Out of time #flashfiction

Out of Time #flashfiction

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about lost time. You can write a realistic scenario or something speculative. How does lost time impact the character of your story? Bonus points if you include a 1982 brown rubber watch Go where the prompt leads!

Time is something there never seems to be enough of, and it’s like many other things — if you don’t use it, you lose it.

One common saying is that time is wasted on the young. I don’t think it’s wasted, but I think to young people it seems infinite. It did to me anyway. I thought there was time enough for everything I wanted to achieve. I thought that, as this song from my youth said, time was on my side.

As I got older, I realised that time wasn’t infinite and that in fact, it was not only precious, it was also slipping away.

While we may not entirely be able to make up for lost time, we can always make the most of our present time.

One of my favourite quotes about time, sometimes but not correctly attributed to Einstein, is that its only purpose is to stop everything happening at once. I think this is true of events in both the past and the future. If we are unable to associate them with a date or a context, they may as well have happened or happen at the same time.

If the only time we have is now, we must enjoy it and make the best use of it we can until our time is up and there are no more ‘present’ moments.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

Every day we open that gift with anticipation and use its joys to create our tomorrows.

I guess I don’t need to state the obvious, that I’ve reached that stage of life where there’s more time in the past than the future. However, for as long as I have the present, I’ll be doing my best to make the most of it.

Here’s my response to Charli’s challenge. I hope you enjoy it.

Out of Time

“Time’s up!”

“Not yet! I’m not finished.”

Mallory stared at the page, blank except for some scribbles and a few false starts. Others smiled as they handed in their papers, earning accolades and rewards for tasks successfully completed.

“Please, just a little more time?”

“You’ve already had more than most.”

“I can do it. Promise.”

The timekeeper tapped the watch. “Five more. That’s all.”

Mallory worked frantically until the timekeeper declared, “You’re out of time.”

Mallory smiled, “It’s never too late to begin.”

The timekeeper agreed. “But you could have achieved much more had you not wasted time earlier.”

Thank you blog post

 Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

55 thoughts on “Out of Time #flashfiction

  1. Jules

    I enjoy science fiction so when they do an episode on time travel or multiple timelines… well it becomes interesting to wonder if there really could be such things happening. I’ve also watched some movies and read books where the main character goes back in time – as an escape for the present and what the future holds. How would, could we handle it if we had to start all over from a point in past time or from a future that is so foreign that we marvel at every advancement?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Norah Post author

      I know what you mean, Jules. I guess one of the first stories to question that was Rip Van Winkle (or the earliest one I can think of). Things have changed so much in my life time, sometimes even I feel like I’ve time travelled into an unkown world.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruchira Khanna

    I liked your take, Norah.
    When a student I’ve had moments when I’ve stared at the blank paper regretting over too much sleep or daydreaming that I missed studying that concept. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Lost Time « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. Charli Mills

    Time is but a measurement. When we are in the moment, it doesn’t exist. 😉 Ah, but I can’t seem to squish it all into a single moment, but I do try. Lovely reflection on time, especially pairing the two songs. Your flash makes me wonder how the student spent her time not studying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. I can never squish enough. Some people seem to squish about three-days-worth into one. I seem to manage one hour into one day. I don’t know how others do it. That’s a good question about how she spent her time when not studying. I wonder if she can recall any memories of it.


  5. Jim Borden

    wonderful flash fiction; and maybe instead of considering time as wasted; it was spent gaining experiences that will be valuable later.

    And you had just mentioned that van Morrison song in one of your comments to me, and just like that, here is it is in your post. I just listened to it, and perhaps no surprise, it was wonderful and made me think, like much of his music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Norah Post author

      That’s a great thought on the flash, Jim. I just hope there will always be a ‘later’. 😂
      I’m pleased you enjoyed Van’s song. It’s one of my favourites. Though I have many and it’s difficult to put one before the other – except Moondance. It’s my fav.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Miriam Hurdle

    I’m still that way, Norah. It takes time for my mind to warm up. Once it warms up, it starts to flow. I know I’m not wasting time especially when it comes to writing. I don’t like writing dry stuff.
    Great flash, Norah.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks, Anne. I think you got my intention with the flash. Life was the exam and the examinee hadn’t made enough of earlier opportunities. But you’re right. Many don’t receive the opportunties either.

      Liked by 1 person


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