Martin strolled through the streets with a spring in his step and a torrent in his veins. The people went about their daily lives as if he wasn’t there and he had to pause for a moment to take it all in. From birth he had been forced to hide, to sneak, to crouch in the darkness thanks to his deformities. At the first opportunity, he’d moved to a small town, population of 1000, and even there he’d lived as an outcast. But now…
The man had told him that when activated the box would turn anything inside it invisible for 24 hours and so far it seemed to be money well spent. The cobbler had barely glanced when he walked by, the police had merely glanced sideways as if he heard something. He was now headed to the bar.
It was a Monday night and most people were at home sleeping early for the donkey load of work that Tuesday always brought. There were only two tables filled. Jack and his gang of miners were playing through the night as an explosion had stopped digging. On the other table was Mary, the kind of woman who should have known better than to seek customers on a Monday.
Martin dragged a chair as quietly as he could, one near the counter. He thought he saw Caroline, the only waitress, look up. She might have heard it, but over Jack’s loud talk she quickly dismissed it.
He cringed to himself as he heard Jack bragging to his friends how he dated two women staying in opposite rooms and they never knew about it. Mary stared at the noisy quartet. If looks could kill, she would have wiped Jack and two of his ancestors of his family tree. Possibly because she had lived a floor beneath him and the women he was talking about were two of her old friends.
As he demonstrated how he answered the door to one while the other was in his bedroom Mary stalked upstairs. The group burst out in laughter. Martin looked at them in disgust.
Then it dawned on him he didn’t have to. He crept to them heart racing. The birth of a smalltown superhero was nigh.
As he reached for Jack’s pocket, the man turned to him, “the hell you doing freak?”
Martin stumbled back as Jack stood to his full height. “what’s the matter with you? You trying to steal from me or something?”
Martin found his words as quick as he found his footing, “You can see me?”
“Of course we can see you why would you think we can’t?”
“Everybody’s been acting like they can’t?”
Caroline was approaching them to caution against causing any trouble.
Jack was already bursting into laughter, “He thinks we can’t see him.”
Martin turned to Caroline with the eyes of a wounded fawn. He needed an explanation.
“We can see you Martin.”
“Some of the miners felt sorry for you so they told everyone to not stare as you came across the road. who the hell told you we can’t see you?”
“The man who sold me this box it said…
“I told you, you shouldn’t have sent a snake oil salesman with the message.” George said.
As it dawned on the group what happened, they started to laugh. From his seat Jack yelled out, “Cause I’m not the devil people make me to be, it was my gift to you idiot, acting casual.”
Inspired by the Daily Prompt: Casual