1. Sam never got it. He never got the ire, the lashing out he got from Jeff after retelling Jeff’s stories when he wasn’t around. Stories of fights, sexual conquests, bad luck, lost bets and windfalls, those Jeff told Sam in confidence and with some shame. It was Jeff’s way of slowing down the circular ruminating he’d been having about the experiences since they happened. But Sam was proud. He’d allow none of own his exploits to go unsaid, to skip the laughter, slaps on the back and oh-my-gods he’d get from telling them at parties. He never got Jeff ‘s anger when his stories got back to him. Sam was an open book. He took no stock in privacy.

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  2. She was subtle all right about as subtle as a sledgehammer. She constantly professed modesty and selflessness she was the bigger person- that’s what her mother taught her, heck the whole wacko family. Always be the bigger person. Don’t draw attention to yourself. So Francine did the right thing at the right time she was kind. She was patient. She bent over backwards for others she never asked a favor or rarely and apologizing what is her second language. If she could just try a little harder, work a little harder give a little more spend a little more. She was convinced that’s all it would take. No, she never wanted to be noticed. That was cheap advertising, commoner stuff, like those I- talias in Rocky Point who were so loud, their stupid Sons of Italy pig outs, her mother would snort in disgust, frantically circling the parking lot, a cigarette teetering on the edge of her lips like a clumsy gymnast. No, Francine didn’t want joy, didn’t want to be noticed, fawned over, lousy with praise for her 1063 good deeds. But loved, for her, as her- well, anyone could hope, right? Anyone?

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  3. He never wanted to be recognized. At least, that was what he always said. He was an interesting, broken man. If he didn’t”t want to be recognized why had he written on the white board, “Mike needs to teach history.”, and then spent the next couple of weeks occasionally asking, “who wrote that?”? Or had he been so drunk that he really didn’t know, she had never been sure. Well, if he didn’t want to be recognized, he definitely wanted to be needed.

    Mike was the epitome of charisma, all who wanted love, fell in love with him. Male or female, if they were hurt bird little people, they wanted to be with Mike. All of them were destined to be with Mike for awhile, in a sexually frustrating aesexual way because Mike needed them to need him. A few of them , one of them, he honestly loved. In the beginning of the relationship none of them ever felt safer or more valued. Everyone of them was destined to be blind sided when Mike would abruptly change his feelings, decide that their relationship was completely different, but not tell them. Then, for some reason (I believe it was guilt), he would start thinking they couldn’t let go of him and read stalking into every move they made. Then he would start telling other people the person was stalking him and that they never had a relationship at all. There was only one person that Mike had ever had (or not had) a relationship with and maintained a friendship of any sort with afterwards, and that was because of who she was.

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  4. “Surviving does not a hero make,” my father, the rueful spirit, states softly with nodding disapproval of my insistence. “But Dad, it doesn’t not matter or whatever. It matters. You know it. This is not the time to be humble. Saving lives, especially the lives of your friends who you were stuck in that shithole with you, that’s no trite matter,” I plead. He drops his head and sighs in that way that he does when he just cannot bear to upset me. “No,” he says flatly while shaking his head, unwilling to see the disappointment in my face. “I’m sorry, Princess, I just … you can’t. I’m sorry. No.” Feeling the weight of the dark wood box, lined in lush green velvet, I look upon the face of the golden heart hanging from a small purple ribbon. “You didn’t just survive, Dad,” I sneer, annoyed. “Who cares about awards and ribbons when men died. Like you said, my friends died. And all the ones that survived, they’re all dead now too,” he calmly explains. Contemplating this I can’t really think of a retort to a situation or circumstance that I could never be able to relate to from personal experience.

    And then, I had a revelation, he had saved my life. As an adopted child my life has essentially been saved by my parents. Struggling to conceive, due to various strokes of bad societal luck, my parents adopted my older brother and me from Seoul, South Korea. (No, we’re not biologically related. Yes, we’re asked this all the time. And please do not refer to my parents as my “adopted parents.”) Even after all that time in Vietnam, my father survived. Maybe he survived to save my life. Of course I am aware of and daunted by the grandiosity of the delusion, nevertheless, my father’s complete lack of ego ought to balance out mine. Thus, I—as calmly as I can—begin, “Dad, thank you for saving MY life.”

    TK Camas

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  5. Hm. Never wanted to be recognized. Is that what they said? Well, I suppose that would be far too one-dimensional thinking to address the writhing, insatiable ego-Creature inside of him. The Creature that has full control of the wheel and no control of itself. The Creature that swells and prevails in the spotlight of public adoration. And the same Creature that poisons its own veins and hacks into the pillars of its own temple whenever the light shifts away and it’s cast into shadow. No, then again, perhaps it is correct, in a way. At times I’m sure he certainly does want to be recognized, if nothing more than to self-medicate. He has quite a tendency to… extend himself to excesses when he returns from the darkness in tow of the Creature and appearing nothing shy of exquisite in what are always the most… memory scarring of new threads. But I’m afraid he isn’t available at the moment. As a matter of fact, he is out for the remainder of the month. Got an itch for some fresh powder I believe, so he’ll be at his cabin in Verbier on extended leave to hopefully catch the last of the heavy snow season. I can tell by the look on your face you seem quite skeptical. Perhaps you are confused by my being here. Actually, he left me in charge of his, well, he called it his “ride”, but I suppose it’s just an ordinary body like any other. You see, it’s got all its fingers and skin and internal organs, I’m guessing. So I know I look like him and sound like him, but I assure you I’m really just taking care of the place until he returns. As soon as he gets back, though, you’re certainly high on the list of priority correspondences he is to engage at the earliest possible convenience. Good day to you, then!

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  6. An ordinary man, who tried to make himself useful,
    Never clear about a higher purpose, as some called it,
    He sang in the morning, read his paper, and smiled,
    That deep, slow Southern smile that spread up his face,
    Bursting with light. He took neighbors to the store,
    Fixed broken faucets, put up strangers.
    He was the one you called at 3 am, the car broken down or in a ditch,
    A steady presence, strong as the certainty of morning.
    Suddenly gone, one New Years night, behind the hospital screen,
    Heart stopped and would not come back.
    I saw his face on a passer by, heard that slow sweet laugh,
    Caught unsuspecting by longing.

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    1. Does this “ordinary man” wish for anything more or less, or is this his state of acceptance?

      p.s. I’m so glad that you’ve joined in on this prompt! If you don’t mind me asking, did you find us through Meetup? If so, could you please share your Meetup name with me? If not, then please sign your name (or public pseudonym) to the bottom of your next submission and participate by commenting and interacting with the other writers here. Thanks for sharing!


  7. He just wanted to answer the call, the nagging voice that kept him up at night. Writing seemed the best way to purge this stuff and remain anonymous. Little did he know , ridding himself of the demons would expose his genius and leave his readers begging for more.


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