Wizard’s Prisoner

John Hayes
Stories That Don’t Repeat A Single Word
1 min readSep 14, 2015


Although deeply unsettled today has come, I am nevertheless pleased, having considered nearly two full years what you presently read.

First, apologies: the man sitting here (myself), lifeless but certainly still alive, can no longer speak. Mere living corpse, his mind is emptied, purposefully.

Speech was taken long ago, by a magician calling himself Rotwood. Before departing he left behind an excruciatingly cruel gift: last use of every individual word. Only remaining communication: writing; and like pen’s ink draining out onto paper, even that power now slowly fades while scribbling this note. As each one forms, drips from quill into parchment, immediately its meaning forever lost, never again to be used or known.

Behold true misery: body, nothing more, slumped sack drooling upon floor beneath chair. Language-bereft hereafter.

Beloved, their names, eternally unwritten. Keeping them, mine. Comfort in eternity.

With these strokes, steadily losing… something. Everything.


Must not forget. Important. Leaving single request, saved for closing message:


This story’s part of a challenge to write something in which no word is repeated in the entire text. If you recommended it that would make me pretty happy. If you want to submit one yourself, let me know somehow, I’d like that too.