|< Back to Phoophie Tales||Tales from the Dark Side >>|
The man tramped through the garden, not caring to avoid the lush plant life and flowers swarming around his ankles and underneath his black leather shoes. He was in a hurry; his path did not falter as he stomped around in the soil. He straightened his gray jacket and smoothed the wrinkles in his pants with a frown pasted beneath his nose. He smoothed his hair and corrected the angle of his tie. Carefully, he smoothed back his sleek, black hair with his pale hands. Stocked upon his shoulder was an old camera that had taken many pictures. The legs rattled together noisily as he exited the garden. He was scheduled to take a picture today. A family portrait. The man smiled. The more the merrier.
He scraped his shoes against the welcome mat. The heels didn't want to deposit the residue, but he finally stamped them off. He knocked on the doorframe, once, twice, three times. A woman answered. She pried open the door, her long hair swaying. "Hello," she greeted. "You must be the photographer." She motioned him inside.
The man set up in the living room. The camera stationed in front of the fireplace, he called them in. They settled in. With grunts and shifting, they finally remained still, boy, girl, mom, dad.
He poured a red liquid into a valve on the top of the camera.
The real red eye," he remarked.
They smiled, and the camera flashed.
* * *
Leonard Renston was a portrait photographer. He took snapshots of people. He liked how he could capture emotion. That couldn't happen with landscapes, it seemed. He liked most of all, however, was what happened after the picture. How the people changed.
This particular day would be a special one. A family portrait. A double dose of the Serum should be enough. He packed two vials of the concoction. He loaded them up on his truck with his camera. The vehicle clunked around on the road, spitting and coughing. When he arrived, the family was waiting for him. Dressed in black and white.
"You're late," the dad complained as Leonard hopped from his truck.
* * *
"Very," whined the son.
* * *
Leonard ignored them. Soon, their bickering would end. He gathered his materials and set his equipment up in the living room. The family immediately sat on the couch, anxious to get the event over with.
* * *
Leonard tipped the vial of Serum into the camera nozzle and fingered the trigger under the blanket. The family shouted, "Cheese!" and the flash erupted. The crimson Serum squirted out in five ropes, into the eyes of the posing family. "It burns!" cried the boy.
"It smells!" cried the sister.
Then the looming certainty of chaos ensued. The family rubbed their eyelids raw, and moaned. The transformation began. The Serum soaked into the their heads, behind the eyeballs, and into the brain. Naturally, the brain mistook it for a wave of stimuli and absorbed the Serum in. The fluid began eating away at the sensitive part of the mind, deteriorating and destroying all common knowledge and sense.
The family suddenly had a realization.
I want to kill let me kill I have to kill come here attack attack die!
And they did.
The rage consumed them, and the havoc broke loose. Needless to say, the family had their last photo taken.
As Leonard looked over the developing photos, the eyes had a distinguished color to them.
The exact maroon hue of blood.
Red eye, he thought.