My name’s June “Junebug” Johnson. I’m 16 years old.
I’m 5’4, I’ve got stringy blonde hair that hardly gets washed, and a maximum of $5 in my pocket at any point of the day. I don’t go to school, I don’t got a job, and I don’t got a house. Oh yeah – and I also don’t got no parents.
I don’t got a lot of things.
But there’s one thing that I do have. And it’s the one thing I’ll ever need.
Look; look straight at me right now, I dare ya. Don’t blink. Don’t look away. Don’t come asking for your dollar bill back if you miss something because you weren’t paying attention, even for a second.
Are you ready?
Now you see me…
Now you don’t.
Where’d I go?
Well I’m right behind you sir, hello. I’m taking my dollar now, if you don’t mind. Thank you very much, it’s been a pleasure showing you my superpowers– Well of course it’s real, do I look like I can afford huge mirrors to– No, no not magic little man. It’s my superpower, a gift if you like. I can turn invisible.
Okay goodbye now, thank you for your time and money. Have a great day!
At this point of the conversation, I usually scram off before they can ask anymore questions. I hit a few other “tourist spots” in this miserable town, collect a few more bucks here and there, grab a corndog (leaving behind money, of course) and usually make it back to wherever I would be sleeping for the night by six.
I pretty much do whatever I like.
I mean, I’m freaking invisa-woman; no one pays attention to what’s not there.
Maybe I should explain a bit.
See, I’ve had this ‘superpower’ since I was 6. Don’t ask me how because I don’t know myself. One day, I was drinking my juice at the kitchen table just like I always do for breakfast, then my Momma suddenly screamed because the juice was hovering in midair and I wasn’t there anymore.
Momma. Sweet Momma with her flowery scent, generous hugs and bright blue chocolate chip cookies. Momma who panicked over just about anything. A few seconds later, I had flickered back into visibility. Momma had ran to me with tears in her eyes, hugging me tight, thinking she’d lost me in those few seconds and mumbling about how “it’s okay to have a little quirk.”
My parents died when I was 12. Supposedly, I died with them.
It was the typical car crash on a stormy night. Trees falling everywhere, lightning – all that jazz. Daddy had took a hard right to avoid something on the road, but things got out of control and the car swerved off the highway and into the woods. I crawled out of the wreck shivering.
I was the only one who made it out.
I was walking around aimlessly in those scary woods, when this nice-looking grandma suddenly appeared. She had a yellow raincoat on, like a beacon in the dark, and her eyes held this sparkle in them; as if she knew something you didn’t. She smiled kindly, took my hand and said, “I’ve got a nice, warm fire inside. Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up.”
And it was a very nice fire.
And she did get me cleaned up, pretty nicely.
And I felt safe there, at least for awhile.
Then it was time for bed. I can’t remember much, because I’d been too tired and it was also very dark, but I remember her saying, “Now deary, I don’t got a bed to put you in so you’re gonna have to sleep here on the floor for tonight. But don’t worry, it’s nice and cushy with pillows and everything. Sleep well precious. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
I’d fallen asleep instantly.
I woke up the next day in a cage.
A fucking cage.
A fucking loony-bin lady with probably an entire set of gears missing was keeping me in a fucking cage. I bet she’s got dinner plans ready; dinner plans consisting of me as the main course.
So I did what has become second nature to me now. I turned invisible. I waited for her to come find me “not” in the cage, and kicked her right in the face the moment the opened it up to check. She probably had no idea what hit her.
And I mean seriously.
I ran forward and never looked back.
Somehow, I found my way onto the main road. Luckily enough, there was a pickup pulled over to the side of the road just at that moment. I turned invisible again. I hitched a ride. I didn’t know where it was going. But I knew it would be forwards.
It’s been 4 years and I’ve done nothing but go forwards. It’s the one thing I know. Aside from how to turn invisible, of course.
I’m a wanderer. I’m good at it.
And I love it.
I know most kids my age can only dream of being free of responsibilities, and being able to do whatever they like, whenever they like. And I’ve got that opportunity. Why go to a permanent school when I can just sneak in to random ones and attend only classes that I like? Why get a permanent house when I can camp in my secret clearing and watch the stars every night? Why bother settling down when I like moving around?
I could be the wind in the trees, the whisper in your ear.
I’m a dead girl.
I’m June “Junebug” Johnson.
Pleasure to meet you. Do you wanna see trick?
Now you see me…
Now you don’t.