The Story in the Picture

DSC01449If one picture tells a thousand words, then what does my collection of photos tell?

Thousands of stories, if I can only unleash them.

What stories could this Indian tree tell? We were told that the Indians used these trees to mark their trails. They’d bend the sapling the way they wanted, and the tree would grow with permanent angles.

This particular tree points the way to get from the bluff to the water. What if a government whistle-blower knew of the tree, and used it to hide stolen documents that could bring down a corrupt president? After the whistle blower is found dead (along with four other people who had come forward), it’s up to the last surviving member of the group to find the documents. All that’s left are vague clues and a blurred photograph. Will he find the hiding place in time to save his own life and bring a criminal official to justice?

And then sticking with the tree theme…

DSC01500A hiker in the mountains stumbles on these trees growing out of the side of a mountain. A sudden storm causes him to seek shelter under the roots of the tree. There he stumbles into…what?

Could it be a portal back in time, where he emerges just in time to get caught up in an earthquake that changes the course of a nearby river? Or could it be a cave that holds treasure? Or an air vent that leads to a secret underground lab, where scientists are splicing human and animal genes to create enhanced capabilities. In one experiment, they merge human genes with a cheetah’s, to try to create muscles that will allow men to run as fast as the animal.

The hiker overhears enough of what’s going on that he begins to investigate. Then the corporation behind these experiments finds out someone is asking questions, and the hiker finds himself in mortal peril.

162 cemetaryA cemetery holds a story for every death. This cemetery in Zambia tells a thousand variations on one melancholy theme: deaths from AIDS. So many die each day that it’s hard to keep up with the need for fresh graves. And many leave young children behind. How a pair of orphaned siblings build a new life for themselves and many other in the face of overwhelming odds leave a challenge and inspiration for the rest of us who haven’t suffered as much.

And then there’s the cat.

DSC02420What if a stray cat slipped into a hospital, and hid in the radiology department. Over time, the radiation builds up, and the cat somehow learns to read. A maintenance man finds the cat and takes it home. Then strange things start happening.

Stay tuned. Maybe someday I’ll turn one of these into a novel.



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