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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

A Last Look At Home

chuo tokyo

© Google 2016

“I never thought I’d see Chūō-ku again.”

“Does it look that different, Hiro?”

“I miss the waterways. It’s different, but it’s home.”

“I’m almost sorry I brought you here, given what’s about to happen to you.”

“You said what happens to me happened over seventy years ago.”

“You’ll still have to return.”

“And die, I know. But I’m curious why your Isis had you bring me here to the ward where I was born.”

“Look there.” The Time Traveler pointed to the fish market on the corner. A family, three generations of them, were just opening up.

“Your son, his children, and their children.”

Hiro’s eyes moistened. “They survived.”

“One last look at home, Hiro.”

“Thank you, Martin. Now I can die in peace, knowing my family lives on.”

“It’s time for me to take you back to Hiroshima.”

“Back to my present, Monday, August 6, 1945. I’m ready.”

I wrote this in response to the What Pegman Saw photo challenge. The goal is to use the photo at the top of the page as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. Mine came in at 147.

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

The photo prompt is a 2016 street view of a ward of Tokyo called Chūō-ku, which literally means “Central Ward”. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and among other things, found out that after World War II, much of Chuo City was rebuilt and many of its numerous waterways filled in to make space for more buildings and roads.

I leveraged time traveler Martin Fields, who I featured in a seven-part series beginning with On Wednesday, The Time Traveler Got Wet, in order to give a Japanese man from 1945 a chance to see what had become of his family after seventy years. He gets a look at them in the 21st century before returning to his fate in Hiroshima the day the Atomic Bomb was dropped.

Why the other-worldly being known as Isis would have given this gift to a single individual is not revealed, but it’s enough that it was given.

On Tuesday the Time Traveler Saw Red

easter uprising

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, the rebellion for Irish independence that changed the course of Ireland’s history when it began on Easter Monday, 1916. – From Irish Central News

I’m back. It’s a place that’s not exactly a place, and a time that’s not exactly a time. I have an idea what this all means, but I could be dead wrong.

This is where I left them, the passengers and crew of the ill-fated Flight G-AGLX originating from the U.K., and most recently departed from Negombo RAF Station, Colombo bound for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and then to Perth, Australia.

History records that everyone was lost when the converted Avro 691 Lancastrian One bomber went down over the Indian Ocean on Monday, March 23, 1946 sometime between 6 and 6:30 p.m.

What history will never know is that five crew members and four passengers didn’t die in the crash. I brought them here, wherever here is. My name is Martin Fields and I’m a time traveler.

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On Monday the Time Traveler Took Off

avro

Found at Avro 691 Lancastrian Wikiwand

Martin Fields knew time travel was dangerous, but not necessarily annoying. Their take off from the Negombo RAF Station, Colombo had been delayed two hours because of some problem with the Avro 691 Lancastrian One’s radio equipment. Finally, they’d gotten the problem worked out and the five crew, five passenger converted bomber was in the air again.

They were all going to die.

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