Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lens flash

This week, a snapshot.

The old camera had been in a box for decades, the pictures never developed, and now with the prints in his hand his blood ran cold from looking at the images that came from it. The proper term is discolored, but there was nothing wrong with the rich, cerulean hue his skin had become, for he felt blue. Don't misunderstand, he felt, flesh and bone synesthesia. What was improper was the sharp pain, as if his blood was no longer simply cold, but crystallizing, a million shards erratically coursing, lodging themselves in the walls of his arteries --

veins, dizzy --

cold, it's dark -- so dark --

Billowy, white flakes fell, and fell, as they always do in Montana. Being snowed in was commonplace. What wasn't was the stench that reached into town the following spring. Weasel's decaying body was found lying next to a thin stack of black and white photographs blurred beyond recognition by household mold.


Christopher said...

That is a magnificent old camera.

It looks like what it does. Unlike the cameras we have now. They could be anything: a phone, an external modem, a memory stick.

Mary Ellen said...

Cold...snow...blood...sounds like a typical December morning in Chicago. ;-)

Great writing, as always, kiddo. Why aren't you published yet, you slacker! :-)

Übermilf said...

This is the feel-good story of the year! Has Disney called for the movie rights yet?

Actually, at first I thought it was about Disney and his cryogenics.

Holte Ender said...

The old camera had been in a box for decades, the pictures never developed and now with the prints in his hand his blood ran cold from looking at the images that came from it. Eight black and white pictures of his grandparents, posing separately with what he could only describe as a smiling creature, tall, thin and alien. He never met his mother's parents, they had been committed to an asylum for the extremely deranged, for speaking about being visited by creatures from another world.

sunshine said...

Great short piece Randal. I enjoyed reading it.
I agree with Mary Ellen... you're awesome and should be published.


Distributorcap said...

you mean that camera isnt a digital one?

MRMacrum said...

Upon putting this story down, I imeediately made sure the fuel tank was topped off.

susan said...

I wonder if all old cameras take pictures of the past or hold the photos taken in some structural atomic memory bank? I'm off to look for that old Leica I packed up in a suitcase long ago.

Mauigirl said...

Great writing as always, Randal. I just caught up with all your posts since Halloween! My head is spinning from your amazing prose.

Mary Ellen is right, you should be published.

Liberality said...

Your words paint a gruesome picture dear Randal. Keep it up!

Cormac Brown said...

I always wondered if anyone still "feels" anything after they expire, and this story is another argument for it (shudder).

Demeur said...

Graves you swine! Now you just move that scene back to Cleveland where it belongs.

S.W. Anderson said...

All the really racy French postcards out there and you, Randal, manage to use a G-rated one. What's with that?

Seriously, you did a terrific short, short story in the horror genre. Add me to the chorus saying your work should be published. I'll add it should be published by some outfit that pays well for the privilege.

S.W. Anderson said...

Christopher, if current trends in camera design continue, all the more-affordable ones will soon be mistaken for matchbooks and fancy key fobs. Only preadolescent Asians will be able to operate them. Everyone else's fingers will be too big and most others' eyes won't be up to it.

Beach Bum said...

Damn that was great! Being a Southern redneck I had to look up the word "synesthesia". Complicated words like that confuse and scare me.

Dr. Zaius said...

You can't say discolored! That's racist! ;o)

Paul D. Brazill said...

very well written and nicely quirky.

Tengrain said...

Graves, you swine!

Hubba-hubba, those Cleveland gals know how to show a little skin!



David Barber said...

Short and sweet but says a lot!
Regards, David.

Randal Graves said...

christopher, just wait until our eyeballs are replaced by miniature devices wired into the a vast, government network of Orwellian hue.

nunly, because only you non-publisher types like it!

übermilf, the thought of using that Nazi douchebag had passed through my mind, but I didn't want to get sued.

holte, I sure hope this means that Agent Scully will be visiting.

sunshine, I think you guys just have bad taste. ;-)

dcap, I sure hope hipsters don't get their claws on this stuff.

mrmacrum, don't forget the canned goods, duct tape and shotgun shells in case holte's alien comes 'a calling.

susan, hmmm, there's a story idea in there.

mauigirl, hey, us city slickers have to post while others are busy slacking in the country. ;-)

liberality, if I can get everyone to vomit, then mission accomplished. Needs more gore next time.

cormac, though once you've shuffled off this mortal coil, good luck going to the bathroom.

demeur, naw, wouldn't be realistic. We've got winter stenches too.

SWA, so what you're saying is that this story could've used more g-string?

Some of the flash drives that end up in the lost and found here at work are so ridiculously tiny, it's a wonder even more don't end up with us.

BB, hey, us northerners had to look up macaca post-Allen.

dr.zaius, but I'm prejudiced against everyone!

paul, thank you, sir!

tengrain, why do you think I'm so frisky all the time?

david, thanks!

sunshine said...

How come you said Thank you to David but told me I had bad taste???


Freida Bee, MD said...

It's too late on that hipster thing. My daughter's just-received Urban Outfitters catalog heralds overpriced, likely-Chinese-made, versions of olde timey cameras, cameras that use actual film, and one even of them old record player roundy bouts. What is the world coming to?

Oh yeah, a freezing or searing end.

(Is the the prequel to the upcoming zombie one?)

Alan Griffiths said...

Short, sharp prose. Nice writing Randal.

Randal Graves said...

sunshine, because you regulars expect the abuse. ;-)

FB, fucking hipsters, they just better stay out of metal. Oops, too late.

Wait, the apocalypse is going to be frozen teevee dinners made of zombies?

alan, thanks. Short is often sweeter, since I can be long-winded, heh.