Falling into Black and White Photos.

A ghost/scary story. A young girl moves home and finds things, although all the possessions of the previous owner should have been destroyed. What are they? And what do they want with Phoebe?

            Phoebe gazes up at the house that is set to be theirs at 5.15 that evening.  Her hopes fall. It didn’t look as impressive as it did in the photos they were sent. She looks at her mother, who is grinning at her like it’s Christmas. She smiles back, although it doesn’t reach her eyes.  They fall, rather than step, out of the car, Phoebe pushed my the mountain of toys she insisted on keeping, and her mother and father pushed out by other possessions.  They had been told to fit as much as they could into their car, while the removal van took the larger objects.  As Phoebe’s father unlocks the door with the large bronze key he was given, she casts a glance at the knocker. Evidently, her mother saw it too, as she makes a passing remark that they should get around to changing it sooner rather than later. The girl reaches up to touch the corroded metal hand holding a glass ball, and drops it against the wood.  To her surprise, the glass orb doesn’t smash, but instead makes a rumbling crash that echoes throughout the house.

            Her father jumps slightly, but acts as though the key was tough to turn. He laughs and pushes the door open to reveal a hallway, that’s empty apart from a small table with a box on top. The box is open, and inside, spinning gently to a delicate tune, is a ballerina dressed in a midnight blue dress. Phoebe walks over to it, smiling and humming along to the tune, even though she doesn’t know how it goes.  The ballerina makes its first complete cycle, and the little girl stops in her tracks. The dancer has stopped facing them, without slowing down as music boxes often do, and staring up at the family is a faceless ballerina.  The three people all seem shell-shocked. None of them move, until the father walks forwards and slams the box shut, making the girl and woman break out of their trance.  The mother laughs nervously, and heads into the room that the hall leads to, glancing at the wooden box like it has teeth.  Her father follows, but Phoebe stays, picking up the box and running upstairs to salvage a bedroom, despite the fact that she is an only child, and there is no competition for rooms. She randomly opens a door, and, finding it to be a bathroom, moves on to the next.  After passing another bathroom, a small cupboard, and the master bedroom, which will surely be taken by her parents, Phoebe walks into a room, which in her opinion, could not be more perfect for a seven year old girl.

            She bounces slightly as she sits on the large bed that had been bought already from her old house, along with all the other furniture, and tentatively opens the music box again. This time, the ballerina spins 3 times before fading out and slowing down. Encouraged by this, Phoebe turns the box upside down to search for the key to start the music again.  She finds it and winds quickly, causing a board covered in faded velvet to drop out of the box. The girl puts the music box down beside her, and kneels to pick up the board and the contents that had fallen out with it.  Several items of jewellery had landed on the floor, but Phoebe’s sharp green eyes fell on a golden locket. She places what she’d already picked up back on the floor and reaches for the locket.  On inspection, there were initials, A.K.T, engraved in elaborate, curled letters, surrounded by small turquoise gemstones, arranged in the shape of flowers.  She clicks it open, and two small pictures flutter out onto the floor. She picks them up, bending one by accident, but smoothing it out in order to see the face properly.  It’s a harsh face. Unsmiling, and staring into Phoebe’s eyes with a look of utter distaste. The small girl thinks to herself that the girl would probably be quite pretty if only she’d smile.  She puts the browned picture down, unnerved by the glare, and picks up the other. She immediately smiles back at the boy in this photo as if he were real. He looks similar to the pictures of her father when he was younger, although she’s quite sure that there could be no possible relation. As a child, Phoebe’s mother had shown her all the family albums that they had, and she doesn’t recognise the boy.  He has dark hair and happy eyes, with a pointed face. Phoebe gently puts the boy into the right hand side of the locket, and the girl into the left. She snaps it shut quickly before they could fall out again, and drops it back into the music box, along with the other bracelets and necklaces and trinkets, and runs back downstairs to join her parents.

            She screams as she enters the living room, skidding to a halt on the worn, wooden floor.  Her mother is lying on the floor, gasping for breath. Her father is kneeling beside her, straining to push the heavy oak chest of draws off her. Phoebe’s eyes sting as she rushes over to her father to help.  Thinking rationally for a second, she realises that she’d be more use phoning for help.  She runs over to the phone and dials the emergency number.  Her father sits in silence, stroking his daughter’s hair while they wait for the ambulance.  When they arrive and place her mother onto a stretcher, Phoebe jumps up and runs over to her mother. She blinks, and feels all the way around her mother’s neck, but nothing.  She walks back to her father, frowning. She was sure it had been there.But it couldn't. It isn't even possible, is it? Could she have just seen the tarnished but still glittering gold of the locket?

The End

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