A few weeks went by without incident.  They had talked about it many of times between them and also with their friends.  No one had touched the camera in that time.

Dean and Sarah were sat eating breakfast one morning and as he was picking up a slice of crispy bacon to chew on he said to Sarah “Should we try the camera again?  See what happens?”

She put down the forkful of scrambled egg and looked thoughtful “Okay but I want to be with you.  I’f you are going to black out I want to know.  Let’s do it this evening”

“Okay”

That evening, they both went into the office.  The camera sat as they had left it on the shelf.  Dean picked it up.  They looked at each other and with some concern on his face; he looked down into the viewfinder.  All he could make out was the dull cloudy image of the silhouette of Sarah standing in the doorway.  No matter how hard he concentrated nothing more happened.

“Nothing.”  He said

“Good, well maybe that’s the end of it” she said

“It’s only ever worked when I’ve been alone”

“I know, but I don’t want you doing it alone.  If you black out again you could hurt yourself”

Sarah looked at him sternly.  Dean put the camera down and they walked out of the room.

“I just want to know, you know?  Did I imagine it?  Am I going crazy?”

“I know it’s just, I don’t like it”

A few days went by and Dean was alone in the house.  He decided it was time.  Sarah would be back in an hour or so and if anything happened she’d be here.

He wanted to document whatever happened and set up his phone to record using the camera.  He sat in his chair holding the camera and looked at his phone.

“This is Dean, it err six forty eight on Thursday the twenty seventh October.  I am going to look into this camera” He held up the camera and felt a little silly.

Then he looked into the viewfinder.

There was definitely something there it was foggy at first then a building began to appear it was a house in a suburban neighborhood.  Dean heard some laughing behind him and turned to see some people gathered around a doorway.  Two of them were a younger couple holding a baby and the other two older maybe in their fifties.  The older man was just turning to let the rest into the house.  Dean saw an old TLR in his hand which he appeared to have just used to take a picture of the couple.

They disappeared into the house.  Dean looked around him and tried to get his bearings.  Something felt familiar.  He’d been here before he was sure.

He walked down the street a little.  As he walked he saw things he felt like he knew but they were slightly different; a tree, a house.  That house was Billy Hansen’s place he was in Pasadena wear he had grown up this was his neighborhood!

His house was only two blocks away!  This was weird.  He started walking up the street in the direction of his old house.  All the street names were just as he remembered this was definitely his childhood neighborhood.   As he got closer to his street a car drove by and he had the sense of a face at the window.  Before he could look the car had passed by but as the car drove into the distance he could see the unmistakable rear of his parent’s car.  That could have been his own face he glimpsed.  The car wasn’t exactly as he remembered it and as disappeared around a corner he remembered that the fender should have been missing, it was still there which meant it must have been shortly after they arrived he must be only about age 9.

He turned the corner and just as he expected, three houses down on the right was his house; no car in the drive.

He stood looking wondering what he should do.  He was at a point where he could actually meet himself from an earlier point in time.  The concept was mind boggling.  He sat on the grass on the corner to think.  Aren’t there rules about meeting yourself and messing up space-time continuum?  It was a warm day and he lay back considering what he would say to himself … and his parents.  As he waited and wondered heaviness came to his eyes and he couldn’t help but fall asleep.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and woke up.

Looking down at him was Sarah.  He was back in the home office.

“You did it again didn’t you?” She said looking angry “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t do it”

“I know but”

“But what?!” She looked at him

“I’m sorry.  It was driving me crazy thinking about it. I had to know if it’s real”

“And is it?”

“Yeah, I’m sure it is.  Look I recorded the whole thing”

Dean reached for the phone.  It was lying face down on the desk.  “Shit!” he said

He picked it up and stopped the recording then pressed play

“This is Dean, it err six forty eight on Thursday the twenty seventh October.  I am going to look into this camera” he heard from the speaker as his image showed on the screen.  As he watched his face staring into the viewfinder the image slid up the screen and went to black as the camera phone fell over.

“Dammit!” he jumped forward 20 minutes.  Nothing but black and silence.

“I was there Sarah!  I was back in the street where I grew up! I arrived outside a house two blocks away and…” he paused thinking.  He knew that house.  That was the house, “the Fire!” he said.

“What?”

“You remember about when I was a kid.  My parents told you and..”

“Yes.  I’ve not forgotten.  How could you do something like that!?”

“Sweetheart we’ve been through that, it’s in the past”

“I hope so”

“What I was saying was that the house I was outside was that same house, years before.”

“Why that house”

“I don’t know” he thought about it “The camera!” he said at last “Each time I have been where the camera was”

“And someone was taking a picture of that house with that broken camera?” She pointed.

The camera sat on the shelf.

“Yes, well no, it wasn’t broken then but it was there I saw it with the guy going in with his family”

“This is really creepy Dean.  I don’t know if you are going insane or whether these visions of yours are real but either way it’s scaring me.”

She was upset and he could understand why.  For him this had been getting almost exciting but now he could see that from her point of view it was scary.

“I know, I get it.  I don’t know why but I think this is real and that camera is some kind of… I don’t know portal”

“I don’t like it.  I think we should get you looked at again.  You might be sick.

“It’s fine babe”

“No it isn’t”

“Tomorrow we are going to the doctor and we are throwing that thing’ she pointed at the camera on the shelf “in the trash!”

Babe we don’t need t…”

“I’m not arguing about it Dean.”

“She turned and left the room”

Dean got up to follow and the camera caught his eye again.  He casually looked inside.

He could see a yellowish glow.  The camera felt hot in his hands and he suddenly realized there were flames and heat all around him.  He was in that house.  The roar of the flames intense.

Then he saw it.  Through the flames just the other side of the room.

The camera sat on the shelf.

He heard a shout, a scream and the only doorway he could see collapsed

He knew where he was and why he was here.  The flames rose, he screamed and all went black.

 

©2017 Carrot Room