*Part 3 of the ED BANNISTER series. Extract from my Photography blog, Through Frog Eyes. Each month a guest photographer is featured and a short story is woven around a set of photographs. This is where photography and creative writing find a common platform. For this month, all the stories will be connected in a series, ushering in Thanksgiving and Advent. Please click on the link to read the previous stories and the complete version of the story below with the full set of photographs. 

Slamming his laptop shut, Alexander felt as though he had just been kicked in the stomach, draining all energy from him and leaving him gasping for air. For the next few moments he sat with his hands griping the steering wheel tensely and stared out into the darkness, not looking for anything in particular. The film clip was a montage of videos smuggled out of various countries from Eastern Europe and Asia but all covering the same topic of child trafficking. This was the visual evidence he had been waiting for to plan his next story and organize the logistics involved to do so.

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Our Place – by Ed Bannister

He had somehow completely lost track of time and as he reached out to take one last sip of his drink, Alexander realized that daylight had broken and he was about to witness sunrise at the Mittens, something he had not done in a long time. This is exactly what I need to do, he thought to himself, work in the dark until the sun rises and a new day begins for those who have forgotten what a sunrise is all about. It was going to be more than just a story, and he would need to call in a team to do so. Research was of the utmost importance to him for the next week, checking up on information and cross-checking validity of sources. Not too many informants were willing to talk to journalists, so he would have to tread carefully as well.

The assignment in the USA was over now, and he had done what he had been sent to do. It was now time to wrap things up, cancel the lease on the car and the office, and say good-bye to his small circle of friends and colleagues. He would miss them, yes, but the words of his Columbian photographer colleague rang in his ears: “This is not our town, and this life of glamour and modern conveniences is not our place. You and I belong back in the field, back where we never know where to find clean water or the next place to catch a WiFi signal.” He was right, there was nothing here would not mind leaving behind, especially the broken dreams.

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