When Grace finished her homework, she heard weird noises from the laboratory of her father. She didn’t feel like going and checking what was happening. Grace cleaned up the pencil shavings from the floor and brushed her curly ponytail.

When she could not ignore the strange noises, she called out, “Dad, are you ok?” There was no answer. “Are you invisible again?” No answer.

She walked up to the lab and opened the door and saw her dad busy at work. The reason he couldn’t hear Grace was because he was wearing his new invention, ‘the soundless earplugs’.

When Dad saw Grace, he spoke, “Grace! What are you doing in here? Before you say anything else, the voice was coming from my new invention. You ask these types of stupid question too many times!”

Grace wondered what dad’s new invention was and couldn’t help asking, “Dad, what is it?”

“You aren’t supposed to know about my greatest invention right now. It’s not finished yet. And I am going outside to the park for a walk as I feel stressed out now. Don’t enter the lab while I am away. Okay?” dad said cautiously to her.

Grace nodded and went to her room to play video games. Dad wore his grubby cloth cap, an old checked shirt with two buttons missing and baggy jeans that had seen better days. He left the house.

A couple of hours passed and Grace went to the kitchen as she was hungry. She made a sandwich and ate it quickly as she was as hungry as a wolf willing to eat another sheep. After that, she moved around bored as she had nothing to do.

“This is the perfect timing to check out dad’s new invention!” Grace said joyfully, as she found a way to amuse herself. She ran into the lab room and saw many inventions and trophies of dad. There were chemical bottles and a TV set on one side. There were pictures of him and her everywhere.

Beside the window was the new invention. Grace picked it up, it looked like a white lazer gun with purple lines on it. There was a note, ‘The Invisibility Laser 2000’.

“I want to be invisible,” Grace said, and zapped herself with the invention. She closed her eyes and walked to the mirror, bumping into things. When she opened her eyes, everything looked big and when she looked into the mirror, Grace found that she looked so tiny!

“Don’t tell me this was the Shrink Ray! My voice sounds so funny, I wish I hadn’t done that. Dad is going to be mad!” Grace panicked.

Dad came home at that moment and looked around, but couldn’t find Grace. He then heard squeaking sounds, he looked down and saw that Grace had shrunken!

“Grace! I told you not to use my new invention. It wasn’t ready yet!” dad screamed at her. Dad had not yet made a growing machine, but he now had to invent it. And until then, Gracie had to live like a tiny mouse. Grace learnt her lesson the hard way, so remember kids, never use anything without your parents’ permission.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 24th, 2020

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