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White Screen

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I turned out my light and snuggled down into bed, keeping my beloved teddy close to me. It was my first night alone in my grandma’s old house; she passed away three months ago and my mum and I moved into her house after the funeral. Mum had to stay at work late tonight; she had a night shift because her boss was ill, leaving me alone in the house.

I was just starting to drift off into a deep sleep, when a thought disturbed my dreams. Did I remember to lock the back door? I shrugged it off; that was the worst mistake of my life. If I had just quickly checked the back door, I wouldn't be telling you this story.

I tried to get rest again but my sleep was suddenly broken, I heard a door open downstairs; I figured it would be my mum coming back from her night shift. I closed my eyes once more, not thinking anything of it. Strangely, I didn't hear any footsteps downstairs; I thought I would have heard something if my mum was back. I stayed awake for a minute longer, hoping I would hear a sign that my mum was home safely, but still nothing, just silence. I started to worry. I could have sworn I heard a door open downstairs, and that it wasn't my imagination. I knew I had to go down and check. I twisted and turned, becoming more paranoid because of the unnatural silence. I looked at the time on my digital clock, and it read 12:00am. She should've been back by now, right? I thought to myself.

Just then my phone lit up on my bedside table; I glanced at it. ‘Battery full, huh?’ I said out loud whilst rubbing my eye. Why don't I call mum, to make sure she's okay? I thought. I quickly grabbed my phone and called my mum, desperately hoping she would pick up. It was very faint, but I heard a ringtone down stairs. I shot up in bed, my stomach flipped and my heart was pounding.  My mum always takes her mobile phone with her, what was it doing downstairs? I listened closely, the ringtone was getting louder, as though it was coming up the stairs, but no footsteps could be heard. I froze in horror as I heard the ringing coming closer to my bedroom. The ringing stopped just outside my door, but it didn't go to an answer phone, someone answered.

I slowly brought the phone closer to my ear. ‘H-hello?’ I whispered. I heard my voice echo outside the door, my eyes fixed on the door, I heard my voice echo outside the room.  I held my breath, waiting for a reply. The phone hung up. I stayed in my bed, frozen with fear. Was I dreaming? Was my mum's phone really outside my door? I banged my hands on my head furiously, trying to awaken myself from this surreal nightmare! It took some courage, and some sobbing, but I finally got myself out of bed and walked towards the door. My hands were trembling, getting closer and closer to the shiny doorknob. My hand still shaking, I gripped the doorknob, and slowly turned my wrist. With a click of the latch the door slowly creaked open, revealing more darkness. A wave of relief filled my body; there was no monster, no robber, no animal and no phone to be seen.

I was just about to walk back to my bed when a white glow caught the corner of my eye. I stopped in my tracks and turned my head with caution. My eyes widened at the sight of a phone just sitting there on the floor of the landing. A cold feeling pushed my relief down to the ends of my toes. I stood there, fixed to the spot for at least five minutes, too scared to move closer to the phone, afraid of what would happen if I moved a muscle. Whether I liked it or not, I knew I had to check the phone. There must have been a logical explanation as to why this was happening to me. Then it hit me! ‘A hidden camera show!’ I thought out loud. I would always watch them if they were on TV, but I didn't think my mum would notice what I watched half the time, she was too busy doing her work. With this thought in mind, I grinned. ‘Ha-ha, very funny guys. I'm not that gullible!’ I said with a cheesy smile. With confidence I walked to the mobile phone and picked it up. I half expected to see a text message saying something like “look behind you” or “any last words?” and even maybe a scary picture of a guy with a mask on, but instead I was greeted with an image of the staircase in front of me, and a red dot in the top right hand corner.

‘Huh?’ I whispered with confusion. The phone was in the middle of recording. I tapped the screen to turn the recording off, then clicked the icon to see the film gallery. With horror, I saw that the film I’d interrupted was 1 hour and 15 minutes long. Hairs began to prickle on the back of my neck. I took a deep breath and tapped my finger on the film. The screen didn’t take long to load and what I saw was my mum's workplace being filmed from the outside by an unknown host. From what I could tell, the person holding the phone was quite tall. They turned away from the building and started walking down the road. Halfway through the film, I noticed that the person was taking the same route as my mum does to and from work. I sat down beside the wall, hypnotised by the movie I was watching. I couldn't get my eyes off the screen. Thousands of questions filled my head at once as I was watching the shadow of the tall figure getting closer and closer to my house. Is this actually a prank? Is my mum okay? Who is the guy making this film? However, the one question that stood out among them all was: where is the film maker now? I slid my finger along the red dot on the screen that displayed where was the film currently playing, pulling it closer to the end of the movie. The phone screen started to load again.

It was dark, but I could work out where the camera had been, due to the single street lamp. He had been down my road. I carried on watching, and cast my mind back 15 minutes.

Then it came to me, I remembered that was when I had heard the back door open down stairs. At that moment I felt a cold chill down my spine as I came to a disturbing conclusion. I stayed quiet for about two minutes, listening to the recording of the stranger’s footprints tapping on the pavement. The stranger was in my house, and he left the phone here for me to find. I looked down at the phone screen and saw the camera walk around my house and into the back garden. What I saw then paralysed my senses. The hand reaching for the handle on the back door had abnormally long, pale, bony, skinny fingers, skeletal covered in flesh like shredded tissue hanging from the bones.

A sentence came into my head as I finally saw the camera host's hand: "Death is coming for me."

Shivering to my feet I put the phone on the ground, I didn’t want to touch that grotesque looking picture but had to watch to see what was going to happen next. I angled the phone so that I could still see the screen. I kept looking down at the phone as I was standing, and as I predicted I saw on the film the stairs passing as the camera moved upwards towards my room, and as before, I didn't hear any footsteps in the recording. Another thought came to mind, mobile phones can't record and pick up calls at the same time, can they? I heard my mum's ringtone play in the recording. I looked inquisitively at the phone trying to figure out how it was doing it. The ringtone was a lot clearer than I was expecting it to be, coming from the old outdated model of phone that my mum refuses to update. I put my ear to the phone, listening closely. It took me a second to realize that the ringtone wasn't coming from the recording as I thought, the sound was coming from behind me.

I did not dare turn around, after the ringing finished, I heard my own voice echo behind my back, "H-Hello," the voice said. I froze in fear, hearing the exact same words I had said when I called my mum's phone. A cold breath hit the back of my neck, some strands of my hair briefly blew in front of me. I looked down at the recording for the last time, and what I saw scarred my mind forever. In the recording the creature put down the phone on the landing for me to find. A couple of seconds later I heard myself saying "Ha-ha, very funny guys. I'm not that gullible!" I watched myself in the film picking up the phone with a smiling look on my face, before the film ended and I saw, watching me from the ceiling, a monster with long skinny fingers and above them the tortured, flayed face of a wolf. The creature mimicked my voice as I started to cry. The white screen on the phone went out.

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