Sunday, July 09, 2006

Photo Subject: Unknown

"Frank's Photo" by Wes Aldridge

Strange vibrations during a night of photography in Nashville. My friend Matt and I decided to do some night exposures, so we started searching for interesting and run-down industrial sites to shoot in the downtown area. We found our first suitable location for the night and set our cameras up on tripods. We hadn't shot 3 frames and then we heard a strange rustling sound coming from a garbage dumpster about 20 feet from us. We thought little of it at first, but then there was a scratching sound and heavy, shallow breathing. Curiousity grabbed hold and we went to explore.

One of the sliding panels was open and I peered over the side for a closer look. A thin shaft of light from the full moon fell on a pair of yellow eyes that stared blankly up at me. I thought it was probably a homeless person that might have fallen and gotten trapped in the dumpster.

"Hey fella, are you ok in there?," I asked.

No reply.

Again, I said, "you alright in there?"

There was a small rustle and then a battered blue hand reached up toward me. I said, "Jesus, Matt, this fucking guy looks like he is hurt. We need to get him out of here and to the hospital."

Matt looked at me like I was insane. I wouldn't say he was afraid, but we were both pretty sketched out by now. I leaned over the dumpster and took hold of the hand and started pulling. The hand was cold and limber, and I as I pulled it into the light, something made me question "what" I had my hands on.

The head popped up and that crazy red hair and scabbed white scalp scared the living hell out of me. The eyes were bulging and the mouth looked like it had been beaten with a crowbar. I didn't know what to do after seeing all this, so I let instinct take over and I pulled it out on to the sidewalk. It started making a soft purring sound. Yeah, this wasn't a human.

Matt knew exactly what to do. He ran to the Jeep and grabbed a hand full of orange slices and a crimson backdrop and strated setting up a light... it was portrait time.

"Frank," I said, as I held the orange slice up to his nose. "This is some good stuff. Wanna try some?"

I called him Frank because it seemed as good a name as any. At a time like this, names don't really catch my attention, anyway. I needed to take a picture, and fast.

Matt grabbed a box and I sat an orange slice on it. Frank crawled over to the box and sat on it, enjoying his orange slice all the while.

"Un-damn-believable," Matt whispered. "The strange bastard digs orange slices."

I took a shot and Frank started staring up at the strobe light. He was astonished, and that was the pose I wanted. I snapped one more frame and then he started glaring at me. Things had taken a turn for the weird.

Frank made an ear-piercing screech and jumped down on all fours like a wild cat of some sort. I turned and ran and he came after me. I slipped after getting about 10 feet from him and hit the sidewalk. Frank leaped into the air straight for me and I knew I was done for. Out of the blue, Matt appears with a 2x4 and cracked Frank directly in the mouth with a mighty lumber jack swing. The clown from hell hit the ground and rolled off into the darkness. Needless to say, we grabbed the gear jumped in the Jeep and put the pedal to the floor.