I asked him what film he used to get such tones in his photographs. How they looked as if they belonged to another era.
“Well,” he said, “you know about homeopathy? You know, those pills that retain some microscopic measure of the poison, maybe not even that. They say that you can build immunity by swallowing very low doses of a poison and slowly building up the dose. With these pills the toxin is so diluted that it doesn’t really exist. You can’t touch these pills before swallowing them otherwise you’ll taint their power. They call it the memory of water…”
“People scoff, but there’s quite a lot science doesn’t explain yet. Light for instance, they can tell you that it’s both a particle and a wave but they can’t tell why or how. They say light lives forever, traveling from one end of the universe to the other, dead stars still blinking at us in the sky.”
“Light is like those little sugar pills, the memory of light, those particles pick up a little of what’s around as they pass through, and as they travel on, the friction of history brushes it off with fresh stuff getting stuck to them all the while. If you stood on Pluto you could watch television from a week a go, all those programs incessantly chatting away to themselves across the luminiferous aether.”
“Now, what I do, and I shouldn’t be really be telling you this, is rummage through antique and junk shops looking for old cameras. Searching for something in particular mind you, not any old camera, and not some specific make or model. What I need to find is one with a good patina of dirt on it, dust and fluff all jammed in the crevices and dials. Shows me it hasn’t been opened up in along time. I clean them up well, never tempted to open up the back and take a peek inside. Cameras being light tight means all the dirt and grime is on the outside of the lens and they polish up sweet.”
“Until it’s time to load the film that is. I use any photographic stock, doesn’t matter. What is important, what really counts is the loading. I use my own blackout bag, squash all the air I can out of it, just to make sure. Then load the film in quick as I can. You see between the lens and the film is a little pocket of light, trapped there in the darkness of the bag. A little bubble of light from decades a go, sticky with all the moods and fashions and attitudes of way back then, and just enough of that old light gets pushed against the negative when the new rays come rushing through the aperture as I take the picture.”
“That,” he said “is my secret now don’t you go telling everyone…”
six sentences have published one of my short stories. thank you six sentences.
microfiction are very short stories under 100 words in length. flash fiction according to wikipedia is 250 to 1000 words long. six sentences aren’t wordist about things, just as long as it’s…
it is perhaps my favourite site of the ilk. a daily dose of literary loveliness can be yours by bookmarking:
(robert mcevily, if you are reading this, can you arrange for amazon uk to stock the book please?)
if six sentences sounds a little liberal and bohemian with it’s lack of word count, try these genres:
55 fiction (yes… 55 words or less)
a drabble (exactly 100 words long)
the 69er (exactly 69 words, careful when googling)
note that titles don’t count.
sorry to disappoint, not a salacious post of misadventure.
instead delighted to announce the first publication of one of my micro-fiction stories by the very wonderful nthposition, an award winning literary web site.
microfictions are very very short stories, often referred to as flash fiction, a term that working in the web industry makes me shudder. better still is smokelong’s description:
The term “smoke-long” comes from the Chinese, who noted that reading a piece of flash takes about the same length of time as smoking a cigarette.
here’s the link to “wife swap”