The morning air was cool and fresh and birds could be heard chirping in the bushes. Girl felt her heart lighten as she closed the front door behind them. Her brother ran forward but was stopped by the length of ribbon binding them. He pouted. Girl tried not to look too pleased. A clipping noise announced itself from nearby, and Girl took her brother to investigate.
There was a man trimming the shrubbery that marked the beginning of her neighbor’s lawn. He was very quick and skilled with the shears. Girl approached, impressed, but her brother hung back.
“Excuse me, sir? Sir?” Girl tried. The man continued to clip. Girl’s brother began jumping up and down, pulling at the ribbon and Girl’s arm. Girl tried to ignore this.
“Pardon me, sir?” she said. The man looked up.
“I made a wish and turned my brother invisible. No one can see him but me. I don’t know what to do,” said Girl.
The man stared at her awhile. Then he snorted.
“Wish him visible again,” he said, carelessly. He opened his shears again.
“I can’t,” said Girl. “I can’t take back what I said.”
The man paused and considered Girl. He looked at her and at the house behind her with a look she did not understand.
“I’ve been invisible most of my life,” he started, “and I do alright. I do yard work,” he said, and here he sliced off a cluster of leaves viciously. Girl eyed the man uncertainly. “Being invisible,” he said, looking at her house again, “can be useful, and you get used to it.”
“Thank you very much,” said Girl.
“Girl, don’t play where I’m working. It’s dangerous,” he added.
“Yes sir,” said Girl, and she turned to go on.