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“New Hampshire Girl, 11, Vanishes,” by William Reichard

Magic Wand Sketch

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.

About the Author:

William Reichard is a writer, editor, and educator. He’s published five poetry collections. He lives in Saint Paul, MN.

Image Credit: © Kreatiw – stock.adobe.com

Micro-chap preview: Caitlin Scarano’s “Pitcher of Cream”

Caitlin Scarano’s micro-chap, Pitcher of Cream, will be released at the 2016 AWP Conference in Los Angeles. You can get a FREE copy and have it signed by the author at our table (#1238) on Thursday, March 31st from 3:00pm to 4:00pm.

Below, you can see a sneak peak of this 6″ x 6″ micro-chapbook (not so “micro” depending on your definition). Caitlin’s story won our 2015 Flash Fiction Contest, judged by Laura Ellen Joyce. It was also recently selected for inclusion in The Best Small Fictions 2016 (forthcoming from Queen’s Ferry Press) by guest editor Stuart Dybek.

This micro-chapbook was produced as a limited-run publication. There are only 50 copies available. Each copy will be signed and numbered. We expect these to go fast (as a general rule, people love free stuff), so be sure to show up right at 3:00pm if you want a copy! Find information about all our AWP book signings here.