The Invisible Woman by Jane Mooney

I’m female, I’m fifty and I’m invisible.

Bartenders don’t notice me. Kids on bikes ride into me. Commuters push past me on the train.

I wonder what I can get away with now that no one can see me.

I pop a lipstick into my pocket in Boots. In Tesco’s a bottle of gin fits nicely in my handbag. No one notices me walking out of Marks and Spencer’s with a scarf around my neck. Each time is a thrill.

But then it stops being a game. I plan visits to the jewellers and plot which piece I’ll take.

I’m still invisible to most of the staff, but it only takes one doesn’t it? She’s a middle-aged woman, so she’s invisible too. She watches me as I browse the brightly lit cabinets. I don’t see her. She watches me as I look over the shoulder of a young man choosing an engagement ring. I don’t see her. She watches me as I walk out of the shop with a diamond ring on my middle finger. I don’t see her.

I see her waiting outside the shop with the police. As they arrest me, I realise that I’m not invisible after all.

Jane Mooney writes about ordinary people and their ordinary lives. She lives in West Yorkshire where she enjoys walking in the Pennine hills and watching the sunset. Her short stories have been published by ‘Funny Pearls’ and ‘Flash Fiction North’.