The Disappearance (part 6 – A short story by Mark Brady)
The guys stood in front of the window of Bradys with their mouths wide open. Others got up from their tables to see what they were looking at. Even the short-order cook came out of the kitchen, spatula still in his hand.
“We just saw her. Right here inside the café, by our tables. And now her clothes are in a pile next to her car door,” Ronnie said.
“And look! Her purse and car keys are on the ground too!” noticed Lloyd.
“Better call Captain Peamont,” instructed Bob.
“On it,” one of the waitresses said. “Officer Dawson is on his way to investigate,” the waitress announced. “Sara, at dispatch, told me they have already had three more disappearances counting Elona here.” There were several gasps, and one lady started crying.
Some of the customers paid their tabs quickly. Most by overpaying and telling the waitress to keep the change, then running out.
“Where you going, Bob?” asked Ronnie.
“To my tornado shelter at home. It’s stocked, and the misses and I can live in it for several weeks. They won’t find me there!”
“Whoever, or whatever is behind this!” he said while running out.
Lloyd looked over at Ronnie. “Aren’t you going to run out of here too?”
“Nope!” as he calmly finished up his breakfast.
“Aren’t you scared?”
“Nope!” He wiped his mouth and took a sip of his coffee.
Ronnie turned slowly in his chair to face Lloyd. “Because I’m ready to stand before almighty God and give an account of how I have lived my life after I accepted his Son, Jesus, to forgive me of my sins.”
Captain Peamont had all of the patrolling officers come back to the station.
“Gentlemen, we have a true crisis on our hands. As of this moment, we have had seven people go missing. The citizens of Seneca are starting to panic, and our switchboard is overrun with calls coming in. Most people want to know the same thing. ‘What is going on?’ and as a matter of fact, so do I. The Mayor is riding me to get to the bottom of this. And soon! So. What do we know for sure?”
“Age, well 12 or above, sex, and race don’t seem to matter,” replied Officer Dawson.
“What they are wearing doesn’t matter either,” added Officer Johnson.
“Good. What else?” asked the Captain as he wrote these on their investigation board.
“I don’t think their location has anything to do with it either,” commented Officer Rogers.
The Captain added, “There has been no sign of foul play.”
“Oh, and the time of day or night is not a factor,” said Rogers rapidly.
“No one still here has heard any commotion or screams from the ones that go missing,” added Dawson.
“This is all good,” said the Captain. “Now, what do we not know?”
“That’s easy,” laughed Rogers. “Who is behind all of this, why, and where are the missing going?”
“That pretty much sums it up. Okay, does anyone have any ideas what we can do?”
Suddenly, a bright light entered the room, and a loud commotion.
“Captain Peamont, we have a report that seven people have gone missing here in Seneca. What can you tell us?” It was a news crew from the ABC affiliate in a nearby city.
“Who let you all in? This is a closed-door meeting. Stop filming what’s written on the board. You do not have permission to air that information,” commanded the Captain. The cameraman repointed his camera at the face of Captain Peamont.
“Okay, Yes. Seven people have gone missing, and we are investigating to learn the cause and whereabouts of those individuals. That’s all I can tell you. Now get out of here so we can do our job!”
The cameraman turned off the light and lowered the camera. Captain Peamont gave stern instructions they were not to air or report in any way what was written on the board. The TV crew left the building and set up outside the police station.
“I’m so sorry, sir,” said Sara. “They forced their way in here.”
“It’s okay, Sara. I know it’s not your fault, but I tell you all this, if any of this information gets out that we have on the board, I will press charges! Now let us get back out there and be diligent in your search. Pay attention to everything, and look everywhere around town. Under bridges, behind buildings, everywhere!”
A few hours later, while Officer Dawson was on patrol.
“Oh my God, Captain. You have to come see this! You won’t believe it!”
…To be continued…
Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.