Cars break down.
These are facts of life. One more fact of life is-
People don’t disappear. Something happens to them.
This is the continuing story of a man who tries to piece together a series of vanishings. He starts from the last time they were seen and stops when he knows for sure that they will never be seen again.
———The Cont nue begins———
He rearranged the photos so they would be in chronological order. Under each photo was a card that had the last place the person was seen, the destination they never reached, and the date they went missing written in bold block lettering.
This was his process. He needed to simplify the chaos of so many cases into a timeline that flowed like blood through a vein. The facts were all he needed.
They were here-point X
They were headed there-point Z
The purpose of his gift in solving this mystery was to figure out what happened between point X and point Z. In doing that, he would know Y. Thus completing the flow.
He stepped back to get a broader view of his rough timeline. He gazed at each picture and card to let his mind take in what he was seeing. As he continued to scan, his mind was eliminating possibilities.
Gender doesn’t seem to be a factor…
Ages vary from 16 to 80….
The race card is nowhere to be seen. They seem to be equal opportunity disappearances.
Financial status is all over the board
“This makes no sense” he thought.
After 2 hours of mental evaluation of the information, he decided he needed put himself in their shoes.
He retrieved his dashboard video camera from the hall closet and grabbed his car keys. He opened the car door, got in, and placed the camera
into the mounting holder and plugged it into the cigarette lighter slot. He turned it on to make sure it worked properly. It was the highest resolution dash camera that wasn’t on the market. It had a full color screen that recorded with panoramic views. Let’s just say he had friends in the business.
His plan was once again simple.
Drive and record each point X to point Z. During that process he might find Y they never made it. At the least, he hoped for some connection to be reached.
Before starting each video session, he reclaimed a mental image of who vanished, what they were doing and where they were going.
As he drove and recorded, he scanned the landscape for anything that might look out of place. Visually, each session was uneventful. He returned home to take a longer, closer look by way of his recorded footage.
He plugged the camera into one of the input jacks on his computer and uploaded the footage.
He watched the first time, looking at nothing else but the road……nothing
The second time, he looked at nothing else but the right side of road….nothing
The third time, he looked at nothing but the right side of the road….
“STOP” his mind screamed.
He hit pause……and backed up the footage 4 frames.
He spotted the first oddity in the video. He stared at the frozen image and let his mind replay what he watched the first 2 times.
Is it in the road? I don’t remember….YES! The kid walking home from football practice and the old lady going for ice cream.
Is it on the left?…YES! The old man taking a walk.
After the realization of the clue hit him, he replayed each video, paused and took a screenshot of the shared item.
He then printed out each photo and placed it next to the corresponding missing person.
With this task completed he once again stepped back to get a broader view. A shudder ran up his spine and made the hairs in the back of neck stand up.
“They went somewhere else alright….just not willingly. Pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place.” he said aloud.
He gathered up all the information, put it back into the box and headed out to find the police chief.
He reached the station and was brought into the office. He looked at the chief and stated, “I found something…”
“Lets see what you got.”
He laid out the photos of the missing, the cards with the block letters, and began to tell the chief how he found the clue.
As he retold the story he began to place the picture of each clue alongside the picture of the missing. When the last picture was down the chief exhaled and scratched his head.
In each picture taken from the video camera, a small case letter “i” can be seen.
Spray painted on a stop sign- i
On the bark of a tree- i
On a mailbox- i
At a crosswalk- i
Each disappearance, on the way to each unreached destination, same marking- i
“Someone is sending you a message chief….. If I have learned anything from my past experiences with this type of thing, I think the message is-
“i am in charge.”
They both continued to stare at the timeline, neither saying a word.