“New Hampshire Girl, 11, Vanishes,” by William Reichard
It couldn’t literally happen like that, but language is imprecise, so the girl disappears in a flash, the way a magician’s assistant disappears, then rematerializes, on the other side of the auditorium. Or the girl disappears under supernatural circumstances, vanishes in real time before our very eyes, out of this dimension. Because energy never ceases to exist, she must be someplace, another world, an alternate plane, a space of which we don’t yet possess an adequate understanding. The New Hampshire girl’s family lives in willful disbelief. Despite what the police say, they won’t give up. Why should they? Isn’t hope better than knowledge?
My sister, who is terminally ill, was selected from the audience by a famous illusionist for a part in his act. He caused her to vanish from one box and brought her back in another. He made her promise never to reveal the secrets of his trick. So far, she has not. One day, she’ll disappear again, and we’ll know, despite our grief, that she’ll never return. They never do. She won’t give up her secret, but we’ll refuse that silence, go on looking.
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