The Disappearance (part 8 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“She’s gone! She was sitting right here, and then… then she just disappeared!” cried out a lady.

People were doing everything they could to see, although there was nothing but a pile of women’s clothing to see and a woman’s purse left in the pew. Some people started scooting away while a few others got up to leave.

“Hey! Todd Buchman just now disappeared!” People’s attention was turned to where the cry came out.

“Sue Roberts has now disappeared too!”

“Captain Peamont, what is going on? Are we safe? Where are they going? Do you think it’s aliens?” cried one of the attendees.

“Yeah! Are we safe?” asked another.

Captain Peamont raised his hand. “Calm down, everyone. Please, do not panic. There has to be some logical explanation, although we haven’t figured it out or discovered it at this point.”

“We all should leave Seneca! No one has disappeared from any other town around us. Only in Seneca!” yelled out one. “I’m leaving now!” The man scooted out of the pew and left the church.

“Me, too!” another added.

About a  hundred people also left.

Captain Peamont turned to the Mayor while covering up the mic and said, “Maybe to protect everyone, we should all leave town.”

“Abandon Seneca?” exclaimed the Mayor.

“Only until we find these people and figure out what is going on is all I am saying.”

“You really want to find the ones that came out of their graves?” asked the Mayor.

“They are missing.”

The Mayor was then approached by a TV crew covering the town meeting. They set up a small TV monitor and played back what they had recorded. Pastor Scott and Captain Peamont stood where they, too, could watch.

“Watch this, Mayor,” said the reporter. “You can see everyone in this shot, and then where the first one to disappear, I believe the lady, you will see a quick flash of light. You will also see the same phenomenon when the other two individuals disappear.” The Mayor gasped each time the flash appeared. Pastor Scott remained silent but asked for the footage to be replayed slower.

“What do you see, Pastor?” the Mayor asked.

“Not sure, but….”

Another scream sounded, “They just took my husband!” Now everyone started leaving the church as if it was on fire.


Pastor Scott went back home, where he spoke with his family and asked them if they wanted to leave Seneca. His phone rang.

“Hello, Darcy.”

“Are you all leaving?”

“We haven’t made a final decision yet. Partly because we want to be here if Tamera shows up again.”

“I understand, but something is wrong here in Seneca, and I’m leaving too.”

“But you love this little town,” he said with a smirk. He enjoyed teasing his cousin.

“And I still do, but not when it is acting out! Okay, you all stay safe. I’m out of here.”

“Be careful, Darcy. You take care, too.”


 Meanwhile, there was a traffic jam in Seneca for the first time in the town’s 154-year history. One officer was standing in the intersection of the town’s only flashing red light directing traffic while the other officers were working minor fender benders.

Word of the mysterious disappearances in Seneca had caused people to stop doing business there. No one was coming into town for any reason, not even to visit friends and loved ones. Fear had set in, not just in Seneca, not just in the surrounding area, but worldwide.


Pastor Scott went to his study to pray.

“God, people are scared here in Seneca. Bring peace to this town among the people. If they are leaving, help em to be calm and careful. Give me understanding, Lord. Please show me what is going on. Why are people disappearing? Why did my daughter disappear? Where is she? Where did she go? Where have the other people gone? What do we do, Lord God? What do I do? I need you, Father.”

He saw the list of people who had vanished before the town hall meeting sitting on his desk. He picked it up and started reading the names. He recognized some of them.

Hey, this guy went to the church. I preached at his funeral. And here, Sister Elona. She was in charge of our children’s department.

He now looked at the list in a different light.

I think I know what this is!

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 7 – A short story by Mark Brady)

Captain Peamont rolled upon the scene Officer Dawson reported to be at. He got out of his cruiser, looked around, and approached Dawson’s vehicle. Officer Dawson just sat there staring forward. The Captain opened his door and asked, “Are you getting out?”

After a long pause. “Sir, I have never been so shaken up or scared in all my years as an officer.” Then he turned and looked at his Captain. He was shaking.

“It’s okay, Dawson. You stay in the car, and I will check things out.”

After a few minutes, the Captain returned to his cruiser and radioed the station.

“Dispatch, this is Captain Peamont. I need an available officer to assist me with an investigation.”

“Hi, Captain. This is Rogers. Sara needed a personal break. Where are you? What’s up?”

“I’m at the Seneca Cemetary. We have several opened graves.”

“Are they on the Oklahoma side or the Missouri side? You know, the state line runs right down the middle of the cemetery.”

“Not funny, Rogers, but both sides. Get here as soon as possible and help me out, please.”

Captain Peamont put on gloves, grabbed some evidence bags, and put them behind his belt. He checked in on Dawson, who was still frozen in his car.

“You okay?”

“I will be somehow. Please, Captain, don’t ask me to look into those graves.”

“I won’t. Rogers is on his way.”

The Captain walked over to the closest grave and looked in it. He wondered if he was to open the casket if there would be garments inside. He didn’t want to know but knew he had to. He dropped down into the grave and found the casket unlatched. He opened the lid and saw a man’s suit but no body. He took some photos with his phone and then climbed out.

“Oh my goodness! You scared the crud out of me!” Officer Rogers proclaimed.

The Captain laughed, sort of.

“Rogers, start documenting the names and ages of the opened graves on the Oklahoma side. I will start on the Missouri side. Take pictures if you see anything odd as if this entire incident isn’t bizarre, sick, and twisted.”

The two of them got busy recording the information. It took them several hours. Dawson was released to go home and try his best to relax and calm down.


Back at the station, the Captain decided there were just too many names to add to the board, so he wrote, “Seneca Cemetary = 561” He decided to have Sara type all of the names onto a form, though. He then learned that the Mayor had called a town meeting tonight to be held at the First Baptist Church. He also learned from Officer Dawson that another seventeen residents disappeared while he was at the cemetery. That brought the total to 585. Officer Dawson and a trusted friend helped him bag the articles of clothing and record the names.


People poured into the church. The officers had to direct traffic. They were letting cars park in any space they could fit in the neighborhood surrounding the church. Inside, a similar situation. People were looking for any place to sit or stand.

Pastor Scott opened the meeting. “Where are all of you on Sundays? It would be my biggest crowd if I preached right now!” Some people laughed. “Hey, just trying to ease the tension. Since humor didn’t do it, let me pray. God…Seneca needs you right now. I need you, God. Too many of our loved ones have disappeared. We ask you, Father, to bring peace in this troubling time. We thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Next, the Mayor stepped up to the pulpit. “Thank you all for coming out tonight. We have a crisis on our hands. I should let you know that I am now communicating with the governor and the FBI. I am bringing in resources and help from wherever I can get it. These organizations will assist our local police department, which has done the best it can, and we appreciate the job they have done. Nothing like this has ever happened anywhere in the country. These disappearances have stumped everyone so far. Now our police captain will share with us what facts he has.”

Captain Peamont took the microphone and shared the facts that his department had listed on the board back at the station. His officers handed out papers listing the names of those who had disappeared. Even the names of those in the cemetery.

All of a sudden, a lady in the sanctuary screamed.

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 6 – A short story by Mark Brady)

The guys stood in front of the window of Bradys with their mouths wide open. Others got up from their tables to see what they were looking at. Even the short-order cook came out of the kitchen, spatula still in his hand.

“We just saw her. Right here inside the café, by our tables. And now her clothes are in a pile next to her car door,” Ronnie said.

“And look! Her purse and car keys are on the ground too!” noticed Lloyd.

“Better call Captain Peamont,” instructed Bob.

“On it,” one of the waitresses said. “Officer Dawson is on his way to investigate,” the waitress announced. “Sara, at dispatch, told me they have already had three more disappearances counting Elona here.” There were several gasps, and one lady started crying.

Some of the customers paid their tabs quickly. Most by overpaying and telling the waitress to keep the change, then running out.

“Where you going, Bob?” asked Ronnie.

“To my tornado shelter at home. It’s stocked, and the misses and I can live in it for several weeks. They won’t find me there!”


“Whoever, or whatever is behind this!” he said while running out.

Lloyd looked over at Ronnie. “Aren’t you going to run out of here too?”

“Nope!” as he calmly finished up his breakfast.

“Aren’t you scared?”

“Nope!” He wiped his mouth and took a sip of his coffee.

“Why not?”

Ronnie turned slowly in his chair to face Lloyd. “Because I’m ready to stand before almighty God and give an account of how I have lived my life after I accepted his Son, Jesus, to forgive me of my sins.”


Captain Peamont had all of the patrolling officers come back to the station.

“Gentlemen, we have a true crisis on our hands. As of this moment, we have had seven people go missing. The citizens of Seneca are starting to panic, and our switchboard is overrun with calls coming in. Most people want to know the same thing. ‘What is going on?’ and as a matter of fact, so do I. The Mayor is riding me to get to the bottom of this. And soon! So. What do we know for sure?”

“Age, well 12 or above, sex, and race don’t seem to matter,” replied Officer Dawson.

“What they are wearing doesn’t matter either,” added Officer Johnson.

“Good. What else?” asked the Captain as he wrote these on their investigation board.

“I don’t think their location has anything to do with it either,” commented Officer Rogers.

The Captain added, “There has been no sign of foul play.”

“Oh, and the time of day or night is not a factor,” said Rogers rapidly.

“No one still here has heard any commotion or screams from the ones that go missing,” added Dawson.

“This is all good,” said the Captain. “Now, what do we not know?”

“That’s easy,” laughed Rogers. “Who is behind all of this, why, and where are the missing going?”

“That pretty much sums it up. Okay, does anyone have any ideas what we can do?”

Suddenly, a bright light entered the room, and a loud commotion.

“Captain Peamont, we have a report that seven people have gone missing here in Seneca. What can you tell us?” It was a news crew from the ABC affiliate in a nearby city.

“Who let you all in? This is a closed-door meeting. Stop filming what’s written on the board. You do not have permission to air that information,” commanded the Captain. The cameraman repointed his camera at the face of Captain Peamont.

“Okay, Yes. Seven people have gone missing, and we are investigating to learn the cause and whereabouts of those individuals. That’s all I can tell you. Now get out of here so we can do our job!”

The cameraman turned off the light and lowered the camera. Captain Peamont gave stern instructions they were not to air or report in any way what was written on the board. The TV crew left the building and set up outside the police station.

“I’m so sorry, sir,” said Sara. “They forced their way in here.”

“It’s okay, Sara. I know it’s not your fault, but I tell you all this, if any of this information gets out that we have on the board, I will press charges! Now let us get back out there and be diligent in your search. Pay attention to everything, and look everywhere around town. Under bridges, behind buildings, everywhere!”


A few hours later, while Officer Dawson was on patrol.

“Oh my God, Captain. You have to come see this! You won’t believe it!”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 5 – A short story by Mark Brady)

 “We don’t know who it is yet,” said Captain Peamopnt.

They pulled up in front of the church. Officer Rogers was there waiting for them inside. The four of them entered the sanctuary.

“I found the clothes over here. By the organ. It looks like ladies’ garments to me,” said Bill. “I was vacuuming when I noticed them.”

“Okay. Thanks, Bill. Don’t get any closer,” commanded the Captain. He and Officer Rogers started looking around the area before bagging the clothes.

“Captain, that looks like the dress Mrs. Jones was wearing this morning. She is our organist and said after this morning’s service that she was going to practice the special piece she was planning on playing next Sunday,” commented Pastor Scott.

“Captain, there’s a purse over here, next to the organ. I’ve got my gloves on already. Do I have your permission to look in it for an ID before I bag it?” asked Officer Rogers.

“Sure. Just be careful about it,” replied the Captain.

Officer Rogers found a wallet and opened it. “Yep, the purse belongs to Wilma Jones.”

“Oh my goodness. I can’t believe this. She is such a sweet lady. She has been playing the church’s organ for twenty-five years. I’ve only been here for nine. Ya know? The four people missing are all from my church.”

The officers bagged the purse and the clothes and looked around for any evidence of foul play but didn’t find any.

“At least we didn’t find any of Mrs. Jones’ organs!”

“That’s enough, Rogers. I think we have all we need here. Let’s call it a night. Rogers, you and I will head back to the station. I’ll take Pastor Scott home first.”

“I’ll get the lights. I’m done anyway cleaning the church,” said Bill.

“Thank you, and I’m hoping you are okay Bill,” said Pastor Scott.


The following day at Bradys, there was a meeting about the disappearances. Not really, but it’s all the people there for breakfast could talk about.

“I heard it was the work of aliens,” commented Bob Anderson.

“Bob, get out of here. You don’t really believe that do you?” challenged his friend Ronnie as he cut up his two eggs easy over.

“Why not? They strip off their clothes before they beam them up to probe em.”

“It’s not aliens doing this,” said Lloyd sitting across from Bob and Ronnie.

The two turned to acknowledge Lloyd. “Then what is it?” asked Bob.

“It all has something to do with the Spook Light. I haven’t put it all together yet, but I’m convinced these disappearances are connected to it.”

“Have you ever been up there to see the Spook Light?” asked Ronnie.

“Many times,” replied Lloyd. “Look at how many people have been killed or have disappeared in the area surrounding the light. Just like the legend tells of a miner whose cabin was attacked by Indians while he was away. Upon his return, he found his wife and children missing and is said to continue looking for them along the old road, searching with his lantern.”

“But these disappearances have all taken place just in Seneca!” exclaimed Ronnie.

“So far,” said Bob. “Besides, the government studied the Spook Light and said it was nothing but gases coming up from fishers in the ground, and they glow. And glowing gas doesn’t make people disappear! Well, except when gases come out of Ronnie! Then people disappear!” Bob had a huge grin on his face.

“Oh, you’re so funny, Bob,” said Ronnie.

“The Air Force,” said Jimmy as he took a sip of his coffee.

“What about it?” asked Lloyd.

“When I was in Nam, the Air Force was trying to develop a ray gun they could deploy from aircraft that would cause people to disappear. According to rumors, the gun shot out a light that only worked on biological matter. They are probably here in Seneca to test it. You know, with this being a small town and all. I mean, who would miss us?”

“I don’t know about any of these theories. I think we are all scared, and should be, and are grasping for some answers. Even crazy ones,” said Elona, who was sitting nearby listening. “I’m finished with my breakfast and have to get to work. I’m late. Hey, if I don’t see any of you tomorrow, it was nice knowing ya.” She paid her bill, left a small but generous tip for the waitress, grabbed her purse, and walked out. The door squeaked behind her.

The guys looked at each other and laughed. “She’s always been like that, ever since elementary school!” said Bob. A few minutes later, he said, “Hey, look.” Pointing to the front window of the old café. “She said she was late, but her car is still out front.” They all got up and went to the window.

“No way!”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 4 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“Captain, I found a pile of clothes behind the Piggly Wiggly. They looked familiar, but I pulled out the wallet to verify. Sure enough, it’s old man Trout. Ya know how he always wears that denim apron? He probably was taking out the trash but didn’t quite make it because the bag is next to his clothes.”

“I’ll be right there. Don’t touch anything else,” ordered the Captain.

Captain Peamont arrived in the alley behind the grocery store as quickly as possible without raising suspicions. That meant no lights flashing, no siren blaring, and no speeding through town. He didn’t need panic to set in. They were already getting questions phoned in about Mr. Baily’s disappearance as well as Tamera’s.

“Rogers, grab an evidence bag. Put on some gloves and put Mr. Trout’s clothes in it. There may be some evidence or DNA on them other than yours.” He started looking around the scene. He didn’t find anything suspicious outside the store, so he looked inside. He knew the store closed on Sundays at 6 PM. He looked at his watch, which now read 6:37. Again, the Captain found no evidence of a crime being committed.

“Rogers, take the clothes to the station, and put another pin in the board.” The store phone rang. “Don’t answer that. It’s probably his wife. I’m heading over there now to give her the news.”


“Evening Mrs. Trout. May we come in?” said Captain Peamont.

“Sure. Come in, Captain and Pastor Scott. Have a seat here in the living room. Would either of you like something to drink?”

“No, thank you, ma’am,” both said almost in perfect harmony as they sat on the plastic-covered sofa. Mrs. Trout sat in her baby blue La-Z-boy.

“Pastor Scott, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s disappearance. I just can’t imagine what is going on here in Seneca. Then I got a call this afternoon from Betty Freeman, who told me Mr. Baily had also disappeared. My goodness, gracious. What are these days coming to?”

“Mrs. Trout, we’re here to inform you that your husband, Wilbur, has become another person to disappear. Officer Rogers found his clothes behind the store.”

“What?” she replied with her left hand covering her mouth. “No. Not my Wilbur,” she said while reaching over to the Queen Anne coffee table for a tissue. Pastor Scott moved over and took her hand.

“Remember, Martha, that God is with us in dark times. His Spirit is here with you and me as well to comfort us. I know Captain Peamont and his officers are doing everything possible to figure this out.”

Captain Peamont’s radio went off. He jumped and headed out the door while pulling it off his belt.

“Captain, we just got a call from Bill Russell, the janitor down at the First Baptist Church, and he says he found a pile of clothes in the sanctuary.”

“10-4 dispatch. I’ve got Pastor Scott with me. We’ll head over there now. Tell Bill not to touch anything.”

Back inside Mrs. Trout’s home, “I’m so sorry, Martha, but I got a call about an incident I need to go investigate. It’s at the First Baptist Church, so I need to take Pastor Scott with me.” Pastor Scott stood and looked at the Captain with bewilderment but didn’t ask any questions.

“Is there anyone we can call to come over and be with you, Martha?” asked Pastor Scott.

“No. Thank you, though. I’ll be okay…I think.”

“All right. If there’s anything we can do for you, call me at home day or night. Remember, my number is in your church bulletin,” Pastor Scott said while he hugged her.

Once in the Captain’s car, “What happened at the church?”

“Bill Russell called the station and said he found a pile of clothes in the sanctuary.”

“Who is it this time?”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 3 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“You call the police about a missing person?”

“Yeah. My husband. We came home from church, ate our lunch, and he told me he was going out to the garage to do some tinkering. He likes to tinker. Rebuild old radios, fix neighbor’s lawnmowers, that kind of thing. I went to take a nap. When I got up, I didn’t find him in the house. I started making dinner, assuming he was still in the garage. But I knew something was wrong when he didn’t come in for dinner. I have never had to call that man to dinner in thirty-five years of marriage. When he didn’t show up, I went to look in the garage, and he wasn’t there. I only found a pile of clothes in front of his workbench.”

 Officer Johnson looked over at Officer Dawson. “A Pile of clothes, ma’am?” asked Johnson.

“Yes, officer.”

“You’re husband’s clothes?”

“Why yes! Who else’s clothes would they be?”

“Just making sure, ma’am,” Johnson replied.

“Is he on any medication?” asked Dawson.

“No, except Ibprofin occasionally for pain.”

“Was the garage door open? Is his vehicle still here?” asked Johnson.

“His truck is here, and the garage door was still closed. And the garage door lights were still on. He never leaves a light on when he leaves a room. Never!”

“Did you look in the backyard?” asked Dawson.

“Yes. He wasn’t there either. That’s when I decided to call you all. I didn’t want to think my husband had gone off his rocker and was running around town naked. Hey, you don’t think this has anything to do with Pastor Scott’s daughter missing, do you? Terrible thing. Not knowing where someone is, especially a daughter.”

“Not sure, ma’am,” said Officer Dawson. “May we get a photo of your husband, please?”

“Of course. I’ll be right back.” The lady went into another room, and the officers could hear her rummaging around.

“I can’t believe this!” said Officer Johnson. “Two strange disappearances in two days, no sign of foul play, and,” he looked at the floor, “both of them leaving their clothes behind.”

She re-entered the living room and handed them a photo. “That’s when we visited our daughter Karen and our two grandsons at Christmas last year. She lives over in Kansas. Well, Wichita, to be exact.”

“Okay. Thanks, ma’am. I think we have enough to go on, and we’ll put out an APB for the other officers to be on the lookout for him,” said Johnson.

“Thank you, officers. Oh! One other thing. When I looked for my husband in the garage, his grinder was still on, and what he was working on was on the floor.”


Back at the Police Station, The officers cleared off a bulletin board. They put up a large map of the town of Seneca that included the area that bordered it. Then they inserted push-pins in the location of Pastor Scott’s house and 422 Oneida Street. They used a color system to indicate the sex of each person who had disappeared.

“I wonder if we have some kind of sick, twisted serial killer on our hands,” Officer Johnson wondered.

“Oh, you mean he tells them to strip down naked and then quietly go with him?” Officer Rogers joked.

“Not funny, Rogers!” said Captain Peamont. “At this time, we don’t know what we have going on here. All we do know is two fine people are missing. We don’t know why. We don’t know if anyone is behind this or not, and we don’t know where they are. Yesterday we looked all over Seneca for Tamera and came up empty-handed. We need to keep our wits about us, keep the people of Seneca calm, and… it wouldn’t hurt to be praying for God’s help in the matter. Do your normal patrols and be on the lookout for anything strange, out of the ordinary, for Seneca, that is.”


The officers went back to their patrols as Captain Peamont had ordered.

“Dispatch, this is Rogers. Put me through to the Captain immediately!”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 2 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“Officer Dawson, our daughter is missing!” cried Joanna when the police arrived. Scott showed Officer Dawson and Officer Johnson into the living room.

“I’m so sorry, Joanna. I assure you we will do all we can,” Dawson replied after hugging her.

They looked around while filling out their forms for a missing person. They even looked up in the attic. They asked if they could have a recent photo of Tamera. They also asked if she had any enemies.

While in Tamera’s room, Johnson asked, “Are these clothes lying on the bed what she normally slept in?” They hadn’t even noticed them while they were searching for her.

“Yes, they are, but her normal daytime clothes are also here.” No one knew what to make of that.

The officers left to put out an “APB” and start the search.

“What do we do now,” asked Joanna, looking at her husband

“The officers asked us to stay here in case she shows back up. And I have a sermon to finish up.”

“You still going to preach tomorrow?” inquired Joanna. “How?”

“I don’t know, but I feel as though I have to show the congregation how we are to handle real-world struggles, and you don’t handle them by hiding. Speaking of hiding, have you seen Luke?”

They went into the kitchen and found him eating the abandoned breakfast.

“What? I was hungry!” exclaimed Luke.


Scott entered his study and shut the door. It was a warm, comfortable feeling place with all of the natural wood walls. He sat in his desk chair and reached for his sermon notes. The words were difficult to read through watery eyes.

“God, why is this happening? Where is my daughter? What happened to her? Help me, Heavenly Father, because I don’t know what to do, and help me, God. Give me strength for my family and my church.”

His phone rang. Caller ID displayed, “Darcy.”

“Hello.” Trying to hide the shake in his voice while wiping tears away.

“Oh my goodness! I just heard. What happened?”

“How did you hear already?”

“Officer Dawson is married to Julie, and she told Susan, who is friends with Kelly, who does my hair. I was in her shop this morning when she got the news. I am so sorry. What can I do? Organize a search party?”

“That’s not a bad idea. It couldn’t hurt.”

“I’ll get on it.”


Sunday Morning

“This is not a typical Sunday morning. First, let me say “Thank you” to everyone who showed up yesterday to search for my daughter, Tamera. I think the whole town showed up.” He tried to muster up a chuckle. “Joanna told me I didn’t have to preach this morning, but I feel I do, if not for anyone else, me. The message is about “faith.” More importantly, how to keep your faith when times are rough. I’m glad God directed me to prepare this message this week. He knew I would need it.

When you have more questions than answers, you lean into God more than ever. You continue to believe what you know about him. And speaking of that, get to know the characteristics of God before you go through a trial, not in the midst of one. You continue to trust that his thoughts and ways are higher than ours.”

Pastor Scott shared the event’s details, but most in attendance had already heard, with it being a small town. Most of the women and a few of the men wiped their eyes in compassion. After the service, everyone in attendance felt the need to love on their pastor and his family by waiting their turn to hug them. To find some words to encourage and support the family. Doing what a church is designed to do.


The rest of the day dragged by for Scott and the family. Scott asked if anyone wanted to talk about what they were feeling, but only a few words were expressed. They all found a comfortable place to curl up and stare into space, eventually falling asleep because the night before it alluded them. They all drifted off, thinking the same things, “What happened to Tamera? Where in the world is she? Did someone take her?


“Car 57. Please see the lady at 422 Oneida Street concerning a missing person.”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

The Disappearance (part 1 – A short story by Mark Brady)

“I love living here,” said Darcy while sitting in Bradys old café sipping her coffee.

“Why’s that?” asked Scott finishing his eggs and toast. He and his cousin Darcy often met for breakfast.

“For one thing, it’s safe. Nothing bad ever happens here. We don’t even lock our front door. And it’s not too big either. You know, people wise.”

“Yeah. And those same people also know you and your business!” exclaimed Scott. “You know the saying, ‘You have a bowel movement in the morning, and by noon, everyone in town knows what color!”

Darcy laughed. Snorting on her coffee. “There is some truth to that.”

“Ya know, I heard the other day that the town of Seneca now has 2000 people. So your little town is getting big time,” said Scott.

“But we still don’t have a Mcdonald’s, so it’s not that big,” responded Darcy quickly.

Scott said, “I like the town’s look, how it sits in a small valley. The hills bordering it make you feel secluded from the world but not alone. And I love how we have two creeks running through town. We could probably do without the train line running through it these days. That would make it quieter. I know it was needed when the town was first developing.”

Scott is thirty years old, has been married to Joanna for fourteen years, and was born in Seneca. He has two children. His daughter, Tamera, is twelve, and his son Luke, is eight. He has been the minister at “First Baptist Church of Seneca” for nine years. He is medium height and has brown hair. His sermons are as firey as his quick-tempered personality. The youngest of six brothers and four sisters. He had to stand firm for his portion of meals and his family’s attention.



“Luke, what is it?” yelled back Scott while trying to locate him inside the house. He found him in his daughter’s room.

“Tamera is missing!”

“She’s probably just hiding from you. She has to be here somewhere.” He looked around his tween’s room. There were posters of Taylor Swift, piles of dirty clothes, books from school, and what little makeup her mother was allowing her to wear.

“Dad, I’ve looked everywhere in her room. I know her hiding spots!”

“Okay. I’m sure she’s around here somewhere. It’s pretty out this morning. Maybe she’s outside.” Trying to reassure his son that there was nothing to worry about.

Scott, too started looking for his daughter everywhere.

“Have you seen Tamera this morning?” Scott asked Joanna, who was in the kitchen making breakfast. She rolled her eyes from top right to top left.

“Come to think of it, I haven’t. I just figured she was still sleeping in her room since it’s Saturday,” Joanna commented.

Joanna turned off the fire from under the eggs and joined the other two, still looking inside and out. At first, the pace wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but panic set in as their search expanded and the big hand on the clock got further into the day.

“Let’s regroup,” ordered Scott. “Everyone into the kitchen. Joanna, why don’t you start calling her friends to see if she is at one of their houses? I’ll re-examine her room to see if there are any clues. Luke, you come help me.”

In Tamera’s room. “Luke, look to see if you can find her phone. I’ll check the closet and her dresser drawers.” In the back of his mind, he was trying to recount if she would have any reason to run away. He couldn’t think of any.

“I found her cell phone. It’s still here, Dad.”

“She doesn’t go anywhere without her phone,” exclaimed Scott. “I’ve asked her many times to leave it at home on Sundays. Somehow she forgets to silence it, and I’m not too fond of it interrupting my sermons. Especially with her ringtone of ‘You Belong With Me.’ Oh goodness, my sermon for tomorrow isn’t done yet.”

Scott checked the windows. They were locked. He returned to the kitchen to check in with Joanna.

“Any luck? Has anyone seen her, or is she at anyone’s house?” Joanna held her finger up to her lips and finished her conversation on the phone.

“Okay. Thank you, and if you see or hear anything, please call us immediately. Yes, by all means, pray,” Joanna said and ended the call.

“Honey, no one has seen or heard from her. The last text messages one of her friends got were around 11:30 PM.,” she said while snuggling into her husband’s arms. Tears begin to flow. “Our daughter has disappeared. I think we should call the police.”

…To be continued…

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

As It Was In the Days of Noah

Photo from the “Ark Encounter” in Williamstown, KY

I just finished posting (scheduling) nine blogs that will cover the month of March. Sorry, no spoiler alerts concerning them, but I will tell you it is a short story titled “The Disappearance.” I will also reveal there are nine parts to the story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have writing it. God is gracious, for it only took nine days to write it. Since they are done in advance, I will focus on finishing my next book, “Ask Flip and Invite.”

But there is one line in the story that I cannot get away from. That line is “as it was in the days of Noah.” I posted that I recently had the opportunity to tour the life-size replica of Noah’s Ark found in Williamstown, Kentucky. So I guess this phrase has been on my mind much longer. What does it mean?

Simply put, before Jesus returns to get his church, the last days on this earth will be as corrupt as when Noah was building the ark.

 “The time of the Son of Man will be just like the time of Noah—everyone carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ship. They suspected nothing until the flood hit and swept everything away. Luke 17: 26-27 (MSG)

In other words, no one will be thinking about Jesus returning. They will be more interested in satisfying their desires and doing what pleases them. Or taking care of business, striving to survive inflation, corrupt politicians, and making a buck.

I hope and pray you do not allow yourself to get caught up in this life but focus on seeking the kingdom of God. Doing so will serve you well.

Prayer: God, help us to stay focused on you. Knowing that we are your children and you take care of your children because your word says that you know what we have need of. Instead, Father, may we rather spread your love and the message of your saving grace. Thank you, God. Amen.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.

Nine Lives?

Photo by: Marko Blazevic

They say cats have nine lives, and in some weird cases, that may be true, but a man?

“I have fallen off two roofs, maybe three, I can’t remember. I was digging a hole for a tank, and I hit a transmission line. I was lying on the ground about forty-five feet away when I woke up. A witness said there were lots of sparks and I should have died. Then there was the time I was involved in a vehicle accident where my truck went off the road and landed in some trees thirty feet above the ground,” said a man I had recently met.

I was shocked and amazed, and my reaction showed it. Then he said there had been several other times he probably shouldn’t have survived. The phrase of having “nine lives” was spoken. I sensed the Holy Spirit, and I said. “Man! God really must love you because your life has been spared so many times!”

“I don’t know about that.” He said.

“Well, do you have a personal relationship with God?”


I then explained how one could have a personal relationship with God by asking His Son, Jesus, into their heart. How doing so would forgive them of their sin and wrongdoing. He squirmed and acted like he didn’t want to hear this. Then I felt as though he thought if he accepted Jesus into his life, he would have to change his behavior. I explained to him that getting to know God is the best thing to do. Start loving Him back. I mentioned how a relationship with God was not about “rules” or “do’s and don’ts.”

 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16-18 (MSG)

I went on to explain that everyone will die once, not nine times. Then they will be standing before God giving an account of how they lived their life. I explained how if one has accepted Jesus, they will continue that loving relationship with God for eternity in heaven. Or they will be forever separated from God’s presence in hell if they have not. He said he was a good man, and I agreed that he was. But I then informed him that our good doesn’t forgive us of our wrongs. That is why we needed Jesus. How Jesus was a perfect sacrifice for sin when He died on the cross.

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation. Heb. 9:27-28 (MSG)

He then told me that he had to return to the project he was working on. My heart was broken knowing how much God loves us all. He simply wants us to receive His love and have a great relationship with him. Before we finished our conversation, I told him that he had heard the truth and there was no way he would ever be able to tell God, “No one told me!” Now you have been told as well.

Prayer: God, may everyone receive your love and your Son, Jesus, into their life. May they experience that love in all areas of their life. May they feel your love and go tell others so that no one will perish but have everlasting life with you.

Copyright © 2023 Mark Brady. All rights reserved.