Jubilette by Sarah Kramer

You are a child, riding in a car being driven by your mom. They tell you that you are going to the fanciest restaurant in the entire world. You can barely contain your excitement. You are jumping from seat to seat like a monkey, making up songs in celebration of your trip. Your mom shows no signs of irritation from this behavior, so you continue, getting yourself more and more amped up as you dance. Suddenly you ride right off a cliff. You scream with a mix of fear and excitement as you plummet to your destination. You are thrown around the car as it makes a bouncing crash at the bottom. Your mom remains calm, and rolls the windows down.

A butler, who is obviously dead, with pale skin that is visibly rotting at the hairline, approaches the car with a platter. He lifts the lid to reveal two champagne glasses filled with thick red liquid. It’s too light to be blood, it resembles cocktail sauce. When you take a sip, it tastes like neither blood, or cocktail sauce. The texture and flavors permeate your soul like the familiar rhythm of your favorite song, mixed with an exotic, vengeful aftertaste. You realize that each sip tastes different. This impregnates your mind with qualms about the experience. A part of you completely rejects this as your memory due to it’s inextricable nature.

The dead butler returns with another platter. He lifts the lid, revealing a heap of jumbled unpalatable disarray. The first bite teaches you quickly never to depend on a single sense when analyzing anything. You begin to shovel the mangled cuisine into your bottomless stomach. You are unable to stop yourself from consuming a second, and third helping. You have never been more satisfied in your life- or shall I say … death?

Mom pulls out a remote, and presses rewind. The car moves backwards up the cliff. You giggle again as you experience the turbulence backwards. The chilling journey continues.

Your mom stops the car along the way. There is a curious wooden swing tied to a strangely enchanted tree. She gets out of the car, you follow. You instinctively sit on the swing, and she begins to push you. You fly higher than you anticipate. The swing does not appear to be constricted by the normal rope boundaries. It flies above the tree it’s tied to.

As you enjoy this moment, the perspective of yourself changes. You are now able to watch yourself swing. With every motion the swing makes, you watch as you grow older.

You are miraculously transformed from child to adult in this process.


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