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The Challenge Master

September 4, 2014

The Writing Essential Saturday Challenge. Instructions on how to play posted at the end.

This Week’s Challenge: Using prose or poetry, write a (very) short story in which all the words have only one or two syllables. Your option, but if you want to add another dynamic to the challenge, no sentence should have more than ten words.


The Challenge Master

Sitting at the table staring at the blank paper. So many words; none of them good for this task. “Use only small words,” the Challenge Master wrote.

Blah, blah, blah. Easy to say when sitting at his Challenge Master desk.

Then it hit me: revenge! How? Poisons! Poison the Challenge Master for banning all the Big Words.

Yes. Yes! It could work. With careful planning, it could work.

Thrilled with my plan I stand and pace the room.

Poisons. Poisons.

“What are good poisons?” I ask the empty room.

Hemlock. Good. What else? I soon catch on that all the potent poisons are Big Words.

The Challenge Master knew this. He knew this when he devised this devilish* drill.

Sitting again I stare once more at the blank paper.

* Regional accents notwithstanding, I wrote this using the two syllable (dev-lish) pronunciation rather than the three syllable (devuh-lish) pronunciation.


How to Play:

Challenge guidelines: how to participate in the challenge 

  1. Post a response to your own website or blog. If you do not have one, you can set up a WordPress blog for free here
  2. Tell me that you responded.You can do this in a number of ways:
    1. Include a link to your response in a comment below. See the comment link at the bottom of this article.
    2. Include a link in an email to
    3. If you use WordPress, tag your response with WESat (Writing Essential, Saturday)
9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 4, 2014 8:35 am

    Yes, you did it! I read this through my blurry-eyed newish glasses that are being returned, Friday. I think I also did it, but have to find it. Good going! 🙂


    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      September 13, 2014 2:06 pm

      Thank you! What’s wrong wtih the newish glasses?


  2. maadmaax permalink
    September 4, 2014 12:17 pm

    Outstanding, Michael. I obviously loved the title and completely agree with the dev-lish pronunciation. Thanks for taking this week’s challenge.


  3. September 4, 2014 1:51 pm

    Bravo! Bravo! Thanks for all the fun!


  4. September 4, 2014 8:07 pm

    A fun response and very witty.


    • Michael B. Fishman permalink*
      September 13, 2014 2:07 pm

      Thank you, Irina!



  1. WESat: September 6, 2014 – Inane Questions | Writing Essential Group

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