Margaret’s vacation with her parents in Paris had thus far been uneventful, when one day flyers for a missing girl started popping up all over the city.
The girl was blonde, had a birthmark the size of a dime on her forehead, and wore distinct cat eye glasses. Her name was Lisette and she was seventeen. Margaret’s age. Lisette had gone missing a week earlier, near the Eiffel Tower.
Margaret and her parents spent the next few days sightseeing around the city. They had visited The Louvre and The Arc de Triomphe earlier in the week. The next couple of days were devoted to Versailles, the Moulin Rouge, and eating at nice restaurants and cafes.
Throughout the whole trip, however, Margaret was distracted by the image of Lisette, the missing girl. Margaret and Lisette didn’t really look like each other. But they did both have the same taste in eye glasses.
Margaret and her parents had saved the best sight for last: The Eiffel Tower.
When they got there, Margaret’s mom encouraged her to go off on her own and take some pictures. Mom and Dad would sit at a bench nearby and rest, since they had just walked all the way from Napoleon’s Tomb.
Margaret found a suitable spot in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. She positioned her camera to take a selfie. Click click click.
Moments later, she checked the photos she had just taken. Margaret gasped.
In the background of each photo was a familiar face. Blonde. Birthmark. Cat eye glasses. It was Lisette. Terrified.
Margaret scanned her surroundings. No sign of Lisette. Margaret walked in the direction of where Lisette had been in the photos. Still, nothing.
For some reason, Margaret had the urge to take another selfie on this new spot. She took another selfie and looked at the resulting photo.
There she was again: Lisette, in the background. This time, she was closer than in the previous spot. It looked like she was waving her arms. “Is she telling me to come over?” Margaret thought. “I have to help her."
Margaret continued to take selfies and check where Lisette was in the background. Margaret felt like she was getting warmer and warmer. With each new selfie, each new position, Lisette — arms still waving — got nearer. She had almost found Lisette.
Margaret positioned her camera one more time to take a selfie. But this time, she didn’t have to take it. Lisette appeared on her viewfinder, right behind her shoulder. Margaret spun towards her.
“You’re the missing girl!” said Margaret.
“You shouldn’t have come!” Lisette responded in heavily accented English. “I tried to warn you! Now you’ve disappeared!”
Margaret started to ask what Lisette meant, but then she heard her parents calling for her. She turned her head towards their voices. Mom and Dad were about a hundred feet away, walking closer.
“Right here, Mom! Dad” Margaret yelled. “I’ve found the missing girl—“
Margaret turned to where Lisette had been standing. She was gone. Margaret looked around and saw no sign of her.
“Margaret! Where are you?” Mom called out.
Margaret quickly took out her phone and took a bunch of selfies from all angles. She checked: Lisette was no longer in the background of any of the photos.
“Margaret! Where did you go?” Dad yelled.
“I’m right here!” she yelled out to them. “Mom! Dad!”
They were just five feet away now. There was no way they couldn’t see or hear her.
Margaret waved her arms at them, but couldn’t get any closer. She tried calling them but the phone wouldn’t work.
But Mom and Dad didn’t hear her. No one could hear her.
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