we would find her in oddest places, camera stuck to her face, as if she had been born with it instead of a nose and eyes. every where we went, we'd see her; in the play ground, at the super market, standing outside the chain link fence at the school, even under the overpass of the interstate that led out of town. we called her one-eyed Lilly, because she viewed the world through that long telephoto lens, twisting it round and round to bring everything into focus.
Mrs. Lilly lived somewhere in the the three block radius of our neighborhood, but no one really knew where. one day we stealthily followed her along the street, her yellow and orange floral sundress and stringy greying hair hard to miss as we darted from tree to tree choking back our giggles. pausing to slip by Mr. Wilson's house, lest he notice us, instead of that cat, we rounded the corner only to find leaves stirring in the summer breeze.
later that afternoon, clinging to the utmost branches of the old oak tree behind johnny's house, defending it from invading Mongol hordes, we watched her reappear from behind a neighbors house, camera firmly ensconced on her face. panning in each direction, she turned to walk down the sidewalk, by where we were playing.
eric wondered aloud if she worked for the guv'ment as a secret agent sent to spy on us, maybe in cahoots with our parents to make sure we was acting right. snorting his indifference, johnny said he read in a book, at the library, that some people believed that when you had your picture taken, it could steal your soul.
slowly, as if she had heard, Lilly turned her head, training that one eye on us and i swear it blinked, sending a shiver down our spines. not a one of us breathed as she chirruped click-whir, click-whir...sending secret messages or small bits of us off to some unknown place with each press of the button.
we never tried to follow Mrs. Lilly again, though many times we hid, afraid that she was following us...or that she might take a little more...
This is a Theme Thursday post.