One Day My Prints Will Come


I’d like to pick your brains -this is the beginning of a short story – 

any suggestions as to how it should/could carry on?

385330 dog catching ball Dicas para exercitar o seu cão

I am in the garden listening with Kate to someone (Ella Fitzgerald?) singing ‘My Funny Valentine’ on the little radio my mother bought for me last summer from a door-to-door salesman driving an old Morris Traveller. She also bought 4 grapefruit spoons from him which we never use because we’re not really grapefruit people. Too bitter. Too fussy.
“Would you like me to take your picture?” he asked when mother brought out glasses of  lemonade for us all on the big silver tray with ice cubes clinking against the sides of the tumblers as she crossed the lawn. “I’ll bring you the prints next time I call, ” he promised.   “A  pound a print? ”
He took  pictures of us sitting on the lawn under the apple tree with Kate jumping  for a ball which he kept throwing up into the air for her to catch. ” Perfect. Just one more…..” he kept saying. “Last one…. smile…smile…that’s it…..perfect.” He must have taken half-a-dozen pictures then he drove himself out of our lives.
That was about a year ago.
Since then a lot has changed I think as Ella Fitzgerald sings “You make me smile with my heart…” Since then my mother has re-married, my best friend has moved to some place abroad – Kenya or Nigeria – one of these African places, and I have stopped eating. Oh and a 4th thing – the apple tree has gone – some sort of tree disease that couldn’t be cured.
I keep hoping the salesman will pitch up in his white(?) Morris Traveller with the perfect photo of  that day when we still had the apple tree and were all smiling.
I’m not banking on it though.

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6 responses to “One Day My Prints Will Come

  1. So you set out to find yourself and recreate that moment in other ways only to discover you can never recreate the past – that the future has so many surprises and people waiting for you. Maybe you set out as a salesperson yourself hoping you cross paths with the photo taker himself. You learn so much along the way. When you eventually do catch up with him you realize that moment in the photo was not as great as you thought originally. You had created an idea of what life was like back then.

    Just a few initial thoughts. You have a good start.

    • Thanks Jeremy – I think I had in my head ‘What if this is as good as it gets?’ – the photograph recorded one of these carefree happy moments and the main character knows this – for me the sticky bit in writing is what happens next that is both interesting and in character.

  2. I like Jeremy’s idea of the narrator becoming a traveling salesman in search of the prints. Otherwise, this character has suffered so much loss—mom (in a sense), friend, appetite, tree. He needs to fill the holes with something, or try to.

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