Four-Hundred Word Story (with each word used only once)


“Four hundred words without repetition?” I said, bemusedly.

“Yes. And that means each one used only once.” affirmed Al, with a subtle smile.

“Ridiculous! It can’t be done!” Saying something everybody knew inside.

However, dogged perseverance paid off for yours truly; within two weeks the tumultuous task had almost neared its unforeseen completion.

“Almost there! Non-believers! You of little or no faith!”

Roaring silence, empty faces, quasi-quizzical expressions blanched at this sumptuous banality.

Sighing heavily, one’s patchy personal progress slowed somewhat, though never altogether stalling.

Writer’s block!

Scratched head, tortuous thought processes, misleading paths following false scent trails.


“Nil Desperandum, Nor Carborundum!” resounded about, finally heading Heavenwards.

Then “Tortuous toadstalls!” howled horribly, made nine nearby nuns blush; though twelve newly arrived novices, nonchalantly nurturing nasturtiums, ignored this narrative.

Mr. Lane called today. “Nearing success?” Nottingham’s finest chortled. “Zombies feast tonight!” Histerical laughter followed. “Bye, sucker!” Bemusedly,

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