The Flash Fiction Project at Google+ is at it again! There will be a visual prompt for every day in November (despite NaNo), and I'm going to try to write a (very) short piece for it every day as well. Due to time zone differences, I'll try writing and posting mine early in the morning, so it's a day after the original post for me, but still the same for them.
Let the fun begin! Here is the prompt for November 05:
I've never liked missing person cases, but this one was pretty much the worst I've ever had, because there wasn't any proof. It could have been anything between tragedy, liberation, and murder.
A young woman in her late twenties had gone missing on a stormy day out on the coast. We sent out rescue teams as soon as it was safe enough, but they could find neither a body nor the woman. Her husband, a burly man a few years older than her, said that she liked to spend time close to the sea. There was an arch of stone in the water, not too far from the house and close to the shore. It had holes through which the sun shone unto some boulders protruding from the sea, and there she liked to sit and watch time go by.
Her husband said she had planned to go there on the day of the storm, and that he had advised her to come home early, before the rain. She had assured him that she would be careful and not stay too long, and that had been the last he'd seen of her. He was very agitated, emphasised how much he loved and adored her and that he wouldn't get any sleep before she was safe and sound at home again.
His eyes, though, told a completely different story. He got his face to play along with the worried husband story, but his eyes... they talked about anger at the loss, not worry, and ownership of his wife, not devotion for her. I know the type, men who do as they please and at the same time keep their women on a short leash. Often, they also abuse and beat them.
However, there was no proof. Either their friends and family didn't know him for what he was, or they were very loyal to him - or they were too scared to say anything. Without the woman's body, there was nothing I could do. The case got cold and went to the archives unsolved.
I will never know whether she was swept away by the storm, or used it as a cover to vanish, or whether he used it as an opportunity to kill her, either by mistake or planned. I still think of her, though, and sometimes she haunts my dreams and my reality. Then, I see her face in the crowd, only it is quite changed; happy and relaxed, not so worried and straining to look happy as it did on the photos I've seen of her. I hope she is out there somewhere.