©2014 James H. Vipond
CHAPTER 1Gerald and Deanne Whitaker are a typical American couple, happily married for almost 11 years. One day as they are out shopping, an unfamiliar merchant, apparently an immigrant from India, offers them a sample of a new herbal tea.
Merchant: “Sir, can I interest you and your gorgeous wife in a free sample of my herbal tea?”
Gerald: “What is in it?”
The merchant hands Gerald a small box.
Merchant: “Only the finest tea leaves from India, and a very special flavor, sir. This box contains two tea bags, one for each of you.”
Deanne: “I, too, would like to know how it tastes.”
Merchant: “Trust me, madam, it is … what do you Americans say, ‘out of sight’?”
Deanne: “Jerry, we taught our kids not to accept—”
Gerald: “Hush, Deanne. We’ll take it! Thanks!”
After they return home:
Gerald: “You know, Deanne, it’s been over a year now since I was injured so badly while working on that construction site.”
Deanne: “Yes, Jerry, accidents do happen. Let’s try this herbal tea sample we got today!”
As they drink the tea:
Deanne: “Jerry, this tea is just heavenly!”
Gerald: “It certainly is.”
The next morning, Deanne wakes up before her husband does. She stops to look in the bedroom mirror, but sees only her bathrobe!
Deanne, panicked: “JERRY! COME OVER HERE!”
Gerald leaps out of bed, wearing only his undershirt and boxer shorts, and joins his wife at the mirror. He also has become invisible.
Gerald: “What is it, Deanne?”
Deanne: “It happened to you, too, Jerry? Look in the mirror!”
They both look in the bedroom mirror.
Deanne: “We’re both … invisible!”
Gerald: “It must have been that exotic herbal tea we drank last night!”
Later, Gerald and Deanne discover that they can disappear independently and at will, but they have little control over becoming visible again: The effect may last only a few minutes, or it may last an hour or more.