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Just one prompt for ten-minute writing:

1. And then his trousers burst into flames

BEGIN WRITING:
He was a baker for cryin’ out loud, not just a cook. He’d been to all the training at Corinne’s Culinary Classes over at the community center, and after a couple of tries had finally passed the exam with an “acceptable” grade. The instructor (whose name was actually Connie) had charged him the exam fee for two attempts, but let him take the third one free, and had declared him a potential pastry chef as she handed him a diploma and ushered him out the front door, which closed rather firmly behind him.

It wasn’t really his fault, he told himself, that his masterpieces had each come to an untimely end. The school supplied materials and equipment to produce fantastic creations, and this time he’d chosen to create something no one else could have thought of: a takeoff on paper dolls. Gingerbread men and shortbread ladies, undecorated but tasty, with the crowning touch: paper-thin pastry clothes to add to their flavorsome bodies. Let everyone else do stupid wedding cakes! His presentation would be unique.

All had gone as planned—his cookie people were perfect. No crooked heads, no busted off arms or legs. He’d even managed to indicate features on the faces with a little careful manipulation of the dough before baking. Stretch a little here, add a dollop of gingerbread there…

The succulent dolls waited on cooling racks as he prepared flaky dresses and shirts, baking them to gold, ready for gentle decorating with pastel icing.

Two bad exams, but this one would be fantastic. His dresses were beautiful, his shirts perfectly sized. Nothing could go wrong this time.

Then his trousers burst into flames.

PENCILS DOWN

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