In previous Like The Prose competitions, I’ve written stories without ‘e’ and without ‘t’. You need to solve the mystery of this one too.
Where is it?
It is not here. It is gone. It went some weeks previously. When I woke up, I couldn’t find it. Where could it be? No one knew.
I needed to find out where it might be. I questioned everyone. No one knew. I sought help from detectives: people who were used to looking for things, finding clues, solving mysteries. Still no solution.
Did someone remove it while I slept? My locks were secure – no sign of someone entering the house – so where could it be? How did it suddenly stop being in my home, in the spot where I kept it? It seemed mysterious – frightening, even.
The mystery deepened. Someone must’ve seen it: it couldn’t just become invisible. Things don’t shimmer out of view – there one minute, gone the next. But I looked everywhere with no success. No one could help me; no one offered useful words or helpful suggestions. Would I ever find it?
For weeks, months even, I continued my quest. Stories often show people hunting weird objects or describe items which get stolen, needing to be recovered, but how often do people seek things like this? How would I survive without the essence of my soul? Which foul beings decided to do this to me? This must be some plot to ruin my life.
In time, I would cope without this precious thing, but for now… Minutes ticked into hours; hours lengthened into longer periods. I counted every second of being without it, but it didn’t help. I just felt numb, lifeless, not believing I wouldn’t ever see it in my future. How would I survive? How could I survive? But I did.
I’m older now, coming closer to the end. Wrinkles line my cheeks; my locks look grey. I’ve lived most of my life without it, but I still feel the void where it used to be. Do people deprived of limbs feel like this – like something is missing? Would losing my leg be better? People cope when they need to – they fit their lives round the things they possess, not their losses. Do substitutes exist – things which perform like this missing item?
Philosophy brings comfort, giving me focus. Others suffer this loss too: I’m not the only one. They’re inspired to write poems, sketch pictures, compose music. Loss is the stepping stone to one’s improved lifestyle, the holes being filled with something better. If I found it now, would I still desire it? It’s difficult to be sure.
It’s still missing – but I’ve begun to notice the loss of it less. I must be growing up.