A Secret Grave 26: Victor Disappears

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With what appeared to be a considerable effort, Caroline put Victor out of her mind and focused on the music. She did not look at him again, not even once, but throughout the remainder of the concert she appeared tense and the color that had drained from her face did not return. The minute the music was over and the players had taken their bows, she fled. I don’t think she even took time to pack up her cello and struggle with it to her car. She must’ve told the hosts she’d come back for it later because as soon as I was out of my seat she was gone. So was Victor. I looked around the room for him, easily recognizable in his white suit, but not a sign, not a glimpse. When I looked out the window, the street was empty, not a vestige of either of them – they both seemed to have disappeared though whether singly or together I’d never know.

At the time it seemed like just one of those things. I got sidetracked by conversation and didn’t think of either one of them again. I was no longer seeing Victor on a regular basis. In fact, I probably hadn’t seen him in two months when he showed up at the concert and so it was awhile before I realized his practice had shut down and he was gone for good. Margot called to tell me, all in a flap. “Victor’s closed his office!” Her voice sounded like someone had died.

“You know that for a fact?”

“Yes, his phone’s disconnected, the doors are locked. I went over there in person. And I spoke to Betsy Shapiro, his landlady – we’re on a committee together – and she said he vanished with everything but the dog. How weird is that?”

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Abandoned 5

the mayor of delaney woods, dee & tula monstah, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Pretty weird, I had to agree.

“What am I gonna do about weight loss now?” she wailed. “Victor’s the only person who’s ever been able to help me.”

I had to ditto that thought. Victor had removed arthritic pain from my hands, had fixed a back problem and opened the way for me to start a whole new life as a painter. No one would ever make me feel as good as I did lying on his table, that indescribable energy that seemed to flow straight from his fingers into every nerve cell and fiber of my body, producing a hum of well-being unlike anything I’d ever experienced. If it was true that he’d closed his practice, that was a big loss.

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IMG_5845

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Looking back on it now, I realize the last time I ever saw Victor was at that house concert. He must’ve run out into the street after Caroline. What happened then? Did they get into a fight? Did he force her into his car? Did they drive off together? Was she in some way responsible for his disappearance and possible death? And what about this: If Mercer is in fact Victor’s son, and not Joe’s as everyone believes, then Caroline, who would want to hide her secret, looks awfully suspicious.

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A Secret Grave Mystery Characters

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I can’t exactly pose that question to Caroline directly. What I’ve decided to do is gage her reaction to Victor’s portrait which will be on display at the dreaded exhibit at my house on October sixth. I say “dreaded” because I’m still not ready.

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To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ Abandoned, eflon, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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