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TBC July Writing Challenge – Poor Hero

A few weeks back, I posted about a German band playing English Folk music in a Rock style, and I mentioned that my favorite song off the album was called Poor Hero. This got me to thinking about the concept of Poor Hero. Is this a hero you pity for some reason, or merely one who lacks the monetary stability that he would, perhaps, prefer? Or both? Or some other interpretation?

You tell me. It’s your story.

The July There By Candlelight writing challenge is to write a 500 word or less story that somehow incorporates whatever the phrase ‘poor hero’ means to you. My own entry will be below (yes, below. I’m posting them out of order so they show up correctly on the main page here).

In other news, we had no submissions for the June writing challenge, which is sad. I thought it was an interesting concept.

My novel Blood Fury is almost finished with the first draft. Then I will give it to some people for critical review, do a beautification pass, and it should be out hopefully by or before August. Cross fingers!

Jennifer and I are beginning to work on the Independent Writers Association. More details to follow, stay tuned.

And lastly, if you happen to live in the Greater Los Angeles area and find yourself near the Culver Hotel at any point, the Culver Jubilee at the bar is delicious.


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New York Hero Blues

July TBC Writing Challenge – Poor Hero


It’s not easy being a poor hero. I know, everyone has this image of the superhero as a rich guy living in a fancy mansion or at least a big loft. I live in the room I grew up in at my parent’s house. I don’t have a car since my last one was repo’d by the FTB, and even my police scanner sometimes goes on the fritz. Not that I use it much. Without a car, I have to take the subway into the city, which means by the time I hear about a crime on the scanner and then get into town, whatever it is has LONG been over and it’s just the CSI guys cleaning up by the time I show.

It’s the insurance that kills. Ever since the Costumed Paranormal Insurance bill passed a few years back, we licensed heroes have to take out liability insurance to cover any property damage inflicted in our fights with villains. And of course those guys NEVER have insurance, so it’s all up to us. Yeah, it means that if we manage to catch one, we have yet another charge that can be leveled against them, but putting away a guy like The Unstoppable Titan (aka Joey Pazzorelli) for insurance violations is hardly satisfying. And the premiums go up with every fight you get into. After my last battle with Nuclear Winter, my rates have gone up to over two grand a month. Thus my living conditions.

After insurance, I think the greatest expense I have is my costume. I was never what you call rich even before the insurance thing, just your average working-class hero. So I never got one of those fancy self-repairing suits. Mine’s just plain ordinary spandex, and that stuff rips and tears at the slightest provocation. My friends tell me I should adopt one of those ‘informal’ costumes some of the newer guys are wearing: jeans or cargo pants, tee-shirt with my logo ironed on, leather jacket, motorcycle helmet or balaclava. But I don’t know, that just doesn’t seem very heroic to me. I guess in some ways I’m a hopeless traditionalist. What can you do, right? Besides, I’ve got a heck of a package and I wanna show it off. I don’t stuff  ‘down there’ like some of the other guys.

So yeah, I have to do the ‘patrol’ thing. Be out there, on the rooftops, listening for cries of distress or sirens or whatnot. Taking the subway to a crime scene is just too slow. But then again, I thank god I have at least that. I was talking to a guy in Los Angeles in a heroes-only online chat room, and he told me horror stories about trying to get around on public transit in that town. No thanks, as bad as it is riding the train in my costume, I’ll take it over standing for 35-40 minutes at a bus stop any day.

It’s not easy being a poor hero. People say I should quit, get a ‘real job’. But I dunno. Being a hero, it’s in my blood, ya know?

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