Missing or Not? by Jenna Perry

She heard the loud footsteps getting closer, the creeks in the walls, and her own heart beating. Alone in her room, she did not have anywhere to hide. She was terrified of what was going to happen next. The lights were off. She heard her bedroom door open, and she saw a black shadow that seemed oddly familiar, but she could not make out who it was. The shadow moved closer as she inched herself to her headboard. The structure of its body was one she had seen before. The mysterious “it” had loud stomps as it made its way to the foot of her bed. It grabbed her and dragged her from the bed. Her head hit the cold hard floor. She fought to get away but was grabbed from behind. Her mouth was duct taped. She could not scream for help, and she could not get away from the force it was putting upon her. She was dragged outside and thrown into the back seat of a black car, which again, seemed recognizable. 

Her thoughts were going faint and her vision blurry. The car stopped and the doors locked. The shadow turned around, flipped on the lights of the car, and took off her duct tape. There was also someone in the passenger seat. Finally, she realized who it was..

“Why are you doing this?” 

“We have reasons that you will not understand. Unbuckle your seatbelt and get out of the car, slowly.”

She heard the doors unlock. Was this her time to get away? Before she could think twice, she heard, “If you try to escape or scream, you will not like the results.”

She got out of the car and they grabbed her arms and guided her towards what looked like an abandoned building. When they got in the building it smelled musty and rotten and there were rodents crawling everywhere. Her anxiety was getting worse, and she did not feel like she could take it anymore. 

“LET ME GO!!” 

“Stop screaming! I told you that you would not like the consequences.” 

“I can’t take it anymore! What are you going to do to me? Why are you doing th-”

Before she could finish her sentence, she was thrown down a set of stairs and her body slammed on a slab of concrete. She stopped breathing. No heartbeat. No pulse. 

“We need to take her body somewhere safe.” 

“I know where to take it, no one will ever find it. We will be safe. We will be okay.”

Two days after this incident occurred, the girl’s friends started to worry where she was. She did not show up to school or cheer practice, so they went to her house to check on her. 

“Hi, Mrs. Reed, is Stella home? She didn’t show up to school or practice yesterday or today and she isn’t answering her phone.”

“Uhm, actually she is upstairs sick, and she got her phone taken away on Sunday.”

“Oh okay, tell her we hope she feels better.”

They walked away with a suspicion. Mrs. Reed lied because Stella had never gotten her phone taken away, but they went on their way. 

Two more days had passed and still not a thing from Stella, so her friends went to the police station and told them what was going on. 

“Our friend Stella hasn’t been to school in four days and she hasn’t reached out to any of us. We talked to her mom, but she was very short.”

“Stella Reed?”

“Yes.”

“Her parents came in and filed a Missing Person Report earlier this morning.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Reed?”

“Yes, they said they hadn’t seen her since Sunday, and she wasn’t answering her phone.”

“What the heck, none of this is adding up.”

“We will send a search team out within the next couple hours.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Two weeks later and no signs of Stella anywhere. The police had nothing to go off of and there was no evidence of anything.

            “Seven-teen year old girl, Stella Reed, went missing on Sunday, January 4. Whereabouts are unknown. If anyone has any information about this, please contact the Micah County Police station.” The news report was out. 

2020, Fifteen years later

It had been fifteen years and four months since the “mysterious” case of Stella Reed. All investigations had stopped, and it seemed as if she was forgotten. Mr. and Mrs. Reed had been living their life and spending their time peacefully at home. Until they got a phone call. 

“Hello?”

Mr. Reed heard heavy breathing.

“Hello? Who is this?”

“Stella.”

*Drops phone*

“Honey, who is it?”

With no response, Mrs. Reed picks up the phone. 

“Hello? Hello?”

The line disconnected.

After hours of pondering the situation they figured it was just a prank from an inconsiderate asshole. As they finally laid down for the night, the phone rang again. Mr. Reed answered with fear.

“How could you? Why did you do this to me?”

“Stella? What? No way!”

Again, the line disconnected. 

These phone calls continued for a week. The same thing over and over. Mr. and Mrs. Reed had started to believe this was not just a prank, but how? After that week of phone calls there started being weird noises wandering the Reed house. Mr. Reed was taking a shower and he heard a big boom come from outside the door. He quickly got out and looked and there was nothing there. When Mrs. Reed got home from work later that day, she had thought her husband was in the garage working on something because she heard a bang. She then saw him lying on the couch taking a nap. 

“Babe! Wake up! Someone is in the garage!” 

“The garage??”

“Yes, I heard a loud noise.”

Mr. Reed got up and walked slowly towards the garage. As soon as he got to the door, he also heard a bang. He opened the door and there she was. Stella, standing there in plain sight. 

“You thought you could get away with this didn’t you?”

“How? What?” Mr. and Mrs. Reed were in complete shock. They thought this had to be a dream. Stella took a few steps closer to them and they jumped back. They thought their daughter was dead for fifteen years now, and she is standing in front of them. 

“You thought that I was dead the night you threw me off the stairs. You are monsters.”

“We had reasons, Stella.”

The three looked at each other for a while, trying to grasp what was going on. Stella demanded they turn themselves in for what they did to her. After hours of persuading, they did. They had realized that what they did was not worth the reasons they had to do it for. 

“We would like to turn ourselves in for what we did to our child, Stella Reed.”

“Stella Reed?The one that went missing back in 1995?”

“Yes, my husband and I threw her down a set of stairs and we hid her body because we thought she was dead. She somehow returned today and we decided it was best for us to turn ourselves in for her to get the closure she needs.”

Mr. and Mrs. Reed were sentenced to life in prison a month later. March of 2035, Mrs. Reed committed suicide in her jail cell. That night, Mr. Reed was laying in his cell and he heard, in a faint voice, “we are both coming now, you will have more consequences for what you’ve done.”

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