Neither spoke as image after image illuminated the computer screen.
Marty ran his hand through his thick dark hair. “The picture of the woman, near the end.”
Freyja scrolled back to the woman sitting on the pavement holding her bleeding daughter in her arms. The composition of this and other photos wasn’t great. There’d been no opportunity to compose a foreground to enhance the perception of depth of field, background distractions competed for visual dominance, and subjects couldn’t be repositioned in consideration of light direction. She’d been shooting on fully automatic so technically the images couldn’t even be considered “tack” sharp. But despite their shortcomings artistically and technically, they captured the moment and were the most powerful pictures she’d ever taken. Was it wrong to feel proud of pictures portraying anguish, pain and death?
“That could be the photo to define this massacre,” Marty said. “It’s like Capa’s Spanish Civil War photo...”
“The Falling Militiaman.”
“Right. And the one of Vietnam, the little girl running naked down a road after being burned by napalm.”
“Nick Ut’s photo of Kim Phuc.” Freyja knew the images and the photographers. They were her heroes. “They’re that good?”
“Good might be the wrong word. What are you going to do with them?”
“Sell them. I work freelance for The Daily News.” She’d come to that decision just now. A front-page picture with the corresponding photo credit, not to mention the much-needed check, made her giddy. Poppa would burst with pride.
“Why not the The Raincoast Record?” Marty said.
“Other than the fact it’s a left wing rag with one-tenth of the circulation, it pays shit.”
“There’s more at stake here than a few bucks, Free.”
“Tell me about it,” Freyja said. She stood up and began to pace back and forth. “This could be the break. Four years of thrift store clothes and not being able to afford Starbucks could be coming to an end. I’ll be able to pick and choose assignments, pitch my own ideas.”
She looked at her wrist and remembered the battery on her watch had died. “If I’m down there early enough I could still make deadline for the afternoon edition.”
“Freyja, the future of the province is at stake.” Marty shook his head. “We’re three days from an election. These photos could turn public sentiment in our favor.”
“Our favor? I’m not one of your lefties.” She bent over to eject the card from the computer but focusing on the screen had made her eyes burn and water again. She rubbed them with her sleeve. It made it worse.
“You’re wrong, Free. And yes, defeating this government would be in your favor.” Marty rested his hand on hers. “A job for your mother, better healthcare for your father. This government’s rotten, Free. They don’t care about people like your parents. Now, after twelve years, we’re very close to getting rid of them.”
“One slimy politician’s the same as the next as far as I’m concerned.”
“I’m a member of the People’s Democratic Party and a volunteer on an ad hoc citizen’s committee that organized the rally and march, and believe me–”
“You’re one of those agitators?”
“Agitators? Marty threw up his hands. “Those agitators are federal, provincial and municipal government workers – you’re neighbors and friends. They’re the–”
“– same ones that smashed windows and looted at the demonstration last week?”
“These austerity measures will gut their pensions, roll back wage agreements – it’s fucking fascism.”
“I have to get a cloth from the bathroom for my eyes.” Freyja’d heard enough.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish