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Photographie – by QDesjardin

1

The icy reflection gazes back at her, its poise unfazed.

In the white arena of the hockey rink, she duels with her nemesis – a mirror simulacrum of herself, skating and twirling, its hollow innards shimmering light as it glides. The 'herself' she'd always dreamed of becoming, but could no longer become.The grace and beauty of a ballerina, touching the phantasmagorical as it desires.

She just has her camera. A Nikon D7200, one of the recents in lightweight DSLRs, here in her hands that are shaking with unsureness. What can she do with it, besides taking pictures with the flash on?

'click'

'click'

With every shot, a burst of blinding light, like she's fired a gun. The electronic display happily shows previews of what she's captured. Frozen time, still moments. Light, shapes, forms, expressions, and meaning. The ice flecks flying from the skates.

It stops the simulacrum in these photos, but the real thing continues to dash forward upon the ice, lunging for her.

Her heart is beating in a panic. Is she just capturing the last moments before her demise? Maybe aiming the camera at herself makes sense, so people would know the person behind the lens. But non, the flash would make her face to be an indistinguishable speck. There isn't any time to adjust the camera options..

Before she knows it, the copycat is right in front of her, and then it angles its skates – such that when it skids past her, her leg is sliced, and she tumbles onto the rink, sliding, crushing the camera with her belly.

"Wait—" she mouths, as the searing pain washes over her senses. "Not like this.."

She sees the copycat come back around, and the dashes of her own blood and scattered camera bits over the ice floor, the lens snapped off from the camera body. And polaroid snapshots which have spilled out – like the time when she rode the ponies, or spilled ice cream over her dress during a beach outing. Little things that she remembers.

"I want to live," she wants to say, her hand reaching towards the figure like a pleading. "Please!"

The tears drip down her nose, and she watches as her other self skids over her arms- yelping-

The 28-year old is awake in the taxicab.

"We've just arrived, miss."

Her panicked breaths help bring her awareness back into the current situation, as she sees her hands are safe and sound beneath the black sleeves of her coat.

The taxi is right by the Queen's Center mall, where her next photoshoot is at – a newly-wed couple. The silver skies lend a softness to the surroundings that she likes, somber yet soothing.

"Are you alright?" her cab driver asks, Punjabi music jingling from the radio.

This is Ekaterina.

"I'm fine, no worries." She gives him a reassuring smile, before she pulls out her phone (brimming with notifications) to pay the fare, and heads out to the mall's courtyard, where her crew eagerly awaits her direction.

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January 2017

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