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Rated: E · Fiction · History · #2011084
Writing prompt based on a picture. flash fiction
One shot. That’s what Mr. Klemond said. If Ben could get that one perfect shot, Mr. Klemond would run Ben’s picture in his paper. Ben went to great effort to copy Mr. Klemond as much as an 11-year-old can, and although it was not exact, he came close. He took great care to make sure his suit was ironed, that his ascot was perfectly tied, that his fedora was the latest in 1945 fashion.

This was quite a feat for a country struggling in a post-war economy. He was fortunate that Grandma had a friend that was very well off. When Ben mentioned that he wanted to dress like a reporter, Grandma just had to mention it to her friend, and Ben was now the proud owner of Miss Elsie’s grandson’s suits. You could not even tell that they were second-hand. Even if they could tell, everyone was in the same boat and polite enough not to mention it lest it come back on them.

He made sure that dad knew that he wanted to be a reporter when he grew up, and take pictures for the stories he wrote. This camera was not the Speed Graphic version that Mr. Klemond had, but it was the best his dad could do. Ben was ecstatic to get it for his birthday. This camera was all he needed to complete his uniform.

So now, young Ben was on the hunt for the perfect shot that Mr. Klemond said he would run in the paper. Every possibility was scrutinized and discarded immediately as not newsworthy or filed in his mental “come back to it” file.

Nothing ever seemed good enough for the paper and time soon ran out. Ben stood in front of the Chronicle’s door and agonized how he would tell his friend that he had let him down and did not get the photograph. As he pushed the door open, he could hear the bell over the door jingle and he looked around and saw Mr. Klemond pulling the proofs off the press. Maybe Mr. Klemond would let him try again. Maybe….

The editor looked up and saw Ben standing in the front room and motioned him to come back. Ben nervously stepped beyond the line that delineated the front of shop from the work room that housed the huge machines that printed the newspapers. Mr. Klemond proudly showed him the proof of the paper that would be out by morning’s light.

Stands the young boy with his brand new camera is the caption that ran underneath a photograph of Ben dressed as a reporter. It would run in the newspaper’s community event section and would have an article about Ben’s birthday celebration. Ben looked at this picture in the newspaper, then back up at Mr. Klemond. His eyes were asking “why?” Mr. Klemond put his hands on the boy’s shoulder and said, “There is no perfect. Just do your best, and trust that it’s good enough.”

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