Gavin woke up on a Thursday to find that he was invisible. His first thought was that his mirror was malfunctioning. When his sleep-rusted brain realized that this wasn’t a thing, he considered very briefly that he might be a vampire now and just couldn’t see himself in the mirror. He looked down at himself. Still invisible.
His next theory, that he was a ghost, disappeared when he smashed his knee on the corner of the bed. And if this was a lucid dream, it was by far the most painfully lucid dream he had ever had.
So he was invisible. What do you do with that? His first thought was to go back to bed and hope that his parents would just think he had left for school early (doubtful). But they would see the indentation of his body in the bed and that would cause questions. So he got a blanket and curled up in the closet and went back to sleep.
When he woke up, it was 10:30am and he was alone in the house. He had no idea what his parents were thinking but since there were no helicopters buzzing around the house, they apparently hadn’t assumed kidnapping.
He got breakfast and was very happy to realize that his clothes were invisible, as was the food that he ate. It would be a lot less fun to have to work around naked with a blob of digesting cereal hanging in mid-air. He had just turned on the TV when he realized he should probably do more with this new ability.
The immediate answers to what to do with invisibility (rob a bank, find the answers to tests, spy on girls changing) flicked through his mind but he pushed them away. He didn’t want to become a criminal/cheat/pervert just because he suddenly could. There had to be something more useful he could do.
The vague idea of becoming a superhero rose into his thoughts, but what did that even mean? In real life, it was pretty hard to find crimes happening at just the right time. Super-villains in real life usually worked quietly in corporate offices instead of underground lairs. And being a superhero sounded like an awful lot of work, with a real risk of dying.
Gavin watched TV for a while, flicking through an endless lineup of daytime TV, from talk shows to soap operas. He took a shower and got dressed. He did a search online for what to do when you when you turn invisible. Most suggestions had to do with either breaking the law, spying on people, or avoiding doing things you didn’t want to do.
Finally he texted his dad. Hi Dad, I’m at home. Woke up this morning and found I was invisible. What should I do?
The reply came 10 seconds later. Do the dishes.
Gavin did the dishes. If this didn’t wear off soon, would he be able to go back to school? Would he have to go to a special school? There probably wasn’t really a school like the X-Men went to. It hit him: they would make him go to a school for the blind because that would be the only place where no one would know he was invisible. That intrigued and depressed him at the same time. Would he need to learn Braille?
He hung out until his parents got home. They were famously unflappable and after they found him on the couch and patted his face and hands to convince themselves he was there, they took his temperature.
It was normal.
The next day they brought him to the doctor. After several hours of tests, including an X-ray and an MRI, they concluded what Gavin had known all along: he was there, but he was invisible. The X-ray came up blank but the MRI showed him clearly. The doctors made pages of notes.
The story, of course, got leaked to the media, which caused a frenzy for a few days. But while it might seem interesting to interview an invisible person, it was a lot less fun to watch someone interviewing an empty chair. Most viewers declared it fake.
His parents agreed that he could take online classes since going to school would be too difficult. So Gavin stayed home and occasionally attended classes online. No one knew if he was there or not so they never called on him.
Eleven days later, Gavin woke up visible. No one could explain why and since he was normal again, life went back to normal. Most people at school thought he had been faking it.
Next time I hope I can fly, Gavin thought as he trudged to school, checking his hands every few seconds to make sure he could still see them. Now that would be a useful superpower.