Chasing the Zodiac

photo prompt roger bultot

© Roger Bultot

Martin Fields looked out window of his rented condo at a street recently swept of snow. “So primitive, Isis, but we won’t be here long.”

“It’s your fault we’re here at all.”

Fields turned to face her. She was beautiful by design, reminding him that she wasn’t human.

“How could I know he’d find my time machine? It was a one in a million shot that he figured out how it worked.”

“We gave you time travel so you could enforce justice.”

“We traced him to 2014, forty years after the Zodiac Killer disappeared. This time he won’t get away.”

I wrote this as part of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers Challenge. Using a photo prompt, authors are supposed to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words in length. My wee missive weighs in at exactly 100.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

There are two influences for my story. The first is the Star Trek original series episode Assignment: Earth. The starship Enterprise travels back in time to Earth of 1968 to do historical research and encounters a human being beaming from a planet light years away to New York City accompanied only by a black cat.

The man is the descendent of humans taken to another planet thousands  of years ago by an alien race to be trained as secret agents intended to guide humanity to become a peaceful race. The agent’s name is Gary Seven (played by the late Robert Lansing), and he made a similar statement about primitive humanity looking out the window of his penthouse down at the streets of Manhattan. His cat was named “Isis” and was actually an alien metamorph.

The second influence is the 1979 film Time After Time. In late 19th century London, writer and visionary H.G. Wells (played by Malcolm McDowell) invents a time machine which is then stolen by his friend Stevenson, who has been discovered to be the notorious murderer Jack the Ripper (played by David Warner). Wells chases Stevenson to 1979 San Francisco to stop him from killing more women and somehow to bring him to justice.

In my case, I changed Jack the Ripper to the Zodiac Killer, who is believed to have murdered up to 37 people in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s and 70s.

I added a twist. Future humanity didn’t invent time travel. It was a gift from non-human entities who have chosen certain people to act as their agents, doing justice across history.

I know. You’re probably getting bored  of  time travel stories by now, however I want to see how many I can write based on these prompts.

Addendum: If you liked this story, I’m featuring the same characters in another, slightly longer tale called On Wednesday the Time Traveler Got Wet.

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13 thoughts on “Chasing the Zodiac

  1. I remember that film, it was great! David Warner was the baddie – always a great baddie. The idea is being turned into a series that comes out this year. You won’t find any complaints re time travel tales from me – I love ’em. Nice addition to the Fictioneers’ line up this week

    Like

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