Opportunities Abound

Opportunities Abound

A Story by MelissaAndres

Short Story about a budding photographer/videographer and what she does for a class project.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The vast world around us can contain awesome wonders or dingy, dark ugliness. It's all in how we perceive; optimist or pessimist. What do you see when you look out your window, down your street, around your city, your state?

Talyn Latimer's brows furrowed. She was determined to prove herself. Being the only girl on the Audio/Visual Squad had been quite intimidating. The boys had been deemed Nerds, Dorks and Geeks so she supposed she was in that category as well but, what were you when those Nerds, Dorks, and Geeks wouldn't even allow you into their own weird circle?

With a couple of minor projects under her belt, the high school senior thought she would have more confidence. She had been sadly mistaken. Her time-lapse photography of flowers and plants had been viewed as too "feminine". What the Hell?

Tears leaped into her pecan-colored eyes as she read the instruction sheet. "Paine Tolleson's gonna ace this," she mumbled.

"Create a fifteen-minute video, combo of still-frame and time-lapse photography." Terrance Lang, their skilled instructor announced. "Films must be done within the Tovar Hills community and will be graded, counting as a large part of your semester average."

Excited murmurs filtered through the male students as they began to discuss ideas.

"Oh, and the Tovar Hills City Council will watch the top three, select one as a promotional tourist commercial and grant a small college scholarship." Mr. Lang sat at his desk and began to shuffle papers. "You have one month."

"This could lead to job offers, man!"

"I can see dollar signs now!"


Talyn wrapped a tendril of long, dark hair around her pinky finger as she eavesdropped on her classmates' conversations. She would love to receive that scholarship but knew Paine Tolleson's father, the School Board President would pull all sorts of strings for him.

Inhaling deeply, the young girl held her head high. "Suck it up. Opportunities abound."

Mere days later, videos began pouring into the classroom.

Mr. Lang viewed each film but didn't allow a classroom viewing, only hinting at content.

"Each entry has been excellent thus far," he stated. "One about the school system has still photos of students and time-lapse of comings and goings into and out of our distinguished brick building of higher education."

Several hands patted Paine Tolleson on the back.

"Another about our school lunch program is quite comedic. Stills of various foodstuffs and time-lapse in the cafeteria really made me chuckle."

A short, chunky boy with bucked teeth grinned and turned slightly red.

Talyn placed a shaky hand to the side of her head. How was everyone doing this so quickly? How were they coming up with such great ideas? She had not even started. She didn't have a clue.

"Stop it," Talyn grumbled. "Remember, opportunities abound."

Immediately after school, camera in hand and backpack slung over her shoulder, Talyn Latimer walked down the sidewalk, through the play park and into the business district. She had lived in Tovar Hills all her life. There must be some inspiration in this sleepy, yet growing little town.

Focusing on a stray, yellow cat, Talyn snapped a few pictures as it skittered off into the alleyway behind an abandoned, boarded building.

Following quietly, she stopped short. Inspiration gazed down at the teenager. As she looked around, Talyn grinned.


One month later, an amateur photographer and videographer stood in front of the Tovar Hills City Council and School Board President.

"We have watched this several times and I must say, I want to watch it again," School Board President Court Tolleson beamed. "You have definitely captured the desired image of Tovar Hills."

As the lights dimmed, Talyn's video flickered to life.

A still photo of a large green billboard, TOVAR HILLS NEXT RIGHT in shiny white letters filled the wide-screen t.v.

Talyn's voice, sweet, yet professional, provided narration:

"Tovar Hills," she said simply. "My hometown. Your hometown."

The picture changed into a field of flowers, the storefront of Mrs. Steven's Bakery and then the small, stray kitten.

"Our hometown is growing. Growth is good." A short pause and then the screen darkened, replaced by a black and white photo of a trashed alleyway. Broken bottles, wadded newspaper and discarded boxes littered the space. Another, colorful photo showed graffiti scrawled haphazardly across a brick wall.

"Right?" Talyn continued, a bittersweet lilt enveloped her voice. "When we work together; men and women, boys and girls, Tovar Hills can be a wonderful world."

Time-lapse photography images showed hundreds of residents quickly working together; painting, sweeping and planting. A still photo of the newly-emerged beauty flashed and slowly faded.

"Look around. Opportunities abound." Talyn's voice dissipated ... as her smile shined on.

© 2015 MelissaAndres

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Lovely short story n perfectly described abt beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.all depends on us

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


5 Years Ago

Thank you for the compliment. And, yes, I do believe a lot of things in life depend on our attitude.. read more

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1 Review
Added on September 3, 2015
Last Updated on September 4, 2015
Tags: short story, photographer, videographer, class project, girl, beauty, hometown



Fort Worth, TX

Hi! My name's Melissa and I love to read and write! I am married to a wonderful guy named Mark and have a grown son and step-son and five beautiful grandchildren. I no longer work outside the home .. more..

Chapter One Chapter One

A Chapter by MelissaAndres

Chapter Two Chapter Two

A Chapter by MelissaAndres