Continued from 97/366 – Mr. Kennison’s Camera Emporium (Part 10)
Mr. Kennison’s grip slipped off Annette as the snake pulled her under the shelf, taking Jane with them. When he put his hand down to get up, it landed on a disposable camera that had fallen from one of the shelves. He scooped it up and ran around the shelf as best he could, winding the wheel until it stopped. As he bought the camera up, the snake was opening its mouth wide enough to swallow Annette. He snapped the picture, the snake vanished, and Annette fell a foot to the floor from where she was held a moment before.
“How did it get in?” Mr. Kennison asked as Jane emerged from beneath the shelf, breathing heavily.
“It didn’t get in, it broke out of my camera,” Annette replied, putting her hand on her chest.
“It got out?” Mr. Kennison asked. “How?”
“I don’t know,” Annette said, rolling onto her hands and knees before she got up. “The camera exploded, and it came out.”
“Ms. Potentia?” Dylan asked as he walked into the shop from the back. “What happened here?”
“Dylan!” Jane said, running over to him. “How did you get here?”
“That Gabby girl, Mr. Kennison’s granddaughter. She got Samuel’s camera and took my picture. I think she’s crazy,” Dylan said.
“She’s not my granddaughter,” Mr. Kennison replied. “I think the girl might be the one that sold me the camera.”
“Who are you?” Dylan asked.
“Albert Kennison, a pleasure to meet you,” Mr. Kennison said, looking down at the disposable camera. “Anyone have any ideas on how we can get rid of this changeling?”
“Changeling?” Dylan asked.
“A lot is going on here,” Jane said. “There are these things that keep trying to eat us. There was one by the falls when I got here.”
“Dylan,” Annette said, “Where’s Samuel?”
“He’s here in the shop,” Dylan said, looking around, “Gabby has his camera.”
Samuel hid behind the shelf, his breath coming quick and shallow. He could hear Gabby walking into the storefront on the other side.
“Come on, Samuel,” Gabby said, “It’s not that bad over there. You have friends there. I have friends there. You should meet them. I’m sure that they would enjoy you being there.”
Samuel remained silent, creeping along the shelves, trying to avoid any line of sight with the girl. He heard her coming around the far side of the shelf, so he snuck around the side. He felt the shelf move suddenly as it tilted toward the back room. Samuel tried his best to stay behind it and leapt over the counter.
“I need to take your picture, Samuel. Then I can get some more friends to join you on the other side. Though, admittedly, you may never meet them. My friends can be quite affectionate to newcomers,” Gabby said as her footsteps grew closer to the counter.
Samuel rushed through the back room doorway and around the corner. He heard the snap of the camera, and quiet cursing from Gabby as he wound his way through the tiny hall. He passed the bathroom, and saw a flash of his reflection, bringing him to a halt.
Samuel quickly turned around and ducked into the tiny room just as he saw Gabby coming around the corner. He grabbed the mirror and pulled, ripping the anchors out of the drywall.
“Silly, boy,” Gabby said. “You’re trapped in there now.”
Samuel faced the mirror toward the door and waited. He watched as Gabby came around the corner, looking through the viewfinder. Her finger moved before she realized what she was seeing.
“You stupid, stupid boy!” Gabby screamed when everything changed to the golden-hued world of the other side. “You think this will stop me?”
Samuel threw the mirror to the side and rushed Gabby. His hands on the camera, he wrenched it from her grasp and shouldered her into the wall behind her. He turned and ran toward the front of the shop.
Dylan was on his way back to check out the noise when Samuel ran into him hard enough to knock him over.
“Dylan!” Samuel said.
“She got you too?” Dylan said.
“Samuel?” Annette said as she came around the corner, followed closely by Jane and Mr. Kennison.
“Mom! Jane!” Samuel said, running up to his mother and wrapping his arms around her. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to-”
“We know,” Annette and Jane said simultaneously.
“Gabby is back there,” Samuel said. “I got the camera from her.”
“How’d you get here with the camera?” Mr. Kennison asked.
“I used the mirror in the bathroom,” Samuel replied as he turned to see the girl furiously walking toward them.
“You don’t know what you’ve done,” Gabby said. Her voice sounded different now. It had several tones to it at once, like some of those horror movies about possession that Samuel was too afraid to watch. “You haven’t stopped anything.”
The girl known as Gabby began to bubble and grow. Her body writhed as it began to look more like an ogre than a teenage girl.
“Nope,” Mr. Kennison said, bringing the disposable camera up to his face and pressing the button. The ‘girl’ vanished from where she was standing.
“What the-” Samuel began.
“Analog cameras capture them,” Jane said, smiling at him.
“Not for very long, though,” Annette said. “Let’s get out of here before her, and the other one gets out.”
Mr. Kennison, Annette, Jane, Dylan, and Samuel left the shop, leaving the disposable camera behind. They piled into the truck and began driving, the three teenagers in the bed as they drove away.
“So, where should we go?” Annette asked. “We still don’t know how to get out of here.”
“I have an idea,” Mr. Kennison said as he pointed through the windshield.
“The department store?” Annette asked, seeing the sign towering over the surrounding buildings a mile away.
“A mirror got the camera that started all this here, maybe one can get us home,” Mr. Kennison replied as they turned a corner.
The back window of the truck slid open, “I think you should speed up, Mr. Kennison,” Jane said.
Mr. Kennison looked over his shoulder to see two massive creatures come careening around the corner behind them. The creatures were cat-like but scaled like a lizard. Even from this distance, he could see the fury in their eyes as they began gaining on them.
“Hold on,” Mr. Kennison yelled as he downshifted the truck and pressed the accelerator to the floor. “This might get a bit rough.”