Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Anniversary Challenge. All of the stories were outstanding. You are to be commended for your willingness to put your skills on the line in a partnership situation.
As for this weekend's challenge from Trifecta, I think I have linked the three photos up fairly well. However, you may not like the story that goes with them. As soon as I saw the shadow photo, I immediately thought the people involved looked anxious and that the photo had an ominous feel to it. From that photo came the story that you will soon read.
Mia skipped to the slide, stopping to examine the words written on the top step.
"You can fill in the blank with Daddy if you wish," cooed a voice from behind her.
"But, you're not my Daddy" replied Mia. She cautiously turned around then, quickly backed up against the railing. Her words, lost in the man's gloved hands.
The Officer took down her information and contacted headquarters.
"Mia! Her name is Mia!" screamed her Mother.
Another missing child. Another parent who turned their back on their child for just a moment. Another race against time.
The newscaster's expression was duly solemn.
BREAKING NEWS: the remains of a missing 5 year old West Port girl have been discovered in a shallow grave, not far the the park from which she was abducted several weeks ago. Searchers say that they were alerted to the presence of the grave because of unusually high levels of insect activity. Police are asking the public for any information...........
In the days following the discovery of Mia's remains, there was an outpouring of public emotion. Bouquets of flowers, sympathy cards, poems and drawings, the requisite components of public grief, covered the entire bed of peastones that surrounded the play structure from which Mia was taken. For a time, the park served as mecca for the broken-hearted but, as with many things, soon, the crowd of mourners dwindled and, eventually, they stopped coming altogether. The elements weathered the paper tributes. The flowers dried up and blew away. The park stood empty. The playground structure silent; ghostly reminders of innocence stolen.
In a bedroom, far from Rockport, Mia's mother opens her eyes, releasing oceans of sorrow that blot out her sun.
In a still sleeping community, a man sits on a park bench. The early morning sunlight washes over his face. He walks toward the slide. Carefully he unscrews the lid of a glass jar full of white paint. He smiles.