THE DAILY POST: DISAPPEAR

‘Sammy,’ he shouted now, more desperate. Other parents stared, two or three came over to him, looking concerned, willing to help.

He tried to explain to them, his words were shrill and panicked, ‘He was right here, right here, at the slide, I had his hand, and then I turned for a second and he had disappeared.’ He broke off and yelled again, ‘Sammy!’

He turned one way then the next as they questioned him: what colour of top did he have on? was he wearing a jacket? how tall was he? what age was he?

His world swam before his eyes. The park was so busy. It was a mild spring day, the first since the cold winter had faded away. It was a school holiday.

How long now? Five minutes, ten? Someone suggested he should call the police. He fumbled with his smartphone. Through sweat and tears he managed to dial and report his son missing. The operator took his details. Before he could finish the ‘phone was taken from his hand. He tried to grab it back.

A woman was leading him away, talking to him calmly. Through the haze and fear he caught her words.

‘It’s been three years, Robert, you can’t keep coming here and doing this over and over again. You have to let go. Let’s get you back to the house.’


Written for The Daily Post – Disappear prompt: write a new post to the one-word prompt. Click on the link to learn more about the challenge.

43 responses to “THE DAILY POST: DISAPPEAR”

    1. An absolute worst nightmare as a parent I think, especially the not knowing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When my kids were little, one of my sons disappeared. We spent an hour searching the neighborhood and were on the verge of calling the police when he popped out of a neighbor’s fifth wheel camper. He had a blast watching us look all around for him. I was glad he was safe, but I wanted to throttle him (needless to say, I didn’t).

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Relief followed by anger I suspect. I’m sure he thought it was hilarious!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. He’ll be 32 this year and still has the same crazy sense of humor.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. This was heartbreaking. Wonderful writing, Iain! I hope you’re planning to write a book one day? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and thanks for asking. Actually just completed editing a first attempt at a novel, so watch this space to see if I get anywhere with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish you the very best 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Parent’s worst nightmare.
    My question is the same as Kasturi’s – Are you going to write a book soon? Or put together a collection of your work?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Frances, a book in the works, nearing completion and about to send it out to agents and publishers to see if there is any interest. If not, I will self-publish, so watch this space I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m ordering a copy as soon as it is available. Be warned: I will want to send you a self-addressed stamped envelope for your autograph/personalization.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah, at least I know I have one sale then! 🙂

          Like

  4. How sad! I went through a brief minute like that years ago with my first. She had walked a short distance from me and I lost her in a crowd. Fortunately she was actually very close by but the panic I felt at that moment was terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had that fleeting panic for a moment here and there, it would be unbearable to live with.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Poor parents, and worse for the mother, returning again and again, while Dad just relives that day in his mind. Great piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stu, I can only imagine how anyone might recover psychologically from something like this.

      Like

  6. oh god! you’ve done it again… shivers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much.

      Like

  7. Every parent’s worst nightmare. So sad he kept reliving it…………..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How could any parent recover from it? Thanks Di.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No-one expects to outlive their kids. Such heartache.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Exactly, and in these circumstances even worse.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Have you read (and/or seen) Ian McEwan’s ‘Child In Time” (1987)? This made me think of that, hit like a hammer with your final line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have, a big fan of McEwan’s work. Also influenced by the excellent TV show ‘The Missing’, especially the first series.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will look it up!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. A parents worst nightmare, poor guy. Well written as always, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooooh so horrible and good at the same time. I thought perhaps they would find the child under the slide. You know a happy ending. LOL!
    This one caught me off guard but it was a good twist, moved the heart. Can’t imagine the pain of those parents out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I was writing I was caught between happy or sad ending – you can see which way I went in the end!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Its not your fault right, the fault of the pen. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Every parents nightmare and such a sad, unexpected ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh hell. That is so distressing. Robert’s desperation were so clear and palpable; the fear and need to do something. And then the calm, the deflating explanation. One that gave me goose bumps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah Ann, nice to hear it had such an effect.

      Like

  13. Oh my. This was gut wrenching, Iain. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

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