There is a point when self-confidence begins reaching drastically high measures, and anymore of it could kill a person; and that was Drake's current state. Drake was a "prep," one of the full-of-himself jerks. Not many people like him at school, and he would constantly take pictures of himself. One day, as he was standing in the park all alone, he began photographing himself. He took many different shots from various angles. Drake took one from the left side, then the right. He took one from above, and one from below. Drake took about 23 photos at that point in time. When he felt he captured enough, he began scanning over the pictures, admiring his features. He was, nonetheless, pretty amazing looking; but he was still was way too confident in himself.
As he observed the photographs, he noticed something quite strange and peculiar. In the background of his first snapshot, was a shadow. That was not too uncommon, for creatures always lurked this park of town. In the second picture though, there was a child. She was beautiful, but what was she doing in his picture? He turned around to see if she was actually there; but she was nowhere to be found. Drake was confused. He went to the next picture and there were two kids. As he moved forward in photos, the two people grew closer… and closer… and closer.
Drake came to the last photograph he had taken. The children were reaching out, their hands were about to grasp his neck. He snapped around, and everything went black….
2 MONTHS LATER…
Sarah was walking through the mall trying to find a place that would be good for taking pictures. She came across a store that sold all the gothic items she desired. Sarah was a gothic girl with long blond hair. Her blond hair had deep purple and black streaks in it. At this time, she was wearing a black mini skirt and a deep purple corset. The outfit went perfectly with her hair. Sarah went into the changing room, which was only parted from the rest of the store with a curtain. The inside of the dressing room was painted black with neon orange and green stripes. She thought this would be the perfect place to take pictures. Sarah was obsessed with photographing herself. She took nearly 100 pictures daily.
Sarah began taking pictures of her face, then full-body shots. She had taken around 23 photos when she finally stopped. Sarah had used her phone to photograph herself. She started to examine the pictures, and Sarah immediately noticed something was wrong. The first picture seemed to have a few shadows lurking in the background. Then on the second picture she saw something worse, something horrifying… a girl that seemed to be about 13 years old. She was sitting in the corner with her beautiful brown hair draped over her face. Within the third picture, a new figure had yet again been added. It was another girl. She had black hair, also hung in her face. Sarah was very terrified. She turned around, to no avail. There was no one other than her in the small room. Sarah lingeringly moved to the next picture. There was a boy. All three of them were sitting in a line, but now they were staring up. Each of them had blood red eyes, which were piercing through Sarah's skin. She continued on to the next photo, fearing what was to come. On the fifth picture, they kids were standing up.
When Sarah reached photograph number 23, they children were standing right behind her, with their hands reaching out toward her face. She quickly shut her phone and felt a cool burst of wind blow down her neck. She quickly turned around and blacked out…
3 MONTHS LATER…
Ryan was standing in his bedroom with his heavy metal music volume on full blast. Ryan was the only one home, so he was not worried about anyone telling him to turn it down. His mom was out on a date with her new boyfriend, which Ryan did not like at all. Ryan was about 6 foot tall, with a tall black Mohawk. He had died the tips orange. Ryan had blue contacts because he needed them and hated his original eye color (green). He hated it because it reminded him of the girl who had died. They had been dating and she left one night and never came back. No one knew why; but she was found deceased with her phone lying on her chest, the screen broken and the camera ripped out.
Ryan loved to take pictures of himself. It made him feel good to see that he actually looked good. On this day, he felt down and depressed. Ryan decided to take pictures to make himself feel better. He took pictures from each side; above and below; back and front. Ryan felt good taking these photos. He hated his life. Ryan's father had died three years before, and his mom was dating a horrible man. This man had yelled at him when his mother was not around. The man had punched him in the face, leaving marks; but he couldn't tell him mom, for this man would have killed him.
Anyway, Ryan had taken nearly 23 pictures when he had decided he had enough of them. He began looking through his photos, closely examining them each. Ryan realized something unusual in his photographs. In his first picture, there were a few shadows that seemed to be floating just above his bed. He turned himself around to find nothing on his bed. Ryan turned to the next picture to find a girl. He quickly clicked the button on his camera to go to the next picture. There were two girls. Ryan swiftly turned around, but there was still no one there. He looked back down at his camera, moving to the next picture. There was now a boy with them. Ryan was horrified. He suddenly felt a chill rush up his spine. He slowly moved on to the next photo. There was a girl added to the three others. She had long blond hair with purple and black streaks. Her outfit made her look beautiful, though she seemed zombielike. Ryan continued his examination of the pictures. In each photograph, the four teenage zombies grew closer. By his last picture, the four of them were surrounding him. Ryan had not noticed them when he had taken the photographs.
Ryan saw this and quickly twirled his body around. For a brief moment, he saw into the eyes of a beautiful girl. Her eyes had been reddened by her current state of a zombie. He saw the other two females and the male, but it was a very short time period. As he gazed into the girl's eyes, everything went black right after he felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck…
3 WEEKS LATER…
Ericka was in her dorm in a college in upstate New York. She had just gotten back from a stressful five hours of class. She had long, thick, red hair that she liked to keep in pigtails, braids, or one thick ponytail/ braid. Ericka loved taking photos of herself. It made her feel good. Ericka was in the mood to take pictures, so she began at her face. She moved to her shoulders and face, then her torso and head, and full body and head. Ericka took nearly 23 pictures. Immediately following her finish, she started examining her photographs. On her first picture, there was a big area of shadow lurking in the corner. Ericka did not think much of this, for there were many things in her room that could have cast a shadow. It was what was in the second picture that made Ericka grow suspicious. There was a young girl in the background. She had brown hair hung in her face. Ericka turned around to find nothing else in her room. She looked backed down at her camera, switching to the next photo. There were two girls in this one. Instead of turning to look, Ericka just went to the next picture. There was a male. Now, Ericka looked. There was still nothing. She continued to search through her photos. In the third, there was another girl with long blond hair containing black and purple stripes. Ericka knew nothing would be there, so she turned to the next picture instead. There was a boy. He had a Mohawk with orange tips.
In the next photograph, the five zombielike people were looking up at her. Each had red eyes, except one. The boy with the Mohawk had a purple color as his eyes. Ericka noted the red slowly taking over the purple with each picture. Also in each photograph, she noticed that they got closer to her. By the last photo of her, they were surrounding her, but the boy with the Mohawk was in front of her. He was staring at her, grabbing at her hand. All of a sudden she heard, "Come join us. Help us to take over." Ericka spun around, nearly falling over. Then she saw the scene she had just seen on her phone. The boy was in front of her. The long blond haired girl was to her right. Frankly, she could not see much else, so she was unaware of who else was where.
The boy with the Mohawk gazed longingly into her eyes. He reached out and grabbed hold of her hand. He continued to stare at her saying, "Ericka, please come with me. This world is so much better than your own." However, they did not give Ericka a choice. Before she could answer, everything went black…
4 MONTHS LATER…
Four scientists in the northern part of Arizona had heard strange stories of kids who had died. Each of the happening were on the eastern side of the country, but they were very curious. All of the teens had been found with their camera or phone lying on their chest; and the actual parts that took pictures had all been ripped out. One scientist in particular was extremely curious (Dr. Adams). He had researched all about each of these teens and traveled many hours to talk with their families. This scientist had learned that each and every one of the teens had been alone when this happened. They all loved taking pictures of themselves. The scientist asked many questions about the teenagers individually. He learned that he had once been quite similar to these teens. He decided to get a research group together. He would take teens that were also quite full of them self and have them in a room. Each would be in a different cell-like room. There would be a video camera in each room, watching their every move.
Dr. Adams decided to focus on one of the teens more than others. His reason being: This teen had been the sister of Ryan, one of the other teens who had died. Her name was Brittany. She loved her brother with all of her heart. He was her hero. Brittany felt so bad that she had went out with friends instead of staying home with Ryan that night. She did not know that would be her last chance to see him. Brittany wished she would have been there to save him, though she did not even know if she could have; but she would have at least loved to try.
Dr. Adams had placed a bed, toilet, sink, refrigerator, computer (with monitored internet), and television in each of the rooms; so there was no need to leave. Any other requested items were added if necessary. Each teen would be held in this room and be watched for three days to watch their patterns and daily lives. On the fourth day, they would be given a camera. The teen would take pictures and look through them. The scientists would be monitoring them the entire time by the video cameras installed. For the first three, nothing happened. Dr. Adams had ordered them to take 20 photographs. The pictures looked regular and only contained the photographer. Brittany's outcome, however, was quite different. She had insisted on taking 23 photos.
Brittany had taken her pictures. 23 was her brother's favorite number. Brittany missed him like crazy and wanted to know where he went. That is why she was here. She was fighting for her brother. She wanted Ryan back. She wanted her brother back.
Brittany began looking through the photos. Nothing to unusual was in the first— just a shadow or two. Her heart stopped when she saw a small girl in the corner of her room in the next photo. Brittany spun around so fast she became dizzy. The scientists stood up. Brittany shouted, "No! I'm getting my brother back!" Dr. Adams told the others to sit down and let her do as she pleases. They took their seats and stared eagerly at Brittany.
She quickly went to the next photo. There was another girl. Both had their hair draped in their faces, head hanging low. Brittany moved onto the next picture. There was a boy, but it was not her brother. She quickly went to the next photograph, hoping to see her brother; but he was not there. She, once again, went to the next photo. There was a girl added to the others. She had long blond hair with black and purple streaks. Brittany envied it. Instead of marveling over the hair, she went to the next photo. There was a new figure. It was a boy with a black Mohawk that had orange tips. It was Ryan. "Ryan!" Brittany cried. "Come back!" At that moment, her phone rang. It had Ryan's number on the caller ID. "H-hello?" she asked.
"Brittany, listen, I know you think I'm dead. I'm not. I know what you're doing. Do NOT go to the next photo. I mean it! DO NOT! I don't know where they've taken me, all I know is I show up in people's pictures, and then they disappear. I don't know how or why. Just please don't look at anymore of those pictures. Get rid of that phone. Change your number, and STOP taking pictures of yourself!" Ryan sounded serious and adamant.
"Okay, Ryan, I'll do it." Brittany paused. "I love you, Ry."
"I love you too, Brit. Now, go destroy the phone. I can't let my little sister get killed." Ryan hung up. Brittany threw the phone at the wall; it shattered into pieces as it impacted the wall.
Dr. Adams jumped up and shouted, "Brittany! What did he say?" He was in the room in less than five seconds. "Tell me what he said NOW!"
"He told me to… uhh… destroy my phone and not look at any other pictures. He said he didn't know where he was located." Brittany looked distantly at the place she had just thrown her phone. She had just talked to a person who had been declared as "dead" only a few months before. "Doctor… where's my brother?" Brittany began crying. She had no idea how this could be happening to her. "I want my bubby back!" She ran out of the room screaming that over and over again.
"Brittany! Come back! We'll find him!" but Dr. Adams could not bring her back. She was going to find her brother.