The Disappearance (part 7 – A short story by Mark Brady)
Captain Peamont rolled upon the scene Officer Dawson reported to be at. He got out of his cruiser, looked around, and approached Dawson’s vehicle. Officer Dawson just sat there staring forward. The Captain opened his door and asked, “Are you getting out?”
After a long pause. “Sir, I have never been so shaken up or scared in all my years as an officer.” Then he turned and looked at his Captain. He was shaking.
“It’s okay, Dawson. You stay in the car, and I will check things out.”
After a few minutes, the Captain returned to his cruiser and radioed the station.
“Dispatch, this is Captain Peamont. I need an available officer to assist me with an investigation.”
“Hi, Captain. This is Rogers. Sara needed a personal break. Where are you? What’s up?”
“I’m at the Seneca Cemetary. We have several opened graves.”
“Are they on the Oklahoma side or the Missouri side? You know, the state line runs right down the middle of the cemetery.”
“Not funny, Rogers, but both sides. Get here as soon as possible and help me out, please.”
Captain Peamont put on gloves, grabbed some evidence bags, and put them behind his belt. He checked in on Dawson, who was still frozen in his car.
“I will be somehow. Please, Captain, don’t ask me to look into those graves.”
“I won’t. Rogers is on his way.”
The Captain walked over to the closest grave and looked in it. He wondered if he was to open the casket if there would be garments inside. He didn’t want to know but knew he had to. He dropped down into the grave and found the casket unlatched. He opened the lid and saw a man’s suit but no body. He took some photos with his phone and then climbed out.
“Oh my goodness! You scared the crud out of me!” Officer Rogers proclaimed.
The Captain laughed, sort of.
“Rogers, start documenting the names and ages of the opened graves on the Oklahoma side. I will start on the Missouri side. Take pictures if you see anything odd as if this entire incident isn’t bizarre, sick, and twisted.”
The two of them got busy recording the information. It took them several hours. Dawson was released to go home and try his best to relax and calm down.
Back at the station, the Captain decided there were just too many names to add to the board, so he wrote, “Seneca Cemetary = 561” He decided to have Sara type all of the names onto a form, though. He then learned that the Mayor had called a town meeting tonight to be held at the First Baptist Church. He also learned from Officer Dawson that another seventeen residents disappeared while he was at the cemetery. That brought the total to 585. Officer Dawson and a trusted friend helped him bag the articles of clothing and record the names.
People poured into the church. The officers had to direct traffic. They were letting cars park in any space they could fit in the neighborhood surrounding the church. Inside, a similar situation. People were looking for any place to sit or stand.
Pastor Scott opened the meeting. “Where are all of you on Sundays? It would be my biggest crowd if I preached right now!” Some people laughed. “Hey, just trying to ease the tension. Since humor didn’t do it, let me pray. God…Seneca needs you right now. I need you, God. Too many of our loved ones have disappeared. We ask you, Father, to bring peace in this troubling time. We thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Next, the Mayor stepped up to the pulpit. “Thank you all for coming out tonight. We have a crisis on our hands. I should let you know that I am now communicating with the governor and the FBI. I am bringing in resources and help from wherever I can get it. These organizations will assist our local police department, which has done the best it can, and we appreciate the job they have done. Nothing like this has ever happened anywhere in the country. These disappearances have stumped everyone so far. Now our police captain will share with us what facts he has.”
Captain Peamont took the microphone and shared the facts that his department had listed on the board back at the station. His officers handed out papers listing the names of those who had disappeared. Even the names of those in the cemetery.
All of a sudden, a lady in the sanctuary screamed.
…To be continued…
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