Invisible Smiles

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A gloved hand brushed against pink paint. White chalk dust came away on Victoria’s fingers. Scrawled upon the wall was a smiley face: so crude a child of five could have drawn it. Next to it were a series of lines, like tally marks.

She had seen them before: at the school, at the houses, under the bridge.

“Come on,” Sergeant Brodie grabbed her hand. “We have three missing girls to find.”

Victoria smiled. “And I found them.”

“They drew that?” Brodie looked at the face.

“It’s a symbol,” Victoria said. “Marking meeting places. Safe houses. It’s how they’re communicating to each other.”

“The kidnappers?”

Victoria shook her head. “There are no kidnappers. They ran away. And not just them. It’s a network of runaways and forgotten people, all watching out for each other.” She looked at Brodie. “It’s almost a shame we have to bring them back.”


Word Count: 148

This is for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. Thanks to Priceless Joy for running the challenge and Grant-Sud for providing the prompt photo!

 

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