Wrong Button – Boom

100 words about an explosive device
(c) Faber Academy 

I believe you have my findings and the accompanying notes. If this is a test, please forgive me for any discrepancies.

Let me start by telling you that I don’t think three sheets of paper will be enough. What about the diagrams? They alone would fill ten (conservative estimate). I’ll refer to them but won’t redraw them. You’ll have to look them up.

Actually, I’ll skip the assembly notes. I am assuming you confiscated the device. It looks simple. It isn’t. One wrong button and you’ll blow everything up.

Out of self-preservation, let me tell you how to use it.

Anthropomorphism – A Cautionary Tale

100 words about eating or not eating turkey
photo by Faber Academy 

She wishes he’d shut up already. It’s all gobbledygook to her and even if she understood half of it, she doubts she would care.

The food on her plate is left untouched. She’s done her best, which is a far cry from the real thing. She pleaded until the last moment for him to change his mind, to book a table in a restaurant.

This is not how things are done,’ he might have replied. ‘You know what you have to do.’

That’s why she got him, after all.

But she couldn’t do it. She could not kill the turkey.


100 words about the fear of jumping
(c) Faber Academy 


Jump? I’m afraid of jumping from heights. I’m afraid of heights, too, but it became too hot inside; I had climbed out onto the ledge before I knew it. Damned survival instinct kicking in.

‘Jump! Before the windows burst.’

Oh my, they’ll burst? Yes, silly, they’ll burst. You thought you’d be safe here? Jump already, screams the survival instinct. I press my back against the wall and inch away from the window. Below, they mirror my movement.

‘Jump! Close your eyes, let yourself fall forward. We’ll do the rest.’

The survival instinct is taking over. I close my eyes.

Stand Still, Burn Bright*

100 words about effigies and Bonfire Night
photo by Pierre Dinger

We go through training camp together. The instructions are simply but with heads full of straw, we need them repeated throughout the day: Stand still, burn bright.

‘I’ve been thinking,’ says One. ‘Why should we not resist?’

‘You aren’t made to think. If they wanted a fight, they wouldn’t use us, so keep your mouth shut,’ replies Another. ‘Do as your told.’

The night we were made for is approaching.

‘Can you imagine standing still while you’re burned alive?’ asks One. ‘I’m not going to find out if I can.’

The two of us sneak outdoors, soaking ourselves with rain.

(*it should be burn brightly, of course, but sports commentators struggle with adverbs, how do you expect straw men to get it right?)