When he awoke, he had the weird feeling,something was missing. More evident problem was that he did not know what was missing. Or from where. He looked around the room to take a loud inventory – the things could be counted on finger tips easily. Then as he saw the heavy locked door, he laughed to himself. It was impossible to steal anything till that door stood its place.
He ignored the feeling and walked to the breakfast table grabbing a beer in one hand and his camera in the other. He liked all the shots from the last evening’s trip to the river side park. Just liked. and he understood, what he missed. One of the shots troubled him. It would have been a perfect capture ,Only if the girl had not turned her face at the last moment and glared at him. So what if it was a cliche shot , he had waited half an hour for some kids to pass that section of the path.and the branches had to be covered so that they did not overlap with the shadows. He took one hard look at the pic and emailed it to the magazine for the contest. He badly needed to win, not to survive but to sponser his college fee. He finished the beer thinking of his days when he would be studying photography and not just using it for a living.
Next day , a couple turned up on his door steps, the magazine in the lady’s hand was open on the page that had shown the pic he had shot. Without any formalities, the lady asked him “where was this pic taken?”
“In the park behind this building”, he told without any question though he had some.
“And the girl ?” the man asked.
“She was with the people in the pic. Might be a part of the family”, he said a little defensively.
“She is my daughter”, the lady yelled.
And with that she ran towards the park. The man muttered a thanks and followed her.
He could not contain his curiosity and ran behind them. The couple was calling the girl with her name and looking frantically all around. They did not have to go far when from behind a bush, the girl came running forward. She was bouncing with joy as the lady bent to take her in her arms.
He stood there, not sure what to do or say, so he silently returned to his room.
That weekend, he received an envelop that contained a cut out of the pic and the story about how it had helped a couple find their lost daughter.
The story won his shot the votes and the contest.