Catching the Invisible
Fictional Short Short by Gabrielle Lang
At first, they just thought kids weren’t showing up to school, playing hookey. They kept marking us absent. Then you’d hear a voice screaming, “I’m here, I’m right here!” like a ghost was in the room. And it was like being a ghost in a room. No one could see you but you could see everything.
People treated me different after I caught the invisibility. I mean, I wasn’t the first to catch it. It’s been going around Crestwood High School like the flu usually does when the weather turns over into Fall and shit starts to die. Casey Carmichael was the first to catch it. He always had a lot of environmental allergies and got sick, like, at least once every season, I guess that made him more susceptible to it. No one was surprised Casey was out sick again, but then he actually wasn’t “out” sick at all. He was right there.
No one knows what started it really. The news says that Scientists out in California are trying to make a cure for it by testing blood samples, but I don’t see how they would know where to start. Invisible blood is hard to keep track of. The vials all look empty. And they can’t be sure that there’s anything in them, but they flick them, trying to hear the blank fluid flow and shake against the glass rims.
At first being invisible was kind of cool. I could cut class and wander the hallways when classes got boring. The teachers eventually caught on to that though and starting calling on the invisibles a lot more than anyone else just to make sure they were still in the room. The school tried issuing laminated badges for us to wear but it didn’t help any. Parents got pretty pissed about that, they kept calling the school to complain that that their kids were being singled out just because they’re sick. It was pretty funny for awhile though, all those floating nametags roaming the hallways. Then, the invisibles started switching badges for fun and it just confused the teachers even more, so that only lasted a week.
It was pretty cool to eavesdrop on a lot of good gossip too. At lunch, I would jump around from table to table and just listen in. Found out that Mariann Kinney and Jenna Ryan make out for fun sometimes and that Matt Brown hooked up with a college-age girl last weekend. Of course, it got a bit awkward when they overheard your breathing over their shoulders.
I could show up butt naked class and no one would have any clue. At first I could pull ghosts pranks on people too, I could shake their curtains and turn on their televisions all of a sudden. I got some of my neighbors good. But, once everyone knew about the disease, the fun was over.
Then being invisible just got annoying. People smack into you a lot. “Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there” they’d say, and then laugh like it was some kind of hilarious pun. I had to quit the soccer team because it wasn’t fair that no one could see me. Just a ball being kicked around itself.Someone would walk in on you taking a shit in the bathroom and sit right on your lap. Happened to me twice and once was my own mother. I guess that’s what I get for forgetting to lock shit but I’m getting adjusting to it. I tried asking Amber Nolan to homecoming but she said no because she wanted to be able to take pictures with her date. She also didn’t want to slow dance in front of everyone with just herself and her arms wrapped around an empty space. Plus, she couldn’t remember if I was cute before the invisible.
I started dousing myself in my dad’s musky cologne so that people could just smell when I’m around. “Oh, smells like Jason’s here” my friends started saying. I was beginning to think they’d forgotten me. And that’s the worst part of it, if they can’t see you, they just forget about you and move on while you’re standing right there, watching it all happen. No one could see you but you could see everything.
Original Fiction Short Story by Gabrielle Lang
I figured that I would make my post today a little different. I haven’t posted any fiction pieces of mine on here yet so here’s a short short by me, which I came up with by channeling Gabriel García Márquez’s spirit of Magical Realism. I started to think of magical elements that could be brought to life. I thought of super powers. Why does everybody want to be invisible? Would it be the best or worst thing ever? If people can’t see you, sense your presence, do you really exist anymore? The more you think about it, the more bizarre it gets. Invisibility as a disease, treated like a disability instead of a super power? What would the human race depend on if everyone became pretty functional, yet invisible to one another? An epidemic of invisiblity. The more I think about it, the more I want to explore this idea and make this into a magical realism novel.
What are your guys thoughts on my piece? What do you think about invisibility as a disease? What do you think about this short short sample of magical realism? I’m open to any suggestions or comments.