Upside Down – Short Story (Sci-Fi)

Had she been drinking? Head pounding. Skull throbbing. Rachel’s eyes burned when she tried to open them. There was blood on her tongue and a grogginess to her slow morning wake up. She spat dust out when her eyes finally focused and she realized her world had turned upside down, literally.

Staring down at her bedroom flooring she found herself lying flat on the ceiling. Panic set in but not before she saw that her bed was face up (or face down?) only a few feet away. It could’ve crushed her; the wooden frame was embedded into the white ceiling. Who was going to pay for this? Would her insurance cover it? Earthquake? Some other natural disaster? Did the city, for some reason, decide to bulldoze her house? Did she not pay the electric bill…?

It had been a nice house in a nice suburban neighborhood. Low crime. Less likely to be hit by an earthquake. Close to the store in case she needed something important. She had always been prudent. Practical. Logical. But today Rachel’s sense of reason and well-founded rationale was about to go out the window.

The window. The one in the middle of her bedroom provided morning light but also another set of unreasonable questions. It seemed…the world was indeed upside down. Grass was adjacent to her, on the ground, still where it would normally be if her house was right-side up. But she, her head still groggy and pounding, knew it couldn’t be true. Had reality gone mad? Would she be late to work today? How could her kids grow up in a world upside down? Irrational fears seemed to placate her for a moment while she tried to pull herself to the window.

It was as if the sky was pulling her upwards instead of down, like it should be. Gravity was pushing her the opposite way, along with her bed, dressers, and TV, which had all been lying on the ceiling. She couldn’t see much else from this angle, other than the emptiness of her backyard. Anything that wasn’t nailed down was gone. What kind gravitational nightmare is this? Had the Earth gone insane? Was there some foreign celestial object that was causing Earth’s gravity to fail? The implications only worsened her lightheaded mental state.

The hallway was behind her. Curiosity got the better of her as she stood up finally and awkwardly made her way towards her kitchen, standing…on the ceiling. Objects in the bathroom were directly above the sink and the toilet lid and seat were up. A sensation of eerie reflection came over her, not for the toothbrushes or conditioner but the toilet seat, remembering the cold bottom she would get if she sat down. If she could sit “down” ever again.

The kitchen was harder to navigate considering the utensils, knives, pots, pans, broken glass and furniture from the kitchen along her path. Knives penetrated the ceiling and messed up the paint. Last night’s leftovers and some of the milk was also splattered above the fridge. It was going to be a nightmare to clean all this up. Anxiety consumed her. The worry of the outside world became miniscule to the desire to fix up her own house. Her heart began to race. She needed coffee but the coffee pot had been shattered. These irrational fears distracted her at least. She should go back to sleep and maybe the world would go back to normal.

But she couldn’t. What would the neighbors think? Were they even still around? She couldn’t stop herself from feeling insecure, plunging her deeper into despair. If no one else was around who would tell her she looks pretty or compliment her on her shoes? Swirls of doubt and confusion prevented her from focusing and when she told herself to focus it only made the anxiety worse.

That feeling of insecurity suddenly shifted to the bigger picture. If there was some terrible energy force out there what significance did she have?

At the front door she had to jump to pull the doorknob to open it. Pulling herself up Rachel grabbed an apple paperweight and stuck her head out. She was looking down…or rather up into the sky. Nothing was visible except for a strange dark blue. The apple slipped out of her hand and fell…upward. It was only then did she notice that there were no cars on the street, no garbage cans. It was the cleanest she had ever seen Molly Avenue.

Breathing in a panic she sat back down and noticed her phone hanging from the outlet by its charge cord. She grabbed it and was instantly met with trending videos that were sent to her phone account. The screen showed shaky footage of a city as hundreds of people, cars, buses, food, trash, and other debris fell into the open sky. They all were pulled from the earth like a vacuum, sucking up toys. Flailing bodies, in a mass of spinning arms and legs flew skyward. Dandelion petals carried away in the wind.

Rachel nearly dropped the phone to the ceiling while covering her mouth. Explosions cast red glares as some vehicles crashed into buildings including several oil tankers. A choked gasp came from her stifled chest. The world was falling up. But the source of the catastrophe was suddenly revealed when the cameraperson paned to the sky. A black object came into view, round and larger than the moon, larger than anything she had seen before. It was so dark that any detail of the object was swallowed by black.

The world had ended. She just hadn’t been sucked into the void yet. The phone fell from her open palm. Up until this point she had been the center of the universe. The makeup on the ceiling reminded her of this. She had worn it to hide her blemishes, her wrinkles, her imperfections. But everything in her life became so miniscule compared to the greater truth of that same universe. Insecurities became broader. She had worried for so long. Over little things like what she would eat for breakfast, if anyone liked her, if she even liked herself, if she was good at her job, if anyone else saw that she was good at her job, did anyone really even care. Now there was just the black unknown. It scared her. More than it ever had before.

Rachel wiped the tears away and walked toward the back door, knowing she would have a better view of the black hole, despite only wanting to curl into a ball and sleep forever. Broken promises, missed appointments, awkward silent moments, haunting regrets, forgotten friends, moments of lustful vulnerability. All became a spinning ball of black pointlessness.

Life was fragile. Dreams were human. She wanted to surrender to the tear in the sky, become one with it as she stared up and realized how insignificant everything was. Amid the vastness of the black hole, she saw the infinity of the universe. Life wouldn’t end with her. Her life was just a grain of dirt compared to the greater expanse. She was a part of it, always and forever. For a split second she felt incredibly lonely and shook her head, knowing she wouldn’t be if she joined the rest of humanity in the sky…to go back to the stars where all celestial beings came from and are now returning.

She could never please anyone in the world ever again because most of them were gone. It was best to let it all go. Rachel took a step forward and let her weight carry her home. Into the sky. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. One step away from endless paradise.

Enjoying Cyberwave Fiction? Sign up to be notified of new posts.



  1. Priti · August 31

    A beautiful story of Rachel! Life has given her a tough lesson! 👌👌well shared thanks.🥰


    • Cyber Wave · August 31

      Thanks for reading! Life is full of lessons. It’s how we face them that matters.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s