Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

Time Machines

Melissa Mead lives in Upstate NY. She hasn't time-traveled yet. Her Web page is here: carpelibris.wordpress.com

The man burst into Jayon's antique store the instant it opened. Actually, he ran into the door first, because he was too impatient to wait for the scanner to register his presence. He plunged toward the counter, waving an advertising holosheet at Jayon.
"Is this ad true?" he gasped. "Do you really sell time machines? Actual working ones?"
"Sure! I've got several in stock at the moment. Nice retro suit, by the way. Where'd you find it?"
"Please, show me the time machines! Ever since the crash I haven't known when I am, where I'm going...."
"Yeah, that's the trouble with modern tech. One crash and you're in limbo." Jayon took out his latest acquisition, beaming with almost paternal pride as he held it up for inspection. "Isn't she a beauty? Real wood case, brass trim, keeps perfect time...."
His potential customer stared. "It's a clock."
"Yes, I've heard them called that. I've got watches too, if you're looking for something portable. Digital, analogue, ones that tell you the time in twelve cities."
The man looked about to cry. "I thought you meant... oh, never mind."
"Go on, tell me."
"I thought you meant time machines. For traveling through time. I know; it's stupid."
Jayon brightened. "Oh, you don't want a time machine. You want a Chronocar! I can sell you the one out front."
"I didn't see a car out front."
"Dang, I must've left it in invisible mode again."
The man's face flushed. "Look, I've got enough troubles without some wise guy making fun of me."
"I'm not making fun of you, sir! It's a standard anti-theft feature in all models made after--"
"Shut up! No, really, shut up." The man's mace crumpled. "I just want to go home."
He stormed out of the shop. Jayon took a deep breath, gently returned the clock to its shelf, and went out to switch the Chronocar into visible mode. Sadly, his distraught customer was long gone. But the Chronocar really was a beauty: flame red with real chrome trim. Someone was bound to want it, in time.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Author Comments

This story grew out of thinking how easy it is to talk about totally different things while using the same words, and how that can lead to major misunderstandings.

- Melissa Mead
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying Time Machines by Melissa Mead.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.9 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):