An Outstanding ‘A’ in Maths – Flash Fiction (sort of…)

A short piece written without the use of the letter E

 Mrs Norris’ dark scowl told maths tutor, Frank Warrington, to approach this woman with caution.

‘Good day, Mrs Norris. Sit down, if you would. You wish to know if Jack’s monthly classwork is up to its usual standard?’

‘Our Jack’s got a good brain for maths,’ Mrs Norris said, plonking a rotund bottom on a chair. ‘As has his dad – and you know I’m right, so why didn’t you award him an A for last month’s work? It’s obvious that your brain is malfunctioning.’

Such insults would not disturb Frank Warrington. This woman couldn’t discuss a thing without slinging hurtful insults. ‘I don’t award As to all our pupils, you know.’

‘But my Jack’s not at all happy with a D! It’s so unfair and I’m not going to put up with it from you, or –’

‘All okay?’ Principal Norris’ words cut through Mrs Norris’ indignant mumbling. ‘I told you that I would ask Mr Warrington about our son’s work, Barbara… So, Frank, what is wrong with Jack’s maths?’

‘Nothing at all, Tom. As always, his work was a worthy A. I’m afraid to say that Jack unwittingly took Billy Burton’s work away thinking it was his own. And as you know, Billy is not at all good at maths.’

‘Why didn’t you say so, you fool?’ Barbara Norris’ scathing words rang out. ‘How could you allow us to think that Jack’s work was failing? No good tutor would do that.’

‘If  you had shut your mouth for a jiffy, Barbara, I…’

‘No slanging bouts now!’ Principal Tom Norris’ bark put a stop to an angry sibling row. ‘Billy Burton’s mum is fast approaching, grinning at us. I think you and I, Frank, must clarify that, as usual, Billy did not gain an outstanding A in maths.’


Over five years ago I participated in a Challenge titled Allergic to ‘E’ and came up with THIS little piece. It required a paragraph (three sentences) written without using the most common vowel in the English alphabet. It was fun to do, so I thought I’d have another go at the challenge of my own accord. This piece suddenly became even longer than my first one. I can’t spot any errant e’s in there but, as everyone knows, writers aren’t always good at spotting their own mistakes.