This week's 300-word flash fiction prompt from the Fiction Writers Group on Facebook is:
Here is my story "Mirror City"
It only happens once a generation. The conditions must be perfect—the season, the time of day, the position of the sun. When those and many other factors fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, the Mirror City appears.
Scientists and pundits argue over what the upside-down metropolis, a perfect reflection of Vance’s own city, actually is. Some call it a mere reflection, others insist that our bubble universe bumps into another one within the greater multiverse. The Mirror City appears for only a few moments, so learning its truth is difficult, but Vance is determined.
His grandfather tried when he was Vance’s age, flying his prop plane into the hovering image. The resulting debris rained down on the city, leading to laws against trying to make contact.
As a result, Vance’s father had to start his attempt from many miles away. He timed the approach of his fighter jet perfectly, though. As the inverted city appeared, he pulled back on the stick and drove straight upwards. The fireball hovered in the air long enough to consume most of the aircraft. Only smoke and ash drifted down when the Mirror City vanished.
Now it is Vance’s turn. Judging by the relationship between speed of approach and damage done, his solution is decidedly more gentle. As the appointed time approaches, his balloon rises from its hiding place in the upper reaches of an abandoned building. Crowds on the ground stop and stare. Some shout up to him, reprimanding him for his folly. But just as he reaches the prescribed altitude, the apparition appears above him—or below him—or above—or…
To those on the ground, Vance’s balloon appears to flicker, rising up to the boundary, flipping over, “rising” back down, flipping over, and so on until the Mirror City vanishes, taking Vance with it.