This short story was prompted by The Red Dress Club prompt of the photo. It is not related in any way to any others I’ve written. 

Synchronicity lay on the floor of her mother’s dark room. Since the switch to digital, it was only used when she was doing something artsy.

It was also Syn’s hideaway.

She could hear them giggling. This cover shoot was a bodice-ripper, and the models were dressed in corsets or less.

She knew she’d be grounded for a week if she was discovered, and the Homecoming Dance would not be an exception in her punishment. But what did they expect when they named her Syn?

Her mother claimed that she named her daughter after an album by “The Police”, but as the little girl approached her teenage years, “Syn” was an apt shortening of her name.

She held her phone above her face, being a voyeur to her friends’ texts and tweets, just as she was a audial voyeur to the mysterious activities in her mother’s studios. Synchronicity liked to observe. She learned a lot that way; she learned a lot more than her parents realized.

She learned that her mother’s income from photography had recently begun to surpass her father’s income from the office.

She learned that they almost lost their house to foreclosure, but didn’t.

She learned that, after three minutes of giggling, then three minutes of grunting, the sounds from her parent’s bedroom would change to her father’s evenly-timed snores underwritten by about ten minutes of unidentified buzzing.

The floorboard outside the dark room door squeaked, warning her that someone was only three steps away from her hiding spot. She quietly ducked under the table, insinuating herself with the bottles of chemicals and radioactive dustbunnies.

“…boss won’t mind. She’s picking up Syn from…” her mother’s intern threw open the door, tossed something onto the table, and closed the door just as quickly.

Picking up Syn? Oh shit!

She tried to weigh which would be a longer jail term, the punishment for hiding out in the darkroom, or the sentence for skipping cheerleading practice.

But the giggling in the studio had turned to grunting, and had already been going on for three minutes and didn’t sound like it would end anytime soon.

It’s always dangerous for a writer to say “I was thinking of…” or “I was inspired by…” but I have to admit that, as soon as I saw this photo, I instantly thought of JK LeBlanc, who is a romance writer and a photographer. She has several young daughters, and this photo made me think of them. I have no idea what the young women are like, but the idea of a tween or teen hiding out in her mother’s dark room with the cameras sparked this stories.

The shortlink for this post is