Thief of life

I travelled back in time from a derelict cellar to a bank vault filled with gold.
As my heart stopped,
I saw my leg submerged in gold bars,
Then my vision went black.

The Trifecta challenge is to write a 33 word story on time travel.

Here are pictures of Gold:

and diamonds: love time travel stories. Doctor Who sometimes plays with the idea of time travel: in the Pyramids of Mars, the Doctor shows Sarah an alternative 1980s, where the baddie of the week (I found Sutekh utterly terrifying) has not been defeated.

In “A Sound of Thunder”, a man accidentally kills a prehistoric butterfly, with unfortunate effects on history.

In “Making History” Stephen Fry’s character kills Hitler as a child, and the consequences are terrible.

John Wyndham! Pawley’s peepholes on the Past: tour-buses of future-folk, come back to laugh at the idiocies of the present. He also did Parallel Universes quite well.

Some of Michael Moorcock’s stories play with the idea of time travel. In one, a man travels forward in time, and finds overwhelming light and colour- there is Everything, none of it has happened- and then back, to find blackness- it has happened, and cannot happen again.

Time travel stories give us what any stories give us: wish fulfilment and wish subversion, the human being realising things and changing, or not, relationships, people with secrets and revelations.

There is also Spectacle- the sight of a place, changing through accelerated time, in The Time Machine lives with me from childhood like the Incredible Shrinking Man fighting a spider or the Id monster of Forbidden Planet.

What, if any, time travel stories do you love?

9 thoughts on “Thief of life

    • “Don’t think I’m alive because I’m narrating. Haven’t you seen Sin City? American Beauty? Sunset Boulevard?”
      — Dave, Kick-Ass

      Added: Then, the gold vanished.

      My partner travelled back three seconds later to the day before, thinking to forestall me. When he died the way he unwittingly saved me from, its owners moved it.


  1. Interesting take on the prompt! I also liked your run-down on time travel stories. The part I find fascinating about time travel stories is changing even one minute detail changes history, and could even affect the person’s own fate.


    • That was the Ray Bradbury story, though in Doctor Who sometimes things are “fixed points in time” and therefore unchangeable, and some are in flux, depending on what would be more amusing. I understand there is some scientific evidence for parallel universes.

      In The Flipside of Dominick Hide, Dominick became his own great()grandfather.


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