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WOMAN DISAPPEARS UNDER MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

fiction by Sheena Carroll

WOMAN DISAPPEARS UNDER MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

          The cops found a trail of blood leading from my kitchen to the driveway. They followed the trail like curious little dogs, sniffing around outside until one stated the obvious:

          “Looks like she got in her car and drove away.”

          Only hours earlier, I was stumbling through the house in my kitten heels, crimson soaking and spreading through the peach fabric of my long, pleated skirt. My reaction was mechanical: I saw the blood, and then several moments later registered that it was mine. I stopped thinking after that.

          At some point, I pulled off my cotton panties and tried using them to clean the kitchen floor. The media claimed that these panties were the most curious artifact found in the house. They asked, “Why did she try to clean the floor with her bloody underwear when there were clean towels on the counter?”

          I’m not sure why I did it, either. All I know is that at some point, I jarringly re-entered reality. I stood up, grabbed my keys, and left the house.

          The cops found my car less than 24 hours later, but they never found me.

          Many suspicious items were discovered in my car. It was where I stored my library books that I would never return – books that the library would never see again, as they were taken into police evidence. Most of these books covered unsolved disappearances that may have shared a similarity with mine:

          Jean Spangler. Joan Risch. Judy Hymes. Ann Miller, Patricia Blough, and Renee Bruhl.

          These women all kind of looked the same and they all kind of looked like me, but that’s not it. That’s not what I mean by similarity at all. There are countless other missing women with whom I also share the very specific similarity that may have led to my disappearance. These women just don’t have books written about them because they don’t kind of look like me.

          I parked on a quiet dirt road not that far from a small community park. The cherry blossom trees there were in full bloom. When my car was discovered, it was buried in soft, decaying petals.

          I got out of my car. I walked. I cannot tell you more, because this is the point in the story when I become very light-headed.

          While searching my car, the cops found a slip of paper with a phone number and a male-sounding name. They called the number only to find that it was disconnected. This is one of only two clues from my car that they disclosed to the public.

          The second clue is the books. The cops will eventually read these books, scour them, Xerox every page that they suspect may be relevant. They will note similarities in circumstances: the whispered conversations among girlfriends, the cryptic notes, the disconnected phone lines, the blood, the blood, the blood. 

Sheena Carroll (a.k.a. miss macross) is a Pittsburgh-based writer who enjoys taking naps. Her work has been published by Philosophical Idiot, Soft Cartel, Sad Girl Review, and others. Her first chapbook, MISS MACROSS VS. BATMAN, was published by CWP Collective Press in 2018.

Sheena Carroll

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