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Something Wicked. . .

Cam Merra's Camera

October 30, 1998|Laura Frischer | * Laura, 10, is a sixth-grader at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica

It all started when a boy named Cam (short for Cameron) Merra was digging in the yard with a new shovel he had received for his 12th birthday. He had just been to the store with his father. They had brought home lettuce seeds, radish seeds, carrot seeds and a bag of doughnuts. Cam was snacking on the doughnuts when his shovel halted abruptly. Cam was startled. At first he thought he had hit a root but after bumping into something a few feet long he concluded it was an object. After carefully trying to dig it out he gave up and started recklessly throwing soil all over. At last he came to a box. It was brown with no designs. Cam picked it up and opened it. Inside was a camera.

"Cool!" Cam shouted, "Just what I needed." Cam looked more closely at it and realized that there was film in it, exactly 14 pictures. He started taking pictures, one of his house, one of a tree, one of a bush. He took 10 pictures in all, leaving four left. I'll save 'em for later, he thought.

That night Cam and his family were gathered around the dinner table. Cam was describing to his parents what he had found earlier that day. After they had finished dinner Cam used up the last four pictures, having his parents take pictures of him in different poses around the room. The next day he went with his mom to get his pictures developed. Once Cam had the pictures, he decided to wait till he got home to open them.

Once he was in his room he tore open the photo envelope. He looked at the first one, dissatisfied. Cam imagined he saw a young boy behind the bush. Then when he looked at the tree he was sure he saw the same boy peeking out from behind. He had blue eyes, brown hair and sagging jeans and he looked about 8 years old. Cam was starting to get a little nervous. The next picture showed the same boy stepping into the house. Cam abruptly looked around . . . no one in sight.

He willed himself to keep going as he turned over the next picture. It was of him in the dining room. The mysterious boy was only about 5 feet away from him! The next picture showed the boy a little bit closer and in the next picture he was only a foot away. He knew the last picture was going to be bad and he didn't want to see it. He stood up ready to run to his mom but as he stood up, he knocked the table over. The pictures fell to the floor with the last picture face up on the top of the pile. Cam forced himself to look even though he knew he would regret it, and he did.

In the last picture he saw the boy next to him with his arm around Cam's neck. Cam suddenly found it very hard to breathe, and that was the last that was seen of Cameron Merra.

As for the camera, it vanished and reappeared in another boy's yard for Cam to haunt.

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