The Missing Woman Who Wasn’t

“Mystery is at the heart of creativity.  That, and surprise.”
– Julia Cameron

How’s that for a title, piglets?  Doesn’t that just thrill your soul?  Aren’t you just mad afire to solve this Agatha Christie sounding mystery?  Are you already twirling your Poirot-ish mustache and cracking your knuckles, ready to pounce and out the murderer, find the money, unmask the fiend, and kick up your heels after with a glass of port and the knowledge of a mystery tidily wrapped up?

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint because this, my enterprising sleuths, is about the silliest, least exciting, and yet most perplexing case I’ve yet to be a part of.

It all started when a young traveler coming in from China to our campus went missing.  I was called into a meeting where very many men in smart suits were sitting dourly at a table with our police officers.  They represented various university and otherwise organizations and they had misplaced a young woman.  Or rather, after flying into the country she had misplaced herself.

We're on it!

My duty in all of this was the fulfillment of dreams spawned from watching illogical cop dramas – I got to fill out the white board!  I traced timelines, physical descriptions, suspicions, all of it.  There was talk of embassies, visas, the FBI, human trafficking, slavery, kidnapping, scandal!  They shipped investigators all over, avoided the media, and formulated theories like champs.

And it turns out, that after flying all the way here, going through the visa process, paying for her trip, she got here, got cold feet, and turned right around and went back to China.  With narry an scorned heiress, missing fortune, or diabolical butler to be seen.

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