Thursday, August 24, 2006

Entry #26

One Shot Left
by Kerry Johnson


“One shot left,” thought Brynne as she changed cartridges in the medium-format camera she always used for night work.

It had been a tough assignment from the photo desk, to take a shot of a rising moon that looked “spooky,” and for the last few nights she’d taken dozens of shots all over town, and was disappointed in what appeared in the darkroom.

The city just wasn’t right, there was too much light.

So on the last night of the brightest part of the moon, as it teetered toward waning gibbous, she loaded up her gear into the Packard and headed west, away from the lights, to find “spookiness.” She stopped not far from Deposit, on a gravel road flanked with firs, knowing that the direction was right and the trees would be perfectly craggy against the light if she got the exposure right.

Brynne hauled tripod, sandbags, film cartridges, and camera from the vast trunk of the black cruiser, jumping at the night noises of the forest, and feeling spooked enough for three people. The sooner she was done and back in the bright city, the better, she thought.

Once the equipment was ready, the moon was rising. She set the aperture and f-stop to capture the backlit clouds and rattled off a couple dozen shots.

As she stepped back under the cloth hood to take one last shot, the first wolf took her leg in his still-changing mouth, eager for the taste of meat.

15 comments:

Jim said...

Oh, saw that one coming, but no less delightful in the delivery. I loved it.

Joni said...

Loved

"feeling spooked enough for three people."

Such a familiar feeling for me. I like the buildup with the last line punch.

Am I the only one who has never heard the word "gibbous?"

anna said...

Written like a true photographer.
Nice little bit of tension throughout, knew something was going to get her but didn't know what. Good stuff - enjoyed every word.

Bonnie Cehovet said...

Nice bit of tension, interesting read.

k lawson gilbert said...

very realistic...solid writing. Enjoyed this.

robert rohloff said...

Very good. I enjoyed reading it.

Robert Ball said...

Nice. Oh the time before digital cameras. My first thought upon reading the title was that "shot" would refer to a bullet. Upon getting to the end of the story, I think that's what she needed. Perhaps a silver one at that?

anne frasier said...

loved it!
fantastic writing, kerry! strong in all areas. tight. flowed really well. you hooked me and kept me hooked.

Bernita said...

Nice twist and delivered well.

Lisa said...

The details of her job made this come to life. Her fear of the surroundings set shivers down my back. Expected something other than the last line, but it works! Nicely done.

Linda Fort-Bolton said...

Wolf- meaning werewolf and that is why the pictures didnt turn out.
Sorry, my imagination running wild.
Well structured and good reading.

Bhaswati said...

Great flow and nice foreshadowing. The details lend such authenticity to the piece.

tiff said...

y'all - I'm so new at this I didn't realize there were comments until today. Thanks much for reading, and for the words of encouragement. I'm off now to read all the rest!

tiff said...

oops - didn't sign the last comment. Tiff = Kerry

jason evans said...

That sounded familiar! Thankfully I didn't end up as dinner. You described the trip very well. High marks for storytelling.