Little Johnny Puts His Shoes on Upside-Down

Little Johnny awoke one fine July morning. It was a Tuesday and the first thing that popped into Johnny’s mind was school. The fifth thing was that it was the summer holidays and thus, no school. The other three things are unimportant and deal mainly with a slight obsession Johnny houses towards armchairs. Johnny leapt from his bed and was ready to take the day by force. It was bright out. His friends were already playing in the street. Johnny just needed to put on his shoes and he’d be out there, also playing in the street and avoiding the torrent of cars that pass up and down his road everyday.

Johnny picked up his shoes and was about to put them on when he came up with an ingenious idea: what if he put them on upside-down? This was the most radical thought that had ever popped into the eight year old’s mind. He was going to do it. If he succeeded he would be the coolest kid on the street. If not, what could possibly happen? Johnny sat at the foot of his bed with his shoes in hand. He attempted it.

Now, you may be wondering how exactly he was going to put his shoes on upside-down. Was he going to turn the shoes upside-down and somehow pierce the soles with his feet? Was he going to turn himself upside-down and put the shoes on his feet normally? Was he going to do some sort of sick, twisted amalgamation of the previous two sentences? Well, he didn’t really do any of them. In fact, he didn’t really do anything.

As he started his attempt the room began to shake. His street began to quiver. The entire Earth trembled as the fabric of the universe began to tear apart. Johnny watched as new, brilliant colours he’d never seen before appeared. He named them. Rasterm. Flug. Tronhall. Purple. Yeah, em – it seems Johnny had gone eight years without seeing the colour purple and by some strange coincidence picked that to be the name of the fourth new and wonderful colour he saw. It happened, okay?

Johnny felt himself getting thrown all over the room, bouncing off the furniture and walls but he remained unharmed. He watched all his stuff burst into flame. His GI Joes. His Lego. His desk. His hidden stash of Barbie dolls he’d stolen from his next-door neighbour. All of it turned to ash in what had now become a weightless environment. Johnny started to cry. He wished he’d never tried to put his shoes on upside-down. Someone might have seen his Barbies.

Suddenly Johnny’s bedroom turned to salt and lost cohesion. He found himself being flung around the world. He saw the Arctic turn to steam. He watched as the Mediterranean Sea turned into a half-yellow, half-flug jelly. He then saw Italy turn into a giant carrot with razor sharp teeth that ate the Mediterranean jelly. Asia turned into a single grain of rice and was eaten by the pigeon that Sweden morphed into. Johnny’s older brother grew to be three light years tall and collapsed into himself due to his massive – mass.

The black hole that was Johnny’s brother started to suck in everything in the universe. The empty carton of milk that Pluto had become. The completely green Jupiter. The sun, which didn’t change much, except that it now smelled ever so slightly of swimming pool disinfectant. The people of Earth had all turned into sandwiches of various sizes, tastes and textures. As they were each pulled into the black hole brother the Count from Sesame Street counted. It took a while.

Eventually the black hole brother started to suck in entire galaxies. Andromeda. Pegasus. Milky Way 2 - The Revenge. Galaxy Fruit and Nut. Nearly everything was gone. It took the smells of the universe. It took the tastes of time. It took all of the colour and all of the matter. There was nothing left but white. White and Johnny. Johnny looked around and saw nothing but white. He was free to move about in the white as he pleased.

Johnny looked down at his feet. His shoes weren’t there. He was barefoot in an infinity of white. He didn’t even like to go to the kitchen without his shoes on. Johnny shouted. “Hello!” There was no response. “I said hello you stupid white!” There was still no response. “I said–” “Just shut the hell up already!” the whiteness responded. Johnny looked at his watch. He decided there was only one course of action. He took off his belt and strangled himself with it. There was no way he was spending an eternity with a cranky colour.

As Johnny drew his last breath the colour started to return. Time and space came back. The galaxies took their places again. Sweden vomited up Asia. The Arctic sublimed. The newer colours faded away. Johnny’s house rebuilt itself. Johnny’s toys performed the act of burning as seen in the Bizarro World. Everything went back to the way it was, except that Johnny was lying dead at the foot of his bed with his belt around his neck and his shoes in his hands. It was the only way to save us all. Johnny was a true hero. For legal reasons I’ve been forced to state that I’ve never seen a movie called Donnie Darko.