MISSING

Detective Dirk Blanch had dark spots for eyes that looked like black buttons.   Dirk thought of himself as a rehash of all the detective stereotypes he’d seen in old TV soaps. “Every stereotype needs a case,”  he mused out loud, “and thanks to the stranger wearing a dark mask he had a doozy,  the case of Suzy Sunspot.

Dirk had been working the case for quite awhile with no end in sight, but thanks to the stranger in the mask he was being paid handsomely for his efforts.

Suzy was a happy child who disappeared.   There were no witnesses, but plenty of clues.   It was reported that Suzy had been fearful on the day she disappeared.   Friends said her fear was irrational because she had been so happy the day before when she won the rope-skipping contest.  Dirk surmised the child was suffering from mood swings.   Friends said she feared for her life which was odd because everyone loved little Suzy Sunspot.

On further investigation Dirk discovered Suzy had experienced several weeks of perfect tranquility before her bout of irrational fears.   Evidently she decided to get what she always wanted:  a complete makeover.   She decided to become the person she always wanted to be; what’s more, she decided to do it on her own without the help of Doveena, the Goddess of Transformation worshipped by the Woo-Woo Tribe in Ojai, California.

For several weeks Dirk was distracted by the theme music from the film Rocky.  He instinctively knew the music had something to do with his case.   It was the lynchpin, but he had to decipher the meaning.

The case was a puzzle: whatever happened to little Suzy Sunspot? Johnny Atropos, a weasel of an informer, told Dirk that Suzy had been obsessed. Johnny sold hormone pills in the neighborhood park.   Kids were finding new ways to get high.  Suzy was a customer.   She told Johnny she needed the pills to become a better person.  She was obsessed with an idea.   The weasel thought she was obsessed with perfection.   Johnny made one last confession as he slithered back into the hole from which he came.   He said Suzy hit him, gave him a black eye.   She was angry because he ran out of the “stuff,” her special medication.

Dirk thought Suzy was Bipolar.   She went through so many changes in the last few weeks before her disappearance.

Detective Blanch had a breakthrough in the case when the stranger in the mask confided that Suzy always dreamed of getting away from the big city. She dreamed of going to a small town like Ojai where people could just be who they wanted to be.    She had a favorite movie that reminded her of Ojai, The Holy Mountain directed and written by Alejandro Jodorowsky.   Ojai was her holy mountain.

Dirk did not take the information lightly.   Why did the stranger withhold so many important facts until now?  Dirk, at wits end, was about to lambaste the masked man, but he was too late – the stranger was gone.

The detective found Ojai to be an enticing village nestled in the mountains above Santa Barbara.   The town was populated with hippies, gurus, and members of the Woo-Woo Tribe.  Dirk wafted through clouds of marijuana smoke that hung over the town park.  He was entranced by the pearlescent color of the smoke.  He thought he might be high.  He had visions of angels dancing on the pin of his head when, at last, he discovered Suzy Sunspot.  She never really disappeared …  She was alive and well, hiding within Dirk Blanch.  She was his inner child.  The masked stranger was his shadow self. Dirk Blanch had discovered The Holy Mountain.  He felt like Rocky and he heard music in his head.

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