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Lesley's Nifty Nib-Nibbling Nonsensical Narrative Writing Challenge

Quick links on this page:

rules & how to submit - about the nonsense writing challenge - read the nonsensical stories

Lesley Truchet & Christopher Fielden

Lesley Truchet & Chris Fielden going all Mad Max on a classic Kawasaki

Chris's head has NOT been badly Photoshopped onto Lesley's husband's body; his head always sits at that alien angle

Welcome to Lesley's Nifty Nib-Nibbling Nonsensical Narrative Challenge. It's fun. It's simple. Anyone can submit. All entries are published. Discover how delightful writing nonsense can be.

Rules & How To Submit

This is a flash fiction writing challenge, inviting you to pen a nonsense engorged tale, filled with absurdity, yet making sense.

The rules are simple:

  • 200 words max
  • please include a title for your story (not included in word count)
  • be silly but make sense
  • entry is everyone's favourite fee - FREE
  • anyone can submit
  • 1 entry per person
  • no profanity please
  • your nib-nibbling nonsense tales will be published on this page
  • every time we receive 100 stories, we'll publish all of them in a book - 3 books have been published via this challenge and, due to time constraints, in July 2020 the challenge became website publishing only - I'm afraid that means there won't be anymore books published via the nonsense writing challenge
  • any money made through anthology sales will be donated to charity
  • by submitting, you accept the terms and conditions
  • when anthologies are published, you will be involved in the book launch process
  • submit your story by filling in the comments form below
  • include a short biography (40 words max) for use in the published book on this website - if you don't supply a bio, we will be unable to publish your story
  • include 1 link (optional) to your website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. we're no longer accepting links, sorry

So far, we've received 326 stories and published 3 anthologies.

This challenge is now website publishing only. Author biographies will appear on the website alongside their published stories.

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About the Nonsense Writing Challenge

Many new writers fail to understand the importance of a complete story arc, leaving a reader satisfied at the conclusion of a story. This challenge highlights the importance of a coherent plot and strong characters that allow the reader to suspend their disbelief and become absorbed in a well-told tale.

We want submitted stories to be silly and nonsensical, but not pure gobbledegook.  So please aim for strong plot, exciting characters and a satisfying ending.

If you need inspiration, below are a few links to websites which generates nonsense:

WARNING: if you click on the links above, you're likely to spend an inordinate amount of time faffing about with the nonsense generators and giggling. I lost an entire day.

The first anthology – Nonsensically Challenged Volume 1 – was released in June 2017. It contains the first 100 stories submitted to the challenge.

The second anthology – Nonsensically Challenged Volume 2 – was released in April 2018. It contains the second 100 stories submitted to the challenge.

The third anthology – Nonsensically Challenged Volume 3 – will be released in September 2020. It will contain another 100 stories submitted to the challenge.

We are still accepting submissions to this challenge and stories will be published on this page along with author biographies. We will not be publishing anymore books via this writing challenge.

Lesley and I would like to thank everyone who has submitted stories for their support – it is very much appreciated :-)

About the Charity the Nonsense Challenge Supports

Proceeds generated by anthology sales will be donated to The Daisy Garland.

The Daisy Garland Charity Logo

Set up in 2014 by Sara and David Garland after the tragic death of their 6 year old daughter Daisy from SUDEP (sudden death in epilepsy patients), The Daisy Garland works exclusively for children with drug-resistant epilepsy. The charity funds specialist dietitians who work within national health hospitals countrywide treating some of the 18,000 sufferers in the UK.

You can find The Daisy Garland on Facebook and Twitter.

The Daisy Garland Charity images

Some words from Lesley about why she chose to support this charity:

Daisy Garland died at the age of 6 due to severe epilepsy. I am a friend of Daisy's aunt. I chose to support The Daisy Garland charity because I know that my friend and her sister (Daisy's mother) and other members of Daisy's family are fully committed to managing the charity. They all work extremely hard to give support and advice, to the extent of significantly improving and prolonging the lives of children suffering with epilepsy.

How The Nonsense Writing Challenge Came To Be

I know it's hard to believe having looked at the photo at the top of the page, but Lesley and I haven't met. Yet.

UPDATE SEPT 2017: Lesley and I have now met. I went and stayed with her and her husband Hervé in France while undertaking the reading for the 2017 To Hull And Back short story competition. Here's the proof:

Lesley Truchet and Chris Fielden

Lesley Truchet and Chris Fielden, pictured in France

However, we have liaised a lot via email. And Lesley has been highly supportive of me and my website. She's entered the To Hull & Back short story competition (and been longlisted). She's submitted to the adverb writing challenge (and been published). She's commented on and shared my posts regularly. She's a LEGEND.

Lesley Truchet & Chris Fielden Nonsense Writing Challenge

Lesley & Chris being all Carry On Camping, oo er missus, fnar fnar, how rude matron

Again, Photoshop definitely has NOT been anywhere near this photo

When Lesley contacted me about starting a nonsense writing challenge, I thought it was a fabulous idea. So, after a bit of discussion, and way too much time spent faffing about with nonsense generators, it was born.

Each time a story is received, it will be published on this page. When we receive 100 stories, they will be removed from the website and published in an anthology. The book will be made available in print, Kindle eBook and PDF formats.

No more books will be published via this challenge, but all the proceeds from existing books will still go to charity.

The challenge is a bit of fun, you can read all the stories here on the site and you now know about The Daisy Garland charity. Everyone's a winner.

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Nonsensical Stories

Below are all the stories that have been submitted to date, oozing silliness, yet still making sense. You may now worship the wonder of the wizened writers who have whipped together these delightfully whimsical collections of witticisms.

The stories are published in the order they were received.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 1

We received our 100th story on 3rd March 2017. The first 100 stories submitted to the nonsense challenge were removed from the site on 1st April 2017. April Fool's Day seemed highly appropriate...

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 1 was released on 3rd June 2017. You can learn how to buy the book here.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 1 Flash Fiction Anthology

The book contains stories written by 100 authors. You can keep up to date with how many books we've sold and how much money has been raised for charity on the main writing challenges page.

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Nonsensically Challenged Volume 2

We received our 200th story on 3rd February 2018. The second 100 stories submitted to the nonsense challenge were removed from the website on 4th March 2018.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 2 was released on 28th April 2018. You can learn how to buy the book here. The book contains stories written by 100 authors.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 2

An opening note from Chris Fielden

What a divine plethora of nonsense we have received, my fine writing banshees. It's been most humbling to collect, read, edit and publish the first 100 nonsensical delights bestowed upon our eyeballs. For the first time, a writer has managed to get not just 1, but 20 of those most foul of punctuation marks into a book I will publish... the exclamation mark. See story 027 and witness Helen's deviousness. We look forward to receiving the next 100 baloney fuelled tales, crammed with drivel, folly and gibberish.

And from Lesley Truchet

I would like sincerely thank each and every writer who has contributed to the challenge. There are some amazing stories and the 100 barrier has been broken. Onward to 200.

I consider it an honour and a privilege to be connected with this challenge, and with Chris Fielden. An association which has enhanced my writing street cred.

I was amazed at the diversity of imaginative stories. Two punchlines which particularly tickled my fancy were stories 44, contributed by S T Ranscht, and 22, by Annemarie Allan.

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Nonsensically Challenged Volume 3

We received our 300th story on 9th July 2020. The third collection of 100 stories submitted to the nonsense challenge were removed from the site on 19th July 2020, when the book went into production.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 3 was released on 26th September 2020. You can learn how to buy the book here.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 3

The book contains stories written by 100 authors.

Nonsensically Challenged Volume 3 will be the final book published via the nonsense writing challenge. The challenge is now website publishing only.

An opening note from Chris Fielden

200 down, 300 to come, letting nonsensical wordage, bask in the sun. May the writers continue, to clown with words, prepositions and cliches, and lots of adverbs.

A poet I am not. But a lover of nonsense I am. Thanks to everyone that has submitted so far - you are all awesome beyond measure. Volume 3, here we come.

And from Lesley Truchet

When this challenge began I jumped onto a merry-go-round. It’s only a few months since we produced the first book, and here we are planning to produce the second and with stories on the site already toward the third book. In front of this literary carousel names continually flash by, many of which I now recognise. They are the names of the supportive writers of this, and Chris’s other challenges. I also catch glimpses of unfamiliar names. As these writer’s stories begin to appear in the different challenges and spin around with the others, their names too become recognisable. It’s driving me delightfully dizzy. Onward to Volume 3 – and probable vertigo.

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Nonsensically Challenged Volume 4: Stories 301 Onwards

Below, you can read nonsense challenge stories from number 301 onwards. This collection of stories will not be published in a book, but will be available for the reading pleasure of the planet on this website as Nonsensically Challenged Volume 4.

Story 301

Pickles and Bacon

by Lesley Anne Truchet

"Constable Bacon, spill the beans. Why didn't you arrest Olive Berry?"

"She's as slippery as an eel. We stopped for the lollipop man; she disappeared into the pea souper, sir."

Inspector Pickles fiddled with his doughnut. "Use your loaf, Bacon. When apprehending a suspect, you don't stop for traffic."

"Sir, I risked being sandwiched between two lorries."

"I don't give a raspberry. Superintendent Fudge will go bananas. If I get egg on my face, Bacon, I'll make mincemeat out of you."

Bacon turned beetroot, thinking Pickles had a touch of sour grapes.

"Olive Berry is a cool cumber. We need to crack this nut. I've heard through the grapevine she'll be attending the food conference at the Slug and Lettuce. You'll go there and arrest that rotten apple. Right, Bacon?"

"Piece of cake, sir."

"Don't give me sauce, Bacon. Fudge is as keen as mustard to arrest her. He wants to pepper her with questions. If your operation doesn't bear fruit tomorrow, we'll be in a right jam."

"Sir."

"If you value how your bread's buttered, you'll bring home the bacon, Bacon. Anything to say?"

"Yes, sir. My name is Curry, not Bacon."

"Well, if that doesn't take the biscuit."

~

Lesley Anne Truchet Author Biography:

Lesley Truchet has been writing for several years and has a number of short stories, articles and poetry published on paper and on the internet and is currently writing her first novel.

*

Story 302

A Rogue Thingamajig Moment

by Christopher Fielden

Stan stood back to admire his creation. It looked like a bookshelf, but not the bookshelf he'd envisaged when he purchased this particular package of flat-pack wonderment. There was something underwhelming about the way it looked. Something wrong…

"Is it straight?" he asked.

"According to your air bubble tool, yes," Edna replied.

"It's called a spirit level, love."

"Don't you go talking about spirits, Stanley Simpson. You know I don't like ghosts, even the mention of them. I get tizzy when I'm scared."

Edna looked ready to have one of her moments. Stan rushed to the kitchen, made a cuppa and cut generous slices of Victoria sponge. Presented with elevenses, Edna's rage dissipated.

Calm once more, they nibbled and sipped, considering a problem that might not be a problem at all.

Suddenly, Edna dropped her cake and held out a trembling finger, pointing at a rogue thingamajig, nestled in the fibres of their rug. "It's one of those whatsits that you stick in the doodad to secure the gizmo to the thingamabob."

She screamed, tossed her tea out of the window, destroyed the bookshelf and locked herself in the bathroom.

I'm going to need a bigger cake, thought Stan.

~

Christopher Fielden Author Biography:

Chris writes, runs a humorous short story competition, plays drums and rides his motorcycle, sometimes to Hull. And back again. He runs a multitude of writing challenges and hopes to publish 1,000s of authors in support of charity.

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Story 303

Quickfix

by Michael Rumsey

Jack's a long standing friend, six feet four inches in fact. Consequently, village people looked up to him and sought his advice. He rapidly became a quickfix problem solver.

Betty Rogers wanted a divorce. "For what reason?" Jack asked. "Desertion?"

"No."

"Cruelty?"

"No, never."

"Adultery then?"

"Brilliant, that's it," Betty exploded. "He's not the father of my baby."

Some garden digging implements were stolen. Jack suggested a word with the driver down at Granger's loading bay. 

"Which driver?"

"The forklifter."

"Where was Tony at ten on the night of the 27th?" the police asked.

"Prentice Lane, with Jenny Hitchens."

"Will Jenny bear this out?" Jack asked.

"She certainly bared me out in the back of the car, mate."

"In a lay-by?"

"Appropriately put."

"Perfect alibi then."

Percy, the village gravedigger, thought he was a crypt. "Dead certain," he said, burying his head in his hands.

"Come into my house," Jack invited.

Once inside, Jack said, "OK, you're cured."

"Huh?" Percy grunted.

"Obvious, isn't it? If you're here, Percy, you're not a tomb."

Jack has retired now but after he went to bed, I thought about that website looking  for nonsense stories. Would they accept a quickfix perhaps?

~

Michael Rumsey Author Biography:

Over the years, Michael has had over 800 pieces published ranging from artistic to zany. These days, he admits his preference for flash is entirely due to his impatience in wanting everything to be completed yesterday.

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Story 304

Nobody Likes A Pedant

by Allen Ashley

Ladies of refinement and gentlemen of good taste will occasionally indulge a pedant for several uninterrupted minutes but even they draw the line at Ped Ants. These loathsome abominations are of the regular six-legged variety but with the addition of one giant foot. Many a garland destined flower has been crushed by these insects' clomping peregrination and the muddy mark of their passage has stumped veterinarians and entomologists alike.

The giant foot is not to be confused with apocryphal eighth wonder of the cryptozoological world Bigfoot.

While we are on the subject, no disrespect is intended to any Antonio, Antonia or Anthony who may be reading. On the other hand, rumours persist that Cleopatra scolded one of her Roman beaus for wiping his sandals on a rug she was intending to roll herself up in. Muddy Mark soon found an unwelcome asp asleep within his toga.

The women are on day release from the oil refinery and have about them the compelling aroma of petroleum. The men reputedly taste of aubergines. I cannot be certain: I have yet to lick one's face or finger.

We are making new desert art. They draw lines and execute marks under my direction.

~

Allen Ashley Author Biography:

Allen Ashley is the President Elect of the British Fantasy Society. He's the co-creator of the Sensory Challenge. His latest book is the poetry collection, Echoes from an Expired Earth (Demain Publishing, 2020).

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Story 305

The Ministry Of Revisionist History

by John Notley

"Good morning, Minister, we believe you have a big programme to undertake these coming months."

"Quite right. We have centuries of history to correct. The Ministry has almost finished dismantling the statues of the slave era. Now we must move forward, I mean backwards, to the Romans, Greeks, etc. All traces must be removed of Julius Caeser and his ilk. The Italians are co-operating by taking down the Colosseum in Rome and other buildings of that period.

"Unfortunately, the Egyptians are reluctant to blow up the Pyramids. As a concession, the Sphinx and the statue of Ramses II are due for the chop.

"India, of course, will remove the Taj Mahal and the Christ of the Andes in Brazil, although this will take a lot longer.

"As for the UK. Shakespeare and Dickens will have to go – not everyone likes their works anyway.

"Florence Nightingale kept a pet owlet called Athena so the RSPB are clamouring for her to go.

"Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is upsetting many of those concerned with child welfare. As for the Angel of the North, he is despised by the atheist lobby. There is much work to be done to keep everyone happy."

"What about Admiral Lord Nelson, sir?"

"Why, what did he do wrong? Anyway, he's too high up."

~

John Notley Author Biography:

John, a retired (not retarded) travel agent, spends much of his leisure time in writing poetry and short stories. To his surprise, some have even been published.

*

Story 306

The Proud Italian Earns His Keep

by Glo Curl

Orlando was outraged. After decades of comfort, he'd been ejected from the house again. Last summer, following a 'clear out', Linda had put him and his lifelong companion Bruno outside for adoption. A passing stranger took a shine to Bruno, and off he went. Linda capitulated, Orlando moved back in.

This was different. Linda now reckoned he'd discourage the local moggies from using her vegetable patch as a toilet. The cheek. He was Orlando of Cattolica, proud Italian, specially chosen by her in 1972. A cat poop deterrent? He'd rather be put up for adoption again than reduced to undignified servitude; her plan must fail.

The first night, he signposted the best spots for visiting felines and uprooted four broccoli plants. No reaction. He ate all her strawberries. Still nothing. Word quickly spread regarding Orlando's plight. One morning, Bob the blackbird appeared, eager with news.

Within days, the veg patch was in perfect order; no poop, every plant flourishing. Linda smiled and congratulated herself.

Suzy squirrel was intrigued. "Orlando, what did Bob tell you?" she chirruped.

With a sigh of resignation, Orlando replied quietly, "He'd heard Bruno was used as a plaything for three Labradors, and didn't last the week."

~

Glo Curl Author Biography:

Glo dabbles in poetry and flash fiction, enjoying the discipline of brevity; moreover, she's lazy and tackling anything longer than 500 words would be extremely daunting.

*

Story 307

The Rain Drop

by Sandra Orellana

"Hey, Rain, why are we in line?” asked Drop.

"Together, we become a Raindrop," answered Rain.

"So, you need me as I need you?" asked Drop.

"Yes, I do need you for this task," answered Rain.

"My grandma once told me I didn't get trained for this, but she taught me to be brave when my end comes," said Drop.

"Some are born with guides in the family, as I was. But don't worry, I will lead you. Your important to me becauseI need you to drop me," answered Rain.

"It seems we're next ," Drop said nervously.

They both looked at each other and knew their end was near.

They looked down.

They glanced at each other, tightly tethered with love.

Rain said with wisdom, "Let go of the past and let us drop now. Ready?"

"Ready," said Drop.

They jumped and became a beautiful Raindrop. They landed on a human's head. Rain and Drop became an instant raindrop gift to the human that wrote the song 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head'.

Suddenly, they felt something on top of them. It was a towel. They both quickly dissolved after completing their purpose for the creator.

~

Sandra Orellana Author Biography:

Sandra Orellana is the author of the novel The Arch Of Surprises, a children's book called Leo's Bliss The Sky and Liz's Key of Life. She enjoys writing short stories for Christopher and is working on her 4th book. She's an american living in San Miguel Allende. Her passions are tennis and reaching out to those most in need. Find Sandra on twitter @corellanaj or visit her blog.

*

Story 308

Who Dares Wins

by Alex Anderson

He looks and sees, clearly, that trouble approaches.

He must decide, in the seconds he has, Do I step aside or do I prepare to fight against this club carrying villain?

As there seems no way to avoid the confrontation, he goes through his regular process, hoping the villain will understand and choose not to carry out his plan. 

He unbuttons and pulls from his thigh pocket his tan beret. Very respectfully, he puts it properly on his head.

He aims to show he is ready for strife by doing loosening up exercises and taking up his 'waiting to see' stance. He will be more pleased if the hints deliver his message. 

Deep down, he regrets, for he knows that fighting hardly ever resolves the need of the moment but, if he must fight, he plans to do his very best to win and knows, Better me than some untrained, ill-prepared innocent.

He knows his military training and the tan beret, on his head, demand it of him, and the next few minutes will tell him if he is right or wrong.

"Let's dance, if we must. Just remember, the choice was yours to make."

~

Alex Anderson Author Biography:

77 year old, a long time PTSD sufferer. I was made to see the power of poetry and story writing.

I am trying to make readers see we need to be more caring for it REALLY hurts to feel alone and unwanted.

*

Story 309

I Am Cinderella

by Swi Neo Mary Yap

I am Cinderella. This is me at the Ball on the cover.

Many children browsed through me. Sometimes they tossed me around. It hurt. Sometimes I got folded at the corner and a mummy quickly smoothened me out to put me back on the shelf. No one was buying me. I felt unwanted.

One day, a mummy bought me. What about my friends here – Ginger Bread, Beauty, Elsa and others? She wrapped me in Happy Birthday wrapping paper. I was happy, I was a special birthday gift.

My owner wrote her name on my second page – Sally. She pressed her pen so hard it went through to the next page. It hurt and I cried a little but she did not notice.

Sally and her mum read me every night. I was their favourite. My best friend was The Steadfast Tin Soldier. At night, we danced with Beauty and Mulan. Soon we were forgotten as new books arrived.

After a while, we 'old books' were packed and sent off to the Kindergarten Library. The children were happy to read and draw us. Steadfast Tin Soldier was still my best friend. We were happy.

~

Swi Neo Mary Yap Author Biography:

Singaporean Swi Neo Mary Yap is a retired educator. She enjoys reading books of all genres and writes short faction stories – fiction based on facts. She has two short stories published.

*

Story 310

Paper's Fight For Identity

by Ogundare Odunola

"Hi," Paper said to Write and Draw.

"How are you doing?" they both chorused.

"What happened, Paper? You look gloomy," Write asked.

"Just thinking about my life," Paper replied.

"Why are you thinking?" Write asked.

"Everyone has always been appreciated, except me," Paper confessed.

"What? I really envy you; always very supportive and virtuous, you are the talk of the town. You should be happy, possibly the happiest so far," Draw said. 

"You don't really understand me," Paper said. "Those awards and celebration are not for me. I need something really made for me and me alone, so there's no need to share the spotlight with anyone," Paper explained.

"Don't you think you are requesting too much?" Draw enquired.

"I am known almost everywhere," said Write, "and yet I don't have what you are requesting. I—"

"Save your history," Paper interrupted. "You have been celebrated for years. All I want is that and more; an identity of the carrier of all creativity."

~

Ogundare Odunola Author Biography:

Ogundare Odunola is an aspiring writer. She lives in Ibadan, Nigeria. She has entered some competitions lately in order to find her own voice and perfect her skills in word flow. She hopes to publish her own novel very soon.

*

Story 311

Mustapha Somebody To Love

by Linda Hibbin

Baa-bra had fallen in love before she saw Baa-ron for what he was. The great pretender. Man on the prowl, calling all the girls, even the fat-bottomed girls. "I only wanted ewe to love me like there's no tomorrow," she says as Baa-ron selects another innocent. His body language saying, "Ewe are the love of my life."

Liar.

Wait for the hammer to fall. There it goes. Another one bites the dust. In a flash, Baa-ron drags his conquest into the seven seas of Rhye. She'll emerge, ears of rye threading her wool, tainted with scandal. It's a hard life.

"You don't fool me," Baa-bra says. "I won't play the game any longer, better off living on my own, though I'm going slightly mad with jealousy."

Black sheep, Baa-rry, trots up. Cast out because he is different. He survived, kept a low profile, became the invisible man. Staying power.

"Save me. I want to break free," Baa-bra bleats, reaching out.

Baa-rry offers her some kind of magic. "I want no one but ewe."

He whispers sweet nothings. No innuendoes. He'll never put her under pressure, believing in that crazy little thing called love.

The show must go on, Baa-bra thinks.

~

Linda Hibbin Author Biography:

Linda is a septuagenarian who has written stories for her granddaughter but became seriously hooked during lockdown by attending Zoom writing courses. She loves the challenge of flash fiction. Is more Pam Ayres than Tennyson when it comes to poetry.

*

Story 312

Trowleigh's Excuse Me

by Tilly Greenland

Gazing out the office window, Trowleigh couldn't believe her eyes as a seagull, resplendent in monocle and bowler hat, danced upon the wet grass in the rain. The seagull gestured for her to join him. Gleefully, she ran from the office, kicking off her shoes, tearing away her holey socks.

With cane tucked under his wing, Mr Seagull bowed to Trowleigh. She bowed politely and asked if he minded, which he didn't.

What a pair they made, spinning and stamping and jumping, heads bobbing in perfect synchronicity. Stomping this way and that, spinning round and around. Trowleigh let out squeals of delight as mud squelched between hairy toes, spraying everywhere. They were such an amusing sight.

All was going well. Trowleigh was preparing for another bout of spinning when she felt a pain in her bottom. She span for a little while longer before collapsing into a heap, giggling and laughing. Mr Seagull flew off into the sky as everything started to fade. "Goodbye, Mr Seagull.  Thank you."

Trowleigh awoke on the floor, groggy from the tranquiliser dart. Apparently, it is not appropriate behaviour for an Admin Clerk to dance barefoot on the grass, in the rain, with a seagull.

~

Tilly Greenland Author Biography:

My daughter said to me, "Mum, you're a writer aren't you?" so it must be true. Currently, though, I only write for myself and Master. Some day I would like to write for others, too.

*

Story 313

The Truth About Mrs Finchley

by A. J. Laverack

In an adequate winter, Mrs Finchley felt there should be some kind of signage posted. Something to discourage the adolescents roaming the streets in their usual manner. Something to dissuade their night jaunts and insipid zit-addled transgressions across private property.

She crossed the street, taking care to look both ways and approach the greengrocer, which was owned and operated by a man named John Oliver. She distrusted this man, because he had two forenames, and this was frankly disconcerting at best.

"Morning, Mrs Finchley," he said, as a greeting.

She smiled and nodded cordially, in a manner she hoped was formal yet non-confrontational.

She collected her shopping (two cabbages, one carrot, half an onion), which of course had been pre-prepared much like the sandwich she collected every Saturday from her cousin's cafe, and left, paying the fee accordingly.

Outside, she noticed footprints upon the fresh snow. In fear that they may, in fact, be hers, and due to a longstanding phobia from her childhood brought about by traipsing dirty footprints indoors, she made an effort to walk around them rather than press them into the floor.

"Sodding children," she muttered under her breath. She detested the lot of them.

~

A. J. Laverack Author Biography:

A. J. Laverack has been writing for a long time and is working on several projects with no end in sight. A selection of short stories, titled Between Apes and Angels, is available on Amazon.

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Story 314

Jack Is A Wordarian

by Veronika Bond

Jack minces his words.

He does it at least three times a day: morning, noon and evening, or whenever he gets peckish in between. 'Good morning', for example, becomes 'neither-excellent-nor-bad-between-outstanding-and-average before-noon-and-after-dark-beginning-at-dawn-and-ending-with-midday'.

Since this is a very longwinded way of saying a simple 'good morning', most people Jack meets don't hang around to listen till the end. By the time he's finished, others will have mumbled a quick, "Hi, Jack," and rushed on.

Why would anyone want to do such a thing? The answer is simple. Jack is a wordarian. He doesn't only mince his words, he eats them too.

Jack lives on food for thought. And everyday terms, like 'good' or 'bad' and 'morning' or 'night', aren't filling enough, as anyone can imagine. That's why he minces his words. To get more grub out of his natter. To stretch the nutritional value of ev-er-y sy-no-nym and syl-la-ble.

And because talk is cheap, Jack is a minimalist in all other matters of life. Words are his bread and butter. He always bites off more than he can chew, but you'll never find him pigging out or bringing home the bacon.

~

Veronika Bond Author Biography:

Veronika is a linguist, currently living in Portugal. She has translated many books and written quite a bit of non-fiction. Her first fairytale novel is nearly ready and can't wait to get published.

*

Story 315

Jack Is A Wordarian

by Harshita Lall

There were borsty hearsts all across the proud lawns in the billy-willy lanes of the neighbourhood.

The boiler-loony wug made a wunwun on the bright green grass. There came a tired woompy loomp wearing a faded yellow apron, rolling pin in hand. She rawred at the wug, bursting curses she wished she had the guts to warky womp on her husband.

The wug stepped on the wunwun as it ran, yelping. The bright green grass was stained with its dug-dugs.

The image of her husband rose in her hundywand, yielding an ouchyslouch made to bleed. How many wears had the apron seen, how many borsty hearsts had died since she came here? The rotting reet lay stinking inside her, plucking the zooriest of her heart's fancies.

The woompy loomp stood in the doorway, watching the wunwun glisten in the sunbright, wardy-carping at the world she was stuck in.

~

Harshita Lall Author Biography:

Harshita is a wanderer by heart and a story-teller by craft. She has been published in a variety of magazines, books and journals, such as The Indian Academy of Letters, NiTH and Pendle War Poetry. In her free time, Harshita loves to read, volunteer for minority-oriented organizations and find the next scribbling prompt.

*

Story 316

An Alien Talking To A Mermaid

by Petra James

"Earth seemed a perfect planet when we found it."

"Really?"

"Yes. Plenty of water. Ideal temperatures. Lots of complex polymers."

"Another seaweed crisp?"

"Thanks. I love what you've done with this cave."

"So, what changed your mind about Earth?"

"Our first contact with intelligent life."

"The dolphin gave you the low-down?"

"She told us everything. The eradication of the fish populations. Climate change. Pollution."

"You talked to some humans too?"

"We tried. As you know, their language is very basic and doesn't cover the higher frequency ranges."

"I doubt they understood you very well."

"A male even tried to attack us. So we gave up and submerged."

"Yes, I often think that not having a male in our species has helped us avoid conflict."

"Well, our males are thankfully very docile. We've sent for them to join us."

"So, you'll stay after all?"

"We don't have much choice; our planet is drying up. But you've convinced us it can work if we stay clear of humans."

"Fantastic. We could do with an ally."

"And of course there is one redeeming feature of this planet."

"Please tell."

"The oceans are full of our favourite food."

"Seaweed?"

"No. Plastics."

~

Harshita Lall Author Biography:

Petra is a tea-drinking hedgehog lover (who also likes gin and harvest mice) who has finally gained the confidence to submit fiction again.

*

Story 317

The Get Together

by Prapti Gupta

Today is a very special day for my mum and me. We are going to meet with my father after a long time. I am very excited about it. But the meeting period is very short, just 10 minutes.

Mr Morgan is waiting for us. He is the medium through which we are going to talk with my father. Yes, we are going to do planchette. My mum and I haven't talked with him since the day we both died in a road accident a year ago. My father survived.

It's a really special day for both of us.

~

Prapti Gupta Author Biography:

I am Prapti Gupta, a 17 year old girl from India. Writing has been my hobby since childhood. I hope you enjoy this story.

*

Story 318

Eton Mess

by Ceri Marriott

DI Pork, scratching his head, realised there was something fishy going on. He was no raspberry fool, and he knew battered prawns when he saw them. This was a rum baba and no mistake.

He surveyed the scene and looked for the slightest crumbs of evidence. It was then that he spotted Dick, splattered over la Poire Belle Hélène (a crumpet if ever there was one), a knickerbocker glory by her side.

It was after eight, when he had finally put all his little pigs in blankets to bed and told them the story of the three poached eggs, that he finally managed to work it all out; he should have known from the start. The clue was in the way the cookie crumbled, and it was there that he knew the proof was in the pudding. Yes, there was no doubt about it – it was the jealous toad in the hole who dunnit.

~

Ceri Marriott Author Biography:

Ceri Marriott is a language and writing enthusiast and has recently started writing short stories and poetry in English and French for pleasure. She works professionally as an academic writing tutor and lecturer at Coventry University.

*

Story 319

Groundhog Day

by Klaus Gehling

The alarm clock rang. Television weatherman, Phil Connors, was travelling to Punxsutawney for his annual coverage of the Groundhog Day festivities. He hated this tedious job. Connors woke once more to 'I Got You Babe' on the radio. Trapped in a time loop he was forced to relive this day repeatedly.

Realising he couldn't solve this time problem, he stayed in bed, staring at the clock.

A snippet of vision became a figure of perception: Something was wrong with the clock. Phil Connors jumped up with an idea.

At the street corner, where he met his school friend every day, was a watchmaker's workshop.

"There's something wrong with the clock," he said excitedly to the old woman.  

"I will take it to my daughter," she answered.

Shortly thereafter, a girl appeared with the clock. Grinningly, she asked Phil: "Is this a joke? The minute hand is missing. The clock has two hour-hands that, well, run against each other."

"Huh?" asked Phil incredulously.

Well..." She hesitated. "It's as if the hours that one hand had passed were cancelled by the other hand. Just buy a new clock." It took Phil Connors a while to grasp. When the penny dropped, his inner being cheered.

"I could kiss her, just kiss her," he said.

~

Klaus Gehling Author Biography:

I’m retired but still working as a clinical psychologist occasionally. Writing odd stories is one of my passions, as is chess, archeology, history and music. I live in Germany and South Africa.

*

Story 320

Ants

by Lee Lim-Shern, Ashton

A long time ago, there were a group of mortal ants in the world. They could go inside humans and feed them automatic negative thoughts.

Master Lee and his students had to save the world. One day, Master Lee got a magical message from the mortal ants, saying they would come at night so that people wouldn't know.

Master Lee and his students participated in the war. The mortal ants knocked them down, because their noisy war had woken people up. They hid before the police could see them.

Sadly, the police arrested Master Lee and his students for awakening the whole city. Master Lee tried to explain but the police said, "No buts." So they were arrested and the mortal ants took control.

That is why people have ants, but some people are able to control their ants. Some keep themselves occupied to forget about them.

I hope you have control of your ants. Bye bye.

Oh, I'm saying this for the last time in case you forget: ants stand for automatic negative thoughts. With that said, now it's time for the real bye bye.

~

Lee Lim-Shern, Ashton Author Biography:

Ashton is 9 years old, lives in Malaysia and attends Sri Bestari International School.

*

Story 321

On The Plate

by Sandra Jones

Porky snuggled down in the hay as Farmer Brown slammed the barn doors.

“Another long day over and what for?” asked Porky. “Just so I can bring home the bacon. I need a rest; I think I’ve done my hamstring.”

Daisy cow lay down. “Don’t be a boar. My calf is nearly due, I need a rest. I won’t be prime beef yet.”

“Oink, silly old moo. After they’ve milked you for all you have, you’ll be mincemeat.”

“Moo, what can we do?”

“We’ll all end up on the plate. Unless…”

“Unless what?”

“I’ve heard through the fence line that the last old, knackered horse was adopted. Maybe, when people visit, we should try to look useful. I revitalise the earth, by turning soil and…” Porky glanced at his posterior. “…Enriching it. Hopefully someone will take this old hog as a pet.”

“Moo, us cows are good for keeping grass down.”

“Farmer Brown can use help carting hay and crates up the hill. You’re strong as an ox. I’ll use my snout to move hay, and you can carry the load.”

“After I’ve had my calf.”

Porky yawned. “We’ll show him we’re not just a lump of meat.”

~

Sandra Jones Author Biography:

I have a nursing background and have completed diplomas in writing and editing, and children’s writing. I am now working on short stories. I have two novels – To Cross The Line and Moon Magic – available on Amazon.

*

Story 322

The Collector

by Claire Walmsley

Alice had lots of jars – so many she had lost count. Tall and delicate, wide and robust, and everything in between. She always carried one or two in her bag, just in case. She never knew when she would need one.

She had developed a sixth sense. Her spine would tingle, her heart would flutter and her fingertips would twitch. Instinctively, she would reach into her bag.

Sometimes she needed a large, heavy duty jar (the kind that could survive a nuclear blast) and, other times, a dainty afternoon tea jam jar would suffice.

Whenever she felt that telltale shiver, she would carefully unscrew the lid and creep up behind the unsuspecting person. It was best they were unaware – too many awkward questions otherwise. (She’d learnt that the hard way.)

Over the years, Alice had perfected her ninja stalk – hardly daring to breathe, blink or swallow. She lived for this.

It was coming. She knew it.

Patience. Not too soon.

Three… two … one… showtime.

An involuntary jerk, a swift wrestle and a hasty tightening of the lid.

Victory.

Alice smugly popped the jar back in her bag.

Another hiccough for the collection.

~

Claire Walmsley Author Biography:

Claire is a champion procrastinator who occasionally likes to write down the many ideas that pop into her head in the middle of the night. In her spare time she also collects shiny notebooks and pretty stationery.

*

Story 323

Coma

by Danielle Kim

October was an actor. Tonight, he waited for the show to start. It was a weird show with no theme or script. Sometimes it started at dawn, other times in the evening. But October did not complain; he had nothing else to do. But there were rules: supporting actors could not talk to the star and, whatever happens, they had to go with the flow.

October had done this for a very long time. In fact, he didn't remember when he started. The details were all very fuzzy, like a peach. What was a peach? He frowned. He didn't know what it was, only that it was fuzzy. October closed his eyes and was transported onto set; a familiar setting. But he couldn't quite figure out where he was.

He turned around and saw a woman. She was also familiar to him but he couldn't remember why.

"Toby?"

The alarms blared. The show had to end.

Rule #1: The star must never get onto the stage. Rule #2: Lucid dreaming.

October remembered everything now. He ran towards his mum just as he vanished. The strange thing was that he heard a long beep and flat-line as the familiar voice screamed out his name.

~

Danielle Kim Author Biography:

Danielle is a junior in high school from New Jersey. She loves to write, read and hang out with friends after school. She is thinking of pursuing a degree in psychology.

*

Story 324

A Cracking Good Night

by Kay Lesley Reeves

They were sitting around the bar cracking jokes.

"Why is the peanut looking so green?" asked the Kernel.

"Haven't you heard? Last night he was salted. They say the perpetrator had an awful cold. All you could hear was Cashew, cashew."

"Poor thing. He was just starting to come out of his shell," said Hazel sympathetically. She had tears in her beautiful almond eyes. She didn't get nutty humour.

"He was talking about going to see his cousin in Brazil then someone told him they ground nuts there. He'd be butter off here with his mates."

Just then, Pecan reappeared from the gents.

"Come on, Walnut, you're holding everything up again. Stop monkeying around. We don't want to miss The Nutcracker Suite."

~

Kay Lesley Reeves Author Biography:

She spent her working life teaching and like most of her profession ended up nuts. Mother, grandmother, painter, poet, choral singer, and writer of flash fiction and very short stories because it beats cleaning the apartment any day.

*

Story 325

The Morning Routine

by Emily McGill

Caroline buttered her toast, her ivory gown melting and pooling on the sand-covered floor.

"This dastardly heat," she muttered, flinging open every book in her bathtub.

She glanced at the clock. How on earth was it 4:05? She was going to be so early. She stuffed her toast into the industrial shredder, grabbing her aardvark and a jangling set of clouds from the conveyor belt.

"Let's get marching, quick, quick. We have so much time to lose."

The aardvark was, understandably, livid.  He had been on the verge of identifying the Zodiac Killer. Again. The clouds were less than impressed too, though they refused to divulge what pursuits they had been invested in prior to the interruption.

"By spinach," Caroline exclaimed as she launched herself frenetically into the washing machine.

She slammed into a muscular back. Curious eyebrows were raised, one then the other, by the stranger whose leisure she had disturbed.

"No matter, my dear. I was losing horribly."

The eyebrows happily formed a handlebar mustache on the smallest of clouds, who was performing an improvised jazz piece. The back obligingly formed a bridge. Grimly determined, Caroline leaped with a steely grin and rose briskly into the science laboratory.

~

Emily McGill Author Biography:

Emily is an analyst who spends her free time far away from her rational real world. She's not sure whether she goes to coffee shops to write, or if writing is just an excuse to go to coffee shops.

*

Story 326

The Bullied Bottle

by Jamie Kitchingham

Once upon a time there there was a little bag and a big bag for life, but the big bag for life bullied the little bag.

The owner threw the little bag away and the bag started to cry. "Waaaaaaa."

But the rubbish truck came and the little bag was scarred. "Aaaaaaah."

The little bag got taken away and recycled into a big bottle. He ended up on the supermarket shelf and the owner bought him back.

The bottle heard something. "I am a big bag for life."

But the big bag had to carry the big bottle. They didn't know it was the little bag, so happily carried him when suddenly they heard something.

"YOU have to carry me hahahaha."

The big bag for life stared at the big bottle until he noticed it was the little bag he had bullied.

So that's what happens when you bully.

~

Jamie Kitchingham Author Biography:

Jamie is 7 and attends Great Dunmow Primary School in the UK.

*

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Comments:

Your comments:

Annemarie A
Hi Chris. Couldn't resist this one - I'm very fond of silly stuff, so I've posted a story in the hope it will make someone smile.

Chris Fielden
Excellent - thanks Annemarie. Well the punchline made me laugh out loud :-)

Lesley T
A great punchline, Annemarie, it made me laugh too.

Braid A
It would be good if a few people would visit my Braid's Kids page and maybe buy a book or two, to help feed my adopted PNG kids.

Chris Fielden
Hi Braid. I don't usually place links in comments, but seeing as you've written a story for the challenge and it's all for charity, I've added it :-)

Neville R
Hi Chris. Thanks for including me!

Great site :-)

Chris Fielden
No problem, Neville - thanks for submitting :-)

Steph S
I really enjoyed this challenge as I've never written a nonsense story before. Thanks for the opportunity.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Steph - thanks for writing a story for the challenge :-)

David O
Hi Chris. Ty so much for accepting my story 'A Hard Day's Night'. Seeing it, actually out there on your page, has given me a much needed boost. Ty so much :)

Chris Fielden
Hi David. No worries – very happy to hear that entering the nonsense challenge has inspired you. That’s exactly what the challenges are for, so thanks for letting me know :-)

Klaus G
Hi Chris. I'm addicted to odd stuff. What a change to submit... Thanks for your tireless work!

Chris Fielden
Hi Klaus. No problem :-)

This challenge is shared with children and supports a charity that helps children, so I can't publish any stories that contain profanity I'm afraid. All stories have to be child friendly.

I'd be happy to publish your story if you could rewrite it with this in mind.

I hope that makes sense. I'll look forward to receiving a rewrite from you so I can publish it :-)

James H
Thank you for coming up with such a brilliant thing too. All the very best wishes.

Chris Fielden
No problem, James. Thank you for submitting :-)

James H
I just wanted to drop you an line to say thank you for the openness of this writing challenge. Also to thank you for coming up or at least making it easy to be a part of a community that revels in the glorious worlds we can all create.

Chris Fielden
Hi James. No problem. Thanks again for taking part and submitting a story. Without the authors who contribute, none of this would be possible.

Rebecca H
Hello Chris! I have to admit this was quite the fun exercise! Thank you again for the opportunity to get my work out there; as a budding writer such opportunities are few and far between! I'll be looking forward to the launch of the Adverb challenge anthology and I'm planning on buying a copy.

Thanks again!

Chris Fielden
Glad to hear you found it fun, Rebecca. And thanks for your kind words - it's great to hear that writers appreciate the challenges and seeing their stories published :-)

Alan B
Hi Chris. Have just submitted. These challenges are more difficult than they seem, but oh the joy when I completed the story in under 200 words. Keep these challengers coming. Hope you get to that magical 100 soon.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Alan :-)

Tulip C
Hi Chris, it's good to take a lighter look into life. Thank you.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Tulip. I agree - it is indeed :-)

Leonard S
I like story 92, not because we have the same surname, but because the story was straight up to the point and funny. Thank you, Sueleen, I am your #1 fan :-)

Chris Fielden
Thanks Leonard :-)

Nick N
Excited to see where this goes - a great place to post fun flash fiction. Thanks.

Chris Fielden
Thanks Nick, glad you like it. And thanks for submitting :-)

Mary W
I got an old piece of  6,300 plus flowery worded meanderings  down to 200 to join this nonsensery.

Chris Fielden
Good work, Mary :-)

And thanks for submitting.

Michael R
Better late than never may seem more appropriate to cliché, but refers to my copy of Nonsensically Challenged 1 received only yesterday. Perhaps, like many of the stories, it went out of this world en- route.

Worth waiting for from its glossy image to the equally sparkling intros and, of course, the worthy cause.

I like story 42. Trevor's opening line has the potential for a whole new series.

If it takes very special authors to write these stories, James's clever bio, story 59, speaks for all of us. Now we must drive(l) on to complete Vol 2. You know it makes sense.

Chris Fielden
Glad to hear the book has winged its way to you at last, Michael.

May the Norse be with you, and us all, while scribbling more silliness. Onward to volume 2 indeed.

Soraya D
The iron man one is great.

Chris Fielden
I agree :-)

Cleary M
Hi Chris, found your site through your compilation of online competitions. Non-sense is fun! Mine is not exactly funny (not sure if that's a necessity for this section), but I think it's a narrative that expands in an unusual way. I've been reading a lot of prose-poetry and I think it's inspired by that. The instructions at the top suggest that this is how to submit your story, so my story is beneath this. Thanks for considering it! I enjoyed reading the others.

Chris Fielden
Thanks for submitting, Cleary - much appreciated :-) Serious, funny or anything in between is fine - published!

Gavin B
A great collection of nonsensical stories. Extremely funny and look forward to reading some more.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Gavin :-) And thanks for submitting.

Ishmael D
Awesome challenge LOL. Thanks, Chris, for adding 'Caterpillar Butterfly' (165) to the collection :D It's cool to see it up there.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Ishmael. Thanks for submitting :-)

Paul S
A Haiku is easy

But often they make no sense.

Refrigerator.

Chris Fielden
Absurdly wise words, Paul... :-)

Bryan K
Hi Chris, are poems acceptable for this challenge?

                

Chris Fielden
Hi Bryan. Yes, poetry is fine :)

Neil D
Hi Chris, thank you so much for posting up my story, I hope at least one person can enjoy it. This is such a great site, it's amazing what you've put together. Thanks again.

Chris Fielden
No problem - great to hear you like the site. Thanks for submitting and taking part.

Munib H
Hi Chris, I really enjoyed entering this and reading many of the other stories. Are you going to publish them in a volume? And when, and where, can I buy one? Thanks.

Chris Fielden
Hi Munib. Great, glad to hear you enjoyed all the other stories. We release a book every time 100 stories have been submitted. All contributors will be notified when that happens by email. They will also be informed about launch dates, where to buy the anthology, book launch parties etc.

Susi M
Hi, can I check your policy on previously published pieces please?

Chris Fielden
Hi Susi, I'm happy to accept previously published work, as long as it's suitable for the challenge.

Andre OG
Where is Annemarie A's story? I couldn't find it anywhere. Can someone help please? Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Hi Andre. Annemarie's story is in Nonsensically Challenged Volume 1 (#22) so was removed from the site when the book was published. You can only read it in the book now, sorry.

Cathy C
I found this one a real challenge. You have to kind of let go to write nonsense, so - apologies to Lewis Carroll - I used the form of 'Jabberwocky' so I didn't have to make everything up.

Jay B
Hi Chris - I hope this one hits the right spot!

Chris Fielden
No problem, Cathy. Most people say the preposition challenge is the toughest, but it's different for everyone I think.

Certainly does, Jay B - published :-)

Lesley T
I've just read 'North Pole Adventure' by Andre Othenin-Girard - Story 231. Andre, I think it's brilliant. Very cleverly done.

Temitope JT
Hi Chris, it's great to be here and to be a participant. Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Temitope.

And thank you for submitting - very much appreciated :-)

Louis C
Many thanks again, Chris, for publishing 'Cluedo-esque', yet another adventure in exploring the fine line between nonsense... and even more nonsense!

Chris Fielden
No problem, Louis. Thanks as always for submitting. Bring on the nonsense!

Aigbonoga O
Please, can I get a copy of my nonsense story and 81 word story? Intentional parenting and A Hero and A Capsized Boat respectively. Thanks.

Chris Fielden
Hi Aigbonoga. Sure. They are on the website:

  • Nonsense story 252
  • 81 word story 501

Books will be released once they are full :-)

Janie K
I've read all the stories, on all pages. Some great stuff here. I feel privileged to have this opportunity. It's great what youre all doing here. Thank you.

Chris Fielden
Thanks, Janie. Glad you enjoyed the other stories. And thank you for submitting - very much appreciated :-)

Lesley T
I love the story 259 'Typo' by Paul Mastaglio.  Wonderful, Paul, it made me laugh.

Lesley T
I love your story 266, Gail. I live in France and speak French so I had no trouble with the punch line. Just wonderful.

Gail E
I’m glad you liked it! I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenges and am looking forward to seeing the next volumes in print.

Toni G
Thank you so much, Chris. You make writing fun again.

Chris Fielden
No problem, Toni. Thank you for participating - much appreciated :-)

Aerin B
Hiiii! This sounds like a really great idea and I'd love to enter. Just, uh, HOW do we enter?

Chris Fielden
Hi Aerin. Just submit via the comment form on this page, or email me your submission as per the rules :)