Help me identify this short story?

I remember a story about a guy (maybe a writer?) who is writing (on a typewriter) a warning letter to someone, about the fact that the letter “e” is now missing from our alphabet. As the story progresses, more letters disappear, making it increasingly difficult to communicate.

I thought it was a King story. It is definitely not Misery, where the typewriter is merely broken. I’ve looked throught the plots of a list of King short stories that I found earlier, and it’s not there. (I’ll find it again if anyone requests it.)


This kind of thing has been done a couple of times. The first one that leaps to mind is “Missing” by P. A. Kagan published in Asimov’s in Sept 1982. As I recall, it’s a bit different - only “e” is missing until the very end, when “a” also disappears.

Ella Minnow Pea is an epistolary novel by Mark Dunn. Not a short story, but might be what you’re thinking of.

This is not what you’re talking about, but if you like fiction where letters disappear, try Abish’s Alphabetical Africa.

This might be it. I read a few Asimov’s several years ago.

Is this the one?

Meihem in ce Klasrum,
by Dolton Edwards (psuudonym for W. K. Lessing)
Astounding Science Fiction, Anthology 1946
There’s various essays on a similar theme, including one widely but wrongly attributed to Mark Twain.

Nope, that’s not it. Thanks for trying!

I heartily recommend Ella Minnow Pea, if you haven’t read it. It’s a novel, but it’s so delicious to read about the difficulties of this town as more and more letters drop off the official town statue and are, thus, deemed illegal to use by the residents of said town.

Are you thinking of Meihem In Ce Klasrum? That link goes to a copy of the story.

ETA: Somehow I completely missed the earlier mention of this one, so never mind me.