A Touch of Madness

This challenge has ended!

I think it’s safe to say that usually the creative and intelligent walk a fine line between genius and insanity, if not occasionally crossing that line. Sometimes I get the feeling that society doesn’t like the peculiar nature of the creative and intelligent, that we need to be “dealt with” somehow.

Your challenge: write a segment or two detailing a measure taken by society to restrain the creative and intelligent. Make it outlandish, make it subtle; tell it from a general perspective, or tell it from a personal point of view. Do whatever works.

Keepin mind, y’gotta month. Plenty of time, I’d say. Have at it!

And remember: good luck, Godspeed, “Force be with you,” feliz navidad, etc., etc., etc.

Think you have what it takes to accept this challenge?


Challenge has ended


  1. The Darkness In My Silence

    Author: ALRO613 (LoA)

  2. And Then Came The Burlap and BCGs

    Author: Kevin Lawver

  3. Martyr For Culture

    Author: ElshaHawk (LoA)

  4. Fear and Loathing in the Classroom

    Author: uselessness

  5. Public Opinion

    Author: Fyora Cartagan

  6. Controlled Monetization

    Author: Les Orchard

  7. When All Else Fails

    Author: April Raines

  8. John's Sweet Program

    Author: Joey Roskey

  9. Mater Mundi

    Author: Bill Hartzia

  10. B.L.A.N.K.

    Author: Nemo

  11. Censorship

    Author: Ryber

  12. Target the Readers

    Author: John Perkins

  13. Canvas

    Author: Antoine E Butler Sr

  14. Corporate Technophobes

    Author: Melia

  15. Headgear

    Author: Kent Brewster

  16. Nothing Comes to Mind

    Author: Clockwork Soul

  17. Tainted Rage

    Author: ernmander

  18. Disturbing the Peace

    Author: Saint Chuck

  19. Pecking Order

    Author: S. Zee

  20. Tagged

    Author: Axodys

  21. A Distraction Like No Other

    Author: Racing

  22. Deleted

    Author: Former Ficly Friend

  23. The Genius of Madness?

    Author: pettins

  24. Vince's Big Break

    Author: NinjaChicken

  25. No Pink Hair at School.

    Author: invisibility_disability

  26. Stifled Writers

    Author: Elisabeth L. Davis(LoA)

  27. Marked as mature content (Mature)

    Author: Mitch

  28. Writer's Cramp

    Author: Ronnie

  29. I Know Now

    Author: 5ws1h

  30. Paint to Live

    Author: jesteram

  31. Forbidden Passage

    Author: Elizabethan

  32. Advances in Science (A Touch of Madness challenge entry)

    Author: Dan

  33. The Living Word

    Author: kaellinn18

  34. yes

    Author: mae v

  35. There are No Words

    Author: lisaG

  36. Denied (Mature)

    Author: cthulhuburger

  37. Speeding

    Author: Spooky M

  38. To Reach, To Touch I

    Author: Jessica Cahill

  39. That Creative Spark

    Author: David_J_Rust

  40. Victor, your emotions are tagged as follows - (Mature)

    Author: ReynoldsEco

  41. Dear Jic, Grant, and Ron,

    Author: White Marvin

  42. What I got for Chrismiss

    Author: Spiderj

  43. Called to the Principal's Office

    Author: BA Boucher

  44. Smart Mouth

    Author: Xanathael

  45. Name Allocation Service

    Author: ahobday

  46. The Inquisition

    Author: MadAsAHatter

  47. Little girl Sammy

    Author: Moonshine

  48. Last Pattern in the Sand

    Author: Paddy Festus

  49. Morning Treat

    Author: Stephen Perlstein

  50. Bloodlines Gone Sprinting

    Author: Sneaky"LoA"Cleazy


  1. Avatar John Perkins

    g2, I think you’ve kept us in suspense long enough. ;P

  2. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    For my first challenge here, this one did exceptionally well! If I counted correctly, 53 entries!
    I don’t like picking just one winner (that, and I can’t figure out how to do so just yet), since there are so many outstanding pieces, so what I’ll do is recognize some of those stand-outs.

    Just not at the moment. I like keeping all y’all in suspense… ^^

  3. Avatar Pyropunk 51 (PPP LoA)

    looks like you have your work cut out for you judging this challenge ;-)

  4. Avatar Spiderj

    Great idea for a challenge – I was reminded of the Vonnegut story as John Perkins said earlier and my little effort probably reflects that. As well as the fact that it was thrown together during a lull in the office!

  5. Avatar David_J_Rust

    There we go … updated it to fix a typo and sentence structures…

  6. Avatar David_J_Rust

    My first challenge.

    I decided to go for a dystopia world and what it would do to the truly, maddeningly creative who were beyond their ability to force into a “round hole”.

  7. Avatar Spooky M

    My first story is my first challenge!

  8. Avatar lisaG

    So I took my first steps into the Ficly world with this challenge – here goes nothing!

  9. Avatar kaellinn18

    I also entered, and mine is not on the list: http://ficly.com/stories/1473

  10. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    @Jesteram: huh. I just read your entry, so I know it’s there… I just don’t see it on the list.

  11. Avatar jesteram

    I’m new here and had a quick question: I entered this challenge, but don’t see my name or story listed as a challenger. Actually, I guess that’s not a question. But still?

  12. Avatar Ronnie

    Love the stories! Not really sure if mine fits. Does that mean I failed the challenge? Do I need to retake the class? :P

  13. Avatar invisibility_disability

    mine is extremely boring. whooo.

  14. Avatar leoken

    I think Hunter S Thompson is the perfect example of this. So, I totally dig this concept. Workin’ on it.

  15. Avatar pettins

    Thank you for this challenge.

    I am new to ficly.com (today) and was a bit awestruck as to how to start, but this challenge triggered something in me and off I went.

    Story number one is posted and now I feel G-O-O-D :-)

  16. Avatar Jay

    I really like the idea for this challenge! I will try to think of something.

  17. Avatar ernmander

    Was a laugh, and I am insane, unfortunately I can’t write my insane here as it is a little to dark and deep and is from real experience. Any hoo on a lighter note, loved this challenge :D

  18. Avatar Racing

    Ahahahaha! I will have fun with this! Here we go….

  19. Avatar Saint Chuck

    Love the idea, I just had to enter.

  20. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    ah… thanks for catching that. Typing accuracy tends to go down on an iTouch…

  21. Avatar Anta

    I believe the correct pronunciation for “Merry Christmas” in Spanish is feliz navidad, not felix navidad.
  22. Avatar Kent Brewster

    My first Ficlet; be gentle with me….

  23. Avatar Melia

    A fun challenge and glad it was my first one in the new site :) great job!

  24. Avatar g²LaPianistaIrlandesa

    I’ve been so pleased with the results of this challenge thus far… keep it up!

  25. Avatar John Perkins

    This sounds incredibly similar to the short story “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut. It was turned into a really bad (in a good way) movie with Sean Astin.

    Interesting idea for a challenge. I’m so excited to get back into the community and do these challenges again. Need to think of something…

  26. Avatar Nemo

    Mine’s sort of about ego; of the creative and intelligent and of those who feel threatened by the creative and intelligent.

  27. Avatar Joey Roskey

    There are many ways society restrains creativity, my story was just the first to come to mind.

  28. Avatar Fyora Cartagan

    Strangely enough, I had a dream a couple nights ago that fit the challenge.

  29. Avatar Les Orchard

    Figured I’d play – mine turned out more pessimistic than I’d expected. Whooo.

  30. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    Mine is a sort of a peaceful up-yours gesture to a society that shuns the creative.

  31. Avatar Kevin Lawver

    I’m not sure mine fits the challenge, but I went for outlandish… in the mode of school uniforms and the movie Brazil.

  32. Avatar ALRO613 (LoA)

    i played.

  33. Avatar ALRO613 (LoA)

    Hmm.. I love insanity, you know that…

Want to join in the fun? Of course you do!

Sign in to add your two cents.

The Ficly matchbox

This challenge (like all challenges on Ficly) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. What does this mean?


  • Kevin Lawver
  • ElshaHawk (LoA)
  • Melia
  • The Note Writer
  • ALRO613 (LoA)
  • ernmander
  • uselessness
  • Elisabeth L. Davis(LoA)
  • Les Orchard
  • Fyora Cartagan
  • kaellinn18
  • Nemo
  • Axodys
  • John Perkins
  • invisibility_disability
  • S. Zee
  • April Raines
  • Joey Roskey
  • Bill Hartzia
  • Saint Chuck
  • Antoine E Butler Sr
  • Ryber
  • NinjaChicken
  • Kent Brewster
  • Clockwork Soul
  • Former Ficly Friend
  • Racing
  • Paddy Festus
  • pettins
  • Ronnie
  • Mitch
  • M. Abran Garza
  • Staci Leigh
  • Dan
  • jesteram
  • 5ws1h
  • cthulhuburger
  • Elizabethan
  • mae v
  • lisaG
  • David_J_Rust
  • BA Boucher
  • ReynoldsEco
  • Spooky M
  • Jessica Cahill
  • ahobday
  • Kathy Owens
  • D.R. Wellscraft
  • Sneaky"LoA"Cleazy
  • White Marvin
  • Moonshine
  • Spiderj
  • Xanathael
  • MadAsAHatter
  • Stephen Perlstein