It was 1788, and Ben had just realized how long it had been since he had fully relaxed; breathed deeply and just blended in for a change. Ever the popular, intelligent, erudite inventor, statesman, (ladies man) and much more, he had grown weary of seeming like someone he was not; the public persona, while it had its definite perks, no longer satisfied him.

But it was quite difficult to shed all that had defined him for so long; in fact it seemed impossible. What he longed for was a bit of escapism, and so he decided, right then and there, that he would disappear, become a man of obscurity–a man whose adventures and full abandon would be nobody’s business but his own. Little did he know that reckless abandon was never meant to define him, as he would rest in perpetual infamy, a man of seemingly perfect composure, preserved nicely on the first United States postage stamp, and on nearly (there were botched experiments) every one hundred dollar bill in existence.

This week’s word from Lillie McFerrin’s site is “composure.”

Lillie McFerrin Writes

27 thoughts on “Ben

  1. I think you meant “were” instead of “we’re” botched experiments, but what a clever and interesting take on the prompt. How did you manage to think of Benjamin Franklin for this one? I was completely captivated.

  2. I like that you use pictures as prompts. That’s a great idea. This sounds like the start of a terrific book.

    1. Thank you, Denise. The word was from Lillie McFerrin’s “Five Sentence Fiction” weekly challenge, and then I perused my pics. It was a thoroughly enjoyable pairing! The pic, by the way, was something I found spray-painted on the sidewalk in Laguna Beach.

  3. I was hooked to the very end and beyond; being a Brit I have never seen an American stamp or the 100 dollar bill and was wondering who it was- my ignorance is over whelming! Well done!!!

  4. Hey Britt! This was a real interesting interlude, thanks for sharing it. I’ve not tried any short fiction, I struggle with brevity. But perhaps I’ll give it a spin and see if I can really FOCUS. Indigo x

    1. Oh you could SO do this Indigo. Do it now…”composure” is the word for the next few days-through Wednesday!

    1. WordPress knows when you are trying to pass yourself off as suave and debonair, when you are perhaps a badger, but I’m not saying that this is what YOU tried; only that I have had friends attemp this, and they failed miserably.

  5. Entirely too much pleasant cordiality among Britt and the reviewers, so here goes some agitation and dissension. Franklin was such a multifaceted person that reckless abandon could easily have been one of his definitions, especially since he was such a proponent of defining oneself, regardless of postage stamps. I’m led to that conclusion by one of my favorite quotes from him, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” So let’s have some discord and disagreement, starting with a few shots at my opinion.

    1. Oh dear, it seems that you did not know Ben like I did. History paints with a moderate brush concerning him, but he wrestled with “greater truths” he could not quite articulate. Alas, not even the love of his life could grasp them. His greatest desire, so he told me, was to live among the great Redwoods; exploring nature and his own desires without answering to “his” public in any way.

      1. Comparisons to my superhero Ben (who did wear a cape) does have me waxing pleasantly cordial again, but I also subscribe to Ben’s approach to the great unwashed public as encapsulated in his very first pen name, Silence Dogood.

  6. This is so different in subject and tone than the other 5 sentence fiction entries – I thought it was great! Very well written, interesting and a lovely fictional account of an American figure. Well done!

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