Father Goes For Cigarettes and Disappears For Twenty Years

Another writing prompt.

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I walked into the gas station. “Marlboro Reds, please.”

The cashier smirked. “You really shouldn’t smoke.”

“You really shouldn’t stick your nose into my business.”

“That was rude.”

“Ya know what? Fuck you, I’ll go to the next gas station.” I knew she didn’t care. She was paid minimum wage to run that register and didn’t give a shit how good business was. Still, it felt good to not spend my money there.

As I headed to the door, a tingling sensation came over my body. At first I just ignored it, but it got stronger and I felt something like an electric shot when I touched the door handle. I nearly fell over, but I caught myself.

Things around me seemed strange. They were mostly the same, but different. A guy was staring at some sort of device in his hand. It looked like a cellphone, but wasn’t anything like a cellphone I saw. Must’ve been a rich kid, but he didn’t dress like one. As I looked around, I saw more and more people with them.

I reached in my pocket and called my wife. She seemed amazed that I had called and demanded to know where I’d been.

“I just stepped out for some smokes.”

“Why did you leave?”

“Like I said, I needed smokes.”

“Don’t fucking play games with me!”

“Honey, what’s wrong?”

“Where are you?!”

“At the gas station, sweetie.”

She called me a pig and hung up. I wasn’t sure what was wrong with her, and I went to my car. Except it wasn’t there anymore. Someone stole my car! As I reached for my phone to call the cops, a woman with a man in his early twenties approached me. She looked like my wife, but older.

“No way,” she whispered. “You haven’t aged a day.”

“Is it really him?”

She nodded. “It’s him. I don’t know how, but it’s him.”

“What are you two going on about?”

“You called me. Luckily I happened to be in the area, and we decided to pop in.”

“No, I called my wife.”

“I am your wife.” She gestured to the twenty year old man. “And this is your son.”

“No, my wife is twenty five. No offense lady, but you passed twenty five a while ago.”

She walked to the stack of newspapers for sale and showed one to me. Blood rushed to my head and I nearly fell over. September 27, 2016. What the fuck?! It had been 1996 a second ago! I darted for the other newspapers. Each one had the same date. “How is this possible?!”

A familiar female voice spoke behind me. “You really shouldn’t be so rude to strangers.”

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Time keeps on ticking

This submission is about a high school that can freeze time, and did it so often that he’s now an old man in his junior year.


Hushed whispers were all around me at the school. Who could blame them? I was nearly a thirty year old high school student. My birthdate says I’m seventeen, but between all the instances I’ve paused time, there’s no way I can be sure how old I am since I never counted my time in while paused. Judging from my receding hairline and ever so slowly forming laughlines though, I’d reckon thirty.

It all started so simple. First it was just so I wouldn’t have to go to class right away. Then I started using it for tests and to do an entire night’s homework seconds before it was time to turn it in. Initially it was great. My parents loved my grades and tolerated me staying up all night to play video games or going to parties. Walking right into the girl’s locker room was a blast too. All these minutes and hours started to accumulate. Dave, my best friend, said it looked like I had a rough night out one day. I felt fine, and it took me a while to realize I was starting to age. Nothing too serious, but it was noticeable. I looked less like a high school student and more like a college student. My facial had even grown out of the teenage patchy phase, and I was a couple inches taller.

Two months ago, which feels more like two years, my parents started to suspect me of drugs and confronted me. A lot of kids at school had suspected as much long before. Even Dave seemed standoff-ish. I couldn’t tell anyone of my ability, and I used it to avoid talking to my parents. I’d often go relative months at a time. Again, I have no way to know how much time had passed to me while I froze it.

Things can get boring in frozen time world. Electronics don’t work and there’s nobody to talk to. I like it though, especially since talking to people became a little less appealing everyday. It was good to just sit back and enjoy the sights. I’ve walked on water. It freaked me out the first time I did. It was like walking on mud; it was slick and my foot sank slightly. Footprints were left behind, though as soon as I unfreezed time, the footprints turned into small ripples. I planned on hiking across the ocean someday so I could travel to another country. But I was a procrastinator, so who knows when that’ll happen. I’ve seen a bee in flight. I’ve seen a bullet in mid path. I saved someone’s life that day. Occasionally I’d steal, but only one or two things. Usually alcohol, which redeemed some of my popularity. I was a freak, but I was a freak that could get them liquor.

I try not to think about long term. If I don’t change my habits, I’ll likely be dead before I’m officially thirty. Until then though, I’ll just keep freezing time and enjoying the good life.