The Nearly Invisible Man: a short story by: GF Willmetts

July 3, 2016 | By | Reply More

I know what you’re going to say: You can see right through it. I mean, my discovery. I’ve found the means to make organic matter invisible. Look at how many times people have declared their favourite secret super-power would be to make themselves invisible for a day and find out what people thought about them. I suspect also that they want to streak without anyone noticing, too.

I’m not totally stupid. I’m aware that the human body has a lot of non-organic parts, too. That is lots of things that aren’t fed a blood supply. Well, I don’t have gallstones. Gout, neither, come to that. Imagine little white particles in my toes bobbing around as if anyone would look that far down.

It took a lot longer to work through the various parts of the body to work out what would remain visible and what I would do about them. Some things I clearly didn’t know about. After all, the body is mostly fluid but water has a low visible index and as long as I didn’t walk down the middle of a street in the middle of the day, I probably wouldn’t be that visible. Even so, I’d only be nearly invisible, so a separate formula was needed for body fat. At least it would spread through the body fairly quickly.

At night, I would have all the advantages as long as it wasn’t in the middle of winter. Cold flesh reduces blood circulation and might make the flesh visible. With that realisation, I went through it again and realised I’d missed a lot of things.

The bone marrow was fed blood but the bone itself wasn’t. Without anything to feed the formula into it, it would stay visible. I would be a walking bleeding skeleton. Well, except no bleeding. Great for appearing in any Ray Harryhausen film remake but hardly truly invisible.

A little tweaking with the molecular level and the formula would seep out of the blood marrow and coat my bones. They would become invisible. There were a few bones that didn’t have marrow, like the three bones in each ear but people could miss them if the formula didn’t touch it. Even so, my formula had taken great strides forward.

The problem was always going to be dead matter. Some things were easier to sort out than other and I could leave things like hair until I was invisible. A simple shave would remove that. Dead skin from dandruff down would be a matter of washing with an exfoliate. Even so, it would reduce the length of time I would be truly invisible before I had to repeat cleaning. That was something HG Wells noted in his book. Dirt wouldn’t become invisible and walking down the street, I would surely get dirty.

Something else I learnt from HG Wells’ novel is that things like food and smoking would reveal themselves until digested and I would have to avoid soft soil and rain if I didn’t want my footsteps or outline revealed. I bet he’d never realise just how far into the future he had predicted the problems his invisible man Griffin would have had. Sorting out all of the problems would surely have driven him mad.

My formula, on the other hand, was sound. It just needed a few modifications for some materials. I even made strides into the body’s water content and reduced the visible index a little lower. The adipose cells or body fat to you is only a little higher to water and can be sorted out with the same additional to the formula and certainly strong enough for brown fat.

There was still a problem with the eyes. If I made them totally invisible, how would the retinas receive light so I could see? Then again, I was having problems making the lens and corneas invisible so maybe I shouldn’t tamper with them. Did I want to be the invisible blind man? The optic nerve would have to learn how to make sense of the information but I figured only the eyes needed the light.

Finally, I think I had everything figured and time to take the real test. Was I going to use someone else as a test subject? Do you think I’m mad? I had a decent high protein meal and took a diuretic to clear my bladder and faeces for the next morning. They might have been digestive bi-products but they also weren’t connected to the blood-steam and wouldn’t contain the formula. It would take a couple hours to take effect and the diuretic had to be out of my body or it would dilute it.

That morning, I drank the formula, set the recording equipment and sat back and waited for it to take effect. I reckoned on thirty minutes for body absorption and that again for it to take total effect. I just sat back and had a snooze. Had to conserve my energy and hunger pangs.

I woke an hour later and found I was still visible. Well, not totally. I was patchy as I examined my naked body in the mirror. Some parts I could see through. My hair was still there but a quick shave and then a thorough one removed the rest. That and some of the dead skin. For the rest, I used the exfoliate. Better that than a scouring brush. Not that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the pain, just not really keen to have raw flesh stinging.

Looking in the mirror, I could see my eyes because I was looking right at them. As long as I was careful what and when I picked up anything, let alone talk, no one would be looking for disconnected eyes. I made a note not to touch anyone, especially from behind.

It was only then that I spotted something I missed. My teeth? Nah! I took my dentures out. That was something I had sorted out a few years ago.

My nails. Fingers and toes. They stood out like…like sore thumbs. If I was going to be truly invisible, then they would have to go. How? I located a pair of pliers. I bet Griffin never had these problems.



(c) GF Willmetts 2016

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Category: Scifi, Short fiction

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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