This writing exercise is provided by Jacquie Reaville (The Book Imp). You can find her at Calliope’s Coffee House. Here’s the rundown, in Jacquie’s words: “Just to recap on what this is about – take a copy of the pictures that I post here and then write 500 words or more fiction on your own blog, then post the link to that entry back here in the comment section for everyone else to see, visit and hopefully comment on your creative writing. Much as is being done for countless other groups in blogger, multiply and elsewhere.” This particular photo’s deadline was June 14th. Oh well.
Autumn tilted her face to the sun and felt the rays warm her cheeks. She hadn’t been out with her camera in years. Being a wife and mother had taken up all of her time, but after talking with her husband about needing some time for herself, they’d agreed she could do whatever she wanted on Saturday afternoons.
Last week she’d gone to the library and checked out a couple of books, which promptly sat on her nightstand, unopened and unread. Apparently reading, which she’d done a lot of before they’d had kids, wasn’t what her mind was looking for. She didn’t know what she needed, but she knew she’d know it when she found it.
Autumn’s trusty (and dusty) Canon beckoned to her today. She’d dabbled in photography before she got married…nothing serious. She enjoyed taking pictures of random things: signs, garbage cans, anything colorful. She’d never been interested in it as a career, but as a hobby it was usually just what the doctor ordered. Time to herself, time to think, time to just be.
Looking around Center Street, Autumn saw a mother playing in a patch of grass with her toddler. She quietly walked over and snapped a couple of pictures, hoping she wasn’t being intrusive. Click. Click. Not wanting to seem strange, she kept on walking, looking at her town with new eyes, eyes that saw pictures waiting to be taken.
As Autumn was approaching a bus stop sign, she saw two men waiting for the bus. The man on the right, nearest the bus stop sign, appeared to be in his 20s. The man on the left, decked out in a suit and tie, appeared to be well over 70, perhaps even in his 80s.
“Well hullo young lady,” the older man’s voice was soft, though more from age than anything.
“Hello,” Autumn said shyly.
“You takin’ pictures?”
“Well, yeah. Trying at least.” Autumn gave a little laugh. “Do you think I could take your picture?” There was something about the old man sitting on the bench that intrigued her. If she could just get the composition right….
“Yes, you may.”
Autumn moved a little farther back, kneeled down so she was looking directly at her subject, and looked through her viewfinder, focusing on the old man. Click. “One more!” She said, holding up her hand. The last one wasn’t quite right…click…yes, that was it.
She smiled at him, said thanks, and turned to walk away.
Looking at the ground, she saw the young man’s face standing in the shadow of the bus stop sign, making for an odd looking shadow. She quickly put her camera up to her eye and clicked the shutter, hoping the picture would turn out.
Autumn started walking home, taking pictures along the way. There was a picket fence she passed every day, old and rundown. It never looked like much before, but seeing it now, it looked more like art than an old rundown fence. Click.
Approaching her house, Autumn could hear her girls squealing. Vaguely she could hear “daddy!” and “monster!” and “hot lava!” She smiled and shook her head.
Walking in the door, the girls came running up, breathlessly yelling words like “park!” “now!” “we’re going!” Laughing, Autumn looked up at her husband. Putting her camera down, she wrapped her arms around her daughters who were clinging to her legs and begging to be picked up.
“We were just about to go to the park. Do you want to come with us?” Her husband had a bag slung over his shoulder. Peeking through the bag she saw shovels, buckets, and a blanket, all the makings for a good outing at the park.
“Why don’t you bring your camera, hon?”
Autumn paused only a fraction of a second. “Oh, okay.”
“I’m sure whatever pictures you take will be great.”