art by Cheryl Owen-Wilson
The Girl with Flowers for Hair
by Elizabeth Shack
Holding the laundry basket, Gina paused in the doorway of Adam's room. It looked just like it had the day he hadn't come home for dinner, though the police had combed it for clues. Five years now. She knew she should turn the room into a guest room, but every time she thought about it, her heart turned to lead.
She hadn't even taken down the drawings of the girl with flowers for hair, though they made her skin crawl. The girl was a flowery Medusa, with bluebells and pink and yellow daisies ringing her head. Adam, a budding eight-year-old artist, had been proud of his crayon creations. He claimed he played with her every day after school. Gina hadn't seen any harm in his imaginary friend until the day Adam didn't come home. The police had dutifully photographed the drawings, but the pretend portraits had been no help.
A door slammed and Gina frowned. Was Charles upset with the lawnmower again?
"I'm home!" a voice she hadn't heard in years called.