Long Gone

On the electrical pole are three missing persons’ flyers.  Two are coated in plastic, but the weather has started eating away at the protective coating.  The newest one won’t last long in the Missouri winter weather.

The oldest one is fading.  Water spots are making the printer ink hard to read.  The picture, although faded, is still clear.  A man in his thirties smiles out at those who drive past.  He’s been missing for a handful of years now, but this flyer isn’t that old; maybe a year or so.  A testament that his family is still holding out hope that someone will call the hotline with a tip on his whereabouts.  In their hearts, they pray he’s alive, but the little voice in the back of their minds, tells them he isn’t.  No matter, the $75,000 reward will bring information eventually, if they just keep the faith.

The next one is of a girl, or a teenager rather.  It hasn’t been up as long.  The plastic shows damage, but it isn’t yet allowing anything but the sun to get to it.  The ink is more faded on this one.  The picture is hard to see from the road.  The writing is impossible at this distance.  The family is again offering a reward.  It’s the largest printing on the flyer.  The amount is illegible, but it has five figures in it.

The newest one is the saddest; a young man, maybe early twenties.  There’s no protective plastic, no reward for information, nothing to indicate that the family has the money to do anything more than print some flyers and hang them up.  It hasn’t been up very long, a week, no longer.  It is already stained by water.  The staples holding it to the post are tearing the paper.  A few more days in the wind and it probably will fly away or become litter on the road for some street sweeper to clean up. 

The light turns green.  We creep forward.  The next electrical pole has two flyers.  Both for missing dogs.  Both offering rewards.  Both wrapped in plastic. 

The dogs will be found long before the people on the flyers.  

This is a work of fiction.  Any names, places, characters, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and are purely fictitious.  Any resemblances to any persons, living or dead, are completely coincidental.

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  1. Maria D.

     /  February 11, 2014

    I like it!



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