Invisible | Gotta Minute?!


Writer’s Club Submission - ©2016 - Linda Penner
My childhood recollections include many hours sitting in the waiting room, or roaming the grounds of a large, brick building. Children under the age of twelve were barred from the inner sanctum and while adults spent time inside, and I was left to my own devices. After several hours my father would find me, take my hand and walk to the side of the drab brown building so I could wave up to one of the windows. My memory also tells me that everything inside that large, heavy front door was stark white. Even the hard, wooden bench I sat on in the small front room was painted white. But it’s the cloying, clinical smell that I remember most. I had strict orders regarding my movements, but boredom breeds discontent – and I was curious to see the forbidden. 
Finally I mustered the courage to step into the hallway to watch where my father was going. To my surprise – nothing happened! The following evening I ventured out again and made it all the way down to the end of the hall and back to the white bench without being caught. The next night I quietly followed my father to a room, peeked in and snuck back to my bench without being seen. Very soon I became extremely adept at blending into the woodwork, and quietly navigating all the corridors and stairways throughout most of the building without being detected.
I would brazenly go in and out of my mother’s room for quick visits between nurses’ rounds, without receiving a single glance in my direction. If I was discovered by medical staff, I would stand on her bedside stool to make myself look as tall as any twelve year old. That technique always worked, and I would smugly come and go at will. No one ever noticed as I stole her chocolates, or the pudding left over from her lunch tray. Stern faced nurses in crisp, white uniforms would bustle quickly about their duties all around me. I was invisible.
© 2016 - Linda Penner
Linda Penner is a member of the Medicine Hat Rhyme & Reason Writers’ Club which meets each Tuesday at 7.00pm in Room S103 at The Medicine Hat College. For more information visit them at or call Martin at 403 529 9287.