CLAIRE'S STORY
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The students were asked to write stories and poems inspired by the photographs that they took during the workshop. Each student chose a poem or story related to a photograph made during the workshop sessions for display here. Their chosen photos, printed large, will also be displayed the during the month of May, 2008, at the Addison Woolley Gallery in Portland, Maine, along with the poems and stories chosen. The gallery is at 87 Market St., in Portland's Old Port (on Post Office Park).

 

    The lock stared at me as if daring me to pick it. "Bring it on," the lock says. I fight the lock's power. But then, I give into the temptation of the lock. I remove a bobby pin from my back pocket. My sister's, actually. I start toward the lock, then realize it is already open. Ha-ha, lock. You can't get me in trouble. I quietly feed a battered-up tennis ball into the crack of the door. It rolls, thumping along. Then I grab a walkie-talkie from my jacket pocket. I press a frozen, raw, red finger onto the black button.

     "Zac to Cam. Zac to Cam". I lift my finger and impatiently wait for Cam's response.

     "Cam here. What's the 4-1-1?" Cam's voice crackles through the machine, breaking what had seemed like years of static.

     "Ball in. You come. I'm at Door Sixteen." I waited again.

     "Be right over. Bye." Suddenly out of nowhere, Cam appears. He moves like a cat, quick on his feet and quiet. We both enter the house. Cam shuts the door behind us. I don't know why. We are now in total darkness. Cam and I step blindly, groping for a light switch, but there seems to be no electricity. That's when we hear footsteps. Thumping, thumping, all the time getting closer. We hear a man's voice.

     "Who shut the door? Aw, c'mon, we don't got no electricity in here!" The man is getting closer. We see a bright beam of light. A flashlight. The man is searching for the door, coming closer and closer. We are about to be discovered when I hear Cam's whisper. I can't understand him, but he senses that and takes my hand, pulling me roughly from where I stand. Right in the nick of time, too. As I leave my spot, it is swallowed up in the bright, fluorescent beam. Cam dives behind a stack of boxes, then pulls me with him. The beam changes directions, coming even closer to us. I feel sweat beads trickling down my forehead and neck. I clutch my walkie-talkie very hard. I imagine my knuckles going white inside my pocket. I shiver, and yet I am so hot. The beam turns our way. The footsteps thump even louder than before in my ears. The moment I've been dreading comes. The man spots us. We quietly and cautiously move away, so cautiously, I tell myself. But the man really sees us now.

     "Hey, you two! Get back here!" He lunges and reaches for my pant leg, but I wriggle free.

     "Run!" Cam shouts. And we take off sprinting. Cam and I run through the deserted alley behind the house. There was nothing but more clunks and thumps of the man's boots, and his many calls.

     "Joey, Joey, we got two kids here! Two li'l' punks, Joey! We gotta find 'em, Joey! Joey!" The man's voice sounded frantic. Suddenly, I felt a sharp tug on my sleeve. I whip around in alarm, thinking it's the man or his friend, Joey. But it's only Cam. Cam motions behind him. I look. It is his black back pack. He turns around to dig in the pack. While he is, I stare at him questioningly.

     Cam is wearing army green cargo shorts and bedraggled black sneakers. His faded white Guns 'n' Roses t-shirt is stuck to his chest with sweat, and from where I stand I can see his ribs going in, out, in, out heavily as he breathes. There are tons of bruises and one too many scrapes on his tanned legs from playing lacrosse with me at the Deering Soccer Field Complex.

     Right now he is frantically mapping his sweaty, dark, shaggy bangs from his blue eyes as he digs in his bag. Finally, he finds what he's looking for. It is a piece of paper, and two baseball gloves. He studies the paper for a moment, and then stuffs it back. He turns back around and points to the back window.

     "That," he whispers, "is the perfect window." I stare at him, puzzled. He hands me a baseball glove and a Boston Red Sox cap. He throws on a cap identical to mine and grabs my hand, leading me to the back window. Cam looks both ways, then climbs through the window carefully. Once he's in, he motions for me to follow. I climb in as well. Now we're in. We hear footsteps again. This time, it's more footsteps. More than before. The man has people with him. Crap. This is not good. Cam leads me behind a stack of crates and cardboard boxes. The people are coming closer. Cam and I shrink down behind our crates and boxes. The people are coming ever closer. We shrink down more. They turn the corner. They can almost see us. We hear voices.

     "So, Officer Bradley, two punks were in here. I don't know what they did, but they did something. That I'm sure of." I freeze. The police? What? Cam and I are going to get arrested? The man and two officers are in our eyeshot. I shift my foot. Once of the officers points at our spot. "There! There's something over there!" The man and second officer start towards us. The first officer follows, switching on a flashlight beam as he went.

     "Yep," the man says. Officer One asks us to step out. Cam pushes past me.

     “We were just searching for our ball, Mr. Officer. Just searching." Cam tugs at his Red Sox cap for effect.

     "Well, the officer sighs, "I don't want to do this to you boys, but unless Scotty Fitzgerald here decides to drop the charges, I'll have to take you down to the station. But it's up to Mr. Fitzgerald. Mr. Fitzgerald?" Mr. Fitzgerald steps up.

     "The charges are what, Officer Bradley?"

     "Trespassing and breaking and entering, sir."

     "Well then, press the charges!" Mr. Fitzgerald announces.

     "Okay, boys, I'll escort you to the car. Let's go."

     Cam and I look at each other. Then, we drop our gloves and run again.

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