16 April, 2019

A to Z Letter N

The time bubble rolled forward.

"Too far, too far!" Abrastus shouted. "You idiot!" Maxim should never have been allowed behind the controls. Abrastus knew he cheated on his tests and did not have the knowledge or skill for such delicate maneuvering. He was, however, the nephew of Bartol, the Chrono-Master of the academy, and Abrastus was given no choice.

Abrastus shoved Maxim aside, hoping he could make the correction quickly enough to avoid total disaster. Maxim glowered at him from the side. "I barely crossed the timeline."

"The instruments are sensitive, which you would have known if you'd paid attention in class, or practiced in the simulator as you were supposed to."

"Whatever." He lounged against a side console, absently watching Abrastus caressing the controls while intently focused on the monitor. After a few moments, Maxim got impatient. "You know, Barty said I'M supposed to be running things today."

"Exactly. Under your control, we've run into a disaster instead of avoiding it, and I will make a full report on this." Under his breath, he muttered, "idiot, idiot, idiot."

The time bubbles had been erected in the distant past, to protect important or historical places. Chrono-drivers typically maintained each time bubble at a leisurely pace in keeping with actual time. They didn't interfere with generational modifications, renovations, or natural erosion, but when a crisis was known to be imminent, they could maneuver the bubble backwards and forwards in time, transporting the imperiled site around the disaster and maintaining it for future posterity. Chrono-management was a secret order, a noble honor, and this buffoon had just undone all the protective efforts of the past.

Finally Abrastus stepped back, sorrow in his eyes as he watched the monitor. He pulled Maxim into a position to watch the disaster unfold, then cuffed him on the ear. "Fool! The great Cathedral of Notre Dame is burning because of you!" 

Maxim shied away from Abrastus' upraised arm, then stood straight and shrugged. "Doesn't look too bad."

"You are lucky I was here. At least I was able to save the base structure, but the entire roofing complex will need to be redone." Seeing the blank fascination in Maxim's eyes, he added. "Get off my bridge. I'll see to it you are expelled from the academy."

Thank you for visiting my #AtoZChallenge! My theme is "Audience Participation" (read about it, here) and now it is your turn. Each day will be a new story based on suggestions from your comments. Suggest anything: a word, scenario, character, location... I will be keeping a list of suggestions, so if yours isn't used tomorrow, it may show up later. 

Today's post was inspired by actual events in the news, as you may have guessed. I broke my own rule of using audience suggestion, but I promise to return to your suggestions tomorrow.


  1. I love it. I want to be a Chrono-engineer.

  2. I think we should just assume Notre Dame made the suggestion itself.
    Just in case there really were any chrono-engineers around to help...

  3. Sometimes you just have to go with current events. Understandable.

  4. Brett - You're hired.

    Jz - Good point!

    Liz - Inspiration comes in mysterious ways.

  5. Donna - Thank you! That means a lot. This took me out of my comfort zone.

    Sascha - Thanks for visiting. Glad you enjoyed it.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.