Here, the Invisible Man…: Notes on a Letter Written in Invisible Ink

by a contributor

Justin Lawrence Daugherty





1  Here, the Invisible Man rants of clothing, of vision. Here, he asks for forgiveness. Here, the Invisible man lies awake, here his eyelids fluttering, an awakened REM, here he fails to dream. And, here the dreamy streets at night.
2  Here, the Invisible Man asks why.
3  Here, her rose-colored hair, her shape-forming dress, her hips like Siren calls, her hair a road to everywhere, and, here, still, the Invisible Man aches, here he follows, hand outstretched for just one strand of that hair, for a touch of skin, of heat.
4  Here, the Invisible Man followed by slathering dogs, jaws hung wide, following, their snouts shivering with the intake of scent. Here, the roving strays.


5  Here, the Invisible Man shoos the dogs, here he kicks at their snapping mouths, their reeking bodies, and here the woman turns, her eyes wide with fear of these mad beasts and of slick-wet cobblestones and darkness and the dim, untrustworthy light of street lamps, and here she turns to run and how the dogs followed her and their barks and howling and their bands of terrible numbers, and here the Invisible Man follows, running after this woman, after this crimson hair, after something he wants more than anything: the breath on skin raising hairs, the slope of her breasts, the whisper of words spoken into his ear, the sweetness of voice and tone, the dragging of nails, the taste of her sweat from the small of her back and saliva on her tongue, the embrace, the tangling, the welding of bodies, the fire.


6  Here, the Invisible Man throws dogs off the fallen woman, here her hair caught in snarling teeth, here he feels the rake of their teeth, the drawing of blood, here he withdraws for fear of being seen, the blood visible, here he covers his arm, his bleeding stomach, and here some of the dogs continue their assault, their tearing of flesh, and here the woman escapes and runs. Here, the Invisible Man wishes he could call to the woman, here he wishes a sound could erupt other than screams, here he wishes she could hear his voice, his sound. Here, he wishes she would echo the noise.

Winner of the 2012 Gigantic Sequins Flash Fiction Contest, Justin Lawrence Daugherty manages Sundog Lit from a basement in Omaha, Nebraska. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Normal School, NANO Fiction, Barrelhouse, Monkeybicycle, NAP, Housefire, Bluestem, and elsewhere. He writes some on this blog and says strange things on twitter @jdaugherty1081. He is at work on a novel and is slowly working on a novella.

See Justin’s 5 Things You Should Read in our ongoing contributors’ series.