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A 500 word (exactly) story for:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “rope.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

The photography studio was two flights above the café where Paul met Gemma to discuss over coffee his latest project. Describing his vision his voice betrayed his concern that she might not be interested, or might even be offended, but his favorite model had readily agreed, and within a half an hour they were in the studio. 

The harsh lights of the large makeup mirror showed everything, and Gemma caught an errant hair with another pin to finish the casual updo. Looking from side to side she inspected her makeup, which was minimal. She was too petite for high fashion, but she had other features, such as her pale and flawless skin that made her a favorite among photographers. Satisfied, she dropped the robe she had been wearing, and stepped out naked into the studio.  

Following Paul’s instructions, she went to the green screen where the giant prop was laying on the floor. It was a huge version of a dream catcher. The circular frame was at least three feet in diameter, and the web was rope. Gemma sat in the middle of the web, and then curled up so that her butt and feet would be at the bottom of the frame. She called out that she was ready. 

Paul appeared almost instantly. He smiled as once again Gemma had exceeded his expectations. He did a few minor adjustments to her hair and makeup, had her reposition herself a few times on the web. He stood back, contemplating the scene.  

Satisfied all was in order, that Gemma didn’t need to pee, and that safety protocols were understood, he began the laborious process of weaving the web pattern over Gemma. There was a lot of rope with which to contend, and the work slow. Paul had to take care not to disturb her hair and makeup, to prevent rope burns, and to get the proper tension on the ropes.  

Tie, wrap, hold, tie, loop, pull. Repeat. There was no music and minimal discussion—only the soft, rhythmic clack of rope dropping against the floor, the quiet sound of rope being pulled over rope, and Paul’s sometimes labored breathing. Gemma was in her happy zone, only conscious of the sensations and sounds of Paul and his rope.  

“Are you ready, Gemma? I’m going to lift you up so that you are vertical. I’ll adjust the ropes. You will still be sitting on the floor at this point.” Gemma indicated she was ready. Paul worked the levers of the hoist winch and slowly the round frame of the web went from horizontal to vertical. Gemma grasped the frame to steady herself but the rope’s weave held her firmly. Once upright there was little need for further adjustments. 

“Ready to go up?” Gemma nodded. The ropes, even though some dug into her thighs and hips, rather than feeling restrictive, gave her a feeling of safe euphoria. She sunk deeper into the dream; she became the dream. The camera clicked. Time stopped. She flew. 

Dream Capture by Photographer: Peter Claver  2010


    1. Thanks! I woke up at 2 am thinking, “I know how I could have written it differently/better.” Ain’t that always the way? May redo it at a later date. I really love the photo and was happy to be able to reference it, finally (I’ve had it on file for eons).

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