Aug 10

Finding Humor in Less Than 350 Words

This is my response to a contest hosted by ex-agent and current author Nathan BransfordOn his blog, he is soliciting “hilarious” entries that are 350 words or less. Not just humorous. Hilarious! As if the bar wasn’t already high enough — writing humor is, in my opinion, the hardest task for a writer.

Here is my meager entry.


Unwelcome Suitor
by Allan Petersen

Thomas heard familiar sobbing followed by a whiff of air, footsteps on the staircase, and the crash of door against frame.

“Danni, what’s this all about?” He strained to listen, but heard only the sounds of the night. Thomas flicked his blindman’s cane and shuffled towards the front door. “Did you leave the door open?”

He halted and screwed his lips into a frown. “Is there someone out there? Don’t try to fool me. I may be blind but I’m afraid of no man.”

“I’m here for your daughter,” came the booming reply.

“You made her cry and you expect me to give her up for a date?”

“I don’t think you understand–”

“Oh I understand. Your night is done here. Go.”

“Not without your daughter.”

Thomas laughed. “I like persistence in a man. Let me ask you a few questions then.”


“Do you drink wine?”

“What? Er, no. I don’t care for the taste.”

“How would you know the taste if you don’t drink it?”

“Uh, I–”

“Do you plan to have sexual relations with my daughter?”

A pause. “Sir, you should know that–”

“Yes or no.”


“How about a job?”

Another pause. “You could call me independently wealthy.”

“Well what in bloody hell does that mean, son?”

“I have a hoard of treasure. Gold, jewelry, trinkets, gems–”

“Don’t try to impress me, boy. I’m likely to say no. How about a home?”

“Atop a mountain.”

“Atop a…my daughter is seventeen years old. Treasure and mountain abodes make you sound like a man. Just how old are you?”

“Nine hundred and twenty years old.”

Thomas furrowed his brow until it touched the bridge of his nose. “You’re a dragon,” he muttered.


“Here to take my daughter because she’s beautiful, and you wish to gaze upon her as she lives luxuriously amidst your treasures.”


“Young knights and the like will come looking for her, you know.”

“They will. But no man will touch her until I release her on her twenty-fifth birthday.”


“Right. She’s yours, then.”

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