Inspired by my niece and her penchant for photography.
Copyright 2012 Nicole Villacres. All rights reserved.
It had sounded like such a good idea yesterday. Come what may, Brigita was going to take a picture a minute from dawn until dusk. It was going to be brilliant!
However, being 16, she awoke closer to noon.
“So much for dawn,” she muttered. Grabbing her digital camera, she snapped a shot of her interestingly wrinkled bed sheets and headed to the kitchen for some breakfast. Shots of her mom’s pancakes, the floor tiles, and her younger brother sticking his tongue out followed. Brigita found it difficult to eat, let alone get ready for the day.
Perhaps a picture a minute was a little ambitious?
She set her camera down on the bathroom sink, squeezed some toothpaste on her toothbrush and began her morning ritual.
A tiny giggle rang in her ear.
She stopped brushing and listened. She could hear cartoons on the TV and her brother laughing. That must’ve been it. She continued to brush, observing the late morning light out the window.
The giggle came again.
She stopped, listening. She opened the bathroom window and looked outside. The neighbor kids weren’t out there. What was she hearing?
A flash went off next to her, making her blink.
Toothpaste foam ran down her chin as she turned to look at her camera. Glancing quickly out the door, she saw her brother was still in the living room watching TV. She turned back to the sink and looked at the camera. Very slowly, she finished brushing her teeth. Listening. Watching.
She dried her face with a towel and put her toothbrush away, still looking at the camera. She picked it up and switched to the viewer mode. She hit the back arrow. Sure enough, there she was, looking out the window, her toothbrush sticking out of her mouth.
A high-pitched giggle bounced off the walls around her. “You’re behind! Behind, aren’t you?”
Brigita spun around, looking for the owner of the voice. But there was no one there.
The shrill little voice came from above her. “Let me help you catch up!”
Brigita was seized by a sudden urge to photograph anything, something…no…the perfect thing, right now! She grabbed her camera and raced into the living room, her eyes looking for a subject, the perfect composition, the perfect…
Click! Click! Click!
Three shots. She didn’t even know what was going on, but after blinking she found herself looking at the hardwood floor through her camera lens.
“What are you doing?” her brother asked.
But she ignored him. Again she was gripped by the urge to find the perfect picture. She faintly heard the giggle again, but she didn’t pay any attention. The sun was bright as she dashed outside, their backyard was filled with things to shoot…everything seemed to have a magical glow to it…the vegetable garden, the creek, the rocks, the wicker furniture! She darted from one amazing subject to the other.
CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK
She could hardly breathe, she was moving so fast.
“This is fun! Run and run!” The voice rang annoyingly by her ear. Brigita whirled around again.
“Where are you?” she tried to yell, but only gasped.
“Here and there,” it was behind her other ear, “maybe nowhere!”
She spun around again. “What are you?”
More laughter. “Don’t you want to take some more pictures?”
“No!” Brigita retorted. “I want…”
The sparkle of daylight on a yellow dandelion caught her eye. She dropped to her knees in front of it. She had to get the shot!
CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK
Brigita jumped up from the ground. “STOP IT!” She screamed…and threw the camera.
The world seemed to go into slow motion as she watched her camera sail through the air and crash into a pile of stacked wood.
“Oh no…” she whispered. Slowly she walked over and picked it up off the ground. It wouldn’t turn on. It had awful scratches and the lens was broken.
“Now see!” Brigita yelled at the air. She tried to hold back tears. “Why couldn’t you leave me alone? Why did you have to–”
In front of her nose appeared a miniature, lavender boy. The whuff of air into Brigita’s face indicated wings moving too fast to see. Its black eyes met hers, and then it moved to buzz around her camera.
“Rude mechanical,” it said, haughtily. It took a deep breath, its chest horrifyingly expanding like a bizarre balloon, and blew a gust of wet spittle all over the camera.
Brigita recoiled. “Um…ew.”
The purple creature winked at her, then indicated the camera. Brigita looked at it. The pixie spit was evaporating off, leaving the camera shiny clean and…fixed! The scratches were gone; the lens was repaired; the power button turned the thing on!
The pixie busted out laughing. That high, annoying giggle. She watched as it hovered there, pointing at her and laughing, its sharp, spiky teeth flashing in the sun. Brigita raised the camera and took the shot.
The pixie sucked in its laughter, blinking. It observed her darkly with its bright, black eyes. It grinned. “Touché,” it said, wagging a finger at her. And then it vanished.
Brigita caught her breath. She looked around, behind. The pixie was nowhere. The intense, strange brightness in the world around her sifted away into natural, comforting reality.
Brigita ran over to the trees to get in the shade and switched the camera to viewer mode, glancing around in case the little monster reappeared. Clicking through the pictures, she gasped. They were perfect. Amazing. Stunning compositions from commonplace items…the best she’d ever taken!
“Except that I didn’t take them,” she said to herself. “They’re fairy pictures.” Then she brightened. “Except for the last one! I’ve got you on that one.”
Brigita clicked to the last photo. She stared at it, stunned.
The picture was of her, floating in midair, tiny and laughing.