Short Story #103: Invisible Boy By Ray Bradbury

Title:  Invisible Boy

Author:  Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury - S Is For Space book coverCharlie is a bit of a pest to the witch, Old Lady but since his folks are away, she's left by happenstance for caring for him but he won't come out of his hiding spot until Old Lady promises to share her magic with him.  She promises to the make him invisible.  He agrees and she makes a potion that she claims will make him invisible.  However, since her magic never really works, he is still clearly visible but she pretends he isn't.  What follows is a cat and mouse game of Charlie trying to determine if he is really invisible and Old Lady trying to continue to pretend that he is.  Eventually, she claims that he becoming slowly visible and therefore will be able to return home soon (which is what she claims she ultimately wants.  When he becomes visible, he runs home and leaves Old Lady alone.  As Old Lady makes her way home, she knows Charlie is truly invisible now and following her home to stay with her forever.  


The ending is a bit cryptic and a bit sad.  It could be indicating that Charlie was a hallucination from the beginning for an old woman who never had children.  However, the hallucination part could be largely the last part of the story when the real Charlie leaves.  However, in both cases, we see Old Lady in her house, clinging to a sack of sticks that she hopes will somehow provide her with the emotional fulfillment that she believes she is missing from a real child.  

Short Story #103 out of 365
Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)
Date Read:  4/8/2014
Source:  S Is For Space by Ray Bradbury.  Bantam Books, 1970.

For a full listing of all the short stories in this series, check out the category 365 Short Stories a year.

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