Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Extremely Short Story 12

Flash O Rafferty unrolled his dog-eared copy of Public Nuisance Monthly one more time and ran his eager eyes over the $20,000 competition on page 62. 'Perfect,' he muttered to himself, his flesh tingling beneath his shabby raincoat as he savoured the words most tasteless location till saliva erupted from under his tongue like Old Faithful. He tucked the magazine into his pocket, combed the tufts of hair round his navel and groin, and pulled his coat around himself, fastening the customised velcro attachments as loosely as possible. Tiptoeing from the alleyway with his camera bag, he made his way through the gathering crowd toward the circle of fire engines, ambulances and police cars. Beneath a tall tree, the headless body of an old woman lay mangled in the road, and he pulled out his lightmeter to check for the optimum angle.

Two firemen were in the sturdy tree, trailing cable and rope lines from the truck to the white coated victim. Off to the side, a small group stood watching, their faces glowing and glowering in the bright, October sunset. It was late afternoon; the shadows of the mourners stretched ridiculously long, disappearing into the black roof of the house next door to the market and the sky was almost perfectly cyan against the pumpkin orange of the sun.

He quickly set up his tripod and calmly collected several views of the same scene. As he adjusted for a sharper angle, he thought he might over-expose one of the shots so that the flapping coat appeared wing-like, like a dove, and the tree would be a black silhouette against the brightness of the sky.



Dave F. said...

Together, this makes for rather a grim short story.

Robin S. said...

Well done to both.