…and all the men and women…

merely players.  They have their exits, and their entrances...(William, you DID write that!)


Mac Eagan returns for a curtain call.  This is his second entry into our contest You Didn’t Write That.

With an election just a month away, this piece is appropriately titled:

Power and Responsibility

by Mac Eagan


“John, look at me.  You had nothing to do with this.”

John’s only response was to take a slow sip of Scotch and set the glass back on the table.

“John, you told the truth. Like always.  And you know she had issues to begin with.”

John ran his finger around the rim of the glass.

“You aren’t being fair, John.  To yourself or me.  I can’t stand seeing you suffer this way.”

“It’s true, Sarah,” he sighed, “the pen is mighty.”

“Not this time. No mightier than it has been in the past, anyway.  I know you.  So do your readers. They know you didn’t write that to be hurtful.  You may not sugarcoat, but your reviews don’t have razors embedded in them, either.  It was a bad performance – especially for Opening Night.  You were honest.  What happened was her doing, not yours.”

John emptied his glass, then looked back at the newspaper he was holding.  Without speaking he stood up and dropped the paper on the table.

“I’m getting a refill,” he said as he headed toward the kitchen.

Sarah felt the tears as she re-read the paper’s headline:


Lady Mac after uttering the lines “See Spot Run”

31 thoughts on “…and all the men and women…

  1. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Another reaction which is hard to get out of me is to have me reach up to my chest as if I lost my breath…because your story made me breathless <3

  2. Vincent Pritchard says:

    This is an intense story, one that made me suspect something of the sort as soon as it said “bad performance.” I like it. Well-written, sir. Well-written.

  3. Kyle Katz says:

    Like  a trail of bread crumbs, I followed to the very end. First Class flash for the final curtain. What I especially love about you is, you teach us how to do It! 

  4. Barbara Walker says:

    The pen IS mighty, but I think she had issues to begin with! Ending surprised me, didn’t see it coming! Excellent!

  5. Miryam Howard says:

    Right on point Mr. Eagan! Not only is your piece brilliant, it speaks to me as a writer  personally…
    “the pen is mighty”….. oh yes it is! It poses the question of just how much responsibility does a writer have towards their readers???? Hmmmmmm ……

  6. SalvatoreButtaci says:

    They say a bad review can kill you, but that’s hardly true or I’d’ve died many many times before my death than I care to admit. Mac, I especially like your time-realistic dialogue.

  7. Diane Cresswell says:

    And the point is Sir Mac – that our words do have an effect.  Not always what we want maybe – for we never know in writing just what that effect will be.  Fantabulous!

  8. Chalice Divine says:

    Oh the acid pen of truth and the shattering of fateful addictive delusions. Such an age old story, and still every stroke of fates answer is a fresh wound. Such a shame that human beings can’t recognise the lessons, rather then the disappointments. Beautifully enacted in this type.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.