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The Invisible Man

A piece for James & Oneg's Summer Writing Challenge Extravaganza - - - If we do our job right, we are almost entirely unseen. Unless we are annoying, or smelly, or overly attractive or ugly. I'm lucky - I'm none of those things. I have a knack for reading people, and this lets me slot into their journey seamlessly, and slip out of their day just as unnoticed. If we do our job right, it's amazing what we can see.

By L.C. SchäferPublished 6 months ago 3 min read
19
The Invisible Man
Photo by Seyed Amir Mohammad Tabatabaee on Unsplash

Lights blurred by droplets, smashed and smeared across my windscreen. A cool voice plinks into the chemical-scented atmosphere, Your destination is on the left. I shift down gears and flick my indicator, scanning for my passenger.

She's beautiful, in a curated, brittle sort of way. Blonde and pink and beige all over. She sees me and skitters over, pulling her small, bulging suitcase behind her. I make to get out and help her stow it, but she scowls at me - barely, her face can hardly move - and makes an impatient gesture.

I'm still, unassuming. A fisherman, fading into the background. Letting my quarry swim closer.

My admiration for her smooth legs is perfunctory, and quickly forgotten thanks to the dark smudge on the side of her pale shoes. Is that...?

Her pocket buzzes. She pulls out an obnoxiously bejazzled phone, answers it with an irritable hiss. I do an excellent impression of a man not listening.

"Of course not, it's too small! I had to cut... well, yes, actually... you wouldn't believe the mess..."

The drop-off is a bridge. I am supposed to see the customer safely into the building, but there isn't one. I purr away at a crawl, my eyes on her shrinking form in the mirror. I watch her heave the case over the edge. I fancy I hear the splash.

When I pull over and pop the boot, I'm unsurprised by the dark sticky smear left behind from her case.

I sigh. Not again...

+ + + + + + +

Thank you!

As always - thank you very much for reading! Extra special thanks to anyone who is subscribed to me and has tolerated me popping up in their notifications multiple times today. I am making hay while the sun shines! I promise this won't be a daily nuisance. Read on for a brief peek behind the curtain, and more info about the challenge.

The story behind the story:

I was nominated by Oneg for the Summer Writing Challenge Extravaganza in the Facebook group Saloon for Writers.

You can read more about the challenge here:

A bit more about this story:

This one is very raw, and hardly polished at all, except to cut a few sentences to get the word count down.

I love this prompt, so thank you to Oneg and James for this.

I think I am supposed link to someone else's entry, but I can't do that because I don't know if anyone else has done this one yet. (When they have, I will come back and edit.)

I'm going to nominate Grz Colm and Leslie Writes to have a bash at this one as well. Apologies if either of you have already been tagged! Feel free to ignore me.

Feedback welcome!

I appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Feel free to dismantle this one - be as brutal as you like! #ironmaiden

Here are my questions to you:

Did anything pull you out of the story?

Did anything stand out positively - a word or a phrase you liked?

Engagement and Reciprocation

I try to do my best to reciprocate as many reads as possible. It's easiest to do that if you leave a comment, so please do! I'd especially like it if you let me know if you have a go at this prompt, and link me to what you write. I would love to see what you come up with! I would like to respectfully ask you not to leave links in the comments *unless* it's to your entry for this challenge. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine. Thank you 😁

Microfiction
19

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for nudes.

Here be micros

Twitter, Insta Facey

Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (16)

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  • Lamar Wiggins6 months ago

    Someone mentioned this story, so I popped on over to take a read. And they were right. For me, it was packed with the right words to give it the feel of a longer story. I loved the description of how he kept looking at her in the rear-view mirror to see what she does next. Really great work!!! 🤩

  • Matthew Fromm6 months ago

    Stories like this make me want to be a better writer. Top notch work.

  • Oh no a bloody smear great job really good descriptions clever tale

  • Tiffany Gordon 6 months ago

    Awesome job! great storytelling! Also, loved your descriptions!

  • Novel Allen6 months ago

    Great story LC. You got some cleaning to do. Bleach and lye will do the trick. Hurry, b4 you get set up.

  • Wow 😮 👍📝💯👌Nice one❗

  • Sian N. Clutton6 months ago

    Flawless, loved every sentence! Simple but powerful description. Loved the way you described the rain on the windshield, I was immediately interested. Bravo! 😊

  • Cathy holmes6 months ago

    This is great. Sounds like someone is swimming with the fishes.

  • Grz Colm6 months ago

    Poor cabby! Great job LC. I had a lot going on in my little nuggin through your vivid and fun description in this micro! 👏☺️ I think I may have been nominated before, which kinda cancels out the the other nomination, at least that is what I hear.. Leslie!!!!!!!! Ps can we LINK random songs and disney clips from YouTube here just to get your goat!? 😏

  • Lilly Cooper6 months ago

    This is a great Micro. It certainly gets a reader thinking about how this has happened to him before! You have alluded really well.

  • I loved your story! For your second question, I loved that she had to cut because it wouldn't fit, lol. Sorry if that's not what you meant by positive 🤣🤣🤣

  • Sid Aaron Hirji6 months ago

    I love micro fiction. This one gives off how many of us are-we are invisible people sometimes

  • Oneg In The Arctic6 months ago

    Not again?!!!!? Ahhh!! This was written expertly well haha

  • Ruth Stewart6 months ago

    Awesome. Lovely the way things are slowly revealed, just perfect microfiction. 😊💙👍🥰

  • Alexander McEvoy6 months ago

    I get the feeling that the passenger is cleaning up a crime scene, perhaps a murder? The evocation of the driver was excellent! And I really appreciated your description of his admiration of the passenger, momentary and passing, it is so true to life! He also focuses on the smear of… something on the shoe. Masterfully done in so short a time!

  • I really enjoyed this. I think the phrases that stood out most to me were "A cool voice plinks into the chemical-scented atmosphere," which is excellent since that was one of the first sentences and I was pulled in. Also, "I'm still, unassuming. A fisherman, fading into the background. Letting my quarry swim closer." And really the subtitle, or tagline or whatever, that really made me wonder about it. Loved the way it was all described and left me wondering about more. What it is that the main character so often sees? I like the sense of him just remaining in the background and being able to absorb so much.

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