He flicked the switch. Red light rained down.
This was how it was at the beginning, he thought, for those brief moments when time began and matter and dark matter spewed forth from the big bang.
He knew of the chaos. The disorder. But in these basic low frequency waves at the bottom of the spectrum he felt insulated.
There were no shadows. No real darkness or light. Only that which he brought with him to the darkroom.
In here he could be anyone.
He studied the contact sheet, then placed a strip of negatives into the enlarger and exposed the paper for ten seconds—an estimate (precision would come later)—before transferring it to the developing tray.
From the rafters the drumming of a moth’s wings, the low hum of electricity in the walls, and then finally an image reacting to the chemicals.
He submerged the print in the stop-bath. The girl in profile, but the depth of field was all wrong—he needed to ditch the telephoto lens, get in close. He fixed the print, rinsed, then hung it to dry.
He knew how this would end once her name was on the envelope, but he wrote it anyway. He was powerless to stop it now. There was no reasoning with the chaos, the fallout from a once dead universe that he alone could hear.
He dried the print and slid it in the envelope.
The inevitableness of it saddened him.
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