Daily Prompt: Pick Your Gadget

Daily Prompt: Pick Your Gadget

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?


Marie shot to the front door when the bell rang. She spotted the FedEx truck parked on the street through the window and she hoped against hope that it was her package, finally arrived. Pulling open the door she saw the FedEx guy making his way back down to the street and his truck. “Hey, do you need me to sign something?” she yelled at his back.

“Nah,” he said over his shoulder. “Instructions were to leave it at the door.” He kept walking, a busy man.

She looked down and there was the box. A cube about 12 inches along the side with one corner slightly crunched in. When she picked it up, it was lighter than she expected. She carried it in to the table and grabbed a knife out of the drawer so she didn’t have to wrestle with the packing tape.

The helmet was nested in Styrofoam inside the box. The instruction sheet was on top. There was a picture of a screwdriver and a pair of pliers on the sheet just below the admonition that there would be “Some assembly required.”

Back to the kitchen, Marie pulled open the “junk drawer”. The needle nosed pliers were at the front of the drawer and easy to find. She had to dig a bit to locate a screwdriver, but finally found one and hoped that a cross-tipped Phillips was the right kind. She didn’t want to have to go to the garage for a straight blade.

Back at the table, she opened a sheet of newspaper to work on. It didn’t take long. Her new invisibility helmet went together a lot easier than that bookshelf she had bought from Ikea last winter. No extra parts either.

She carried the helmet into the bathroom, cradled in the crook of her arm and studied her reflection in the mirror. She saw a tall, middle aged woman staring back at her with an invisibility helmet at the ready. She liked what she saw: she looked ‘bad ass’. She twisted a bit and looked at her reflection over her shoulder – OK; maybe there were a few extra pounds on her butt. She would work on that, it was not a big worry. It was not a big butt. She would look just fine in yoga pants, a tank top and her new invisibility helmet.

She twisted back around and lifted the helmet. To the sound of trumpets that only she could hear Marie gently placed the helmet on her head. It covered like a motorcycle crash helmet but she could still see herself in the mirror. Maybe, that was the way it worked. Maybe, she could see her own reflection but no one else could see her. Leaving the helmet in place she walked into the den. The kids were watching TV in there. Victor looked up, “Hi Mom,” he said, “Can you bring us some cookies?”

“Sure,” she was disappointed and removed the helmet. Back in the kitchen she grabbed a bag of Oreos and took them back to the kids. She snagged the instruction sheet and took it back too. Tossing Victor the cookies she sat down at the game table and studied the instructions for the invisibility helmet. “What could be wrong? Maybe she needed new batteries.”

Aha, there is a power switch just in front of the antenna. She hadn’t seen that before. She went back to the bathroom, stood in front of the mirror again, and put the helmet back on her head. Reaching up she toggled the power switch and was gone.

“Fuckin’ awesome!” she thought to herself and started doing a little happy dance. She looked down at the floor and there were her feet, dancing and still visible. “Damn.” She crouched down a bit, bent at the knees. Her feet disappeared. “Either, I’m too tall or this helmet isn’t powerful enough. I knew I should have ordered the deluxe model.”

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