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Authors: Robert Swindells


BOOK: Invisible!
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Also available by Robert Swindells

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

About the Author

This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.

Version 1.0

Epub ISBN 9781407097886

A CORGI YEARLING BOOK : 0 440 863635

First published in Great Britain by Doubleday
a division of Transworld Publishers

Doubleday edition published 1999
Corgi Yearling edition published 2000

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Copyright © Robert Swindells, 1999
Chapter head illustrations copyright © Aidan Potts, 1999

The right of Robert Swindells to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Condition of Sale
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

Corgi Yearling Books are published by Transworld Publishers, 61–63 Uxbridge Road, London W5 5SA, a division of The Random House Group Ltd, in Australia by Random House Australia (Pty) Ltd, 20 Alfred Street, Milsons Point, Sydney, NSW 2061, Australia, in New Zealand by Random House New Zealand Ltd, 18 Poland Road, Glenfield, Auckland 10, New Zealand and in South Africa by Random House (Pty) Ltd, Endulini, 5a Jubilee Road, Parktown 2193, South Africa

Made and printed in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, St Ives plc.

Also available by Robert Swindells,
and published by Corgi Yearling Books:


Rosie walked backwards. Carrie avoided the traveller's eyes but didn't close her own. She was determined to watch Rosie every inch of the way.

It happened just like before. One second she was there, the next she was not. They hadn't locked eyes so it wasn't hypnotism, and there was no way Rosie could've slipped out of her clothes and hidden in the long grass.

Carrie reached out. ‘Give me your hand.' She winced as a hand slipped into hers. An invisible hand …

‘D'you want to see something special, Carrie?'

‘Like what?' School was over for the day and Carrie wanted to go home. Besides, Rosie Walk was the new girl and Carrie wasn't sure she wanted her for a friend.

‘I'm not telling. You've got to come with me if you want to see.'

‘Where to?'

‘Just the field.'

‘There's nothing on the field except goalposts and dandelions and I can see them from here.'

‘There's something else, Carrie. Something you wouldn't believe.'

‘Oh sure. An alien craft, I bet.' She turned to
leave. Her twin brother Conrad had gone ages ago. Mum liked them to walk home together.

‘Better than an alien craft. Tons better.'

‘Oh yeah?' She hesitated, curious in spite of herself. She'd heard Rosie was the daughter of travellers and travellers are different. Perhaps she
found something on the school playing field that none of the kids had spotted. She sighed. ‘OK, where is it?'

Rosie grinned and set off across the grass, which was kept short for games except round the very edge and at the four corners, where dandelions peeped through long blades which trembled in the breeze. Carrie followed, half angry because she'd let Rosie persuade her.
It's probably something really boring, like a hole the boys have dug or a dead bird. I'll slosh her if it's anything like that.

‘Here, see.' Rosie had waded into the triangle of long grass in the farthest corner and was looking down at something. Carrie joined her.


‘This. D'you see the little toadstools?'

‘Sure I see them. Is that it – a bunch of toadstools? I don't call that special.'

‘No, but see how they're growing in a ring, Carrie. We call it a fairy ring.'

Carrie scoffed. ‘So do we. So does everybody. It's a load of rubbish. I'm off.'

‘No, wait a minute. I want to show you what a fairy ring can do.'

‘Do? It can't do
, Rosie, except sit there.'

‘You're wrong, Carrie. Watch.' Rosie placed a foot on the ring, then brought her other foot behind so that the toe of that shoe touched the heel of the first. Then she lifted the first foot and placed it behind the other, which then rose and repeated the movement. In this way, Rosie walked backwards round the ring, very carefully, arms outstretched for balance. Carrie watched, thinking,
Big deal. She's walking backwards. I can do that
a fairy ring.

She was about to turn away in disgust when something astounding happened. It was so incredible that her mind refused to accept it. She screwed up her eyes, shook her head and looked again. Rosie's jumper and skirt, socks and shoes were exactly where they'd been a second ago, but Rosie was no longer inside them. Where her head should be there was nothing. Her hands were gone too, and her thin brown legs. Her clothes were hanging in mid-air. Carrie screamed.

‘Carrie, it's all right.'

It didn't
all right: a school outfit without a wearer, a voice with no mouth. Carrie crammed the knuckles of her right hand in her own mouth to keep from screaming again.
If it comes towards me, I'm off.

‘Don't be scared, Carrie. Keep watching.' The black shoes reversed their direction, walking forward; heel to toe, heel to toe round the ring, as carefully as when Rosie had walked backwards. The grey skirt and maroon jumper moved too, seeming to hover above the shoes and socks. The spectacle exerted a ghastly fascination which kept Carrie rooted to the spot
when her every instinct screamed at her to flee. And when the circle was complete there was Rosie, grinning as she let her arms fall to her sides. ‘Good, eh?'

Carrie took her hand away from her mouth and wiped it slowly down the side of her skirt. Common sense was already asserting itself, telling her that what she thought she'd witnessed hadn't really happened.
It's a trick of some sort. Has to be.

‘How … how did you do that?'

Rosie stepped out of the ring. ‘It's the circle, Carrie. The magic circle. Anybody can do it. Any
, I mean.' She smiled. ‘Grown-ups can't. That's the best part about it.'

Carrie shook her head. ‘I don't believe you. What is it, Rosie – hypnotism? Did you hypnotize me?'

‘No, of course I didn't. I'm not that clever. It's absolutely true that if you walk backwards round a fairy ring, you become invisible.' She shrugged. ‘Doesn't need to be a fairy ring. There are stone circles that'll do instead, like the one above the village.'

‘Inchlake Ring?'

‘Sure. Kids did it there three thousand years ago.'

done it there?'

‘Not yet, but I will. You can too if you want to.'

‘I … couldn't I try now, in this ring?'

‘Sure, but …'

‘But what?'
I knew it. She tricked me somehow.

‘Well the thing is, you don't become invisible
to yourself
, Carrie. You'll still see your hands and knees and you won't
any different, but you'll be invisible to me.' She shrugged again. ‘Means you'll have to take my word that it's worked for you, that's all.'

It's a trick. She has a good laugh while I make a prat of myself, tottering round the fairy ring with my arms out, then tells me I'm invisible. Well OK, if she's that hard up for something to laugh at. There are no witnesses. If she grasses me up to the kids tomorrow, I'll deny it. Who're they going to believe – me, or the new kid?
‘All right, I'm ready.'

Rosie nodded. ‘Fine. Just step into the ring and do as I did. Be careful. If any part of your foot breaks the circle, it won't work.'


It was harder than she'd expected, walking
backwards in a tight circle. A couple of times she nearly overbalanced. And Rosie was right about not feeling anything. She didn't realize she'd completed the circle till the other girl cried out, ‘There – you've done it!'

‘Have I?' She stopped, looked down at herself and saw what she always saw.
Well – what did you expect? She's having you on, you dork.
‘What do I look like?'

Rosie grinned. ‘You don't look like anything, Carrie. There's just your clothes.'

Yeah, I bet.
‘What if I step out of the circle now?'

‘You'd stay invisible, but I wouldn't if I were you. Not here. Not in daylight. Somebody might come.'

‘Right. So you want me to walk forward now, round the ring?'

BOOK: Invisible!
3.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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