When writing, let the image tell the story.


IT’S ALL ABOUT the image.

We see it trapped in a single moment of time.

It is vivid.

It catches out attention.

We don’t know why it’s there.

We don’t know what it means.

But the image means everything.

We see her walking down a sidewalk.

It’s late in the day.

The skies have opened up.

The rain has turned the day a misty shade of gray.

On she walks.

She looks young.

It’s hard to tell in the rain.

She is fashionable.

It’s difficult for her to walk on a slippery sidewalk in high heels.

Her long, dark hair falls over the collar of a tan raincoat.

And she is holding a big yellow umbrella.

Bright yellow.

It is the kind of yellow that beats back the dismal shadows of a day the color slate, the color of tombstones in an old church graveyard.

It is vibrant.

It is the color of life.

It makes us smile in a day filled with frowns.

She walks on, her head bowed against the wind.

Her steps are quick.

She is in a hurry.

She is in a hurry to escape the rain.

Thunder disturbs the far side of the city.

A bolt of lightning flickers above the skyline.

The rain is harder than before.

And the lady turns the corner, the lady and her bright yellow umbrella.

The afternoon seems darker than before.

Has night come?

Or have we simply lost sight of the yellow umbrella.

It glowed like neon.

And now it’s gone.

We follow the sidewalk.

The rain follows our footsteps.

Night hasn’t caught us, but it is trying.

Ahead the traffic has stopped.

The light turns red.

Then green again.

Nobody moves.

The world stands still.

And we see it in the middle of an intersection.

A bright yellow umbrella.

Where is the lady?

Where has she gone?

Why did she leave it?

And did she ever have a choice?

A bright yellow umbrella.

It lies in the rain.

It lies beside the skid marks.

We don’t have to tell the story.

The umbrella tells it for us.

It’s all about the image.

It always is.

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