It was a stormy day. The dark clouds in the sky were a violent sea engulfing whatever came in its way! The wind so wildly that it looked like it had the power to uproot many trees with sturdy roots all at once!
It was on this day that Lucy was returning home from school. She had a small umbrella which she held on to very firmly for she was certain that it would fly away leaving her totally drenched. She knew that her mother was anxiously waiting for her return and so, she tried to walk as fast as possible. She had been walking for quite some time now and her tired body had become a burden to her own little feet.
A train of thoughts ran through her exhausted mind. Already she was having a terrible day and to top it off, the rain and thunder had made it worse. She wanted to do nothing more than cry and scream her lungs out. However, she tried hard to keep her cool. She was often bullied at school for being pale, small and frail. That day, her bullies had taken a step ahead and had left a note calling her worthless and useless on her desk. She pretended that it did not affect her but it really hurt her to the core. There were no friends to share her feelings and she did not want to trouble her mother as they were not very financially secure. Her mother was working three jobs a day to provide for her. Telling her about this incident would only make her worry.
Walking alone deep in thought, all of a sudden she realised that she had reached home. Lucy walked through their small front yard to reach the main door. Suddenly she stopped in front of a bush. She noticed something small and black stuck between the bushes. As she looked closer, she found that it was a Polaroid camera. She wondered how the camera could get there and switched it on. She was startled to notice two pictures sticking out. The first picture was of her living room! The second picture was of a pitch dark room with a candle kept on top of a mantle piece. She could not make out anything else about the room except for the wax dripping and slithering down the mantel piece down to the floor like a sly snake. Lucy was both shocked and amazed. She thought it was a prank. As she heard her mother’s voice, she rushed to the front door.
As she entered her house, she was astonished. Her eyes gouged out in shock. She thought, she was living a dream, or maybe a nightmare. Her living room was pitch dark with a dripping wax candle kept on the mantel piece. Everything was exactly like the picture. It could not be real, Lucy thought. Her mother told her that a short circuit had taken place. She rushed to her room and sat down to catch her breath. She was very frustrated.
To her utter horror and dismay, she saw two other pictures sticking out of the Polaroid. The first one was of her neighbour’s son, Ravi playing in the sun. This could not be true. It was still raining but not so hard. The second picture was of little Ravi holding up his hands which had turned bloody red. Lucy had enough of this camera. She went to the balcony and threw the camera out in anger. As she looked around, she notice that the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. She saw little Ravi playing with paint in his garden. When he saw her, he waved back at her. His hands had turned red due to the red paint as shown in the photograph.
As she turned around, she gasped in fright. The camera that she had just thrown out was lying on her bed in perfect condition. Lucy could not believe her eyes. She realized that the camera was not a blessing but a curse. Lucy tried burning the camera. She tried to break it. She tried disfiguring its parts. But all her efforts were in vain. Nothing seemed to work. She had given up hope and had accepted her fate. She went into a shell and did not tell anyone about this.
Soon the pictures started to get more and more threatening. She noticed pictures of neighbourhood fires, people getting injured, and even of a few children from her neighbourhood losing their lives in car accidents. All of these came true within a short span of time.
One day, Lucy was sitting in a park across her house holding the camera in her hands. She noticed two pictures sticking out. “Not again” she thought. She looked at the pictures in surprise. She had been used to bad things happening but these pictures were different. They were blank. Lucy did not feel good about this at all.
She rushed home but as she ran across the road, she was run over by a truck and lost her life. That is what the blank pictures meant. Lucy had no future to look out for. She was found holding the camera in her left hand and was buried with it.
Years passed by, Lucy was forgotten by her neighbours. Her neighbour, little Ravi was now in high school. One day, he noticed a small black Polaroid camera in his backyard. He picked up the camera with the same hesitancy as Lucy. He was unaware of the fact that his life was to change for ever……