Mar 262015
 

Welcome to Micro Bookends 1.24. Something genteel for you this week. Have fun.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

If that’s not the best opening line of a novel then I don’t know what is. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen was first published in 1813. It tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingly moves into the area bringing with him his snobbish sisters and his surly friend, Mr Darcy. There are no reliable sales figures for the book, but it is thought to have sold over 20 million copies. In a 2003 BBC survey, Pride and Prejudice was voted the second most beloved book in the UK behind Lord of the Rings.

There have been many TV and film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice (my personal favourite being the 1995 BBC adaptation starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth: no one does period dramas like the BBC) including the 2005 Joe Wright movie starring Academy Award nominee, Keira Knightley, who celebrates her big three-o today. Keira was born into an acting family and has been acting since she was six years old. Her incredibly thin figure has been blamed on an eating disorder, a claim she has refuted. She agreed to appear topless in an edition of Interview so long as the images were not Photoshopped in an attempt to highlight how

women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame.

Let’s wish Ms Knightley a very happy birthday with this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: lisa rigby via CC.

Photo Credit: lisa rigby via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is Foy S. Iver, winner of MB1.18 and MB 1.23. Read her winning stories and what she has to say about flash fiction here.

What?

A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with PRIDE and ending with PREJUDICE and incorporating the photo prompt.

Who?

Anyone, but especially you!

Why?

Why not! Because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. Because the winner will receive their own winner’s page, their story on the winning stories list, a ‘who is the the author’ feature to be posted next week, entry into the ‘Micro Bookend of the Year’ competition, and a copy of this year’s winning stories compilation.

When?

Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time: http://time.is/London).

Where?

Here!

How?

Post your story in the comments section. Include the word count and your Twitter username (if you’re Twitterized). Don’t forget to read the full rules before submitting your story.

Anything else?

Please give your story a title. It will not be included in the word count.

Please try to leave comments on a couple of other stories. It’s all part of the fun, and everyone likes feedback!

Remember, only stories that use the bookends exactly as supplied (punctuation is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  166 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.24 – PRIDE [micro] PREJUDICE”

  1. Relaxed and Messy

    Pride in your home is important, mother’s always saying, though why she had to shampoo all the carpets today, I don’t know. I’m sitting here, veil on, bouquet clutched, curls dropping with each clock-tick, a full two hours early. Mother rushes around, breathless, red-faced and sweaty, yet says she finds cleaning calming. I’ll never be like that. Once Sam and I are in the flat, guests can take us as they find us. Two women, finally married. Relaxed and messy. Meals will be late, washing up will wait and there’ll be bits on the carpet. And friends – and hopefully family too – will enjoy visiting without the slightest bit of prejudice.

    110 words
    @SalnPage

    • Wonderful story, and a good sentiment about living for life rather than appearances.

    • Sal, you have perfectly described my household, except I’m not married to a woman. My favorite line, “Once Sam and I are in the flat, guests can take us as they find us.” I related to this story a lot, including the “always-cleaning mother.”

    • love this housework won’t kill you but why take the chance my brother got that gene lol

    • Lovely…I guess my mind went in a similar direction as well. 🙂

    • This is great, Sal.

    • Thanks to all of you for your comments on my first flash here. I shall come again. 😉

    • I guess the double photo of a bride and the ending of ‘prejudice’ lends itself to a same-sex marriage scenario. But it’s wonderfully underplayed, with the added details of the mother’s neurosis. Nice one, Sal.

      I’ve been trying to think of a saying from my dim and distant youth – something like “A tidy room is the sign of a wasted life’ – why bother vacuuming when you could be writing flash fiction?

    • Nice story. I try and adopt the ‘take us as they find us’ approach and it will work for a little while but I must confess there is a point when my hand reaches for the duster …

    • without dust…. my home would be sterile and unloved 😉 although like Steph says there is a limit to the depth one can endure… Glad to see you here Sal…. 110 good words 🙂

    • Wonderful story and an unpretentious attitude. I wish them much happiness together!

  2. Of Love and War
    @laurenegreene
    108 words

    Pride swelled in his throat as he fingered the photo of his fiancé in her wedding dress. Sweat rolled down the side of his face, from the heat of the jungle.

    “Ain’t she a sight?”

    “I thought you two weren’t married yet, Alabama,” Jarvis said.

    Shots echoed in the near distance, and both of the men looked toward their commander.

    Irvin, aka Alabama, could barely take his eyes off the photo. He could smell the soul food beckoning. The chopper’s flurry, like a manic butterfly, evacuated him from his memories.

    The commander nodded and Alabama secured his helmet.

    “She’s a beaut. But I might be a little prejudice.”

  3. Sepia Day,

    “Pride,” Toure whispers.

    The matrimonial zombies are lions on the hunt. We watch as they siege the shelter where Kairu and others took refuge.

    The site of a lady in a wedding dress using a plasma cutter is frightening and exhilarating.

    “Curses upon Sepia Day,” Toure says.

    “Where is your sense of adventure?”

    The men in the shelter are droops by Tasers.

    Following the horde are straggler hunters. We wait hours until she comes.

    Kamili is breathtaking in the sepia moon light.

    Over Toure’s protests, I open the door and race to surrender to Kamili.

    All men’s freedom ends; the lucky choose to whom they lose it with prejudice.

    109 Words
    @michaelsimko1

  4. Daddy’s Girl

    “Pride?” Her dad would the spit the word like it was poison. Then he’d let out an exaggerated puff of air that was half chortle and half derision. “What have they got to be proud of?”

    She thought his words would hurt the most. But when she told him about Alice, the silence cut deeper than any scorn ever could.

    Every little girl wants her daddy by her side on her wedding day, to marvel at her beauty with wistful misty eyes.

    But he wasn’t coming.

    The organ began. She breathed deep, stood tall, smoothed down her dress.

    “Bye Daddy.” She whispered, walking toward love, turning her back on prejudice.

    110 words
    @NJCrosskey

  5. Word Count – 96
    @susanOReilly3

    A Wedding

    Pride beams from parents faces
    Everyone in their correct places

    tails and a lacy veil
    the smile of the bride
    its vows and rings
    two people side by side
    Friends and family
    joined in harmony
    suits and fancy hats
    people dressed in style
    to watch the walk down the aisle
    Ribboned cars and confetti
    who will catch the bouquet?
    Ringing bells, fantasy, reality
    a very special day
    A memory to cherish
    to enjoy with relish
    surrounded by love
    the best gift from above

    Sealed with a loving kiss
    Today all sides united no prejudice

  6. 109 words
    @JacquelinePye

    APPROACH WITH CAUTION

    Pride doesn’t even start to cover it.

    All my life I’ve wanted to achieve something Margie hadn’t, and my efforts were in vain. But now I have captured my ‘man’; she despises him but will never find his like. I am thrilled.

    He is, I admit, slightly odd. Mischievous, no oil painting, but I’m besotted. He likes to make my every wish come true, and that’s the clincher.

    Margie attends our reception out of curiosity. As she approaches, I whisper, ‘if only she’d disappear up her own …’. My groom points a satanic finger and, with a flash and a scream, Margie whirls and vanishes. Anyone else for prejudice?

  7. State By State (110 words)

    Pride flags and rainbow balloon arches are being pulled by the winds of change. Vases of white calla lilies on the tables needed to be filled with more water to weigh down the freshly cut displays. Friends and family mingle grasping white chardonnay as caterers orbit with bacon-rolled mushrooms and tiny crab quiche. The d.j. plays kd lang.

    Inside the rented Italian Villa in Provincetown Kay nervously texts Judy.

    “Are you ready for this sweetie?”

    “I’ve been ready my whole life…let’s do this!”

    The tardy Justice of the Peace finally arrives with the paper work. It is now illegal for the state to be prejudice.

  8. Word Count – 108
    @susanOReilly3

    Runaway Vows

    Pride caused them to run away from everything but each other
    couldn’t handle the dislike of them from brother, sister, mother

    She said “I can’t cope”
    He said ” Okay then, let’s elope”

    They didn’t tarry
    and went of to marry
    feelings of sadness they did carry

    But its done now
    they can all say “when, where, how?”

    They melt into each other’s arms
    Can’t resist each others charms
    They no longer feel forlorn
    Now their vows have been sworn

    They smile and say as one
    “I love you,
    from now on,
    we will always be husband and wife”
    Surrounded in bliss
    Free from all prejudice

  9. Pride & Greed
    @hollygeely
    109 Words

    Pride was Mandy’s sin. She liked to look in the mirror. The white dress made her proud, of course. I watched her twirling by the stairs. I hated to give her the news.

    “Your wife-to-be ran off with your brother” never comes out gently. In the end her lover had been too scared.

    “I’m sorry,” I said.

    I would have put on my own dress to twirl with her. I would never have run away.

    My sin has always been greed.

    “I’ll get over it and find someone else,” she said. Her smile warmed me.

    I took her hand.

    “Yes,” I said, “Someone who doesn’t listen to society’s prejudice.”

  10. My Life in Sunlight
    @Donnellanjacki
    110 words

    Pride bathes my life in sunlight; my memories reprinted in white.

    I joined you beneath the honeysuckle bower, white freesias cascading from my hands.

    I didn’t wait and wait in a draughty corridor, tears draggling my wilting bouquet.

    I kept the dress- for our daughter, one day! A wardrobe brimming with rustling white crepe.

    I didn’t sell the dress to pay rent on the bedsit in which I gave birth, alone.

    I took care that those diamonds on my wedding band didn’t scratch against my baby’s face, or my husband’s hand!

    I didn’t wear a brass curtain ring to ward off pre-judgement; to fend off the cold sting of prejudice.

  11. Tradición No Más (110 words)

    Pride was evident in Mother’s eyes when she saw Beth in the family dress. An old faded photo of a radiant young Grandma Webber in the antique gown has been a cherished family treasure. It was not one of those staged photos of stiff tuxedo stuffed groomsmen standing next to buoyantly frocked bridesmaids. It was an image of her sitting quietly, waiting for her proud father to walk her down the aisle.

    Now it is Beth’s turn. The dress has been altered, embedded rice has been removed. But Father is a no-show. He won’t give her to a Mexican. He can’t get over his prejudice.

  12. Differences: 104 words

    ‘Pride cometh before a fall’, my mother always said to me. Isn’t it strange how what we both feel pride for could be so different? Here I am on what should be the happiest day of my life, and all I can think about is how ashamed she feels of me. Rodell and I are perfect for one another: I know that, even if she doesn’t. Admittedly, he’s a little more tanned than everyone else in my family, but the colour of a person’s skin shouldn’t make any difference. If only she could see him differently. If only she could see past her prejudice.

  13. The Family Way
    (92 words)

    Pride is the colour of a cheap gold band. The bells ring out their hollow, tinny sound and secrets scurry into ancient alcoves that reek with the stale stench of tradition. Pews are wedged with expectation, guests on Sunday best behaviour.

    No going back.

    She’s marched along to new spun funereal tones, to an altar where she will lie.
    But he lies too.
    She joins with the cheats’ choir, swearing her vows and cursing the crowd, too late for turnaround.

    Afterwards, the guests congregate to congratulate, air kissing with the pursed lips of prejudice.

  14. The sins of the mothers

    @geofflepard 109 words

    Pride comes before Priest in the dictionary. And in life. Hubris begets confession: it could have been the family motto. Grandma gave into war lust; mum an ill-advised fumble and a dodgy prophylactic. Now me – two women in one, the family schizo.
    Father John says I have to decide: good girl or bad but that’s like choosing heels or flats – sometimes you’ll need them both.
    Before Pride, in the dictionary, it’s Prick. Or in my case two. Mum says I have to choose. But which one planted the seed of my despair? Rogered by Roger or gravid by David?
    And before Prick? Prejudice of course. Maximum Effing Prejudice.

  15. Without Prejudice

    PRIDE CHOLMONDELEY FARQUHARSON Solicitors

    In re: Breach of Marriage Contract between Miss Bennet and Mr Darcy

    Dear Sir

    The understanding of my client Mr Darcy of the dispute is:

    His horse becoming lame my client was delayed while journeying to the church

    Miss Bennet’s unwarranted prejudice against my client was rekindled and she made unduly hasty withdrawal

    On eventual arrival my client suffered impairment to his pride

    Believing expenditure on matrimonial apparel will be recouped should Miss Bennet subsequently marry but wishing to avoid litigation my client offers the sum of £10 in full settlement.

    We await your response.

    Yours faithfully

    {undecipherable scrawl}

    ALEXANDER FARQUHARSON
    Solicitor

    WITHOUT PREJUDICE

    • Dear David,

      May I please ask you to change ‘Yours sincerely’ to ‘Yours faithfully’?

      Yours sincerely,

      Geoff

    • Good job you have nothing better to do , David…

      I forgot to add:

      @GeoffHolme
      Word Count:110

      Sorry, old chum!

    • Great take, Geoff! (Though as an ex-solicitor I feel obliged to mention that in reality, “without prejudice” would always be written at the top and not the bottom of the letter 😉 )

      • There’s always one!

        I’m not a solicitor, ex or current, but I knew that too. It just wouldn’t work as a bookend way up there. Guess that’s blown my chances of a podium place…

    • Very clever. I always felt she was too good for him even by the end so I like this version and perhaps now she can marry Mr.Knightley.

    • I like the format of your story, very clever – and as one without knowledge of where ‘without prejudice’ goes thought it was a great bookend!

  16. CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE BRIDES OF VENGEANCE

    Brian S Creek
    109 words
    @BrianSCreek
    #FlashDog

    “Pride,” said Chris. “Blind, stupid pride.”

    Mike looked down at the body of the deceased bride. “You knew her?”

    Chris knelt and closed her eyes. “Worked with her a couple of times before I was institutionalised. Deadly with a crossbow. Made me laugh.”

    “I’m sorry, buddy,” said Mike.

    “I told her this church was dangerous but she just smiled.”

    There came a twisted cackling from the other end of the empty church hall. Two hovering ghosts materialised, flowing white dresses, veils masking their faces.

    “So how are we gonna catch these then?” said Mike.

    Chris rose, fists clenched. “Oh no, my friend. I’m going to destroy these ghosts without prejudice.”

  17. The Trespasser

    108 words
    @el_Stevie

    Pride had crept through the house for centuries, manifesting itself in a greenish tinge that clutched at anything and everything; a greedy grasp that mouldered its way down barren corridors and spartan rooms as it scented something new, and as yet, uncorrupted. Someone had opened a door and allowed a trespasser in.

    She would not do. It didn’t matter that she was the master’s choice, only the house could decide who stayed.

    The floorboards groaned as she walked. Murmured their displeasure as she mounted the stairs; sank beneath the pressure of her foot, gave way …

    She was gone. Death had claimed another bride, dowered by ancient prejudice

  18. @stellakateT
    109 words

    What’s in a Name?

    “Pride! You can’t call her that” my Mother screeched when my father returned from registering my birth.
    “It’s done now”
    Forever on my mother and even my Dad called me Bridie. None of my close friends knew my real moniker only bank officials, passport control and the payroll department at work. What would Dan and everyone say when the registrar asked “Will you Daniel John take Pride Ann Joy as your lawful wedded wife?”
    They’ll be an embarrassing silence with everyone mouthing ‘what’?
    I’ll colour up and shrug whilst my Dad tells the guests of how proud he is of me. Thank God he never called my sister prejudice.

  19. @6bloc9
    Title: Pride Left or Right? (110 words)

    “Pride104, left screen, features the Enlightenment 1.4 upgrade, ultra reliable. Pride107 on the right has the Ubiquity dual core processor, extra-sensory responsiveness, very desirable. Either ready to ship upon payment.”

    Pride104 sat contemplating the bouquet in her hands, imagining the scent. Pre-programmed with awareness and intellect enough to know there would be a smell, she knew they were as real as her intelligence and, she computed, her intelligence could not be described as artificial either.

    Pride107 could not resist nibbling at the edges of the petals while no-one would notice. “He thinks you’re warm and soft” repeated in her tiny micro-chipped mind. “He believes you will pander to his prejudice”.

  20. The Happiest Day of My Life

    Pride… Brighton Pride.

    Jason was in the parade, re-ally cute from behind. When he looked right at me, my heart melted!

    We’ve been together ever since. When same-sex marriages came in, we planned everything together. Except our outfits; a surprise on the day.

    In the register office, I waited in one anteroom, Jason in another. Dusty sang “In Private” and I walked in with my sister, Claire. Jason entered with his workmate, Diane.

    We walked up the aisle to applause and cheers, wearing identical wedding dresses, veils and bouquets!

    Mum wasn’t there… Dad tore up the invitation.

    But Jason’s parents are lovely – 100% heterosexual but not a trace of prejudice.

    @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 110

  21. — Taking Stock —

    “Pride in my work?”

    Ruth laughs.

    “Honestly, the guy behind the lens doesn’t share and I never ask to see. Just show me the money!”

    How’s the pay?

    “Well, I spent yesterday morning in a bluebell field pretending to use a laptop, and that’s my mortgage covered this month.”

    Any downsides?

    “Your image could pop up anywhere. In New Zealand, apparently, I’m the face of Ex-Lax!”

    Best part of the job?

    “Dressing up is always fun. I’m always playing brides, which Mum finds ironic. She’d rather I used my history degree in a ‘proper job’ but that’s just her academic prejudice.”

    109 words
    @edbroom

  22. Mrs. Martin’s Lonely Heart’s Club
    @voimaoy
    110 words

    “Pride has nothing to do with it,” Mrs. Martin says. “Youth and beauty may be the brides of romance, but love is another matter entirely.  Even if you are not so young, and not necessarily beautiful, it’s never too late for love. That’s what my club offers. I can help you find someone special. I guarantee it.”

    Mrs. Martin spoke from experience. After her second husband, Ralph,  had died,  she met her husband Donald at the dry cleaners. She was getting the zipper on her bag repaired. He was  dropping off some shirts.  They started talking about the weather.

    “Open yourself to love,” Mrs. Martin says. “Love without limits or prejudice.”

  23. Regrets
    110 words
    @meg_mediocre

    Pride goeth before destruction, so it’s said.

    I wish I’d been more aware, my love. Wish I’d seen the signs.

    I was so caught up in my “Perfect Day” that I didn’t register how unhappy you were.

    I’m so sorry.

    Now here I sit in my perfect dress, clutching my perfect bouquet, in my perfect venue – with no perfect man to complete me.

    I’m quite the tourist attraction now. They hold a party each year, trying to catch a glimpse of the jilted bride who threw herself down the stairs that day. Maybe this year you’ll find your way back to me. Maybe this year you’ll forgive me without prejudice.

  24. SAMSARA

    Pride floats like musk from Vivian, thick and pleasant in my nose. She twists my hair up, then moves to face me—carefully, as if not to wake her wedding dress.

    As kids we played mirror image. When Vivian was the reflection I made her pick her nose. I liked making her do ugly things. I called myself “the evil twin,” but she just hugged me and tickled my back, humming.

    Now she greets each guest with sincerity. She was born for this world, but I’ve never fit. As she honeymoons I’ll be journeying too, sitting lotus in the Himalayas, striving to welcome the dawn without prejudice.

    107 words
    @jes3ica

  25. Photoshopped Out
    A.J. Walker

    Pride filled Olivia’s body so much she worried that it might affect the fit of her wedding dress. The day of days had arrived and she wanted both to share it with all her friends and yet savour each moment alone. She corrected her thoughts; not alone – with her husband. Her soul mate.

    Olivia grasped the bouquet which bristled with vibrant colours and mingled perfumes grounding her to this time and place. She sensed the hallway shadows; could hear her sister in the next room. Her history prickled Olivia like nothing else, but today she would be airbrushed out; today, to that heartless evil bitch, she would show no prejudice.

    (110 words)
    @zevonesque

    #FlashDogs

  26. Wedding Crashers

    “Pride goeth befo-”
    “Shut up! Just shut up! I don’t want to hear it!”
    “You shouldn’t talk to Father that way, especially now of all times!”
    “He’s not my priest, I never wanted an expensive wedding in a church. Of all the places to be when the dead rise again, this has got to be the worst!”
    “At least we have food. We can wait them out until they go-”
    “Stay locked in here with your family? Honestly, I think I’d prefer the alternative!”
    “Everyone, just calm down. There’s no need to fight each other. There’s plenty of targets outside. As they say in the movies, terminate with extreme prejudice!”

    110 words
    @davejamesashton

  27. Word count 110
    @ibarora

    The Band

    “Pride of Lions.”
    “ Lions? What have they got to do with my marriage?”
    “No, the rock group. What band we have at the wedding?”
    “The best, but you aren’t pleased with my choice? I can feel it, even if you are reluctant to admit.”
    “No, I am truly happy for you. How long have you known her?”
    “Two week.”
    “You aren’t joking; that’s too soon to like anyone.”
    “You know her?” a lurking suspicion entered his mind.
    “No, never met her.”
    He could sense a false note: he looked at the photograph of his fiancé.
    He stared at his twin brother and thought, “It must be his prejudice, no?”

    • And will he still go ahead with the wedding? Nice take.

    • ‘fiancé’ is masculine – should be ‘fiancée’; the story doesn’t end with ‘PREJUDICE’, and it’s posted 3hrs 25mins late… Otherwise, good work! :-\

    • Hi, IB Arora. Thanks for writing. So you missed the deadline by a few hours? No matter. You can’t put a timeline on creativity, right? Drop by again this week from 5am GMT Thursday till 5am GMT Friday.

      Cheers, Dave

      P.S. love the way you worked PRIDE into the name of the wedding band. Shame about that closing bookend…

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