The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Upside-Down, Backward, Wild, Crazy Day of Dale Faar

Jasper Marsh
Double exposure by Jasper Marsh

“Walking to work, walking to work, man, I love walking to work,” Dale hums. As he strolls down the street he sees the same people he saw yesterday. He picks up the same coffee order and he wears the same hat. Dale’s life has a way of repeating itself; it’s pretty monochromatic. Until today.

Suddenly, he feels lighter, the breath in his lungs begins to thin, and small objects start to levitate. Pedestrians begin to float and ascend; cars, bikes, and buses lift off of the ground. 

“Whoa! What’s going on?” Dale shouts in fear. As he rises above the street lights, cars and people follow. Instantly, everything falls to the ground. Cars crash and people tumble all over the place. 

“Oh god in heaven!” Dale prays. As the skyline bends like paper, city blocks rise up like a tsunami barreling toward him. Everything in the colossal wave is inverted as if gravity doesn’t exist. “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” Dale screams hysterically as he runs away. The wave runs over him, swiftly lifting him hundreds of feet. He is still running down the street, but now he’s literally running down the street. 

“This can’t be happening!” Dale shouts. He is carried higher and higher until he is as high as the clouds. There’s no skyline; clouds are beneath him and the ground is above. “The ci-city has been flipped upside down,” Dale stutters. He gazes at the sky in amazement, only to see a flaming van come speeding down the street. Dale leaps out of the way just in time to see the driver at the steering wheel is dead. The blazing van slams into a light pole and explodes. 

“What the heck is going on!?” Dale yells. An array of cars parades down the street. Dale tries to evade them, but it’s almost impossible to avoid getting hit. The flaming hoard of traffic slows to a trickle. “Why, why, why is this happening? What is going on? I just want to go home!” Dale screams.

Toom! The ground shakes and cracks; a manhole cover rattles around and a man emerges from it. 

“Who are you?” Dale asks.

“I am the protagonist,” the man replies.

“What do you mean? You are obviously not the protagonist,” Dale responds. 

“No idiot, that’s my name!” Protagonist says. “Something is coming. We need to hide.” Suddenly, a great dust cloud envelops the city, and Dale and the Protagonist are caught in the storm.

“We need to go back!” Protagonist yells.

“Back where?” Dale asks. Shocked, he starts walking backwards, noticing how the dust is blowing the opposite direction and that everything sounds strange. In a split second, the dust vanishes and the cars begin driving backward. Somehow, he effortlessly dodges them, but then the ground falls like rain as gravity shifts up and down. Dale is slowly pulled back to the moment he left his apartment…then back to yesterday… and then further and further. He is pulled through history before his birth and eventually, the human record. Finally, there is nothing but black, endless space. Time flows as if it were the present.

Dale begins to suffocate, then tries to scream, but nobody can hear him. He tries to move, yet there is nowhere to go. He feels a gentle tug from behind. It gets stronger and stronger, faster and faster. It’s a black hole. He finds himself deep in the vortex. Seeing nothing but darkness, he gives up fighting, gasping for air…

Abruptly, Dale opens his eyes and blinks in unbelief at the sight of the cat poster at the foot of his bed. “What? I’m in my room?” he says in wonder. Mouth open in confusion, he looks out the window to see that everything is normal. Slowly, his heart rate begins to subside as realization hits him. 

“Phew, it was all a dream,” he says in relief as he walks down the gray carpet stairs and heads to the fridge just as he does every morning.

He doesn’t notice the floating coffee mug in the kitchen.


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