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Camera Obscura by Brooks Sterritt | Word Riot
Flash Fiction

November 15, 2009      

Camera Obscura by Brooks Sterritt

Roger is reading Zola in bed. Edna stands in the doorway, her Minolta generates clicks. He reads the same sentence four times. He reads it again. He manages a strained smile.

“Don’t smile,” she says.

“It’s really hard to read with you doing that,” he says.

He claims he doesn’t look his best. Edna says nothing, moves in a surefooted arc toward the window. She captures his image from various angles. She opens the blinds, segments Roger’s body with bars of sunlight.


He doesn’t mind that she photographs him while he sleeps, unless the clicks wake him. Usually it’s her gaze.


“Why don’t you put it down and come back to bed?” he asks.

“Just a minute,” she says, face obscured.

“When are you going to show me the last batch?”

“Soon,” she says. “Look at me.”

“Come to bed.”

“I will,” she says. “But only if you look at me. Can you look at me? Roger?”

About the author:

Brooks Sterritt lives in Boston where he is pursuing an MFA at Emerson College. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Dogzplot, Incunabula, Rain Taxi, and elsewhere. He is the assistant fiction editor of the literary journal Redivider and a fiction reader for Ploughshares.

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