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Teen Fiction: Capture the Moment

Malky Cope

I consoled myself in knowing that long after the trip was over, I’d have the wonderful memories to savor in the form of my photos

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

 Mishpacha image


“W e’re going on vacation…” I sang out loudly in what I call my best singing voice (my brother calls it a dying frog’s final croak) from my perch on top of a pile of neatly folded T-shirts, getting ready for D (departure) day, which was very early the following morning. This wasn’t going to be just an ordinary vacation. No way! This was guaranteed to be the most amazing, dazzling, spectacular winter vacation I had ever experienced. For the first time ever (and probably also the last), the entire extended Levin family was joining together for ten days in one of Florida’s most luxurious hotels and I, Atara Levin, the self-proclaimed family photographer, was ready to tackle the momentous task of capturing every moment of this historic event. With my latest-model camera, six memory cards, two spare batteries, and my tripod, nobody could say I wasn’t prepared.

The first three days were as wonderful as they describe them in the storybooks. The hotel exceeded even the fussiest of my relatives’ expectations. The family was all getting along beautifully — quite a remarkable feat — and my grandparents shepped their much-deserved nachas. Early morning swims, exciting daily excursions, extravagant buffet meals, and late-night jaunts were all par for the course. It was all very nice but I didn’t really have too much time to enjoy myself. 

I was far too busy rushing from group to group, from one place to the next, not wanting to miss even a single pose. As the days passed, people, places, and events became one big blur, but I consoled myself in knowing that long after the trip was over, I’d have the wonderful memories to savor in the form of my photos. Although I was slowly turning into a photo-snapping, sleep-walking zombie, nonetheless, I kept up my self-imposed mission to capture every moment. Until the fourth night.


After supper, everyone loaded onto the coach bus for a night trip. Everyone had a blast in the amusement park while I kept busy doing my usual thing. At 11 p.m. the park closed for the night and everyone started trickling back to the bus. I was already sitting down when I noted a bunch of my older cousins sitting on the grass in the parking lot, chatting. It wasn’t a major scene, but it was worthy of a photo, so I grabbed my camera, snapped a picture, and then sat down on the grass with the others. 

Soon I was deeply involved in the conversation until another cousin came running over to tell us that the driver was ready to leave and we had 30 seconds to be on the bus if we wanted to get back to the hotel. Everyone dashed on just as the doors shut, and the driver sped off. I was exhausted and within seconds had escaped to the land of sleepyheads. I slept deeply, only awakening when we arrived back at the hotel. I reached down to gather my bag and camera, but my camera wasn’t there. I began to panic. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 691)

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