1. You dumb things down for men, but show all women your true power.

    With Maxine I could put up with anything because I felt relaxed, calm, & sometimes funny even. It was like we just could do no wrong together. I even took to bringing little snacks to work to share with her in the morning. We were like a little family and I overlooked a lot of her mistakes. Like if Stefan or Roland did them I’d be all over them for it. With the guys there was always that brotherly competitive thing between us.
    The day I heard Maxine was leaving I curled back on my self like a little worm when ya poke at it. I slid back into my cave. I didn’t even come to her goodbye party.

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  2. You dumb things down for men, but show all women your true power.

    Obviously, the need to stroke the ego of a woman runs so great that people cry over it, kill over it, die over it. He wants to make sure he sends the right message, but whatever that message ends up being is beyond his control. To do so much is all he could ever really hope to do. Nevertheless, his boss cajoles from him his absolute worst self. Of course, “I would never intentionally intimidate you,” she explains one day during an all-hands-on-deck emergency session with the entire staff. Despite essentially being in charge, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, and too often times, that means ignoring these bitches who try to run the world. To give her a piece of his mind would just be the thing that he needs in order to reach that glorious climax later tonight. The thrill of an ego spent. An overt gesture to take her down a notch. They are all asking for it, and someday, sooner rather than later, he decides, “I’m gonna be the one to give it to them.”

    TK Camas

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  3. You dumb things down for men, but show all women your true power.

    She glanced up at the empty booth in front of her, suddenly aware of and slightly perturbed at the fact she was dining alone and had no one to share this remarkably enigmatic cookie fortune with. She’d never been steered wrong by her trusty paper slip seers before, but sparks of doubt about the efficacy of attempting this behavior were firing off in her mind like fire crackers on Lunar New Year in Shanghai.
    “You’ve already decided to do whatever it says, get up and do it!” she screamed into her own head to nip any nay-saying in the bud. With a quick, high-pitched exhale she bounced up off the shiny plastic booth cushion and out into the throngs of people milling about in the massive subsurface food court.
    She noticed a number of different pastry cases lined up over on one wall of the hall next to all the seasonal deal displays and she bee-lined her way there as best she could, bumper-bowling through the streaming hordes of puffy down coats.
    Perfect. One case of cookies and one case of cakes. One of each will do nicely.
    Luckily, big increases in holiday foot traffic meant increased staff for all the bakeries, so a little timing and strategy and she was easily able to single out a young, male, hourly worker of some kind to assist her in her first transaction abiding by her new Chinese fortune cookie rules.
    “Hello. I would like the largest cookie you have with no chocolate, please!” she piped up unavoidably.
    “Hey, sounds great! How about this fantastic strawberry shortbread cookie. It’s one of our best sellers!” the teenage boy clerk rebounded with just a tad too much pep rally zest.
    “Oh, that sounds great. Sure. How much is it?”
    “Right now it’s on sale for $9.99 because it’s a limited edition and it’s usually all sold out but someone just cancelled their order and it was already prepped so I can mark it down for you to just $1.99!”
    “Whoa, seriously!? What a great price too. Here ya go. Thanks!”
    Nibbling on the cookie as she took a few steps back into a less congested section of unoccupied wall-leaning space, she came quite quickly to the conclusion that that very direct instruction to that boy worked out quite well in her favor. Actually, it couldn’t have worked out much better. This flex-your-true-power-with-women thing has got its work cut out for it.
    She approached the cake counter. A young woman slid over across from her and asked how she could help. She just stared straight back at her silently, stoic.
    “Would you like to try one of our new caramel fudge cupcakes?” the young woman offered taking a step to the side towards the cupcake portion of the long display. A number of other patrons babbled and pointed, slightly throwing the young woman off her guard. Looking down at all the different colorful miniature cakes, She turned and fixed her gaze on the tall tray holding the tag with the name of the object of her desire: Red Velvet Dream. It was empty.
    “Oh, I’m sorry,” the young woman stammered. “We’re all out of those today.”
    She turned her eyes up to the young woman and locked her stare in place, still not uttering a word.
    “We have a full-size Red Velvet Dream available but sadly no more cupcakes.”
    She kept staring, not letting the young woman off the hook. The young woman began to squirm and shift her weight.
    “Can I get you something else?” The young woman was starting to visibly sweat.
    She kept staring. The tiniest of muscles around her right eye twitched almost imperceptibly.
    The young woman started fumbling for some packaging materials.
    “Uh. Maybe I could just check and see if we have any more in the back,” the young woman sputtered out. An older supervisor brushed past the young woman just in time to shoot down her hopes of breaking away for a moment. “No more cupcakes in back, hon,” the older supervisor blurted out as she quickly shuffled by.
    “Uh. Um. Do you need the Red Velvet cupcake today or can I put one on reserve for you for tomorrow?” the young woman shot out.
    The young woman was met only with an unyielding stare as she rubbed a finger-full of sweat out of her eye.
    “Um. Maybe. Um… I don’t know if I can do this. Um. But, I can just give you this big Red Velvet Dream for the same price as the cupcake since we don’t have any and you really need it today,” the young woman stammered as she quickly tried to package up the 10″ round Red Velvet Dream cake without drawing too much attention to herself.
    Two minutes and two dollars later She found herself bouncing back into the puffy coat bumper traffic, defending the precious cake box in her arms, mouth slightly agape, speechlessly whisked away by the taste of true power she just stumbled upon.

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    1. This, of course, is great. But please stick to about a readable-in-about-a-minute length. If you want to post lengthier writings, please submit a paragraph or two here, and post a link to the rest of your writing on a personal blog next time. Thanks! Well done!


  4. So, why would you not show everyone your true power? I mean, I get it and I don’t get it. I know who raised you, so it is no mystery you’re this way. You were never in the limelight, not a day. And yes, agreed, tailoring interactions to the company she was keeping is how she got ahead… but your mother, “god rest her soul,”would tell you to change if she saw you today! She would tell you to cut the crap. I can hear her brazen, New Jersey accent in my ear “it ain’t 1950’s anymore, honey,” She’d say. And Frankly she did model exactly how to use people, but just cause it worked for her does not make it right for you. Indeed, whatever prowess she needed to move up a ladder, any and all ladders, you don’t need it- You’re smart.

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  5. It wasn’t that he had always played dumb for men; it was that he had always played whatever he felt he needed to play. Interestingly enough, playing smart and powerful had never been necessary.

    Scared, coquettish and playfully audacious had gotten him out of every ticket he’d ever earned.

    Pure brashness had allowed him to walk into any store and walk out with anything he wanted without ever stopping by the cash register. If he wasn’t there to steal, the same brashness would allow him to light up a joint in any of those stores. Once, in an attempt to qualify his bad-asseness in his own mind, he lit up a joint in the lobby of the Concord, CA police station. He felt so superior in that moment. He had known that he’d get away with it because they would be unable to believe anyone would do that.

    Whenever he had faced a vicious attacker, he had always pulled “bat shit crazy” out of the bag. He was good at bluffing and the act never failed. He certainly never said the same thing twice. The first person who had pulled a gun on him had been told to ,”Go ahead and blow my mother fucking head off, see if I care”. But every situation is unique and the second time a gun had been pulled on him, he had simply shut his eyes and put his head down on the table and wondered if he would be shot.

    In his life he had learned how to use apologies to attack and honesty to lie. That was his power.

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  6. She didn’t have much power alone but she did with others. With The People there was a collective power. She spoke of organizing in whispers or all alone. She sometimes go so bold as to joke of killing the boss. But she only spoke of this collective power with the women at the factory. The men had it too easy, were to easily persuaded by management positions. The were too grateful for the crumbs they scrambled after. The would take more time and time was what she felt like she didn’t have.

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      1. No, I think it was more the character’s bias. She saw the imbalance of power and chose to organize with women. She saw the men at the factory were more easily distracted at being able to ascend from their position and competetitive. I kind of struggled with this prompt, though, it was hard to avoid making cliched situations for whatever reason.

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