Friday, 21 June 2013

#FridayFlash - The Invisible Man

I've been sitting on the bench in the churchyard for twenty minutes. I always choose this bench - it has a good view of the road so I can watch people coming and going, and for most of the day it's shaded by the bulk of the church behind me. It's a good place to sit and watch the world go by. I've been listening to the birds singing, and watching a young woman take photos of the headstones while her friend stands nearby. I can't hear what he's saying but she's laughing at whatever it is.

It takes me a few moments to realise the girl is coming over. She's not just headed in this direction - she's coming staight at me. Camera phone at the ready, she snaps several photos of me, all the while chattering to her friend about how the images need to go on Instagram, and how they'll make a brilliant photo prompt. I don't even know what a photo prompt is but it doesn't sound like anything I want to be a part of.

She keeps snapping and chatting, but she doesn't even realise she's looking right at me - all she sees is a battered pair of trainers in front of a bench. The girl jokes to her friend about meeting an invisible man and I flinch. She can't know how right she is. I don't find her jokes funny but people have no idea what it's like, trying to get through life without being seen. If it wasn't for self service check outs at the supermarket and automated tellers at the bank I'd be screwed.

Eventually she wanders off, but I can't leave until she's completely out of sight. I curse my decision to wear shoes today as they give me away, but really, would you walk barefoot around your local town centre?

11 comments:

John Wiswell said...

That's a really good point. Going invisible doesn't provide any protection from foot fungus or dog poo. What's funny, though, is the invisible man doesn't mind resting his bare bottom on a public bench, which might actually scare me more!

This was fun, Icy. Perfect length, splendid idea.

Sulci Collective said...

forget the automatic nature of banks and supermarket checkouts, even when faced with human operators in these institutions you may as well be invisible for all the focus they give you durng their servicing of your requests...

marc nash

Tony Noland said...

I don't think I'll again be able to look at a vacant pair of shoes without wondering.

ganymeder said...

Ah, poor invisible man. Well, at least he has good taste in shoes...

deannaschrayer said...

Uh-oh, I just accidentally ran over a tee shirt in the road the other day....did I kill someone?
I like the suspense in this Icy, great story.

Larry Kollar said...

A streaker in sneakers!

Being invisible these days is a lot easier than it used to be. Phone in for pizza delivery, pay bills by mail, bank online, etc. You could even make an honest living. In 1950, you would have to get by on theft.

Icy Sedgwick said...

John - I don't think he's thought that far ahead!

Marc - Well true...

Tony - I always do.

Cathy - Really?!

Deanna - Maybe!

Larry - I often feel invisible.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

I had the most incredible feeling of déjà vu when I read this. It finally dawned on me that you had tweeted a link to the photo on instagram. Made for an especially surreal read!

storytreasury said...

Damn. Wonder how he gets on in winter? It would be surreal to see a heavy coat walking itself.

Katherine Hajer said...

A lot of naturists would love the extra freedom of invisibility...

Great scene-drawing.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Tim - Haha sorry!

Sonia - I hadn't even thought about that!

Katherine - Thanks!

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