The Camera

“Just aim and shoot,” Paulie said to his girlfriend. “That’s all there is to it.”

“Yeah, says you,” she said. She was not good at all with mechanical things. A camera was a mechanical thing. An instrument. She had a long history of breaking things. In high school, she broke her biology teacher’s favorite microscope. It was an accident but she had a hard time not getting expelled. She never got back in her teacher’s good graces, barely passing with a D. Now her boyfriend was telling her that operating a camera was easy peasy. No way. She didn’t dare touch it. It would break just to spite her.

“C’mon, Emily,” he said, handing her the camera.

It was such a nice camera. It must have cost a bunch. She, for sure, did not want to break it. She pushed his hand away and shook her head. “You have no idea how easy it will be for me to break it.”

“You’re not going to break it,” he insisted. Was he being foolish or what? Of course, she would break it if she took it.

For all the money in the world, she was not going to touch the camera. Not for all the money in the world. “No,” she said. Tears were forming in her eyes. She was about to cry. As the old saying goes, she was between a rock and a hard place, and she was not getting out anytime soon.

He opened her hand and set the camera in it.

It wasn’t as heavy as it looked. Her hand shook. “Stop, hand,” she commanded it.

The camera seemed to like her hand. How ‘bout that. It was unbelievable.

Then the camera spoke to her, “You drop me and you’re a dead woman.” If you’ve never been threatened by a camera, it’s a scary thing.



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