Taletober 7: Developing Story

Inspired by @guild_of_calamity

From the artist: “The people photographed with this camera always end up missing right after the film is developed.”

The bell that hung from the dusty door jingled as Sam entered the shop. The place was dimly lit and the poorly stocked shelves were scattered with an earlier era’s hottest camera equipment. It was easy to see that the store’s best days were behind it, but Sam liked the worn and vintage feel of the place. More importantly, he loved the look of photographs that were shot with film.

He had taken digital photography classes but when he saw film prints there was just something tangible about them, as if the camera was able to truly capture a tiny sliver of a person’s soul. When he returned to class eager to learn more his teacher had nothing to offer, but suggested he visit Mr. Allen’s store, warning Sam that personally she found him a bit, “creepy.” But if he was serious about learning film, she said that was the only place he could go. “Mr. Allen?” Sam called out quietly. He’d had never encountered another patron there, but still always felt as though he was interrupting something. He heard shuffling from the back of the store and a filing cabinet drawer screeching shut. Finally, Mr. Allen peeked through the curtain that obscured his development lab and scanned the room with a scowl.

When his eyes landed on Sam his expression brightened and he stepped forward eagerly. “Ah, Sam my boy,” he said with relish, “Back so soon! Have you been enjoying yourself with my camera?” He could see why some might find Mr. Allen odd, but Sam had always looked past his quirks and instead focused on his generosity. He had done everything he could to nurture Sam’s interest in photography, even offering to loan Sam his prized medium-format camera, a camera that he said was capable of taking truly special photographs. He even offered to develop the film at no charge. “It was great, thanks,” said Sam. “I spent all weekend taking photos of friends. I can’t wait for them to see the prints!” “That’s wonderful,” said Mr. Allen with a smile, “just wonderful.”