“The Photography Mafia? That’s ridiculous,” she said. “There is no such thing.”
I knew she didn’t want to believe it and yet, I saw a flicker of terror in her eyes. She had seen too much to believe with all certainty that what had just happened was a coincidence. We all had seen too much.
I pulled my chair closer and took her hand in mine. “Listen, I know this is hard to comprehend, but it’s important you know what we’re up against. The Workshop Syndicate is not just some harmless partnering of people who put on workshops; they are dangerous. They are the people who put other people on the back of milk cartons. They are like the Cosa Nostra, but with tons of estrogen and mermaid camera bags.”
She shook her head. “But…but…this is insane. They aren’t mafia; they are just a bunch of grown-up mean girls. That’s all. There isn’t anything more to it.” I felt her hand begin to shake. “Right? RIGHT?”
Poor Darlene. The enormity of the situation was hitting her hard. At least I had time to come to terms with the truth, but not Darlene. She was gasping for air like a goldfish in an inch of water.
“Darlene,” I said, “Think about what has just happened. Think about all of it. Put the pieces together.”
I watched as she closed her eyes, organizing the events of the past week into order. Her lips moved silently, recalling conversations and screenshots. She opened her eyes and looked at me in despair.
“Darlene, I’m sorry, honey, but you know I wouldn’t lie. I’m going full-on Darth Vader, here: Search your feelings. You KNOW it to be true.”
The color slowly drained from her face and she began to sob. “No. No. No. No.”
There was nothing left to do but hold her until her sobs quieted down. I remember feeling the same mind-numbing shock upon learning the truth, but in my case, I was comforted by a Grey Goose. Many geese, actually. And some club soda.
After a few minutes, Darlene lifted her head and wiped her eyes with the back of her sleeve. She managed a weak smile and said, “Well, unlike Luke Skywalker, at least Darth Vader’s not my dad.”
“Yeah,” I said, reaching over and tucking a lock of fallen hair behind her ear, “and unlike Luke, as least you still have both of your hands.“
(Note: This is a fictional work-in-progress and not about any one person. It is a mafia, people. A mafia. xoxo)
About the Author
Missy Mwac is a photographer/eater of bacon/drinker of vodka and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can follow her social media links here: Facebook, Tumblr. This article was also published here and shared with permission