Thirteen Gone Missing

by , under Fiction Prompts, What Pegman Saw

The FBI ASAC’s office walls were plastered floor to ceiling with maps of the various open serial murder cases scattered across the country. As the local law liaison, only one of them interested me, the map of central Iowa that had most red circles of any in the room, ten. Ten of the thirteen gone missing.

He got up and we shook hands. He offered me coffee, which I accepted.  It was like one of those nature documentaries you see on public television where the bull elk circle each other before getting down the serious business of locking horns.

He was about to bring up the Iowa Hawkeyes playing in the Rose Bowl next week, but I cut him off by walking over and tapping the map. “All this is frozen  now. We expect to find the other three girls, but we can’t dig for them until March or maybe April.”


What Pegman Saw

  1. pennygadd51

    I like the way you portray the tension between the local lawman and the Feds. I like that the local man takes the initiative. Good story, Josh, and thank you for setting the prompt.

  2. k rawson

    “one of those nature documentaries you see on public television where the bull elk circle each other before getting down ” is a superb image. Vivid and crackling with tension.

  3. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    Eric took my comment right out from under my fingers. The bull elk image is a great comparison. Also it struck a nerve. When we moved out to where we are, 10 years ago a young woman had gone missing. There were signs and searches all over Belton. You might have caught the story of Kara Kopetsky on Crime Watch Daily. Then another young lady went missing, most likely murdered by the same little bastard. Kara’s remains were found and ID’d after all these years. I could picture your scene as having taken place here.
    Sorry for my long-winded comment. Said all that to say, good one.



    • J Hardy Carroll

      I read a recent article that said serial murder is seldom solved because the ring of suspects is so vague. One estimate said close to ten thousand murders have gone unpunished. It’s a grim thing for all involved, but it’s fun to write about. I just finished Frederick Busch’s Girls, which touches on this subject. Thanks for the comment!

  4. draliman

    A grim scene. It seems more than just a job to the local, the fed seems to want to just have a chat and then go home.


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