"Don't you think your photograph is, ahh, a little overexposed?" the judge asked. He thought he had seen it all after years of judging photography contests. But this photograph was unlike any he had ever seen.
"I had a malfunction with my flash –" the photographer started saying.
The judge couldn't help wondering what sort of malfunction in a flash could explain the submission of a blank piece of paper. Perhaps the photographer had a mental malfunction –
"– at a fireworks show –"
Fireworks are mesmerizing, like rainbows popping in a popcorn machine. With each burst, the judge could see the photographer in stop motion – flirting with a pretty blond woman in the crowd – handing her his expensive camera – then frantically reaching for it when he realized she was dropping it –
"– with my wife and three boys."
Children are very good at making things up, the judge thought, thinking of his own kids. Surely, the photographer's boys had played with his camera when he wasn't looking. Cops and robbers is a whole different game when there's a photographer! Of course, the robbers like to scuffle with the photographer for the camera, so sometimes it gets dinged, but it's easy to just tell Dad that –
"Actually, my youngest son suggested the name for this photograph."
"Really?" the judge asked, suddenly making eye contact with the photographer. "What is it called?"
The photographer smiled knowingly and replied, "Flash fiction."
24 February 2014