Other stories for this prompt

The air raid sirens were going off. I could tell. Even from the thousands of feet above, I could hear the wailing of the sirens call. And that was fine. Most of the people below us would be dead by morning anyway. The tell tale rumble of the US sky-boats shook the fuselage of the Junker we were in, signalling our commanding officer to greenlight our jump. In the dwindling light of evening we leaped from our Ju-88, nicknamed Hati, and plummeted towards the blooming flowers below.

Allied parachutes blew up below us as we rocketed towards the earth. I...

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1943. The year of my birth. To a very young mother. Raped by a stranger. I spent forty years believing that Tom Morran was my real father. When I found out the truth (by accident) I had a breakdown which took me by total surprise as I had always been an unemotional, logical man. Cold, is what my wife called me. A cold fish. No empathy, no sentiment or sympathy. Even when our youngest was miscarried after a car accident I didn't shed a tear.

Divorce was not something my wife contemplated after her short stay in hospital but I...

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(19:43 to be exact, but the : had given up life years ago)

30 oC


29 oC


The red LEDs blinked their cycling transmission of temperature and time. Next to a pealing sticker announcing "Efe Tur" as the owner of this otobüs, no doubt more faded by continuous display, was our destination, Esenler, the second step to Istanbul and Atatürk Airport. Where check in had started already. If by some miracle, time could be made up, more steps would lead home, many hours later. 

The journey to Izmit had been more enjoyable, as this one was an...

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"I'll be 69 this year."
I lifted my eyes from my book, struggling with my irritation. Across from me sat a woman, her eyes clouded with reflection as she stared over my shoulder. "Forty years I could have spent with someone who adored me if I hadn't have been so blind."
I blinked. I couldn't quite tell if she was actually speaking to me. I folded my book around my thumb and waited. The ache in her voice spoke to the same in mine and I refused to look at my phone that had hummed more than once, someone far...

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My father was born. The pressed leaves of Limerick brushed from the crib. A mirage shimmers over the pond. Ships and flags and trucks. Red brick stoops on analog streets. Lamps on the corners.

We move and it is 30 years later. Soon the crushed leaves of New York gather. The east coast bleeds in tides, rushing us over the Plains.

In the West, we dry in the momentary sun, then open our mouths for the never-ending rain.

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Population. 1943
Even painted over, the 2 was still visible if you looked at the sign at an angle. And the previous 1 if you were real close, but from a passing car, residents or the occasional visitor to Sleepy Falls would see, if they were paying attention, that a new resident now inhabited the town. Ted wiped his brow with his customary cotton handkerchief and reseated the dusty Sheriff's Hat. 

"It's not straight." said this week's Deputy, who decided to punctuate this pearl of wisdom with an increasingly annoying, yet habitual spitting out the passenger window. 

The fact...

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The window was a lot harder to get open than I expected. I guess they aren’t really designed to be opened, but they do open if you pull hard enough. The air felt good; fresher higher up than on the lower floors. And I could see the cityscape below, half hidden in morning mist. It was going to be a beautiful day.

My office was private, not one of the cubicles most of the employees occupied, like rows of Dilberts enjoying only partial privacy. I had earned my space by bringing in the numbers. I had worked my way up...

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It was twenty to eight.

"Actually, it's almost quarter-to."

He was such a pedant.

"I can see what you're writing, and I'm not, I just like to be precise about these things."

Once again, his obsessive compulsive need for exact timekeeping

"I don't have OCD."

He had completely missed the fact that he hadn't been diagnosed with any kind of disorder, just displayed some obsessive compulsive behaviour. It was more of his paranoid ideation, presuming that an innocent

'You haven't interrupted me.'

"You're being boring. It's just bitching now. Although now it looks like you're the paranoid one."

'I'm not...

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Back in 1943
Everywhere was tyranny
It seems the perfect time to me
To test my backwards time machine

If Hitler dies, what happens then?
To future women, future men?
Perhaps we've come to pick the locks
To history's temp'ral paradox

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About the prompt

Originally displayed on:
November 21, 2010


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