Hara and Scara — A Tale of Two Sisters
This story is about two sisters. Their names were Hara and Scara, and they each had an unusual handicap. The older sister, Scara, was invisible. She could really scare you when you didn’t know she was around. However, even though she had the invisibility handicap, amazingly, she could be seen in a mirror or through the lens of a camera of any type.
Scara’s younger sister was named Hara, and she became known for her beautiful black hair when she grew up. Her parents didn’t know that when they named her. They were just lucky with names.
Unlike Scara, Hara was visible to the naked eye, but she did have what came to be known as an image handicap, meaning that she, unlike Scara, could not be seen through the lens of a camera. At first that seemed to be less of a problem than being invisible like Scara. I mean, they grew up on a farm, and if you’re invisible, you might get stepped on by a cow.
The two sisters loved each other very much and were nearly inseparable, except that when they grew up they lived on opposite sides of the country, one in Portland, Oregon, and the other in Ashville, North Carolina. Those are two pretty hip places, if you even say hip these days, or hipster, but if you do, you could say they were modern day hippies, which means they were for making love not war, were heavy into music and art, and were really nice people who were not happy with the establishment. I don’t like the establishment either.
Scara lived in Ashville, and people there had gotten used to having an invisible person around town, except when she photo bombed them, naked of course, because even if you’re invisible, you can’t avoid attention if you’re wearing clothes. As a matter of fact, in my experience, invisible people often attract more attention when clothed than when unclothed. So Scara would prance around Ashville naked without perturbing the locals, but imagine the surprise of people like Penny Parker from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania when she took a picture of her partner Paul and a naked Scara posed petitely in close proximity. Scara was nothing if not playful.
But it would probably be a good idea to tell you how it all started on the farm, what happened when Scara was born invisible and what happened two years later when their parents tried to take photos of a newborn Hara and nothing showed up in the picture.
Both girls were born at home in the farm house their parents lived in somewhere that will remain anonymous because they still live there and they really don’t want the press or invisibility researchers bugging them.
When Scara was born, her dad, whose name was Dan, said to his wife Marly, “Uhhh, like wow, this is kinda gnarly. You, like, just had an invisible baby. Can you dig it, Gnarly Marly? Wow, an invisible kid, that is sooo groovy. Is it a girl or a boy, Mabel?” Dan turned to the midwife, Mabel, who’d been assisting them with the birth.
“It’s a girl, Dan, least it ain’t got what you got ‘tween your legs.” said Mabel as she laid the invisible girl tenderly on Marly’s breast. It was fascinating the way the umbilical cord faded away and disappeared by the time it reached the baby, and once Mabel tied and cut the cord, there was no more baby to be seen.
This was unusual in Mabel’s experience, “Wow, how unusual, an invisible baby.” Mabel was not given to superlatives. “Want me take a picture of you and your invisible baby, Marly? As if you could see it, hahaha,” she guffawed, not realizing that Marly was a bit sensitive about the fact that her baby was invisible.
So Mabel the midwife cleaned up the mom and the baby and went outside the farmhouse to smoke a joint with Dan, the dad. It was some good weed that Dan had grown (that’s why they were living on the farm in the first place), and when they came back in, the two were ripped. Dan went over and wiped Marly’s brow with a cool washcloth and gave her a kiss on her forehead, then he and Mabel broke out laughing hysterically.
“Here, Dan, let me take a picture of you and Marly and the invisible baby,” the midwife said. After rolling on the floor laughing for thirty seconds or so, she jumped up and took a snapshot with the Polaroid camera Dan had bought for the occasion. A bit unprofessional was Mabel, but they loved her anyway. When the Polaroid rolled out the picture of Dan and Marly, Mabel couldn’t believe it, she could see the baby in the picture, too.
“Wow, this is trippy,” Mabel rubbed her eyes and walked around to the head of the bed to show the photo to Dan and Marly. “Lookee here, Marly. You can see your little girl in the picture even though she’s invisible. That’s a first for me.”
Dan and Marly were really lucky it was Mabel who delivered the invisible baby, because she was discrete and didn’t tell anybody except her therapist and her lawyer who were married to each other. Otherwise, Dan and Marly would have become famous, and probably rich, and their lives would have been ruined.
So two years later when Marly was ready to give birth to her second child, Mabel was at her side again.
“We gonna have another invisible baby?” Mabel joked as Marly got her breathing under control. Dan was there coaching her as before, and couldn’t help but smile. He and Marly had recently discovered that they could also see their baby Scara in a mirror as well as a photo, so they’d put up several in their modest farmhouse and kept hand mirrors around just in case.
“I don’t know, Mabel. I hope we don’t have another invisible baby. I almost lost little Scara the other day. It’s pretty crazy with her toddling around the farm now. If I don’t keep some clothes on her, there’s no way to keep track of where she is, and it seems like she’s starting to figure it out.” Marly was a good mother and wanted to keep track of her baby.
Once when she was out in the barn milking the cow, she was panicked to see Scara’s diaper discarded there on the floor of the barn. When she returned from the house with a hand mirror she’d grabbed off the kitchen table to search for Scara, she found her daughter standing underneath Jerz the milk cow, yanking roughly on her teats. Jerz was not happy with the rough treatment and could easily have stepped on Scara.
So when Mabel delivered Marly’s second daughter, Hara, to her breast that cold January morning, Dan and Marly were definitely relieved that they could see this one, but something curious happened when Mabel snapped the Polaroid of the newborn girl. They were all three amazed to find out that the baby didn’t appear in the photo. This was really unusual, so after cleaning up mom and the baby, Mabel and Dan stepped outside and fired up a reefer, as was their custom by now when Marly had a baby. Pretty soon Mabel was rolling on the floor in mirth at the second weird baby of Marly’s she’d delivered when she grabbed a lumpy sheet off the floor and tossed it in the clothes hamper in the corner. Turns out that was Scara, just trying to keep warm, who screamed when tossed against the wall.
That was the beginning of some rough years on the farm for Scara and Hara, but they survived and even thrived. Jerz’s sweet milk fattened them up, and the tasty vegetables their parents grew in their garden turned them into vegetarians for life, though that’s really not an important part of the story.
After growing pot successfully for several years, Dan and Marly bought a big tractor and started farming legitimate-like. Oats, peas, beans, and barley grew. Dan was a hippie turned go-getter, and Marly was the expert businesswoman, overseeing an empire of organic vegetables and non-GMO grain that grew and grew.
Marly and Dan home-schooled the girls, of course, and almost forgot that Scara was invisible and Hara couldn’t be seen in a mirror or camera until one day their grandmother got out her video recorder and decided to record her beautiful dark-haired granddaughter Hara dancing around the barn like a butterfly while her dad milked Jerz the milk cow. To Grandma’s amazement, when she played back the video, there was a striking blond dancing instead of Hara.
“What the fuck, Dan?” she almost said, but not given to using profanity, Grandma remarked, “Golly Gee, son.” And that was that, until someone invented smartphones and Scara, a teenager by this time, had to play hide and seek with their omnipresent nuisance.
Scara and Hara both studied music and dance and exhibited great talent from an early age on. Hara acted in theatre and performed live throughout the United States and Croatia, but her career was hindered by the fact that she couldn’t be filmed. Scara, on the other hand, had the opposite problem. She could only be seen on film or in a mirror, but that turned out to be less of a problem career-wise than Hara’s limitation. For live performances, Scara simply installed a huge mirror above her at a 45 degree or greater angle, not practical for small theaters but certainly doable with her well-funded roadshow performing throughout Thailand and the U.S. Thai folklore had many stories about invisible entertainers, and people there were thrilled to finally see one.
As Scara’s career skyrocketed and Hara’s waned due to her invisibility through a camera, the sisters became closer. Scara needed the support of someone she could trust 100%. It’s not easy being invisible. Just try ordering a cup of coffee. Hard, right? Imagine the looks you get, or don’t get. Or getting a driver’s license, harder yet. While it would be nice to be able to slip into the NSA and screw up their spy computers, thought Scara, it would be really cold in those computer rooms with no clothes on, and then there are cameras everywhere. She felt less invisible every day. As a matter of fact, it was Hara who was becoming more invisible bit by bit because she could not be seen by a camera.
Not only was she unable to make a music video despite her talent and beauty, but on a more basic needs level, Hara couldn’t interact with her friends using Facebook and Instagram or any video-driven app, or even take a simple selfie. It was as if she didn’t exist. Though she followed Scara on her tours all around the United States and Thailand, providing the help, support, and love that only a sister can provide, she grew tired of life on the road and was happy to retire to Portland when she became pregnant with her first child.
Scara visited Hara in Portland often during Hara’s increasingly visible pregnancy, and the two sisters would speculate about whether the new child would be visible to humans or to cameras and mirrors, or maybe even to both, like most people they knew. Then while Scara was in Chang Mai, Thailand giving a concert to a sellout crowd, she got word that Hara had gone into labor in Portland a few weeks earlier than expected. Unable to cut short her tour, Scara was overjoyed to see a picture of Hara’s new daughter, Abigail, on Facebook. She knew that Hara’s worst nightmare had not been that her child would be invisible like Scara, but that he or she, like herself, would not be visible through the lens of a camera.
When Scara arrived in Portland a month later, she immediately embraced her sister Hara but could not see her niece anywhere. Whipping out her iPhone, sure enough, there on the bed beside Hara was her beautiful little niece. She lay down beside little Abigail and took a selfie and sent it to the girl’s grandparents, Dan and Marly, whose business on the farm had taken an unusual turn.
The proud grandparents had begun growing invisible crops once they joined the local chapter of FIB — Families of Invisible Babies. Though the invisible crop business was slow at first, almost imperceptible really, by the time Abigail was born, the growing population of invisible people preferred Dan and Marly’s indiscernible food products that allowed them to eat, digest, and excrete without being observed. And their new SEEFOOD app, with tantalizing displays of invisible delicacies, was in demand with millions of people that nobody had ever seen.