Kreative Kue 342 asked for submissions based on this photograph:
“Looks like he’s out.”
“Amazing. We were just talking about him and out he went.”
“You have to understand. He is a highly-strung dog and sometimes he just needs his rest.”
“Well, what about you? Maybe we can continue the interview while he naps.”
“Up to you.”
“You could give us some background on his life.”
“Where was he born and the like.”
“That I don’t know. We found him at the side of the road.”
“Ah. A rescue.”
“He was hitchhiking. We stopped and asked him if he needed a ride. He jumped in the car and that was it.”
“Extraordinary story. So he’s been with you ever since.”
“Yes. We got a call from his previous owner who wanted to visit him.”
“Really. That’s odd.”
“I’m not surprised that his previous owner wanted to contact him.”
“He’s that good?”
“I’m not sure that’s it.”
“What is it then?”
“Once he takes up residence, good things happen.”
“Like that Lotto win, you are here to talk about.”
“That was some win. Where did you get the ticket?”
“I really have no idea.”
“You having memory problems.”
“No. The dog bought the ticket.”
“W-what? “Is the legal?”
“Don’t see why not. He’s over twenty-one in dog years and as far as I know, the Lotto rules don’t forbid ticket sales to dogs. When he wakes I’ll let him tell you the particulars.”
“You are saying he can talk?”
“He’s a licensed financial advisor. I’m going to need his help.”
“Pshaw! Really Josh, was it so morally bankrupt? Flushing the goldfish down the toilet and framing Sylvester? My actions liberated the poor thing, forced to swim in circles in that glass dungeon, that’s no life. ‘Course the dummy had the memory of well, a fish. Irritating! ‘Oh, look! A castle! Oh look! A castle!’ All day and everyday! Sheesh! Did everyone a favor!
“Yup! Looks like I’m really paying for it, huh, Josh? Enjoying the view, Sylvester? Oh wait, you can’t because you’re outside for the day and the curtains are closed. That’ll teach you for clawing the stuffing from my bed. This is waaay better, anyhow! The best part is, I know Dad will bring me to the store to get a new one this afternoon! All you’ll be able to do is meow for forgiveness as we drive away.
“Lucky for you Josh, that you’re a budgie. Frank’s now working at Marty’s Mattress Emporium; flys around jerking his beak towards every mattress, ‘Soooofft!’
“Parrots who squawk get shipped down the block! Ahhh! This is the life! Worship me! Worship me!”
My effort was:
They do say, don’t they (whoever they refers to), that the camera never lies.
I have two observations on that.
Firstly, whoever asserted that had no knowledge of digital cameras or familiarity with… I don’t know… Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, GIMP or any of the plethora of image manipulation software, free and paid-for, that make up the photofinishing market these days.
My second observation is that, even were it impossible for a displayed image to show anything other than what was directly accessible to the lens at the time of capture, it has always been open to the photographer to arrange the scene in a way that will convey the impression that he or she wants to convey. In other words, the inability of the camera to lie – were such a concept true – does not preclude and has never precluded the ability of the composer of the image to deceive, to create a reality other than that which is immediately apparent.
Take this image as an example. We see an elderly gentleman holding his dog. The dog is on its back, supine; its eyes closed and its mouth in a relaxed position. What are we to infer from this scene? It is a still image, so we aren’t given the opportunity to observe whether the animal is moving, twitching or even breathing. Is it possible that he is dead? We certainly don’t have enough evidence to exclude that. The man’s face is giving nothing away. We can probably assume, from the expression, or lack of, on the man’s face, that the dog is still alive. Were he dead, we would expect the man to show signs of distress. Unless, of course, the poor pooch had gone to doggy heaven some time prior to the photograph being taken, in which case his owner (can we safely assume the man to be the dog’s owner?) would have cried himself out and would now be merely sad, resigned to the loss of his pet.
Do we believe, then, that the dog is asleep? Let’s look at the evidence with that as our hypothesis. The dog’s position is as consistent with sleep as it is with death. If we assume, therefore, that the man’s expression leads us away from the assumption of death, then sleep becomes a very real possibility. I’m certainly heading rapidly towards sleep whilst writing this drivel.
Before I go, though, I want to offer an alternative – and we can call it your homework for the week. Consider the attitude of the two characters. Is it within the realm of reason to speculate that the man may have hypnotised the dog?
Or has the dog, perhaps, hypnotised the man?
Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at email@example.com before 6pm on Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here.
Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries next time.