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Caught In A Photo

September 2006

I never did believe in ghosts. That is, until quite recently. It still seems like a dream at times but I know it’s not. It all started in Science class one day.

My best friend, Sierra, who sits two seats in front of me, turned around and gave me the evil eye. Now, Sierra had never done this before, being my best friend and everything, but still, when she did it, it sort of creeped me out, if you know what I mean?.
I got chills and my blood turned cold. It was really unlike Sierra to do anything like that. Plus, something at the back of my head totally bothered me. It kept saying over and over again, ?That can’t be her, that ain’t Sierra?’ At the end of class, I passed Sierra a note. It read, "What’s wrong with you?" She didn’t answer. Well, not at first, anyway. About three minutes later, she passed me a note. The handwriting was really untidy and sort of crawly, unlike Sierra’s neat and crisp one. "I have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t even know you. Better keep away from me, or else?" That ?or else?’ part really scared me. And she had written that she didn’t know me. And that was near impossible, as we’ve been best friends for almost two years.
That day at home, I tried to sort things out. When I finally couldn’t do it, I got so frustrated that I called Sierra and demanded to know why she was playing such a wicked joke on me?. Sierra’s voice on the other end of the line, sounded forced and harsh. She answered by saying that she didn’t usually answer calls from strangers and that she had no idea what I was talking about. That really steamed me up. And I have to admit, I was scared. Scared for Sierra.
An hour later, I was on my way to Sierra’s in my parent’s car. It was a cold night and there was no sign of the moon. On the way my cell phone beeped. I got a huge surprise when I saw that it was John calling me. John is my brother. I answered the phone only to hear John rasp at the other end of the line, "You’d better get back home right now, or else?" The message was horribly familiar and it sent my blood chilling. I told him that I had no intention of turning back and that he’d better stop trying to scare me. He just hung up on me with a final warning. "You’d better do as you’re told or else?" I thought about it all the way to Sierra’s.
I parked the car and tried to get out but the door wouldn’t budge. Not an inch. Frantically I began to push buttons and call for help. In a last attempt I kicked the car door and was shocked and relieved when it opened. I jumped out, pretty much spooked. Without bothering to slam the car door shut, I ran up to the flat and waited for the elevator to come for about three minutes. When it didn’t, I decided not to waste time there and took the stairs. Sierra lived on the fifth landing. As I neared her apartment, I sensed something cold all around me. But I didn’t spare much thought for it. I rang the door bell, (in a way to be polite,) and waited patiently. Only, waiting in coldness isn’t something that you’d like. I tried the door after a while. It was unlocked. I got in and glanced around. I sensed something else in here. I don’t know what. I just called Sierra. After a while she came tumbling out of her room in a pink dressing gown. It was only 9:15 and Sierra usually slept at about midnight or something, so I was pretty shocked. Shocked too, to find that Sierra was pale. I mean, really pale. Her hair had turned a sort of white- blonde and her skin was all white. Her eyes were pale too. Pale blue. And her dressing gown. That too. "What’re you doing here?" she demanded as soon as she saw me. Her voice, again, sounded forced and harsh. Without knowing why, I shivered. "Didn’t I tell you to keep away from me? I hardly know you!"
"Sierra, what’s wrong with you?" I said, pushing away my fear. It wasn’t that easy, let me tell you. "I thought you are my best friend!" I hate to admit, but even then I hadn’t figured out what was happening. After all, I didn’t believe in the supernatural. "You thought? You’re wrong then!" "Huh? You’re telling me that? I’ll tell you who’s wrong!" I sort of screamed this at her and then I grabbed the nearest thing at hand. A lamp. Without thinking twice, I threw it at Sierra. It missed, hitting the wall behind her and shattering into pieces.
I was so angry I didn’t care what happened next. How dare Sierra deny that I was right! And by that time, all the cold I have had sensed seemed to give me power, instead of creeps. There was plain panic on Sierra’s face. I grabbed a family photo of Sierra’s ancestors and threw it at her. It caught fire on mid-throw and fell down onto the floor. The photo came flying out of the frame, unharmed. It sailed all the way to land by my feet. Immediately I knew something was very wrong.
Sierra’s great-great- great aunt, Felicia, was missing from the picture. In her place stood Sierra, crying silently and unable to move. I gaped at the picture for a long time. The next thing I knew, I went flying through the air to land on my backside. Suddenly I knew what had happened. The ghost of Aunt Felicia was possessing Sierra. I jumped to my feet, and winced. Felicia was glaring at me. Her eyes were cold and lifeless. The glare was so evil, so dangerous, that I must have passed out. But before I did, I managed to choke out, "Go back where you belong! Go back-"
When I came around, Sierra was kneeling beside me. She wanted to know if I was okay. I was so relieved and happy seeing her alive, I gave her a huge hug and asked where Aunt Felicia was?. But at the moment my mum called and told me to get back home that instant. Glancing at the clock, I was surprised to see that it was well after my curfew. I dashed back home, still puzzling about Aunt Felicia and what had happened. There wasn’t time for Sierra to tell me anything. All we managed to do was swear not to tell our parents about it.
That night, Sierra sent me an IM. It read:
"U really gave Aunty a scare. All she told me was that she was bored & that she wanted to have life. She asked me to swap over wit her, just for an hour. I did it for her. I was stupid. But after an hour, Aunty liked it so much that she wouldn’t swap back. She told me to enjoy my life in there, in the family photo. If it weren’t for u, she wouldn’t have swapped back. She’s evil. Truly evil. Did u know that she murdered my Gr8- gr8-gr8 uncle Theodore, my gr8-gr8-gr8 Aunt Stephanie, and my gr8-gr8-gr8-gr8 granddad? I only found this all out in the photo. Gr8-gr8- gr8-grandma told me. I was really scared and I don’t want to experience anything like that again. I mean, how many people do you know that have talked to their dead ancestors? The last thing gr8-gr8-gr8 Aunty Felicia told me was "Girls these days really have a fierce temper don’t they? I don’t like ur taste of Best friends, Sierra. But there’s something abt that best friend of urs, Si. She possesses some kind of power that dead here do not. She must have some living-thingy, if you know what I mean,"
Of course I don’t know what she means. But by the way she talked about you; it was obvious she’s scared of you. Anyway, I’m glad to have BF like u!:-D
So after that day, I believe in the super natural. That is one incident that I won’t forget.

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