Contest #186 winner 🏆


Bedtime Funny Kids

(This uses a triangular sequence to determine the number of words per line, and per paragraph A couple of the longer lines seem to wrap as well - not clear how to resolve that with this editor.)



my house.


know not

whence it came.


beady eyes

glare at me

and whiskers chuff away.


I shout

and heavily stomp.

“Get you gone now,

beast, and forever hie away.”


it squeaks;

its nose twitches,

“It cannot be done,

I’m so sorry to say.”

And I’m perplexed and ever vexed.


I wonder.

“How dare you?

What insolence is this?”

Such a cheeky little mouse

defying me in my own house,

I simply cannot stomach this at all.


please sir,

I beg you,”

says the fluffy runt.

“I am poor and famished,

and you have so much bounty.

Just a little nibble, tittle, and jot,

a slice of yellow heaven, a pungent triangle.”


of course

it’s always cheese.

I feel pity swell.

I cut a cheddar chunk,

an orange sliver, crumbly and sharp,

and hand it to the starving rodent.

“There there, of course, a triangle is fair.

And now you’ve had your fill my friend, adieu.”


it says,

and then: “But.”

But? Is there more?

“What of my wife, sir?

She’s dwindling fast, the poor lass,

and dearly needs a bite as well.”

A hungry wife? Well that’s certainly no good.

I grab my knife and measure the cheddar anew.

“Camembert, sir, if you please. Her tastes are quite refined.”


I slice,

and give away.

“Is that all then?”

The mouse pockets the cheese

and squeaks, “I’ve two children also.”

I sigh and raise my knife again.

“Gouda for my girl Eileen, her favourite kind,

and brie, my boy Maurice – he can’t do without.”

I cut again and once more, my cupboard running bare,

my plans for French soup abandoned, and my toast left unadorned.


he squeaks.

“I’ve cousins some,

arriving from all over,

and aunts and uncles too.

A mouse-ish wedding we will have

so cut and cut more triangles, sir,

of edam, feta, parmesan, and gruyere and blue,

and for the kids, a queso sauce, and cream–”

I scream! My shaking hand cramps from the endless cutting.

“How many more?” I fretfully ask. “How many kin have you?”

“Oh more, sir, a great deal so, from countries far and wide.”


and chitters

fill the air,

a thousand tiny feet.

Around me are a legion,

a million mice carpet my home

and drape the walls with beady eyes

and swishing cobra tails. They sniff and whisker

and debate which cheeses are best, and argue ceaselessly.

Then I hear my guest, “Keep cutting sir! More cheese!

We need halloumi by the load and much Havarti and Swiss.

Cottage by the bucket, and Muenster by the barrel. And above all

we need the cheese – that glorious, sumptuous, blissful cheese – that everyone calls cake.”


drips into

my sorry eyes,

I hack my knife

so hard the counter splits.

The mice, they cheer and jeer

and hurry me along. Each new cheese

I cut into a slice and then again

diagonally; two perfect triangles filling the mice with glee.

“More!” they shout, their squeak a roar, a deafening tide

of joy. “More, sir, don’t lag behind! We hunger ever so!”

They pass me a new, bigger knife, and tip my fridge over,

and produce a better cutting board – big, industrial and made of stainless steel

– and shout “Our appetite keeps growing! Just cut and cut again, another cheesy triangle!”


cheesy triangle!?

What to do?

My arm goes numb

and my back aches so.

I cannot keep this pace up,

but my guests do goad me on.

I fear what happens when I run out

the last of all my cheese. Will that sate

the little beasts? Or will their hunger just keep growing?

Each time I blink there’s even more mice by the dozen.

They walk on stilts and fill the air, hanging from tiny ropes,

a million million eyes on me. They bet each time another triangle’s cut

to see who gets the prize; and those who don’t just roar their ire:

“Cut faster, man, and harder! More triangles for us today! You’ve done okay so far.”


I cry.

“How much more?”

“More and ever more,”

he says, and they cheer.

“I’ve given you an inch already–”

“–and we’ll have a mile. You see,

we like your home and we’d simply hate

if we had to chew the walls. You agree?”

I don’t want them in my walls, yes, I concur

that cheese is the better of the two. “And,” he says,

“a small known fact: that mice, though small, are fond of meat.”

Of meat? I wonder what they mean. What next? A slice of ham?

Or chicken drumstick, turkey leg, bacon rasher, sausage, steak or big tin of spam?

My fridge is nearly empty as it is, and held little more than my cheese.

I may have a can or two of sardines in the basement, or tuna and beans.


I note

all around me.

Not a single squeak,

peep, chirp, snuffle, or twitch.

All ten billion eyes on me.

“Meat,” says the mouse, “my good sir.”

And all their mouths drip with fresh saliva.

“No hard feelings, sir, but we’ll have our fill.

Keep the triangles of cheese coming, and cut them well,

or we’ll gnaw the cutter who’s surpassed his purpose. It’s recycling.”

My throat’s gone dry, I swallow hard, and get back to slicing.

I feel their eyes crawl on my skin and hear their slobber drip.

How did I get into this mess? How did the day turn so awry?

The sun was nice this morning and I never feared that today I would die.

I ponder all the plans left unfulfilled, as I cut another triangle and toss it to

the mass of mice. Another dozen slices of smooth mozzarella, another score or two of crumbly asiago –


Of cheese.

I swallow hard.

The tense mice shift,

my fridge a barren void.

“Thank you, sir,” says the mouse.

“You’ve done quite well, but that’s all.

We’d love more cheese, but now we’ll feast–”

“Wait!” I cry, interrupting the beast. “A moment please.”

“Well?” he arches an irritated eyebrow. “What is it then?

Hurry now, for our stomachs rumble so, and our young hunger.”

Think fast! I think I’ve done my good deed for the day

and don’t relish ending up a mousy meal. But what can I do?

There’s a billion billion of them, stacked so tight they run floor to ceiling.

If only I had more cheese for just another triangle or two. But that’s it!

“Mouse!” I say. “There is more cheese!” He frowns and scans the fridge, empty and lifeless.

“Not here, but at the store! I’ll grab my wallet and drive down, and return with more!”

The mice agree, and I flee across the sea. And the house, I put up for sale, as-is.

February 18, 2023 22:56

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13:29 Apr 03, 2023

Very enjoyable, and definitely very, very difficult, I'm still new and I've only got one submission...


Michał Przywara
20:48 Apr 03, 2023

Thanks, Dakotah! Yes, this one required quite a bit of extra planning :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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Geir Westrul
18:11 Apr 02, 2023

A tour the force!


Michał Przywara
20:51 Apr 03, 2023

Thanks, Geir!


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Keyanna Jones
20:23 Mar 28, 2023

Your story is so funny you should check mine out


Michał Przywara
21:24 Mar 29, 2023

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Calvin Kirby
17:12 Mar 24, 2023

Mike, I loved the story so much that would like to use it to present to our literary shorts group Monday, April 3. I will send you a separate email. Great work and congratulations on the win!


Michał Przywara
02:03 Mar 26, 2023

Thanks, Cal!


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Calvin Kirby
18:33 Apr 08, 2023

You are welcome, Michal!


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Basil McCulloch
01:06 Mar 24, 2023

Stunning! I never thought a short story could make me so hungry, or that cheese could become as beautiful as the Taj Mahal! Thanks for the delightful read!


Michał Przywara
02:30 Mar 24, 2023

Thank you, Abel! It was a weird, fun story to write, with an interesting challenge :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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Amy Lin
03:39 Mar 17, 2023

I loved it! Hilarious and so imaginative. Making a story like that must be very hard. CONGRATSSSSSSSSSS!


Michał Przywara
20:38 Mar 17, 2023

Thanks, Amy! There was definitely extra work involved, yeah. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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17:19 Mar 16, 2023

I found this story very amusing and clever. I thoroughly enjoyed it- you have a talent for this type of writing!


Michał Przywara
20:42 Mar 16, 2023

Thanks Charlotte! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Sultan Rysbek
16:51 Mar 16, 2023

Hahahahahhahahahahahahaahahhahahaahhahahha I like your stories dahm GOOD CONGRATULATIONS for the win 👏🏆🏆🎖🎖


Michał Przywara
20:46 Mar 16, 2023

Thanks, Sultan! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Ali Rose
02:46 Mar 15, 2023

Congrats! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story!


Michał Przywara
21:12 Mar 15, 2023

Thanks, Ali! I'm glad to hear that :)


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Cynthia Hamm
03:08 Mar 12, 2023

Your story is quite wonderful, very poetic. I love story poems and this would fit the category very well. It has me inspired to try this myself.


Michał Przywara
03:08 Mar 13, 2023

Thank you, Cynthia! I don't normally write poetry, but this format seemed to naturally lean that way - and it was an opportunity to practice. I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I wish you best of luck with your writing :)


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Graham Kinross
01:07 Mar 12, 2023

Congratulations on your win, well deserved.


Michał Przywara
04:37 Mar 12, 2023

Thanks, Graham! I appreciate it.


Graham Kinross
05:05 Mar 12, 2023

Will your winnings fund another fifty stories on this site?


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Graham Kinross
05:06 Mar 12, 2023

Or do you have other ideas?


Michał Przywara
22:13 Mar 12, 2023

Ha! For now, bit of both.


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Naomi Miller
23:30 Mar 09, 2023

would you be ok with me making this into a comic for a class I'm in , I have to make a comic out of an existing story and I really loved yours!!


Michał Przywara
01:11 Mar 10, 2023

Hi Naomi! Please contact me at


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17:08 Mar 09, 2023

Brilliant. A delightful read.


Michał Przywara
21:54 Mar 09, 2023

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Odile Glatz
18:25 Mar 08, 2023

What a twist at the end! You deserve to win, very original, and yet reminiscent of Poe. Bravo!


Michał Przywara
19:59 Mar 08, 2023

Thank you, Odile! I appreciate the feedback :)


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Jeannette Miller
22:02 Mar 07, 2023

Perfection Michal, sheer perfection! Congratulations on the win!


Michał Przywara
02:56 Mar 08, 2023

Thanks, Jeannette! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Cailie E
14:09 Mar 07, 2023

I realized the triangle writing structure after someone mentioned it... I love your stories and especially this one because it's so funny. The character's development throughout the story was spectacular. I LOVE ITTTTT.


Michał Przywara
21:47 Mar 07, 2023

Thanks, Cailie! Yeah, the triangles were certainly an unusual feature for a story. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Dena Linn
12:53 Mar 07, 2023

Super great .... thank you for coming up with such a good story!


Michał Przywara
14:20 Mar 07, 2023

Thank you, Dena! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Jackson Clark
06:25 Mar 07, 2023

I feel like the small breakages in the triangles could be holes in swiss cheese or something like that. I don't know what I was expecting, but it most certainly wasn't this. Congratulations Michal!


Michał Przywara
14:21 Mar 07, 2023

Thanks, Jackson! That's a pretty good idea :)


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AJ Ullah
22:33 Mar 06, 2023

Dude - kudos to you - what a process it must've been - this was such a funny read and expertly executed - I am rooting for the clever mice - let them have their fill. Deserved winner


Michał Przywara
23:49 Mar 06, 2023

Thanks, AJ! Yeah, the mice might have come on a little strong here, but they're not so bad :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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Robert Allensen
21:37 Mar 06, 2023

Congratulations! It is amazing how you managed to write such a funny story using such an unusual (and rigid) structure. I loved the fact that you used a triangular sequence and how triangles played a key part in the tale. I loved the ending too! You should find an artist to illustrate your story (it would look amazing!). Maybe it should be formatted in a triangular-shaped book, with pages that become increasingly larger?


Michał Przywara
21:46 Mar 06, 2023

Ah! A triangle shaped book - now that's a cool idea :) Thanks for the feedback, Robert. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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