Modern Portrait

Becca shook her head and laughed to herself. “That’s not how you do it, Mom.”

Frustrated with the whole process, Gloria sat back down on the couch and tossed her phone on the coffee table. “What am I doing wrong?”

Becca chuckled and hugged her mom. “Selfie doesn’t mean you take a picture of yourself in the mirror, Mom. It’s like this.”

She picked up her mom’s phone, reversed the camera, and held the camera high. “Say cheese.”

The picture was quickly shared between friends and family online. Becca’s phone buzzed and vibrated across the table. Her mother’s blasted her brother’s ringtone. Becca and Gloria stared at each other. What on Earth could have been wrong?

They grabbed their phones and glanced at them. Becca’s eyes grew wide and Gloria’s hand slammed itself over her mouth to prevent her from screaming. Together, they ran out of the house with only their phones.

Matt, Becca’s brother, had already phoned the police, but when they searched the house, there was no sign of an intruder. Becca and Gloria showed them the selfie they had taken, and the officers said they would keep an eye out, then returned to the station.

Three hours later, Detective Nash phoned Gloria. She turned as white as a sheet and dropped the phone.

“What’s wrong, Mom!”

Gloria looked toward the couch and shook. “It can’t…I can’t…”

“Can’t what!” Becca panicked as her mother sank to her knees and shook her head. “WHAT’S WRONG!”

“The man in the picture is dead,” her mother whispered. “It’s starting all over again.”

“What is?”

Before Gloria could answer, every door in the house opened and slammed on its own. She shook her head and wept. “I should have known it couldn’t last forever.”

“What couldn’t! Mom, tell me what is going on!”

The house grew cold and unseen forces barreled through the house like a freight train. The energy and silence was unbearable. Becca covered her ears and screamed.

Gloria and Becca had not returned Matt’s calls or texts for two days. Worried, he broke a window at the back of the house and broke in. No one was home, but their cell phones, wallets, and keys were still inside. Gloria’s phone was locked, but he knew Becca enough to know her password. He looked at the phone and laughed.

His father had been right. It was better to be a man in the Pinkton family. Back at his home, Matt unlocked a door that led to a long hallway and large ballroom. The walls were lined with portraits of ladies from all periods in time. Soft crying and pleas for help hung in the air as he entered the ball room. He sat his mother’s phone inside a small cabinet, and Becca’s on a small display where he could look at the selfies as they came in from the cursed lands.

He loved to walk down the hall and sit in the ballroom. Watching her suffer would keep him entertained for years. Yes, it was much better to be a male in the Pinkton family than a girl.

This was inspired by Ritu’s prompt, self, for Linda’s Just Jot it January #8