• Your story must include the following words: JINGLE, CLICK, BUMP, SIZZLE (plurals or -ing variants are allowed).
  • Your story’s final sentence must contain exactly THREE words.

“Dearest neighbour,

I write to you as a last resort. In the spirit of the holidays, and by extension, my own sanity, I am extending the olive branch. This is a peace offering. 

I see now that it is possible that I not have been a model member of our community. For example, I understand that my djembe drumming requires a refined musical ear to fully appreciate. I cannot help it if my muse visits me at 1 am, for I am an artist, and I cannot ignore the gift of inspiration. I did make a concerted effort to invite you to join in our spirit chanting seminars, but you never responded to my RSVP.

You have quite visibly shown your displeasure when I choose to focus my chakras in the first light of day. Unfortunately, although my roof is in full view of your daughter’s bedroom, it is there that receives optimal sunlight, and therefore, the only feasible place for me to sun my perineum. As the single most efficient method to receive my daily energies from the sun’s rays, surely you can see that this is entirely out of my control.

I realise that our shared wall is occasionally the recipient of vigorous bumping, when my partner and I consummate our love on Tuesdays and Sundays. I am truly sorry that this resulted in ‘shattering your brand new Samsung OLED’, however, I think we would all agree that we would all benefit from a little less screen time, no?

Yes, it may be true our household is partial to the potent healing properties of the Surströmming, and while the sizzling aroma of fermented Scandinavian fish is my idea of a perfect breakfast, I concede that it is somewhat of an acquired taste. Although I find it a source of unlimited comfort and healing, I agree that the scent can often have a tendency to linger, albeit only for one or two weeks.

It is only now, after much self-reflection, guided meditation, and liberal use of hallucinogenics, that it has finally clicked. I have come to see how it is possible that my way of living has created minor tension between us, particularly evident on the occasion you attempted to hit me with your car.

My pledge to you is this: 

I will close my curtains when I walk free of the shackles of clothing. 

I will refrain from hosting coordinated drumming circles on weeknights.

I will prepare all aged seafood feasts indoors.


These rampant Christmas jingles have to stop.

Mariah Carey’s shrill warbling permeates my ears like an air raid siren. It consumes my entire being. We first heard traces of carols in early September. September is an unacceptable month to be playing Christmas jingles. How can you live with yourself?

This cannot go on. My partner weeps herself to sleep most nights. 

I appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Please, spare us this sick cruelty.


Your neighbour.”