This weeks flash fiction challenge given to us by Terribleminds.com is to
“You have 1000 words in which to write a story where “time travel” is a prominent feature.
Anything and everything else can feature –
As long as it has time travel.”
I figured that’s all fairly simple, I’ve seen all the time travelling episodes of Star Trek as well as reading both The Time Machine and The Time Travellers Wife’ so I’ve done my research. It turns out that my idea, which I can’t go into now for fear of spoiling the tale was a lot harder to write than I’d thought, hence the delay.
But after a few days, I got it sorted and I hope you enjoy it.
Please leave a comment, so that I can get to learnin’ this crazy world of writing.
Have fun, and I bring you…
Flash Fiction: Known Intrusion
John gripped his head, feeling as if it had been cut in two by a hot cheese-wire. He looked at the pen and notepad he held in his hands. The top page read “Donut” but it was difficult to read, the handwriting was very shaky. ‘Well, no idea what that means.’ he said tearing up the top page and tossing the notepad and pen theatrically over his shoulder….
The grandfather clock in the living room rang out the five out-of-tune chimes that it always did at Midday. There was something else too. John was certain he had heard something, a noise between the chimes. A creaking noise followed by a thump and the sound of pottery smashing. ‘Fuck, someone’s in the house’ he said under his breath to no-one in particular, before another sharp pain sliced through his skull.
John grabbed a baseball bat from beneath his bed and slung it over his shoulder, holding his head with his other hand as the pain slowly subsided. Gripping the bat tightly, John stood and watched the bedroom door for a few moments. He opened the door with one hand ensuring the other still had a firm grip on the bat. There was nothing outside the bedroom door, and a quick look left and right revealed that there nothing was in the hallway either.
John carefully walked down the stairs, taking each step one at a time so as not to make any noise. Luckily John knew his house and he was almost certain that the fourth step from the top always squeaked so he should avoid that one. He gingerly stepped from the third to the fifth step, when he moved his second foot on to the step it squeaked so loudly that John instinctively leaped off the step and tried to land at the bottom of the stairs.
John’s instincts had informed him that if he jumped he could land gracefully at the bottom like a cat. Unfortunately neither John nor his instincts were prepared for the grandfather clock chiming the moment he started to jump, which distracted him and sent him plummeting down the steps, smashing the antique vase his mother had given him. ‘Shit… and ow!’ John said as he cradled his knee. ‘What am I doing? I’m chasing bloody ghosts’ he said as he got back to his feet, and limped over to where the bat had rolled ‘Well, I’ll be bruised tomorrow, all because of that bloody clock.’ He looked at the clock, and at that moment he realised. The clock; the clock had struck five twice and the sound of pottery smashing had also happened twice. John rushed through each room checking for anything that could explain the first smashed pottery sound but there wasn’t anything that could explain it.
His mind started to fill with crazy theories; everything from alien mind probes to government conspiracies, before john smiled to himself and laughed. ‘My god John. What ever the fuck you’re having too much off, give it up eh?’ He shook his head and went to open the front door, hoping for a bit of fresh air.
When he opened the door, the view John was expecting to see had gone. The burnt out car across the street, the two hookers doing their best to look completely legitimate to the rather obvious undercover cops on the other side of the street also gone. There was nothing; no hookers, no cars, no cops, no street… nothing; nothing except a swirling maelstrom of purples and greens.
At that same moment staring into that abyss, everything came back to him. The repetition, the clock always striking five, the vase smashing, the headaches, all this had been done so many times before. What the hell was happening? Where was he? Was he still him? His mind was off the chart with panic, running through each one of those crazy theories he’d dismissed only seconds ago.
‘I have to stop this. Fuck! I don’t have long.’ He slammed the door and checked his coat for the notepad and pen before realising that he’d left them upstairs. John bounded back up the stairs, taking two or three steps with each leap. His ankle buckled a little on the final jump but not enough to slow him down. He ran into his bedroom and picked up the pen and notepad from the floor.
He held the pen ready to write but his mind had gone blank. He knew that he needed to write something to hep get him out of this mess. He had to break the loop. He had to stop himself leaving the room. That was it ”Do not follow the noise.” Not the best note but he didn’t have a great deal of time. John looked down at the note allowing himself to feel relief, but it was short lived.
The familiar pain in his head returned, and John saw the writing disappear from the note; it was restarting. He had to try again. He held the pen as steadily as he could as the pain racked through his mind, but he only managed to scrawl ‘Do not’ before the pain overcame him.
John gripped his head feeling as if his head had been cut in to by a red-hot cheese-wire. He looked at the pen and notepad in his hands, the top page read ‘Donut’. It was difficult to read, the writing was very shaky. ‘Well, no idea what that means.’ he said tearing up the top page and tossing the notepad and pen theatrically over his shoulder….