Stopping the Fire


MorgueFile May 2018 1382470355ix82z

Noa hoped the authorities would think the fire was caused by a lightning strike long enough for her to get away. She knew the machine was experimental, and Professor Klein finally admitted it would be a one-way trip when he taught her how to use the device.

Her physics professor at Cambridge confessed his covert time travel project to her right before they heard the news that radical extremists had seized Iran’s new nuclear arsenal. In a flash of light and heat, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa were gone, along with everyone the young Israeli student had ever known.

Eventually, they’d find the remains of her vessel, but there wouldn’t be much left for the experts to analyze. They would know it was some form of technology, but the melted and fused chassis and control circuits would never reveal their secrets.

Now she was here, but that wasn’t going to be the hard part.

She had traveled back fifteen years into the past to stop a war. Today’s date was Wednesday, August 4, 2010. She had five years to change history, and she would do anything to keep Iran from ever getting nukes.


I wrote this for Week #31 of this year’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the basis for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 193.

I know this story will probably be unpopular, but I like writing the “flip side of the coin,” so to speak, the stories no one else will write because they go against certain political and social “sacred cows.”

I know the Iran Nuke Deal is highly controversial, and opinions vary wildly as far as whether or not it has been successful. We do know that if nothing changes, the deal will expire, allowing Iran to once again pursue the development of nuclear weapons.

Frankly, I can’t see how Iran could nuke Israel without killing a whole lot of Arabs along with the Israeli Jews. Jerusalem is way too close to Jordan for them to get away with leveling the Israeli capital city, and they’d have to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount as well. I don’t think that would happen.

However, they might decide to take out Tel Aviv, although with all the money the U.S. paid out to Iran as part of the Nuke Deal, the Ayatollahs are probably having more success in killing innocent Israeli citizens by funding Hamas and Hezbollah.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

Our Honored Dead

war memorial

© Sandra Crook

“You consider this site to be a war memorial, Jonathan?”

“It’s foolish to see it otherwise, Raven. In fourteen years, an American President will give Iran nearly two billion dollars in cash ostensibly to inhibit their nuclear weapons development, but the hideous result was to fund a whole new era in world terrorism. How many more World Trade Centers is the future facing?”

“Our holographic presence allows us this view of the destruction, but how do you propose to heal such a pervasive characteristic in humanity?”

“I can’t fix it all, but I’ve got to start somewhere.”


Aerial view of the World Trade Center site taken September 23, 2001

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to take the image above and use it to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

The monument in the photo contains the words “A Nos Morts” which I’ve learned refers to a vast number of war memorials commemorating those who died during World War One. That made me think of the site of the World Trade Center formerly known as “Ground Zero” which led me to consider the state of world terrorism.

Getting political, I also recalled that terrorism takes money and Iran is the principal source of finances for middle eastern terrorism and its effects all around the world. Giving Iran $1.7 billion in 2015 probably didn’t stop their nuclear weapons program and it certainly gave terrorism a big, big boost.

My character Jonathan Cypher, who just yesterday discovered his purpose is now looking at how best to begin “fixing the world.” Can his dreams change reality so radically as to eliminate all forms of terrorism or will he only be able to alter specific expressions of it?

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to

Book Review of Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!

righteous indignationA few weeks ago, I went to my local public library and checked out Andrew Breitbart’s book Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!. Actually, my wife checked it out first, but she said she couldn’t get into it. I returned it for her, then put a hold on it so I could have first crack at checking it out again on my own library card.

I can see why she had a tough time with the beginning of the book. It’s a bit of an autobiography of Breitbart’s youth growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Brentwood. In his early life, he’s shallow and self-absorbed and the first chapters tend to drag.

But as I pressed on, I realized he wanted the reader to know about how he was as a teen and young adult so we could witness and understand his evolution into a “Tea Party Protector.”

I learned quite a lot, especially about the century-long growth of the liberal news media and university system and why they, along with the liberal entertainment industry, are so hard to refute. They seem to be the voice of our nation, defining good vs. evil, and stating that if we don’t let them program our thoughts, our words, and our actions, then we are evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, throwback neanderthals.

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