by Alex Smith
She really did mean every picture. I picked up the closest photograph from the scattered pile and had a closer look. It took a few seconds to spot him amongst all the people, but my eye caught a shock of black hair near the upper right of the picture, and there he was. Late sixties, well-dressed, messy hair--a figure in the distant background, one face in a thousand, caught with his mouth half-open. He seemed to be talking to the person next to him, hidden by the crowd.
I turned to her. "Are there any more?"
She nodded absently, as if to herself. Her eyes were wide and anxious, studying the photographs.
"I think I saw a binder upstairs," I said.
Before I could finish the sentence, she turned and hurried out of the cramped basement. The old staircase creaked as she left. I dropped the photograph and picked up another. This one was closer to the crowds, most of the shot obscured by an enormous festival banner. Somebody near the back was holding it up, balancing on their friend's shoulders. The friend was laughing, stumbling a little under the weight, leaning against the man next to her. He was late-sixties, well-dressed, messy hair.