“Distorted” by Carolyn Catan

It was 2 months ago that everything changed. It is hard to believe that one event completely changed 15 year-old Carla and Greg’s lives. Before the event, Carla and Greg had lived like regular teenagers, doing homework, hanging out and being students at the miniscule, J. R. Woodson High School. They dreamed of doing important things for others. They wanted a more interesting life. They received a used digital camera as a gift from one of their friendly neighbors, Mr. Capewell. After receiving the camera, Carla and Greg dreamed of being professional, world-famous photographers. They planned on making their own photography business and touring the world. They thought they could finally get the chance to do something important. This many seem kind of far-fetched after receiving what may be perceived as an old, dirty camera, but hey when you’re young, you have a lot of imagination.

Carla and Greg are 15-year olds with such imagination. Greg is intelligent, brave and curious. Carla is bold, confident and also curious. They are great friends and do a lot together. They decided to go to a local rock concert after taking some pictures beforehand. Nothing appeared strange or out of the ordinary with the photos they took of themselves. But they wanted a real chance to take pictures of different people and a rock concert was the perfect place to do it. During the concert they were taking pictures of people dancing, singing, and having a fantastic time. After taking many photos, they realized that some of the photos of particular people came out distorted. Now this would seem expected for the photos to come out distorted, for it was a used camera. The only thing was, with these photos, there were people in the background that weren’t distorted and only maybe one or two faces came out distorted. It was quite obvious that the distortion was on a particular face and it wasn’t just a general distortion of the photo. It was exactly on or not on a particular persons face. Carla and Greg were baffled by this; this didn’t seem like a problem with the camera.

The next day, Carla and Greg went back to Mr. Capewell to ask if the camera was still working ok. He said he had taken it to the shop countless times to make sure it was ok and he had been using it since it was new. Same issue. He said he thought it could have had to do with how camera was made and not to worry about it. Greg and Carla were still not so sure. And this is where their adventure begins . . .

It was late afternoon on a Friday and Carla and Greg decided to hang out. They decided to take a stroll down the neighborhood, but ended up going farther than they thought. As they strolled, they came upon an old, vintage-looking house. It was made with wood and stone and was enormous for the time that it was built. It was probably built during the 1920’s. Even now it could be considered a mansion.

“I don’t like the look of this house . . . something about it is just creepy. I mean look at those lanterns at the front, all sticky and filled with cobwebs,” Carla said.

Greg couldn’t disagree. He thought the house had a powerful and majestic aura about it that one cannot help but to wonder about it. It was creepy and it seemed that it was filled with the supernatural. Something about this house seems abnormal like the house hadn’t just had humans living in it, Greg thought.

“Ah . . . but it is so intriguing! I am going to do some research about it when we get home. What’s the number? Ah, 1327 and where are we now . . . right, Greenhaven road. Got it!”

Greg wrote the number down on his notepad that he brings with himself everywhere.

“Can we leave now? This house is making me nervous.” Carla looked pale.

They began to trudge home wearily as the walk had been long.

2 more months went by. Carla and Greg were astonished. It was hard to believe the camera was found in the house. They had no idea the camera and the house were related.

After countless hours spent at Greg’s house, drawing, researching and interviewing, Carla and Greg found out the people that were distorted in the photos all said they had visited the house. Although Greg and Carla had only interviewed people they knew, every single one of them had been to the house. Something was off about the neighbors and others Greg and Carla were friends with. Beforehand, Greg told Carla to pay attention to how they act during the interview and in everyday life. One of their neighbors, Mrs. Manson, had been one of the people distorted in the photo. She was a bright lady. During the interview however, she seemed distant and glassy eyed. It wasn’t completely discernible though. Greg and Carla had to pay real close attention to her. She was able to answer the questions fine though. After all the interviews they conducted, everyone seemed more distant with less emotion, as though they were having their intelligence sucked out of them. Every one of them had said they didn’t remember how they got into the house but there was a strong aura about it. Some force was pulling them in. No one could account for what had happened.

At about 8:00 pm, Carla and Greg had just gotten home from all the interviews they conducted. Fortunately, it was a Saturday and there was no school.

“There must be some source, attracting all of these people into the house. Something hidden deep. Something that is making the supernatural stir to life,” George muttered

“I think we ought to go to the house,” Carla said.

The next few weeks were spent preparing in between schoolwork and homework. They got iron, flares, and weapons like iron. It seemed peculiar for kids to be walking in a store getting iron and flares, but they were able to convince the store cashier they were buying it for a science experiment. Yes, they were of course doing it with a parent!

“Whatever is in this house we will need to get all the possible weapons we can get,” Carla exclaimed.

“I think it is time we go. Tomorrow at 8:00 pm we leave, sneak out of this house, say we are meeting some friends for the night to our parents, my parents don’t care!” Greg had a glint in his eye, you could tell he was excited. He was jumpy and his blue eyes were shining with intelligence. All their life, Carla and Greg dreamed of doing something to help others, although it wasn’t their initial thought of becoming world-famous photographers, now they were doing something that could save many lives.

The next day went by slowly. It was Friday and school seemed to drag on. Time passed like a snail slowly sliding towards its destination.

Greg and Carla gathered their belongings and left promptly at 8:00 pm.

Finally, they reached the house. It looked even more spooky at night.

“You ready for this?” Greg asked

“I don’t know but I am confident we will survive this!” Carla replied.

They got to the door and opened it, the door creaked and the creepiest night of their life began.

Misleadingly, as soon as they entered, everything was quiet. There was so little sound, the quiet was ominous.

“I think we should stick together. Because this place is huge! We could wander off and not be able to find each other.” Carla whispered.

They started in the main hall, to the right was a large kitchen which looked it hadn’t been used for at least a few months. To the left was a living room with antique furniture. There were 2 stairways on either side straight ahead. The only light sources were Carla’s and Greg’s flashlights and the moonlight that shone through the house like liquid silver, seeping down the walls, creating spots of illumination. After a couple of hours, nothing happened unless you count the constant, anxious tapping of Carla with her fingers and the cold spots.

They had surveyed the whole house. Some spots felt chillier than others. The basement had a bar and was paneled with wood. There were 3 bedrooms upstairs and on the 4th level there was a small library/ study area. They went back to the main level. All they could here was the constant tapping of Carla.

“Carla the tapping is getting annoying now,” Greg exclaimed.

“What?! I wasn’t tapping I was just sitting here with you . . . oh I hear that,” Carla said with confusion.

The tapping got louder and louder.

Suddenly, a shape appeared in front of them at the top of the stairs.

Greg and Carla were speechless. It was beautiful. A silhouette of an amazing woman, her hair blowing. They suddenly felt a gust of wind. The wind came as soft as silk. The women stood there. Her lips like red apples. Her eyes blue like the sky. Carla and Greg suddenly felt the need to follow her.

“Follow me,” it whispered.

Carla, being a female, wasn’t as compelled to go toward her but Greg, mesmerized by her, stumbled toward the lady. No that was not a lady! Suddenly, Carla came to her senses. She rushed forward with the iron, angry at the woman for trying to steal her friend! She slashed at the women, and in a second she was gone. Carla turned back to Greg.

“Alright, stop with the tapping already,” Greg said dreamily.

“Do you know what just happened?!” Carla was angry for she had just saved his life. She slapped him hard.

“Right! Sorry about that, it was so compelling.” Before he could finish there was suddenly a loud banging, like footsteps coming up the stairs slowly getting louder and louder.

Bang!

Something rushed toward them out of nowhere. A flash of light!

“Come to me now!” Something said that. Carla and Greg are still unable to recall what it was.

All Greg could do was slash the iron and . . . Bang! The thing had disappeared.

“We must find the source of this!” Carla yelled. “Now!”

They noticed both of the phantoms came from a certain place, so they ran toward where it looked like the phantoms had spawned. They ran down the stairs, all the while screams were filling their ears, echoing the treacherous past of the house. Down they went.

They finally got to the lowest floor. They saw a wooden box. Something about it seemed eerie like it held the past in it. They ran toward it. As they ran, they could hear footsteps following them. Something was following them starting from upstairs they could hear walking on the level above them.

“We got to get rid of this quick! Come on! Hurry!” Greg could hear the screams of Carla. Wait! They weren’t able to open the box. They slumped there. Carla knew they couldn’t stop now. The . . . things that were pursuing them were coming quickly. What could they do now? They felt helpless. The box would not open. Then, Greg was the hero this time. He remembered they didn’t need to open the box, they just needed to destroy it.

“Come on we must destroy this. Now!” Greg screamed.

They threw all their supplies on the box and slashed it up with the sharp iron. Throwing all their flares at it. Destroying it completely. Greg looked back just in time to see it. The phantom chasing them, extending its hand toward him. Bang! Everything went silent. You could only hear the panting of Carla and Greg. They ran out of the wretched house and didn’t stop running till they got home.

Weeks passed by. All the pictures of the people that were originally distorted now looked fine as they took their picture with the same camera. Life seemed to return in Mrs. Manson and all the others that had visited the house.

Everyone was very thankful for them. Carla and Greg never forgot their crazy adventure.

 

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