Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Carl always seemed to leave the seat up on the time machine. Marion groused, she chided, she cajoled, and finally screamed at him over this habit, but it made no difference.  Carl just looked at her as if she were simple, and went on about his business, as if Marion had never said a word.

She had had enough. 

The two of them had built their original prototype together.  It was a labor of love, conducted over the many years of their relationship.  Marion had fond memories of the two of them huddled closely over their design, hands and hearts nearly touching.  It was Marion's idea to use water to operate the device; Carl's idea to use a toilet as a method of camouflage.  It figures, she thought. Lord knows he spent enough time in the bathroom. 

But it had worked.  

It had worked beyond their wildest expectations.  Their first trip had been just a brief jaunt to last week, Marion sitting on Carl's lap as he flushed.  They were giddy with excitement at their success, and celebrated like they had when they were first married. 

Carl was eager to begin leaping back and forth through the past. He had begun making longer trips, visiting long gone family members, and generally stalking famous historic figures.  Marion advised caution; who knew how much the past would be changed by their mere presence?  But Carl was a big kid at heart, with no thought to the havoc he might cause. 

And the bastard would not put the seat down on the time machine.

Marion really had no choice, she told herself.  It was for Carl's own good.  She set the time machine for the appropriate time; it would disappear forever.  Then they could go back to just being an old married couple.  Except that Marion hadn't counted on Carl figuring out her plan.  She hadn't expected him to burst in the door. 

She certainly hadn't expected her husband to throw himself on the time machine as she flushed the time machine back to 15,000,000 B.C.

The prompt is:

“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
~ L. P. Hartley: The Go-Between (1953)


  1. Carl might have a difficult time crafting a spear if he can't even remember to leave down the seat…

    I really liked the line about their "hands and hearts almost touching." It hints at the unhappy ending without being too overt.

  2. This was so much fun to read. I like the link between leaving the toilet seat up (a common annoyance) and it being a time machine. I wonder how Carl will fare.

  3. This actually made me chuckle - I share the house with my father, my husband and my son, and I know just how it is! LM x

  4. Ha!ha!Even while using a time machine Carl never did learn anything good,eh?Well now he is just a blast to the past ;-)A wonderfully entertaining piece TMW,loved it:-)

  5. very funny time machine :) On the plus side, i think carl should be able to remember how to flush himself back to the future... if the dinosaurs don't get him first

  6. I love it! The time machine disguised as a toilet. There is a lot of potential for crazy capers with this concept!

  7. So creative and fun! And argh, that darn toilet seat. Such a sweet mix of her love for and annoyance at him.


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