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One of a Kind

Maurice Forrester is a software developer living in Syracuse, New York. Now that he and his wife are mostly empty-nesters, he is finding more time to write. He has recently been published in Middle Planet #2.
The Times, London, 1895
Public Notice: Offered for private sale is a gold watch engineered to allow the discriminating Gentleman the opportunity to experience time in a new way. This is a one-of-a-kind item. Serious inquiries only. Reply to Box 154 at this newspaper.
New York Times, 1946
Classified Ads, Personal: Looking for a companion willing to accompany this writer on a unique adventure. Interest in history is required. Time period is negotiable. Reply to Box 7832, Grand Central Station.
Chicago.Craigslist.org, 2016
lost+found: Seeking information leading to the recovery of an antique gold pocket watch lost or possibly stolen in the vicinity of Lincoln Park. I swear, it's like this thing just jumped out of my pocket. Reward provided. DO NOT change the settings! Email and phone below.
Usenet cross-post: comp.misc and sci.physics, 1994
Subject: weird watch
Hey, guys. I picked up an old-fashioned, gold pocket watch in Chicago, and I desperately need help from anyone who understands it. The mechanism is kind of complicated with a lot of dials and knobs, and it does some weird stuff. I'd be happy to trade the watch to anyone who can help me figure out how it works. After I get back home, it's yours. I want nothing more to do with this thing! Use the reply to sender and I'll get the message. Thanks.
Reddit.com/r/whatisthisthing, 2018
Having some fun with this watch but where did it come from?
[deleted]
Submitted 6 months ago by [deleted]
The Lattice, SE Region, Sector 12-B, 2043
General announcements: Lost very old watch in Lower Warrens running from skinners. Must have it back. Can provide guaranteed transportation out in exchange. Contact me at this node. Stranded until I get the watch back.
The Times, London, 1895
Public Notice: Offered for private sale is a gold watch engineered to allow the discriminating Gentleman the opportunity to experience time in a new way. This is one of only two in existence. Serious inquiries only. Reply to Box 154 at this newspaper.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, February 27th, 2017


I get a lot of ideas late at night while drifting off to sleep. In the light of day, most of those ideas fade away but this one stuck with me. The first draft came together quickly, but a number of additional drafts followed. Finding the right words to tell a story this short was a challenge. My writing group provided valuable suggestions on polishing the prose and adding some additional sources for the messages.

- Maurice Forrester

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