(Trigger warning - includes detailed information of abused woman)
[I would love any feedback and constructive criticism, thank you]
The wind is blowing fiercely, the clouds are coming in as I am walking home from Franklin high school. I didn’t bring a jacket, just great. I decided to take photography for an elective class, it’s always been a passion of mine. I wanted to make my senior year as easy as possible. The teacher's name is Mrs. Nox and she wanted us to do an assignment on something abandoned, a place that tells a story in just one picture. I knew the perfect place and I was heading there now.
I turned down the alley, lost in my own thoughts with my head down. The alley was a few blocks from the high school and held an abandoned apartment complex at the end of it. This alley is usually abandoned. It’s filled with green dumpsters filled to the brim and trash littered everywhere. I stumbled over a piece of cardboard and decided to look up. I made it to the complex, it’s a six foot tall red brick building, with busted out windows and nothing covering the door from people entering. I looked around and decided to enter. To my left were mailboxes for the tenants who used to live here and on my right was the main office. I went up the stairs in front of me and decided to climb to the third floor. Why the third? Not sure. I stopped and opened the door, the hallway was long, paint was chipping off the walls, spray paint, couches and trash covered this hall. I decided to snap a few photos. I looked down at my camera and they looked amazing. I wasn’t done though, this place always interested me. I decided to look around, and I came across an old film roll, and put it in my satchel. Some of the rooms had nothing in them, just paint chipping off the walls and busted out windows. Some rooms had torn couches, dressers rotting. One room had one metal chair in it and a rope hanging off the ceiling. I instantly grabbed my camera and took a photo. Pictures speak thousands of words. It was perfect for my assignment. I continued to look around but nothing of interest caught my eye, so I headed out.
I headed to the local Walgreens which was six blocks from here and on my way home. So why not go and get the film roll I found developed. This town is small and Walgreens was one of the few stores we had and two two blocks from my house, so they knew me pretty well. I came here all the time to print photos and get my photos developed. Our high school has an area to develop photos as well, but it looks like it’s going to rain, so Walgreens it is.
“Welcome to Walgreens,” the girl behind the counter said to me.
I just nodded in response and headed to the photo counter.
A thin tall man with dark brown hair and bright green eyes appeared, “what can I do for you?” I handed him the film roll I found, “I’d like to get this roll developed please.” He handed me a pen and paper for my information. I filled it out, slid it back to him and headed off to my house.
Approaching the outside I saw it had started to rain. Great! No jacket… no umbrella, I was prepared for today…. I jogged home. Sopping wet by the time I got there. My house is dark grey, with white trimming, two stories, and a beautiful garden in the front, and a white picket fence. My mom has a green thumb. I couldn’t garden, not my thing. I opened the gate, walked up the steps and stopped to unlock my front door. I walked down the hallway to my room. Took out a new outfit, yoga pants, a long sleeve, jacket and rain boots, laid them down on my queen size bed and headed for the shower. I changed into my new clothes and went to look for my family. No one seemed to me home, oh well, the usual around here lately. I headed out to the living room to watch some tv til my film roll was developed. Hopefully it won’t be raining. Our living room is small, one love seat, and a rocker, small coffee table, and a 32 inch tv. We weren’t rich but at least we were comfortable.
I pulled open the curtains behind the love seat and there was a tall man, dressed in all black with the hoodie pulled over his face, standing at the edge of my property. He lifted his head a little and put a finger to his mouth, as if he was telling me to be quiet. I went to check the door and he was gone. I opened the door and there was a photo of me, at the abandoned apartment. I looked around fast and I didn’t see him. I closed the door quickly and locked it. I turned it over, and it read, the film roll was mine.
I grabbed my coat and an umbrella and headed to Walgreens. I ran inside and straight to the photo counter. A short girl with long blonde hair and glasses came to the counter, “How can I help you?” I wasn’t sure if it would still even be here but he couldn’t get the film roll unless he knew my name, right? “I’d like to see if my film was done developing, under the name Twyla.” She turned around and started skimming the packages, pulled it out and handed it to me. “That’ll be $5.” I handed her the cash, shoved it in my pocket and took off back to my house.
Once I got inside I grabbed the package out of my pocket and opened it up. It displayed a couple of photos at that abandoned apartment with what looked like abused dead girls. Four different girls, blonde, around my age, naked, bloody, bruised and very much so dead. I started to shake. He saw me. He watched me. He knows where I live. What does that mean for me?