May 142015

Hooray, it’s Thursday again! Ready for some micro fun? Enjoy:

Facebook is an on-line social networking service launched in 2004 by Harvard University students, Mark ZuckerbergEduardo SaverinAndrew McCollumDustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. Originally called Thefacebook, the site was set up to allow Harvard University students to identify and contact their fellow students. The website was shut down by the Harvard administration as it breached security, violated copyrights and violated individual privacy. The site ran in to further legal trouble when the Winklevoss twins claimed Zuckerberg stole their idea. The lawsuit was settled with the twins receiving 1.2 million shares in the company worth around $300 million. Today Facebook has over 1.4 billion registered users.

Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, celebrates his 31st birthday today. It was clear from an early age that Zuckerberg had an aptitude for programming. His father taught him BASIC while at middle school then hired a software developer to privately tutor him. He was not your typical computer geek, however. He also excellent at fencing and enjoyed reading classics. Today, he is worth around £35 billion.

A rendition of Happy Birthday To You for Mr Zuckerberg, with this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: Maurizio Costanzo via CC.

Photo Credit: Maurizio Costanzo via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is me!


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


Anyone, but especially you!


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.


Now! Get your entry in BEFORE 5:00 am Friday (UK time:




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.

  144 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.31 – FACE [micro] BOOK”

  1. En Guard
    (110 words)

    Face your opponent squarely. Tap their blade, touch yours to your forehead, tap blades again. Try to kill each other. Feint, parry, shuffle forward, lunge, thrust, shuffle back, hold that arm stiff!

    At least that’s what being a barrister in merry ole England felt like – fencing with a rapier thin blade.

    Don’t ask how a yank got involved with trying a court case across the Atlantic. I was out of my league over there.

    But then I won on a technicality using a technique I’d read on a plaque my first day in Cambridge law.

    The Yoda-like worded advice read, “When all else dost fail, at them throw the book.”

    • Smooth use of bookends, Dylyce, and an amusing ending.
      [ I think ‘yank’ should have an initial capital letter; ‘yank’ is a big jerk… maybe you were correct after all. 😀
      Having written a couple of “RetroSonnets”© and done the research, I know that the archaic ‘dost’ is 2nd person singular, e.g. ‘When thou dost fail…”; what you need is ”doth”. ]

      • Thank you, Geoff. I appreciate the compliment and the great advice.

        I think I’ll stick with “yank” as a double entendre since he is both a Yank and thinks himself foolish for being out of his league. And for the sake of my continuing education, what is the tense for “doth” if “dost” is 2nd person singular?

    • Love the ending 🙂

    • great story especially liked the ending x

    • The last line works well! Nice story.

    • Nice humour in this piece, especially throwing the book!

  2. History, man
    A.J. Walker

    Face your fears – head on. Thrust and parry. Attack is not always the best form of defence, you know that – but don’t sit back. You won’t win a thing waiting; triumphant death trumps all with the patience of rock. But don’t dwell on that. There are still battles to be won. These are not just Pyrrhic victories, these are moments of glory! They can go down in history; you can go down in history. They could sing songs about you. The man who got out of bed. The man who did; something. Songs, films. Statues, to beat death – a little – to last in rock. They may even write a book.

    (110 words)

  3. Song Book
    (109 words)

    ‘Face for radio,’ he said checking his tie. He wasn’t sure if a tie was stiff. Maybe something casual would have been appropriate.
    Nevertheless, he began his journey. He walked and walked right through the town. Soon, the children began to follow the man with hair like musical notes and cords that swished a tune. They smiled as the brass of his buttons jangled, and hummed as his long, flambuoyant coat-tails tangled.
    The grown-ups continued to do grown-up things: bartering, hollering, parrying, battling.
    They were deaf to the music of the stranger. And too busy, to listen as the children’s voices faded into the pages of the stranger’s book.

  4. LOVE FOILED AGAIN (98 words)

    Face scar deep and jagged
    Like the David Bowie cover
    Chest plate cleanly pierced
    The stabbing heartbreak from my lover

    I was gone for just one year
    You promised you would wait
    But you showed me my worst fear
    So many men went through your gate

    So take this sword I offer you
    and fight me like a man
    I’ll even give you the first swing
    Hurt me again if you can

    I’ll wait for the authorities
    Upon your face I’ll look
    I know they will not understand
    At me they’ll throw the book.

  5. And Yes – He Won
    109 words

    “Face it. You can’t win this,” Logan said.

    Ben snapped his helmet shut with a click of absolute defiance.

    “You’ve improved but you’re not ready to face BeXazI. He’s got eight arms. You’re allowed one épée per pair.”

    Ben fastened his belt.

    “Someone rigged this so you’d fight him! They want you to die. CorBpses fight to the death.”

    Ben made a rude gesture.

    “I love you, Ben, so stop being a jackass and listen. I Space-Fenced for years, remember? I don’t want you to drop out. I want you to cheat.”

    Ben’s posture shifted favourably.

    “You know how I can cheat?”

    “Are you kidding? I wrote the book.”

  6. Breaking Up

    “Face up to it, Gary.”

    After his revelation, my words hung in the air like the inevitable, unpleasant result of our curry and lager session.

    Gary was my best friend, but also my brother-in-law. He and Roberta had long had a cut-and-thrust relationship; when they reached the seven-year itch, Gary had been the first to scratch.

    “From lengthy experience,” I continued, “I can tell you that these things may start amicably but they usually descend into an all-out scrap, both sides going for the jugular.

    “I can’t represent either of you.”

    Gary nodded grimly.

    Sighing, I reached for my smartphone, smoothly thumbing the keypad to bring up my address book.

    Word Count: 110

  7. Long Live the King!

    “Face me in a duel, or be declared a coward!” he yelled, restrained by two men-at-arms.
    The duke smirked. “Why would I? What is in it for me?”
    “Your honour, and perhaps the pleasure of running me through.”
    “Tempting, but no. Just as the eagle deigns not to war with every sparrow with a sense of entitlement, so too are you beneath me.”
    “Beneath you?!”
    Enraged, he managed to tear an arm free, only to be swamped in an instant by more guardsmen.
    “I am your king!”
    “Wrong tense m’lord. For you, I am afraid there is no happy ending as in a book.”

    104 words

  8. Word Count excluding title– 110


    Face to face we salut signifying the tense battle may begin. Both of us are sitting on the fence afraid to make the first move. He does a quick Balestra lunging for desired effect, connecting with my lips. I do a forward thrust in retaliation and we forget to keep score.

    A Corps á corps takes place leading to instant disrobement and disqualification of both parties from the bout. Simultaneously they finish their moves each answering the others riposte. Both seem ecstatic to have lost and not concerned that they have been reported to the Federation International d’escrime. Both smile at each other as they dispose of the rule book.

    • I don’t think the lack of acute accents was a major drawback, Susan. However, my lack of knowledge of fencing terminology required a lot of research! Nevertheless, it was an interesting take on the photo and bookend prompts.
      I assume that “…sitting on the fence…” is an unintentional pun. 😀
      [ The switch from ‘I’, ‘he’ and ‘we’ in the first paragraph to ‘they’ seemed abrupt though. ]

    • Really liked the flow.

    • Clever story. 🙂

  9. my computer in work I didn’t no how to access the right accents on letters so left as is apologies.

  10. Id:

    Word count: 110 excluding title.
    Title: She gave me no choice

    “Face should be left untouched” , the Pastor explains. “Go for the stomach. Oh , Put a phone book on top, then punch”

    Tap…. Tap….. All eyes converge on me. Tap.Tap.Tap….. The all male congregation continues to stare at me. It’s my feet, I realize as the intensity of the tapping increases. My face, a frozen mask of insolence, does not give me away.

    Before you judge me ,know that I tried everything before joining this ‘Church of Man’.

    “It’s god’s law “, I had patiently explained ,quoting the bible, ‘ Wives, submit to your own husbands…’.

    She laughed at me until my sword turned flaccid and said, “The bible is just a book”.

  11. Precognition: It’s a Bitch
    109 words

    “Face it; I’m just too damn fast for you!”

    His words ring true, as I’ve always been the slow one. I prefer deliberate steps, taking the time to assess before committing to a path, rather than rushing willy-nilly into any number of potential disasters.

    But that’s only because I see every path in the myriad of possibilities stretching beyond infinity.

    He stumbles, my rapier accidentally lodged between his ribs.
    He gloats over his victory like a preening peacock.
    He gently disarms me, stealing my heart with a kiss.

    His possible futures spin out farther – husband, father, pauper, recluse, corpse.

    I see all possible history, before it’s committed to the book.

  12. Truth Silences Lies
    Word Count: 110

    “Face yourself,” The voice said. Cynthia looked in the mirror, “You’re hideous.”

    She believed it. Her swollen eyes glared back at her, puffy from sobbing. Her hair, frayed yarn, looked as though it had been dragged through wet sand.

    “No one could love you,” the loud voice hissed.

    “I love you.” A still small voice whispered in the distance. Cynthia didn’t hear it.

    “What did you eat today?” The loud voice filled her mind, gaining volume to attack the truth.

    “You are beautiful,” the small voice sang.

    Cynthia shook her head.


    “Beauty. Precious. DAUGHTER.”

    Cynthia wept.

    “Fear not my child, for I have written your name in my book.

  13. Sword Play
    (Word Count: 109)

    “Face?” I repeated, sweat matted to my forehead underneath the heavy mask.
    “Pace.” He corrected calmly, placidly, as if he didn’t feel the weight of the rapier or the suffocating constriction of the tight suit.
    He taught me exactly what he meant by deftly sidestepping my stale lunge and jabbing me savagely with his elbow.
    I fell to ground, winded.
    He took off his mask and smiled condescendingly as I tried to gasp for breath.
    “That’s…ch-cheating…” I managed.
    He scoffed.
    “Can it, writer-boy.”
    I seethed in quiet rage behind clenched teeth.
    He tossed his sword at me with a smirk.
    “Feel free to put this in your stupid book.”

    • And I hope the writer deals with him in an appropriately vengeful way – on paper.

  14. Emily Clayton
    109 words

    When Troubles Multiply

    “Face forward!” Mrs. McAllister gave Scott the hairy eyeball. He just stared right back. “Troll,” he muttered. “Your droopy eyebrows take over your face. Same goes for those droopy boobs.”

    Whispers in the opposite corner. “Stop talking!” Mrs. McAllister screeched.

    Scott glared at his math test, the blank spaces and pencil scratches taunting frayed nerves. Shifting eyes. Brilliant sunshine. He replayed last night’s fencing match. What he wouldn’t give to test out his skills on the troll. Should he forget to attach the rubber tip to his foil, oh what a pity.

    The narrator snapped the paperback shut. “And that, my friends, is the end of this book.”

  15. Strategy
    103 Words

    “Face it. Look the demon in the eye,” she whispers.

    She turns sharply, and stares at it.

    “It resembles me; even wears the same clothes.”

    She wonders what’s underneath; who’s in there?

    There’s only one way to find out. She gathers her courage, lunges at the demon, and takes a stab.

    It connects, but the demon is silent.

    She blinks.

    It blurs before her eyes.

    “What’s happening?” she cries, slicing once more at the hazy image.

    There is sudden silence; then piercing knowledge.

    “I fought myself. I beat my demon.”

    Smiling, she turns to leave.

    The demon foils her with a book.

  16. @stellakateT
    Fighting Fit
    94 words

    Face paint on. I smile looking at my image in the mirror. Warrior princess. I can see my opponent tremble. First sign of defeat, she’ll be easy peasey, I remember my Nana saying that about everything. Nothing feared her, not even my Grandpa returning from the pub fuelled with cheap Irish whiskey ready to fight the devil, the barmaid’s kisses all over his face. Nana soon gave him short shrift. She packed up his clothes, had them delivered to the barmaid and sent his horses to the knacker’s yard. I could write a book.

  17. Counter Attack
    108 words

    Face to face with the man who ruined his life, things suddenly seemed clear to David.

    “Don’t worry,” Michael said with a wink. “I’ll be gentle.”
    He pulled down his mask.

    David took a deep breath and closed his eyes. The memory struck him hard.
    “You’re just so dull and predictable,” she had said. “Michael’s more of a man than you’ll ever be.”

    He opened his eyes and looked at his opponent. A flash of flesh and David attacked, plunging the foil’s tip into Michael’s arm. He screamed, dropping his sword, blood blooming against the white of his jacket .

    David smiled. He was no longer an open book.


    Brian S Creek
    106 words

    “Face facts,” said Mike. “Your Dad has gone and screwed us over.”

    Chris had to admit, things weren’t looking good. For reasons unknown, his Dad had used his younger self and an ancient spell to drag them both back twenty two years, only to scarper, leaving them at the mercy of two phantom swordsmen.

    On top of that he’d spotted the corpse of the witch named Eva, his father’s contact in this part of the world, crumpled up in the corner of the room.

    Chris gripped the candlestick. “Nonsense,” he said. “We deal with these two spirits and then we go get back that spell book.”

  19. Damocles

    98 Words


    Face masked with fear
    I see myself reflected
    Statue of flesh, head bowed
    Beneath the silver-sung blade
    Its edge too close to my sycophant’s neck
    A gentle brush with death, a razor’s caress
    Given as freely as the gold and silver
    My Lord scattered at my feet

    He sat me on his tyrant’s throne
    Gave me all that I wanted
    But the sword hung on weakened thread
    Scythed the air with a rapier’s breath
    The soft kiss of a dark threat
    Making me beg for my life
    With my once-liar’s tongue
    A hypocrite brought at last to book

  20. MattLashley_
    109 words

    To Die For A Woman’s Heart Is To Die A Fool (I Know This Now)

    Face to face, chest to chest, breathing in, at ragged intervals, the other’s expelled air.

    The hilt of his razor thin blade stowed in the hairless patch on my belly two inches above my navel, having bisected my upper intestine on the way to puncture my stomach wall through and through.

    My polished steel blade sheathed in his lower right torso just below the thirteenth rib, having sliced away sundry bits of organ meats on the path to transect his kidney.

    We stand skewered. A gasping human kabob of foolish pride and reckless ego. Neither wanting to die first. As if it would make a difference in her book.

  21. — Nothing Like A Video Game —

    “Face fits, Flight. Prepare to deploy.”

    “Roger, Squad.”

    Our man’s features filled the HD. Even from 5000 feet, the drone’s camera showed his crow’s feet beneath the headdress. Was he laughing?

    “FYI, a little birdie tells me the PM is watching our sabre-rattling. No pressure.”

    Good old Squad, keeping us pumped.

    “ID confirmed, Flight. Prime.”

    As I flipped the safety, Squad zoomed out. Stood outside a dusty tent was our man, apparently watching – oh God – what looked like a wedding party.

    Squad was shouting: “Go, Flight. Launch. Launch!”

    The next 30 seconds played out as normal. We’re professionals. We do things by the book.

    109 words

  22. Disengaged
    207 words

    Face east, inhale the thick sage smoke through the mask you wear, and trust you know how to honour your ancestors with these feathers and beads.

    Turn south, and disengage from the doubt, have faith that the embers in your blood can burst into a fire around which you might commune with ancient night.

    Now west, and parry the realization your heritage has drained away, tickling your toes as it goes, like sand rushing out on a riptide.

    Face north, and extinguish the torches, fold away the costume—and deflect the idea that they’re just guesses at your grandfather’s mysticism, which you culled from a comic book.

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