Excerpts for Invisible Fran


Chapter Seven: Wire You Looking At My Robot That Way?

Franny sat at her desk, grinning. She couldn't wait to give her presentation.

"Franny," Miss Shelly said, "would you please come up here and show the class what you've brought in?"

Franny walked confidently to the front of the class. She knew that the kids would take one look at the robot and abandon their ridiculous hobbies.

She removed the sheet that had been draped over her creation. The kids gasped.

It was a robot. A few lights pulsed slowly on its chest, and they could hear a soft hum coming from inside it. Its tiny square eyes seemed to blink.

"Why does it have two heads?" one boy asked.

"Two heads are better than one," Franny said. "When it's complete, those two heads will make it twice as smart as the next smartest robot. Twice as useful, twice as complicated." Franny held up the robot's blueprints for the kids to see.

Miss Shelly said, "Franny, did you say that it wasn't complete yet?"

"That's right, Miss Shelly. It's not complete. I'm going to need other mad scientists to help me, other mad scientists from the class, perhaps. Are there any volunteers?"

Billy raised his hand.

Franny was smug. The first of many volunteers, she thought. "Yes," she said. "You'd like to help?"

"I would," Billy said. "After you finish it, I mean. Then I can teach it to bake pretty, pretty cookies."

Copyright © 2004 by Jim Benton

Chapter Eight: In The Gizzard Of The Lizard

Igor just hated to see Franny depressed. He did his best to cheer her up. He juggled spiders. He dressed up like her mom. He even thought about letting the giant chameleon swallow him a little bit, since that always made Franny laugh.

All Franny could talk about was her friends at school. "No volunteers, Igor. They all want to stick with their pointless little hobbies. They don't get it. They don't get it at all.

"They don't understand the thrill of an idea popping into your head out of nowhere, and then diving right in and making your idea just happen.

"If only they could experience that," Franny said.

Just then the giant chameleon appeared, as if out of nowhere, grabbed Igor, and swallowed him.

Even though she was depressed, Franny laughed a little and shook the chameleon until Igor fell out of its mouth. It's hard not to laugh when a reptile eats your best friend.

"You have to be more careful, Igor," Franny said.

Igor hid behind Franny.

"You know the giant chameleon can camouflage himself. It's practically like he's invisible."

Franny's eyes narrowed and a familiar grin stretched across her big, round face. "Invisible," said Franny, and she nodded slowly. "That's it. Invisible."

Copyright © 2004 by Jim Benton

----------------------