#78 The Refractive Index for Human Skin is 1.44

by Andy Lavender

He spun round as the door opened; knocking the sprays of pink carnations on the sideboard. The vase rocked, but didn’t fall over. “You’re home early,” he said.

“Got these applications to review,” his wife replied holding up the jute bag advertising a specialist woodworm treatment company. “People won’t leave me alone in the office, I can’t think straight.”

“Oh,” was all he could manage as he wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“You been working out?” asked his wife.

“Just working.”

“I could do with that invisibility cloak you’ve been developing. Stop them pestering me. Any chance?” she said.

“Still perfecting it.”

“You’ve been saying that for months.”

“I’m tweaking and testing the metamaterials; working out how to balance light wavelengths, critical angles and refractive indices.”

“Imagine if you do it though? It’ll revolutionise the world, and I won’t have to work on applications every week.” She laughed.

“I am trying.”

“I know love. But a girl can dream can’t she? I’ll read these upstairs. Leave you in peace.” He bounced his left foot as he watched her zigzag up the wooden staircase, and waited until she trod on the creaky floorboard in their bedroom. He blew out a short breath, pulled a controller out of his pocket and tapped the red button. The air shimmered around the orange chair at the bottom of the stairs. He put his finger to his lips and led the hastily dressed woman to the front door.

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