The Acme Time Machine – flash fiction

Delorean time machine

I’m not the best person at maintaining routine, especially for writing blogs. Probably the biggest reason for this is that there are so many demands upon my time. Not only do I try to spend my spare time writing, but I also have a job that can easily become all-consuming. This is, of course, forgetting all the demands of everyday life. Unfortunately, I do not have a time machine.  So to help me come up with some ideas for blogs, I recently came across an excellent little book in Waterstones. “642 tiny things to write about” is an excellent little book full of writing ideas and prompts for writing and flash fiction. So for this blog post I’m going to choose one of them and write about it.

Task: “the passenger safety instructions card for a time travel machine”

Welcome to your Acme Time travel machine.

Important operating instructions

Failure to follow the instructions results in no liability for the manufacturer or inventor of this Time Machine. Please read the following instructions carefully and follow them to the letter.

1. Ensure that heads or limbs are entirely in the time machine before operating.

2. Ensure that all important documents, such as sports almanacs, have been left outside of the time machine and do not travel back in time.

3. Do not claim any titles or heraldry that you are not entitled to.

4. Under no circumstances should you interfere with your conception. See Futurama or Red Dwarf for further details.

5. Jean-Claude Van Damme will not come to the rescue if you mess up the timeline.

6. People in the past, or the future, may have trouble understanding your language, habits, mode of dress, or even your intentions. Investigate thoroughly before travelling.

7. Customisation of time machines to look like DeLorean’s or police boxes will void warranty.

8. Do not waste your time trying to assassinate Hitler. All the assassinations failed. Do you really want to put someone more competent in charge?

9. Avoid key historical events. It may get a little crowded with other time travellers.  The people of the time may notice your time machine, or your fellow travellers.

10. All time travel to late-20th century Wales, especially Cardiff, is off-limits.  No, you may not kidnap Captain Harkness.

11. The transportation of animals, plants, and food, is prohibited. Dinosaurs are not appropriate pets for your nephew’s children.

13. Do not upset the apes.

14. A paradox cannot be created, because that would be a paradox. Stop trying to change things.

15. Do not step on any butterflies.

16. The Federation will never exist.

17. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away.” The clue is in “far far away”.

17. Please do not tell anybody “I’ll be back.” It is mildly irritating, intimidating, and cliched.

19. Joyriding with H.G.Wells or George Orwell, is strictly prohibited.

20. Get a life and stop interfering in the past, or the future. Live in the now.

August 2nd, 2018 by