The Photographer

Horny Hour #5 – London Calling


I was really pleased to see what this week’s prompt was. Last November when I started taking writing seriously again I started looking for tips on the interweb and I downloaded “Writing Prompt Boot Camp”, a free PDF from which gives you a total of 16 prompts. I wrote the original version of this story based on day 2’s prompt – The One That Got Away – which was to write about bumping into ‘The One’ on Valentine’s Day. I’ve rewritten it but it’s essentially the same – a simple tale of a lost love found again. And this is my 100th post! I didn’t ever think I’d have that many  🙂


I love London, I grew up there, spent my early teens running wild on its streets and I love it when I get a chance to go back. I was back now, for a few days having a break from the usual routine and was planning on my usual itinerary; a trip to Waterstones, Saturday morning visit to the British Museum or maybe the V&A. A Sunday morning stroll around my old haunts – Borough Market, Bankside, breakfast in the Founders Arms (said breakfast to consist of a bacon and egg sandwich and a big mug of tea) followed by a walk around the Tate modern.

Two hours after arriving, I’d checked in to my hotel, sussed out the immediate area and jumped on the tube, I was heading to my first port of call, the most important as if I ran out of options I could just slob out in my room and read. I picked up one of the abandoned copies of Metro that festooned the carriage, and as I was flicking through, an advert caught my eye. A photography retrospective opening that evening at a small gallery near where I was staying. There was no name just the title of the exhibition and a photograph that stirred some memories.

8 o’clock that evening found me outside the gallery nosing through the window, I usually travel light but what I take usually fits most events. The gathering looked pretty informal anyway so I wouldn’t look too out of place in my flats and black leggings. I was handed a glass of champagne, or sparkling wine I didn’t know enough to be able tell the difference and made my way over to the first photograph. A black and white night-time shot of a girl standing by the river in front of the Tower of London, she had her back to the camera, her hand hanging down, holding a single rose. A simple shot, the background slightly blurred, grainy. I read the sign beside it – ‘Muse’ – 1986, the next shot was the same girl, again with her back to the camera, same grainy, black and white, this time she was facing the river, -‘Muse 2’ – 1986. There was something hauntingly familiar about the shots, maybe that’s why I liked them. Simple, no trying to be arty but achieving it anyway. There were two more, then the series changed, a different location, still on the Thames, still obviously taken using real film, but these featured a different girl. I don’t know how I knew but I did, the way she held herself maybe? She looked almost the same, but…not. This series was called ‘No’-1987, there were four, then another four shots ‘Still no’ – 1990. I was beginning to sense a pattern here but I was still mesmerised. I could feel the photographer’s increasing frustration, their need to find what they were looking for. Another series and another, rounding the corner into the next room I was physically stunned as I saw the four original photographs blown up so the model was life size, one on each wall, in these I saw that they had been edited so that the single rose she was holding in her hand was red, and as I turned in place looking at each of the photographs I came face to face with the man I knew had taken these photographs. He held a single rose in his hand and as he held it out to me he said “Can I take your photo?”

More Horny Hour here !


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