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TWO STORIES

ONE

“Hey, Al.” he said to the young blonde woman who entered the door. “Did you bring your camera?”

        “Yes. Why do you need it?” Al noticed the letter on the table as she asked. “What’s this?”

        “It is a letter.”

        “Yeah, but from who?”

        “My ex-girlfriend. I want to send a picture of myself to her, to show her I still love her.”

        Al fought the urge to roll her eyes, “She tried to kill you, and you want to tell her you still love her?”

        “Yes.” He walked in the other room to get them both a drink, while Alicia got out her polaroid camera. She thought he was crazy for doing this, she never liked his ex-girlfriend, then the woman shot him. He came back in the room with two ice cold Snapples.

        “Here, Al.” he said handing one to her. He took a sip and set his down, as did Al.

        “Are you sure you want to do this?” She was there when his ex-girlfriend shot him. She dialled 911. She was there with him when he was in the ICU. She was there when he was moaning for his ex-girlfriend, not remembering her shooting him. Al had been there through everything! Now he was trying to get his ex-girlfriend back. She would probably just shoot him again this time, though it would probably be fatal.

 With a look in the mirror, he said, “I’m sure.” He crossed his arms to accentuate his muscular torso, Al took the picture just as his smile slipped.

Story by Megan J

TWO

“Dear Natasha,

Writing is the only way out so here’s a picture worth at least a thousand words. I will likely be in this cage for the rest of my life, but hopefully this picture says that “I’m strong.” My life is as disposable to them as this polaroid.

My cell mate an old Puerto Rican man named Chico snapped this shot for me. He’s like a father to me.  He told me that writing everything down is the only way I won’t lose it all. You know you really gotta watch ya back in here. And ya ass. Please write back.

Holding it down, until we meet again. Conjugal visits aren’t a myth, ya heard?

–Todd”

Natasha cried over the short note, and wrote “Love ya always” on the bottom of the polaroid. Then she pinned it on the wall next to a picture of them at the county fair, where she was holding a stuffed animal that Todd had won for shooting five yellow, rubber ducks in a row. Little did she know it was just practice.

A couple days later, Natasha’s mother went into her room to gather the laundry. She noticed the polaroid on the wall and it filled her with unspeakable fury. She snatched it down and poked four holes into his chest with a pencil that laid on Natasha’s desk. It was the same number of holes that had killed her 9 year-old son, Natasha’s little brother–the most recent victim, an innocent bystander, of a gang-related shooting by Todd’s infamous crew.

Story by Karissa Lang

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