Guided by prompts from WDC blogging challenges... and of course, life
This is a collection of writings prompted by WDC blogging challenges from "Journalistic Intentions" , "Blogging Circle of Friends " , "30-Day Blogging Challenge" and, well, life.
|November 4, 2021
Prompt: We've all heard of people who mysteriously 'go missing'. Tonight, write about a person who 'goes missing'. Someone that you read about in the newspaper or online, but nobody seems to know them, or remember them.
I remember the kids on the milk cartons from back when I was in school. My parents had me scared to death that if I talked to strangers or went off on my own in the city, I could possibly become one of those kids. The Missing. But what happened in my world didn't involve me directly. One of my friends, we'll call her PJ, went missing, along with the rest of her family. It wasn't a case of moving away. PJ left school one Friday and never came back. School officials said that neither she nor her siblings had been withdrawn. Their mother and step-father couldn't be contacted. No one from the area heard from the family again - until I ran into her again some twenty-odd years later in an entirely different part of the massive state of Texas.
I asked her what had happened to her and her family. Asked why no one had heard from them for so long. She relayed to me that her step-dad and mother had joined a "new church" near Waco Texas, the Branch Davidians; and the family was instructed to leave their former lives to move into the church compound. She told me of how crazy life was at the compound. How the families were separated so that the women and girls slept in a different part of the compound than the men and boys. Remembering the stand-off at Mount Carmel and how it ended, I asked her how she got out of there. She told me that they weren't prisoners there. They could leave at any time. But they believed the stories Koresh was telling them were actual prophesies. Her parents turned a blind eye to the fact Koresh and some of the other men were abusing the kids. Thought it was the actual will of God that all the women become Koresh's wives. That is, until PJ had her first feminine cycle and Koresh deemed her ready to become one of his wives. She said her mom and step-dad had a huge fight about it - her mom refusing to allow Koresh to "claim" PJ while her step-dad urged her to allow it - and so they parted ways. Her mom left the compound and took PJ, her little sister, and any of the other siblings who wanted to leave.
They got out in January 1993, the siege began in February. But PJ said her mom was afraid for her safety and that of PJ and the two siblings that left the compound with her, so they moved to an area of Texas where no one knew them. And that's where we met again. In a trailer park in a small town in Texas, many miles and hours from Waco and the insanity that happened there. I didn't recognize her, then again we were no longer kids. It was she who recognized me; happy to have found a friend from "the before times." We visited on and off for the next year before she went on her way again. I think maybe she doesn't want people from back home, or from Waco, to know where she is. Maybe she feels safer that way.