Saturday, 2 August 2014

You can't take home a sunset (flash fiction)

Together, they leant on the balcony of their honeymoon hotel, looking at the sunset. She soaked up the warm summer evening, the fragrant cooking smells from neighbouring houses, the distant lapping of the sea. He just took a photograph.

As time went on, holidays were always the same. She revelled in new sights, smells, people. He collected them and took them home in his camera

"Look at the composition in this one!" he would cry, when they got home. "The way I've got that tree, that bridge."

But he hadn't seen the lightening streak of a kingfisher,  heard the gentle plop of a trout, or even noticed the new dress she was wearing.

Ten year on, it was the same.

 "Leave your camera behind, just for once," she pleaded, as they prepared for an anniversary holiday.

"Not a chance!" he laughed.

"But you can't take home a sunset," she told him.

"Just try me," he said.

They travelled to the coast.

"I must catch this," he said, as they stood on a cliff top, watching the  waves foam  and crash on the rocks below. But he didn't hear the cry of the gulls that wheeled above, or feel the soft turf beneath his feet.

He probably didn't feel the push, either. It was such a gentle push. Almost loving.

But this time, it was the police who took the photograph.

24 comments:

  1. I knew it as soon as I read the words "cliff top" :-)

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    1. Ah, but I bet you didn't get the police bit, did you?

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    2. No, I didn't think that far :-)

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  2. You should enter this for a flash fiction competition, if you haven't already, Frances.

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    1. I didn't really think of it, Wendy. I write these quickly, when the mood takes me, and I just enjoy doing it. But I honestly don't think this would win any competitions, although you're very kind to suggest it.

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    1. You're very sweet, Teresa, but there are a lot of people out there who do,this much better than I do.

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  4. Love it. This also has a message for those who are always taking pictures on their mobiles instead of savouring the moment.

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    1. We were watching a sunset while on holiday, Keith, and some other people were busily trying to photograph it, and it seemed so sad, somehow.

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  5. I am glad I didn't miss this.
    Photography is a solitary business and despite my addiction I resist the temptation to take pictures in company.
    I don't want the SOCOs taking my picture.

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    1. PS. I am getting obsessive. I only read the bit of the title in brackets thought you were talking about strobes.

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    2. This wasn't aimed at people like you, Adrian; people who live amidst beautiful scenery, and appreciate it for itself (as well as taking brilliant photos).

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  6. I share Wendy and Teresa's thoughts. I wonder whether you have a competition in mind, or did you just have a 'flash' of inspiration?

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  7. I don't know of any competitions, Maggie. I just did it for fun.

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  8. I enjoyed this very much but I'm not sure if I should really have been smiling at the ending.

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    1. Of course you should. Colette. He had it coming!

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  9. I think you have just written a mini-outline for a screen play. It would make a marvelous 2-hour motion picture. Send it to Hollywood and your fortune is assured.

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    1. If only! A producer worked tirelessly to try to get financial backing for the film of one of my novels, but none was forthcoming. I think my screen career ship sailed a long time ago!

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  10. At least the story didn't leave the reader in the air (just the poor photographer).

    It made me think though. I take photos all the time. I need them to remind me because I can't hold images in my head. It seems that the condition is fairly rare and I marvel at how people can recall scenes in such detail. For me looking at the photo is the catalyst that reminds me of the gulls wheeling overhead and the noise of the waves crashing.

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    1. GB, this wasn't aimed at people like you. You're a serious (?) photographer, adn relaly appreciate the places you visit. But some people really do seem to colect places/scenes, and then move on. It seems so sad.

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  11. I love it, Frances. And it rang so true with me. I gave up taking pictures a few years ago because I was missing so much real life and becoming such a bore, always fiddling about with the camera.

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    1. Joanna, I never did manage to master my 'simple' digital camera, and so just take odd photos (usually of small grandchildren) on my phone.

      Meanwhile, the poor forgotten camera languishes in a drawer.

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