The Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: This week’s challenge couldn’t be simpler: tell a story based on this picture.
Ergo, presenting my 1000 words worth the picture I saw. I’m pretty sure, the story – sans the title – is a thousand words long.
A thousand *imagined* words
Mom with a camera was always a scary experience. Just for the heck of it, she’d dress us up and then go on clicking… working the shutter and some more clicking. Looking at this picture, you may have thought we were actually off to some place. Trust me it was nothing like that.
So here’s the story. It was actually a hot summer’s day – you wouldn’t have guessed it, right! So it was hot and humid. I still remember that day clearly because that’s one reason I’ve saved this picture. It was a Sunday – a hot sunny Sunday. We were all home. My brother and I were all set to take plunge in our small kiddie pool. Dad was sweating in the heat to make sure the pool was properly inflated and mom had gone indoors to get our swimming gears. I was running around to get sweatier after convincing my brother to chase me. Very soon, we’ll be enjoying some water sport.
What happened next may give you all a shock… so brace yourself. Mom went in to get us the swimming gears and out she came with a brilliant idea. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she came out with my pink dress. I couldn’t believe my mom would let me swim wearing my favourite dress. I also saw the pink hat. Now, why would she want me to wear a hat for a swim?
She dressed me up and I was tickled pink and I couldn’t wait to get drenched wearing my FAVOURITE dress. My mom went on to dress my brother while I began getting impatient by the second. It was getting hotter, too. The pink dress wasn’t for a hot day, it was my Christmas dress and it was meant for winter. I didn’t object only because she was going to let me get into the pool with the dress.
A few more minutes and lo and behold, my brother was ready, too.
Dad called mom aside and there they were chatting away. My brother was sweating profusely and so was I. The only thing that was making me hang in there was the thought of taking that pink-dip. I was focusing on the bigger picture. I was focusing on the reward more than the work. It wasn’t the same with my brother – he hated wearing anything formal, let’s just say he didn’t like getting dressed up. He still doesn’t.
Our parents were trying our patience. Dad’s “Can I talk to you for a minute?” had passed beyond the minute and it already seemed like hours. At last, I knew it was time when I saw my dad’s hands going up. Mom had got away with whatever they were discussing. Maybe dad didn’t want us to wear our Sunday best while splashing in the pool and boy was I happy when he finally gave up and gave in.
“Dad’ll be out soon. So just wait a little while, okay…” How lovely those words sounded. She was all smiles.
Just like she had promised, Dad came out. He came out with the kind of clothes he wore for work. Could he be swimming with us? How would he fit in there? If he did come into the pool with us, would there be enough room for all three of us?
Dad called us and held our hands and there we were walking. But why? I wanted to ask until I saw mom coming out with a camera in her hands. She had a little purse, too. All of us walked to the front and then Mom gave me the purse to hold. Now I understood why my brother was so sullen. He had known this was coming. Silly me!!! I was no longer tickled pink. I was beginning to feel blue and hotter by the second.
Mom took out the new film and began loading it into the camera. Dad wanted to help but she stopped him. She said she could do it. There was lot of fumbling going on while the three of us stood still – feeling hot as hell. A lot of tugging and tweaking followed while the three of us were still standing – still feeling hot as hell. I looked over to my brother, he was still sulking. I tried getting his attention but failed. By this time, even Dad was beginning to look like brother – sullen, sulking – like father like son.
I began feeling sweat trickling down my back and I couldn’t wait to avenge this whole episode by drowning in the pool with the dress on. I was still the only one looking happy – because I knew, my patience would be rewarded. The fumbling, tugging and everything seemed to take forever. Now, my mom was on her knees trying to get that thing working. Then I saw her shutting the cover and I knew it was time.
“All right, now there everybody, smile….” She clicked and nothing happened. “Darling, do you mind checking this for me?”
“Finally!!!” Dad spoke without saying. He must have said so or would have liked to say so.
“Thank you, honey!” Mom said as Dad walked to us. “All right family, get ready.”
“Honey, wind the film….” Dad intervened.
Krrrrrr came the sound. “Okay, let’s do this… huddle up, smile” Click!
“One more, just one more and we’re all done here… Okay” She was pleading. “Come on, one smile.”
This time we all smiled.
“The film, honey… wind it… please” Dad spoke without opening his mouth – his jaws clenched tight.
“Sorry!” Krrrrrr – wound up. “Smile”
Result: The Picture above.
Now you know why we aren’t smiling in that picture. Put yourselves in our shoes or rather in our dress, on a scorching hot day. Smiles – only later when Mom actually let us splash with our Sunday best on [result of a whole lot of begging, nagging and pleading].