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The Picture Curse

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Allow me to briefly talk about myself. My name is Neil, a typical guy in college that lives on campus with my roommate, Kevin. We both are working on a degree in graphic design, although we both have different plans.

Kevin plans to help his sister run a fashion boutique by being in charge of designing the advertisements. As for myself, I will try to start up my own graphic design business. I have known Kevin since I started college and in our junior year, we are best friends that have helped each other through any problems we have had. That is, until recently.

A little over a month ago, Kevin’s girlfriend Alyssa broke up with him. I failed to cheer him up, as nothing I did seemed to help. He told me he was a loser, a nobody and a failure at life as he continued to cry any time I tried to make him feel better. Eventually, I gave up and let him have space. After two days, he seemed to have gotten over his break up with Alyssa. However, I began to notice some of his behaviors were strange and made me feel uneasy.

One thing that made me worry Kevin was not healthy was that he seemed to obsess over a picture of him with Alyssa that I took with them sitting on a couch with Alyssa’s legs across his lap, both smiling. He spent excessively long periods of time looking at it. Another thing that convinced me Kevin was not acting normal was that things that normally angered him did not seem to affect him.

In addition, things that normally made him smile and laugh no longer made him do either. He spent an excessive amount of time typing on his computer and acted very secretive when I would walk past him as if he was trying to hide something. Lastly, he ate far less and would always find an excuse to not want to go to the student lounge to shoot pool or even simply hanging out with our friends.

About three weeks later, my suspicions were confirmed. Kevin began to act freaked out about everything. I was convinced Kevin snapped at this point. When I tried to calm him down, he told me the picture of him and Alyssa was haunted. He made claims that the picture was changing on him as if it was alive. Almost immediately, I insisted that he saw the counselor on campus for help. Despite trying to be a good friend, all I did was piss him off. I felt very unsettled because I am not used to Kevin being aggressive and unwilling to take advice.

Kevin grabbed me by the shirt and pinned me against a wall, yelling, “There is no fucking way you’re making me see her! I’m not going to go around campus being called a retarded psychopath! You hear me, Neil? You tell anyone and I swear to god I will fucking kill you! You tell nobody! NOBODY!”.

“Okay!” I yelled, terrified by Kevin’s sudden wrath as I cried in pain. “God dammit, let go!”

Kevin backed away and muttered, “Remember, you tell anyone you little shit, it’s your ass.”

“I won’t tell anyone. Why are you so paranoid anyway? This is between us, so why the hell would I tell anyone else about my problems?” I asked.

Kevin looked back at me, feeling bad for what he did. He then apologized, “I’m sorry Neil. But no matter how hard I try, I cannot keep looking at my picture with Alyssa. I swear the picture is haunted. I saw it change with my own eyes.” 

“If it will make you feel better, could I look at it with you?” I asked. “Okay,” Kevin said. 

We sat down and looked at the picture for at least an hour. Nothing happened. Kevin got scared a few times and thought the picture was alive, but I did not see any physical changes to the picture. I almost began to wonder if Kevin was just desperate for attention or if he suffered some kind of strange neurological disorder from the break up.

Regardless, I noted the behaviors and left the room. When I returned five minutes later, Kevin began yelling about the picture again and played eerie music. I then noticed he had a YouTube video that played the song. At that point, I was officially getting sick of Kevin’s attention hungry behavior. He had to have been doing this to annoy me. For the first time, my sympathy turned into frustration. “God damn it Kevin, knock it off,” I said as I got into bed and prepared to crash for the night.

When I woke up the next day, I told Kevin I was going to take him out to get lunch to help him get his mind off Alyssa. He told me to give him time to shower and so I did. I figured I would check my e-mail in the meantime. When I opened my inbox, I found an untitled e-mail from Kevin. I decided to open it and saw the picture of him and his ex-girlfriend I took, the exact picture he swore for weeks was haunted. For being afraid of the picture, he sure did not seem to mind sending it to me electronically, despite being on his side of the room.

In addition to the picture, something else caught my eye. Kevin had four Word Documents attached to the e-mail. I looked at the Word documents, each titled “THE_PICTURE_CURSE” with each part written using underscores in place of spaces. For example, “THE_PICTURE_CURSE_PART_1_OF_4”. I decided to read them, knowing that Kevin spends long enough in the shower to get a week’s worth of groceries and fill my car with gas.

I opened the first Word file of Kevin’s story. I noticed he had everything highlighted in black with a hard to read font in deep red. I changed the font to Times New Roman, knowing I could actually read his writing if it was in a readable font. Something did not feel right as I suddenly felt extremely hot. Shrugging off my discomfort, I began to read the following:

Roughly one month ago, my girlfriend Alyssa broke up with me because I had been very possessive of her and she could no longer take me snapping on her all the time and getting jealous so easily. When she uttered the phrase “I’m through with you,” my whole world crashed before me. I felt an uncontrollable wave of sorrow wash over me and ever since, I have felt like complete shit.

My best friend and roommate Neil kept telling me everything would be fine, but all I could do was think about Alyssa. I began to obsess over a picture of the two of us, sitting on the couch like any typical young couple would. As I continued to stare at it, I could have sworn that something was wrong. It almost felt like Alyssa was trying to get back at me for our relationship going sour. I swear I feel like I’m losing my fucking mind right about now...

So far, everything seemed to make sense. I knew Kevin was very depressed about Alyssa and the picture of him with her. I have had my share of what I felt were unfair break ups with girlfriends I had when I was younger, so I could understand his point of view. I thought it was good that Kevin was getting his emotions out in text format instead of doing something stupid. I closed it out and opened part two of Kevin’s story, once again changing the font to something readable.

I swear I am losing my fucking mind for real this time. I saw the picture change. Alyssa and I looked emotionless, as if I was like “Oh god, get this bitch off me” and she was like “Do I really have to sit across this asshole?” Later, we looked depressed then eventually we were crying in the picture. I began to wonder if I was high on hallucinogenic mushrooms or some shit like that. Either that or I am being haunted. I hope that if I tell Neil, he won’t think I have lost my mind. Even as my friend, I highly doubt he would believe me if I told him the picture was haunted.

I still could not get to the bottom of what was going through my deranged friend’s mind as I went to open and make the third part readable. One thing that does disturb me is I have no idea how to approach Kevin about the picture. I will admit that I think he is suffering from some sort of depression. Still, I can’t help but feel like he is fabricating this entire story. With my curiosity getting the best of me, I opened the third part.

It’s official. I think I HAVE gone fucking insane. I swear that fucking picture of me and my ex sitting on that couch is fucking possessed. Every time I look at it, it has become even more fucked up. I've seen my fair share of horror movies, but this is worse. This is REAL. But I couldn't stop looking at the picture. What I saw today made me convinced I was being hounded by an evil spirit of some kind. Now we looked like we were rotting and falling the fuck apart. Both myself and Alyssa were bleeding so profusely that if it was realistic, there would be no way we could be alive. I really wish I could talk to Neil about this, but I fear he will trying to put me away in some kind of asylum or something.

Now I was shocked. He was claiming that the picture was haunted or possessed somehow? Not to mention, I could not fathom the reason he would think I would deliberately put my friend in the funny farm. I had no intention of getting him put into such a place. Besides, he is likely just paranoid about my reaction to knowing about this. I just wanted him to get therapy and counseling, nothing more. I shuddered as I opened the fourth and final part of Kevin’s story. It was two paragraphs long unlike the other three parts which were only a single paragraph in length. I took a sip of my coffee, took a deep breath and prepared for the worst as I downloaded and opened the final part...

No horror or screamer online could have prepared me for what just happened. Now Alyssa’s eyes were dangling out of the sockets with this weird black stuff dripping out. Even more fucked up, she had a knife held back, on top of me without arms or legs. Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE!? Did Alyssa hack my arms and legs off?

My face was deformed and I had just black hollows for eyes. I also seemed to be missing my tongue. I swear I have lost all sanity now. I don’t want to know what the picture has in store for me next. However, something in me WANTS to look at it. This fear is all too real. It’s as if there is some greater force controlling my mind, making me look at this picture and preying on my terror. I went to bed and continued to imagine what kind of sick trap I was in.

I woke up to creepy music and my face within inches of that fucking picture. I let out a scream, not believing what I was seeing. I caught a brief glimpse of some weird silhouette of a person running away. Neither Alyssa nor I were in the picture anymore. Suddenly, some zombified freak popped up briefly, lacking a jaw and looking like something straight out of your typical horror movie.

It then vanished and a black blur raced across the picture. What the fuck was going on? Before I could try to figure it out, my cell went off, making me jump. It was Alyssa’s friend, telling me that she did not go home last night and was reported missing. Wake me up from this nightmare...

Jesus Christ! This is really serious, I thought to myself as I felt an aura of some kind closing in on me from behind. Kevin’s sanity clearly took a turn for the worst. I had no evidence to prove or disprove the legitimacy of Alyssa’s disappearance, but I knew that something in his mind was making him hallucinate or have very bad nightmares. I did however know that he cherished Alyssa and even obsessed over her in front of her friends.

I remember her telling him that she was tired of being with such an obsessive guy and broke up with him. When I heard her say she was through with him, he began calling her everything from a bitch to a slut. Could Kevin’s conscience be playing games with him in to make him feel karma for how he treated Alyssa? Or is Kevin simply starved for attention now that he doesn't have a girlfriend anymore?

Suddenly, just as I processed what I read and attempted to figure out what the fuck was going on with Kevin, I heard the shower stop. When I looked at the clock, only about fifteen minutes passed. This was clearly not like Kevin. As I said before, Kevin tends to take a good hour or so to shower. The fact he showered so quickly threw me off guard as I hurried getting dressed before he came out of the bathroom. Afterwards, I laced up my shoes and told Kevin I would be waiting for him in my car. He said he would be out briefly.

Once again I tried to figure out what was going on with Kevin’s story, the picture and Alyssa. Clearly he had been having a bad time since breaking up with Alyssa, but I never for once thought he would have nightmares over the girl let alone a picture. The detail Kevin went into disturbed me too. This felt all too much like something from The Exorcist. Without warning, my nightmares of that movie flooded back to me and I could have sworn I heard some demonic voice talking to me. As I froze up, I snapped out of it when I realized it was Kevin trying to get my attention. I unlocked the door and let him in the car.

Instead of driving him to a place to eat like promised, I took him to a nearby mental institution, realizing that if I wanted to get my friend back, I had to do it. He began to get angry with me and swear at me, but I reassured him that the cafeteria within was where I was taking him. He apologized immediately and we went in to eat. I then told him I had to use the bathroom and instead of going to the bathroom, I told the secretary about Kevin and his behaviors and asked if some people could examine him. I returned to the cafeteria with some staff members. Immediately, Kevin was furious, but the staff members calmed him down and then asked him to talk with them. I sat in the lobby waiting for an hour before I was called in to console a broken down Kevin.

Upon entry, Kevin began to blame me for everything and telling me I was the worst friend ever. I retorted by telling him that if I was not his friend, I never would tried to get him help. He cried afterwards, realizing he was going to be kept in here for a while until he can get proper help and get his life back together. Believe me when I say this; I didn't want to have to do this to Kevin, but what kind of friend am I if I’m going to allow my friend to go down his current path of self-destruction? I know he would do the same for me if I was the one losing it.

As I left, I told Kevin, “I only took you here to get you help. I cannot go on seeing you this unstable. Please man, do this for me. I’m sure you will feel better once you have gotten professional help and have had some time away from college to focus on your problems.”

My dorm room was very quiet and lonely without Kevin. I felt bad for breaking my promise of not telling anyone about what he was going through, but I was afraid of what might have happened if I did not send him to get help. I laid down for a while then woke up looking directly at Kevin and Alyssa’s picture. I knelt down before it and made a prayer for his well-being then got up to shoot some pool at the student lounge. Hopefully that will get my mind of Kevin and this “curse” that was laid upon him.

When I arrived, everyone was talking about paranormal things. I knew Halloween was close, but it seems that ghost stories were the only damn thing people wanted to talk about. Much to my discomfort, I could not stop thinking about Kevin and the picture. Everywhere I went and everything that I did some way or another made me think about Kevin’s story. I decided to leave and go to bed early. That night, I had a nightmare that I was trapped in a room with nothing but the picture of Kevin and Alyssa. No matter where I turned or how far I ran, I could not stop seeing it.

The next morning, I saw the picture and it seemed different. I rubbed my eyes, denying the thought of the picture changing on me. I wanted to think I was still having my nightmare. Under no circumstances did I want to accept that what I saw in front of me was real. Sadly, I had no choice but to accept it as the truth, twisted as it is.

In the picture, Kevin and Alyssa seemed emotionless. Instead of the two smiling, they both had a dull, dead look on their faces. What the hell is going on here? I looked back at Kevin’s story and sure enough, the picture changed just as he described. I shook my head and looked at the picture again. Both of them still had no emotion. I checked myself out in the mirror to make sure I looked okay and washed my face. Something told me I was not, although I looked healthy. I looked at the picture again. This time, it seemed Kevin and Alyssa were crying.

Sure enough, I was going through exactly what Kevin was. I thought maybe it was better to not put him in the nut house, but it was too late for that now. Perhaps this was karma for placing my friend in the funny farm when I should have been a friend and not cast him away as a fucked up nutcase? As much as I wanted to help him, I think I ended up making matters even worse for both myself and him. After a while, I no longer cared and began to write my own analysis of the picture’s strange changes, hoping I could figure something out.

Over the next few days, I noticed gradual changes to the picture. The picture first replaced the tears with streaks of blood. Then, when I woke up the following morning, Kevin appeared to have no eyes but instead have blackish colored blood or something flow out of the sockets as Alyssa appeared to be licking the blood from his face. This was getting seriously fucked up. I could hear creepy music play in my head as I went on the internet to see if I could discover anything. After a while, I found out that the picture was becoming Zalgo'd. I immediately shut down my computer afterwards, feeling scared shitless.

Later the same day, Alyssa’s jaw was missing and half of her and Kevin’s skulls were visible. A day later, Kevin appeared to have Alyssa pinned on the couch threatening her with a knife, both of them covered in the blackish blood I described and covered in stab wounds. When I woke up the next day, both of them had their stomachs cut open and laid dead with their necks halfway cut through. Finally, before I slept that night, both Kevin and Alyssa disappeared from the picture completely.

Nearly everything scared me at this point from people knocking on my door to just seeing something even slightly out of the ordinary. This must have been what it was like for Kevin to deal with his break up. I had so many nightmares and disturbing thoughts from this experience I felt like I was losing it. Even worse, all I heard in my mind was creepy music that sounded like someone just learning how to play an instrument but strangely enough, it was played seemingly in reverse with a weird demonic tone to it. As I looked at the blank picture in my rage with no Kevin or Alyssa in it, I saw something that looked slightly brighter in color than the couch. I got a magnifying glass and saw written on the cushion of the couch “DEAD”.

Could that mean they were dead? I still had no idea what happened to Alyssa or whether or not she really did go missing, but I feared Kevin was already dead. I raced to see him. Along the way, I was plagued by the picture and everything I had gone through. More demonic music played in my head as I felt completely consumed by my fucked up mind. The closer I got to Kevin, the more I hated him. Upon arrival, I asked to see Kevin and was taken back to see him. I started to blame him for why my past week was a living hell. I exploded, shouting at him and trading insults with him for a while. I then left furiously, telling him to fuck himself. I printed out all four parts of Kevin’s story, the picture that was cursed and my notes on what happened upon arrival on campus.

That evening, I woke up to my door being banged on. When I answered it, it was Kevin. Alarmed as to how he got there, I demanded to know what was going on, but he told me that I ruined his life and that he wanted me dead. I challenged him and began to attack him. We rolled around the room knocking over lamps and flowers all over the place. Finally, I got on top of him and began to slam his head onto the floor, unleashing all of my rage on him. I clasped my hands around his throat, now slamming his head against the wall and against the coffee table. I then grabbed him by the hair and jerked his head around before I chopped him in the throat. Suddenly, his eyes shut and he slumped down to the ground lifelessly.

My rage quickly turned to guilt. I just fucking murdered my former best friend! I began to panic, then I came up with a plan, laughing as any demented person would. I put Kevin on his bed and in the covers as if he looked asleep. I knew I was in deep

shit if anyone found out I killed Kevin, even if it was in self-defense. After regaining my sanity, I typed up my version of “The Picture Curse” and added it to Kevin’s story. My version of the story:

The Picture Curse is a curse that is placed upon a person who has a guilty conscience or misses someone that he or she has a picture of. The curse affects any picture of anyone that the victim cares strongly about. At first, the person in the picture will appear emotionless, then somber. Over time, it will appear that the person within the picture is crying with tears rolling down to his or her jaw. The picture will then manifest itself such that the tears become streaks of blood flowing from the bloodshot eyes of the person in the picture. Over time as the feeling grows in intensity, the person will appear corrupted and may be missing facial features. Finally, the person will completely disappear from the picture, leaving behind a hidden message. Not long after, a person will find out that whoever was in the picture has died or mysteriously vanished.

There are many signs of the Picture Curse, such as:

-The appearance of shadow people

-Extremely disturbing changes to the person in the picture, such as corruption

-The person being captured or bound by a paranormal entity

-If the picture has more than one person, murder or other disturbing scenes

-Person missing parts such as arms and legs

-A word such as “DEAD” being hidden in the picture

-Background objects changing

-Changes in facial expression of person/people in picture

-Disappearance of person in picture shortly followed by person vanishing or dying

As I printed it out and added it to Kevin’s story, I put the picture of Kevin and Alyssa on top. I cut my finger and signed my name on the picture with my blood. It was a sloppy job to say the least, but I did it. Knowing I would inevitably be thrown in the slammer for homicide, I decided that I would not allow the law to bring me to justice. I then began to contemplate ways I could kill myself. I could not shoot myself as neither I nor anyone I knew owned a gun.

Stabbing myself seemed too lame and jumping to my demise also felt equally pathetic. Finally, I had an idea. I downloaded a creepy song I found on YouTube, put it on a loop, downloaded a disturbing wallpaper for my desktop and finished typing my accounts of what happened. Then, I plugged in my laptop, minimized all programs and hoped that by killing myself I would take this terrible curse with me into the afterlife as I decided to drown myself.

I looked over at my deceased roommate one final time. I cried on his chest, not believing that I had killed my confidant and best friend. Still, the curse of the picture of him and Alyssa completely ruined our lives and turned both of us into fucking psychopaths. I then walked into our bathroom and filled the tub with water. After about five minutes of waiting and writing my final farewell to the world, I stuck my head in the filled bathtub and decided that I would die by literally drowning in my own misery. As I slowly ran out of breath and my body started to shut down, I hoped that I would be liberated from this terrible curse.

As a final bit of warning to anyone that may be reading my suicide note or the accounts of myself or Kevin with the cursed picture, I urge you to be wary if you notice a change in any friend or family member’s picture.

If it exhibits any of the symptoms myself or Kevin outlined, you could very well soon lose that person and possibly your sanity. I hope that few people have to suffer through this terrible nightmare and that if there is a cause of this phenomenon, it will be investigated as soon as possible by any expert of paranormal activity. I hope that nobody else will have to suffer the Picture Curse.

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