How To Find What You Came Here For

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The short stories you find here are the product
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Moment Between

 Clicks and whirs defined Sam’s life.
Mr. Addison had bought him a digital camera, but it wasn’t the same.  He could turn on a feature that made sounds similar to his Nikon, but his keen ear told him the sound was fake.

Sam knew that he’d have to start using the digital camera.  Film wasn’t easily available, and the chemicals he used to develop his pictures were scarce as well.  Losing the familiarity of his Nikon was rapidly becoming a primary anxiety in his life.

“He’s an odd one, but his pictures are amazing!” Sam could hear Mr. Addison’s voice from his office through the cacophony of sounds coming from the cubicles on their floor.  His boss was talking to the new guy.  New people always asked about him.

His fingers tapped restlessly as the photographs he’d taken flew across his screen. 

The fluorescent lights flickered endlessly.

Computer monitors sent out their high-pitched whine.

Printers jerked to life and sent sheets of paper slapping through rollers.

High voices and low voices rose and fell and the occasional whisper hissed.

Cell phones buzzed restlessly.

Office chairs squeaked and groaned.

The scent of a flowery perfume snaked through to join the musky scent of another perfume.  A quick flash of something citrus was there and then gone.

Doors opened and shut.

The air conditioning hummed.

A stack of papers fell from someone’s desk.

A brief, tinny dial tone blared as desk phone was dialed – cut off when the handset was lifted.

A fly buzzed and thumped against a window.

Bitter coffee stung his nose.

The pop and snap of bubble gum joined the crunch and smack of an apple.

The flying pictures on Sam’s screen stopped suddenly on the one he was seeking.  A few seconds later he jerked himself out of his chair and through Mr. Addison’s door.

“Giraffe’s in the e-mail.  Going to the gorillas Mr. Addison.  Got my phone.” 

Mr. Addison smiled, nodded, and ignored both the interruption and Sam’s machine-gun delivery.  “Thanks Sam, let me know when you’re back.”

He stalked over the paths to the gorilla enclosure, head down, arms tight, camera secure against his chest.

Moving around the observation area, he suddenly stopped and lifted the camera.

Only in that moment was his world quiet and still.  Everything frozen in his lens, captured in the space between the click and the whir.

Photo courtesy The Husband...taken at the NC Zoo




This post is a response to a prompt from The Red Dress Club  to write about this photograph:


As the parent of a teenager diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD, I have struggled to explain what the world is like for him.  Sights, sounds, smells, textures - everything that we easily block out when we need to - all crash into him without any filter at all.  His world is chaos - an explosion of experience that never stops.  This post is what I imagine his life might be like someday - in that shadowy future I can't quite see.

As always, your comments and critique are very welcome!