I felt guilty taking stuff from a dead guy, it was a low I had never stooped to before but I never stole unless I was desperate and this time, I really was. It was Lisa. She was the closest thing to family I had ever had and now I was loosing her too. I needed money for medicine, for her and there was no way to get it shy of robbing a bank.
While that was certainly a more moral task than looting the corpse of a man who had stepped in front of a bus (intentionally by the looks of it), it was not something I was capable of doing alone. I took it in to a store to see how much money I could get for it, it looked old, not just old but antique… expensive. The lady passed it between her hands before calling her mother who she assured me was the real expert in the matter of pricing the antiques. I was most annoyed when the old woman told me to get out of her shop and to never come there again. Was the camera that bad? Pressing my eye to the appropriate place I noticed that the viewfinder showed the shop, eh, why not! I thought and clicked the button. What came out of the camera was unexpected to say the least. It was the shop but, not as I saw it now. The windows were shattered and there was a man, well dressed, accompanied by a policeman stepping under a banner of tape reading ‘crime scene, do not cross across the door I had just left. ‘Weird’ I thought to myself.
As the day progressed my escapades were increasingly unsuccessful, I had almost been caught twice. Luckily I had gained possession of a wallet filled with mostly cash, mostly low value notes but it was something I could use. I made a deposit at the ATM, I did have a job but minimum wage was not going to be enough for what Lisa needed. I turned around to meet a knife, ready to slip through the thin cloth barrier hanging from my body at a second’s notice from it’s master. He was taller than me, stronger by the looks of it too. “Look man, I just put my cash into the machine, I have nothing for you, I saw you swipe some fellah’s wallet an hour ago, give it here” I obediently handed over the leather pouch, not wanting the blade any closer to my skin. “Hmm, pity. You weren’t lying. Oh well, take it back!” Said the man. “What do you mean?” I asked. “The money, you said it’s in the machine, take it back.” He replied. “Look man, I need that money, it’s for medicine! My little sister, if she doesn’t get it soon, she’ll die.” Lisa wasn’t really my sister, but she was close enough for my to say it convincingly. Pity this man didn’t care, Well isn’t that a shame, because if you don’t do what I say then YOU will be dead, got it?.I don’t know what caused me to do it but my hands slid to around my neck. The lens was already pointed at the man so I simply pressed the button. Click.
Flash. Buzz. There, on the little slip of paper now protruding from the camera around my neck was an image not of the man threatening to claim my life but one of a later hour on the same street. It was light enough to see that upon the floor was congealed blood and a hand, the lower half of a police uniform was also present. The man’s eye’s closed Oh… you’ re harmless! I’m a monster. Look, I know you think the thievery will stop once your sister is safe but make sure it does, don’t have any ‘one last try’s. Got it? He asked, I nodded confused, I’ve become something terrible, a murderer, if such a light term can be used to describe me. Don’t let this be you. Nice camera. He said before raising the blade to his own throat and in one swift movement he lay on the floor, a threat no more.\n\nShellshocked, a good word to describe how I felt after seeing that, but thievery was a bad enough crime to be caught for, murder? No, that was out of the question. I forced myself to look away and run. Sitting in the corner of my tiny apartment rocking back and forth as I hugged my knees sounded just great but I at least knew I was not the one responsible for his death. Still, seeing one take their life in front of you was not an easy thing to see, but Lisa needed me and I was close to my goal, I just needed a bit more money and she could live. I wondered something, the man, my mugger, he had mentioned liking the camera before his ‘change of heart’. I wanted to see if the lady would have a change of heart too, hopefully one not involving death. I had done playing the criminal for today and needed something to take my mind off what had happened so I headed over to the shop where I had tried to sell my camera earlier. Upon arriving, something was wrong, the windows were broken,
“Crime scene, do not cross was taped across the doors and frames and policemen stood all around. “What happened here?” I asked the nearest one, Burglary, armed. Whoever did it killed the two women inside. But they wouldn’t have put up resistance, I mean, I was here earlier today, the one was small, not a fighter and the other was elderly! — Aye!, there was no sign of a struggle, but the odd thing is, the only thing that is out of place other than two corpses is the smashed windows, none of the stock seems to be taken, or so the detective says. He checked the records. The policeman explained. A chill passed down my spine as I saw another policemen and a well dressed man, probably the detective stepping out of the building through the tape. It was the exact scene from my camera earlier that day. I turned and left promptly. On my way back I passed the ATM where I was almost mugged earlier that day. Policemen all around there too. One was holding a photograph, and comparing it to the scene in front of him; a dark street lit by a streetlamp, congealed blood on the floor and the lower body of a man in police uniform.
I looked at my camera, it saw this coming! Sitting next to Lisa at the hospital I wonder if she will live long enough for me to get her the medicine she needs. I hope she will. Then I wonder… I could always take a sneak peak couldn’t I? At least then I would know if I should be out getting money or saying my goodbyes while I still can. I point the lens at the little girl I had met years ago, taken in as my own family, and shoot. Click. Flash. Buzz. There was the image. I hold it up to my face and to my horror I see a girl not sleeping peacefully like now but one terrified as her heart rate monitor shows danger in the background. Doctors rush around her as they try to wheel her to a place where she can be saved. I almost scream out when I remember that this is just a moment frozen into a page. Then it hits me that this will happen! I could have only moments, I know this will happen so maybe I can change it? “SOMEONE! GET IN HERE! SHE NEEDS HELP!” I shout in panic. Lisa wakes up and seeing my distress she beings to stress asking “What’s wrong?” — “It’s okay Lisa, it will be okay” I say, “What’s happening she says as the doctors rush in and try to wheel her out. That’s when I see it, the image again, the panicing girl, the deadly hear rate monitor, the frantic doctors trying to pull her to a new safe location. This time however, it is real, and it’s not frozen, someone pressed play. A few seconds later I realize that someone was me. Lisa blacks out and begins to have a seziure, this is my fault, if I had just let her sleep she would not have panicked, she would be okay! I slump down against the wall clutching my head as the medical crew remove their doomed patient from my sight.\n\nHours later I am told that nothing more could have been done, they are sorry but she is gone. They do not know it but I do, it is my fault. No. It was the camera, the stupid thing that was twice used to try save her and was thrice the cause of someone’s death. I take it from around my neck and throw it out the window. I watch it fall four stories. I watch it hit the ground. Click. Flash. Buzz. It does not break but it takes a photo. Of me. No. Of what will happen to me.