Time Traveler in Plain Sight


From Sammi Cox’s blog

“Time machine? Why would you leave a time machine in plain sight, Rodney?”

“What better place to hide it, Yvette? No one would suspect it’s more than a simple sundial.”

“So you showed up for my time traveler party last week because you saw the advert in the paper the day afterward.”

“Don’t be absurd. I’m not from the future.”

“But then how…?”

“Seems the esteemed scientist Stephen Hawking has the same idea fifty years from now. I heard about it up the timeline and decided to search the records to see if anyone else did it before him. Your name came up.”


“Never mind. You’ll be an old woman by the time he becomes famous.”

“So when are you from, Rodney?”

“Actually, the name’s not Rodney. You see, I discovered that I’ve become rather famous by now so I assumed this name.”

“And what may I call you?”

“Herbert will do, Yvette.”

“You mean you’re…?”

“Yes. Care for a spin? I believe I’m in the mood for ancient Egypt just now.”

I wrote this for the Weekend Writing Prompt #33 – Time. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 175 words long for a prose story. The first word must be “time” and that word must be repeated in the story at least twice. The theme is “time travel,” a favorite of mine.

I’ve milked the idea of H.G. Wells having actually invented a time machine more than once and thought I’d recycle it here since I’ve never posted anything on Sammi Cox’s blog before.

I’ve heard of these parties for time travelers before but had no idea Stephen Hawking had actually held one. Of course no one came. If time travel is impossible, that explains everything, and if it is, no time traveler worth his or her salt would screw up the timeline by attending a party thrown by one of the most famous physicists in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Oh, the name “Rodney” is taken from actor Rod Taylor who starred in the 1960 film The Time Machine along with actress Yvette Mimieux.

As you may have guessed, my story is set in 1962.

Links to other stories based on the prompt can be found Here.

13 thoughts on “Time Traveler in Plain Sight

    • You mean where and when? I’ve always wanted to visit the 1930s and 1940s. I’d probably re-visit the 1960s and 1990s. The thing is the further back you go, the harder it is to fit in. I’d have to give it some careful consideration. How about you?

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s not just when but where. I wrote a series of stories about two time travelers, an American from the present and a Native American from almost a thousand years ago. They were recruited by extra-dimensional beings to perform corrections in the timeline. In the story The Impossible Direction, I begin by having them vacation in 1925 Paris. I came across a description of the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts and it was so interesting, I had to use it. There are events that occurred in the past that are both compelling and that never made it into the history books.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Actually depending on when you’re talking about, health care was much more reasonably priced and accessible before medical insurance companies existed. Doctors also made house calls. I meant medical technology. I’ve had dental problems that, in the past, would have required pulling teeth. Today, there are more civilized treatments. Also, prior to World War 2 in America, food quality and nutrition was much, much better because we fertilized with animal leavings and rotated crops. After WW2, all of the chemical companies that had been producing bombs didn’t want to go out of business so they started producing chemical fertilizer (which is why it’s possible even today to make very dangerous fertilizer explosives). Big Agra has almost completely done away with the family farm and unless you grow it yourself or you know farmers and ranchers who grow and raise healthy organic products, you pretty much are eating junk, even if the grocery store has marked it “organic.” In many ways, the past was better, but as far as medical technology for moderate to serious ailments, forget it (with some caveats).

        Liked by 2 people

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