The Last Day of Forever – Excerpt 8

This excerpt is from about in the middle of the story, Chapter 16.

Cover B1CRed BlogAs we entered the photographer’s studio, a gentleman in his fifties greeted us. He was somewhat hunched over and wearing wire-rimmed glasses barely hanging on the end of his nose. His hair was disheveled and sticking out at odd angles from his head. “May I help you?”

“We would like our photographs taken. Can you do it today?”

“Yes, of course, a tintype? Step into my studio,” he said as he held the curtain back for us. “How would you like them, together or separate?”

“Together,” replied Rachel. “One must fit this locket, and the other this watch. Can you do that?”

“It will not be a problem,” he said as he ushered us over to the set. “Have a seat, sir,” he said to me as he adjusted the location of a chair that stood before his camera. Hold your cap in your hand beside you and up close to your body. Sit up straight.” He then clamped the back of my head in some device to help me hold perfectly still for the long exposure.

Behind the chair was a painted scene meant to convey the feeling of the outdoors and failed miserably to do so. A Doric column fern stand stood nearby with several books on top to serve as a prop.

“And you, Miss, stand beside him and place your hand on his shoulder thusly. A little closer. Very good! Now, you, sir, lift your cap a little higher. There, that’s fine.” He moved behind the camera and pulled a black cloth over his head. “Very good,” he muttered from under the hood.

“This isn’t what I had in mind,” said Rachel.

“Just what did you have in mind?” I asked being careful not to move my head, fearful that clamping device might somehow decapitate me.

“Something a bit more intimate.”

I immediately looked up at her, and the “guillotine” fell over onto the floor with a loud clatter. “Intimate?”

“Oh dear, you moved, sir,” said the photographer as he came out from under his hood.

Rachel removed her hand from my shoulder. “Sir, I would like a different pose.”

“Intimate?” I whispered to myself as all manner of “intimate” visions entered my head, none appropriate for the situation.

“What do you have in mind, Miss?”

She looked around and spied what she wanted against a wall. “I want to use that settee.”

“This is highly irregular,” he said as if confused.

“She wants the settee, sir,” I replied as I stood and moved the chair aside.

With the settee placed before the camera, Rachel took over direction of the photograph. “Have a seat, Ethan, over to one side.” She turned to the photographer. “All I want is from the waist up. Can you get it all in?”

He muttered to himself as he went under the black cloth once more. “All of it.”

“Very well,” she replied as she took her seat beside me. “Put your arms around me, Ethan.” I obeyed, and she leaned against my chest, her face beside mine. She then pulled my arms around her waist and pinned them against her with her own as she snuggled in more comfortably. “Don’t be afraid to squeeze me a little.” I pulled her tighter. “How is that, sir?” she asked the photographer.

“Highly irregular,” he muttered from under his black cloth as he adjusted his camera’s position slightly.

“Can you get it all?” asked Rachel.

“All of it, but highly irregular.”

“Good. This is what we want.”

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Filed under Catahoula Books, Excerpts, Last Day of Forever

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