Gone But Not Missed
by A. R. Kennedy
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Lillian Brannon wakes up on Valentine's Day in an exact replica of her bedroom but the only item that she believes is authentic is her dog, Laude. She is held captive in her kidnapper's basement apartment, summoned upstairs once a week for a chaste dinner. But will his kindness last, and more importantly, why isn’t anyone looking for her?
Lillian’s story is interwoven with that of Nathan, a NYPD officer, who is intrigued by Lillian’s disappearance- how can a young woman be gone for two weeks before a Missing Person Report is filed? Local police believe Lillian has voluntarily abandoned a life she didn’t like. Lillian’s best friend convinces Nathan the authorities are wrong. With no jurisdiction, no resources, and no witnesses, he is compelled by the pictures of Lillian with her sweet smile and sparkling green eyes to obsessively take up the case. Armed with Lillian’s keys and personal information, he spends hours, then days in her home trying to find clues that will lead him to her.
As we stepped off the elevator on the fifth floor, he continued. “I already looked around the apartment. Found nothing. Just have to go back in for a second. I left the Missing Persons Report in there.”
“How long she been gone?,” I asked. As he entered the apartment, I stood in the doorway. I looked around the simple apartment. It looked barely lived in. There was nothing hung on the walls; no personal touches anywhere in sight.
“Two weeks,” Steve answered.
I shook my head in disbelief. “That’s a long time.”
“Well, we don’t know if she’s missing, or left, or...”
“What do you mean?” I looked at Steve, not knowing where he was going with this.
“We got a call from a lady last week rambling on and on about a missing dog. She’s a dog walker; dog’s gone. She’s distraught. I give her the number for the shelter. Tell her to call local vets, post signs, whatever. I figure she lost the dog and knows the owner is going to be pissed. But, she says the owner’s gone too. I look up the girl’s name, no missing person report. I tell the woman sorry she’s lost a client but not a police matter. She just wouldn’t stop about the damn dog. Then we get a call from an out of state friend who says she can’t reach the lady either and files the report.” Steve walked around the apartment, continuing to gesture wildly. “She lives close to where we used to. Ardsley, Pennsylvania.”
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This A R Kennedy’s debut series.