The allergic to the letter ‘E’ challenge is exactly as it sounds. You have to write a short story without using the letter E. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! It has got to be one of the hardest writing challenges I have ever done, and for some reason I’m back for another shot at it. You can find my first attempt here.
“I cannot fathom why Noah Sutton would say that to you?” says Lois, my lady in waiting, “That man has a lot of brass about him.”
“It’s a big risk for him to go against his pack.” Noah’s pack is infamous within our kingdom. Known only as ‘Dragons’, it’s no shock that many of our population do not consort with pack folk. “Noah isn’t a bad man.”
Lois laughs. “Do you think so? Noah is a Dragon, and was probably acting on instruction. This is all a ploy to catch you off guard. Do not trust him. Now, stop with this silly talk.”
I watch Lois walk away, picking wild mint from the pots. Lois is probably right, but Noah had said it with such conviction, how could I just brush it off? Sitting against a warm rock, I lift my skirts to sun my pasty skin, Noah’s words spin in my mind. Is Aunt Griya looking to claim my manor? Only my passing would allow such an action, my Dad’s will said as much. I can’t think about my own Aunt in that way… can I?
“Ruby,” says Noah.
I jump, gasping in shock at his intrustion. Catching him looking at my pinking skin, I quickly brush my skirts back down. A grin plays at his mouth. No doubt pack girls display skin without abash- town folk do it too. I must maintain dignity- a lady should not display skin. I wish I could don a pair of shorts in this hot sun, but Aunt Griya would faint.
“Don’t stop on my account,” Noah says, winking. “I know how you look at pack girls, and how you wish you could put on a short frock, a swimsuit. You should- it would suit you.”
I blush. “What do you want, Noah?” I watch for sign of Lois or a guard. “My Aunt would hang you for just walking on our lawns.”
“Your lawns, Ruby. This is your manor! Anyway, would you mind that? In your own words- I’m just a Dragon.”
Words won’t form. I damn him for how my tummy flips, and how my mind swirls. “I told Lois of our talk. Is this all just a ploy, Noah? I want to trust you, but- What is it you actually want?”
“For you to runaway. I’ll run with you. You and I can go far away from this manor, this town, my pack. How can I walk away knowing what that woman is plotting?”
Standing, I brush grass from my skirts. “All rumours. Aunt Griya wouldn’t-”
Noah holds out a photo of Aunt Griya talking to Frank, Noah’s boss. Frank counts cash, and Aunt Griya has a sly, tummy knotting grin. “I told you only truths, Ruby.”
Noah holds out his hand. I do trust him, and Aunt Griya was talking to a Dragon. Can I do this? Of course, I must do this.
“My saviour is a Dragon. Do you know how crazy that sounds?” I say, laughing. I put my hand in his own.
Noah sighs loudly, running his thumb across my palm. “I’m your Dragon, Ruby. For always.”
I extend an invitation to anyone who wants to have a bash at this challenge. Link back to me, so I can have a read.
Written works are the property of K.J.Chapman