Flash in the Pan

The photographer led the willowy politician down the hall to a darkened room holding only a table, two books and a column. He placed the man’s hand atop the volumes in a casual pose, having him look into the camera instead of away.

Standing behind a three-legged contraption, the photographer flung a black sheet over his head and leaned forward. In his right hand he held a flat pan on a stick.

The politician stood still, breath held. Suddenly, the pan flashed brightly, billowing acrid smoke into the air.

The future President was nearly blinded and almost choked to death.