Skip to content

Picture Triggers

May 27, 2015


This week I took in my box of pictures (culled from a stock photos magazine found in an op shop) and invited students to pick out up to three, then write something incorporating the images. 


Matt stands at the busy intersection, one hand compulsively rapping the pedestrian crossing button while the other tugs at his shirt collar, his neck constricted by the unaccustomed tie. All around him, grim-faced commuters stare into space or peer down at their phones. In a puny effort to assert his individuality, Matt instead gazes upward. Sheer glass façades loom all around him. He thinks longingly of the sheer rock faces he was climbing only a couple of months before – the fresh wind abrading his cheeks, adrenalin coursing through his system as his feet sought the next secure hold.

Now he’s caught up in another, grimmer struggle for survival. Ever since that terrible night when the elderly mother of his ex-wife had called at midnight, gasping out the facts of the accident. He hadn’t seen Sarah face-to-face in years, although they’d kept up contact online. She hung on in the hospital for a few days, never regaining consciousness, but by the time Matt’s plane had touched down in Melbourne, she was gone.

The beep changes to the rapid rhythm indicating pedestrians’ turn to cross. He steps out onto the road only to leap backward a second later as a car swerves around the corner, its horn blaring. Only then does he realise the beeping was for the other side of the intersection. One step further out and his daughter would have been an orphan. His heart still pounding, Matt pulls out his phone to check the time and curses under his breath: ten minutes to nine. His eye lingers on the home screen photo: Ellie smiling proudly in her soccer uniform, the sunlight glinting on her pale hair.

The light finally changes, and Matt breaks into a sprint. If he hurries, he might still make it in time for his job interview.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: