Here’s the first story submitted in response to our photo prompt by Jean-Daniel Photography. There’s still time to send yours by Sept. 5th to FreeValleyPublishing@gmail.com
At the back of the scaffolding the stone crackled. A face appeared, for just a moment, it grimaced and it called. But the boy leaning against the pillar couldn’t hear. He was standing in a portal, where flesh turned to stone, turned to plaster or bronze or any other substance that transformed the animate into frozen inanimate.
A sign nearby read;
‘Take a moment to pause, to look at the world,
To ponder your place in it. Or, take a step down from here,
Walk away and forget to learn anything.
Or stay and wonder, what does it all mean, Forever.’
The boy couldn’t see the sign either. He was teasing for the camera, making a pose. Perhaps it would be alright. Young people have a hard time holding themselves truly still. They fidget, and posing, grin just a little bit.
The face at the back of the scaffolding ached. The boy was frozen, for just an instant, and that encouraged action to be taken by the wrong agent. And once again the face was caught too. Not in the solid, hidden world it preferred, but in the impervious deplorable snapshot. The animate became the inanimate. The boy, along with the face and the bronze man leaning against the other pillar, was stilled for all time in the photograph.