Better With Two {Short Story}

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Better With Two

Wordcount: 1097
Prompt: your character wakes up and discovers they’re invisible! What happens?

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Better With Two

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Slamming awoke her. Shouting echoed down the street. Stones thrown at the window. “What…” Janie groaned, tugging at her hair.

Tossing the duvet aside, she sat up, licking her lips to get rid of the sleep drool. She peered out of the window, but no one was underneath. She opened the window and yelled, “You’re meant to knock on the door, morons!”

The closet opened with a loud creak and Janie stared at the array of black suits. “What shall I wear today…” she mused aloud. She adored her job and her colleagues, but the dress code didn’t allow for much variety. Boring but easy.

As she got changed, she glanced at herself in the mirror. Not seeing anything, she shrugged and decided it was a trick of the light, hurrying down the stairs for breakfast, tugging a brush through her blonde bob.

Burnt toast and sloppy scrambled eggs. Appetising… Still, Janie had nothing else and swallowed the vile fodder, trying to keep bile from rising in her throat.

She drove to work, managing to miss the so-called traffic jams that the radio kept banging on about. Sure, she had to drive on the pavement once or twice, and got a few strange looks, but nothing out of the ordinary.

When she arrived, the car park was empty of human life, and she hurried in. The doors opened automatically, but the receptionist’s head shot up and he stared wondrously at the entrance. Her mouth full of keys, Janie could only wave, but the receptionist didn’t wave back. Odd, she thought, but decided she was too late to question it.

“Sorry I’m-” she started, bursting into the shared office, shutting her mouth when she realised she wouldn’t be heard. Alice was the only occupant; her feet rested on the table top, her head bobbed to music whilst she typed. The slamming of the door shocked her from her trance and she stood, her hand automatically reaching for the gun at her waist.

“Hello?” she asked cautiously, earbuds abandoned on the chair. Gun drawn from holster, she held it in front of her; staring at Janie but not seeing her.

“Hi,” Janie replied quietly, the gun pointing to her head and making her heart leap into her mouth. Cinematically, she thought, This is the end, to herself, before deciding not to be so melodramatic.

Alice jumped. Her arm fell, the gun pointing to the floor. Janie breathed a sigh of relief.

Alice’s head tilted to the side, and she said, “Janie? Where are you? I can’t see you.”

“What?” Janie laughed ludicrously. Maybe this was another prank she had fallen a victim to – well, it wouldn’t be the first time. She sat at the desk, and Alice stared at the chair moving.

She held up her hands. “Janie, don’t panic, but I think you might be invisible.”

Quite the opposite of panicking, Janie laughed again. “Invisible? I think you’re losing your mind.” Alice reached over under her desk and pulled out a small mirror, passing it to her, her eyes fixated on the chair.

Opening the mirror with a loud click, Janie rolled her eyes before glancing at her reflection. Only… there wasn’t one.

“What’s wrong with me?” she burst out, leaning forward, her heart fluttering. Invisible? “That’s…that’s not possible.” Alice shrugged and sat down, rubbing her eyes with her fingers.

“Naa, you’re right, it’s not. Maybe I really am going bananas. You’re real, right?” Janie leant over and pinched her; Alice flinched and glared in Janie’s general direction. “Thank you for establishing that fact,” she grumbled.

The girls sat back for a moment, both marvelling at their discovery; one in panic and one in curiosity.

The mirror began to glow. Alice glanced over. “Ok. I’m dreaming. Probably.”

Four words appeared on the looking-glass: Only for one day. “Well, that’s boring,” Alice commented. “In that case, we better have some fun!”

Janie tried really hard not to see the mischievous twinkling in Alice’s eye, but failed miserably.

~

The day passed in a flurry: stealing food from the canteen, winding up Scott by moving his things, pinching random people as they walked by in the corridor. Janie felt a bit mean at times, but Alice’s shrill laugh and cockyness made up for the discomfort.

“This is brilliant,” she whispered from the umpteenth time as she chewed on a croissant, “absolutely brilliant.”

“For you maybe,” Janie hissed back, “but I’m the one who’s gonna get into trouble.”

“Naa,” Alice replied, “I’ll cover you.”

Grabbing ahold of Janie’s arm, Alice suddenly dragged her into a doorway. “Look.” She indicated up the hall, and Janie saw their least favourite person: Agent West. “Go on…” Alice egged, “Please annoy him.”

Janie sighed, ready to stand up for herself. Unfortunately, Alice Frost brought out the worst in her.

She stuck her leg out and West tripped. Hands poked his body, crumbs sprinkled in his hair. Janie glanced back to see her partner-in-crime had scampered up the halls and away, cackling as she went. “Oh for-” she muttered, running away from the scene.

“Oi!” West yelled behind her, but Janie ignored him, her training keeping her footsteps quiet.

“Alice!” Janie scolded after she had found her, collapsed and unable to breath in a corner. “I can’t believe you just left me!”

“I’m- so- sorry!” Alice wheezed in between bouts of laughter. “It was just so funny!” She collected herself. “Besides, he couldn’t see you anyway.”

“Thank god.” Janie slid down the wall and sat next to her best friend. “Now what?” Alice glanced at her watch.

“Actually… I have to go. I’m taking Cal to his school. Parent’s evening.” She made a disgusted face and snorted. “I’m not even his parent!”

“Rather you than me,” Janie said, yawning. “I might just go home and sleep.” Alice poked out her tongue.

“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” She stood, and turned to Scott who was hurrying down the hall.

“Ali!” he cried. “Have you seen Janie?”

Heart thudding, Janie was relieved when Alice lied quickly. Who knew what trouble she would get into with Scott around. “No, she’s ill. She texted me earlier.”

“Oh, ok…” Scott deflated.

“I wouldn’t go around,” Alice replied, reading his next question, “she’ll be sleeping.” Scott shrugged and strolled off, making some remark about skipping work. Alice winked and waved to Janie, who was left on the floor wondering how on earth she could get through a door without anyone noticing.

~

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