MULTIPLE IMAGES OF THE RUINED CITY OF TIME
Mary Hazel Upton
BLOG ENTRY FOR MARY HAZEL'S LIBRARY PAGE
MARCH 19, 2016 SATURDAY
MULTIPLE IMAGES OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY SKYLINE
This photograph was taken by Hazel Fern Henson July 1978 with the new multiple image lens that she and Daddy had bought for their cameras. It was taken from the Clarksville, Indiana side of the river at the river park where we often went for picnics. This story was inspired by the photos she and Daddy took with the multiple image lens. Gain and I were visiting them that weekend, and they let me practice using the camera also. We all picnicked at the park that long ago day. I wrote the story a number of years after that, in 1997, I think. Gain is Brian in the story, and I am Daisy.
MULTIPLE IMAGES OF THE RUINED CITY OF TIME
“Look at this, Daisy!” Brian Davis held the old camera up for his girlfriend, Daisy Cooper, to see.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean? They only want $3.00 for it. It comes with all these neat lenses. What can I lose?”
“I have a bad feeling about it.”
A cloud went over the sun. It had been a cloudless day when they’d start looking for yard sales.
“Let’s try it before it gets completely cloudy,” Brian urged.
At Riverside Park there is a spectacular view of the Ohio river and the tall skyscrapers of Louisville from the Midway side of the river.
“Take a look at this, Daisy! I put the multiple image lens on the camera.”
Daisy looked through the camera’s lens. In the center she saw Brian, a smiling young man of 22, with curly brown hair and blue eyes. Circled around him were repeated images of Brian, all smiling, all with curly hair. Behind him were the tall buildings of Louistown. They too were repeated behind each of the multiple images of Brian.
“Take a picture.”
Daisy shook her head.
“I’ll take one of you.” Brian looked through the camera’s lens, seeing multiple repeating images of 18 year old Daisy. Each image had the same short golden curls and was wearing the same faded, patched jeans. Behind each Daisy were multiple images of the buildings of Louistown.
As Brian snapped the camera’s shutter, Daisy disappeared.
“Daisy! Where are you?”
It was as if Daisy had disappeared into the multiple images of Louistown.
“This isn’t funny! Stop playing games, Daisy!” Brian’s voice had an edge of panic now.
He shook the camera, as if he could make it tell him where Daisy was. His finger slipped and pressed the camera’s shutter. Brian suddenly found himself standing in Louistown.
This wasn’t the Louistown he knew. These buildings had been abandoned for a long time. This was a ghost city, abandoned many years ago. The clouds were a thick white film over the sky.
“Daisy!” His voice echoed down the concrete canyons, making him shiver. The May day was no longer warm.
As he searched the empty streets, Brian kept thinking he saw glimpses of a girl with golden curls standing in a dark doorway, or disappearing down a deserted street. As he came closer, though, she disappeared.
Brian shifted the camera to his other hand. His finger hit the shutter again. He was back in Riverside Park, looking across the Ohio at present day Louistown. He took another photo of the multiple skyscrapers of Louistown. Immediately he was back in the silent city.
The city looked slightly different. He saw a dark man, dressed all in black, watching him. The shadowy figure disappeared when he looked at it directly.
Brian pressed the camera’s shutter. He was back in Riverside Park. Again, and he was back in the silent city. This time the buildings looked slightly blurred, like the extra multiple images of the buildings had looked through the camera’s multiple image lens. There were more images of the dark man. Briefly he thought he saw Daisy disappearing down an alley.
“Daisy! Wait! We’ve got to get out of here!”
His voice came back to him in broken echoes .He heard the dark man laughing. When he got to the alley Daisy was gone.
Brian pressed the camera’s shutter. Immediately he was back in Riverside Park. He was still alone. He pressed it again. The ruined city returned, a little more blurred. Was this the Louistown of the future, and if so, how far in the future? What terrible war or disaster had occurred?
Brian continued taking photographs. He stopped in future Louistown. There was only one more film left.
The buildings were really blurred now. The feeling of being watched was very strong. The dark men were everywhere. Daisy disappeared into a dark building, terror on her young face.
Brian cautiously started down the street. The dark men were watching him from every window and doorway. They all had curly brown hair, and were wearing black T-shirts and black pants. As he got closer he realized that the shadow men were all himself, all with blue eyes and curly hair, none of them smiling.
The buildings were breaking up into blurred multiple images. They were darker. Every time he’d returned to the future city, he’d broken the Law Of Time, that says it is impossible for anything to occupy any moment more than once. Breaking that law had created multiple images of himself and of the city.
Brian hurried deeper into the heart of the city. The further he went the more blurred the buildings became, until finally each building looked as if it had a halo of identical buildings around it. The dark men were everywhere. Some of them were following him. As he ran faster, so did they. Each image of the dark man seemed to be separating into many images.
Daisy was standing in the doorway of one of the empty buildings. The dark men were all around her, silently menacing her.
Brian didn’t hesitate. He ran through the crowd of dark men. He passed right through them. The unsmiling expression on their faces didn’t change.
Brian grabbed Daisy. The city was more blurred. There were more duplicates of the buildings than could fit into the available space. The extra buildings weren’t in the same space, though, only the same time. Soon the whole city would break up. Trying not to get dizzy, as the multiple image lens duplicated the buildings yet again, Brian took the last photograph.
“What happened?” Daisy asked, still clinging to him, as they stood in Riverside Park. There were no multiple images of anything here. Time had evidently passed normally here.
“I’m not sure." He tried to explain .“All I know is why those people were selling that camera.”
Brian threw the camera as hard as he could. They both watched it fall into the muddy river.
MARY HAZEL PHOTOGRAPHING GAIN WITH MULTIPLE IMAGE LENS JULY 14, 1978
This photograph was taken by Claude B. Henson on July 14, 1978 at the Clarksville river park. I have no way of knowing which photographs are his and which are Mama's, but usually he took black and white photos and she took color photos, so he gets credit for all the black and white ones and she gets credit for the color ones.