Click Caught by Emily Dickey

It was a single look across a crowded train station, but it held weight. More weight then Winona was willing to admit. It was a look that seemed to corrupt her, it tried to draw her in. She flicked it off, but felt nervously that her self-confidence wouldn’t be so strong if the look came again.

When Winona got home she couldn’t forget the man she had seen on the train. She had an uneasy feeling that not only had she seen him before, but that his face should mean something to her. Her stomach trembled and before long she had worked herself into a small state. As a young woman living alone, it didn’t take much for her to become uneasy. She tried to sooth herself, and picked out a photo album to glance over as she made dinner. It had been the first time she visited France, and from each photo her glowing smile outshone even the Eiffel Tower. Winona felt herself relax and soon she was able to forget about the strange man and his haunting glare.

Suddenly her peace was shattered, and with shaking fingers she pulled out her favorite photo. It was the last day that she had been in France, and her friends had gathered around her in front of their hotel. But it wasn’t the laughter that Winona had focused her attention on. Instead it was the man, slightly leering into the photo from the right side. Usually Winona wouldn’t have even glanced at the figure, her tourist photographs often held strangers that had make their way into the frame. But this fellow’s face was all too familiar, and with a start Winona had recognized the man from the train. He was slightly different of course, but Winona could pick him out easily. His gaze was fixed at the camera with the same lecherous look. Winona felt her stomach heave again, and she put down the photo, sickened. With a start she heard the smoke detector go off above her head, complaining that she had forgotten the dinner on the stove. But Winona couldn’t think straight, couldn’t get an all too familiar face from her mind.

The next morning she felt calmer, and she steadied herself to think straight. She wanted to know more about the man, and she couldn’t let her unease rule her brain. It was time to find facts. She looked at the photograph again, focusing on the man’s attire. He was wearing a shirt that boldly stated he was from the 21st ANNUAL ST. MICHAEL’S FRANCE TRIP 2005. Winona quickly grabbed her computer, and with a smug grin, waited to be greeted with the name of her stalker.

St. Michael’s France Trip is an event only for those who have proven their worth within the society. Members should contact the society for more information. Click here to view photos.
Winona avidly clicked for photos. But although she recognized the man in a few of St. Michael’s France 2005 event, there were no names listed. She couldn’t believe her bad luck. With all the loopholes in the Internet, Winona was trapped without a way to find the identity of her new friend. It didn’t occur to her that he might be stuck in the same way. After all, the coincidence wasn’t that unusual.

It was just Winona’s anxious tendency that had caused her to believe she was entitled to know who a stranger was. She had allowed herself to be drawn in to think that information about others was hers. Winona thought that at the click of a button she should be able to have a life story. That this man, who she knew through two encounters, should be fair game on the Internet. He was probably just another guy, walking the street, unlucky enough to be caught in her photograph. Winona fell back upon her bed, dejectedly. She had no more right to this man’s name then he had to hers. And she desperately hoped that he couldn’t find her. After all, weren’t her motives more benign then his? Information had become something that Winona thought she was entitled to, rather then something that was, as always, personal. St. Michael’s could keep their secrets, if only Winona could too.

2 thoughts on “Click Caught by Emily Dickey

  1. Interesting take, liked how you showed the anxiety of a person suspecting that he/she was being stalked. I’ve read some real life stories of stalkers and this feels almost like it was a real account. Good job!!

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