refers to words that imitate sounds associated with actions and objects. Incorporate as many onomatopoetic words into a story or scene as you can.

Here is a long list to get you started, but use your own if you prefer.

hiss, ping, crunch, pop, sizzle, bang, swish, smash, flutter, clunk, peck, whistle, smack, whack, hush, whir, tip-toe, whoosh, thud, zap, twang, cock-a-doodle-doo, squish, stomp, tap, thump, splash, purr, tinkle, gush, kerplunk, slurp, swirl, crash, whirl, clang, mumble, squeak, boom, meow, plop, cuckoo, pow, splat, quack, screech, zoom, tick-tock, burp, clip-clop, eek, hiccup, moo, oink, buzz

… and splonk, of course.

Post your response in the comments in 500 words or fewer.


This writing prompt was adapted from one of the 400 story starters and writing prompts in The Write-Brain Workbook Revised & Expanded.

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30 thoughts on “Did You Hear That?

  1. MicMag

    Pitter-patter, pitter-patter. He treads lightly down the path, senses attuned to the glories of nature all around him.
    Blub, blub, blub. The babbling brook runs alongside him, his constant companion, leading to a destination neither has yet known.
    Chirp, chirp. Tweet, tweet. Caw, caw. The birds urge them along, bemusedly commentating on these strange hiking companions: the brightly-clad but mismatched, nearly-furless, upright biped, and the infinite, eternal flow of life’s most crucial and precious treasure, journeying leisurely through pristine mountain jungle.
    Glurg, glurg, glurg. The brook’s babble becomes a gargle as its path steepens and its flow increases.
    Fffsssffffffsssss. The gentle breeze greets the travelers as it rustles vibrant green leaves.
    BzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzZZZZZzzzZZZZzzz. An incessant insect buzzes around the man’s head, intent on delighting itself in the glistening beads of sweat on his face.
    Swish. Swish. Swish. The man’s hand swats in frustration, shooing the fly off, only for it to return again and again.
    SMAAACK! Victory! The man smashes the bug against his bicep and returns his attention to the sounds surrounding him.
    Whoooosh. A yellow bird, brilliant in both hue and wit, swoops down behind the man to snag the fallen fly, its wings fluttering as it rises back to the branches above.
    SSSSHHHH. The creek now rushes as a roaring torrent through narrow crevices and frothy rapids created by boulders big and small strewn across its route. It drowns out all other noise. The man now hears nothing but the raging river and the unchanging hushed silence the rocks have been echoing for eons. He spies a calm eddy pool at the side of the stream. He decides this is the moment, this is the place. He unlaces his shoes, pulls off his socks, drags his shirt over his head, walks to the edge, and leaps. The two travelers become one. Man returns to water, from whence he came.
    SPLASH!

  2. mayboy

    Do you hear

    No raindrops, just humid autumn afternoon and whirling leaves, dancing on the playing field and park. “Whoosh,” the south wind blew the piles of colorful fallen leaves, squeezed beneath the sneakers of young basketball players. Sammy left the team an hour earlier for repeating sizzling sounds hammering in his head. He thought it was for the previous sleepless night.

    “Bang,” the ball slipped from the player’s hand and hit the wall of the neighbor’s house. The force of the ping pong ball plonked the glass fence on the balcony.

    A shudder passed over him after the second blast, the sound of the falling pieces cut his ear, and the noise in the head increased to the level he couldn’t stand anymore. The annoying echo was threatening to shred his pumpkin into pieces.

    “Fresh air, I need fresh air,” he mumbled, at the table, not noticing the buzzes alerts on the screen where figures tiptoed on the same place. Distracted, for the lack of fresh air in the jungle of concrete and yelling of the old man over the damage the ball caused, Sammy had enough. He went out and left the door opened.

    “Boom,” the door slammed under the pressure of the wind. But Sammy didn’t care; something was dragging him to the forest behind the complex. He ran, ran deep into the woods, cracking the branches under the feet, feeling the green energy in the chests. His boots plopped in the moody terrain every time Sammy made a step forward. When he raised the head towards the crowns, he stumbled with one foot at the large root of the willow. His athletic body fell on the ground with a loud clunk. For a second, he passed away, then he suddenly heard a squeak of the giant tree wrestling with a storm, and he felt the gentle touch of the leaf over the face. He was still alive, and his uncle’s words passed through his mind, “You will always find peace and answers in nature.” Sammy leaned the ear on the soil.

  3. ReathaThomasOakley

    The cold settled into her knees and hips as she leaned against the shed wall. Each movement reminded her of those old ice cube trays, the ones that screeched and creaked when the metal handle was forced up from the metal dividers. She’d had no memory of chipping and hacking blocks of ice to cool summer time tea, but for her mother, that new refrigerator, humming in the corner of the kitchen, shrieking trays and all, was a modern miracle. Now, the only other sounds she heard were the steady drip from the icicles overhead, the murmur of the wind, and the rasp of her ragged breathing.

    “Miracles,” she moaned, as she surrendered to gravity and slid to the ground, no longer trying to stop the groan when her spine cracked. “I need me one a them.” From someplace close by she heard what might have been the rustle of leaves that hadn’t been raked before the storm roared through the night before.

    “Hello?” She tried to call out, but only produced a guttural croak. “Please? Somebody there?” A hacking cough, deep in her chest, drowned most of her words. She sighed and closed her eyes. “Dear Lord,” she breathed.

    The chill of the damp ground moved into her hips, but she didn’t move even when the snow started to fall again. Soon all she felt was the gentle tap of the flakes on her eyelids and cheeks. “Mama?” She tried to say, but her lips wouldn’t move. “That you?”

    Slowly her body slumped sideways until her face was not against the snow covered earth, but against the side of her mother’s old Frigidaire and her mother was standing across the kitchen, her arms open wide to welcome her daughter home.

  4. hillsworth

    JUNE 6, 1944
    D-Day

    ‘Rata-tat-tat-tat-tat…’, the air erupts with the sounds of many light machine guns.

    ‘Tink-sploop, tink-sploop, tink-sploop…’, bullets carreening off the outside of the raised steel ramp, then hitting the water. And ‘thonk-thonk-thonk…’, bullets barreling through the plywood sides and finding arms, legs, torsos and heads.

    ‘Ffftt-ffftt-ffftt…’, fourteen inch shells, at the rate of seven per minute, fired from the USS Texas, high overhead. ‘Kabloom-kabloom-kabloom…’, those large mortars impacting somewhere on top of the Pointe.

    ‘Ughhhh-a-ughh-a-ahhhh-ughhh-ahhh…’, the gutteral moans of those unfortunate enough to be hit already.

    ‘Swish-swash, swish-swash…’, red, choppy water pounding away at the hulls of the landing crafts.

    ‘Ker thud, ker thud, ker thud…’, my heart, jackhammering in my chest as Lieutenant Colonel Rudder orders us out of the boats and onto the beach.

    ‘Plick, plick, plick…’, German bullets raining down from above and ricocheting off the rock wall all around me, as I put one hand over the other and pull myself higher on the rope.

    ‘Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God…’, my chant as I clear the top of the cliff and engage the enemy.

    JUNE 6, 1994
    50th anniversary of D-Day

    ‘Drip-sniff, drip-drip-sniff-drip…’, tears roll off my cheeks as I grasp my granddaughters hand and we enter the seventy acre American War Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy and start our search through 9,387 graves.

    A tribute to the real hero’s from WWII

  5. MattH

    The parlor was draped in crepe. The family dog sat in the corner, whimpering, drowned out by the mourners’ wailing. Candles, surrounding the casket, flickered. Mrs. Mulligan, a neighbor, prattled incoherently about nothing. The pitter-patter of feet descended the open staircase. The little girl settled on the fifth step, scrunched up, pulling her legs close to her body, observing the adults, not understanding everything.
    The tick-tock of the grandfather clock, the swinging of the pendulum, back and forth, back and forth, chimed at the top of the hour signaling for the pastor to step into the parlor and to begin the service for the little girl’s brother. Consumption had overtaken him. And now he would be taken to his final resting place, a place she knew she could not go, for she was too young, but she grasped her brother’s trinket, snatching it from his room, clutching it in her little hands, never letting go. The pastor flipped through the pages of his prayer book, uttering words in his raspy voice, an occasional lisp slipping out when pronouncing certain words.
    A rat-a-tat on the door startled her. Her uncle lumbered into the foyer, walking past the girl, not noticing her sitting on the stairs. The undertaker informed him the arrangements were ready, the horses and carriages lined up, all waiting for the minister to finish.
    The cortège wended its way through the cemetery, horses’ hooves clip-clopping along the cobble road in unison, neighing and nipping at their harness. With every bump, the casket rattled, the straps drawn taut.
    Sniffling, the boy’s father, standing beside a mound of dirt, delivered the eulogy at the grave site, his voice warbling – a fine lad any father would be proud of – his lips quivering. The cold rain trickled down, covering the earth, commingling with his tears, trickling down his face. His mother, wearing a black shroud, gathered a wreath of roses – gently, lovingly – placing it on his casket as she would, night after night, place her hand on his fevered forehead, wiping away the bubbling beads of sweat. She grew woozy, swayed, her husband reached out catching her. Friends escorted her back to the carriage as the pastor quoted passages from the Bible. The rain tapered off, the clouds parted, a dove alighted on the headstone and cooed.

    1. rlk67

      This was a ‘WOW+!’ if there is such a grade. It’s a virtual reality post because you’re in it and can feel it.
      I would love to copy it and show my class.

  6. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    THUMP

    There’s some THUMP in my chest,
    and it keeps getting faster.
    It’s the RAT-A-TAT-TAT
    of a science fiction blaster.

    It’s the OOF, loss of breath,
    with the WHOOSH of the wind.
    It’s some SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!
    It’s a cereal brand!

    And it WHAM, hits me hard,
    and lets out a CHOO CHOO!
    It only settles to a TICK
    if I’m not around you.

  7. Jennifer Park

    25. The Cancer

    [This follows “24. The Sacrifice”, posted below. You can see a listing of the Darth Barbara saga chapters—all of which are posted under WD prompts—by clicking on my name above.]

    “Plop, plop, plop,” plopped the Ambassador’s beergut against hers as Barbara continued her exposition: “All I’m saying is that it seems entirely unnecessary.”

    “Do we have to talk about this now?” He was still drunk, and probably could not feel anything.

    “You’re always so busy,” getting drunk, while Barbara studied local history. “Look, for three hundred years the A’émepi dynasty played god. There were at one point thirty-three kings claiming divinity. They don’t really believe that we are divine. They don’t care. They never have. They will be devout no matter what we…”

    With a “Splonk!”, the subsecretary’s body fell onto the floor. No wonder she never drank. Total lightweight. Didn’t even get as far as their daily night-time activity.

    “I’m just not going to be able to finish if you…” The ambassador’s body suddenly seized, and started to shiver. His left feet whooshed across the comforter as he tilted over.

    Barbara did not recognize the expression on his face. It did not look at all pleasurable. “Hey, are you OK?”

    ==========

    With a “Khhhha,” the medic cleared her throat for the millionth time. “Khhhhe. Yes, cancer.”

    “What kind?”

    “The incurable one… I think.” The medic was terribly hungover as well. She did not have to play god, but it was a local custom she could not defy. “Who cares. He’s dying, is what’s important.”

    “But the treaty… It’s in two weeks!”

    “You’ll have to do it. Khhhhee… Khhhhhaaa…”

    “What, tell them, hey, your supreme god is dying, so I’m taking his place?”

    “You can easily appear like him. Sound like him.”

    “But…” There was the inimitable way in which the Ambassador stumbled around drunk. The awful grainbrew he liked to chug and was probably killing him. That slurry voice that the translator refused to recognize.

    The medic reached for the jug of grainbrew on her desk. She promptly glugged it down.

    “Barbara,” Sanniang said with a head tilt, and left the office. Clap, clap, clap of her feet sounded strangely authoritative.

    Barbara followed her out.

    “This is an opportunity. Your idea,” Sanniang suggested.

    “What, really tell them their god is dead?”

    “No… the new commandment.”

    Barbara’s idea was to declare that the gods will be leaving them now, since they were obviously able to take care of themselves, joining the Galactic Union and all. They didn’t need gods. They needed science and progress.

    The Earthlings could stop pretending to be gods.

    “And you haven’t been drinking so much lately. You can tell them that…”

    “That we’re quitting drinking?” The grainbrew was probably carcinogenic or something anyway. Good thing Barbara preferred distillates.

    “Maybe?”

    That’s why they called her Subsecretary Party Pooper. “That’s going too far. Let me check with the Archambassador.”

    The Archambassador hated the plan, but relented. It was an experiment long-time coming.

  8. Jennifer Park

    24. The Sacrifice

    [This follows “23. The Party”, under “A Roll of the Dice”. You can see a listing of the Darth Barbara saga chapters—all of which are posted under WD prompts—by clicking on my name above.]

    “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” crowed the ’oshtám.

    “Swish!” went Barbara’s brain in response. She had a bad hangover for the hundredth time. She shuddered as she reached over for the edge of the bed.

    “Ek!” said the edge of the bed. Actually, it was Subsecretary Party Pooper’s fiancé, what’s-his-name.

    Barbara muttered something indiscernible even to herself, and reached for the other edge of the bed.

    There was someone there, too.

    “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” crowed the ’oshtám, again.

    Damned these goat-like things that crowed all day long. And what kind of a culture sacrifices a live animal to their gods every day?

    “Ambassador, I need to go receive the sacrifice,” Barbara meant to say. Instead, she said, “Pffft.”

    Actually, it was the Ambassador out-gassing as he moved out of Barbara’s way. Something about the grain brew here gave him terrible flatulence.

    “You should have it looked at,” Barbara said surprisingly coherently and headed toward the closet that held her minion outfit.

    ==========

    Thankfully, Sanniang was already at the altar reciting the koan of reception:

    “Pokum ta mishí, humpa án setayum, pu’asáh ekun pe tummana beko? Pimsa en hanta ta evó, pasa an taka zhe zha’á.”

    WIth a “whop”, the cleaver fell onto the beast’s neck. Barbara could feel the resentful glare of the lifeless eyes as the lids closed slowly but steadily, like a creaking door.

    “Azem a hundet makum a’ék pemúm, apite: Hammum, Ghammum, Epimmmum, a Moche.”

    As each god’s name was called, the cleaver fell on each of the hooves, which fell onto the brass bowl with a “clang”.

    The supplicants repeated, “Hammum, Ghammum, Epimmum, a Moche,” as the cleaver fell on each of the ankles. The feet also fell into the bowl, but each with a dull “pup!”

    Every day since her arrival here, Barbara had observed this ritual. Every time with a hangover.

    But, today’s ritual felt different. Something about Sanniang’s practiced, precise slaughter. Her grimly reverent voice in the local vernacular. The splatter of blood across her carefully polished minion helmet.

    No, it was not any of these things.

    “Speak to me, children of the ancients, why do gods ask for a pregnant sacrifice? It is not because that’s what they want, but because it is what they demand of you,” was the rough translation of the koan.

    For hundreds of years before the Earthlings had arrived and revealed themselves as their gods—performing all the miracles of revelation that had been foretold—the supplicants had arrived every day at this temple and offered their sacrifice. Much of their meager technological achievements had derived from the quest to produce a pregnant ’oshtami every day of the year.

    It was what had been demanded of them, so they had done it.

    “Hamí ta ’umná!” and a “pang!” accompanied the limp body of the sacrifice onto the bare floor, for the portion of the meat the gods did not need, to be distributed to charity.

    A drop of tear pooled in Barbara’s left eye.

  9. MarieNicole

    Here’s my take 🙂

    PINBALL QUEEN

    CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! She drops her coins in the old machine. THUD! She kicks it to life. She locks her fingers together in front of her, extends her arms and locks her elbows. CRICK! CRACK! POP!

    “You know you’ll get arthritis when you’ll be old!” Teases Clip, her boyfriend.

    SLAP! Zee’s hand on his butt tells him what she thinks of that comment. “I’m never getting old. I plan on dying before I’m 30.” SNAP! He cringes at the sound of her knuckles as she locks her fingers one last time to make a point.

    “Watch and learn Clip, and bow to your Queen!” SKREEEK! She pulls the rusty plunger, pauses to wink at him, and releases it while slowly exhaling. PLING! She leans into the machine pushing her thighs against the coin slots.

    BLOOP! BLEENG-BLEENG-BLEENG! BLOOP! She grinds against the machine. Laughing at her triple bounce on the bumpers signaling double points for the next 5 minutes.

    THWACK! She flips the ball back into action.

    “Watch it, I’m getting jealous,” warns Clip with a smirk. He positions himself behind her, hands on her hips, nuzzling Zee’s neck. “MMMMM you smell delicious. Almost too delicious for this old arcade.”

    THWACK! The ball rolls up onto the second level. BLOOP! DING-DING-DING-DING! “Quadruuuuuple score!!! Start bowing!” she leans into Clip with a smile as she licks her lips.

    “Oh, I’m going to bow alright,” croons Clip pulling in closer to whisper in Zee’s ear, “I’ll be bowing for a good hour tonight if this keeps up.”

    THWACK! The flipper keeps the pinball alive. “Get in the hole!” Zee screams at the machine. PLOINK! The ball lands in the hole as ordered by the Queen herself. All lights are alive flashing like a 70s era discotheque.

    SWOOSH-SWOOSH-SWOOSH Clip moves his hips left and right and left again against Zee. “Love how you got the ball to land in the hole like that Zee.”

    DING! DING! DING!

    Zee turns around, abandons the game, kisses Clip while thrusting her hands into his front pockets holding him tight against her. “What were you saying about that bowing?” She purrs into his ear.

    Clip frees himself from Zee, grabs her hand and runs out. They laugh as they leave the arcade. They’ve got much better things to do than playing with little balls and flippers.

  10. Smileyface256

    Drip. Drip. Drip.

    Water. Close by. Echoing. Cave?

    Bump-bump. Bump-bump.

    Heartbeats. Still alive.

    Thump, shhhh. Thump, shhhh. “…should leave. No one will find her here ‘til after she’s starved to death.”

    Pegleg, gruff voice…Captain Globeck. Pirate.

    The footsteps leave, echoing voices fade.

    I pry my eyes open. Yes, cave. Glowy things on the walls light it up a bit. My brain feels like sludge.

    I try to sit up. Big mistake. Pain shoots through my side, makes me gasp. One, maybe two broken ribs. I lay back down. My jacket rustles against the stone floor, echoing off the cave walls.

    My lip is split, I’m pretty sure I cracked a knuckle. How did I get here?

    …Space pirates. Right. Probably should have thought twice before stowing away on their ship. Not that I usually think twice about anything I do. I’m lucky they didn’t throw me out the airlock, come to think of it.

    Ugh. Moving hurts. I need to find out where they dumped me.

    I scream a little as I sort of stand up against the cave wall. No one’s around to hear me, so it’s fine. Probably. The pain in my side makes everything kind of hazy. The world spins. Huh. They must have hit me in the head at some point.

    I make my way along the cave wall like a blind granny, towards where the pirates’ voices had faded. There are less glowy things here.

    Crash. Splash. Something is making a lot of noise below…water. I feel a breeze on my face, slump and crawl to what I think is the edge of the cave.

    “Whoa!” My hand waves in open air and I almost fall. Almost. I pull myself back, gasping shallow breaths. So tired…

    Crash.

    I open my eyes. A moon has risen, casting red light on this alien place.

    The cave I’m in opens in the side of a cliff. The only way out is to climb. The pirates were right–wait.

    I pat my jacket. Phew! The emergency rations and bandages I sewed into the lining are still there.

    I will survive.

  11. rlk67

    BAM!! (“OW!”)
    CRASH! (“OOOOO!!”)
    SPLASH! (“GLUB GLUB!”)
    POP! POP! POP! (“YOW!!!”)
    SIZZLE! (“AAAAAHHHH!!!”)
    BOOM!! (“ooohhhhhh….”)

    STOMP-SLUSH! STOMP-SLUSH! STOMP-SLUSH!

    CREAK!

    “Yes, what is it, Mr. Morgan?”

    “FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, MR. JOHNSON! I QUIT!”

    SLAM!

  12. Nicole Coffey

    For a blissful moment as Ben woke up, he forgot he was in Tucker’s storybook house. It didn’t take long once he looked out the bedroom window and saw horses walking the coral. Ben ignored a hat and trousers his boyfriend left out for him and found the clothes he wore over last night. Ben met Tucker at the barn which was comically painted red and white. His combat boots weren’t holding up like Tuckers clomping leather that carried him over. Tucker shook his head at Ben’s rolled up sleeves that exposed another set, in ink, beneath the dress shirt. What? Did he expect him to wear some sort of plaid button down, or go bare skinned and risk getting covered in God knows what sloshed around?

    “Here Darlin’, you go on to the coop and I’ll finish with Miss Harriet.” Tucker said, offering Ben a pail.

    The metal handle popped and cracked against the weight of feed. Ben tossed a look over his shoulder. Once he left this palace of ewes, cows, and temporarily empty stalls he only had the smell of straw and feathers to look forward to.

    “Wipe that look off your face.” Tucker laughed, “I’ll make a farmer out of you yet.”

    “It’s enough to date one.” Ben sighed.

    He resigned to follow the call of the rooster who seemed angry at the dawn. Harsh crows echoed across the farm, inescapable, like Harriet’s bell clanging around her neck. Still, as Ben ducked into the shed that had been turned into a chicken coop, he knew he’d rather be with the dairy cow. The hens sat roosting, but those who noticed him fussed, sending straw and various unmentionables raining down from the shelves. Ben left a line trailing behind him of feed, beginning in the coop but largely outside. While they pecked the ground he’d have time to clean. At the back of the now empty shed Ben abently counted nesting boxes as he gathered eggs. Ten? There should be twelve. Although the chickens were often left to wander during the day, at night they we’re always together and accounted for. Maybe Tucker sold a few, traded them at the town market he brought goods to on the weekend. Ben found he was very wrong. He grimaced at the wooden paneling that broke away to a convenient hole. On the floor were two mangled boxes, broken eggs, and downy feathers. Wouldn’t Tucker love this.

  13. jhowe

    A hush came over the pool room as Desiree walked in, her stilettos clopping on the scarred wood floor. Hank Williams twanged from the jukebox and jaws dropped in her wake as she sashayed to a high top near the bar. Two men wearing their best flannel shirts assisted her as she sat. She smiled, a slight purr emitting from her cherry red lips. The other men rushed to the bar and soon her table overflowed with peach daiquiris.

    Desiree swirled the straws and slurped from each glass. She suppressed a hiccup and the men laughed, having forgotten their pool matches. She picked up a menu and the men called frantically for the barkeep. Scuffling occurred until at least five food orders were placed. While waiting for her meal, Desiree snapped open her purse and arranged her household bills on the table. The men grabbed for them and fought to write their credit card numbers on the pay slips. One cowboy wannabe whooped as he obtained the mortgage payment, the granddaddy of them all.

    After eating a little from each plate, Desiree dabbed her pouty lips and rose from her stool. The room buzzed, the men awaiting her next move. Her silk skirt whooshed as she twirled and walked to the jukebox. Dollars were fed to the machine as she made her song choices, hips swaying seductively. When Unchained Melody started playing, an all-out brawl ensued. As the men punched and gouged, smashing one another with chairs, Desiree walked to her table. She sipped from a few of the glasses and put her bills away. She plucked a shrimp form a plate and tossed it in her mouth as she exited the bar. She shook her head when the cowboy wannabe crashed through the front window and tumbled onto the sidewalk at her feet. He looked up, forehead bleeding and was treated to a radiant smile. She turned and blew him a kiss before rounding the corner, vanishing until next time.

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