Bottled Up


This too shall pass.


Greetings. It is the thirtieth day. Food remains in good supply, but our morale has taken a beating. Captain Marseilles announced to us that he has received a message on the Return Ticket. As we had been told, that system was primed to engage around Day 150, near enough to five years since our departure. The communique is wholly unexpected and equally unwelcome.

The message claims that we should return immediately, that the machinery is no longer capable of sustaining the Time Skein. There is no further information: the Return Ticket can only receive messages. Captain Marseilles called a meeting and has informed us that he believes that the message is counterfeit.


Greetings - it is day thirty-eight, or so I believe. We are occupying a barricade of our own hasty construction where we have retreated with the Return Ticket. The Returners have secured the food, the weapons, and have coerced or otherwise eliminated all other opposition. A message is received daily at 5:28 AM urging us -

They are coming.


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Comments (1 so far!)

Jim Stitzel

Jim Stitzel

I like this one! It's tense and ominous and begs plenty of questions! Well done!

  • #4386 Posted 2 years ago
  • 0

Story challenge:

Time has been captured in a small space. A month seems to hold a year, and there seems to be no way forward, no way to break the endless cycle. Write about the scenario. Tell us what is happening, either to the world around your characters, to the charact…

Time in a Bottle by Jim Stitzel
  • Published 2 years ago and featured 2 years ago.
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Challenge winner!

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