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.

It’s A Man Thing – Mondays Finish the Story

It’s Monday again, the day for Barbara Beacham’s excellent flash fiction challenge, Mondays Finish the Story. This asks that we write a piece of fiction in 100-150 words from the photo and first word prompt provided by our host.

If you fancy having a go at this, click on the link above to get the instructions on how to post and follow the link to other entries.

If you’d just like to view some of the other entries, click the link here.

Here is this week’s photo . . .


. . . and this is my story for this week, including the first line prompt:

Dropping her line into Fool’s Lake, she patiently waited for something to bite.

‘Girls’re useless at fishin’. Fifteen-year old David Mullard sniggered at his sister’s outraged face, touching the toe of his boot to her empty bucket. ‘Tha’s been out ’ere all mornin’ an’ bucket’s nowt init yet.’

Brenda’s smouldering eyes fixed on her puny twin, who’d been annoying her for the past hour. ‘Push off afore I count t’ three, or I’ll smash yer ’ead in!’

David considered the matter, deciding that his brawny sister would have no problem bashing his head to a pulp against the jetty. He backed up a few yards.

‘Wait till a tell yer fancyman ’ow daft y’ look in them fishin’ togs. ’Es waitin’ for yer back at ’ouse.

‘What!’ Brenda shrieked, tossing down her rod. ‘Why dint  y’ tell us?’

‘Arh jus’ did,’ David said, grinning as he watched her retreating back. He picked up the expensive rod. ‘Now fer a bit o’ man fishin’.’

Word Count: 150


I’ve attempted a Yorkshire dialect this week, with all it’s dropped letters and old-fashioned sounding words like thee and thou – or abbreviations of them. In speech, some words are just missed out altogether, the meaning of the sentence left to the reader/listener’s powers of deduction (or imagination!).

The dialect contains many words derived from the Norse – a reminder of the time between the 9th and 10th centuries when Yorkshire was a part of the Danelaw, initiated in the late 9th century by Alfred the Great. My very favourite person!