What follows came to me as I was waking up this morning. I don't know
how or why. But I wrote it down. I don't know why exactly but I know
I was suppose to. I'm posting it here. I don't know why but I think
I'm suppose to.
The survivors in the small cafe were beginning to recover their senses
as the dust and smoke from the small explosion began to clear. They
were a mix of adernaline junkies, adventurers and an altruist or two,
all there to report The War. Only one was over 30 - Bernie, the wise
“old” photo journalist. He was 31, maybe 32, 35 tops. But he seemed a
lot older - probably because of the things he’d seen and documented with
the ever present cameras that hung from his shouldera almost 24 hours a
They all began to talk at the same time.
What the hell was ...
Get out of here, there may be another ...
Then above the din, a louder voice shouting
SHUT UP! SHUT UP A MINUTE AND LISTEN!
After the noise of the small explosion and ensuing yelling, the silence
now was almost total - except for a sound from the right rear corner of
Bernie always sat in the back corner, facing the door - a place where he
could see everyone and everything in the room, camera always close at
In the smoke and semi-darkness, they tripped on overturned chairs and
collided with tables as they made their way to that back corner and
began digging through the rubble. In the very brief periods of silence
they heard a voice, faint and unintelligible.
GET TO HIM - BUT GENTLY!
A dozen hands lifted debris and others carried it away.
As they lifted a larger piece of what had been the false ceiling of this
little bar they called The Office, they saw Bernie. He was looking up
at them. From his injuries they knew he wouldn’t last long. But they
told him - “Hang on, you’re going to make it. Just hang on man.”
One of his friends knelt beside him, head bent down close, trying to
hear what Bernie was saying, his ear inches from Bernie’s mouth. The
room went silent, dead silent.
Bernie’s lips moved, he smiled his trademark odd smile - and died.
The ensuing silence lasted only a few seconds before someone asked
“What did he say? What did he say?”
Rising from his now dead buddy, his friend turned to the other
survirors, Bernie’s odd smile now on his face.
“He said - Click.”
Bernie had captured images of violent conflicts for over a decade, from
all over the world. Some of his shots had appeared in magazines, news
papers and one or two made it to TV. He liked to think his stuff got
people to think - and feel and maybe begin to do something about all of
the violence in the world, or at least in their neighborhood, maybe in
their own home.
His last image was only a mental one. He tentatively titled it Rescuers.
No one got a picture of his last smile.