Two Lost Children


© C.E. Ayr

The miniature yacht and skiff pulled floaters as it drifted up channel. The yacht’s deck was covered with torn tarps from the storm it weathered the night before. The current carried the pair up river by midday. They were noticed by a lone Ranger, who called it in to the Park Service.

A small police boat pulled alongside, tied up to the larger vessel, and Officers Bridger and Kahn climbed aboard. The children were huddled in the main cabin, terrified.

“It’s okay, kids. We’re here to help.” Madelyn Kahn loved her own children, and loved everyone else’s. One moment, Erin and her little brother Matty were cringing from the strangers, and the next, they were sheltered in Maddy’s embrace.

Craig Bridger left them to search and found nothing on the yacht.

Then he used his binoculars to scan the skiff. It was another alien Time Skimmer. It used the storm to pull the vessels from the past to escape the temporal police. It probably killed the parents, but needed indigenous beings to time travel on Earth. Unconscious, they’d take it into custody and turn it over to the time authorities.

The two kids could be re-educated to transition from 1922 to 2016.

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction – January 29th 2017, which uses a photo prompt to inspire flash fiction of no more than 200 words. My wee tale comes in at exactly 200.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit

7 thoughts on “Two Lost Children

    • It’s not really a time machine. A Time Skimmer is an alien being who break temporal laws and are pursued by temporal police. Since they come from another planet, while on Earth, to travel in time, they need to take at least one human with them. Under cover of storms, both in 1922 and 2016, the Time Skimmer killed the children’s parents and used the kids to travel forward in time. However, the effort exhausted the Time Skimmer, which was why it was found unconscious in the skiff by the police and thus easily arrested.

      If you like the idea of time machines traveling from the past to the future, read my trilogy of short stories: Tracks Across Time, In Search of the Time Traveler, and Time Line Twisted. In the far future temporal sleuths Josue Hunter and Wyatt Ellison discover that there’s a basis in reality for H.G. Wells’ novel “The Time Machine”. They must discover the identity of the 19th century scientist who invented a time machine and track the scientist and machine across time to prevent catastrophic changes in history. To do this, they must employ the help of the real H.G. Wells.

      Liked by 2 people

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