In the beginning, they shared a symbiotic relationship. She was a rising star. He, a young photographer. They needed each other to launch their careers. Wherever she went, he followed, capturing every moment of her life. As she grew more famous, she needed him less. And he needed her more. He crossed lines: nude photos at the beach; an illicit kiss. All justified because her fans demanded to know. He gave them what they wanted.
His last photographs were gruesome. She looked as if she had been on a week-long drunk; hair unkempt, no makeup; sweats that hid the recent weight gain. He clicked the camera from a distance, capturing her appearance but not her pain.
The photos went viral, sealing his reputation as a world-class paparazzi. He was the new rising star.
At the inquest into her suicide, the prosecutor asked, ‘did your photos contribute to her death?’ The jury found him blameless, but he knew otherwise.
He found himself guilty and imposed his own sentence. Her photos lined the walls of his small apartment as a constant reminder of the price of his fame.
It was a life sentence.
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt. Thanks to Al Forbes (A Mixed Bag) for providing this week’s challenging photo.