Finding Transcendence in an Upside-Down World. fiction by Marzia Rahman

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Finding Transcendence into an Upside-Down World

When I woke up this morning, I looked out of the window and found the world upside down. I didn’t say anything. I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t want to puzzle myself. I carried on making breakfast; I made toasts and scrambled eggs and a cup of tea with one spoon of milk and half-spoon of honey and tried very hard not to peek outside.

When my husband woke up, I watched him keenly. He walked to the window with newspaper on one hand and reading glasses on the other. He threw a brief look outside; his expression didn’t change a bit. He had the same grumpy look he’d been carrying since his boss caught him with his secretary, cheating. On papers. Some kind of financial fraudulence. The office made an outcry, called it an ‘outrageous’ act, sacked the secretary and hushed the whole thing.

After an hour or so, I blurted out, “Have you seen the view?”

“What view?” he said.

“Haven’t you looked outside?”

He looked puzzled and said nothing.

“It’s different.” I said.

“What’s different?”

I shrugged and sighed. There was no point talking to him. Had we ever agreed on anything? Ever reached a consensus. And then again, we were the strong believers of science and physics, we worshipped them, but we never analyzed them.

Did I see it wrong? I looked out again.

It was still topsy-turvy: the sky was down, the land up and the upside-down trees dangling its upside-down leaves. And the road running between the trees looked like a grey tiled roof. Where would we put out feet now? How would we walk, or should we learn to fly now?

I thought it would soon pass. Maybe it was just a phase, a cycle. Or maybe, it was a new abstract sphere where everything would be same, and everything would be different.

As time went on, it began to seem normal. A distinctive rhythm began to take shape. I even enjoyed having the sky closer, just across my window, the clouds moving and tossing gingerly. Trying to enter the living room. Sometimes I kept the windows open and let the clouds seep in, filling the room with wet dreams.

Sometimes, I forgot that I was in my living room. In a way, I was no longer here. I took respite from my body and disappear. And this was how, I found transcendence.

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Marzia Rahman is a Bangladeshi writer and translator. Her flashes have appeared in 101 Words, Postcard Shorts, Five of the Fifth, The Voices Project, Fewerthan500.com, WordCity Literary Journal, Red Fern Review, Dribble Drabble Review, Paragraph Planet, Six Sentences, Academy of the Heart and Mind, Potato Soup Journal, Borderless Journal, The Antonym, Flash Fiction Festival Four and Writing Places Anthology UK. Her novella-in-flash If Dreams had wings and Houses were built on clouds was longlisted in the Bath Novella in Flash Award Competition in 2022. Her translations have appeared in a number of anthologies. She is currently working on a novella.

Twitter account: @MarziaR57167805

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie is now completing her first novel where, for a family with a Seventh-day Adventist father and a Mennonite mother, the End Times are just around the corner. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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