Uncle Eli’s Machine

the machine

© Sandra Crook / Found at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blogspot

For two weeks, Evan had been investigating the odd, sprocketed contraption in the basement of the house he’d inherited from old Uncle Eli, an eccentric inventor who’d been tinkering with it for the past sixty years.

Evan didn’t fathom the machine’s purpose, but he did think he could get the gears moving.

He made one last adjustment with his screwdriver.

Evan jumped back as the large driver cog suddenly lurched one “ka-chunk” counterclockwise.

Then the light changed. “So, my time machine finally worked, I see.”

Evan turned. The figure speaking to him was Uncle Eli at age 26.

I wrote this as part of (last week’s) Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction using a max of 100 words and base it on the photo prompt you see at the top of the page. The details are at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog (scroll down).

Read all of the responses to this flash fiction challenge at InLinkz.com (over 80 as of this writing).

My story is exactly 99 words long.


7 thoughts on “Uncle Eli’s Machine

    • The implication is that Eli never got the time machine to operate. He left his house to Evan so he could (unwittingly) finish the work. However, at the end of the story, Evan is in 1956 and it’s unclear how or if he’ll be able to get back home to 2016. Recall that Doc Brown in the original “Back to the Future” film, invented the principle of time travel in 1955, but couldn’t make it practical until 1985.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Dear James,

    I love stories that bend time. The Back to the Future series were among my favorite movies. It seems that somewhere along the line Uncle Eli did get the time machine to work. Nicely done.



    PS Welcome to Friday Fictioneers. 😀


    • Thanks for the welcome, Rochelle.

      Actually, in my imagination, he almost got it to work at the time of his death. He hadn’t actually been able to travel in time, but he’d set the machine up so that anyone who could get it to work would be whisked back to 1956, when he had just built the thing when he was 26 years old. That would be his confirmation that eventually, his device would be a success.

      I hadn’t intended to write a parallel to “Back to the Future,” but the more I think about it, the more the two stories coincide.

      Liked by 1 person

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