Flash Fiction Friday: Wishful Thinking

James hurled the tennis ball at his bedroom wall then snatched it when it bounced back. He leaned against his bed and frowned.

Grounded again.

He didn’t see why. His mom had given him twenty bucks for the seventh grade dance. She’d never mentioned that it was “emergency only” money. The fancy fortuneteller the school had hired had given him much more than twenty dollars worth of advice.

At least it had seemed like more than twenty-dollars-worth the night before.

James glanced at the metallic statue that sat on his nightstand. His glower deepened.

All your dreams will come true, the fortuneteller had said. A single wish will change everything.

Yeah, right. James kicked a pair of dirty jeans out of his way—so that’s what that smell was—as he crossed the room and grabbed the talisman.

He clenched his teeth as he turned it over in his hand. This piece of metal had gotten him in serious trouble. And for what? Simply spending money he thought he could spend? Heat bubbled inside his chest.

His mom had always been hard on him. Work, work, work. If only he had a nice mother, like his grandma.

James gasped as an idea formed. He licked his lips and focused on the object in his hand.

Then he made a wish. A real, honest-to-God, bona fide doozy. He squinted his eyes shut and—

“I wish grandma was my mother.”

He opened his eyes and looked around his messy room.

Nothing. Not a thing changed.

His heart sank. His mom had been right, of course. She was always right.

With a groan he fell into bed and switched off his light. Being grounded was boring.

The next morning he woke to the sound of singing. Who was making that awful noise?

He stumbled down the stairs as he rubbed his eyes, fully aware that sometime in the night his mom had made good on her promise to repaint the hallway. The scent of bacon and eggs greeted him as he entered the kitchen.

Nice. Mom almost never makes breakfast.

“You’re late!” a woman-who-looked-identical-to-his-grandma-but-who-was-about-thirty-years-too-young said to him.

What?

“You’ve missed the bus! You’ll have to walk ‘cause I’m not taking you. Go get ready. And don’t forget to get your bathroom cleaned today or you’re grounded to your room for the next week. I expect better, young man!” She said all this in one single breath.

The exact amount of time it took for reality to hit James. His eyes went wide.

His wish had come true.

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017

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Photo credit Pixabay by FeeLoona

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Caffeinated Convo: Time Travel–Past or Future?

For whatever reason, I’ve been writing a lot of time travel stories lately. In every instance my story has revolved around a person (or persons) that has traveled back in time. As much as I love Back to the Future, I had to stop and ask myself: Why? Why is it that I’m not writing stories where the main character travels forward? This got me thinking (furthermore)–If I had the opportunity to time travel, which would I rather do? Travel to the past or to the future?

And so I pass the question on to you: If you could time travel, would you choose to go to the past or the future? 

It won’t surprise you to learn that my answer would be the past! (Of course!) I’m not frightened of what I might find in the future, as much as fascinated by what came before. Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall during the reign of King Henry VIII! Or how cool would it have been to get to watch the signing of the Declaration of Independence? I’m young enough to wish I could’ve been inside the studio with The Beatles to hear what really went on during their recording sessions!!

What about you? Past or future? Please leave a comment below and let’s get chatting! I’d love to hear your reasons for traveling through time!

*cue Huey Lewis and the News “Back in Time” as a Delorean pulls to the curb and whisks me away*  

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Photo credit Unsplash by Ales Krivec

Flash Fiction Friday: Time Travelers

“You’re going back to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.” Harry pushed a few buttons on the control panel before turning to Jim and Ann. “Remember, you’ll have thirty minutes before your cloaking device wears off. Be at the vehicle before then, so you can return to good old 2074.”

“Yes, sir,” Jim said.

“I know this is your first trip, but we take our travels very seriously here at The Wrinkle In Time Agency.” Harry stepped back. “Enjoy your flight!” He closed the door of the time machine and gave two pats.

Jim swallowed as lights blinked and engines whirred. This was one heck of a honeymoon trip!

“Relax, Jim. We’ll be fine,” Ann said. She squeezed his hand. “Besides, how could nobodies like us mess things up?”

In seconds the machine quieted, then halted. The couple unbuckled and stepped into bright sunlight. Sure enough, they were smack dab in the middle of the largest fair Jim had ever seen. Of course, no one around them could see them or their ship, but he didn’t care. Excitement pulsed in his veins as Ann grabbed his arm and yanked him away. Acrobats, clowns and animals performed around them, long lines led to game booths.

“What’s a frank?” Jim said, pointing to a food stand.

“I think those were hot dogs,” Ann said. “Ten cents. Wow. That won’t buy a piece of gum, now!”

They passed a display with a time capsule. “‘To be opened in five thousand years?’” Ann said. “Who’s idea was that?”

Jim shrugged. “Dunno. But I don’t recognize a single thing on display. What’s a slide rule?”

Ann’s timer beeped and she jumped. “Jim, we’ve got to get back! Our thirty minutes are up.”

They ran toward their ship.

“It’s not here!” Jim said, voice strained.

“We’re in the wrong aisle,” Ann groaned. “Come on!”

Again they ran. Down two more rows, up a third. Jim’s heart pounded like wildfire.

“There!” Ann said.

“Ahhh!” A teenaged girl screamed and pointed at them.

“Oh no. Our cloaking devices are wearing off,” Jim said.

More people gathered around, jaws open, eyes wide.

“Let’s go!” Ann said.

The two hopped in the vehicle and took off. A minute later they stepped off the time machine. Jim blinked against a dizzy spell.

Harry met them with a frown. “Well, your trip was memorable.”

He held up a yellowed newspaper, an object Jim had never laid eyes on. They’d been obsolete for decades. Across the top was the date 1939 and a picture of him and Ann, running hand-in-hand. Their bodies were just barely visible against the background. “Ghosts Spotted at World’s Fair.”

“Oh jeez.” Jim’s shoulders slumped.

“Ghosts?” Ann said.

Harry nodded. “Yep. For years people’ve believed in ghosts, but they’re really just time travelers with a fading cloaking device.”

Jim gulped.

Ann patted his hand. “Cheer up, Jim. We’re officially ghosts! How cool?”

Harry smirked. “Looks like you found your fame, after all.”

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017

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Photo credit Unsplash by Sebastian Davenport-Handley