GRANDMA’S HOUSE: THEMED PHOTO EVENING / by Peter Sladen

The days were getting shorter now. Marco stood with his group of friends and remembered his grandmother. It was weird being in her house now, it felt empty. Gone were the cooking smells and the large pot of apple and cinnamon tea she used to always make this time of year. Everyone remembered her fondly. Marco hadn’t felt an empty feeling in the house for a long time. The attic was the last place they had to clear.

He had lived with his grandmother since he was 13. His mother had been sectioned, he didn’t fully know why, his grandmother had only briefly spoken to him about it. She had told him his mother had obsessions. He remembered she had shown him drawings once, when he was young, of an old man. She was frantic, asking if he had ever seen him, it scared him, she went away not long after. He had often thought her delusions where because of the death of his grandfather, her father. They still didn’t know how it had happened, no one was ever found out. It was a subject his grandmother had never talked to him about.

Marco and his friends Mia, Arthur, Carlos, Paula and Hrista entered the attic via a dodgy looking set of stairs.

They unlocked the attic door and went inside.

The first thing to hit Marco was the smell of musty, damp air. The room was dark, Paula tried to turn on the light to no avail. Marco lit a candle, he had never been in the attic before.

The attic was empty, all except one crate that sat in the middle of the room. Marco could see an old cuddly toy poking out the top.

The gang moved toward the crate with caution. This was weird.

“Who’s stuff is this Marco?” said Paula

“I don’t know, it’s not my mums...it might have belonged to my grandmother's first child,”

“Oh where is he now, won’t he want to come to the funeral?” asked Carlos

“No, he, no one knows what happened to him. He disappeared when my grandad died. He was only 8 I think. My nan didn’t talk about him much.”

“Oh I’m sorry man, my bad”

“No it’s ok, I don’t really know anything about him.”

“We don’t have to look in it Marco.” said Arthur

“No let’s look inside, I’m curious.”

They turned the crate over. Two books, a cuddly toy and several drawings fell out. They were scribbled child's drawings, but Marco could make them out. He recognised them, they were familiar to him. He flicked through the pieces of paper. The drawings were of an old man, all the same. He had a beard and scruffy hair, he was wearing what looked like a jacket.

“Bit weird.” said Mia.

“I know these drawings, the man, my mum, once, she drew him,”

“What?”

“She drew this man, she showed me them once. She asked if I had seen him.”

“Who is it?” asked Paula.

“I don’t know. This is freaking me out.”

“Is it your grandad?” said Hrista

“No I’ve seen pictures of him, he never had a beard.”

“Your mum and her older brother drew the same old man? Was he some freaky dude from down the street?” said Carlos

“No, this is the weird thing, my mum and her brother never met. He went missing before she was born. My nan was pregnant with my mum when it all happened.”

“How did they both draw the same man? This is freaking me out a bit,” said Mia.

“I don’t know.”

The gang looked through the old books.

5 - The Find.jpg

“Guys, there’s something weird written on the back page of this kids book,” said Mia.

“What is it?” said Arthur.

“I don’t know, I can’t read the writing, it’s in latin. Paula you did latin what does it say?”

Paula started to read.

“Absconde liberi…”

“Absconde liberi, hide the children, et questus tenebris, it’s getting dark. Hide the children, it’s getting dark.”  

Suddenly all of their candles went out. It was dark, the only light coming in from a streetlight outside.

Marco hugged onto his girlfriend Hrista, he was afraid of the dark.

“It’ll be ok,” said Hrista, “I’ll find the candle.”

Marco screamed!

“It’s the man, its the man from the drawings!”

Behind Arthur and Carlos stood an old man with a beard in a jacket, just like the drawings.

His face was pale. His eyes, although sunken, were piercing, staring right at them.

Arthur Hrista and Carlos turned around.

Suddenly the candle went out and 3 sets of blood curdling screams rang through the groups ears.

“My eyes! my eyes!” They heard Arthur shriek.

“Quick someone get the candle,” shouted Paula

“What’s happened to Arthur, Hrista and Carlos!?” shouted Mia.

Carlos, Arthur and Hrista came out of the shadows, their eyes were sunken, they looked burned, their skin was pale. They came towards Mia, Paula and Marco.

“Guys, guys, are you ok?” wailed Marco.

Carlos, Hrista and Arthur let out a loud howl, coming toward the cowering group of three. The old man stood behind them.

“He’s turned them into demons!” shouted Marco.

“What’s happened to their eyes!?” screamed Mia.

As they reached forward life vanished from their faces. They collapsed onto the ground. Marco, Mia and Paula were frozen in shock. The old man demon laid next to the bodies of their friends.

“Isti sunt filii liberos meos.” the old man demon whispered.

“What did he say Paula?” asked Marco.

“Um,” Paula was closed to tears. “He said these are my children.”

“His children?”

The demon man went as still as a corpse.

“Are they alive?” asked Mia.

“They’re not breathing.” weeped Paula.

CREDITS

We host photography meet-up evenings in and around the city of Canterbury. Every time we meet up there is a different theme or area of photography which we explore. This one was in the theme of a 1980s horror flick.

The story and the images are a combined effort of several local photographers, actors, actresses and models. They were taken during one of our photography meet ups hosted over at Pork & Co. In Canterbury.

Each photographer was read the story written by Peter Marsh and then directed the actors/models to pose in their vision for each scene.

STORY & POSTER ART

Peter Marsh - IG PAGE

MODELS

Duncan Calem, Hrista Karapeneva, Paula Kurowska, Mia Sinclair, Carlos Agualusa, Marco Namor, Arthur Palmer.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Keith M Franklin - IG PAGE

Louise Gibbens - IG PAGE

Kamila Lobuzinska - IG PAGE

Peter Sladen - IG PAGE

Meredith Ann - IG PAGE, WEBSITE