Childhood Disappearances

by BarkerJr, November 11, 2007

Jared wondered how it ever came to this. A silver-blond boy of 12 years, he'd spent his entire life in San Fransisco. Every day, his dog would join him after school and they'd walk home together.

It really started a few days ago. Jared and his dog, on the way home from school, passed an alleyway and two men talking among the garbage cans thought he'd overheard them. He'd run all the way home and lost them along the way. Thinking that was the end of it, he didn't realize how much of a target for the mob he'd become.

Today, here he was at gunpoint, in front of a man who didn't look like he took any hostages. As the man tightened his grip on the trigger, Jared gazed at the full moon. It was beautiful. The gun fired, and Jared and his dog were gone. They simply were gone.

...

Years passed.

Jack, a dark-haired boy, was the shortest boy in the sixth grade. That meant that the bullies were always beating him up. What could he do? This time was a little different, though.

He knew he shouldn't have missed the bus home. But that was that, and now he was walking home in the chill fall night air. Who should be around the corner, but a bully named Joe who claimed his father was in the mob. Due to Joe's nature, he decided now would be a good time to beat up Jack. But as I said, this time was different.

A classmate, Casey, was across the street and told Joe to stop. Casey generally tried to avoid involving herself in problems like these, but for some reason she liked the quietest boy in the class, Jack. For his part, Jack rather liked her, too.

Now, everyone knew Casey's father was the police chief. Joe, though a bully, wasn't stupid. He knew that he might be in big trouble now, and that he needed to eliminate Casey. He pulled out a gun and pointed it at Casey.

Casey had heard of these kinds of situations from her father, and knew that the best thing to do was to stand still and try not to look threatening. However, she still thought it best to call the police on her cell phone in her pocket.

She saw something out of the corner of her eye, and looked over to see what it was. She pointed to the moon and screamed. And she was gone.

...

When Jack grew up, he became a private detective. This was quite natural, as he had minor crimes against him his entire childhood. He spent some of his spare time researching mob-related disappearances. But work was work, and he was tailing a child on his way through school.

After getting several threatening phone calls, the child's parents had become concerned for his safety, and had hired Jack.

What happened next was a blur. The boy was looking at the moon with his mouth agape, and tires squealed. As the unmarked van careened towards him, he pointed to the moon, and said "look!", and he disappeared.

Jack guessed it must have been a bat. This was the second time in his life that he'd lost someone to a mob-related incident. And yes, he meant lost, as in they disappeared. It was like dejavu all over again. He had seen a silhouette against the moon, though, hadn't he?

He was without a case again. The child's parents were not too happy to hear that their child had disappeared right in front of him and he had no idea what happened or where the boy was.

He wandered the streets and followed the moon, trying to gather his thoughts. What had happened in his childhood was a nightmare, and it was like reliving it now.

The moon seemed inviting. He followed it through the streets. He followed it through the city to a big open field. And there in the moonlight, there were two boys, a girl, and a dog, dancing and playing in the moonlight.

Jared came over to Jack and greeted him.

"Do you know who I am?" asked Jared.

Having studied these disappearances his whole career, said yes, though the boy should have become an adult with the thirty years since his disappearance. Yet he hadn't aged a bit. And the girl was his old childhood friend.

"Do you think I'm young?" asked Jared. Then he answered himself, "I'm older than you are, man. We are children of the moonlight and you may join us."

The children went back to playing for a minute longer, and Jack joined in. Then the moon went behind a cloud, and they were gone.