Everyone has heard about Miami, Florida; at some point it was known as Vice City. Generally throughout most of the year it’s filled with the warm accompaniment of the sun and its subtle, tropical warmth.
Just like any other city though, its more suburban areas are flooded with several flavors of shopping malls with different assortment of characteristics which appeal to the teenagers and those post the age-group alike.
This pleasant Sunday evening, a boy and a girl of their latter teens walked together through the coolly lit walkways of a shopping mall, a somewhat charming Jason and his beautiful girlfriend Kassy. They walked talking about this and that, holding hands and occasionally but with frequency exchanging loving kisses.
“Hey look, it’s a picture booth!” exclaimed Jason as he smiled at Kassy and proceeded, “we should take some pictures together. What do you think?” Kassy was not much a fan of silly things as to take pictures in booths but that night the idea sounded perfectly appealing as it was something she and Jason had never done as a couple. She gave him a delightful nod and returned his warm smile with one of her own as they stepped into the booth and sat down.
The booth itself had absolutely no lettering on it and was painted a color resembling blood and the curtain had several stains on it, if they could be called that. By all means they did not pay much mind to it since it was a booth and it was in the middle of a mall where everyone always walked through and used its many utilities. After inserting a dollar into the booth, and discussing what poses they would take for the pictures, they pressed the start button together and smiled at the camera while their heads were leaned against each other. The second picture was of them smiling with that youthful passion, which was in turn followed by a picture of them kissing. The second to last was of him kissing her cheek and she ended the strip with one of herself kissing his neck. They confirmed their purchase the booth printed two copies of the same pictures in the typical strip format; each about a square inch.
Upon arriving to his house and greeting his parents, Jason headed to his room and taped the strip to the right side of his computer monitor and looked it over one last time before heading off to bed. As he awoke the next morning, he yawned and stretched quickly before slapping over at his iPhone to shut off the alarm before getting up and walking over to his computer, sitting down in his boxers as he cracked his fingers and turned on the monitor to check his e-mails before heading off to get ready for college.
Out of the corner of his eye however, with quite a level of confusion, he noticed something which made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end while a chill ran down his spine, goose-bumps reigning over his skin all over his body. The smile on Kassy’s face had changed, but not just in a simple manner, it had taken on slightly malignant and sadistic features while his own smile had straightened out and became what seemed distressed. All the while he did not dare look directly at it; his eyes were glued in place as if his body refused to even inspect this peculiar occurrence.
After several minutes of staring at his desktop, Jason stood and placed his hands upon his desk, leaning forward as he now stared closely at the strip; his confusion and awe had become more of a curious emotion. His finger glided along the strip as he closely watched each picture. The same malignant and sadistic features took refuge upon his girlfriend’s face throughout all the pictures as well as his own face and its distressed look. It was somewhat fascinating to him how a picture could just change like that, though he also knew that pictures could be manipulated in Photoshop.
The thing was though, to him, the strip was the same exact strip that he had received from the booth, he just knew it. His parents surely did not have enough experience with computers as to manipulate these set of images and then replace them on his monitor, this is what turned his fascination to more of an ominous sense of foreboding. Jason took a look at the clock on his taskbar and realized that he had to get moving, so he decided to grab the strip, slip it in his wallet, and then go to his girlfriend’s to show her what had happened to the strip.
That evening, he walked into Kassy’s house, greeted her parents, and then headed over to her room. As he passed the bathroom, he noticed the light was on and that the shower was also on. “Hey, I am here, I’m going to be waiting in your room, alright?” He had knocked on the door and then said this, to which she responded with a loud yes so it could be heard over the roaring of the water.
He stepped into her room and walked over to her bed, taking a seat as he noticed that her strip was on the wall, but more importantly it was perfectly normal. Shocking to him this was, very much indeed as with great hurry he took out his wallet and removed the strip which he put side to side with Kassy’s. He could feel the blood sink to his feet; her eyes had become black and the malignant and sinister smile spread from ear to ear, revealing razor sharp teeth that were stained with blood.
More horrifically, however, was the look of pain and anguish upon his own face and the fact this his eyes were shut in all the pictures. His eyes scanned down and when they fell upon the last picture, his heart stopped. His girlfriend was eating away his neck and he could see the tendons and arteries as she took a chunk from it with great pleasure and a wide grin.
Jason dropped the strip and stood, stepping away from the wall with stumbling steps when he heard the door open slowly. He felt a sense of relief as he knew Kassy would walk in and comfort him, but when he began to turn around, he noticed red… blood. The muscles of his neck seemed to strain as to prevent him from finishing the rotation, but he saw more and more… teeth, black eyes, blood, claws. No.
Next thing he knew, she was on him and her claws quickly found his mouth, shutting it as those sharp teeth tore with ease through his neck and took a nice chunk out of it while her empty claw dug deep into his gut, ripping open his torso and pulling out his intestines. She had killed him quite quickly with that one bite and the ripping open of his stomach, but she was busy eating his innards with great delight as she gave a grim chuckle.
Shattering glass was heard then; Kassy’s parents were quick to be there in her room only to find the mangled and disemboweled body of Jason, and a hole in her window. Her mother vomited on the floor immediately and her father nearly fainted, they knew nothing of what had happened or where their daughter was, neither would they ever know either, for the strip that had belonged to Jason had returned to normal.
Written by Mourneris