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Don’t Blink This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Ms. Mabry's delicate blue blouse flittered across her collarbones, and her long eyelashes waved along the rims of her closed eyes. The peace displayed in her soft, silent smile brought tears to my eyes. I silently wished I could've met her in a different way. Our hands met as I folded hers over a small bundle of blue azaleas. I wondered if she had even liked flowers.

Mr. Wyse's tie wasn't tied correctly, so I busied myself with that task. The kind wrinkles around his eyes were permanently etched. I averted my gaze from the makeshift stitches that covered the fatal gunshot wound.

Renee's jumper was too big. I fastened a safety pin at the back, out of sight. I curled her tiny hands as naturally as I could on her plump stomach and placed a small olive branch in her grip. I don't think her parents expected this outcome.

• • •


I gripped my keys in my dry palm and locked up the dust-filled funeral home. Stepping into my car, I placed my purse on the passenger seat and started the engine. My fingers eventually found the radio.

• • •


Mrs. Livingston's eyes were open wide in fear of something that had long passed. Her maroon dress had a bean-shaped stain on the left shoulder that I remedied quickly. I shut her eyes with my fingertips, and my lips tightened.

Paulo's spiky black hair pricked my hands as I worked around his head. Delicately curling his lips into a tiny smile, I noticed his long eyelashes gently brushing his cheekbones. I squeezed his hand and swallowed a mouthful of air.

Ms. Bryant's gold hair was braided, and I undid the delicate weave with careful movements. New curls bounced around her angular face, and freckles punctuated her nose. I positioned her pale-pink-painted fingers in a clasp at her waist.

• • •


My toes wove through a carpet forest as I shuffled to bed. My blankets didn't seem to be heavy enough to keep me warm. Shivering slightly, I troubled myself with the task of falling asleep.

• • •


Mr. Fisher had a small brass key tucked in his shirt pocket. I placed the cold metal in his fingers and folded them on his chest. His face had sparse whiskers sprinkled across it, and his eyebrows were furrowed.

Jasper's hands were crinkled up near his face, acting as a shield. I unfolded them and placed them in a calmer pose. His eyes had evidence of recent tears crouching beneath.

Ms. Addison's straight charcoal hair was fanned out around her face. Her body language told me that her ending had been peaceful. I gently adjusted her pantsuit and flattened the blossoms that adorned her shoulders.

• • •


My car grumbled as I turned the ignition. I stared at myself in the rearview mirror. Curly auburn hair balancing on narrow shoulders, a soft face held up by a turtleneck sweater, intense green eyes that only meant jealousy. A smile that never showed.

I loved my job, but I also hated it.

• • •


Rory's hair was ruffled and flat on one side. My hands went to work, but my eyes stayed on his punctured eye, hidden clumsily by a patch.

Mr. Wang's small, kind eyes smiled, but his mouth portrayed the opposite. His lips were curled into a position that could only mean fear, and his fists were clenched.

And then …

And then there was Calico Clove.

She clutched a piece of paper in her hands with bitten-off fingernails. The mangled sheet said two words.

Don't blink.

My eyes opened wide; I was trying to prevent them from closing momentarily. Ferocious shivers consumed my body. I shook and shook, and my eyes were drying out.

Keep them open keep them open.

But I blinked.

I blinked, and I was in an entirely different place.

• • •


There was a thin sheet of frosted glass beneath my feet, and I crouched to peek below.

I saw the funeral home where I worked. And in the open casket was a thin woman. Curly auburn hair balancing on narrow shoulders, a soft face with intense green eyes that only meant jealousy. A smile that never showed.

Mine.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

EmmaMayWang said...
today at 4:25 am
Woah, amazing story, reminds me of Doctor Who/Wheeping Angels.
 
K.WritorThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Aug. 27, 2015 at 8:46 am
This is great! I love how you made the ending, and when you took the same description of when she saw herself alive in the car, and used it to give the reader a sort of (GASP!) moment. Very well written.
 
TaylorWintryThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm
Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
 
PhilMoore4-HThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 3, 2015 at 9:23 am
@TaylorWintry This was absolutely stunning! I had the same thought process as @Extraterrestrial did with the whole Doctor Who/Weeping Angels thing. I thouroughly enjoyed your piece and was instantly caught up in it. It leaves the reader with the perfect question at the end that only the author knows the real answer to. Your reply to Extraterrestrial makes perfect sense while still maintaining a sense of mystery and fascination. You caught my attention and you caught it fast; which is very hard t... (more »)
 
TaylorWintryThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 3, 2015 at 8:21 pm
Hi Phil! Thank you deeply for your comment. I'm glad you found such pleasure in reading! (: And to be honest, I'm not sure I know the answer to that question either. But it all adds up to the mystery, and that's what I was aiming for. Thank you for your time!
 
Extraterrestrial said...
Sept. 25, 2014 at 9:55 am
I clicked on this story because of the (intentional or unintentional?) similarity to a certain Doctor Who episode. Started thinking if this is a Doctor Who story based on the character descriptions and Rory's name, later on... so just to clarify, is this a Doctor Who story? Anyway, I'm really glad I read this now because it is very creepy, and I mean that in the best way possible. I love how you started by describing people in the most normal way pos... (more »)
 
TaylorWintryThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 25, 2014 at 9:56 pm
Thank you so very much! And no, I wish I could say it was from Doctor Who, but it's not. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for the feedback as well.
 
Extraterrestrial replied...
Sept. 26, 2014 at 9:49 am
You're quite welcome, and I apologize for the confusion. I do recommend you check out the episode, though, it's called Blink -- you'll see why your story reminded me of it! Also, might I ask what really happened when your main character blinked, or is it just meant to be vague?
 
TaylorWintryThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 26, 2014 at 11:02 am
Prior to her blinking, she had been seeing herself dead while she was living and working at the funeral home. The blink converted her into living in the afterlife seeing herself from above dead.
 
Z.V.Oksana said...
Jun. 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm
This...is absolutely incredible. You are a terrific writer! Keep the stories coming, I want to read more from you. 5/5 stars, I'd make it 100/5 stars if I could. <3 Thanks for posting this.
 
TaylorWintryThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 14, 2014 at 11:30 pm
Oh my gosh. Thanks so much for the support. (: I really appreciate it.
 
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