Friday, July 22, 2011

Red Writing Hood: The Camera Never Lies, But It Sometimes Steals

Prompt: Write a short fiction or non-fiction piece inspired by any or all of the photo(a picture with cameras) This is fiction. My camera is a Kodak and I have no special lenses for it. I promise.

"Take your picture here!" I announced to the crowd from the front of my little shop. It had been a long day of fat tourists in shorts and honeymooning couples. It paid the bills, but it was boring. I kept the fatigue out of my voice, however. "Let me take your picture and capture your beauty forever!"

The woman was beautiful, and she knew it. Long-legged, with a body men would fight to the death over, her long blonde hair spilled over her shoulders like water. I pepped right up at the sight of her. She moved gracefully along the boardwalk, pretending to look at the items on display in the shops, when it was obvious that she was soaking in the admiring glances of the men around her. They were like moths to a porch light, I thought with disgust. I kept my smile pasted on my face, my sales pitch rapid.

Most of the crowd ignored me, but I was used to that. People look away from ugly people. The beautiful woman, however, was looking in my direction. I turned away from her. The best way to draw the suckers in was to pretend not to notice them. She moved closer. Beautiful women just can't resist having their picture taken.

"Take your picture, folks! Capture your memories of your boardwalk vacation to show back home! You only pay for the pictures you want!" I had to pitch my voice just right to be heard above the noisy evening crowd, but my effort was rewarded. I turned to find the beautiful blonde looking down her nose at me. Gracing me with her business.

"Are you a professional photographer?" She asked me. "I'd like you to take my picture."

"Yes, ma'am," I replied. "I am very much a professional. Step right into my studio and I'll capture your beauty forever!"

I held my right arm out in a gesture for her to proceed, and I followed her inside the shop. I directed her to stand before the white backdrop on the yellow X, then went to the tripod to set up my camera.

"I haven't seen your shop on the boardwalk before." The blonde asked, while I was changing the lens of the camera.

"I just set up shop here this very week." I finished my adjustments to the camera and set it on the tripod. "I've got this special lens here I think will capture your beauty perfectly. You just start posing and I'll start shooting and we will see how things turn out."

I stepped up to the tripod and looked through the camera's eye, while the beautiful woman posed herself with a hand on her hip. She pouted, model perfect.

I pressed the button, and the camera made a clicking sound.

The woman changed positions, looking over her shoulder.


The woman smiled, uncertain.


She looked stunned.


She frowned.




"Everything all right, miss?" I moved my head alongside the camera to look at her.

I smiled.

A hunched crone stared back at me with unseeing eyes, wild gray hair forming a nimbus around her head. She opened her mouth to reveal rotting black teeth, but the only sound that came out was a rattling breath. She reached out a hand to me in supplication, as if I would give her back what she had lost. Instead, I pressed the button one more time, and the once beautiful woman disintegrated into a gray dust. A dust that was indistinguishable from the sand on the beach.

Later, I would print out the pictures. Later, I would glory in my stolen riches.

I picked up a broom and began sweeping, whistling while I worked.


  1. Ha! I loved this!

    The only question I had was why the photographer was stealing the beauty, for themselves? To give to someone else? Sheer maliciousness?

    I loved the feel of this, the tone, the vintageness of it.

    I loved this line: Most of the crowd ignored me, but I was used to that. People look away from ugly people. Because though it hate it, it is so true, that is if they are seen at all.

  2. That was awesome. I truly didn't see that coming. Very nicely done.

  3. Eek! So dark, so twisted, so evil! *Love!*

    Nicely played with the whistling. :)

  4. Wow! Did NOT see that coming. I love the evil, magical nature you crafted.

    So what does the photographer DO with the stolen riches? Wha can you do with stolen beauty?

  5. Nicely done! I loved the bit of fantasy mixed in...almost felt like a fairy tale.

    This foreshadowing? "Let me take your picture and capture your beauty forever!" was excellent!!

  6. Ooh..loved the twist! Very, very fun! I love the whistling as she swept up the dust.


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