“The sun shone in the sky.” He frowned. The phrase didn’t seem right. “The sun was bright and hot....and wet.” He shook his head and tossed his pen across his room like a child. This was an impossible task. Why hadn’t he started it ages ago when he had time? He had so much time to complete his task and now it was all gone and the whole situation was hopeless . Desperate. “Write a bloody NOVEL in a day?” He frowned and read over the requirements for the paper again. It might as well be a novel. He stood and moved to his window as the sun shone through the window as if to mock and tease him. That’s when he saw his first, bare breasts.
His seventeen year old mind froze, but his body acted with ninja-like quickness as it ducked down low to avoid being seen. He shuffled his feet and got his head between the plant on the sill and her - his neighbor and fellow student Lisa Tate. He stared, taking in the supple flesh and didn’t even want to blink for fear of missing a single second of this splendor. Why was she wandering through her room without clothing? He took it in, scared to think about it too much for fear it would break the spell and send this vision spiraling back to the mists of fantasy.
She was beautiful. Pale with dark black hair tumbling over her shoulders. A towel was wrapped around her full hips. He stared through the plant and his mouth fell open as his knees burned. It seemed like minutes, but it was most likely seconds before she disappeared back into her bathroom to complete whatever task she had started.
He stood slowly, turned, and moved back to his desk. He took another pen out of his pen cup, stared up to the ceiling for a minute, then put pen to paper without thinking. His words flowed from mind, to hand, to pen to paper. Several hours later, he had his story - written in hours instead of weeks. His final grade was A- for spelling and grammar.
Years slipped by. He dated, but nothing lasted more than a few months. He wrote and the stories grew darker and longer. The original tale spun after seeing his nubile neighbor was filled with magic, light and love, but now his stories were filled with fear and hate and sorrow. The protagonists that fought evil now caused evil in the worlds he created. They reigned over others and made their lives difficult and sad.
And the watching continued.
Now a man, he developed schemes to see others in their natural states. At first, all those years ago, he wanted more nudity and sex to fuel his passions. He’d watch as women changed clothing and went about their night time rituals and filed the memories away for his private pleasures later. He caught couples in the act of lovemaking and joined them through the windows of their homes. Watching them in their most intimate moments. But soon, that became a bore. It was always the same. Nude, they would go about their duties. Alone, he’d watch them. The magic wore off of that like it had his stories long ago.
His first camera made things more interesting. He saved and scrimped to buy it and spent hours walking with it and taking photos. The film process was slow and drove him mad. When he sold his film camera and purchased a digital camera the light in his life returned.
He’d move through the days snapping photos of others going about their work and play and would spend his nights going through the photos and categorizing them into groups. Mothers would play with their children, people would work their dreadful jobs, and he would document everything - a hidden presence in their worlds. A God.
He’d look down on them and observe their lives, making comments to himself as he did so.
“Do you really need that burger, luv?” Click.
“I wonder how much you get paid, my boy?” Click.
“I love you.” Click.
One day, he found himself at the shipyard. Naval ships bore their flags and officers and enlisted men went about their duties. He slowly walked past the base with their posted signs and warnings, his camera swinging around his neck. His eyes narrowed as his fingers slid over the camera’s surface. He paused as several men wandered past on the other side of the gate. Surely, he wasn’t supposed to be here. This was military. Secret. His heart raced at the thought of snapping a photo. What would they do if they caught him? What if they thought he was a spy or terrorist? A slow smile crossed his face as he gripped the camera a little tighter.
The fence spun on down the walkway and wire topped it neatly all the way. At one point, the fence dropped down the hillside. From there, he’d have a shot at the whole base and the ships beyond. His pace grew quicker and his smile wider as he made his way to the dip. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he licked his lips and eyed the base. Not since his accidental view of his neighbor had he had this feeling of need and exhilaration.
The fence dropped off down the hill as the road curved up and to the right.
He stopped, brought the camera up to his eye quickly, and started shooting.
Fence warning sign.
The barbed wire.
The sun shining off the windows of the buildings below.
The angry looking face of some man watching from the strip of road on the other side of the fence down below. The man stomped towards the fence .
He dropped the camera to his chest and eyed the man walking his way. Without a thought, he turned on his heel and started walking away briskly. He didn’t see the angry man wave his hands at the dog that had made it’s way under the fence. “Get along, ya mutt! Off with ya!”
He reviewed the photos later and was thrilled with his coup. He was right there, taking photos of everything and they couldn’t stop him. He didn’t ask permission. He just took it. He smiled to himself and leaned back in his chair. Where would he go tomorrow? A bank, perhaps? He could take a picture of the tellers and the vault. What would they do? There was nothing posted stating that one could not take photos within the banks walls, so what could they do?
His smile widened as he leaned forward to review the photos a second time.