Room in a Bottle

Jim Stitzel

I dabble a little in a lot of things — writing, webcomics, gaming, photography, web design, music, and more. I write code full-time and words in the gaps in between.


"No one loves a clank at midnight."

The message was scrawled all over the room. The walls, the floor, the ceiling. In the center of the room was a clank, for all appearances in perfect working order, and yet it seemed unable to move.

Closer to the door, another officer stood mid-step, locked in position by some unseen force. His face belied nothing wrong, nothing out of the ordinary. He simply seemed frozen in time.

"What do we have here?" Jenkins asked one of the other officers in the adjacent room around him.

"No idea, sir. The room was like this when we got here. When Perkins there stepped across the threshold, he appeared to become frozen, and none of the rest of us have felt particularly inclined to join him."

"Probably wise," Jenkins replied. He glanced around the room and spied a compass on a desk. He picked it up and threw it through the doorway at the clank. A meter in and the compass stopped, hanging in the air.

"Gentlemen," Jenkins said, "we appear to have time bottled up in a room."


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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
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