The Disappearance (part 5 – A short story by Mark Brady)

 “We don’t know who it is yet,” said Captain Peamopnt.

They pulled up in front of the church. Officer Rogers was there waiting for them inside. The four of them entered the sanctuary.

“I found the clothes over here. By the organ. It looks like ladies’ garments to me,” said Bill. “I was vacuuming when I noticed them.”

“Okay. Thanks, Bill. Don’t get any closer,” commanded the Captain. He and Officer Rogers started looking around the area before bagging the clothes.

“Captain, that looks like the dress Mrs. Jones was wearing this morning. She is our organist and said after this morning’s service that she was going to practice the special piece she was planning on playing next Sunday,” commented Pastor Scott.

“Captain, there’s a purse over here, next to the organ. I’ve got my gloves on already. Do I have your permission to look in it for an ID before I bag it?” asked Officer Rogers.

“Sure. Just be careful about it,” replied the Captain.

Officer Rogers found a wallet and opened it. “Yep, the purse belongs to Wilma Jones.”

“Oh my goodness. I can’t believe this. She is such a sweet lady. She has been playing the church’s organ for twenty-five years. I’ve only been here for nine. Ya know? The four people missing are all from my church.”

The officers bagged the purse and the clothes and looked around for any evidence of foul play but didn’t find any.

“At least we didn’t find any of Mrs. Jones’ organs!”

“That’s enough, Rogers. I think we have all we need here. Let’s call it a night. Rogers, you and I will head back to the station. I’ll take Pastor Scott home first.”

“I’ll get the lights. I’m done anyway cleaning the church,” said Bill.

“Thank you, and I’m hoping you are okay Bill,” said Pastor Scott.


The following day at Bradys, there was a meeting about the disappearances. Not really, but it’s all the people there for breakfast could talk about.

“I heard it was the work of aliens,” commented Bob Anderson.

“Bob, get out of here. You don’t really believe that do you?” challenged his friend Ronnie as he cut up his two eggs easy over.

“Why not? They strip off their clothes before they beam them up to probe em.”

“It’s not aliens doing this,” said Lloyd sitting across from Bob and Ronnie.

The two turned to acknowledge Lloyd. “Then what is it?” asked Bob.

“It all has something to do with the Spook Light. I haven’t put it all together yet, but I’m convinced these disappearances are connected to it.”

“Have you ever been up there to see the Spook Light?” asked Ronnie.

“Many times,” replied Lloyd. “Look at how many people have been killed or have disappeared in the area surrounding the light. Just like the legend tells of a miner whose cabin was attacked by Indians while he was away. Upon his return, he found his wife and children missing and is said to continue looking for them along the old road, searching with his lantern.”

“But these disappearances have all taken place just in Seneca!” exclaimed Ronnie.

“So far,” said Bob. “Besides, the government studied the Spook Light and said it was nothing but gases coming up from fishers in the ground, and they glow. And glowing gas doesn’t make people disappear! Well, except when gases come out of Ronnie! Then people disappear!” Bob had a huge grin on his face.

“Oh, you’re so funny, Bob,” said Ronnie.

“The Air Force,” said Jimmy as he took a sip of his coffee.

“What about it?” asked Lloyd.

“When I was in Nam, the Air Force was trying to develop a ray gun they could deploy from aircraft that would cause people to disappear. According to rumors, the gun shot out a light that only worked on biological matter. They are probably here in Seneca to test it. You know, with this being a small town and all. I mean, who would miss us?”

“I don’t know about any of these theories. I think we are all scared, and should be, and are grasping for some answers. Even crazy ones,” said Elona, who was sitting nearby listening. “I’m finished with my breakfast and have to get to work. I’m late. Hey, if I don’t see any of you tomorrow, it was nice knowing ya.” She paid her bill, left a small but generous tip for the waitress, grabbed her purse, and walked out. The door squeaked behind her.

The guys looked at each other and laughed. “She’s always been like that, ever since elementary school!” said Bob. A few minutes later, he said, “Hey, look.” Pointing to the front window of the old café. “She said she was late, but her car is still out front.” They all got up and went to the window.

“No way!”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.