Polaroid Short Story

A classic thriller story about two children who went missing years ago. New evidence emerges about them being still alive. However it is a newfound hope amongst the captives that gives them the courage to attempt an escape. But will they be successful?


Click. Whirrrrr.

Emmy vividly remembered the day Harrison took the Polaroid. Her hands were bound behind her back and there was a red bandana tied around her mouth. She had been curled up on the worn, flowered sofa in the basement that reeked of mildew. Tears stung her eyes and dripped through her lashes when she blinked, although she tried not to let Harrison see it, even through the blinding flash of the camera.

Click. Whirrrrr.

It was the ragged breathing of the boy sitting on the other side of the sofa and hiccups through his own bandana that caused her to cry. His fear was so real, so visceral, that it permeated throughout her body. The wound that once ached, then festered, and then contracted until it was only a hard knot inside of her chest.

“What do you think about that?” Harrison danced in front of them gleefully, holding the camera with its ironically cheerful rainbow stripe on the front in one hand and waving the first photo through the air as it developed. “Why have one when two is twice the fun?

Now, watching the local evening news on the small TV set up on the dilapidated kitchen table in the corner of the basement, she couldn’t believe her eyes. The camera panned in on a close-up of that very picture. The anchor’s voice could be heard over the sight of the photo, her tone reflective and somber.

“A local woman contacted police this morning after coming across this photograph in the parking lot of the Save Rite,” she said. “It is her belief that the girl in the photograph is Emmy Farn, who disappeared five years ago while riding her bike to her part-time job. Since her disappearance, there have been numerous unconfirmed sightings of Emmy here in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. We’ve asked the police department for a statement regarding the photo, but as of right now, they are looking into the matter and have no comment.”

The screen flashed to footage in front of the Save Rite, where a thin, grey-haired woman with concerned blue eyes framed by red glasses was speaking into a microphone.

“I remember plain as day when Emmy Farn went missing,” she said. “I had a granddaughter that age so it was frightening to our community. They found her bike all banged up and assumed she had an accident and someone grabbed her. I recognized her right away when I saw that picture just lying on the ground.” She wrung her hands nervously.

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