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Tales of the lost souls and the relentless search for truth

For this edition our creative writing brief was: Write a story or a poem in a genre of your choice to go with the title “The Missing Person”. This is our winning entry by Molly-Ann Reeves from partner school Lutterworth College.

“Please help me. Please, I’ve looked everywhere for you. Can you find my wife? And then my brother, he’s missing too. And then my sister. My friend, my cousin.”

“Find them. Find them, won’t you?”

That’s what they say to me. I’ve memorised the speech.

You barge into my office. Say that you have been through Hell and back to find me. [The cold air was so harsh, you’re pale with fright and terror from the journey you’ve managed to overcome.]  You order me around, chatter on about nonsense for hours, waste my time. You are not doing them any good.

You say how dear they were to you and how the sky has fallen now that they are gone. I know.

I know that’s how you feel, I’ve heard it all before. And I’ve seen it all before, too. Believe me (I know you won’t).

My cases are usually beyond what most can comprehend. I have dealt with cases of people who are alive, these are the more joyful times that make me proud of what I do. Then I have dealt with cases of people who are dead. That’s when I remember I can’t afford to have ‘joyful times’ in the first place. I have even dealt with people who fall into both categories at the same time, because not even I have managed to save them.

Although none stick out, if I’m brutally honest I don’t care, because little actually surprises me now. I have been around for a very, very long time. I’ve practically given up. No matter what I say, it seems nobody can be warned. I think it’s time people learned to move on.

Over the years I’ve convinced myself that it’s alright for people to believe in what is undoubtedly false. But they are relentlessly hopeful. When they think I can’t hear, they whisper prayers and wishes. I’m quite sure they don’t work, but they do encourage me to try a little harder at my job. I suppose I do find them pitiful. And I hate pity.

But have they ever considered that the person missing is actually themselves? Instead of weeping at the truth, they should use it to drive them. Perhaps do something good. Tear away the mask of sadness and replace it with hope for a better life moving forward. I say that to them. Sometimes. But I don’t think that anybody listens to me. My job is to find, not console, after all. So that’s what I do.

I am The Missing Person.

Yes, I’ve had many titles over time, but that one is my favourite. I’m not a detective. That line of work, I believe, is far beneath me. But I am also not a miracle worker either.

Some people are not meant to be found. Yet it’s remarkable how hopeful my clients are. I find it admirable. I wish I could be like that. However, with a job like this I think it best to remain stoic. When I start to feel things, it gets in the way.

Sometimes, though, something happens. Sometimes as I listen to their stories and dreams, see the longing on their faces, a single fact lingers in the back of my mind: Humans struggle to face the truth.

And when too many people go missing, that’s what I think will be the end of them – of humans.

Please note: All articles written by young people are fictional in nature and nothing is to be taken as fact.
By Molly-Ann Reeves, Lutterworth College
Photo credit: cottonbro studio via Pexels

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