Young Girls that Disappear

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Young Girls that Disappear

Post by Sofie on Sat Dec 20, 2008 7:38 pm

Young Girls that Disappear

Young girls that disappear is not something to joke about. You know that. A whole month went by and she didnít turn up. So obviously you decided to follow. Your daughter is only eighteen, and she had been gone for a month. And now another month has passed. And you canít find her. You stroll up and down the streets, because strolling is the only form of walking that you know, and you keep your eyes peeled. You show a photograph. You ask. But you canít find her.

Sarah breathes in a lungful of the cigarette. She shivers, itís cold. It isnít an easy life. Nobody said it would be. But itís better than all the alternatives. No, itís not. Itís not better than the alternatives, itís just that she doesnít really have any alternatives. A car slows down. The driver rolls down the window.

ďIím on a break,Ē Sarah says sourly, and the car driver is yelling some obscene insult. He throws something at her, some kind of garbage. She doesnít care, sheís used to it. She swears bitterly to herself. Takes another drag of the cigarette. She knows she should quit, she spends too much money on smokes and it makes her look horrid, but fuck, canít one keep a single pleasure in life?

Veronica had wanted her to quit. She was worried, wanted to talk sense to her. Sarah smiles to herself. That girl was incredible. New to the city, and as young as she was, not used to this life, and what she was worried about was Sarah, who was three years older and had been in the game way too long. Her smile fades away. The smoke tastes like piss. Veronica is gone. Sarah is the one whoís worried now. Veronica has been gone for days, and sheís too new for it to be safe. Sarah counts the hours. She always does. She decides that she can afford a few hours off to search for Veronica. She somehow just knows that the girl is in trouble, and itís not like she has so goddam many friends. Itís worth a few hours to hold on to this oneÖ

You ask, ďHave you seen this girl? Her name is Veronica Ellick. Have you seen her? Have you seen my daughter? Have you seen my Veronica? Itís her in the picture. Have you seen Veronica Ellick?Ē Youíve lost count of how many times youíve asked, how many ways you have of putting the question. But none of them work. No one has seen her.

How does it feel? Can you tell me that? How does it feel to know that it was your fault? No, no, it wasnít your fault. You never treated her bad, did you? You didnít have that much money. Quite the opposite, you had very little. Maybe that was why? Maybe it was because she never brought home any friends. Maybe it was because of that boyfriend, what was his name again? He was a bastard, that was for certain. There are many reasons why she might have left. It doesnít necessarily have to be your fault. You never treated her any worse than what can be expected.

Sarah was the one who took care of Veronica when she came to the city. She had run off from some not exactly luxurious neighbourhood outside New York. When she arrived, she had bruises, heaps of them. She didnít want to talk about it, but she said enough. It wasnít that hard to grasp. She had nobody. Nobody was holding her back anymore. Her boyfriend failed her, her family failed her. Then she came here. And Sarah took care of her, made sure that she was doing relatively OK. She grew to care for her, and now she has to find her. The streets are packed with people. She checks on all her known places, especially the ones she showed Veronica. She has to be here somewhere!

He pushes his way through the crowd. Damn idiots. Theyíre not worth it, theyíre not worth anything. They have no form of value alive, and thereís a scarce few who are worth something dead. Theyíre creeps, pathetic insects. But he, he smiles to himself. Very few are worth something dead, but he has one at home. A young girl with blue eyes and hair that was dyed black. He could tell that it was dyed when he found her, for it had been a while, and he could see the edge of blonde running by her skull. He hates hair dye, so he had to cut the black parts off. She didnít like that, but that was all right. He had enough duct tape.

She screamed a lot. The sound was muffled by the sock in her mouth. If he is to be quite honest, he likes screaming, so he took it out a couple of times. She swore, had a filthy moth, he had to wash it, and the sock was dipped in soap when he put it back in. Her blood was red, fresh and healthy. It took a long while to see the life drain from her, a long while before the blue eyes stiffened in lifeless apathy. Now the fresh blood has dried. A shame, really. She was so pretty. A shame that she had to colour that hair and destroy herself like that. That heíd had to put out the glow in those blue eyes... He feels guilty, should have been even slower. Oh, well, thereís always next time.

You are starting to lose faith. Nobody has seen Veronica. You have called everybody you thought were friends. But if they donít want to help, then you suppose youíre wrong. You have searched everywhere, up and down every street, youíve been to every, every morgue even, and thank God you didnít find her there. You no longer bother to even ask, you just shove the picture in peopleís faces. This is a lousy street. You havenít been here before, but the only human contact you get is a filthy prostitute grabbing your arm, and you shake her off. You donít have time to talk to that sort. Every second, the chance of finding Veronica fades.

Sarah looks up. Itís Veronica! I a photography she sees her smile, The hair is blonde, not black, but it is Veronica! She desperately reaches forward, but the man with the picture pushes her away, and then he disappears in the crowd.
And she knows that she will never see Veronicaís face again.

A picture, a photography, shoved into his face by a strangerís hand. Thatís it. Thatís how she was supposed to look. Blond hair, blue, lively eyes, and the healthy, nice face. He shakes his head apologetically, but he is uplifted by the incident. He sees new opportunities. Thereís a pretty girl, she can last a while. He walks closer to her, studies her. He looks at the slightly gusty skin. The best approach seems obvious.
ďFancy a smoke, love?Ē the man asks, ever so politely.
ďNo, thank you,Ē mumbles Sarah distantly, ďI just quit.Ē
And so she walks off, disappearing into the crowd.

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Boredom murders the heart of our age
While sanguinary creeps take the stage
Boredom strangles the life from the printed page
-of Montreal
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Re: Young Girls that Disappear

Post by Dark Princess on Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:19 am

Cool.
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Re: Young Girls that Disappear

Post by Sofie on Sun Dec 21, 2008 12:46 am

Thanks.

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Boredom strangles the life from the printed page
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Re: Young Girls that Disappear

Post by Topaz on Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:20 pm

I like it! elephant
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Re: Young Girls that Disappear

Post by Sirch Hanom on Sat May 30, 2009 4:39 am

I like madness; the concept fascinates me. Your male character, the murderer, piques my interest; I'm working on a story with an insane character, and I'm still not sure how to best express his insanity. Your twisted-abs guy here reminded me of the disgusting, disturbing potential a madman has.
A fine short story, but I'm not sure about the point of view; switchon'(Not a typo; I write phonetically sometimes) back and forth from 'you looked' to 'Sarah looked'. Kind of a turn-off. The musings of Sarah on the insignificance of the city-folk was all right, as was the murderer's, but they could have been even more poignant. 'Insects' is an overused analogy.
You might have expressed Sarah's feelings of hopelessness and despair a bit more, given a better description of her panic, anxiety, fear. She came off as a cynical, apathetic woman, as she should've, but you could have stressed her desire to find Veronica in more descriptive words.
The setting could've been more developed too; I automatically thought of a dark city at twilight, with shadowy faces rushing by, but other reader's may not think the same way. Also, Sarah's appearance. What does she look like?
But this is buff-and-polish-stuff, nuances. Your story is very good at setting the mood, keeping the reader int'rested, all the things that a story should do.

Huzzah for L and Cookies.
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