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This was fun to write. That's really all I have to say about it... (: 

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Photograph

It was just something about taking photographs. Capturing a moment, as it were. He loved having that kind of power, to be able to capture one moment forever and return to it, years later, and remember that day so clearly.

He loved being behind the lens of a camera. He loved posing people and taking the ‘random’ shots, people snogging, just sitting on the beach, and there was an excellent shot of a beer bottle being thrown that he’d gotten mid-shatter.

It was wonderful, to be able to see things. The world looks different, behind the lens of a camera; it looks purer, somehow. Everything can be contained in the small box; you could have a lifetime of moments on a roll of film.

But what he really loved, was the stillness of everything. You took a shot of a bride eating cake, that was what you got. It was more of an accomplishment, when you got things like the beer bottle shot, if it wasn’t moving.

And then Potter had come around and told him all about these wonderful moving photographs—well, not told him, but he’d heard things, heard the odd remark Potter made about a moving photo, until he just had to check it out, to see for himself.

And there it was, hanging on his wall for all to see, like some awful show on the telly—Potter and some bushy-haired girl, and a tall, redheaded freak.

He could tell the redhead was a freak; after so many years behind the lens, he could read people.

And slowly, Dudley began to put away the camera. It wasn’t enough, after seeing the moving photographs.

As much as he wanted to hate them, they were his siren song. He wanted to make movies, suddenly, and he wanted to make TV shows.

And the dream that he’d harbored all his life, to become a photographer, slowly died down until it was less than a trickle, only coming to his mind in the dead of night. He wanted to be a movie-maker, and then slowly, that dream died, too, as so many teenaged dreams do. It became dust, the old picture frame of what his life was.

He never threw out his camera; he simply couldn’t. It had become a friend to him—he had his entire life on it, and the boxes of pictures that made him want to scream in frustration were hidden away under his bed.

Some nights, he would sit there, arms folded, just thinking about them. They would call to him, another siren song, and he would sit there, telling himself that they weren’t enough, anymore. Because if he allowed himself to look, if he allowed himself to like them, he’d just end up disappointed.

He couldn’t look at average photographs anymore.

Once you expose someone to something, anything less than seems unworthy.

So he threw himself into video games, and he told himself he wasn’t marveling at the artwork—only saps did that. No, he played them for the killing.

But there was a small part in his mind that whispered, “Look at that, Dudley. Isn’t that neat? Do you remember when you took photos of that stuff? When you photographed that wedding?”

And he would turn off the game and go outside, beat up a kid until his mind was screaming for more, more, more fighting, and had forgotten all about the ridiculous notion of photography.

And so he forgot.

And then, one day, when he was sixty, he picked up a camera, tears in his eyes. He’d slimmed down since his days behind the lens, and calmed himself. He’d gotten a nice wife, and built a family for himself.

“Hey, love,” he called to Cynthia. She poked her head around the door. “C’mere.”

“Coming, dear,” she said, wiping her hands on her apron as she walked into the living room. “Dudders, what are you-”

He held the camera up to his eye, laughing as memories flooded him. He’d been in this position so many times before, it was second nature to him. He pushed the button, and the flash nearly blinded him.

Cynthia had her hands on her hips, and was staring him down. “Dudders, was that necessary?”

He nodded. “Love…” He walked over to her, and slowly put his hands around her waist, his arthritis-infected fingers barely feeling it, but he could remember. “Love, when I was a boy, all I wanted to do was take pictures of pretty things.” He leaned his head on top of hers. “And there’s nothing prettier in this world than you.”

She turned to look at him, surprised, and he kissed her on the tip of her nose. She laughed, and rubbed his shoulder gently before slowly making her way back into the kitchen.

Dudley turned the camera over in his hands, grinning as memories once again flooded him. There was the day he and Piers had gone to the river… The pictures of the sun, and the sky, and the trees, and the grass… The award he’d gotten, when he was sixteen.

Dudley sighed, the memories fading away to the back of his mind. Tomorrow, he would forget, as he always did.

But the pictures would remain forever.

And maybe that was enough.

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