Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

Chapter Three: Father Knows Best

A Character story about obedience.

Mr. Gringle's plane was right on time, and once in the car, Trans began to explain everything that had happened in the last 24 hours, how he had turned invisible at the game but reappeared the next morning, then vanished while playing with Mike that afternoon and reappeared after a nap. At first his father thought it was a joke, but the sincerity and seriousness, and confirmations from his wife, soon changed his mind.
"I know this could be serious, Son," he remarked when the majority of the story had been aired. "But we need to do two things. First we need to find out the cause of your turning invisible. If you can control it until the chemical wears off, you're in good shape. You said you were at the ball game the first time, and at Mike's the second. Hmm. I remember reading an article some months ago in a scientific journal. Some scientist believed it was possible for a person to appear invisible by causing his body cells to oscillate at a very specific frequency. He said the reason it has not succeeded as of yet is that sustained oscillation at a controlled frequency was as yet impossible. It might be that, when you yelled, the tightening of your muscle fibres initiated body cell oscillation sustained at the right frequency by the chemical on your skin."
Trans always got excited when his Dad would use such big words. Even though he had no idea what his Dad had just said, he felt assured that anyone who could talk like that must be right about everything. When they arrived home, Trans tested the theory with a scream. Sure enough, he turned invisible. But the boy was too excited to sleep right then to test the reappearance theory.
"Well, one thing we're sure of," said Mr. Gringle with a yawn. "All we need to do is to keep you from screaming until the chemical wears off, and you will be home safe."
"Dad, when we were in the car, you said there are two things we needed to do. The first was to find the cause. What was the other?"
"Oh, yes. We need to get Mike over here to explain this before he thinks he's lost his mind. You call him up, and I'll make some popcorn."
As Trans lay in bed that night, his imagination began to run wild. Maybe he would win the science fair first prize. Maybe he'd get an honorary degree, or win the Nobel Prize for his invention. Maybe he would go down in history as the world's greatest inventor. Maybe he'd even- The boy paused. But in the mean time, if the chemical didn't wear off by Monday, maybe he and Mike could have a little fun with his teacher Miss Sanders. With the seeds of such a plan in his mind, Trans fell asleep.
When the boys entered their 6th grade classroom on Monday, they went right over to the teacher. "Miss Sanders, can me and Mike show the class some neat magic tricks we learned over the weekend?" Trans asked enthusiastically. wild do 'um better. Can we?" "Very well, if you don't take too long, boys."
"Thanks. We'll go into the hall and get them ready." The boys scurried out of the room. "Now what?" Mike asked when the hall was empty.
"Simple. I'll go into the washroom and scream while you get the other stuff ready." Mike watched Trans disappear down the hall and shortly thereafter heard a loud scream. Miss Sanders flung open the door and dashed into the hall as did several other teachers.
"What was that?" she gasped. "Was that Trans? Is he all right?"
"Oh, uh, y- yes Ma'am. Nothing's wrong. Th- this is j- just part of the m- magic trick. W- we'll be in there in just a minute," Mike stuttered nervously, trying to squelch a search.
Miss Sanders and the other teachers reluctantly reentered the room as Mike quickly made for the washroom to check on Trans.
"Are you here?" Mike asked, waving his hand back and forth.
"Sure I'm here. Where'd you think I was."
"You almost got us in real hot water, Pal. I had to ward off practically the whole staff when they heard your scream. I thought they were going to call the ambulance."
"Sorry. But it has to be loud to be effective. Anyway, it worked so let's get started with our routine. I can hardly wait!"