SMILES: A group of people was walking through a forest lost. As they walked the image would shift from them in the woods to some buildings along some railroad tracks. The railroad tracks were rusty and hadn’t been used since the cold war ended. The buildings were in shabby condition, though it appeared they were still hooked up to the power grid. From images of the group walking in the woods toward the relic of the past, images of what was inside flashed intermittently.
A young girl walked slowly through one of the buildings. She was carrying a handgun, her face deadpan and sullen. She had hair down just below her shoulders and she followed with her eyes what looked like a blurry balloon. Every so often she would raise her hand and fire at the blur but it didn’t die, and she cursed at it.
Two Japanese women were crouched over black body bags. The bags were filled with the bodies of unknown men. The two women were giggling at each other. One of them wore a black one-piece dress and the other wore blue jeans and a white blouse. Their hair was short and they had blood red eyes. They heard a sound and walked like crabs onto the ceiling and waited. From where they looked was a maze of black bags, stacked high, in a room that looked as though it went on forever.
The group of people arrived at the buildings and was confused by what they saw. The buildings invited fear and half of the group decided it would be best just to follow the railroad tracks north. The other half; hungry, tired, and curious decided to investigate the buildings. The group that had decided to follow the tracks sat down to rest while the group that decided to enter fanned out.
Screams were heard from every direction. The air had been silent prior to the first scream, but just as the first scream ended, a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and so on occurred in what seemed like only a minute. The group sitting by the tracks were paralyzed with fear and one commented that the screams outnumbered the people who had entered.
They knew they had better leave and find help and they began running north along the tracks.
A man, in his late thirties had entered a building through a side door. He was with two other members of the group that had decided to go into the building. They had not heard the screams. In fact, none of the group that had entered the buildings had heard the screams.
The man and his tagalongs found themselves in an office. One of the tagalongs turned on a soviet era photocopier and pressed the green button. Unlike western photocopiers the entire top half of the contraption swiveled as if the entire bureaucracy of it was working to scan a single image. The image that came out was of them on the floor in a bloody mess. This perplexed them and a tagalong lifted the lid to find it covered in dry blood.
A woman in her forties was walking through a large room. She had her hands in her back pockets and walked slowly scanning in every direction with her head. She was clearly nervous and as she turned a corner she found herself face to face with the young girl with long hair. The girl looked up and smiled. The woman said hello and the girl began to back away and lift her arm. She fired two shots. One bullet screamed past the woman’s right ear as the other screamed past her left. She dropped to the ground but was not hurt, though her hearing was gone. She looked up and saw the girl walking away. She looked behind her to see a blurry object on the floor, blurry blood slowly making a blurry pool.
The three in the office entered an adjoining room. It was large and contained hundreds of copiers in three rows. Each person began walking down a row turning each machine on and pressing the green button as they walked. They reached the end of the room and turned back to collect what each machine had produced. The images collected were frame-by-frame stills telling the story of the photo that showed them on the floor in a bloody mess. Shivers ran down their spines as they witnessed each picture. Each row told the story of their death and one began to panic. “We are just dying! Who is doing this to us? Does yours show who is doing this to us? Who is doing this?” The pictures showed their death but no image of who was inflicting the damage appeared. They just stood there swapping photos.
The woman who had lost her hearing approached the blurry object. There was a ringing in her ear that caused some discomfort. She stepped in the blurry pool of blurry blood and noticed that it was slippery. She crouched down to see what it was. She tried to touch it but her hand could not find anything to touch. She got up and walked in the direction she saw the young girl walk in and found herself in front of a locked door.
A teenage girl with blonde hair had found some empty rail cars behind one of the large buildings and noticed some smoke billowing from a chimney in the last car. She raced toward the car and found the doors wide open. A stove inside was packed full of documents slowly burning. On the table she found an empty can of tuna. Just as she placed the can back on the table boots came down from the ceiling and connected with her jaw and knocked her out. She woke up soon after and noticed that she had been tied to the stove, the heat from it slowly cooking her back. She felt no pain but knew she would die.
Panic came over one of the tagalongs and she began to cry uncontrollably and say she did not deserve to die like that. The others were calm, though they did nothing to quell the woman’s fears. They left her in the room and entered yet another office, this one covered in black dust. They found a refrigerator and noticed that the handle was free from dust and quite shiny. The man grabbed hold of it and pulled the door open. Dead mice began to fall from the space the door made as it opened and he jumped back and the door flung open; hundreds of dead mice piling up on the floor. The stench was overwhelming and they ran to another door and entered another room.
The woman in jeans looked at the locked door. She put her ear against the door to listen for activity but the ringing in her ears made it impossible. She moved away from the door and with a swift movement of her leg kicked at it a few times until it swung open. The room was empty except for a table, chair, and typewriter. There were windows on three of the walls and she looked out each of them to see a garden filled with roses. Looking out the third window she saw the young girl with long hair walking slowly toward another building. She opened the window and called out to her. The young girl kept walking and ignored the cries coming from the window just a few hundred feet away. Tired and scared, the woman sat at the table and looked at the typewriter.
The woman who panicked pulled herself together and ran to the room the other two had entered. The smell of the mice made her eyes water and she ran to the door they had opened. She found herself once again with the two men. They looked at her and motioned her to come to where they were. They were looking cautiously out of a window and the man whispered to her to be quiet. She looked out the window in the direction they were looking and saw a young girl with long hair walking toward some rail cars. The girl stopped and slowly turned her head and looked straight at the three in the window and smiled. She began walking again and disappeared between two of the rail cars. “This place is fucked,” said the man as they spoke softly. “Who is she?” asked the women who had panicked. “Was she in the pictures from the copiers?” the second man questioned. They stood there and looked around wondering what to do next.
The young girl with long hair entered the car where the teenager was bound to the stove. She had passed out but the young girl poked her. She sprang to life to see a young girl with long hair smiling at her. “It’s going to be ok” she said softly. She went to a dresser and opened the top shelf. She took out a knife and cut the teenager down; her back was burnt badly, though she felt no pain. “Who did this to you?” the young girl with long hair asked. The teenager looked down to see the young girl was wearing boots and responded, “it was you?” The young girl laughed and said “yes” softly and began stabbing the teenager in the stomach and arms. She fell back and though she felt no pain, she knew she was dead. The young girl with long hair stepped back and shot the teenager in the face.
The three in the room who were resting stood up at the sound of the shot. The woman at the typewriter heard nothing, though what she read made her entire body tremble.
You can’t hear. But you can see. It would be better if it were the other way around. You should have gone north you stupid bitch.
The three in the room decided it was time to find the others. They began rushing through room after room until they found themselves in a small office. They had come to a dead end and decided to rest before heading back to find another way out. As the man in his thirties sat down at a desk, the other two decided to go into the previous room to look around. As soon as they left, the Japanese woman in jeans came into the room and began sniffing his face. He didn’t know what to do and just sat there motionless. She began softly running her fingers down his face and neck and rubbing his chest. She stood up and as she stepped aside the Japanese woman with the black dress ran in and began to do the same thing though this time she seemed more interested and more passionate about it. The Japanese woman in jeans left the room and the woman in the black dress shouted, “You are a liar!” and began biting at his face. He pushed her off and punched her three times in the face. The power of the punches was too much for her fragile face. With only three punches she was gone; the hair on his fingers covered in blood and brain matter.
He walked into the next room to find the tagalongs in a bloody mess on the floor. The images of the copier had come true for the two of them but he was determined to live. He looked up from the mess to find the young girl with long hair standing in the doorway. She smiled and looked at the mess and said, “Did you do that?” The man said nothing. He stood there and just stared at the girl. “Would you like to…” the Japanese woman in jeans came from behind the young girl with long hair and started biting at her shoulder. The longhaired one let out a bone chilling scream and pistol whipped the Japanese woman in the face and turned and began stomping on the woman. The man ran toward the young girl and bear hugged her. She began to growl and spit. She was wild with rage. The woman at the typewriter entered the room and saw the girl with long hair being held by the man who had been in her party. The man and young girl both looked at her and started screaming, but she could not hear either of them. She looked down to see a woman with a shattered skull on the floor and back up to the man holding the girl in a bear hug. She began to move toward the two, and sensing something wrong the man began to pull the young girl back into the other room. He did not know what to expect from the woman who could not hear. She would not respond to his questions, nor did she respond to the enraged young girl with long hair. Once in the room the woman who could not hear looked to see the two other members of the party laying on the floor in a bloody mess. She looked up at the young girl with long hair and smiled.