Congratulations to Sara Karnoscak, first place winner in the Children’s/Young Adult Fiction category of the 90th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. Here's her winning story, "Upside Down Man."
Upside Down Man
Emmit loves being upside down. He goes upside down all over town.
He walks on his hands, he sits on his head, he hangs upside down when he goes to bed.
He’s very proud when he’s at work. He’s the company’s first upside down clerk.
He files his paperwork in an upside down way – he starts with Z, then goes to A.
He visits the dentist upside down, which makes it quite hard to give him his crown.
When the barber tries to trim his beard, he finds the angle rather weird.
He holds his umbrella with his feet. He uses his toes to cut his meat.
People who meet him don’t know what to do. It’s a little awkward shaking his shoe.
He often gets stared at on the bus. His shoes in the air can cause quite a fuss.
But he doesn’t mind if people stare. What right side up people think, he doesn’t care.
One day as he walked down the street, he saw another pair of hands instead of feet!
“Hello!” he greeted with a grin, for he was talking to a face instead of a shin.
“Hello,” replied the woman with a nod and a smile, the first he had seen in quite a while.
“Fancy meeting you here, another hand-walker.” He hoped that this woman was a talker.
“I’m Susan B Oozen from Bottomupp. Who are you, if you don’t mind me being abrupt?”
“I’m Emmit Wyckoff-Wellington the Third. But Bottomupp? I’ve never heard.”
“Never heard? That can’t be true. It’s full of people like me and you.”
Emmit couldn’t believe it. An upside down town? She had to be yanking him around.
“Would you like to see it? I’m on my way.” Why this must be his lucky day!
They talked and they laughed as they walked on their hands, to this wonderful, magical upside down land.
When they arrived Emmit was in awe. Everyone was upside down everywhere he saw!
The postman pushed his cart with a shoe on each handle. The masseuse used her bare feet to light up a candle.
Children rode bikes pedaling with their hands. There was even an entire upside down band.
Signs were posted upside down. Doorknobs were situated close to the ground.
“What an absolutely delightful place!” Emmit said with a smile upon his face.
Susan took him skating in Bottomupp Park. They watched upside down animals in the dark.
They flew kites and painted and tossed pizza in the air. They rode on the Ferris Wheel at Bottomupp Fair.
Emmit was having the time of his life, but after a while he became filled with strife.
What could possibly be wrong? He mused and he questioned. In this wonderful place, what caused his joy to be lessened?
He wrinkled his brow and sipped from his cup, and realized that things felt… right side up.
When doorknobs and chairs are made upside down, you’re no longer the other way around.
Emmit liked being upside down in a right side up world. He liked being different from other men, women, boys and girls.
He thanked Susan B Oozen for showing him her town, and promised he’d come back and see her around.
Then he went back to the place from whence he came, feeling quite happy that he wasn’t the same.