“Be our guest,” played in the background as the DVD spun in the player. No one was watching the movie, it looked like they had just vanished. Empty popcorn dishes stood on the floor with small blankets wadded up beside them. There was a pot of soup simmering on the stove. The table was in the process of getting set for dinner.

No one was in sight. The house was empty. There was no dog lapping at the water dish. No cat purring on the couch. The front door swung open and the police office slowly walked forward announcing his presence. His voice only echoed down the hall, “Police!”

The car was still in the driveway, the mother’s purse was still hanging on the closet door, and her cell phone was softly buzzing on the counter with an incoming message. The detective came into the kitchen and using his gloved hands grabbed the phone and retrieved the message. It was from her husband and said, “Be there in about 20 minutes. I love you.”

The detective talked into his own phone, “Trace this number right away. 555-2678 and get back to me.” He then turned to another officer and said, “Where is the neighbor that called this in?”

An officer came around the corner and with a small gentleman wearing a green coat. “This is Mr. John Harrison sir.”

The detective nodded towards the two men. “Good evening Mr. Harrison. Can you tell me why you called?”

The little man shifted his stance and said, “It was a loud boom almost like a bomb. I looked up and down the street and this was the only house where no one came out to investigate the sound. And I know Mrs. Sanders would have come out to see what it was. I didn’t see any fire or smoke so I figured it was one of those new fangled cannon guns and power bullets.”

The detective tried not to cringe at the man’s lack of correct terminology and asked, “Why did you say the Sanders were gone?”

“Well no one answered the door.”

“Detective Olsen, you might want to come see this,” an officer standing by the back door said. The detective went through the doorway and stopped short of the first step. There in the back yard was a large burned circle in the grass at least 25 feet across. “What the hell… “ was all the detective said.


Written for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (FOWC) – guest

2 thoughts on “Vanished”

  1. Excellent. Sounds like one of those stories I might have written where the reader is left hanging at the end, wondering, just as the detective was, “what the hell…?” Well done!

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