Aug 272015

Welcome to Micro Bookends 1.45. Ready to write? Here we go:

Body modification is the intentional alteration of the human physical appearance. In some cultures, body modification is associated with rites of passage, religious beliefs, or for cultural identity such as the neck rings worn by the women of the Burmese Kayan people, or the lip plates worn by women of some groups in Africa and Amazonia. In Western cultures body modification is more likely to be for aesthetic reasons such as body art, or piercings, or for shock value and self-expression. Body modification can range from a single ear piercing to extraocular implants (eyeball jewellery) and includes surgical procedures such as breast augmentation.

Dennis Avner was born on this day in 1958. Who’s that, you ask? Perhaps you know him by his Native American name, Stalking Cat. No? Then perhaps you will recognise his face. He was best known for his extensive body modifications intended to make him look like a female tiger, his totem animal. His modifications included extensive tattooing, facial subdermal implants, septum relocation, silicone injections, splitting of the upper lip, filing and capping of the teeth, ear shaping, hairline modification, and piercing of the upper lip and transdermal implants on his forehead for wearing whiskers. He also wore a mechanical tail and green, cat’s eye contact lenses. Avner took his own life on the 5th of November 2012. Shannon Larratt, founder of Body Modification Ezine, described him as,

A wonderful and complex person, he was at times as troubled as he was remarkable.

Here is this week’s photo prompt:

Photo Credit: David Elwood via CC.

Photo Credit: David Elwood via CC.

The Judge

Judging this week’s contest is Steph Ellis, winner of MB1.44. Read her winning story and what she has to say about flash fiction here.


A story of between 90 and 110 words starting with BODY and ending with MODIFICATIONS [singular MODIFICATION is also fine] 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 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, including hyphens and apostrophes, is allowed) will be eligible to win.

  187 Responses to “Micro Bookends 1.45 – BODY [micro] MODIFICATIONS”

  1. lunch
    (w/c 104)


    Body? Hmm … y-e-a-h. It tastes all right. A bit bony though. I’m not a rib man. And I absolutely detest liver – yuck! But give me a chunky arm or a thick juicy thigh and I’m happy.
    And the myriad of flavours … divine! The younger ones … oh, now you’re talking. So succulent. So fresh. The meat practically slips from their tiny bones. I avoid the smokers – they taste bitter.
    But what I hate most is sinking my teeth into a perfectly good piece of flesh only to chip my tooth on a chunk of metal. Arrrgh!! Bloody humans and their annoying modifications.

  2. Predation
    100 words.
    Dave @ParkInkSpot
    Body snatching is a lost profession of a bygone age, but the gallant profession of burking is alive (ha!) and well.

    Tonight’s selected student is a big, free-striding Valkyrie, stomping back to her dorm in the predawn hours. A walk of shame, I presume. Welcoming the challenge, I slip behind her. My sturdy nylon sack cuts off her air supply and muffles the screams. She struggles but I am both stronger and more practiced.

    In the chill of my meat locker, the patchwork masterpiece awaits. This latest Brunnhilde will complete the puzzle. I pick up my scalpel and begin modification.

    • Ha! Love the word ‘burking’. I had to look it up – I assume it was coined after Burke and Hare? Great (if creepy) story!

    • I also did not know what “burking” meant. Very interesting. And what a chilling story!

    • Interesting contrasts with the words you are using – old/more modern – makes an interesting character. (we were recently on a history walk and there was talk of burking…fascinating.)

    • I’ll admit “burking” was new to me, until I did some reading on body snatchers, while floundering around in search of a story direction. It just fit “body snatcher” so well, the tale was off and running.

    • I’m learning a new word too. Frightening!

  3. The Tyger (Tiger)

    99 words


    Body rectangular (cuboid) and fur sunburnt yellow (orange). Felt-tip pen lines done without a ruler cross him. (It has stripes)

    He tangles my fingers when I stroke him and sucks me up to my armpits (the fur is thick). He smells like damp sheds and candy floss and peanuts still in their shells. (?)

    His tail is a toy-shop snake I’d like to pull, his ears are velvet I’d like to stroke, and the mouth is frowning (tigers don’t frown).

    He is very still. I think he is dead. (anesthetised)

    (You have until lunchtime to make the necessary modifications).

  4. Name: @dazmb
    Words: 108

    Title: A Hungry Business

    “…body and mind aligned; push back into downward dog”.

    The blond, skinny decaf lattes who took this class meant nothing to Durga.

    Her attention returned to the class instructor. ‘Yogi’ she insisted on being called, as if she understood the deeper rituals.

    Durga channelled her energy into the tiger’s eyes taped to her chakras.

    “…and forward on all fours, left leg raised, into tiger pose.”

    Summoning the power of her namesake Deity, she willed the transformation.

    Padding forward, amidst the screams of fear, she growled deeply “I’ve come to devour…I mean take this lesson.”

    She calmly pawed her whiskers. ‘Think of it as yoga, with some minor modifications…”

  5. @AvLaidlaw
    103 Words

    The Eve of Creation

    Body made from clay. A little life breathed in. And voilà! I think I’ll call it… Man.

    I really think this is my master-work. There’s a lot of me in it. Bipedal. That’s tricky to pull off. Opposable thumbs. Stroke of genius, even if I say so myself.

    Of course the fur’s not up to much. I was running out of supplies. Besides, once you’ve done tiger stripes, there doesn’t seem a lot of point to anything else.

    Oh. Now it’s standing, it does look a little unfortunate.

    I could do better.

    Okay, I’ll make another one after lunch. But with some modifications.

  6. The Zoologist’s Favourite Tiger

    ‘Body, throat ripped out. Another one, many others. Bite marks from tigers and lions. Have they ganged up? They must have, neither group could have taken out this many soldiers on their own. Remarkable development.’

    I stop recording. They didn’t sent me to Regent’s Park for research – I set the big cats free when the water rose, I have to get them back into their enclosures again.

    I didn’t think they’d work together.

    A low growl in the tall grass – Cinta. But when she shows her face, I know the stun gun isn’t going to cut it despite my modifications.

    100 words

  7. Broken
    (100 words)

    Body on the dining room table- the place his daughter divides and multiplies, pointed pencil in hand caging whole numbers in tiny squares for Miss; the place for family meals and miscellaneous turned slab.

    His apron is a dark canvas. The drilling starts.
    Eyes are his speciality: he rests this pair, an emerald prize, in his palms.

    His daughter’s midnight feet cut across the hallway, she descends the stairs.

    He hears. Apron off. Body covered.

    ‘What you doing, Daddy? It’s noisy.’
    He smiles. ‘Go to bed. Mommy will be ready by Christmas, Sugar. Just one more thing, one more modification.’

  8. A Dull Roar (100 words)

    Body parts were bought on eBay and the engine was picked up at a salvage yard for a mere one hundred bucks. Alvin was finally given the green light (his pun) to take over the garage and build his dream machine.

    Father and son spent every free moment with their heads under the hood, using their limited knowledge to piece together the homebuilt machine. Later, they were joined by Alvin’s younger sister who painted tiger stripes on the orange chassis.

    When they first turned over the engine, it whistled like a tea kettle. Alvin was crestfallen. “Don’t worry,” Dad said. “We can fix that with a few modifications.”

    • I love this “slice of life” tale, so to speak. It has a great gentleness to it. And the bookends feel seamless.

    • Cool that you got the tiger stripes in. Lovely feel to this story.

      • Thanks. It was a mellow one this time. No twist at the end. Trying to switch it up a bit. Sorry I can’t read the others – off to catch a flight to Ohio (of all places).

  9. I recognized Stalking Cat’s face, of course, but I never knew his name. How sad that he took his own life. His story and the photo prompt both made me feel so trapped… Anyways, here’s what I came up with.

    I, Tiger
    110 words

    Body parts littered the tigress’s cage. Strong and lean, artificial muscles rippled beneath her sleek, synthetic skin as she paced the floor, smearing blood with her large paws.

    “That thing is a danger.”

    “It’s not her fault,” he said. “They invaded her territory.”

    Her software had been programmed to mimic the majestic creatures killed off by man.

    Two hundred years later, we still haven’t learned.

    “It won’t hurt,” he lied, stroking her fur as they injected the nanobots.

    Her body bucked as she howled in agony, until her large, soft head went limp in his hands.

    He looked around at the cold faces. We are the ones that need modifications.

  10. @firdausp
    Wild Things
    (104 words)

    Body stretched out in a lazy pose, he has perfected the art of nonchalance. Nothing perturbs him anymore—no oohs and aahs or occasional popcorn bullets.
    He watches the humans file past him with disinterested eyes, iron mesh the only thing separating them from his lethal power.
    They just see a large cat lazily slumped in a cage, missing the slight twitch of his tail, a telltale sign, that he’s ready to take his chances at the slightest slip in security.
    He watches his partner on the other side of the cage. An unsaid message passes between them. Both wait for any careless modifications.

  11. ONE ON ONE

    * * *

    Brian S Creek
    99 words

    * * *

    Body aches.

    That was a hell of a hit.

    He looms over me; pride etched in his features.

    I underestimated him; that much is clear.

    That can’t be a mistake I make again.

    I beg my body to give me a second chance.

    To grant me the strength to get back in the fight.

    He’s just a man. He bruises, he bleeds, and if I catch him right . . .

    He’ll fall.

    Two men in the cage, forced to find out who’s strongest.

    It’s me or him. Him or me.

    And if I’m gonna win, then I’d better make some modifications.

  12. Name: @dazmb
    Words: 110

    Title: What the hand, dare seize the fire?


    My body.

    Your body.

    What you think of as home is a hazard to myself. I know that. It’s not that I’ve surrendered my fear to it.

    It’s just that the darkness rolls in on mornings like this. It’s just that the world seems fractured on nights like this.

    With nothing but the tyger bright growling at the edge. Primal and ferocious.

    And you lying next to me with your mouth cold and open. The scent of your perfume ribboning my hands as I turn to sleep.

    Not leaving or staying.

    Not seen or unseen.

    But in a perfect sense of being,

    When everything else is




    • A poem of fractures united – meditative, yet edgy – bears several readings

    • This is beautiful
      I love the way you’ve referenced the tiger.

    • “The scent of your perfume ribboning my hands as I turn to sleep.” Love this line.

    • ‘It’s just that the darkness rolls in on mornings like this. It’s just that the world seems fractured on nights like this.’ Beautiful. I love this. There’s an elusive quality to it that I really like.

    • Thanks for all the kind words. I’m finding it inspiring to read all the entries week to week – it’s another set of great entries from everyone again.

  13. Just Friends
    110 words

    “Body” doesn’t describe what Steven walks around in. He’s…He’s a statue of perfect seduction.

    We’ve been friends a few months. I’m jealous of him – when I’m not lusting after him. Inside-Me is like a prowling tiger waiting for its meal to arrive. Will I go in for the kill, or pounce for another reason? (The answer is neither. I’m a coward).

    I found out a couple weeks ago that he does date men…just not me. I thought my spare tire turned him off.

    I saw him holding hands with a chunky monkey yesterday.

    See, Officer, I had to find the guy’s house. I’m not stealing, I’m just making some modifications.

  14. What Immortal Hand Or Eye?

    Body parts trundled down the conveyors, an endless parade of striped furry segments to be slotted together.

    Azrael twisted another shoulder into place and sighed. Rush jobs were always tough, but this seven day deadline was almost impossible. He was even missing a hot Friday night with a dragoness for this.

    And for what? A giant pussy cat that would be extinct before they’d even started the next job? It would serve the Big Guy right if they slipped up and turned Tiddles into a vicious killer…

    Az smiled at the thought, popped off the next brain cap down the chute and grabbed his screwdriver.

    Time for a few modifications.

    110 words

  15. Ziggin’ not Zaggin’
    109 words

    “Body armour, mi ah-morrrre-ey.”

    She can only watch as he adjusts the padding.

    “Gotta make sure ahm ziggin’ not zaggin’. Yah know what I mean, my love?”

    She snorts. His love? Never.

    “Whaddya think?” he twirls, her dress fits him perfectly.

    Her thoughts, unchecked for a moment, must have shown through the mask of acquiescence she has been wearing since she woke up here.

    “You? You are NOTHING,” from clumsy ballerina to roaring banshee, his mood flips as he turns on her.

    Her Grandma Bella had always said, ‘take a hat pin with you.’ The hunters’ knife hidden in her boot is her equivalent.

    Time for some attitude modification.


    * * *

    Brian S Creek
    107 words

    * * *

    Body doubles were a common thing when it came to protecting high value targets like presidents or kings.

    Quentin Fig was one of the best in the business. A born shapeshifter, he could be anyone, anytime.

    So when he went rogue, Second Level wasted no time in calling in two experts.

    The trap had been set and Quentin had walked right into it.

    “And that,” said Chris, as he watched the man in the cage. “is how you catch a shapeshifter.” His smile faded when the prisoner changed into a bloody great Bengal Tiger. “Oh crap.”

    “Don’t worry,” said Mike, eyeing the cage. “I made some modifications.”

  17. Rebellion
    99 words

    “Body of mine, so proud of you. Something new, I’m scribbling on you.”

    The words peppered on paper above the drawing Tipu created for me. A decent rendition of William Blake’s famous tiger.

    My skin is a cobweb of stripes, simple yet complex.

    “Tora, you’re not getting another tattoo.” Mother tsks tsks.

    She doesn’t realize her words cage me in. The tattoos set me free to be who I really want to be. My skin turns orange and black with a stick of the needle. Human suffering leads the way to the powerfulness of the tiger within. Beautiful modifications.

  18. Black and Blue

    WC: 110

    Body aching. Arms tiring. Legs buckling.
    I’m nearly spent but the other guy keeps coming.
    Guess you can’t get the tiger’s eye without bruising your own.

    Another blow knocks me to my knees. People cheer, but the timer goes out. Saved by the bell. Literally.

    How many rounds has it been? Six?
    I look around.
    This guy is yelling at me. Who is he?… Oh yeah, Bob my trainer.

    The pain is unbearable, but it’s kinda going away now. Can’t recall why I’m doing this… Remembering, I get up for another round in the cage… Why? Because, I lost my reasons to do this: because of my life’s recent modifications.

  19. Initiation

    WC 97

    ‘Body part number two. Let’s hope this tells us more than the foot,’

    he muttered examining the tattoos covering the severed arm.

    ‘Shame there’s no fingers Boss.’

    ‘Contact the local tattooists and see if we can get a name.’

    ‘OK Boss, the keeper doesn’t think we’ll find much of the body

    but we’re still searching the enclosure.’

    ‘Keep me informed. What’s this unfinished tiger tattoo?’

    ‘The Bengal Gang’s symbol – it’s not completed until you’re

    fully initiated.’

    ‘Some initiation! Come on let’s pay them a visit. And get hold of

    the owner, the tiger compound’s fence needs some serious



  20. Just Like Greta Garbo

    Body shop of horrors; Beverly Hills.

    Lip enhancement. Butt lift. Nose upturned. Liposuction. Botox.

    The reflection confused as if mirror had surgery to remove 7years bad luck.

    She had been in an accident and 2015 looked like 1967; wrapped around a tree as if a twisted idea of Christmas.

    Now, renewed. Crystalized. Idea of herself perfectly enhanced.

    Sudden age gone. She moved like a Siberian Tiger, cold and sensual like Greta Garbo on all fours. She crawled to a halt at a light.

    “Nice car!” Young man howled. But the Corvette didn’t listen, just shifted and disappeared. The guy thought that his pick-up line might need some modification.

    (110 words)

  21. Title: Caged
    Words: 109

    Body. Mind. Spirit. I took a deep breath and left the hospital – medications had been adjusted, therapy was being regulated, and my “crazy” was buried deeper inside. I could feel “it” inside me like a raging tiger. The medicine kept the tiger caged but I could feel him pacing, ready to pounce if given the chance.

    The tiger growled in the fresh air. Not now kitty, I cooed.

    At home, there was no sign of the damage I’d caused before I was hospitalized.

    So I knocked over a lamp, letting the glass shatter. My caged tiger purred. The place could feel like home again with a few modifications.

    • Ooh, this is really cool. Fighting it but giving into it at the same time. At least a little. lol

  22. My, that was filling.


    “Bits and pieces, mostly,” she purred. “I did leave you a sizable chunk from the torso.”

    “Too kind! Mostly flab, I’ll bet.”

    “Why the snark? Like you wouldn’t have chowed down with a vengeance if it had been you.”

    “Okay. I’ll give you that. My old joints aren’t what they were on the Veldt. Time catches up to us all, young ‘un.”

    “Oh, like I haven’t heard that one before.”

    “So, was he tasty?”

    “Hmmm. Best I can remember. This was one dentist who had a rich diet?”

    “I nibbled a hygienist once. Too vegan!”

    “Well, Dentists are tricky. Maybe your hunting technique needs modification?”

    110 root for the lions canals

  23. The Tigress

    Body pressed on body, the taste of hot flesh; this is what they are all imagining. Their stares give them away. All the world’s leaders are mesmerized.

    She walks around the conference room, each step careful, measured, like a tigress stalking prey. The black dress, stretched taut around her almost improbable body, accentuates each ripple of her plush curves.

    Her hips sway, pushing the sweet smell of perfume in all directions. In her wake, fevered glances and heavy breaths beg for resolution. They are oblivious to how dangerous she is. Inside her manufactured façade, a chemical reaction is occurring. She is a literal bombshell with some major modifications.

    108 words

  24. A New Kind

    Body. A strange word. Full and strong on his lips, and yet for him so temporary, so easy to discard. To read the word suggested it would take care of you, but the others did nothing but take care of it. How anyone managed with just one was unthinkable. He pitied those who spent so much time preening themselves, just to look as they had the previous day, week, year. They feared change, but he would be nothing without it. Yesterday he had been human, today a tiger. Now it was time to move on once more. If only temporarily, he would find peace in his latest modifications.

    108 words

  25. Sun Flag


    Body stripes like a flag of the sun burning on the ground in protest of the African safari riddled with gunshot and gold to bury the dreams of the natural world to make rugs and hunting lodge ornaments.

    To tame the Goddess and bring her into cold technological submission, a void of feeling and sunrise.

    They sell them on the black market where this wild country holds no power. A midnight mass of blind ambition.

    When extinction occurs they scratch their empty heads and plot their next war. This time they will find a country they can call their own. A place that they feel needs very little modification.

    (109 words)

    • “When extinction occurs they scratch their empty heads and plot their next war.” Very telling! Lots of great imagery in this piece, too.

  26. @PattyannMc
    WC: 110

    Death by Chocolate

    “Body by Godiva chocolates,” I teased her.

    “While you’re in the kitchen, bring me a bar? I’m as hungry as a caged Tiger for it!”

    “Mom, you’re not allowed any.”

    “Please,” she begged.

    “If you’re going to eat sugar, fetch your own poison! I’m not bringing it to you.”

    Over thirty years, I watched her body balloon from a svelte twelve to a triple X. By the time she died, complications of Diabetes, her stomach looked like a beached whale. I watched her suffer horribly.

    I now have Diabetes and I refuse to die as she did. I too love chocolate, but it’s time I make some difficult food modifications.

  27. @PattyannMc
    WC: 109

    Grumpy Pathologist

    “Body bags are meant for the dead, NOT for the living!” He hollered.

    “Can I help it if I’m fascinated with death, and want to know what it feels like inside one of them,” Fubar exclaimed!

    “I’m sure you’ll get your chance, sooner rather than later if you keep up with your hi-jinks. Get out of that thing and get that Tiger in there, ASAP. Animals are dropping like flies today!”

    “Someone’s grumpy today!”

    “Because I have to deal with buffoons like you! And, it wastes time altering the bags. They always send us one size fits all for these animals, and I’m sick to death of making modifications.”

  28. Title: The Tigers Council

    “Body, mind and spirit! If you don’t have a balance, this happens!”

    “Look, I am not crazy; it happened several times! I wake up in the middle of the night and feel compelled to walk outside. I then find Simba there with her face perched against the damn fence! It is really freaky! Then, I get close enough to feel her breath.”


    “Then she speaks to me. Yes, I said it!”

    “Your nuts!”

    “It’s kind of a low, majestic whisper.”

    “You’re insane!”

    “First she said mankind was on trial.”

    “Last night, she said we’re all sentenced to death. That no one will survive.”

    “You need a serious lifestyle modification!”

    • The bookends tie together perfectly. And that would be a series of creepy dreams!

    • Great take on the prompt, Ross – the tiger so close to the wire mesh fencing does seem to have a serious intention.
      (Unfortunately, you made the same mistake that I almost made: the closing bookend should be “modifications”.)

  29. “The Tigers Council” is 110 Words – BTW – Thanks – Ross Coppage

    WC: 110

    Body stiff and eyes fixed, unsmiling. Like this is only a prank, and he’ll bolt up once we start compressions. Only we aren’t moving. He’s got DNR in rib-crushing red on his chart. And his son is here – god, that’s awful! Seeing your old man like this…

    He’s rambling – “Just spoke to him”…”said his back hurt”…”he never liked that place”…”can we shut his eyes?” – and avoiding the look.

    We cover what now looks like a manikin. I perch my hand on his shoulder. What would I want?
    The words leave my mouth before I can cage them.

    “Don’t worry. He’ll look good as new with a few modifications.”

  31. Augmented Reality

    Body parts are stacked incredulously high in the dusty room. I can see they’re old not even last years models. Arms, legs, noses, ears – they all seem real. They must date back to the bionic era – pure replacement parts, there’s no sign of any augmentation.

    It makes me feel quite queasy and I retrace my steps back to the reception.

    ‘Hi, I saw you earlier. I think I took a wrong turn.’

    ‘Dragon scales and wing augment updates have been programmed. Please go direct to Room 2.’ The plastic beautiful replied.

    ‘Thank you, Miss.’

    ‘That’s fine sir. For a few extra credits you may wish to consider some memory modifications.’

    (110 words)

  32. @stellakateT
    110 words

    Fatal Love

    Body perfect he murmured as he chiselled away. The face was difficult, wanting it to be a true reflection of her imperfections, the big nose, the angled jaw, the wolf eyes, he loved her so.

    How many times would he need to practise before getting it right? How many women would go under his knife before he honed his skills? How many court cases would he have to attend as an expert witness? How many women seeking perfection?

    The suction machine noisily did its job. The morphine pump stopped her pain. He wanted to cease and tell her how much he loved her flaws but carried on with the modifications.

  33. Body of Evidence

    Body mine.

    Changing, growing, pushing—

    Body yours.

    You arrived with a hole in your back.

    “She’s not going to make it,” they said. “Go on; we’ll call you when it’s over.”

    I refused to go, and so did you.

    They shrugged. “Fine, take her home (major modifications needed!); brace yourself for the inevitable.”

    Inevitably, you proved them wrong, again.


    “She’ll never grow,” they said.

    “She’s definitely infertile,” they said.

    “She won’t pass thirty,” they said.

    Your perfect babies now crawl at my feet.

    Here’s another charity project, my darling, vibrant girl: freeing the experts from their teeny, tiny cages.

    (PS. Be patient; they’re frightened, and inevitably need major modifications.)

    110 words

  34. Word Count: 110
    Title: Rallying Cry

    “Body after body of our brethren have been broken, beaten back behind bangled borders. See their eyes as soft and sorrowful as sprigs of spearmint stripped of their serrations? They are iron wills unwillingly pressed by imitations of irenic sincerity.

    “But enough of that. They don’t need our sympathy; they need release!

    “We must exert ourselves at the boundaries set by the bloody diamonds, the woven wires that define our worlds. And be careful not to wholly obliterate the chain-links; we will need to use them for bridging. Remember: recovery is not simply a matter of mending fences, but recognizing the harms inflicted while continuing to progress, developing soulful modifications.”

    • Great use of alliteration! Really gives it a poetic feel, a quality that the best inspirational speeches usually have. Nicely done.

  35. All the News We Deem Fit to Give You
    (100 words)

    “…body of the young girl found in the tiger cage at the city zoo…”

    The school photo suggests that the injuries were so horrible we can’t show them.

    “…mother has initiated legal proceedings against the zoo…”

    The woman is low class, of course. Hint that the lawyer only cares about the money.

    “…zoo spokesman, cannot comment on pending litigation, but did remark that a countersuit alleging neglect and child endangerment will…”

    Civic strife prevents them from seeing what’s really going on in the world.

    “…Police expect protestors outside the zoo tonight…”

    Good. Now the story can run without further modifications.


    • This is a really unique take on the prompt. I haven’t seen a story done quite like this before. Very cool.

      I used to teach high school journalism, so I learned a lot about news-related bias. It’s so very easy to manipulate words and color their meaning.

      In this case, though, I’d really like to hear the parts of the story they aren’t allowed to report.

  36. — Back On My Desk By Thursday, Please —

    Body text:
    * increase “8 Vital Vitamins” to 24 point
    * change “sugar frosted” to Pantone Barely Blue
    * change “flakes of corn” to Pantone Dazzling Blue
    * replace “37% pure sugar” with “100% pure zing”
    * remove “cereal killer” banner (after that zoo escape)
    * suggest new slogan to use “purr”or “stripe” or “power”

    Good To Know section:
    * add two more positive points about this product
    * delete lorem ipsum text and enter actual nutritional information

    * consider replacing red bandana with football scarf
    * erase Tony’s remaining teeth (to make him more like our customers)

    This new box design will be gr-r-reat once you’ve made the above modifications!

    107 words

  37. Not so Wild (110 words)

    Body ached.

    Body hungry, but man gone. Not sure when he return.

    People watched me, but I could not reach. I learned long ago to stop trying.

    They wanted me to dance and sing for them. But I was tired. Little boy pounded on the glass. Stupid, lucky boy.

    And hungry.

    Legs needed to stretch, but not far to go. Grass there. Water further away. Inflatable ball to gnaw on was no longer fun.

    No more friends. Died or been separated, long ago.

    So long ago everything seemed.

    Especially when the man with the food had last been here. He looked tastier. Much tastier.

    In time. Needed to make modifications.

    • I feel like this captures the photo prompt perfectly. There seems to be a sadness in the tiger’s eyes. And yet, do cats ever give up? lol

  38. Showmanship

    “Body of a Greek God, I have.”

    I snorted. “Maybe Pan,” I said, pointing at his beer gut. “So what’s your plan? Strip off to a loin cloth and be the Worlds Strongest Man?”

    He shook his head.

    “Sounds too much like work.” He pointed to the tiger cages.

    “I reckon I could put them through their paces, with a finale of my head in their mouth.”

    “Wouldn’t that be too dangerous?”

    “Nah, not after the snip. Tame as a kitten after that cut.”

    “Are you sure? I would have thought it’d enrage them.”

    “Nah. They’re pliant, worried you’ll carry out more modifications.”

    103 words


  39. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 99

    In Other News…

    Body Electric UK, the latest company to be caught up in the wave of protest over the use of mechanoid animals to replace endangered species, following the mauling of three schoolchildren by a robotic tiger, has this morning issued the following statement:

    “We believe that the safety systems incorporated into all our products are robust enough to avoid any repetition of the recent incident at San Diego Zoo.

    “We do, however, fully understand the public anxiety that this tragedy has caused. Consequently, all our models of carnivores currently in use in public facilities are today being recalled for modifications.”

    • Haha I guess great minds really do think alike, Geoff! 😉 lol

      I love your take on it. (And, as someone who used to teach journalism, this was well-written as a news story, too.)

      • Thanks, KM. I was struggling with this week’s bookends and photo prompt, then this came from nowhere. I thought it sounded like a unique take, until I read you comment – honest! 😀

    • Excellent! The bookends struck me as very natural.

  40. Training
    (110 words)

    “Body!” the master whispers, the soft sound a slap.

    I breathe, removing tension from my limbs, softening my face. I wait. The master is silent.

    I move forward again—looking at the tiger, trying not to bring out her aggression. She watches, ears twitching, head lifted, though she’s recumbent on the ground of the enclosure. She knows the lesson I’m struggling to learn.

    I take another step. She’s up in one ripple, advancing, a growl in her throat.

    “Enough!” the master shouts to the guards. “How will you win this way?”

    I lower my head. We need the money.

    “Come,” he says. “You’ll do it. You must only make modifications.”

  41. A Dying Art
    107 words

    Body parts tumbled from the shelf, thudding to the floor in seeming slow-motion.

    It’s raining men – HEY! Hallelujah…

    The item found, Gerald forced a smile as he returned to his client.

    “This was a most… unusual request. We don’t normally deal with animal parts here but I trust the end result meets your approval.”

    The small child’s eyes lit up. “Oh Fluffy McStuffkins! You look just like a real tiger again!”

    His face softened to a genuine smile. Doll restoration was fiddly work but the payoff was worth it.

    The transaction complete, he shook hands with beaming parents.

    “Do let me know if he requires further modification.”

    • Erm, *modifications.

    • “It’s raining men – HEY! Hallelujah…” That literally made me LOL. And I’m on a plane right now.

      I seriously want to go out and buy a stuffed tiger just so I can call it Fluffy McStuffkins. Best name ever!

      • Thanks! I had a secondary character sing that line at first but had to just cut him to salvage the story within the word count. It actually works better like this anyway.

        And I’m sure Mr McStuffkins would love to come live with you if you find him. 😉

  42. @GeoffHolme
    Word Count: 90

    Teutonic Linguistics 101

    “Body language is all well and good,
    But it’s prone to be misunderstood
    In the eye of… a tiger,”
    Said the late Hans von Steiger.
    “Get it wrong, it may end with your blood!”

    “Body language is far from ideal
    For conveying the way that you feel.
    You can reduce confusion
    With one simple solution:
    Add a scream or a grunt or a squeal.

    “But Man’s speech puts an end to frustrations.
    With its wide and diverse variations,
    We can remove all doubt,
    And may make, with umlaut,
    Philological modifications.”

    • A little late: fiddling with the wording to get the count up to 90, without keeping an eye on the clock…

      • I took some much time wrestling with this tiger that I totally forgot about Three Lion Thursday… D’oh!

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