Jason Lawrence Bell
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07-04-19 Missing Progressive


‘However, we can find her, we need to do so soon. Time is running out and we are losing our window for happy endings,’ reminded the lead agent for Search and Rescue. It had been two days since they began their search and three days since the last sighting of the Freshman Congress Woman Sonya Wright. She had been in office as the Connecticut U.S. House Representative for six months, when she went missing during a day hike thru the local mountain range. Sonya was an expert nature survivalist with skills learned from her Explorer Scout training and three years in the military as a ground specialist. So, the searchers knew if she was unhurt, she could probably last for weeks in the mountains. But because she hadn’t made contact, they weren’t too optimistic.

Sonya was the youngest member of Congress and probably the most out spoken. Climate Change was her urgent concern. She deeply believed the scientific research and felt urgent action was vital to save the planet. But her first day at Congress was her rude awakening. She met other Congress Representatives that stubbornly had their own agendas and saw Climate Change as only one of hundreds of issues that needed attention. This amazed Sonya. The level of ignorance and inability to see the one single most important issue of our time, was frightening and depressing to her. She saw them as arranging chairs on the Titanic.

Now Sonya had disappeared. The news media has followed her story very closely. They began showing her Climate Change speeches on the news. In a short three days Sonya had become a national figure with a huge following of supporters building rapidly. Then there was a strange sighting of Sonya at the Mississippi River. Apparently, some witnesses swore they saw Sonya alone in a small boat going down the Mississippi river in the flooded area. She was supposedly passing out fliers and one witness had a flier to show the media.

The flier detailed the historic river flooding due to unprecedented rain fall. It included scientific research that showed this was only the beginning of future destruction by flooding. Police searched the area but could not find anyone that resembled Sonya in Mississippi.

Then came another witness from Alabama, who told how he meet Sonya at a barn in the farm lands. Sonya was again handing out fliers. The barn had become one of hundreds of cases where super-size Wasp nests have been found. With the warmer winters the wasp nests don’t die out from the cold as usual. The nests kept growing to huge sizes and threatened the local population with overly aggressive wasps. The flier that the witness showed the news reporters, was a scientific report on the changes in insects with warming climates. The report warned of parts of the state becoming unlivable due to insect infestations. But again no one could find the person who passed out the fliers or Sonya.

It had been a week since Sonya’s disappearance. Non-stop, the media had covered her search and the sightings. She had quickly become a fascinating figure to the public. The bloggers were either calling her an activist who was faking her disappearance to push her cause, or a folk hero who deserved respect. A larger group began reacting to global warming by demanding action. Everyone had an opinion. Then came Alaska.

A witness actually had a photograph of a woman standing on the last piece of ground of Hopper Island. The island was originally about 10 square miles, but today because of rising ocean levels the island was now about 20 square feet. The photo showed from a distance a woman standing alone on the remaining island. The photo was shot too far away to see the woman’s face, but the witness was certain she was Sonya. When authorities returned to the island with the witness, there was no one on the island. They found a single sheet of paper held down by a small rock left on the island. It was a copy of the now famous picture of the polar bear standing on a small piece of glacier broken from the arctic crumbling glaciers. This gave the media and bloggers new issues to report and discuss.

The searchers in Connecticut were getting worried. They had found a camp site with items left behind that looked like Sonya’s belongings. And there was bloodied clothing. Sonya may be hurt and unable to make the trip out of the mountains. They doubled their efforts to find her, though hope was fading.

But the sightings continued. There was a Florida witness at the Keyes who saw a woman passing out fliers. The fliers explained how insurance companies were no long selling property insurance for homes and businesses in hurricane and flood areas. This resulted in banks calling in home loans that they no longer could insure. Home owners were helpless with property values falling. Again, the woman with the fliers couldn’t be found afterward.

The news media with their constant reports on Climate Change were putting pressure on Congress to act. Even Republicans were feeling the heat. By the time Sonya was missing for 3 weeks, there were 10 different bills in the House and Senate. The nation’s attention had become focused on immediate action to combat Global Warming. The American citizens had finally awoken, and were demanding results.

However, the Connecticut Search and Rescue, after 4 weeks concluded that they had tried their hardest and were discontinuing the search for Sonya. The nation was saddened by the thought of losing their young hero. Many of the bills passed thru Congress for Climate Change were named after her. America was finally making the effort toward a solution, if a solution was possible and hopefully not too late.

Sonya was never seen again, though her legacy and person had grown to super hero status. 60 Minutes, the news show, did a special on Sonya. The conclusion was that her historic influence over the awareness of a nation was only possible because she was a missing person. Her values became part of the nation’s consciousness thru her absence. The strengthen of her message was amplified thru the vacuum that she left. Yet we as a nation felt the frustration of having a hero who was no longer with us, and we had lost our opportunity to properly say ‘thank you.’ Peace***