#154: The Right Timing
It has come to our attention that Backstreet Boys (you know, the famous boy band from the 90s) recently announced that they'll be releasing a Christmas album. Naturally, this week's prompts are all about timing.
In a rapidly changing world, it can be hard to keep up sometimes. The newest TikTok is old almost as soon as it has gone viral, and trends come and go quicker than the seasons. And yet, some things are timeless classics. Taking inspiration from the ebb and flow of time, here are this week’s prompts:
This week's prompts
Start your story with someone saying, “We’re running out of time.”
Middle School – 78 stories
Write a story about someone who feels increasingly irrelevant.
Sad – 60 stories
Write a story featuring an element of time-travel or anachronism.
Science Fiction – 68 stories
“The Value Of Time / El Valor Del Tiempo” by Scott Christenson
Later on it was the whole family shouting, “We’re running out of time!” but at the beginning it was simply Uncle Julian not coming home one night. The next morning at 10am, the phone rang. “We have your Uncle. If you want him alive, don’t contact the police. We will call again in a few days.” And then just like in the TV shows they hung up. The caller had an accent from the Amazon provinces south of the capital, where the FARC has their strongholds.Many sleepless nights later, the phone rang again....
“Failure to Communicate” by Graham Kinross
Wednesday Mike, sent 18:07. Read 18:43. So what’s the latest trend on TikTok? Sarah, sent 18:43. Read 18:58. Where did you go? We’re having dinner. You left me on my own for half an hour! Mike, sent 18:59. Read 18:59. And it only took you 36 minutes to notice I was gone. What’s trending on TikTok? Sarah, sent 19:0...
“Blood Red Reticle” by K Cao Xai
“We’re running out of time.” Danni looked at her wristwatch to confirm what she suspected. It was two minutes passed nine o’clock at night and their target—known for her excessive punctuality—was late. “Relax,” Sloan said. “If Central said she’ll be in her office tonight, she’ll be there.” Sloan peered into the telescopic sight of her sniper rifle. She laid prone on the rooftop of a fift...
“Sweet Malice: Turning The Clock Hand ” by Sarah Salman
Exordium of Repercussion: Time destroys. Destroy time. The two utterly precise words that are put together and when they swap chronology, they gain entirely divergent meanings. When time destroys you, you destroy time. Forever. Oh my love, ever wondered if we could turn the clock hand? If we could change the course of time to make everything seem perfect? Sometimes a curse is born within time itself, that ruins the acti...
“Mars Before Us” by Mike Panasitti
“We’re running out of time,” said Tanika Abe, recombinantly engineered descendant of Shinzo and Akie Abe, and general commander of the Oceania League on Japan.Tanika and her techno-rationalist colleagues could hear the rhythmic drumming, ritualistic singing and blood-curdling war cries of the tribal hordes encamped outside the walls of the citadel. The Oceania League islands of the former United Kingdom and New Zealand had already been overtaken by similar sieges. The continental tribalists of Asia had grown bold ...
“In Absentia” by Caroline Smith
It’s Jasey’s turn to host book club. The sangria in the pitcher grows warm as the curated landscape of candles thickens the air with the scents of spearmint and watered roses. Her friends sit in the living room and chat around the coffee table. There are eight of them and it’s likely none of them read the book. Sandra chose it and she always picks books featuring infidelity to make herself feel better about being a divorcée.Jasey hesitates to call them her friends, really. She had friends in college and even made some at...
“A Very Short Story” by Kendall Defoe
“We’re running out of time.”Why did he say that out loud on the sidewalk? He wanted to read a book. Not a big deal, but he had not enjoyed a good book since university when he had taken an elective to go with his business administration courses. That was a time when he enjoyed talking about and reading Russian literature; when they had talked about and discussed Chekhov and Tolstoy. That was on the list, right? Some Dostoevsky, too… He had liked it. So, there was the bookstore… And he kept walking.No girlfriend at 25? It mus...
“The Boots” by L. E. Scott
The sun was shining bright outside, but Sangue’s parlor was shut off from it. Priceless antiques that would fade in the sunlight were stored in here. There was the vase that had once belonged to Louis the XVI. It was rare in that it had escaped the revolution unscathed. Sangue was particularly proud of it, but even it wasn’t the ultimate piece in his collection.Esmerelda Alvarez was coming to tea. Sangue asked his cook to prepare something particularly tasty for the occasion. He was hoping to show off his collection. This was one o...
“Running on Time” by E Canafax
“We’re running out of time.” I felt the blood drain from my face. I knew all too well that one statement held the increasingly narrow key to everything. The deep voice who’d uttered the obvious statement came from a man sitting across from me. He was short in stature, at least eighty, and underwhelming with each feature. The only exception to this underwhelming presence was his eyes; they seemed ...
“Becoming Nameless Knights” by Graham Kinross
Wading in the mud of the melee, Danielle Longbow yelled encouragement to her troops. “Don’t stop now. We’re running out of time. It’s almost sunset. Make it through this and you’re on your way to a knighthood.” “Can’t we just call it a day just a little early?” Anne Hyland asked, she raised her wooden sword to face Sir Danielle and parried slashes, taking a stab to the centre of her gambeson. Miss Hyl...
“Every Father's Dream” by H.R. Glick
“Remember,” she whispers into my neck, tightening the clasp on my gravity vest, “We only get one shot at this.”“I know.”“And don’t forget to keep an eye on your watch.” She straps the bulky device to my left wrist and flicks the dial until a neon green date and time hover above my arm.Date: 22nd of May 2056Time: 23:55“I know you don’t want to blink or look away for long, but if you aren’t diligently looking at your watch, you might miss your mark. I set the timer to go off in your prime w...
“Bach to the Future” by Jim Firth
Moog Music Factory,Asheville, North Carolina,April 6th, 1980Demonstrating prototypes to money grubbing shareholders was never Steve Masakowski’s strong suit--but this product spoke for itself. It was radical. Audacious. Tubular, even. Today, he was introducing the Moog Liberation Keytar.'Pretty soon, pop stars will be wielding the Liberation onstage. It will provide keyboardists the freedom to move and dance while they play like never before.' Steve said.<...
“Jesus In the Now” by Gary Wells
“Well, hello, Jesus!” Jesus Christ of Nazareth blinked a couple of times and looked around. He was standing on an octagonal pedestal which resembled a teleport pad from a popular science fiction series. The man who had addressed Jesus was standing a few feet away, wearing a blue polo shirt and khaki slacks, with a name tag that read “Dr. Hershel Mankiewicz”. He had a big, goofy grin on his face. “I can’ bel...
“What Matters Most” by Betty Gilgoff
“It isn’t going to happen Miche, so just drop it.” Barry slams his phone down on the table.Charlene’s eyes are wide with concern, “What did mom want?” He just looks at her, considering whether or not to answer.“It’s about Gran’s birthday party, isn’t it?” She persists.“Yes Charlie, if you must know.” Already he’s picking up his phone again, starting to scroll.“You sounded mad,” Charlene pries cautiously.He glances up from his p...
“Blink” by Sherri Moorer
How did I survive the apocalypse? Cindra stared into the endless black sky. The green and purple auroras were still flashing beneath the white anomaly illuminating the rocks from the rogue planet raining from the spatial anomaly above them. The ground had stopped shaking. She found that she could move again; she could breathe. She inhaled the metallic smell of the collapsing world and rose to her feet t...
Ended on 23:59 - Jul 15, 2022 EST
Won by Suma Jayachandar 🏆
Title: Moonlight and Madness
Submissions must be between 1,000 - 3,000 words and will be approved and published on Reedsy Prompts within 7 days of the contest closing.
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