Two Blinks

by TrickWild

As I sit in my favorite chair, by the lake, at my most favorite place on earth, the ache of my muscles, the pain in my head, the twinge in my neck, all remind me of last night’s restless sleep. Five acres of nothing but trees, encircling a lake that had never known a rod and reel. Inherited from my grandmother, it was the one place where I felt remotely normal, safe.  I rolled out of the bed early, because I had to. Life doesn’t stop, it goes on, appointments have to be kept and bills have to be paid.

I am a photographer by trade, mostly because it affords me an outlet for my creativity, but also because it enables me to meet a client, do my necessary work, and then move on. I don’t have to deal with co-workers or family, I don’t have to explain my life, my choices, or explain why I am 30 years old and single. For some reason, it’s expected that I should have a husband and 2.5 kids. But in my life, there is no room for more faces. The faces I see day to day in my head are enough to fill a dozen photo albums, to be placed on a coffee table and shared with guests. If I had a coffee table, and if I ever had guests.

My name is Lena, by the way. As I said, I am 30 years old, and alone. I walked away from my family 10 years ago, with just my camera and a duffle bag. The next milestone for Mother to write in her book that she cherished so, was my admittance into a psychiatric hospital, and I was not going to stick around for that. No amount of therapy can help me, believe me, they’ve tried it all. Doctors have diagnosed me with schizophrenia, which is bogus, because I do not live in a fantasy world, the fantasy world lives around me. I am fully functional; I just can’t and won’t deal with someone else’s interpretations of what I see, what I hear, and what I go through. Another Doctor in another state diagnosed me with Depersonalization Disorder. Beep, wrong answer again, I don’t think or feel that I am in a dream world — my dreams are just more vivid than others. I have taken numerous antipsychotic medications, but none took the faces away, if anything, it made them much more animated. Sleep studies, and being hooked up to machines and analyzed like an insect, is not my idea of a normal childhood. So I walked away.

My visions began when I was 5 years old. What started out as “awake dreams”, slowly turned into a nightmare. The first one that I remember began on a normal night. I had just began kindergarten that day, and was settling in my bed for the night with my dog, a German shepherd named Major. Being an only child, and somewhat a loner, I was allowed to have whatever pets I wanted, to keep me occupied, and it seems that it was always a dog. I chose the bigger breeds, because I relished the feeling of security that a burly canine provided.

Major awoke me growling. That low, guttural, snarl that usually indicated he was startled from sleep. Without opening my eyes, and thinking he was having a dream, I just patted his back and told him it was okay, and nestled back into slumber. I awoke again to another growl, this one more gravely and louder. As I sat up in the bed, I startled Major and he jumped up and planted himself beside me. I looked to find that my cover had been pulled from my bed, leaving me exposed, and my legs and feet like ice. That is when I heard another loud growl.

My eyes darted around the room, searching for what could be making that noise, and Major jumped off the bed with his hair standing on end, and starting barking. I jumped off the bed, and gathered all the covers and jumped back onto the it and pulled them up over my head. I trembled with fear, wide-eyed and my heart pounded out of my chest. I mustered my courage and peered out. In all his enormous glory, stood a grizzly bear. Yes, a bear, in my bedroom, at the foot of my bed staring back at me. I yanked the covers back over my head, and raised my legs straight up and then back down so that the covers enveloped me like a sleeping bag. My mind raced, and my hands got tingly, and I knew this had to be a dream. It had to be. There are no bears around here, and how on earth would one end up in my bedroom, at the foot of my bed, staring back at me? It occurred to me that Major had quit barking and I knew I must be brave and coax him back into bed, under the covers, ’til this nightmare was over. I jumped straight up and off the bed, only to find him lying in the floor, sound asleep. Had I dreamed   he was barking

I looked over my shoulder. The bear reared up on his hind legs, like it was human. I blinked. I blinked again. I rubbed my eyes frantically, hoping that this illusion or nightmare or whatever it is would disappear. I don’t know why I could not muster a voice or why I did not run from the room and wake my mother, it just occurred to me to climb back in bed and it would go away. I venture to guess that I was asleep before my head hit the pillow, and I slept soundly until my mother came to wake me for school. All through class that day, as I was struggling to keep my eyes open and wanting very badly to go back home and go to sleep, I pondered just exactly what I saw, and the even at such a young age, I reasoned that it had to be a nightmare, that there was no other logical explanation. That night, I slept like a baby. And the next. Over time, I would continue to see what I learned to call my visions. But none have ever been as scary as the first.

Let’s skip ahead 10 years. High school. Freshman year. A whole other world, different challenges and deeper pitfalls. I didn’t fit in. This was the time to try and conform to all the others around you, belong. The harder I tried the more of an outcast I was, so instead of yielding to the trends and making-nice with the cliques, I drew myself inward, and that is pretty much the bulk of my high school years. I made excellent grades, and having no friends or social life, I had plenty of time to study. My grandmother purchased a second-hand camera and a bag of film for my birthday, and photography became my escape. I read everything I could get my hands on, and I practiced every day.

If I could not have been a normal teenager, I would be an extraordinary photographer. My mother, ever worried about me fitting in, believed the tales I told of visiting friends, all the while I was hiking, photographing landscapes, bugs, rabbits, anything that crossed my path. She truly believed that I was a popular girl, and rather than break her heart, I allowed her to believe that I had many friends and that my social calendar was always full. Fair? Probably not, but I truly didn’t want her to be as miserable as I was.

My Dad, you ask? My parents divorced before I was born and he remarried when I was two. He lives in another town with another family. I’ve never laid eyes on him. My mother threw away all photographs of him, so I have no idea what he looks like, if I took after him or if he thinks of me as his daughter, or if he even thinks of me at all.

I do know from the grapevine that he has two other children, a boy and a girl, and that they live in a fine house, the American Dream. Am I bitter? No, really. I would not call it bitterness, just an acceptance; knowing that I was cast aside for whatever reason and moving on. If I dwelled on it, it would not change it. Nothing could erase or make up for the years lost.

As I grew older, my visions matured as well. The visions not only came as nightmares at night, but also manifested into daydreams, so that it all seemed an appendage to my life. Something that I had to learn to accept, conquer, interpret. I saw normal, everyday looking people, bloody cadavers, soldiers in war zones, patients in hospital beds. It was all so much to conceive, but as time went on and the visions became more prominent I began to understand that I was a messenger of sorts, and that the people in these visions were looking to me for comfort, support, to be their voice. I gained an understanding and learned to not be afraid.

One day, as I was hiking and snapping pictures, an old man appeared to me on the path before me and asked if I could help him. I knew that this was an apparition and that he was not real, but I asked him what he needed help with. He told me in the time before his death, he had hidden a gun in fear that his grandchildren would find it and be injured. He had placed it in a brown paper sack and placed it in a metal box and buried it behind his home. His wife had since passed away and their home and land was sold to be developed, and he worried that the gun would be found and end up in the wrong hands. He simply wanted me to go and dig it up and throw it in the river. He gave me the address, and I went and dug it up and threw it away, pleased that this was an easy assignment.

While I believe there are a thousand miracles to behold each and every day, it still troubles me how I play into the whole scheme of things. Why did I receive this “gift”, and is this what I am to expect for the rest of my life? Will there ever be a day or night when my daydreams will be of puppy dogs dancing in fields of wildflowers or children frolicking and jumping rope? If this is my destiny, am I supposed to give up the hope of ever finding my true love? Should I bring a child into my world of illusions?

I have a photography assignment, product imaging for a local jewelry store, so I must tear myself away from this serenity and gather my gear. The assignment should only require a few hours and maybe I can finish up early, knock the editing out and still have some daylight left to hike. I load my jeep and head out. Traffic is heavy and anxiety kicks in. It seems that the panic attacks I’ve acquired over the years only rear their ugly heads when I’m driving, so that’s became another of my many dilemmas- I have to drive to assignments, I have to pay bills, I have to eat.  After battling the congestion of early morning road chaos, I finally reach the store and the employees help me load the boxes of the goodies I am to photograph. They requested a fresh, outdoorsy feel, and that is my specialty. I decide that I will go back home and utilize the beauty of my own property, so I drive to the backside of my lake and unload the boxes, and sit down on a fallen tree and take it all in, seek my inspiration.

As I am pondering, I hear a splash behind me, which startles me. I turn around to find a man, in his thirties, dirty and scruffy making his way out of the lake. He’s staring at me with cold eyes, and as I always do, I smile. I wonder what he will “need help with.” I blink and he’s gone. I blink again, and still, he’s disappeared. I look around, positive that he will appear again, but nothing, no sounds, and he’s nowhere to be found.

I get up and start unpacking the boxes, and on an oak trunk scattered by a pile of oak leaves, I see a spider’s web. I find a beautiful charm pendant unusual shape, looks almost custom made, and place it carefully in the web. The lighting is perfect at this time, so I grab my camera and kneel down to get just the right angle. Compose, focus, click. Adjust my aperture, compose, focus, click. Perfect.

Behind me, I hear another splash. I stand and am paralyzed by the scene before me. The man I saw only moments ago is in the lake, to his waist, and is holding someone or something under the water. He looks at me, with a cold, hard stare. I don’t know what to do. My visions have never been so vivid, and the splashing and gurgling, attempts at breathe I hear makes this scene look as it’s happening in this moment. I have to do something, but I feel an anxiety attack gripping me and each time I try to take a step, a pain runs through my chest, taking all the air from my lungs.  Who is he trying to drown, and how am I supposed to use this vision for the good, save this person?? What benefit is this vision, if I am helpless to stop this? My heart is beating so hard, I can feel the thump in my ears, and I cry out for him to stop! “Who are you, why are you doing this?” I scream. I blink, I close my eyes so hard it hurts, and blink again, only to find his glare, still aimed at me, and a slow, evil grin creeps across his face. It is a woman struggling. I can see her long hair, as her head bobs up from the water, trying to claw at her assailant, trying to get to her feet to get away.

I sit down, frozen in my panic, and scream to persons unknown for help. No one can hear me. I am miles from another house. My head is throbbing, I cannot breathe and my legs feel as though they are glued together and I am helpless to do anything. The scene before me brings tears to my eyes, my throat is raw, and my body is doused with sweat.

I hear a scream, the woman has her head above water and she is gripping the man’s arms and clawing and tearing, “Who are you, why are you doing this?” she breathlessly wails. She has almost gotten her footing and he pushes her back down, attempting to place all his weight on her and take her life. Adrenaline kicks in and her strength is gaining, as she stands to face him, still slapping and struggling to break free. But she is no match for his strength, and her determination only fuels his fervor. He pushed her down once again and her arms go limp, as I scream for her not to give up.  It is at this moment I realize that the woman before me, fighting for her life, is me.

Darkness falls over my vision like a veil… a black, mourning veil.


TrickWild (AKA Angie Callahan) is a mother, wife, photographer, and bookworm. Click here to check out some of her work at her TrickWild stalker page!


A Perfect Night

by Becky Sain

The dogs bark constantly. They see a cat and bark. They see a squirrel and bark. They see a bird, a bug, a leaf blowing, a child walking… they bark. This gives her comfort, a living security system. She feels safe on the nights she stays up late editing the campus paper – the only freshman to have ever been named editor. She stays away from the sororities and fraternities, no late night trips to the local bars. Her world doesn’t involve friends or people even… her world is here, in her little house at the end of the street, in front of her computer with no one to bother her… just her and her dogs.

The dogs always stay at her feet while she sits at her desk, springing up and running to the window, barking at whatever catches their attention. Each night is the same as all the nights before, her school newspaper is all she is interested in, a doorway into the world of journalism. She doesn’t notice the world all around her, her world revolves around her computer –here, she is lost in her own words.

She sits in her chair at her hand-me-down desk, typing away. The words flow effortlessly this night. It is magical. Every thought makes its way to the computer screen flawlessly, no misspelled words, no unnecessary words, no pausing — just perfect writing, as if she is being taken over by something, something no one can see but she can feel.

It is Fall. A chill has just recently begun to show itself in the nighttime breeze. She has her windows open; it’s so quiet on her street. All the houses are tucked in and sleeping, the street lights are faintly bright, no sounds in her neighborhood. The absence of outside noise means her dogs haven’t jumped up to bark in hours — she is lost in the writing and has forgotten about their nightly walk until one of her dogs barely nudges her leg, bringing her out of her hypnotic state.

She looks at the clock and is shocked to see it is 2:30 am. She has been sitting at her computer since 7:00 that evening — never moving. She reluctantly pulls herself away from the computer, grabbing the leashes as she opens the door. The dogs smile and turn in circles with excitement, biting each others tails. She starts down the street on her usual path around the neighborhood, her thoughts are back at her desk, designing her next sentence, naming her next story — she smirks as she thinks about how amazing this writing session has been. She walks once around the block and heads back down towards her little house at the end of the street, barely visible under the fading street light. She thinks her house looks unusually dark from the street, she pauses before going in.

Settling back in, she grabs a bottle of water and positions herself into her chair, reigning over the computer in front of her — this is her kingdom — hoping she can return to the unbelievable writing zone she has been in that night. She pulls herself close to her old desk and looks hopeful at the screen, then begins typing again — once again the words flow effortlessly and she is lost in her own arrogance.

Barely 15 minutes has passed since they returned from their walk when the dogs jump up and start barking. She reaches down with one hand to calm them while still staring at the screen and typing with the other. They stop barking and put their heads back down. Another 5 minutes passes and the dogs start barking again. Again she calms them with the touch of her hand while never taking her eyes off the screen filled with the words she is creating. Almost instantly, the dogs jump up and start barking once again… this time with sharp growls and snarls, their hair standing up on their necks, rearing back on their haunches.

The anger in their barks startles her as she rotates her chair around to look at them… their barking grows louder. She walks over and closes the window she has open, hoping that blocks out the mysterious noise that is creating havoc for the dogs. She looks intently into the night to see whatever cat is causing her dogs to be so alarmed, but there is nothing. The streets are bare. As she turns around, expecting the dogs to be beside her, staring out the window at the phantom noise, she realizes they are still standing next to her desk, staring at her computer, their ears perked, their teeth bared, the bright glow from the computer screen making their eyes flash with anger.

She kneels down to pat the dogs as she eases back into her chair and begins to write… again the dogs bark wildly, gnashing their teeth, nipping at the air. She turns quickly to look at them, still unaware of what is making them so upset. She touches their heads and they stop snarling, look at her, then back to the glowing computer screen… their ears are perked.

She turns to look at her computer, not at the perfect words that she has been typing out all night, just to look at the screen — a spider maybe. She could feel her neck pulsate with each beat of her heart, she tries to hold her breath, listening and scanning for the cause of the nervousness that now envelopes her entire house. There is nothing, she sees nothing; she takes a deep breath, and begins her writing again. Immediately the dogs become vicious with their barks, baring their teeth, jumping at the screen, protecting her from something that isn’t there. She jerks around to quiet the dogs once again, it doesn’t work. They continue their assault on the air in front of the screen. She turns back to the screen, staring at it, moving her eyes from corner to corner, up and down, examining the screen so fast it makes her dizzy… trying desperately to see something only visible to the dogs.


A flash, something moving across the bottom of the screen.

A face.

She leans in closer to the screen, wiping her eyes, wiping the screen. The dogs’ barks are becoming increasingly louder, they are frenzied; drooling, jumping, and rearing back.

There it is again, a blurry form, not quite a face – something more distorted.

She turns to the dogs but they are no longer willing to quiet at her command, their animal instincts more prominent than their domesticated obedience.

Quickly reeling around to face the screen again, the words are gone… all her flawless words, gone. The only thing there is the cause of all the frenzied behavior — a blurred outline of a face darting around on the screen, too fast to decipher its age or if it is a man or a child, too fast for her brain to register what it is. The dogs’ agitation heightens as she jumps out of her chair, tripping over them, falling clumsily to the floor.

The dogs continue their attack, trying to get in between her and the screen. She scrambles on the floor, crawling towards the front door, her legs refusing to allow her to stand. But, it’s too late, the distorted face grabs the back of her neck by its abyss of a mouth, and with a movement too quick to time, it pulls her into the screen, into the stories she is effortlessly typing out.

The room is quiet.

The computer screen glows.

The dogs stop their raucous attack immediately, confused, whining, whimpering — licking the screen in hopes of bringing her back.

They nestle down at the foot of her chair, waiting for her to return and type out the rest of her stories, waiting for her to take them on their next walk, waiting…


Becky Brewster Sain lives in the Nashville area with her three joyfully imaginative children and two large willful dogs, or is that large willful children and joyfully imaginative dogs? She writes poetry and prose on her blog, First Pages ( ) as well as a few scattered short stories. She is feverishly submitting poems and stories and trying to expand her creative boundaries. You can stalk her on twitter @beckysain or follow her Facebook page, First Pages.

Into The Dark

by Jay N. Daniel

I will disappear to nothing…

No pain…

No tears…

No rage…

No fears…

Nothing in my way, but myself…

Broken and used…

Sifting through the pieces of my heart, I see you…

One last thought…

One flickering memory…

Into the dark I walk.


No bio was given for Jay, however if you would like to know more about Jay, feel free to send 13Stories a message, and we will make sure he gets it!

As You Lyc It

by Emsee Plum

Detective Thomas Baxter opened his front door and peered around for his husband; so far, all he heard was excited barking and the clicking toenails coming from his trusty sidekick, Wolfgang. He flipped his keys into the bowl on the little table at the entrance of their home just as the little black dog got underfoot.

“How’s my sweet boy, how’s my Wolfie?” he said as he scratched his faithful companions’ ears. Thomas rubbed his tired eyes and moved over to plop on the couch. The dog immediately jumped atop his lap and let out a whine, begging for more cuddling and when his beloved human didn’t immediately respond, howled pugnaciously.

“You know we can get dinner faster if you got daddy.” Wolfgang looked him straight in the eyes, growled menacingly, licked his cheek, and ran off into the bedroom. Thomas watched him scurry with a smirk on his face.

“Hey Babe, I’m home!” Thomas yelled throughout the apartment.

“You know you are, Silly! I’m just changing!” yelled back Andy from the bedroom. “I just got back from a run!”

“So I’ve noticed.” He said sardonically as he looked at the sneakers and leash scattered on the living room floor. “Did Drew accompany you tonight?”

“Yeah you know it! Who else is going to protect me during night jogs in these mean streets while you’re out protecting the city? You know she’s a fantastic walking partner, so vivacious.” he giggled.

“Don’t make fun of me, it’s dangerous out there, there was another werewolf attack tonight!” He shouted back.

“Oh yeah?” Andy said with a very concerned tone. “Have you guys found anything? That’s like the fifth one this year.”

“Yeah it is; once every full moon, like clockwork…” He rubbed his face again. “Sarge is going hard on us, extra classes in preparation and combat, that kind of thing; we’re getting pressure from all sides now. They’re working us to death!”

“That’s terrible! I’m sure you’ll catch it soon though, won’t you? Almost finished then we can eat!” Andy shouted excitedly from the bedroom.

“I don’t know about that, he’s too good, never leaves a trace of himself about. By the next full moon, we’ll have people at every one of his hunting grounds waiting. They’ve stocked every conceivable kind of silver-loaded weapon, even crossbows! Can you imagine? Crossbows in this age?” Thomas chuckled as Andy strolled out dressed for going out to dinner.

“Well-” said Andy. “I suspect if this “monster” (he finger quoted the air) has eluded them this far they’re not going to have much luck anyway, he might even be finished terrorizing this area.”

“We can only hope.”

“Besides…silver is not my color.” Andy twirled on the spot then. “How do I look lover?” he chirped, and he kissed Thomas spritely and waited for an answer.

“Uh baby?” he pointed at Andy’s backside. “Your tail is sticking out.”

“Oops.” Andy giggled at that and morphed his tail in, grabbed his best friends hand, and they walked out the door.


Emsee plum is currently on nyQuil due to a terrible cold. When she’s not visiting the happy land magical lollipops, she likes to be a mum and a writer. Please stalk her at She’s fun!