“These days camera lenses are everywhere. Our entire lives are on film. Just a walk around the shops will have you recorded on averages five hundred times. Sometimes though a photo has more of a powerful meaning than most.”
I wrote this story for the following prompts.
Ragtag Daily Prompt — War
Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge — Cat – Dog – Horse
Your Daily Word — Chance
Fandango’s One Word Challenge — Lame
Fandango’s Story Starter – the first line although I subtlely changed it — Sorry Fandango!
Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge — The picture above from Josh Rose @ Unsplash.com.
Captured by a Photo
She was quite serious when she looked Natalie straight in the eye and said, “He’s checking me out. I know it.”
“Don’t worry, Henna. We’ll be ready for him!”
The rich, earthy scent of coffee mingled with the bitter, fruity notes of alcohol. Chatter filling the air with the constant burble of conversation. Yes, this is the happy energy we seek on the pub’s terrace.
Despite this fundamental way of having fun technology is never far away. Someone is always texting, playing with, or taking pictures on their ridiculously expensive smartphone.
Natalie was guilty of the former offence. “Well, just us girls tonight,” she sighed while clicking away with her white manicured fingernails. “Matt’s streaming his horrible wargames on the PlayStation!”
“Can’t believe he’s gaming over being with us girls!” Henna added with a chuckle. She idly twisted the drawstring of her hoodie about her finger.
“Boys!” Natalie rolled her eyes as she raised her phone. Henna appeared on the screen.
“Well, bugger him. We’ll have fun anyway.” Realising her friend was taking a picture, Henna offered a wide grin.
The phone emitted no flash, but gave a satisfying click as the photo was taken “There, beautiful!”
“I quite agree – the lady is very photogenic. She shines like a princess,” remarked a young man stepping up to Natalie from behind.
She looked over her shoulder, taking in his lean and muscular physique clad in fashionable jeans, and a smart white buttoned shirt. “Who asked your opinion?”
“A compliment should always be given. Besides, take a look, she does make a photo special,” the man offered his phone.
Natalie saw that he’d snapped a picture from behind, catching her phone as she took Henna’s picture. “That’s an artful shot, well done. And now we have to ask you to delete it.”
Henna’s eyes widened as she remained silently bemused by the goings-on.
“What! I couldn’t delete such a masterpiece. It would be a crime against the beautiful lady.”
“Oh, boy. You’re lame,” Natalie shifted in her seat, “What’s your name, Romeo?”
“Dex. Nice to meet you.”
“Well, Dex. If you don’t delete that photo, you will be committing a crime against my friend.”
“No chance. Where’s the crime?”
“You failed to obtain permission from her before taking the picture. Therefore, you have no right to keep and gawk at it like a creep whenever you feel like it,” Natalie folded her arms with an aggressive stare at him.
Henna covered her mouth with a feeling of shock toward her friend’s rebuttal of the man.
Dex paled and backed off a step, “Whoa, steady on! I didn’t mean to be a creep!”
Natalie pursed her lips, enjoying the fearful look on his face. The beads of sweat prickling upon his forehead told her how stressed he’d become.
Dex walked around to Henna’s side. “I’m Dex and I’m sorry I took this picture of you without permission,” he said showing her his screen. “I couldn’t help but admire you and the chance to take such a pretty shot was too much to ignore.”
“I’m Henna. You did that well,” she replied shyly.
“Thank you,” he glanced at Natalie still giving him the evil eye. “I would very much like this beautiful picture of you in my gallery and maybe use it for my art projects. However, that’s only if you permit me to. If you’d like to take my phone and delete the photo, then please do.”
Natalie watched him hold the phone out for Henna. She looked from it to her friend with indecision clouding her brown eyes. Natalie simply winked in reply.
Henna cleared her throat, “Well, I can’t make that decision like this. I don’t know you.”
Dex nodded then glanced to the cloudy sky. “Tell you what. It looks as if it’s about to rain cats and dogs out here. Why don’t we go inside and I’ll buy you both a drink.”
“And yet, when it rains. Not one cat or dog falls from the sky,” Natalie jested.
“She always on a high horse like this?” Dex asked.
“Only when an ass deserves it.” Natalie grinned deviously.
“Shall we let him buy us a drink, Nat?” Henna said looking at her shamefully empty glass.
“Absolutely, let’s take his money, his phone. Then maybe his jeans as we bend him like a pretzel later.”
Dex reddened as he grabbed his belt as if fearing the girls might try to steal his clothes there and then.
“Nat!” Henna chastised as she picked up her handbag.
“What, he must learn his lessons.”
Dex regained himself and offered his hand to Henna.
She accepted it and rose, giggling as he graced her fingers with a kiss. “Thank you,” she remarked whilst blushing.
“You’re welcome.” Dex allowed her to join Natalie, then led the way inside.
The pub had a modern feel with its rich oak and stainless-steel furnishings
Dex acquired a window booth and supplied them with raspberry daiquiris. He sat respectfully opposite the ladies.
Natalie was surprised to him drinking orange and passionfruit juice, “No alcohol?”
“Not tonight, I have to drive home. I don’t wish to kill anybody in the process,” Dex said.
“That’s honourable, well done,” Henna said.
“It is. You know, Henna. This guy might have some redeeming qualities after all.” Natalie sipped her drink.
It was then the penny seemed to drop for Dex, “You’re playing me, aren’t you?”
The ladies burst out laughing, “Of course she is. When you check a girl out like you’ve been doing me since we arrived. Friends have to guard each other,” Henna explained.
“Yes, a man must be tested. He must be proven a gentleman or sent packing with a kick in the crotch,” Natalie added with a wicked smile. She caught Henna’s attention and exchanged a subtle nod.
“Ouch! Did I pass?”
“We’re not done with you yet,” Natalie cut in.
“Oh boy, do I want to know what’s next?”
Henna leaned forward on her elbows, “You may keep the photo provided you show me what you do with it when you take me to dinner next weekend.”
“Really?” Dex leaned forward. “You, saying I can take you on a date?”
Natalie suddenly wished Justin was around as Henna and Dex shared a brief yet sultry kiss.
“Yes please,” Henna said, her eyes sparkling toward Natalie. “Then the testing will really begin!”
Don’t forget Holly Ward investigates, Stolen Treasures is out on Amazon now!
A recent bank robbery. A saddened man. A coded message. Can they all be connected?
Young Sleuth Holly Ward is determined to help the man. It’s not long before she too comes under assault from a group of dangerous individuals. In the face of intimidation, abduction and even murder can Holly solve the clues and catch the criminals before she becomes the next Stolen Treasure?
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!