The mother was 33 years old and had waited for ten long married years to finally conceive. Together with her husband, The Magician, she was part of an exciting “Disappearing Act” with the local Circus team. “Local” was a misnomer, as they were most of the time traveling from place to place. Many other such teams had a similar act, but she and her husband were the only ones who did not make a mystery of it — anybody could check their paraphernalia, to make sure there were no secret traps or other means of tricking the spectators. She was really disappearing and reappearing on cue and no one could find the secret to this incredible ACT. That was the reason why they were in such high demand and it left little room for thinking about having a family bigger than two.
Now she was living a wonderful dream come true — when she had thought it was no longer an option, she had discovered she was pregnant. The Disappearing Act had not suffered much. Only the armoire in which she entered on the stage in order to perform it, had had to be enlarged to accommodate for her future daughter.
Now she proudly adjusted the head of her bed to be more comfortable when her baby girl would be delivered into her arms. Feeding time was announced by tiny mewlings from tiny infants.
The nurse pushed the cart with the six pink and blue cocoons and started by placing a blue packet in the arms of the first of the mothers on her list. Automatically, she picked the next bundle of joy on the cart and placed it in the next woman’s arms, intent on finishing the job in record time. The poor mites sounded real hungry.
“Nurse,” said the woman holding a blue cocoon back to the nurse, “This is not my baby. Mine is a girl.”
The nurse checked her list — the mother was right. She was holding a blue cocoon though she was listed as mother of a girl. Again, the nurse checked her list, then she checked the cart. There were only three cocoons left out of six, but she had delivered only two. One was missing. She was sure she had had six when she had started on this round, but it seemed that one had disappeared. She ran back to the nurses’ station and announced that a baby was missing, then she ran back and placed the rest of the babies with their respective mothers, including the boy she had mistakenly placed with the wrong woman, then ran back again to check if anybody had found the missing bundle of pink joy…
The Police arrived and started by taking the nurse away for questioning. The mothers in the ward all said they’d seen no one else aside from the nurse with her baby cart.
Security tapes were viewed and nobody could see anything but the nurse coming with the loaded cart, the six babies, and then, after some static interference, only five were left. Even the interference could not be analysed more — just a moment’s shimmer in the video before the mysterious disappearance.
The parents were distraught, the father vocally furious, the mother crying desperately, facing total devastation.
The outside videos could not be interpreted either — too many people kept coming and going, crossing in front of moving or stationary cars, with nothing to point into a clear direction…
The nurse remained the only suspect, but they had to let her go in the end.
It became the event of the year — the baby of the most celebrated couple performing the Disappearing Act had disappeared, vanished without a sign…
Ttime did its duty — a year passed and almost everybody forgot about it except for the parents who, when the next miracle occurred, had the baby at home to insure no repeat could take place.
As for the nurse, she had to leave the hospital under a cloud of suspicion and had to change her specialty from pediatrics to orthopedics in order to survive.