Written for the daily post challenge (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/weekly-writing-challenge-a-picture-is-worth-1000-words/) . A bit longish.

I always end up writing for it after the week’s ended. Oh well, it was fun anyway.

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Family

I remember that day with brilliant clarity. Like people remember what they were doing on the day of John F Kennedy’s murder.

There was nothing in the day itself to say how it would turn out. An uncertain sort of day it was, would lend itself to either happiness or drudgery it seemed without being too choosy about it. Bright and sunshiny it was that time, the sort that made people want to sit in the shade and sip cool drinks and do nothing else. Not for me, however. I was up and about, wanting to make the most of the sun and soak it up in my bones before the snow started.

 I was walking around to the next block but one, and there they were. Getting ready for the shot. Their first time, I thought. Heck, no one in that area ever invited the picture man over to take a picture. I had only ever seen him set up his equipment far away in the city block for the office type people. These were probably the first family pictures he was taking. I looked at them all dolled up, the little girl as pretty as a princess. She flashed a chubby smile at me most mornings, and asked me nicely how de’do? Her brother, he was the silent one. Never greeted me, or anyone, just stood by as his sister made friends with and charmed the whole world. Took on his dad I think, who mostly had a grunt or a hi for people. His wife; now that lady she passed on her charm to her daughter.

 Today she smiled at me while readying her daughter, while the little miss chattered away on how they were going to ‘make a pikkchur’ and ‘show it to eberybone in sshkool’ and how all her friends ‘aregonna wantto make a pikkchur also and aregonna askme bout my pink dress that nana gimme on krishtmash’.

 Finally the miss was ready. Her dad called her over and she skipped to him, clutched his hand, pulled her little black purse higher with the other, and gave one of those sunny smiles to her mother. The brother looked on impassively for one so young. No joy in him. He was a bit older than the girl, I’d think, but not so much so to be left joyless by the world. The mama stood up and came to my side. When I see’d her, she said the first one was just for them three, and she would go in the next one for a family picture. There is no occasion she says, they were just always wanting to get pictures made and the daddy had finally agreed.

 Well, then what else is there you are wanting to know? The picture man lined them up while the mama stood near me. He ducked behind his machine and called out to smile. Not that he needed to have bothered for who listened? The miss was already smiling, and no amount of ‘Smile Please’ would make the other two do so. Then his light bulb went off with the sound.

 Before he even straightened his posture, there was another flash and a sound like another bulb going off, only much louder. Then there were two more.

Before we could reach them, they were all down. The mama next to me keened very high and crumpled down where she was. The picture man ran for a neighbour, I ran to the little miss. She was still smiling chubbily and her pretty pink dress had a red red spot. Guess the day finally made up its mind not to go well.

 I finally git why the boy was always unhappy, why he stood away from his father in the picture. What I never git was why the daddy excluded the mama, why he wanted her to see and not be part of it. We all guessed a lot after that, but who knows a dead man’s mind?

 And that is why I can never forget that day. I can remember it as clearly as other people remember what they were doing on the day of John Kennedy’s murder.

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