Allergic to ‘e’ challenge/tag

Nearly two weeks ago (this has taken me SO long to do. The shame!), Louise at Pinkpearbear nominated me to do the “Allergic to ‘e’ challenge”. Basically this involves having to write a paragraph without using the letter ‘e’. No mean feat as it’s the most frequently occurring letter in English.

Scott Pilgrim hard work

The rules:

  • Link to the person who nominated you and thank them.
  • Write a paragraph without using the letter ‘E’.
  • Nominate 5 other bloggers.

In the end I wrote two different pieces in response to this challenge. The first is a short paragraph about my morning today. The second is a very short story.

I composed my first drafts in Notepad. I read and re-read them, convinced I had eliminated all the ‘e’s. I transferred my writing to Word to double-check using a search for the offending letter. And there were four of them! The word ‘the’ had crept in FOUR times without me even being able to see it. Which has hammered home to me why we need other people to proofread our writing for us.

Without further ado, here are my desperate attempts to respond to this challenge!

1. My morning

My son was up at six this morning. Why? Just ‘cos. So four hours on and I’m about to drop, only upright thanks to sugar and sofa cushions. I hit my limit for kids’ programming about two hours ago, but my son has bags of giggling and springing still in him. I wish I had his vim and stamina. Must hang on for his nap (praying for this to occur today!) and try to fit in a swift kip also. May all of you with kids grab forty winks this pm too.

2. A short story

‘Why didn’t you call?’ Hands on hips, Sarah frowns.

Tom’s lips twitch. Although angry, Sarah is still stunning. ‘I was busy. Caught up at work. You know how it is.’

Sarah sighs. ‘Again.’

It starts to rain. Fat, dark drops from a black sky. Tom hangs up his coat and bag.

Sarah sighs again. ‘You and I should talk.’

‘Oh?’ Tom’s brows jump up

‘I’m moving out. For now.’

Tom is lost. ‘Why?’

‘I want room to think. About us. I’m not a priority for you and I can’t carry on that way.’

Now it’s Tom’s turn to frown. ‘That’s not right.’

‘I think it is. You don’t put us first,’ Sarah says. ‘Anyway, my bag’s waiting. A taxi’s on its way.’

‘Oh.’ Tom looks down, sagging.

A car horn sounds.

‘My taxi.’ Sarah skirts past Tom and picks up a black holdall. ‘I’m going to stay with Mum.’

Tom grabs Sarah’s wrist, grazing his skin against a string of diamonds, his last birthday gift. ‘Don’t go. You said “talk”. This isn’t talking.’

Sarah blinks back liquid salt. ‘Sorry.’


Tom sits still for hours in shadow, lights out. In his hand is a point of light. A solitary diamond glinting in a gold ring. Bought post-work in a busy shop from a snail-slow assistant. Today’s birthday gift for Sarah.


Anyone who likes the look of this tag and would relish the challenge, please consider yourself tagged!

Rightio. As you can tell from challenge response number 1 (a work of non-fiction), it’s been a long day. I’m off to rest! 🙂

© Claire Huston / Art and Soul

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