So I have this short story idea, and I’ve been waiting to write it. It fits well into a short story collection I’m working on, and I’m kind of writing them in order, and I just haven’t gotten to this one yet.
The basic premise is a young guy sees an old Polaroid Instamatic camera in a consignment or pawn shop. It has some film with it, and even though the guy tells him the film’s most likely gone bad after all this time, the kid buys it anyway, just on a lark. He takes a couple of pictures, and the machine spits them out just like it should, and the film actually works. The photos may be a little cloudy… but he’s having fun with this old camera. And then he notices that, no matter what he takes a picture of, no matter where it is, there’s this guy in the shot. He wasn’t there when the pictures were taken, but there he is in the pictures, every single one, starting with the first shot where the guy’s way off, almost lost in the distance. But, the kid notices, with each new picture the guy’s getting closer…
Creepy, right? A haunted camera. The story goes on from there, but you get the basic idea. I’m all kinds of happy about this idea because it seems to be pretty original, and I’m looking for that. So, like I said, I’m holding on to this story until I get to the spot where I think it will fit with some other stories I’m writing. Been holding on to it for more than a year now. And then…
So I was looking at my mother’s bookshelves, and there’s a whole section on Stephen King. I’ve read a lot of the books from that section. A lot. But there’s one that I’m not certain I’ve read, a novella collection of his called Four Past Midnight. I looked at the table of contents to see what stories are in there, maybe jog my memory a bit. One of the stories, The Langoliers, I remember reading, and The Library Policeman sounds familiar, but the other two, Secret Window, Secret Garden, and The Sun Dog don’t sound familiar at all. So I checked on line for the collection, looking to read a small synopsis of the stories involved, maybe that will jog my memory.
And here is the first line of the description of the story titled The Sun Dog:
Kevin Delevan receives a Sun 660 Polaroid camera for his fifteenth birthday. He soon notices that there is something strange about the camera: the only photographs it produces are of a malicious, feral black dog that seems to move closer with each shot as though to attack the person who is taking the pictures.
Son of a bitch.
Now I’m all wanting to read the story to see if I’ve read it before and my subconscious is playing ‘Oh, what a wonderful idea I’ve had *nudge, nudge, wink*’ with me. But I’m not going to read it. Not until I finish writing my story, so I can avoid any inadvertent ‘influence’. Though, if I was going to be influenced, I could choose worse influences than Stephen King…
Now all I have to do is try to figure out how I can make a case for Mr. King stealing my idea.
More than 20 years before I even had it.
Yeah, I know, I hear you. Good luck, Dude.
Talk to you later!