Short horror story for a good night- ‘sweet dreams!’

CHEESE!

(written by- Ajinkya H. Naik)

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With my sick wife’s medical bills piling up and loan sharks chasing after my life, accepting the odd job was my only way out. I didn’t believe in the stories attached to the abandoned school, so 80 grand was a steal deal. The job was simple. Go to classroom 3C and click a picture. It takes a fraction of a second to click a picture. A fraction of a second to turn things around. The glass windows of the school were shattered, the walls- cracked and corroded. I walked through the never-ending corridor moving deeper into the sinking, sucking blackness. The echo of my footsteps made me feel like a victim of an ambush. The grades descended as I passed by classrooms. 10th grade, 9th grade, 8th grade. I became more vigilant as I approached to my destination. 6th grade, 5th grade. So far, no ghosts jumping out of dark corners to greet me. 4th grade. With one more step I was there. Classroom 3C. And the only thing greeting me was a harmless, old chair. I laughed at the gullibility of people as I sat on the chair, my throne of victory. A fraction of a second to click a picture. A fraction of a second to turn things around. Easy peasy. I took my camera out. Said ‘say cheese’. Snapped a picture and froze as the door slammed shut behind me. I moved towards the door to check. It was a prank, so I thought. Then the camera flash went off again. It was no accident. My camera was on the chair. It repeated. Again. And again. And went on. It takes a fraction of a second to turn things around. Even lesser to regret a decision. My bravado diminished with every flash as the dead children stared and laughed at me. The professor who had once poisoned them, stood behind me and whispered- “CHEESE!.”

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