"You're beautiful," he said, as she poured his third cup of coffee.
She was trying to be an actress, but it was slow getting started. Growing up in a small town, she was naive and desperate for her big break. It was a bad combination.
"I'm a photographer," he called after her as she walked away. "I bet you could use some pictures for your portfolio."
She turned around. He looked nice enough; his suit was tailored, his teeth were gleaming white. She took a few steps forward and calmly took the business card from his hand.
"Just meet me at the address on the front, tomorrow. Let's say 3:oo?"
"Sure. What should I wear? Should I bring anything?" she asked timidly.
"Whatever you want, sweetie," he cooed, his voice saccharine sweet. "I'll see you tomorrow." He winked and walked out of the restaurant.
She knocked on his door at exactly 3:00 the next day. He answered it quickly and flashed his electric smile, inviting her in without having to say a word.
The apartment was sparsely decorated, just a few books, a couch and a camera on a tripod. As she looked around, he disappeared into the kitchen.
"Would you like something to drink?" he called out.
"Just some water would be fine, thank you."
Moments later he came up behind her. "That's no fun. Here, try this."
The alcohol burned her lips and throat as she took her first sip. She slowly nursed her drink, but soon began feeling light headed.
"Whew, this is strong. I...I think I'm going to go. Would it.... is it be possible to, um, reschedule?"
"Just take a seat. You're just nervous. Let's talk." His voice was calm and comforting. He patted the cushion next to him on the couch and she sat down. "So, where are you from?"
"I...um...Mm...Michigan," she took a deep breath in and tried to regain her composure.
"What brought you out here, all the way from Michigan, sweetheart?"
She began to answer, but closed her eyes and tried to calm herself. She could feel herself speaking, but couldn't hear the words. Her voice sounded far away and her vision began to blur.
Her eyes opened what felt like moments later, but her instinct told her it had been much longer.
She was laying on the floor, a camera next to her head. Alone.
This post in response to a prompt at The Red Dress Club-write a short fiction or non-fiction story based on the following picture: