One of Those Mornings

Submitted into Contest #39 in response to: One day, the sun rose in the west and set in the east.... view prompt

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Fantasy

Perry got up from the wrong side of the bed. On a Saturday, no less.

He muttered, “No wonder people get grouchy.” How did it happen? He distinctly remembered being on his side of the bed when he turned out the light.

He made his way to the far side, his side, to get his slippers. Perry slid his feet into them without awakening Jane, his wife. She continued in her slumber. 

Peering out through the closed blinds, he thought, ‘There’s something wrong.’ But he couldn’t quite grasp it.

That awakening started a very odd day for Perry. But it didn’t end there. As the morning progressed, he noticed things were slightly

askew or completely wrong. For instance, the clocks were all exactly twelve hours off. But he determined they weren’t running backwards.

He reminded himself to check the sun dial later.

Perry entered the bathroom. When he looked into the mirror the song ‘Hello Stranger’ ran through his head. His image stared back

but didn’t match his expectations. "Have we met?" Everything felt

screwy.

Perry remembered awakening to a jolt around midnight. It couldn’t have lasted more than a second, as if someone dropped a safe onto the living room floor. The whole house shook, but only once. Perry

and Jane each sat up in bed. Perry murmured something about an earthquake.

Neither of them thought more about it and promptly returned to dreamland.

After all, earthquakes are a dime a dozen. But Perry vividly remembered being on the correct side of the bed when they got jolted awake.

As he walked down the hallway and through the living room, Perry noticed all the pictures were tilted. That in itself wasn’t at all strange.

That was typical. However, they all tilted in the same direction and at the same angle. Very weird.

Perry poured himself coffee and noticed the refrigerator door opened to the left instead of to the right. "Is today backwards day?" He shifted his coffee cup to the other hand with a sigh and opened the fridge.

Wouldn’t you know? The logo on the carton of creamer, in a perfect reversal from the day before read, ‘Half and Half’. The label also said it came from ‘fresh cows’.

Perry frowned. "What is going on?" He looked out the window to the street. The flag flew before the breeze in the wrong direction.

“Is it furled or unfurled?” He couldn’t remember.

Laughing children ran and played together, instead of marching solemnly while dutifully staring at their phones. Perry shook his head in disbelief. "They should be rehearsing for adulthood."

Shadows fell to the right and not the left. Moss clung to the sunny side of the trees. It was most curious. ‘How could this be?’

Perry’s daughter, Willow entered. She looked like an Arthur Rackham pixie with a perpetual, broad grin.

Perry said, “You okay, Willow? Your ears aren’t very pointy, this morning.”

She said, “I know, I can’t get them to stand up. I don’t know why. You want some breakfast?”

“Sure. Two eggs. Over hard.”

Humming, she turned to the task.

Perry took her hand. “But first, a hug for my Willow. I can’t stand to see you unhappy.”

Willow gave Perry a dutiful hug and then returned to the kitchen, already perkier.

He said, "I'll be right back."

He left the house and pranced over to his neighbor’s lawn where he retrieved their newspaper. They set the sprinklers on him and

yelled from the window.

Laughing, Perry waved back. “Snooze, you lose!”

Some things never change. With years of practice, Perry had it down to a science. The paper barely got damp.

When he got back inside, Jane and Willow were sitting at the table chatting.

She looked at her husband as he dried his face. “Raining?”

“Just a cloudburst.” It was one of their old jokes.

It made Perry feel like things weren’t completely whacked this morning.

Jane put a last fork full of eggs into her mouth and pushed the plate away. “These were great, Hon. I bet your Dad would love some.”

Willow and Perry spoke at once, “Those were Dad’s/mine.”

“But they were getting cold. You want them hot. Make

them good and hard like these were. That’s the way he likes them. Nothing worse than cold eggs.”

Perry tossed the paper on the table. “You want to read this for me too? Tell me if there’s any good news.”

He glanced at Willow, who made a little salute and cracked two more eggs into the pan.

“And see if there’s anything about this topsy-turvy world I awoke to.”

“Do you remember an earthquake, last night?”

“I do.”

Willow frowned. “When? You mean I missed another? Why didn’t you wake me?”

“Over before it started, Hon. Move along, nothing to see.”

“Yeah, barely worth mentioning, Willow, except today, everything seems backwards.”

Jane cocked her head, “What do you mean?”

Perry gestured to the world at large. “Look around. Nothing big, just everything.”

“Like what?”

“Well like…” Perry bounded over to his easy chair. He held up the TV remote. “Like this! When is it ever where I left it?”

Jane put her hand up to her head. “That is weird. You mean you didn’t set that up before I came in?”

“I swear it. Ask Willow.”

Jane looked at her daughter who shrugged.

Perry said, “It’s like a miracle. Stuff like this has been happening all morning.”

He flopped into his comfy chair and clicked the remote. The TV flickered on and revealed a typical morning show with the panel of guests chuckling over some joke. As if becoming aware of someone watching, they all turned toward the camera and assumed serious

expressions.

The anchor looked up from a paper, “If you are just tuning in, you may have noticed something odd this morning.”

Perry glanced over his shoulder at Jane. He pointed at the TV. “See?”

The TV host continued. “It turns out it wasn’t too big a deal. Nothing 'earth shattering'. But it could be a little jarring if you

didn’t know. Are you sitting down? Last night, around midnight, we experienced a rare phenomenon. Here’s our weatherman Joe Kismet to tell you all about it.”

The camera cut to Joe, who smiled at the camera. The host spoke from off screen, “You’d call it rare, wouldn’t you, Joe?”

Joe laughed and nodded. “I certainly hope it’s rare. I mean, how often…” Everyone laughed again.

Joe tried to look serious as he addressed the camera. “So… As you may have guessed, our hopefully ‘rare occurrence’… the

earth made a little hiccup last night. It changed the direction of its rotation. And well, scientists have yet to explain it. The most dramatic effect of this being, the sun rose in the west this morning. Don’t worry, it rose right on schedule with a loss of only a second or two. And, barring ‘unforeseen circumstances’, the sun will set in the east this evening around seven-thirty p.m., our time.”

The screen cut to a montage of scenes from around the world as Joe continued his commentary. Collapsed buildings and derailed

trains punctuated the shots of large crowds gathered in cities around the globe.

“World leaders are calling for calm from their citizens. Damage reports appear to be minimal. No deaths have been reported.

Weather patterns are in flux and may take several weeks to stabilize.”

Willow brought Perry a plate of eggs and toast. He nodded to her distractedly as he continued to watch.

Joe continued his commentary with a barely suppressed chuckle. “From what we are hearing, many of our satellites will need

reprogramming. We hope the worst repercussions from this unprecedented event will be the rewriting of world literature to reflect the new status quo. For instance, no longer will cowboys be riding west, into the sunset.”

One of the show’s guests interjected, “I’m sure we can cope.” The panel of guests burst into hilarious laughter. 

The host said, “We will have updates as more information becomes available. I wish you a normal day,” and broke for a commercial.

“That explains everything.” Perry clicked the TV off. “A normal day. Thanks. Like, how often does a normal day happen?”

Willow asked, “How were your eggs, Dad?”

He looked down at the plate on his lap. “Oh, I’m sorry, Willow. The news was so dramatic, I forgot all about them. They’re cold.”

The three of them spoke in unison, “Nothing worse than cold eggs!”

Perry stood and the three of them embraced amidst warm laughter.

 

April 30, 2020 21:24

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1 comment

13:53 May 03, 2020

I like this story, it is very interesting.

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