The Disappearance – Mickey Collins

“Where’s mom?” asked Cole.

“She’s gone.”

“Where did she go?”

“I don’t know, all she left was this note: Don’t come looking for me.”

The note was made up of cut-out letters from her collectible newspapers. She would never have destroyed those just to leave a message, no matter the importance.

“Was it because of me?”

“No, of course not. It’s no one’s fault. Let’s finish the puzzle.” 

As if that would give closure.

Cole and his dad sat at the dining room table where Cole and his mother had completed the edges of the puzzle just yesterday and began moving inward.

Cole diligently looked for a piece, one that he knew the shape and color of. He created piles of rejects, tossed aside ones that didn’t work. As the rejected piles grew bigger and his options grew smaller he worked more frantically. Pieces were thrown around, landing on the floor, falling off the edges of the table. His dad at first tried to grab the pieces and place them back on the table, only for Cole’s wild movements to send them back down. The cat came over to see what new gifts had landed into his domain for his enjoyment. After a piece landed on his head, he skittered away.

As it had started, it ended. Cole couldn’t find the piece he wanted. He shoved the half-complete puzzle to the ground, where it broke off into chunks.

Cole ran to his room. His dad followed behind. Cole slammed his door.

Why? why? Why? why? Why? why? Cole thought to himself. He threw his body into bed. 

As his dad knocked, Cole yelled at him to go away.

Why mom? Cole wondered. Why not dad? All of the cool and interesting people in history that Cole cared about had lost their dads at a young age. It’s what fueled their creativity. Why couldn’t his dad have left instead?

He stared at the ceiling. There was a stain there that he didn’t remember being there before. The longer he stared, the more he noticed it take on a shape. It looked like a laughing face. He blinked. It changed into a bear on its hind legs. A pear. A jack-o-lantern. Back to an amorphous blob.

Cole fell asleep cursing the fact that he would never be creative.

Mickey rights wrongs. Mickey wrongs rites. Mickey writes words, sometimes wrong words but he tries to get it write.

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