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hs31150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 31

Raylene stared through the eye of the Polaroid and pressed the button. Nothing. She flipped the camera over and around, then tried again. Still, nothing.

“You have to release the latch,” Rebecca said. “On the front. Here.”

Raylene handed her the camera. Rebecca pushed on a tiny black button and the camera sprang open. Raylene rubbed her hands together. “Give it back!” She grabbed for it.

“Come on, you guys. Be careful. That’s my dad’s,” Dave said.

“Oooh, it’s your dad’s.” Raylene giggled and snapped a picture of Dave. She pulled the photo from the camera.

“Seriously. Don’t fuck around.”

“Posterity,” Dave corrected her under his breath.

“Maybe just one each?” Rebecca asked.

Dave relented. “Okay. One each.”

Paula volunteered to take the pictures: Raylene first, mugging aside the Lady Sasquatch, pretending to be scared; Nicole, looking bored and heavy-lidded; Dave, his arms crossed and grumpy; Rebecca, smiling and happily drunk.

They laid the photos out on the meat freezer and watched them develop.

“Shit,” Paula said. She picked up Rebecca’s photo. “I must have moved or something.” In the picture, both Rebecca and the Lady Sasquatch were blurred. “Let’s do it again.”

Rebecca put one foot in front of the other and leaned back slightly, like the women’s magazines she kept stashed in her closet told her to do. She kept her body still. Paula steadied her herself and pressed down on the button, igniting the flash. The camera whirred and the picture popped out. Again, they gathered around the meat freezer waiting for the image to appear. And again, it was blurry.

“Let give it one more shot,” Paula said encouragingly.

Rebecca was disappointed, but shrugged it off with another swig of beer. “Nah. Forget it.”

Raylene and Nicole danced while Paula shimmied awkwardly, trying to find the beat. Rebecca stood close to Dave attempting to coax him into the fun. Long-necked beer bottles were scattered on the floor, Scrabble tiles were pushed aside to make way for empties that left sticky rings on the game board. They didn’t hear the door open.

Tucky and his entourage surveyed the scene. Somebody coughed and everyone froze. Raylene leapt at the boombox, killing the music. Nicole swept the plastic martini glasses and a couple of unopened beers into her bag while Rebecca and Dave stood silent and red.

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