Camera (by Mafisto)
[Fantasy Casting: Keanu Reeves as Keanu, Michael Easton as Duncan, Matt Dillon as Matt, and Peter Berg as Peter. All of them at an age when they could still pass as high school seniors, with sober haircuts.]
In the school’s darkroom, Jane hung the last of the pictures from the enchanted camera’s film roll to dry. Four pictures had already been taken from the roll of twelve when she’d tried the camera in the newsroom. Did they hold some clues as to why the previous owner had abandoned such a powerful device?
It was now around 10 PM, and she had spent most of the early evening hunting through the city for the right kind of film roll. She had only found two, in a camera store whose nosy owner also collected antiques.
“It will be almost impossible for you to find more,” he’d said. “They’ve stopped making this kind of camera in the sixties. I own a few cameras of that era, so I had the film rolls custom made. I have a few more rolls, but they’re not for sale.”
“How much for these two?” she asked. She had borrowed a twenty from her mom earlier, but now she expected the price to be much higher.
“I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll let you have them for free if you let me buy the camera from you a week from now. It’s worth about $500.”
She wanted to keep the camera after her revenge. But how useful could it be to her if she could not find any film for it? She could use the $500. Come to think of it, her meager forty-two dollars would be well invested. She would turn a $458 profit and get her revenge as well.
“Alright,” she said. “I’ll be back next week.”
The pictures were starting to brighten up. Still lost in thoughts, she replayed in her mind the events of the previous day and night: Robert finally expressing an interest in her, inviting her to a party; Robert’s friends unexpectedly acting civilized with her (although she’d heard a few snickers behind her back); Robert’s smile and quick kiss on her cheek when he picked her up after dinner; Robert’s face turning cold at the party, as he ordered her to dance and strip for him and his gang, threatening to hurt her should she not obey. She had felt powerless and humiliated; revenge would be sweet.
Her attention shifted to the pictures. The ones with Duncan and Keanu in more and more sexy poses briefly triggered a muted echo of the orgasms she had felt earlier that afternoon; the four from the previous owner startled and troubled her, because they clearly showed the power of that prehistoric machine she owned, and hinted at why the previous owner had given or sold it away. If not for the intense need for revenge she felt, she would have returned the evil thing right then to the paper-thin-skinned Chinese; instead, she slid the pictures in a brown envelope, and went home with it and the camera in her school bag.
That night she dreamt of a group of men in hooded deep purple robes appearing at Chang’s. The vulgar trinkets on the shelves shook wildly by themselves; some of them broke. The Chinese man was afraid of them, and answered their questions nervously. Then he whispered her name: “Jane”
The next day at school, she failed to avoid Gloria and Pat — they cornered her in the bathroom. They had heard rumors that, desperate to get attention, she had embarrassed herself at Robert’s party by doing an impromptu strip tease, shocking him and his gang. Her anger increased with each of their words; it erupted into full rage when she learned that the guys had made a video out of her forced strip-tease, and planned to sell seats to a secret screening on that Friday night. She stormed out of the bathroom, and went right to the newsroom, where Duncan and Keanu were doing the final editing for Monday’s paper.
They both turned towards her when she came in, and said “Hi!” with an extra touch of enthusiasm that alarmed her. Did they remember the previous afternoon? Were they preparing their revenge? Who could blame her for being paranoid after what Robert’s gang had done to her?
“Come look at our movie column!” asked Duncan, excited and smiling.
She joined them at the computer, on her guard. Everything seemed okay: there was the “Movies on the Horizon” headline with their picture, the “By Duncan Easton and Keanu Reese” byline, then the column itself, with its surprisingly witty dialogues about new movies releases. Then something caught her eye. “Could you magnify this area?” she asked, pointing to their picture in the corner.
They looked at each other and smiled. Keanu magnified the picture to full view. They had changed it! The previous one had showed them side by side from the waist up, wearing black T-shirts, with their hand on their forehead as if they were shielding their eyes to see something far away. Now they were in the same pose, but shirtless. She was shocked.
“We knew you’d like it!” Keanu said. Then, without warning, he took off his T-shirt, his attention on his bare chest. “Look! We can see the little patch of hair I have here in between my pecs.”
Duncan simply unbuttoned his shirt and said: “And my tattoo, here, just below my belly button.”
Jane’s eyes grew wide open with surprise. The camera seemed to have had an effect on them that outlasted the previous day’s episode. It was as if they were now actively looking for ways to expose themselves. The camera had turned them into exhibitionists.
“Sorry to interrupt,” said a voice behind her.
Peter and Matt, two guys from Robert’s gang, stood in the doorway with cocky little smiles. She instantly blushed: she had been naked the last time they had seen her, and her assistants were now both half-dressed.
“We’re here for the interview,” said Peter, “but if you’re already busy with these two we can wait for our turn.”
“No, I’m not busy. Come, we’ll take pictures of you two on the stage.”
That article was the source of her troubles. She was writing a piece about Robert’s gang called “A Second Look at Moor High’s Male In-Crowd”. She wanted to talk about their hobbies, show that they weren’t dimwitted bullies. They liked the idea, but the fear that she’d print something that would make them look uncool or vulnerable had incited them to intimidate her. She could have talked to her parents, her teachers or the police about it, but she wanted to take matters in her own hands — as a future journalist, she had to learn to deal with intimidation.
Peter and Matt were the two leads in the school play. They respectively played Paul the slouch and Mark the overachiever in “The Roommates”, a comedy inspired by Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple”.
They jumped on stage. Matt stared at her with fascinating eyes; his eyebrows were dark and dense. He had cut his usually thick and wavy hair for the role: now it was short and clean, parted on the right side.
“Better make us look good in that article of yours lady” he said.
Peter had a high forehead and thinner hair, balding at the temples.
“Look,” he said. “After your little experience with us the other day, you could be thinking about taking a revenge of sorts. I warn you: if you do that, you’ll be quite sorry you did.”
“Don’t worry,” she said, faking a quiver in her voice. “I won’t take you on. I just want to be left alone; I don’t want any trouble.”
“Good,” said Matt with a grin.
The interview went well. These guys were serious about acting; there really was a chance they’d become stars someday. Once the interview was done, she took out her camera; they looked at each other briefly, then burst into coarse laughter. “You wanna take pictures with this!” Peter said, tears in his eyes. “You gotta be kiddin'”
“Stand center stage,” she said, ignoring them. The set had a living room in the center, with Paul’s room on the left, and Mark’s room on the right. Matt straightened his shirt, khakis and blazer and stood stiffly; Peter put on a baseball cap backwards, took his T-shirt out of his jeans and sweatshirt, and took a slouched posture.
After the first picture, Matt lost the blazer and Peter the sweatshirt; after the second one, Matt’s shirt was open and Peter’s head was bare; after the third, they were both shirtless. Matt had hairy pecs; Peter had a smooth swimmer’s build.
“How about a picture of you two as you get out of your respective beds?”
“Great idea!” Peter said, in that drunken tone she had heard in Duncan and Keanu the day before.
As they strolled to their rooms, they stripped down to their underwear. Matt, now wearing only a pair of loose checkered boxers, folded his shirt, pants and socks neatly and lay them on his desk; Peter, in classic white briefs, threw his jeans, sweatshirt, T-shirt and socks at the foot of his bed. They sat on the edge of their respective beds. She took one picture each, which gave them each a vigorous hard-on.
“That’s more realistic for mornings,” said Matt, absent-mindedly stroking the bulge in his boxers.
“You know what,” said Peter, suddenly, “I think Paul would sleep in the nude.” He slipped his briefs off in a snap and took a pose where he was rubbing his eyes, his huge erection pointing up. Matt took one with his hand around his boxers-wrapped hard-on. They waited for the camera in their new poses, almost perfectly motionless, oblivious to time.
She climbed the stage and rubbed a finger in Matt’s chest hair. He was powerless now, under the camera’s spell. She went back down and took a snapshot of him. He instantly fell backwards on the bed, and lifted his hips to strip from his boxers. “Mark has sexual fantasies about Paul,” he said drowsily. “Every morning, he jerks off in his bed, thinking of Paul, lusting for Paul’s forbidden body.” He stroked his long hard cock a few times, then paused for the next shot.
Back on stage, she fully grabbed Peter’s hard-on with her hand. She stroked it slowly for a while, enjoying the control, went back down and took a snapshot of him. He instantly stood up and walked inside the living room. “Paul likes to tease Mark by walking around the apartment in the nude.” He opened Mark’s bedroom door and held it with one hand, standing in the doorway. He paused there. It was a fantastic picture, merging reality with fantasy: Mark masturbating, his eyes closed, thinking of Paul, and Paul watching him, nude, from the doorway. Her panties were drenched; she slipped them off and pleasured herself for a while as she stared at the scene. She took the picture after her orgasm.
At the click of the camera, Matt opened his eyes. “We have to tell Roger about this new direction for the play,” he said. “We must make explicit the implicit sexual tension between these two guys. I mean, how could Paul and Mark not be driven wild with lust by each other’s differences?”
Peter had sneaked alongside Matt on the bed. The two naked men kissed ardently. The next snap made them embrace, their hands fondling each other’s naked butts. The next made Peter suck Matt’s dick slowly and deeply, while Matt moaned with pleasure, rubbing Peter’s flank. When they were frozen in that new position, she joined them again. She started by kissing Matt’s moaning mouth, then rubbing her tits on his face. She squeezed his ass cheeks, and fingered his hole. “You’re mine now,” she whispered in his ear, and grabbed his balls from under Peter’s chin. She was gentler with Peter, starting an exploration of his smooth chest, legs, and backside with her fingers and her tongue that culminated in a long and luscious blowjob.
There was only one picture left after that one. Peter went down on all fours on the floor. “Paul,” he said, “deep down, only wants to be punished for being such a lazy bum.” Matt kneeled beside him and spanked him until his ass was red. “And Mark wants to control and dominate Paul,” he said. He rudely shoved his cock in Peter’s ass, and fucked him with abandon, while Peter screamed his pain and pleasure. Then Matt snapped his dick out of Peter’s ass, and Peter stood up on his knees, jerking off fast. She took her final picture as they came, Matt covering Peter’s sweaty backside with long strands of rich white cum, and Peter spraying the floor with thick drops of clear jelly.
She cleaned up their mess as they dressed like zombies. Peter simply said “Tell us how the article turns out!” and they left, having forgotten their erotic performance of the play. But the camera would make sure they’d remember. Next targets: Kevin and Rob.