Argentum Abbadon thought the world of photography and the art. He knew no joy other than having his own little universe of framed lives. People were his favorite subjects, so charming and delightful. He knew he liked the idea of people more than the actual entity of people. He also knew that they were best in that moment when light and chemicals froze them on paper. He travelled frequently, meeting people and getting to know them till they agreed to pose for his camera. Today he was in the countryside, waiting for his customers.
They arrived. Your urban happy family of five (that included the dog) visiting the countryside to have themselves shot against the scenic backdrop. The man stood with the baby cradled in one hand and the other wrapped around his wife’s shoulder. The six year old girl was on her knees with the giant of a dog, his fur gleaming golden in the soft light. The scene was perfect.
He said the c-word. The man, wife and girl said the c-word, the baby yawned and the dog twitched his nose. Cheese. Click.
Out came the photograph. The baby started whimpering and the dog was barking loudly. The man came forward but couldn’t walk beyond an invisible barrier. His expression turned into worry and anger and disbelief. He knew these reactions. Most people behaved this way in the beginning. They got used to it in time. They have no other option, and besides, they have so much for company.
He took the photo and hung it on its assigned space on the wall. He needed a happy family next to the sorrowful young woman. The old couple could also do with some company. This was his treasure, his collection of people, their smiles, their laughs, their expressions and their lies. He didn’t capture mere memories, he captured their lives. The wall full of portraits and people, smiling, staring vacantly, sitting glum, weeping, laughing deliriously.. so charming and delightful.
In an ignored column on the seventh page of The Times, one found the news of a family of four and their dog gone missing since Sunday afternoon.