The Experiment

shadow

© Jellico’s Stationhouse

“Johnson, apply more power. I think an image is forming in the Temporalscope.”

“I see it too, Reynolds. Applying power.” Henry Johnson slowly pushed the lever up a bit more. Screaming transformers almost deafened them.

“There it is. It’s just a shadow. but…”

“You’re right, Reynolds. It’s a picture from another time.”

“Counters are settling in, Johnson…twelve years into the future.”

The video projection destabilized before Emmett Reynolds recognized the man about to mount the 1907 RaCycle Pace Maker was his currently ten-year-old son, He almost had proof that little Charles would survive his severe case of diphtheria.

I wrote this in response to the Friday Fictioneers Photo Writing Challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. Mine came in at 97. It was an excuse to indulge myself in another time travel, or rather, time imaging story with a hopefully unpredictable twist.

To read more stories based on the photo, go to InLinkz.com.

Time’s Window Expanded

whale

© Alamy

Physicist and Mission Specialist Jamie Benjamin and her team of three arrived at the orbiting Mars Base Camp exhausted after their nearly two-hundred day trip from Earth to the red planet. But they were astronauts and had to fulfill their grand legacy of being stoic pioneers. Jamie could almost feel Neil Armstrong looking over her shoulder as she stepped through the airlock and boarded the station.

“Welcome to Base Camp, Dr. Benjamin.” Commander Donald Sharp, in operational command of Base Camp and coordinator of Mars Manned Missions smiled and extended his hand.

Continue reading

Time’s Window

gale crater

Gale Crater – Mars

“Temporal Shift Unit is powered up, Commander Sharp.” Physicist Jamie Benjamin and her team had spent a week assembling the complex machinery in Gale Crater, which was believed to be one of Mars’ long dried up lakes.

“If this device works as well as it did in the tests on Earth, we could very well see what this crater looked like over three billion years in the past, Benjamin.”

“I suggest we all anchor ourselves to a specific spot, Commander.” She was speaking to the entire team who had been living out of their twin solar-powered rovers for the past ten days. “When the unit activates, it will seem like we’re 5,000 meters underwater.”

“Proceed.”

“Activating projector…now.”

The thin air around them rippled and twisted, and then it was as if they were at the bottom of the ocean, which was expected. The true marvel was that they weren’t alone.

“Life.”

The What Pegman Saw flash fiction writing challenge was an unusual one this week. Normally, writers are prompted to craft a story no more than 150 words long based on some Google Maps view on Earth. Today, J. Hardy Carroll uses a virtual reality tour to take us to the planet Mars. I ended up somewhere in Gale Crater, scanning a 360 degree view provided by the Curiosity Rover.

Approximately 3.5 billion years ago, it is strongly believed the crater was a water-filled lake. I decided to manufacture a little “virtual reality” of my own to give astronauts a look at what the crater was like all those billions of years in the past. As you can see, they found something startling and wonderful.

To read other stories inspired by this prompt, go to InLinkz.com My story is 150 words long.

Pointing Out the Road Homeward

uganda

© Google – June 2015

Thursday, April 30, 1970, Kampala, Uganda.

“Rabbi Sizomu, you have a year to get the Jews out of Kampala before Idi Amin gains power.”

“How can you be so certain of this, my friend?”

“Do you trust me?”

Both men were standing on a lonely road, untamed brush to the right, a large hothouse farm to the left.

“I have learned to trust you in the time you’ve spent among us. You know things I cannot explain.

“Trust me, Gershom. President Obote will be overthrown in a military coup. Amin will attack the Jews living in Kampala. Convince them to make Aliyah, emigrate to Israel.”

“Why are you warning us?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Then it’s a matter of faith. Very well, I will do as you say.”

Time Traveler Martin Fields watched Rabbi Gershom Sizomu walk back to Kampala before returning home to 2017, his mission accomplished.

I wrote this small tale in response to K. Rawson’s What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above, taken from Google maps, and craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. Mine is 149, and it’s a difficult tale to tell in so few words. I once again employed my time traveler Martin Fields because it’s true. In 1971, Idi Amin took control of Uganda, deposing President Milton Obote in a military coup. Amin exiled all the Asians and viciously attacked the Jewish population of Kampala.

I couldn’t find any information about any Rabbis in Uganda in 1970, so I “borrowed” Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, who in February of last year, was elected to the Ugandan Parliament. You can read his story at Haaretz.com.

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

The Lost Steinway

piano

© 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 InLinkz.com.

Unraveling

explosion

Image: giantbomb.com

A Martin Fields and NaCumbea Time Travel Story

Martin thought, “If we ever get out of this mess, I’m going to have to bring NaCumbea here. This must be the ultimate time tourist’s destination.”

The Temple of Karnak. Even the sacred enclosure of Amun alone could contain ten average-sized European Cathedrals.

“So here I am. Martin Fields, Time Traveler disguised as a priest. I’m so scared, I’ve left my jump suit’s stealth mode active so I shouldn’t be noticed. I’m in Egypt somewhere around 1958 BCE, although exact measurements get a little splashy when mapping them to a 21st century CE calendar.”

It was getting close to the climax of this year’s Opet Festival, the twenty-seven day period when Egyptians believed their gods and the earth required a recharge of chaotic energy from the cosmos.

Martin headed to the storage chamber where the accessories for the god Amun were kept. The most prized of the gold and silver jewelry used to adorn the god for the climatic ceremony that’s supposed to regenerate him are kept there. The key gold encrusted ruby is missing. The priests just don’t know it yet.

Continue reading

The Impossible Direction

woman

From p90music.com

A Martin Fields Time Travel Story

“That was exhausting,” he said in English. “I can’t believe I let you convince me to come here. It’s worse than Disneyland.”

Martin Fields sat heavily on his chair at their table. It was June in Paris and the weather was very pleasant as the sun receded into the west.

“It’s not all that bad, Martin.” NaCumbea sat lightly in her seat as if totally unaffected by the past nine hours they’d spent touring the vast number of stunning exhibits at the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts.

Continue reading

Catching NaCumbea

pearl harbor

© National Archives – Washington D.C.

“So who is she?” Martin Fields had just put on his upgraded time jump suit. He didn’t see Isis materialize behind him in the center of his bedroom, but he knew how to feel her presence by now.

“Consider it a challenge to discover that for yourself, Martin.”

“Too easy, Isis.” He turned to face her. “The new suit’s sensors can detect her jumps. I can literally be one step ahead of her and I have all the time in the universe to do it in.”

“Then please proceed.”

Isis was always smug and condescending, but he still thought she was up to something. What did she know about the other time traveler? Probably everything.

There were no more manual controls on the suit. Not since the incident with the Zodiac killer. Now the suit was virtually skin-tight and with holographic properties that allowed Martin to project any costume he needed to blend in with any period in history. He could control the suit at the speed of thought.

Catching NaCumbea should be a breeze.

Continue reading

NaCumbea

olive

© A Mixed Bag

Time Traveler Martin Fields was spending Tuesday evening experimenting with the perfect vodka martini. The single olive might offend James Bond, but Martin thought it was the appropriate garnish. No time travel assignment from Isis in more than two weeks, so he mostly focused on his non-existent love life.

Martin felt nauseous, but sure it had nothing to do with his drink.

“What the hell!”

The olive and thin liquid streams were rising out of his glass.

She materialized in the center of his living room in a purplish haze. The olive and vodka returned to gravity’s control.

“Hello.” She had an enchanting smile and a time jump suit to die for, if it was a jump suit. Could have just been a freakishly futuristic skin-tight catsuit laced with photo-circuits.

I sat up. “I suppose stuff like this shouldn’t surprise me.”

“It shouldn’t, Martin.”

Great. She knows my name and where (and when) I live.

“Name’s NaCumbea.” She didn’t extend her hand by way of introduction. “I thought now that you know the ropes, you should know you’re not the only one.”

Before I could respond, the purple haze around her brightened. “Come get me.” The chase had begun.

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction for February 26th 2017. The goal is to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. Mine is 199.

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

Again, I’m using my recurring time traveler Martin Fields, who first started training for this job in the story On Wednesday The Time Traveler Got Wet.

This story concludes in Catching NaCumbea.

The Ancient Amazon Awaits

amazon

© Google 2013

The dock master at Manaus warned us against our trek up the Amazon with the clouds threatening in the west. Even Miguel, our guide, refused to accompany us. But I only had three days left to show my high school science students at least a few more of the Amazon’s wonders before our field trip to Brazil ended. Now as the strange glowing clouds descend, I feel I’ve made a terrible mistake.

“Dr. Chambers. What’s wrong with the air?” 15-year-old Billy is the youngest of my students. We’re all coughing. It’s not the cloud. That’s vanished. The entire river and surrounding jungle are suddenly unfamiliar. The river’s wider..and running backwards! I know enough paleontology to realize the impossible has happened.

There’s a ferocious roar coming from near the left bank. It’s getting closer. Sarah is the first to see it. “Look!” She’s screaming in horror.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw photo writing challenge. Based on the Google Maps image above, authors are supposed to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. Mine’s a solid 146.

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

I did a little research on the area of the photo and on the river itself. Manaus is the capital city of the state of Amazonas situated on the Negro River in Northwestern Brazil.

The Amazon is only 11.8 million years old and achieved its present shape about 2.4 million years ago.

However, the ancient version of this water way was thought to have run backward, from east to west sometime in the mid-Cretaceous period about 130 million years ago.

Mr. Chambers and his high school science students are in a lot of trouble.