“We love your work. But we are looking for some color–”
“I will not. I will not change what I do for anyone. I work in black and white only, and I am damn good at it too.”
“Okay, it was nice to meet you, thank you for coming, goodbye.”
He woke up shaking, hot. That nightmare again. Absurdity.
C was a professional photographer, well-known, and well-off for it. His camera was a part of him, always. C walked with a slight hunch due to the weight of his gear, and no one really seemed to notice.
C only ever worked in black and white. It was a truth of the world. He knew all of the subtle nuances of the process. There were forms and motion and hidden depths that only appeared there, and C brought out every single one of them. He could bring tears to the eyes of the beholder with very little effort.
Yes, he was damn good at it.
C looked at the clock behind the camera on his bedside table and sighed. He threw the sheets off, and sat up. He wiped his forehead, stood up, and then he heard the scratching again.
“…thank you for coming, goodbye.”
Ever since C bought his new apartment, there was scratching in the wall behind his headboard. Every night.
At first, he threw a huge fit with building maintenance, the owners, everyone involved. Excuses were made, reasons given, massive checks traded back and forth, but the scratching never stopped. Investigations by maintenance, construction, plumbing, animal control, private investigators, and various scientists were made. Walls, insulation, support beams, all were checked, adjusted, and/or replaced. Cameras were installed within the walls, and monitored 24/7, at incredible and meaningless cost.
All was to no avail. The source of the scratching was never determined. The building manager suggested he change apartments, offering a free upgrade, but C was stubborn. This was the apartment he chose, this would be the apartment in which he stayed. The building manager shrugged, and forced him to sign an official form stating he would not sue, nor bother the manager with any further issues relating to the apartment.
C read it over, gave up on the entire thing, scrawled his signature violently onto the form, and bought a very expensive set of headphones to block all sound such that he could sleep.
It was all a goddamned waste.
“We love your work…”
Every month since his wife’s death nearly ten years ago, C bought a bouquet of flowers to place upon her grave. His wife wasn’t actually buried there – her body was never found – but it didn’t matter. Even when he was on trips out of the country to take photographs, very expensive photographs, he would fly back home to put flowers on her grave. C knew nothing of flowers, so he left the decision in the florist’s hands.
C always went to the same flower shop, no exception. He’d been dealing with the same florist for some years now.
Maddie was very good, it seemed to C, with flowers. More importantly perhaps was that Maddie was very photogenic. He really didn’t care about the flowers. It was about the ritual. C made it a priority to get to know Maddie a bit more. She had fine lines behind her eyes that made him curious, as they completely disappeared when she smiled.
They got engaged three months ago.
“I will not change what I do…”
He smashed the back of Maddie’s head in with the same hammer that he had killed his wife with.
The wall just over C’s aching head cracked audibly. A long crooked black line slowly opened, raining drywall dust down upon the bed. C could not move, he could only look up at the wall.
From the crack in the wall poured chrysanthemums and lilies, every type of rose, sunflowers, daisies. Tulips. Mums. Amaryllis, baby’s breath, iris, hyacinths. A thick river of flowers. Barrels of flowers. Massive bouquets of flowers. They flowed down upon C, who still could not move. Tigerlilies. He tried, he tried to grab the sheets, he tried to claw his way off the bed. Roses, roses, roses. Nothing.
As the flowers slowly suffocated him, his camera’s flash went off again, and again, and again.
On the tenth anniversary of his wife’s death, all of C’s photographs burst into glorious color.
No one noticed.
“…we are looking for some color…”