“Human kind cannot bear much reality. They’d rather listen to that young fellow play show tunes.”
“I don’t blame them.” Freyja didn’t want to talk to another stranger. Her legs hurt from standing in high-heeled boots for hours, her elbow burned with tendonitis from shaking so many hands and her brain had shut down an hour ago. She had no idea what she was saying or whom she was saying it to. The recollection of the event was like the blurred background of a panned photo.
“Were you afraid?”
“Terrified. This is my first show.”
“Not tonight, when you took the photos.”
Freyja looked at her companion for the first time. His smile was experienced, his demeanor arrogant but appealing.
“Afraid? Afterwards, maybe a little.” Instant recall – never more alive yet never more focused. An out-of-body experience attached to reality by the lens of a camera. Afraid, nope; exhilarated, electrified, fucking orgasmic, yes, yes, yes! Freyja’s cheeks felt hot. “Not afraid enough to stop me from doing it again.”
The stranger raised an eyebrow. “... and again, and again?”.
No one had asked these questions. They assumed Freyja had been horrified by what she photographed. She didn’t dare tell them her concern was more about content, lighting and background than victims. Didn’t dare tell them she wanted more, wanted it hard, that all her art that had come before seemed flaccid, contrived, artificial, lifeless and plain boring. Freyja felt breathless. She wiped her palms on Georgie’s dress. It was better than sex, at least most of the time.
There was something about the way her companion watched her over the rim of his champagne glass.
“Would you put yourself in harms way to take more pictures like this?” he asked. Considering the vibe they had going the question was rhetorical.
“In a heartbeat,” Freyja said. “Does that make me crazy or a ghoul?’
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