Well it was a slow night for voting but the victory was solid. This week’s winner, for the second time, is Becca! Find her on twitter as @inkmuse and on her blog, The Lockless Door. It really was a beautiful piece, I’m dead shocked at such a touching piece of writing produced in only five minutes.
Congratulations, again, Miss. It’s well deserved.
Reposted here is her winning entry:
Jessica still hadn’t found what she was looking for. That perfect moment in time. She toted her camera through the park and snapped several failed attempts: a young man playing frisbee with his golden retriever, a little pig-tailed girl eating an ice cream cone, a large oak with bars of sunlight breaking past the leaves and branches.
Crap. It’s all crap, she thought.
She sat on one of the park benches, defeated. He shoulders slouched forward and she held her camera in both hands between her knees, though the neck strap would have kept it from shattering to the ground, along with her dreams.
If she didn’t find that perfect photograph, she’d be fired. In a sense it was her own fault. She hadn’t given much effort over the years. Her boss was riding her on this one thing—a photograph to capture the essence of humanity.
She laughed at herself. Yeah, me capture the essence of humanity. What a load of crap, she thought.
As she was browsing through her photographs, thinking the tree was perhaps her best shot so far, and hardly qualified unless she wanted to get fired for expressing herself in an unconventional way—again—a homeless woman sat beside her.
“Hope you don’t mind,” the lady said, settling in. She reached inside a small pouch and retrieved a small loaf of freshly baked bread.
“No, not at all. I was about to get going anyway.”
The lady smiled, the bread crackling as she broke it in half. “I come here to feed the birds.” She handed half the loaf to Jessica.
“Oh, I’m not a bird,” Jessica said. Her face heated with embarrassment as she realized how foolish she sounded. “I mean. really, you should keep this.”
Jessica started to hand the bread back, but the woman lifted her hand and shook her head. “No, no. You need it more than me.”
The lady turned away from Jessica then, but didn’t leave the bench. She just sat there, crumbling sections of bread and tossing it to the ground in front of her.
Birds flew from all over and landed to eat the small meal. Jessica stood there, staring at the loaf in her hands, and then back to the lady. A smile cracked though and the stress fell away. She helped the old lady feed the birds, then walked a few feet down the path, and took a photograph of the kind woman on the bench, the birds in flight, and the very essence of humanity.