Writing Prompt: Day 88

88.jpgDay 88 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: A character takes a photo that changes their life.

Shannon: “Hey,” a large bodyguard shouted from across the street. “Did you just take a picture,” he pointed at me and I stopped breathing. “I need to see your camera. Don’t make this hard,” he advised.

I booked it, running for the large crowd, going against natural instinct. I figured I probably couldn’t outrun him, but I might be able to confuse him. If I present this photo to my boss I could finally stop taking paparazzi photos, and finally get promoted to the travel position I’d been working for since I started as intern. The bodyguard would have to pry this golden ticket from my bloody hands. Even if that meant I was the evil one, I wasn’t going down without a fight.

Erin: For 73 years of my life I was taking pictures. The medium may have changed, but ultimately the product didn’t. I wasn’t capturing photos, I was capturing moments, emotions, and people who only existed in that instant of the flash of my camera.

That’s what was so appealing to me, how people didn’t really exist in my opinion. The person who walked into their boss’s office, was not the same one who walked out to pack up their desk and leave. The girl at the counter of the fast-food restaurant, hardened more into a stranger as she was being yelled at by a man who would not recognize himself once the death of his wife fully sank in. Hell, someone walking in for a photo was always one notch more self-assured or discouraged once I showed them the print.

Only children go to their graves as they were at 2 years old. I know the notion is morbid, but life is morbid. We die and are born every day, as new people and new experiences hurt and enthrall us. Pictures are the definition of survival. They may fade, but the people and the emotion they evoke from within them have a life and have a chance to be alive because I was there to deem the moment worthy. In that way, sometimes I feel like a hero. Without cameras and those of us behind them, immortality would have no meaning.

Only once have I questioned this philosophy. When I looked back at the photo of my future wife feeding the ducks at the park. As I was transported back to that day I remembered her being so loving. Both to the animals and then to me as I explained why I was taking photos of a complete stranger. That photo changed my life. Because my Kaley was the only subject I ever knew of that didn’t need my saving. The photograph was nearly as beautiful as her, but she stayed that woman.

Every photograph her mother showed me prior was also that woman. She had managed to keep the little girl finger-painting in her, and the tough athlete playing through an injured ankle, she even managed to keep a little of the sister laughing so hard soda came out of her nose and made her cry. She brought those people to her daily life, they worked together and the sum of their influence was the most wonderful woman to ever exist.

So even though I didn’t need to, I took pictures. Lots of them. And boy am I glad I did, because even though she projected the moments that made her till her dying breath, the day did come where I needed those pictures. When I took out the photo album for the first time it was almost like my brush with a miracle wasn’t quite finished.

Explain a sight that could change a life?


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