Knowing of secret exits, trapdoors, fake book shelves opening on unlit stairs, you make your disappearance, leaving only the evidence of retreat, of your Moriarty act: a few breakfast crumbs and a smeared thumbprint. Mugshots were unhelpful. You were disguised or have no record. Neighbors say you live quietly. No newspaper drift on the porch, lights turning on and off regularly. Smiling from a distance you make them believe the blurred outlines. They could swear they know you well. But at my knock you slip mercury sly into empty closets or up the fireplace or watch me as a melting coffee table stain or a formless shadow, a disturbance of air ruffling book pages aimlessly by the window. Others produce ransom notes cut from the Times, scrawl renunciations in red ink, make tearful collect calls. But you have perfected the art of the painless get-away, leav- ing me clueless in the dark, too flesh and aching bone to follow.
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Warren Wedin firstname.lastname@example.org