The Lost Steinway


© Mike Vore

Of all places, she found it in the first floor public men’s room in a deserted hotel in upstate New York. It was Monday, September 2, 1985, 4:35 a.m. In less than two hours, the demolition crew would be here to level the place. They would have destroyed this priceless treasure.

NaCumbea placed her hand gently on the tarp covering the old Steinway. “I know a couple who would love to take care of you, beautiful.”

She expanded the field radius of her time jump suit to include the piano and set her coordinates for the distant future in a parallel quantum reality. Wyatt Ellison and Josue Hunter were protectors of rare historical artifacts. NaCumbea knew they’d take good care of the last piano Bill Evans played before he died.

It didn’t exist in their reality, but it did in hers, so she agreed to find it for them. After all, she owed them one.

I’m probably cheating a bit since these flash fiction stories are supposed to be stand-alones, but I couldn’t help leveraging not only my Martin Fields and NaCumbea time travel stories, but also a separate series involving the characters Wyatt Ellison and Josue Hunter, who I also referenced in my recent story Unraveling.

The photo prompt is from FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 07, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the prompt above to create a story between 100 and 175 words, with 150 being the ideal target. My story is 156 words long.

To read other stories based on this prompt, go to

15 thoughts on “The Lost Steinway

  1. Very interesting! Parallel quantum reality! How wonderful that she can put the Steinway inside her time jumpsuit so she can take it into the future to be protected! Great story, James!


    • Thanks. Actually, it doesn’t fit in her suit, but she can expand the time jump field her suit generates so she can take the piano with her.

      I had to make her not only a time traveler but a quantum reality traveler because I’m “marrying” two different time travel series together. Martin Fields and NaCumbea belong to one set of time travel stories, while Wyatt Ellison and Josue Hunter operate in a completely different story line. I included all of the relevant links in case you or someone else is curious as to who these people are and why Ellison and Hunter make regular contributions to a secret vault of historical artifacts.

      As an additional spin, I included a reference to real-life jazz pianist Bill Evans who died in 1980. He’s one of my favorites.


  2. Oh I think I can excuse this for not being completely stand alone, especially since you’ve now piqued my interest in your other stories and characters. 🙂 Nicely done.


  3. It still holds together as a stand alone story too, I think, although I have read a few of the others in your series. I did wonder why the piano looks like it’s in a restroom or a mortuary as well!


  4. loved the idea of someone collecting artifacts and memorabilia not from their won time and preserving history. Interesting that you write about time travel, I am re-reading the Time Travelers wife now and have always had a fascination with time travel though could never express it in words like this.


    • I’ve heard of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” but don’t know anything about it. Time Travel has always been a fascination of mine, although there are plenty of authors out there who do it more justice than I can.


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