Friday Fictioneers: Losing Time

Another enigmatic photo prompt from Madison Woods for Friday Fictioneers, asking for short-short-short stories. Sometimes, when I’ve seen old towns like this, I start to wonder what century I’m in…

Losing Time

All these narrow white streets look alike. Jake’s lost, but who cares? Everybody speaks some English – when he meets a local, he’ll get directions.

Lysandros hurries, hoping to get to market before heat taints today’s fish. A wrong turn takes him into a street where strange humming beasts lurk in metal cages. And here’s a ridiculously dressed barbarian babbling at him.

Jake blinks at the man in an ancient khiton. Some sort of pageant? But the local won’t answer questions and gawks as if Jake looked strange, so he hurries on. Soon he meets a procession leading an ox to sacrifice. No one speaks English.

Lysandros comes to the harbor, but it’s changed. The barbarian has cursed him. He’s trapped in a world of garbled Greek.  The gods have fled their ruined temples.

* * *

Please tell me what you think!


33 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: Losing Time

  1. Fascinating flashback. Nice one.

  2. ooh, that swap’s going to take some explaining. This feels like the beginning of a Shakespearean comedy, but with a bit of timetravel thrown in. Fantastic opening scene to a whole story’s worth of interest. Great job!

  3. Two so complete characters and so much happening in so few words – well done. I love this.

  4. I’m waiting for “the rest of the story.” Excellent start that drew me in. I really felt the confusion of both characters!

  5. HI Sharon,
    Those time portals will really mess up your day. Good story. Ron

  6. Trapped in scary time travel. No English spoken here. What needs to be done to bring him back…if ever? Nice work.

    • In fact, no English spoken anywhere – the language doesn’t exist yet! As to bringing him back – well, I don’t know yet. I’m starting to figure that out – it would help, of course, if I knew how and why they crossed paths in the first place. Glad you like it!

  7. Sounds like some nightmares I’ve had, Sharon. Good job. Thanks for commenting on mine. Seems we’re both stranded in time this week.

    • It would be a nightmarish situation, wouldn’t it? Hard for both of them, though maybe worse for Jake; I can imagine ways that Lysandros could create a niche for himself in our world, but where can Jake go? Meanwhile, your protagonist almost seems to have led two different lives without realizing it – how disorienting! I guess the almost-timeless look of the prompt influenced us both.

  8. Yes this is something you should expand upon. I love a bit of time travel.

    • I do believe I will! Hmm, keeping the two stories going in parallel, that’s a tricky technical problem, and I have to decide how much should be explained, and let’s see, so much has already been done with time travel, how do we avoid cliches……….but they’re both resilient and tough, in different ways, and they won’t give up easily – nor will their new worlds make life easy for them! 😉

  9. as bob dylan said, times they are a-changin’. well done.

  10. Your writing is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

  11. I like it. the start of an adventure

  12. Certainly an excellent intro to a novel. Captured in ancient Greece, and I love the last sentence… Opens up all kinds of possibilities for my imagination going haywire..

    • Thanks – and I do believe I’ll let my imagination slide just a bit farther off the tracks than usual elaborating this one. 😉

      (And I’m kind of fond of that last sentence myself!)

  13. A lot of action in this scene. I’ll be on the lookout for babbling barbarians who cast curses in languages I can’t understand.

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