Opposite Day on Earth

By Gabriela V. Everett

It’s your birthday and you don’t get a wish. Those are for everyone else, and they are speaking them aloud—awful things—prayers for thunder and earthquakes that split homes in half; at least  this would stop the family from fighting.

Today, you begin by sleeping. At night, you wake with a clarity unknown to man. You turn on the midnight news: all the politicians wear acrylic nails, hoop earrings, and false lashes; all the politicians hug each other and say, “We agree and, as usual, will do right by the people.”

All the office and service workers are sober. All the teachers are well-rested with their debt and bills paid. The firefighters spend the day with their families. The doctors listen; your psychiatrist stops you mid-sentence and says, “We’re getting you off the pills—I will help you kill your monster,” and pulls a shovel from beneath their sofa.

You drive from the backseat with your bare feet. When the pale, hulking form of a many-eyed passenger flags you down, you nearly break your back trying to stop—the angels are hitchhiking today, and it’s your job to deliver them to safety.

The stock market drops it like it’s hot and everyone cheers. The not-so-gentlemen peel back their wrinkle-free, polyblend suits and burst into song, dancing naked in a circle while lighting their wallets on fire, throwing them upon a makeshift pyre before kissing each other straight on the lips. When they return to their high-rise condos, their spouses will be doing grammar homework, the children sipping wine from skinny, minimalist armchairs.

When the sun rises in the west, you’re eating with your enemies, grinning ear to ear. You chew your water, drink your salad, enjoying every minute. On the way out, your rival gives you roses and concedes, “I’ve always loved you, you know.” You hug at high noon as the belltower signals the end. You sink your switchblade into your rival’s chest and their blood is rich—redder than the bouquet—sweeter than birthday cake.

About the author

Gabriela V. Everett is a mixed-race, queer writer hailing from Sin City. She possesses a BA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and an affinity for coffee at midnight. When she’s not road-raging or reading, she’s hiding secrets in plain sight; they can be found in Allium, Dream Noir, Glyph, Main Squeeze, Hot Pot Magazine, The Museum of Americana, and The Acentos Review. She is currently editorial staff for Mulberry Literary.

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