Prompt: Horror Flicks - SHUTTER
Summary: After a horrible hit-and-run, guilt follows Tao everywhere. It’s the fact that Tao would have realistic nightmares about the person he had run over, wanting to kill Tao himself. But the truth is, the story of the person is much deeper, something Tao would never have expected.
Warning(s): Mentions of rape, violence
Word Count: 2,067
“Has anyone... ever tell you… that you look smoking hot?” Kris slurred as he lustfully stared at Tao from the passenger seat.
Grinning, Tao glanced back and forth between Kris and the road, “Yes, actually, quite a lot,”
“Who is he? Imma kill him.” Kris drunkenly tossed his head.
“It’s you, idiot.” Tao grinned “Here, sober up,” Tao took a bottle of water from the cup holder for Kris.
“This beer is tasteless,” Kris mumbled after drinking it.
“That’s because it’s water,”
“Ah… No wonder,”
Tao holds back a few laughs, Kris can handle his alcohol really well, but when he’s tipsy he’ll become like this.
“Has anyone ever told you that you’re hot?” Kris mumbled again,
“Go to sleep, Kris, you’re drunk,” Tao playfully flicked Kris’ forehead.
“No, I’m not, I’m fine, like real fine, Like really really really fine,”
Tao laughed out loud, “Yes, I’m sure-” He couldn’t finish his sentence as suddenly, out-of-nowhere, his car hit something, where it rolled over the car and landed somewhere behind. Tao pressed the brake hard and causes the car to screech and them to swivel before finally, the car stopped.
“Oh my god! What did we hit?!” Tao panicked, scrambling for his seatbelt to get out, to check on his victim.
“No!” Kris yelled, grabbing his arm, “Don’t, just drive,”
Tao looked through the rear view mirror “Kris I think we hit someone, what if he’s dead?” Tao was hyperventilating by now.
“No, we didn’t,” Kris took Tao’s face in his palms and made him stare at Kris, “We are in the middle of nowhere, at night, nobody would be here, it’s probably just a deer, just drive Tao, just drive,” Kris placed a kiss on Tao’s forehead.
Nodding numbly, with shaky hands, Tao shift the gear, and they drove away.
Tao couldn’t move, he was frozen on the bed. It was like his body wouldn’t obey him anymore.
Just then the bed near his legs dipped, signalling someone sat on it. He panicked, wondering who it was. Still unmoving, he could feel whoever it was, was climbing up.
What he saw made him terrified, but no sound escaped his frozen mouth.
He, or whatever it is, was wet, like literally drenched, the droplets fell on top of Tao. A side of its face had a long wound where the blood already flowed downwards of its body and staining its torn clothes. Its eyes were a black abyss and blood-like tears were flowing from it. It raised its bony finger and gripped Tao’s neck. Its touched was cold yet unforgiving. It gripped Tao’s neck hard.
It leaned till its face was above Tao, and then moved his hand to Tao’s mouth, as if to rip it open. Tao clenched his eyes and internally screamed. Its face looked furious and it looks as if it intends to kill.
Tao wrenched his eyes open and sat up on the bed, breathing erratic. He slid down the bed and pulled his knees to his chest. The dream was terrifying, and Tao was never good at nightmares.
He was lightly sobbing as he made himself into a ball at the side of the bed. Sniffling, he raised his head to search for Kris.
He found Kris in the dark room, frowning over some photographs.
He went behind Kris and back-hugged him.
Kris placed his hands over Tao, “What’s wrong babe?”
“Had a nightmare,” Tao leaned his head on Kris’ shoulder.
“Want to talk about it?”
“Not really…” So they just remained the way they were in silence, after a while Tao asked, “Is something wrong?”
“Nothing really, just, these pictures came out wrong,” Kris handed some photos to Tao.
Tao went to take a look and Kris changed places with Tao; placing his arms around Tao, bringing him close.
“Is it these white mists?”
“Yeah, I don’t know what it is but it’s in every photo. I don’t know, maybe it’s my lenses,”
Tao froze, pondering on the possibility, “Kris… Could it be a ghost?”
Kris remained in silence and Tao was afraid to turn around to look at him, “Are you kidding me?”
“No, think about it, we ran over someone a week ago, its ghost might be coming after us!”
“Tao, stop playing around, we didn’t run over anyone, it was a deer,” Kris let go of Tao and walked out of the room.
“Kris, i might be true!”
“But it isn’t! Just stop, Tao!” Kris yelled at Tao.
Shocked, Tao just stared wide-eyed at Kris.
Sighing, “I’m sorry,” He pulled Tao in an embrace, “I’m just stressed,” Tao remained stoic, but eventually wrapped his arms around Kris too.
Things didn’t get better, instead Tao’s nightmares became constant until he could barely sleep at all. Kris on the other, his photos didn’t change. Each had a white mist covering part of the picture, even though he had bought a new and much more expensive lenses. Kris became irritable and short-tempered till the point he gets pissed at Tao for every single thing Tao does. His lack of success in taking pictures resulted in many of his clients leaving him.
Kris console himself in alcohol, and his actions were leaning towards abusive.
Tao was lost and confused on what to do and his insomnia wasn’t helping one bit.
It happened one night, Kris was out of the house to find a client, Tao was cleaning their messy apartment when he heard one of Kris’ camera go off. The shutter clearly heard through the silent apartment.
Trembling, Tao tried to brave himself to find the camera. As he looked around slowly, he saw the shutter on the camera by the bedside table go off.
Tao whimpered softly but still moved towards the camera. His hands were shaking madly as he picked it up.
When he saw the pictures taken, he fell into his knees and scurried to the corner. Sobbing, he hid his face between his knees. It was a picture of himself, there in the middle of the room, sweeping yet clearly there was the silhouette of a person near the bookshelf.
When he calmed down a bit, he reached out for the camera. Blurry-eyed with tears, Tao tried to look at the pictures. There were some pictures of Tao, and mostly Kris, and then, one with both of them sleeping on the bed. Tao bit his lips to muffle his screams.
He clenched his eyes and cower more in the corner. He was crying heavily by then and still, even through his fear he tried to continue.
The next few pictures were still of them sleeping on the bed when finally, Tao stumbled upon a picture of the white figure. It was on the floor, it looked wet, and resembled the ghost that kept appearing in Tao’s nightmares.
Tao continued along to the next picture and the picture was the same except the ghost had crawled further. Tao pressed next, and next, and next and the pictures showed a message, of the ghost climbing up the bookshelf and at the last picture, as if it’s reaching for something.
Tao raised his head to look at the bookshelf. Curiosity was killing him, but fear made his feet frozen solid.
Finally calming down a bit, Tao got up slowly and shakily, and walked to the bookshelf. He wiped his tears away as he rummaged around the shelf when abruptly, his finger hits a metal box.
Tao carefully pulled out the box, and stared at it confusingly. He didn’t remember ever having that box nor seeing it. When he opened it, there was a bunch of pictures of Kris with his college friends whom Tao didn’t know much about but had seen a picture of in Kris’ college portfolio. Then, at the bottom was a set of negatives photos.
It was probably nothing but instinct told him to look.
He went to the dark room to see the picture but the dark room creeped him out so he ended up looking behind him every minute.
After a few minutes, the picture was done, and what he saw, appalled him.
It was pictures of a small bodied boy getting raped, and his rapers, was none other than Kris’ friends. And in a few of the pictures, were Kris is fucking the poor boy himself.
Tao wanted to puke seeing those pictures and when he focused closely, he saw that the raped boy looked a lot like the ghost. That is when it hit him, the ghost, it was trying to warn Tao.
As if on cue, Tao heard the door of the apartment opened up and closed. Kris was back.
Tao took the photos and marched up to Kris.
Kris angrily took off his jacket when Tao ran up to him and slammed the pictures on Kris chest.
“Kris, what the hell is this?! How could you?!” Tao yelled, tears springing into his eyes.
“What?!” Kris annoyedly yelled back.
“How could you rape someone? How… Kris…” Tao was confused and the lack of sleep was making delirious.
“Where did you find this?” Kris asked in a creepily calm voice but Tao didn’t notice.
“The top shelf where else! Why did you ne-” Tao didn’t finish as Kris palm had slammed against Tao’s cheek, making him stagger a few steps back.
“Who the fuck told you you can snoop around?”
Kris walked towards Tao, his face was hard and furious.
“Kris…?” Tao got slapped again and he fell onto the floor.
“I repeat, who the fuck do you think you are?” Kris crouched down and gripped Tao’s collar.
“W-What..? Kris, I fucking live here!” Tao yelled and was punched this time. The impact made him dizzy and disoriented.
All he felt was Kris drags his body upwards and then he was thrown onto the bed.
“K-Kris… stop… ple-please,” Tao sobbed put Kris just slapped him again. Tao whimpered painfully as Kris ripped open his shirt.
Tao resistance was futile as Kris was so much more stronger than him. Everytime Tao struggled Kris would slap and punch him.
Kris gripped Tao’s pants by the belt and yanked it down, promptly humiliating and exposing Tao.
Tao screamed and tried to push away, but Kris punched his stomach repeatedly. Tao lay wheezing on the bed and Kris was halfway on opening his pants when shutters around the apartment rang out.
Shocked, Kris yelled out “Who’s there?”
But the apartment was silent except for Tao’s crying.
“Shut up,” Kris gripped Tao’s hair and sends out one last knocking punch.
Kris walked around the apartment trying to find the burglar when the Polaroid photograph on the table suddenly drops to the floor.
A picture was taken and cautiously Kris took the Polaroid picture that came out.
It was a picture of him and the ghost, which were clinging on to Kris like a piggy-back, it’s eyes were clearly staring at the camera. Revoltingly, Kris began to move erratically to get it off him. He didn’t watch his steps in his panic and so, he accidentally bumped hard against the opened window’s ledge and instantly fell down the building, and to his death
He tried to open his eyes, but it was hard, around him was quiet except for the steady sounds of ‘beep beep’s
He could manage to open only one eye and what he saw was all white. A woman in a white outfit entered his view and he realized it was a nurse, that meant he was in the hospital.
“W-What happened…” He groggily asked as the nurse came back with an older woman, this one wearing a white coat, presumably the doctor.
She proceeded to explain to Tao that Kris, his boyfriend, is dead. Apparently jumped to his death probably of guilt for beating Tao up; Tao had 3 broken ribs and a dislocated jaw. Tao let out a tear in knowing that Kris, the love of his life is dead but he was mostly numb.
He could figure out what happened, the ghost killed him. Tao knows it did. But Tao couldn't do anything else but just clenched his eyes and cry for Kris, praying that Kris is in another place.
The doctor and nurse left him alone to grieve. Unknowingly to Tao, as the door swings closed, reflected on the mirror was Tao, and the ghost standing beside the bed.