All The While

Rich color, stark black and white, photographs upon photographs. The digital files were unscathed from the bitch’s wrath, and he went through them with a keen eye and a trembling hand, looking over each piece meticulously.

There, the curve of her thigh, bruised and bloody. There, the bones of her hand in stark relief, tight skin over the tendons, the lines of her fingers marred by the ripped nails, the delicate nature of their seeming lost to the brutal reality of violence.

And this one, the look of the girl in the mirror, with the real girl’s face turned away from the camera. The girl in the mirror is bruised and tearful, broken and yet strangely beautiful, in a disturbing way.

He marks those he’ll save for the display he’s putting together for the Abuse collection, and carefully prints out everything on glossy white paper, slipping them into a portfolio, half-sick and half-awed at the way he managed to capture the pain and suffering and ultimate grace of the young girl who was so badly used.

“How is it,” he asks the girl in the photos, “that you can still be so beautiful, even in the midst of this?” She doesn’t answer, but those bright eyes watch him, all the while.

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