Monday, 24 October 2016

Spooky Short Story


I was looking at photos on my phone whilst lying in bed. The night before had been my best mate Megan’s 30th birthday and had been brilliant. My head throbbed slightly and my feet were ruined from hours of dancing but it had been worth it. The pictures were all of smiling happy people and I laughed as the last few were blurred; my ability to take a photo effected by alcohol at that point. I was just uploading a particularly good one to Facebook when I noticed something odd in the background. I squinted at the photo and shivered. It couldn’t be. In the background someone was smiling over Megan’s shoulder. The problem was it looked very much like our friend Chloe who had died 2 years ago. I quickly looked through the other photos and felt my eyes water as I noticed Chloe’s happy face in each and every one. I rang another friend Rebecca knowing she’d also been taking pictures and hoping she could offer a reasonable explanation.  Rebecca answered after a couple of rings and in a rush I told her about my photos.

“What? Slow down. You aren’t making sense.” Rebecca said. She sounded like she’d just woke up and I knew what I was saying sounded ridiculous. I explained again slower and I heard her take a large intake of breath. "Let me check my phone and call you back.” She said sounding confused. A few minutes later my phone rang and I snatched it up.

“Well. Is Chloe in your photo’s?” I said hastily my hands shaking slightly.

“Yes.” Rebecca answered quietly. “I can’t believe it. She looks so happy as well. I’m torn between being terrified and overjoyed to see her again.”

“That’s exactly how I feel. Should we actually do anything? Why do you think it’s happened now?”

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it was a big celebration. We had always joked about turning 30 in style.”

“Yeah I guess.  I wonder if she’s in anyone else’s photos?” I said wondering if anyone had already uploaded to Facebook without really looking properly.

“Who knows? We better tell Megan though. Shall we go over together? I’ll get breakfast and we can deliver the news. I’ll pick you up in half hour.”

“Ok sounds good.  See you soon.” I had a quick shower and threw on some clothes. Rebecca arrived just as I was putting my shoes on and I rushed out of the flat.

In the car Rebecca thrust her phone at me. “Dave, Phil, and Vicky have uploaded photos and Chloe is in most of them. This is so weird!” I scrolled through the photos and smiled as I looked at our former best mate. Chloe had a rare heart defect and had died two years ago. She’d always known about her condition and lived life to the full. She’d backpacked for 12 months, bungee jumped, swam with dolphins and her proudest achievement had been meeting Father Christmas in Lapland. She’d been quite ill for 6 months prior to her death and she was bitterly disappointed she wouldn’t reach her 30th birthday. She looked so happy in the photos but I wondered if it would upset anyone especially her mum who she’d been extremely close too.

As the day wore on we realised Chloe had photo bombed every single photo from the party. Some people thought it was morbid, others took great comfort from it, and her mum decided to visit a psychic. The local paper took up the story although I refused to be interviewed.
Over the next few weeks’ things returned to normal. I had been worried about taking more photos but Chloe did not show up in anymore. The existing photos had taken on a shimmer where she stood and looked faded but her smiling face was still clearly visible.

Rebecca was the next of our group to turn 30 and had decided that a small group would visit Dublin. On the short flight Rebecca asked me if she thought Chloe would appear. “I have no idea. It’s so strange. Maybe this time though we’ll sense her as we are prepared.”

“Wow! I hadn’t thought of that.” Rebecca said and turned away deep in thought. I looked out of the window relishing the calm before the madness of a boozy weekend and wondering if Chloe would join us.

Throughout the weekend no one sensed anything and although photos were checked almost obsessively Chloe did not appear. It was only once home that she made her appearance. Photo’s seemed to change and it looked like she was actually with us. Her arms were wrapped around us in several shots, she was doing bunny ears over Phil’s head smiling, and she was actually kissing Megan’s cheek in another. I couldn’t quite believe it.

Over the next few months. Chloe appeared in each of our 30th birthday pictures.  Instead of worrying we looked forward to seeing her. Her mum although sad loved seeing the photos and had become an honorary member of the 30th birthday gang. People offered all sorts of explanations ranging from camera glitches, group hallucinations or even that she wasn’t really dead. I have no explanation but have loved seeing my friend and hope she has enjoyed partying with us.

Emma xxx




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1 comment:

  1. I love this, I have no explanation either but I'd like to believe your friend wanted to make sure your 30th birthdays were extra special. Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x

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