A day in the life of Chloe by Cathi Stoler

Most people think a model’s life is a series of one exciting event after another—glamorous parties and thrilling dinners filled with famous people and beautiful clothes. Well, they’d be half right. The other half is really hard work. Especially when you work with a photographer like Otto. Although, it didn’t seem like that at the beginning.

Otto plucked me from oblivion at a party for the opening of a fashion photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. With one bold and impassioned gesture, he dubbed me his muse and swore to make me famous. Like the other one-named models of the day, Twiggy, Penelope and Veruschka, I would be Chloe. His Chloe. Sassoon cut my hair. Mary quant chose me to model her new line for her London show. Otto took the shots and Vogue featured them on glossy pages I viewed with awe. Me, an eighteen-year old from Iowa, who thought I’d died and gone to heaven with all the fame and fortune coming my way.

Otto and I lived and worked in a big, old loft downtown. It was 1969, a time of exciting changes for the world and us. We were going to put a man on the moon that summer and Otto became obsessed with creating a series of photos for MoMA, staring me, to mark this occasion.

Our studio was filled with people. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, lighting, set designers and assistants were there from morning until late at night. Only to have it all repeated the next day and every day for months. Otto could be kind, generous and loving. He could also be imperious, demanding and tyrannical, when things weren’t going exactly right.

The photographs were beautiful and Otto made me gleam and glitter like one of the stars surrounding the moon our astronauts were heading for. I loved the idea of being the face of the moon landing, but one wrong gesture or a prop out of place and Otto would be off in rage. Most of the time I shrugged it off; he loved me after all and only wanted the best for us.

His assistants were a different story, often leaving the studio after just a day or two of enduring his outrageous behavior. The newest one, Jed, was different. Somehow, he bore the brunt of Otto’s tirades and seemed to shrug them off. As Jed and I worked together, we became close and eventually, it turned into something more. As abusive as Otto was, Jed wasn’t leaving, not anytime soon and I knew why. Me. Even if I’d known what falling in love with Jed would lead to, I don’t think anything could have made me stop.

Chloe appears in Cathi Stoler’s short story, “Every Picture Tells A Story,” in Where Crime Never Sleeps: Murder New York Style 4, an anthology of crime and mystery short stories by members of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

What is the essence of the New York experience? A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge? A concert at Carnegie Hall? Crossing the finish line at the New York Marathon? A trip to the Bronx Zoo? Or any one of these—plus murder? These seventeen stories by members of the New York/Tri-State Chapter of Sisters in Crime, with a foreword by Margaret Maron, explore the mystery and mayhem that lurk in every corner of the most unpredictable, irrepressible, inimitable city on the planet.

Where Crime Never Sleeps includes stories by Rona Bell – Fran Bannigan Cox – Lindsay A. Curcio – Joseph R. G. DeMarco – Ronnie Sue Ebenstein – Catherine Maiorisi – Nina Mansfield – Mary Moreno – Anita Page – Ellen Quint – Roslyn Siegel – Kathleen Snow – Triss Stein – Cathi Stoler – Mimi Weisbond – Stephanie Wilson-Flaherty – Elizabeth Zelvin

“A dream of an anthology for readers who appreciate a classic mystery unfolding in a perfectly characterized setting. A terrific collection of short stories!” —Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex

“A collection of stories as diverse, original and exciting as New York itself. I really loved this book.” —Alison Gaylin, USA Today bestselling author

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About the author
Cathi Stoler is the author of the three volume Laurel & Helen New York Mystery series, including Telling Lies, Keeping Secrets and The Hard Way, as well as the novella, Nick Of Time. She has recently completed a new Urban Thriller, Bar None and Out Of Time, a full-length sequel to Nick Of Time. She is the winner of the 2015 Derringer for Best Short Story “The Kaluki Kings of Queens,” as well as the 2012 Derringer Short Story finalist for “Fatal Flaw” published at Beat To A Pulp. Her stories have also been published in several anthologies and online. Cathi is Co-Vice President of Sisters in Crime New York/Tri-State, and a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Please visit her at cathistoler.com.

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