90/366 – Mr. Kennison’s Camera Emporium (Part 3)

Continued from 89/366 – Mr. Kennison’s Camera Emporium (Part 2)

There is a strange thing that most teenagers do when presented with something wholly important and, perhaps, a little odd. They forget about the significant bits. Samuel was no different in this regard. When he woke as the car bounced over the incline into the driveway, he yawned, stretched, looked around bleary-eyed, and grabbed the camera case before exiting the vehicle and going into the house. He opened the case and pulled the camera, along with a few of the film, and set about taking his first picture, all the while, ignoring the letter from Mr. Kennison that remained under the remaining film.

“What do you think?” Annette said as she dropped her purse on the counter. “A little weird, right?”

“I don’t think so,” Samuel said, looking at his mother through the viewfinder. “I think that Mr. Kennison must have taken his job very seriously, and decided to make sure that I had a camera on my birthday.”

“I don’t know, Samuel. It all seems a bit odd to me. Mr. Kennison was odd for sure, but he couldn’t have known he was going to die,” Annette said. “I don’t know that you should keep that camera. We really should return it to his family.”

Samuel looked up from the viewfinder, confused for a moment, then returned his gaze to it.

“What do you think, Samuel? I just don’t know if it’s right that you keep that with what happened,” Annette continued.

“I’m keeping it,” Samuel said, looking up at her. “The viewfinder is broken anyway. The lens is probably busted.”

Samuel walked back to the case, and when he went to set it in, his finger brushed the button, and the camera clicked.

“Shit,” he said before he could catch himself. “Sorry-”

Samuel looked up, expecting to see his mother, but he was alone in the kitchen. He assumed that she had gone elsewhere in the house for a second and wanted to be sure that he didn’t have to return his present.

“Alright, Mom. I’m heading out to meet up with Jane and Dylan,” he yelled as he closed the case and left the door before she could stop him.

Samuel practically ran up the street, around the corner, and down three more blocks to Jane’s house. He hopped onto the granite block they kept for a stoop and rang the buzzer. A few minutes later, the door opened to a smiling brown-haired girl with just the right amount of freckles around her nose.

“I didn’t think I’d see you this soon!” Jane said as she threw her arms over his shoulders, “Happy birthday, Mr. Man!”

“Take it easy now. I’m only eighteen. It’s not like I’m done being a teenager yet,” he replied with a smile. “Is Dylan here yet?”

“No,” Jane said. “Want to go get him?”

“Of course, but check out my birthday present,” he replied, holding out the case.

Jane plucked it from his hands and opened it. “Holy crap, man! This thing is ancient!”

“I know! I bet it takes those old sepia pictures. I wonder how they’ll develop,” he replied. “The button on it is a little sensitive, and I think the viewfinder is broken, but otherwise, I hope it’ll take great pictures.”

“That’s awesome. Did you want to take some pictures today?” Jane asked.

“Yeah. I was planning on using my Canon to try some new settings, you know messing with the light and exposure times and whatnot, but I think I want to give this a shot,” he said.

“How much film do you have?” Jane asked.

“The lady at the shop said a hundred pictures, but it went off in my kitchen, so I’m down to ninety-nine now,” Samuel said.

“Let me grab my coat,” Jane said as she stepped away from the door for a second. She returned with her windbreaker on and closed the door behind her. “Less than a hundred pictures. This is going to be rough for you, isn’t it?”

“I don’t think so. I think I’ll just be more conservative with them. No more four-thousand shot sessions when I’m using this thing,” Samuel said as they began walking up the street. “I’m excited for the challenge, honestly. Really test my photographer’s eye, you know?”

“I don’t think that’ll be a problem, Samuel. Even when you take a thousand pictures, most of them are within milliseconds of each other and look practically identical to me,” Jane said as they turned another corner and had to separate quickly to avoid Dylan’s bike slamming into them.

“Holy shit, guys! I was just on my way over to-”

“You almost hit me, you dingus!” Jane said, hitting Dylan’s shoulder.

“Ow! Okay! Stop it!” he cried, trying to protect himself from her wrath. When she stopped hitting him, he stuck his tongue out at her.

“I’ll hit you again,” she said. “You know you’re supposed to ride your bike in the road and not on the sidewalk. You remember what happened when you came around the corner and hit Mrs. Hoffer? You’ll be in more trouble if it happens again!”

“Alright! I’ve learned my lesson,” Dylan replied, noticing the camera case in Samuel’s hands. “New camera, bud? What are we talking, like, professional tier, a thousand-dollar camera this year for the big one-eight?”

“No, it’s an old one. Like way older than my grandparents, I think,” Samuel replied, opening the case enough for Dylan to see it.

“That is so crazy, man. Anything wrong with it? I read an article in PM that listed a buyer’s beware kind of warning about old cameras and the things that could be wrong with them. Did you check it out and everything before you got it?” Dylan asked.

“No, let’s get heading. I want to make it to the falls before sundown to take some pictures,” Samuel said.

“I told you, man,” Dylan said as they began walking toward the main road, “You always have to sample the wares before you buy it. In everything you’re going to buy, that is.”

“I didn’t buy it-”

“Well, before your mom bought it for you. Whatever, you know what I’m saying,” Dylan said.

“That’s not even the strangest part,” Samuel said, “It was free at the shop.”

“Definitely busted then,” Dylan said, “I told you. We are going to get out to the falls, and it won’t even work. I’m telling you.”


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