My Short Story “The Tenth Second” Has Been Accepted for Publication in the “Tick Tock” Anthology

james pyles

Promotional image for the Black Hare Press anthology “Tick Tock” featuring me and my short story “The Tenth Second”

My short story “The Tenth Second” has been accepted for the Black Hare Press time travel anthology Tick Tock. The tales were to be 500 words long, which isn’t a lot of room to tell a full story, and they accepted multiple submissions. My other submission “The Weapon” wasn’t accepted, but you can’t win them all.

Just signed the contract online.

Here’s a sample:

Michael Peters had crawled out of the padded module’s wreckage sixty minutes ago, according to his experimental watch. The underground complex surrounding the 500-meter rocket sled track under Groom Lake was preternaturally immobile. How long had he been unconscious after the crash?

“Anybody here?” The twenty-six year old physicist tumbled across the twisted edge of the main observation window near the track’s end, Plexiglas shattered by some unknown force. He lurched to his feet inside the lab, looking back into the acceleration chamber. The track had been twisted, and the man-sized pod that had carried him through the experimental time-field had broken to pieces. What went wrong? The experiment was supposed to accelerate him ten seconds into the future, while he experienced only one second.

The lights were still on, but oddly dim, Dust motes swirled motionlessly. Twelve still living people in the lab were poised paralyzed, including Professor Weiss.

Former Nazi physicist Max Weiss, recruited into “Operation Push,” stood mannequin still in the back of the room, anxiously looking at his watch. Project manager Ben Henderson was comically stationary, dodging glass fragments suspended inches from his torso.

The nine others in the chamber were positioned similarly. Electrical sparks from burning consoles remained frozen like untwinkling stars.

The calendar on the wall next to Weiss announced “September 1959.” Today, Friday the ninth was circled in red.

His watch said over ninety minutes had elapsed. He swiveled to the atomic clock to Weiss’s right. It should have said 20:00 hours and ten seconds, but it was only seven seconds after. “I should still be in transit.”

Weiss had moved! He was looking up at the control clock now, his lips parted. Glass was shredding Henderson’s flesh in slow motion. Once brilliant electrical sparks were gradually dying.

Michael ran back to the window. “Two acceleration modules. There’s one still on phantom tracks, racing toward us. My God, that’s me inside.” He forced his gaze downward. “Next to my pod…that’s impossible.”

“Is it?”

Another voice.

I’ll let you know more soon.

Addendum! Here’s a lot more including how to buy the book,  plus tons of cool graphics and the Table of Contents right HERE.

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