Thursday, August 03, 2006

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# 13

"Tell me honestly do you mean that or is it just a story you tell in bars to get laid."

"What do you mean?" Sandberg asked angrily.

"You really believe all that Hollywood crap you just told me?" Sarah Lee looked amazed.

"Every f'n word was the truth," Sandberg replied.

"I'm sure it is. Never mind no sense picking a fight with you. You are what you are, and will be until you figure it out."

"Figure what out?" Sandberg was livid. He didn't like being questioned. As a matter of fact it happened so seldom that it was almost unheard of. Not being questioned like the cops and all those army CID types. It was Poole, she made it sound like he was a little boy somehow. "I want to know what the hell you are talking about and I want to know now."

"And if I don't tell you, exactly what do you plan to do. Are you planning to shoot me or are we going to start swinging cameras. If we are, then you are way under armed."

"No, I'm going to just leave here and forget all about you."

"Well Sandberg, I can't say it was fun but it was an experience."

Sandberg turned and stormed from the room. With a little luck I won't have to see that jerk again, Sarah thought to herself. She looked at the negative laying on the head ranger's desk. It wasn't just good like Sandberg thought, it was THE battle shot. All the rest of the shots that Sandberg and the other people with camera's made were just circular file fodder.

You couldn't explain it to people with 35mm cameras; you couldn't even hope to get a digital camera person to even listen. When they just shot and shot and shot hoping to get the right moment, they almost always missed it. Why? They were working a millisecond behind. They couldn't recognize the defining moment, because they were shooting the moment before and the moment after. Even worse, when they shot it, they didn't know it. They had so many pictures the defining moment got lost in all the mediocrity. Sandberg would learn or not, but she certainly wouldn't be the one to teach him about the art of photography. Somebody already had taught him just enough of the science to get him into trouble. He had no business being at the reenactment, he had no feel for it at all. Photo Journalist, she thought it while looking for a place to spit the bad taste from her mouth.

Even more than to learn about photography the right way, John Sandberg needed to learn how to live. What he didn't get, and she would never explain, was that at the waffle house, he didn't have the other patron's permission to put their lives in danger. Not just so that he could be a hero again. Even a rookie cop knows to let the man go, then get him outside. A confrontation inside a bank, restaurant, or convenience store, just puts everyone in danger. Sandberg didn't think because he hadn't learned to be a civilian yet. Sandberg was still playing soldier and before long it would cause him a ton of grief.

Someone needed to teach him about himself, but it wouldn't be Sarah Lee Poole. No by God it would not be Sarah who explained that he was a control freak. If it hadn't been for the Army, he would most likely have been a serial killer. He missed the killing, it was written all over him. For some people killing is like crack cocaine. Sarah wondered where he kept his trophies. They all took them.

Her dad had a picture of himself wearing a necklace of human ears. The difference between her Dad and Sandberg? She wasn't quite sure, but there surely were differences. Her dad wouldn't have bothered with the kid in the restaurant. It wasn't his money, and he didn't know any of the people.

"Now if the idiot had tried to take his money, then god only knows what would have happened." Sarah mumbled that to herself as she started down the path to her wagon. Sarah's father lost himself in photography after he got home. He wouldn't even own a gun after the war.

In her little town there were about a dozen really bad men. Men who would go into a biker bar and lock the door so nobody could run away. The cops feared them, but fought them anyway. When Sarah was a rookie, she and her trainer went into one of the biker bars just to show the badge, as it was called.

"Hey we got ourselves a split tail cop," one of the younger men, said. Sarah and her partner turned to the sound. She was terrified of course and her partner didn't look all that much better.

"Y'all just go one about your business officers. I'll take care of this." The voice came from one of those truly bad men. Sarah nodded because she understood. Her partner didn't of course.

"What was that all about?" he asked once they were safely outside.

"Nuthin', Uncle Melvin is gonna' have a talk with the young man."

"You mean Melvin Roberts is your uncle?" The partner was shocked. Melvin had done a little time for assault with intent to kill.

"Gun Jammed." was all Melvin ever said about the incident.

"No not really, we just called him that. He and my dad used to drink together now and then. I'm surprised he even remembers me."


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