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My entry into the Micro Bookends contest whereby you have to start the story with a certain word and end it with a certain word. This week the first word was “first,” and the last word was “birth.” Max word limit of 110 words with the above photo prompt.

First, Micah puked. Then after he flushed the toilet, he wanted to puke again. Instead, he gritted his teeth, wiped run-off brown slime from the corner of his mouth and walked out of the restroom.

Along the hallway, he saw trophies, plaques and accolades from star athletes, academics and all-around geniuses. He looked at his pudgy, freckled hands as they held prepared notecards. He wished the notecards were a comforting blanket to hide him from the buzz of the crowd he heard beyond the far doors.

He went through those doors once his name was presented; he heard the crowd applaud.

Trembling, but going, a spark of confidence was born.

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