Fantasy Romance Speculative

In the year 2027, the fabric of time frayed. It began gently, like a whisper in the wind, but soon, the world felt its tremors.

The study of Wandering Black Holes was primarily focused on by celestial physicists and science fiction writers.

The cessation of communication from probes sent to the solar system’s outer regions prompted swift action from NASA and the military complex.

Using their state-of-the-art space-based telescope, Ginger Johnson, a NASA expert in celestial mechanics, studied a recent phenomenon that appeared in the night sky.

While Ginger was becoming aware of the probe issue, her eyes were drawn to a peculiar glow from a faint string of amber objects, piquing her curiosity.

Frank Alderman was researching the probe issue when his boss stormed in, interrupting his thought process.

“Capt. Alderman, what’s the status of Phobos ten?”

Frank’s eyes momentarily left the monitor, catching a glimpse of Colonel Spicket. “Similar to Europa Twelve last week, there is no sign of a return signal.”

Spicket’s crimson face rounded as his eyebrows pinched together, transforming into a bushy unibrow.

“Is someone blocking the signal? Could it be the Russians?”

Frank was sure it wasn’t the Russians or the Chinese but something else.

“I have it on good authority that the Russians lost contact with their probes, too, sir.”

The sharp sound of the report slamming on the desk reverberated through the room, making everyone jump and divert their attention from their screens.

“Twelve Billion dollars pissed away because of some snafu by those whiz kids in Palo Alto! We should have never gone outside the military,” He blustered.

His words filled the room, resonating off the walls floor and reflecting off the glass walls of the offices above the control center.

Ginger left her post and stood by Frank. She, too, was from outside the armed forces.

After Clyde Spicket turned away from the engineers and left the floor to smoke his infamous cigars, the tension in the room relaxed.

“Frank,” she said, adjusting her lab coat, “I’ll be in my lab. I have an idea I want to research. Let’s keep that between us,” she whispered, leaning closer, allowing him to whiff her perfume.

When Frank glanced upwards, he viewed his childhood friend in a new and different way. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from her as he admired the captivating view of her vivid emerald eyes, the gentle sprinkling of freckles on her cheeks, and her sleekly pinned fiery red hair, which exuded a commanding presence reminiscent of an officer.

“Why, between us. Wouldn’t more eyes make sense?”

Her eyes darted towards the door, still swinging from Clyde’s departure. Frank knew immediately that her unease around military personnel or type-A personalities like Clyde was undeniable. He had just insulted her through his bluster, and she had no place for him in her life.

“Umm, it’s just a theory, and I could be completely wrong.” Fidgeting with a timepiece suspended around her neck by a delicate gold chain, she glanced back at him.

The artifact was no ordinary watch. She acquired it from a trip to Roswell at a very young age. A strange little man handed it to her during the annual UFO festival. That gift changed her life.

“Come and check it out for yourself at 3:15 today.” Her eyes darted to his screen and notes and then back to him. “If I am correct, we will have a definitive answer then. Will you come?”

Frank smiled and nodded. A wave of warmth and happiness washed over her, melting away the frown lines on her face. Her perfume lingered as she turned away, momentarily distracting his thoughts.

Losing communications between the probes was only the beginning of what was sure to be a busy day.

What Ginger had discovered would change the dynamics of their world. Her thesis on space, time, and gravity should have been a clue to anyone who knew her.

Those mysterious lights from beyond our solar system were just the tip of the iceberg, signaling an event of immense significance that could potentially shatter the reality of billions.

The faintest ripple from the anomaly marked the beginning of space-time’s undulation. The probes that stopped transmitting did not change their location but their timeline.

Pulling at the timepiece on her chest, the time read 3:00. She fidgeted with the controls on her project, causing generators to whirl to life from below the building. The military, which she loathed, provided her with grant money for a new super weapon that was to be space-based.

The investors were pleased with their investment after seeing her demonstrate a vortex with a miniature black hole.

Ginger’s project was never intended to eliminate their adversaries. The objective she pursued was to provide evidence for the existence of the multiverse.

With the monster’s emergence, that goal changed.

No sooner had Frank left his station than a second gravity wave from the monster at large penetrated the Ort cloud, breaching the solar system at light speed. Had he waited a little longer, the alarms from the different stations would have captivated his attention, causing him to miss his date with destiny.


The door to her lab opened, and what he saw made his eyes widen in disbelief. As he looked around, he saw his friend, childhood sweetheart, and colleague standing amidst a swirl of tiny lights.

Her button-down appearance had gone the way of her white lab coat. She stood motionless as her red hair reacted to the electricity in the room.

Ginger held the artifact, noted the time, and beckoned for her friend to join her. When Frank touched her outstretched hand, the gravity wave struck.


Flies, gnats, and the occasional wasp buzzed around the room through the open windows. As Frankie stared at the paper in front of him, the gentle oscillation of a fan stirred the air around the room and caught his attention.

As the moment’s shock settled in, he took a deep breath, trying to steady himself. Mrs. Warren’s gaze swept across the room, taking in the various faces, pencils scratching on paper, and Frankie, who seemed utterly absorbed in the moment.

“Frankie, are you alright?” She inquired.

He fixed his gaze upon her as if trapped in a surreal slumber. Casting a quick glance around the room, he noticed Ginger discreetly stealing a glance at him. The woman he once knew had transformed back into a twelve-year-old girl.

The locket in her hand swayed back and forth in a pendulum-like motion as she gestured toward the wall clock in front of the class, which showed 3:15.

“Frankie, you there?” his teacher screeched.

Raising a quick glance at the front of the room, Frank observed an icy stare, perplexing him.

“Just 15 minutes left, finish the test.”

Hunting for X brought back memories of terrifying scenarios that haunted his dreams. His paper was riddled with careless mistakes, making it difficult to read. Correcting the formulas, he finished the test with plenty of time before the 3:30 bell.

Standing in line with his old classmates was a bittersweet experience, as it brought back memories. He couldn’t help but smile when he saw his childhood nemesis, who used to bully girls.

Standing by the door, Ginger’s excitement mounted as she observed the parade of vintage station wagons coming to collect them before they headed out to the schoolyard.

“We need to talk?” He whispered.

Ginger smiled, her green eyes shining warmly. She handed him a note, the words carefully printed on a machine that hadn’t been invented yet.

“Ginger, we don’t belong here,” he said, a sense of unease evident in his tone.

She grinned and said, “We do now.”

Frank couldn’t ignore the subtle fragrance of her perfume before she leaned in and kissed him.

As if a statue had suddenly sprung to life, she set off towards the station wagon with its wood-paneled exterior. When he accepted the reality, he could clearly hear the familiar honk of a horn. The sight of his late mother sitting in her 1957 Chevy filled him with a mix of longing and sorrow.

Lost in his thoughts about what he believed to be a dream, he stumbled off the curb, the cacophony of car horns and chatter becoming a distant murmur. As the pungent odor of cigarette smoke hit him, the gravity of the situation became clear.


She sighed as if his words were utterly incomprehensible. “Yeah, who did you think would show up?”

The weight of his new reality settled on Frank’s shoulders, and he couldn’t help but feel a surge of happiness knowing that his mother was again by his side. He slid over to her in the front seat, reaching out to give her a warm embrace.

As the car lurched forward, honking horns filled the air, signaling the reunion was over. The sound of grinding gears filled the air as they pulled out onto the street, bringing back memories of the old sedan and his mother’s determination to master manual shifting.

“Who was she?”


She smiled and peered at him. “That little redhead that kissed you. I saw that.”

Not knowing how to respond, Frank’s face lit up with a smile. “Mom, that’s the girl I intend to marry.”

The abrupt stop at the sign caused him to slide forward in the seat. “Marry?”

Frank smiled. “I think so. How are you doing?”


“Yeah, mom, how do you feel?”

While considering his question, she dismissed his childhood infatuation.

“I’m hot. These new shoes are killing my feet, and I still have to shop for groceries. How was your test?”

Frank reflected on the algebra test, smiled, and glanced at her. “Fine, everything is fine.”

She nodded. “Report cards come out soon. We will see how fine it is. I am going to drop you by the house. I have to go back to work. Can you make yourself a snack and take out the trash?”

Frank nodded as she pulled into the driveway of the two-story house in the suburbs of Dallas.

“Frankie, a peck on the cheek is not a marriage proposal.”

He glanced at her piercing blue eyes and smiled. “No, of course not.”

He instinctually reached into his pocket for his keys, finding one lone door key, no cell phone, and no wallet. The horn honked as she backed into the street.

The door opened with its usual creaking sound. He needed to talk with Ginger but read her note instead. The folded note on white printer paper had been prepared with full knowledge of what would happen.


You most certainly have figured out that my work was necessary. The world we know is no more, and the people we knew may or may not be born. To the best of my knowledge, we are in a multiverse, and everything you or I do will change the course of this reality.

We must talk without alerting the ‘locals.’

If you don’t want to make things crazy, we have to be Frankie and Ginger in sixth grade.

Just so you know, there is no one else I’d rather travel through time with.



Frank was too anxious to eat and chuckled when he saw the overflowing trash can. Taking out the trash, he noticed the yard needed mowing.

Pushing the mower got his mind going with all the possibilities they could explore.

The empty trash can, neatly mowed grass, and pristine kitchen caught his mom's attention, prompting an alarm.

“Who are you, and what have you done with my son?”

As if caught red-handed, Frank peered at her.

“Honey, I am joking. What’s the deal with doing things I haven’t asked you to do?”

Frank stood stone-faced until she smiled. “Wait, you want money to take your fiancé out on a date?”

Smiling as if she figured him out, he left to get the groceries from the back seat.

“She’s cute, you know,” she said.

Frank glanced at her and smiled. You have no idea, he thought.


Ginger had her own unique set of issues that echoed his. They were grown-ups in a kid’s world.

The following Monday, they met before class.

“I’ve been missing you,” she said.

“I feel the same way.”

“I feel like a grown-up but still look like a kid.”

Frank smirked, touching her nose. “By the way, do you know how adorable you are?”

She smiled, “Are you into kids or me as an adult?”

He chuckled, “You, as the nerdy scientist. Let’s keep it cool. We are kids in the eyes of everyone around us.”

She glanced at his shoes and then back at his face. “Why didn’t you tell me that before we became kids again?”

“Tell you what, that you’re adorable?”

“Yeah, do you know how hard I tried to get you to notice me?”

“I noticed. I was your boss. Now we are back to… what are we back to?

“We need to get through school and make it to 18 without calling too much attention to ourselves.”


She smirked and stared at him. “We can’t say I do until we are 18.”

Frank smiled. “Is that a proposal?”

She nodded.

“It’s good to see Mom again, but I still hate Hamburger Helper. Guess what? That’s all she makes.”

“Oh crap, I didn’t think about that,” she said with a chuckle. Stealing a quick kiss, they returned to the classroom.


The two graduated from college earlier than anyone before them. From piano-playing geniuses to actual rocket scientists, the two did well.

His mother was happy when they married.

With a string of inventions and lucky stock picks, they bought a large house and lots of land. They settled down to start a family, not thinking about the future that they had already lived.

Through his efforts, Frank successfully convinced his mother to kick the smoking habit, preventing her from succumbing to cancer.

Nightmares from the future encroached on the present. Ginger had this sick feeling that haunted her, like many other predictions. She began to assemble a lab like the one she had in the future. Would the ripple in time that sent them into a different reality come back?

Ginger worked tirelessly building her lab while Frank dedicated himself to raising their daughter Katy.

Everything was good until a new space telescope spotted many weird lights. The blob was caused by a black hole that was eating and glowing. Ginger was sure history would repeat itself.

“Ginger, we can’t predict the destruction of this solar system.” You’ve been holed up in this lab for a decade. Seriously, what kind of life is that?”

She peered into his eyes. “I have to try. If I am mistaken, nothing will happen. If I am correct, we will be in a different multiverse when that gravity wave strikes the Earth.”

“We’ve had a good run. We have Katy. What will happen to her?”

“Frank, I don’t have all the answers.”

Frank glanced around the lab as Ginger reached for him.

“When do you think the wave will get here?”

Ginger released him, picking up the locket still suspended from her neck.

She smiled and pushed him away without warning before backing into the machine. He watched as a swirling green glow highlighted the color of her emerald eyes. The room instantly brightened, shimmering like diamonds.

The anomaly changed its course and started moving away from the Milky Way towards Andromeda. The last gravitational wave would be the big ending, wrecking the solar system or placing it into a final reality.

The artifact in her hand gave her the information she needed.


“Captain Alderman, you had something to tell me,” Colonel Spicket said.

Glancing at Ginger’s face for a moment, he turned to respond. “We got a response from the Mars probe, sir. Dr. Johnson told me that the last geomagnetic storm misaligned our antenna.”

Spicket’s face relaxed as he peered at the two of them.

“The place isn’t going to be the same without you two. It’s a damn shame two people can’t work together and be married. You’re still getting married on Saturday, right?”

Ginger stood away from the monitor, which obscured her body. Her baby bump was clearly visible from her open lab coat.

“Hmm,” he groaned.

Frank glanced at Ginger, his eyes lingering on her vibrant red hair.

“Why didn’t we get married before we did this?” he asked, his hand gently resting on her growing belly.

She gently pressed her lips against the top of his head, feeling the softness of his hair beneath her touch. “Remember, Frankie, it’s all about finding the perfect moment.” 

March 28, 2024 03:46

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Kristi Gott
07:03 Apr 01, 2024

I enjoyed this story so much I bought your kindle edition of your book "Earth's Last Hope" which I found after reading your bio and going to the links. I signed up for your newsletter at your blog also. I love sci-fi and your science details make your writing so interesting to me. I will stay in touch with the blog and I'm looking forward to reading your book. Great writing!


Scott Taylor
23:58 Apr 01, 2024

Thank you so much! I love sci-fi, and these prompts assist me in becoming a better writer. Comments like yours make it all worth it! :)


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Jorge Soto
02:08 Mar 31, 2024

It reminded me of that short story from Bradbury's The Illustrated Man, where the wife and husband are time traveling vacationers who wish to escape into the past forever. I think time travel is an interesting concept for a couple to put into, I'm surprised the movies haven't done it more. Great read!


Scott Taylor
22:00 Mar 31, 2024

Thanks! These prompts take me out of my comfort zone which is a good thing.


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Trudy Jas
17:15 Mar 28, 2024

Great love story with time travel, and a lot of technical stuff. :-) I do wonder what happened to Kate, or did the 2nd gravity wave cancel the 1st one? Never mind, it's fiction, it doesn't have to make sense. :-)


Scott Taylor
05:34 Mar 29, 2024

the baby bump is the giveaway to Katie.. Thanks for your comments. That story was fun to create.


Trudy Jas
12:28 Mar 29, 2024

It was fun to read. I do feel for Ginger having to give birth to the same child twocew. LOL


Scott Taylor
19:56 Mar 29, 2024

What if she expects a Katie and she gets a Bob? Multiverse realities are lots of fun for sci-fi writers. They lend to speculative fiction nicely. This week's contest has some interesting topics. Pictures...hmmmm Have a great weekend!


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