Local Family Searches “Literally Everywhere” for Missing Mother

I seem to be in the middle of a prolonged writing slump, so I’m going through my portfolio to share some of my favorite posts from other outlets. This Ruby Grace piece was originally written for MockMom.


 

standing in grass, looking between his knees

Durham, NC – Authorities were alerted Sunday night to the disappearance of frazzled mother, Ruby Grace. Last seen carrying a load of laundry to the basement, her family became concerned when dinner failed to appear as if by magic.

“There wasn’t a single thing to eat in the entire house,” moaned Grace’s husband, Dylan Ripley. He reenacted this harrowing realization by blankly staring into the fully-stocked fridge. “It was awful.”

The family initially assumed she had stepped out to run errands, though they were unsure what might need to be purchased. This was followed by discussion that perhaps she was out for the evening, though nobody thought to check her calendar. Ripley briefly wondered if she was off having one of her “mommy timeouts,” but when the wine levels stayed steady, the concern intensified.

Claiming the family had “looked absolutely everywhere,” Ripley called 9-1-1.

“I was going to wait until morning, but I wasn’t sure what Eliza needed for school, where we keep the sandwich bags, what to pack for the baby, or basically anything.”

Ripley said he “really freaked” when, in a moment of self-proclaimed brilliance, he finally looked at Grace’s calendar and discovered several cryptic reminders for the next day. “There were ambiguous entries like ‘Eliza, dentist, 2:30,’ ‘pay water bill,’ and ‘don’t forget soccer cleats.’ We have soccer cleats? What does it all mean?”

Sitting with both shoes actually on her feet, Grace and Ripley’s daughter Eliza wondered aloud how she would ever find her shoes.

Frustration mounted when the couple’s infant son, Arlo, threw his crackers on the floor. Despite searching the entire area directly in front of their faces, the broom was nowhere to be found.

Three police officers responded to the call, agreed they did not see Grace anywhere, and decided it best to wait for her to find herself.

Grace’s close friend and fellow mother, Carolyn Shinerman, received a text message late Sunday night letting her know of the situation. Within ten minutes she walked into the house and headed straight down the basement stairs, where she found Grace wearing her husband’s virtual reality headset and sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor.

“I asked her what she was doing, and she told me she was sitting in a virtual room. A clean, quiet room where nobody was asking her for anything,” explained Shinerman. “I immediately put two virtual quarters down and asked for a turn.”

After reemerging and retrieving the broom from the aptly named broom closet, Grace noted that nobody had actually bothered to check the basement — the place she was last seen.

Ripley said he is grateful for everyone who has reached out during this difficult time. “Several news stations have called. I don’t want to brag, but I’ve heard the word ‘hero’ thrown around more than once. I was even prepared to go grocery shopping if Ruby hadn’t shown back up.”

Wine levels have reportedly dropped since Grace learned her husband is being publicly congratulated for (contemplating) the same shit she does every single day.

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