Welcome to the twenty-first Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was selected by last week’s winner Kolek of the Kolektive: time travel.
Seventeen stories were submitted this week.
No rookies this week. Do we need an advertising blitz in dorm rooms or something?
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):
Here’s the text that people sent it accompanying their stories.
Cher’s on the stage, singing that “Turn back time” song.
Sure enough, POOF! she vanishes, and finds herself back in 1964.
Cher’s back with Sonny Bono, and he’s proposing to her.
“Hell no!” she shouts, thinking she’s doing so well without him in the future, right?
She sings the song, turns ahead time, POOF! back in the present.
A total unknown nobody. Sonny made her what she is today, you see.
So, she sings that song one more time, POOF! it’s 1964, and she marries him.
She doesn’t stop the skiing accident, though.
Didn’t she look stunning at the funeral?
CAROLINE FROM QUADRA:
“Mummy.” Said Lexi rubbing her eyes as she sat up in bed. “I dreamed I was on a time travel with Spock in his space machine.”
“Humm ” murmured Mum.
“Yes he had those pointy ears, he took me to see all the stars in space. We went to Mars.”
“Really!” Said Mum.
Lexi talked on and on about her dream, mostly to Dad as Mum had a busy day.
At bath time, Mum screamed out. Peter! Get here right now. Just before Mum fainted Dad caught her. He quickly took off Lexi’s imitation ears and burned them.
Four calls to the secretarial pool produced
the quartet of 18-year-old women
now standing at the departure gate.
Each held a black envelope.
Dr Simon motioned them to break the seals.
“Play,” read Ann.
“Convertible,” read Evelyn
“Kuwait,” said Alyha
“Wall,” sighed Sophia.
Dr Simon bid them God’s speed
as the temporal attended checked
their names off the manifest.
Kennedy Lincoln Clinton Hussein.
Sophia took a double dose of time sickness pills.
With a single word she would place
President Chelsea Clinton at the Wailing Wall.
This was going to be a Ground Zero headache.
“Time Travel was a bitch.”
The grand opening of ‘2nd Chances’ had been eagerly awaited. The appointment books already filled for the next 6 months. The owner didn’t want to schedule too far in advance – in this business, emergency bookings were a given.
$5000 for 10 minutes and not a soul on Earth would argue that it wasn’t a bargain.
Her 10 minutes chosen long ago, Fran arrived for her 2 o’clock appointment.
She declined the offered cocktail and insisted that her partner use a condom.
Fran emerged from ‘2nd Chances’ childless and cancer free.
She’d finally achieved the life she’d always wanted.
The biggest risk of time travel, George told his project managers, is that it may create causal singularities.
Explain, they said.
You travel into the past. Now, you can’t go back and shoot your grandfather, because then you would never be born to travel into the past. The classic paradox.
OK, they said.
But you might inadvertently change something – even something trivial – that could trigger big displacements in the worldline. And we would never know it!
No problem, they said.
George’s time probe materialized in the late Devonian, squashing a trilobite.
Nargh shoggoth, they said, engulfing their dinner.
It’s a hard life, all this traveling. And there are different people in our caravan all the time. One group arrives, another leaves, and through it all we always keep moving. We never stop, not even for the night. I don’t even think we own any tents.
People ask us to stop all the time. They beg us to stay, some with tears, others with music and poetry. And some of the places we’ve seen have been very beautiful indeed. But we have no choice but to keep moving.
In the caravan of time, there is no time.
KRIS OF GRADUAL DAZZLE:
The best idea anyone ever had, Sam thought, bringing the Easy Button into her SAT. Now I can extend the time limit if I need to.
She couldn’t resist pushing the red plastic disc, just once. “That was easy,” it chirped.
The glares of the others in the room went unheeded. Sam placed the Easy Button gingerly beside her blank exam paper, opened her booklet and began. After a few minutes, she stretched her arms, inadvertently bumping the Button.
“That was easy,” it chirped.
She blinked in the bright, heavenly light. Oh, crap, she thought. Stupid thing must’ve gotten stuck.
Laurence’s story deadline loomed. My promised 100 word opus still unfinished, I dozed off at the computer. Waking later I discovered my story’s window gone, and trudged off to bed dejected, obsessing over unfullfiled promises.
47 years of guilt-driven research later, Eureka!
I hastily recorded these words to disk, gutted my toaster, added batteries, and activated my time machine.
Suddenly standing behind my younger, dozing self, I closed his abandoned story, inserted my CD and emailed this file.
Now home again, that old story contest’s results beckon. I hope 47 years’ labor was enough to at least finish second.
It was most unlikely that you would ever find Paula contemplating the theory of relativity.
She had met a handsome physics professor who invited her to take a ride in his newly constructed time machine.
He explained the workings of his great invention, and not being a deep thinker she eagerly accepted the invitation.
Would she prefer to travel forward or backwards? He asked with an evil grin?
Forward please she replied, and stepped into a looming metal box with double sliding doors.
After a few moments she realized her mistake and following a well placed slap, exited the elevator.
He sat in front of the machine and checked everything was ready. Then he double checked the numbers making sure they were accurate. He was always paranoid he’d forget some minor thing and everything would be ruined but this time it was perfect. Stretching, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes because he could not do this with them open.
He sat up in a panic as the shrill whistle of the alarm rang out. Reactively he slammed the button hoping he wasn’t too late. Another eight hours already gone time to get up. Damn I hate mornings.
The Unfortunate side effect of time travel is breast feeding. You sign up for test piloting, you take certain risks as occupational hazards. Explosions, crashes, some egghead puts the decimal point in the wrong place and BAM, they’re sending you home in an altoids box. But looking at my own Mother’s rack wasn’t part of the deal and frankly I’d rather starve. What the Einstien’s didn’t figure out when they made their little machine was that it only takes you back in your OWN timeline. So here I am in a god damned diaper. Someone better come get me soon.
It’s 2021 and the Weekly Challenge podcast now runs three hours long.
In the boardroom for a major accounting firm, they’re discussing what
to do about this “pest” that’s killing productivity in their offices.
“We could block the server so people can’t access it from here”
“Are you nuts? They’d revolt.”
“How about we fire people who are caught listening to it at work?”
“We’d lose everybody”
“We could ask time-traveler Steve to prevent the challenge from ever starting.”
“I’ll ask him in a couple hours. He’s listening to it right now”
Luckily for us, he didn’t accept the mission.
Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.