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The Admirer – Flash Fiction

May 27, 2016

The Admirer

Harvey West stood behind a tree in the park. He watched as a blond woman took photographs with her cellphone. He’d seen her work on Pinterest. She went by the handle Terry294. Her edits were decent, as were her collages, but she was just an amateur. He lifted his Nikon and began snapping pictures of her. He’d been following her for a few days to get a sense of her artistic flare. Soon perhaps, he would get up the nerve to approach her.

One evening, he sat outside a cafe watching Terry. She was having coffee with someone, snapping pictures of her coffee cup, the other woman and a few kids on skateboards. Then she got up and went inside the cafe for a few moments. He turned his head to follow her movements, but glanced back at the table when she was out of sight. And that’s when he saw it. The other woman did something to Terry’s phone. Harvey thought nothing of it. Maybe she was just adding her number to Terry’s contact list.

Days passed and Harvey only saw her one more time. She’d been at an intersection snapping pictures of pedestrians walking about the city. He anxiously waited for her to post collages. He’d noticed slight improvements over the passing months. If she continued to improve, he would definitely seek her out. Finally, he received the alerts. Terry’s collages were not what he expected. He’d watched her take pictures all over the city, but none of them were in the collages. Where were the kids on skateboards? The children playing frisbee in the park? The rainbow? The pedestrians? These were all beautiful, but somehow, he knew Terry hadn’t taken them. These were too focused. Too detailed. He preferred Terry’s skewed way of looking at things. Her off-centered shots. He wanted to post a comment, but what could he say? Everyone praised her new work. Maybe she was only pretending to be an amateur.

Harvey waited outside her job a few days later. He had to know. He would approach her this time and ask. But she never exited the building. He did see the other woman she’d been with a week or so before.

“Excuse me?” he said as he came up behind the woman.

She stopped and turned around. “May I help you?”

“Yes. Can you tell me where Terry is?”

“Are you a friend of hers?”

“Well, not really. Merely an admirer of her photography.”

“Oh. I see. Well, I don’t know where she is. She hasn’t been to work in several days.”

Harvey noticed a smirk on the woman’s face. It puzzled him, but he just thanked her and left. That night, as he sat at his computer, he saw a broadcast on the news. Terry was missing and there were no leads to her whereabouts. Harvey’s heart sank. She had such potential. If only he had approached her sooner, then perhaps he could have helped her to become a great photographer. As a tribute, he posted all of the pictures he had taken of her crafted into beautiful collages. He left them anonymously. He wanted no credit for them. He only wished that he had taken some pictures of her face and not just the back of her head.

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Each day in May, I will be participating in the StoryADay in May. Here is the prompt for May 22nd (I am late due to illness):

Via Julie – Write a story in the voice that came most easily to you this month.

(Note: I tried to keep this in the same voice that I used in An Amateurish Mistake, just told from a  different person’s perspective.)

  1. I thought I recognised the basic scenario. Nicely told, Lori.

  2. Nice twist 🙂

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