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The 97-Year-Old Science-Fiction Writer’s Untimely Time-Machine Computer

by J. J. Steinfeld

 

The 97-year-old science-fiction writer began to type the final paragraph of his latest novel. In mid-sentence, a distinguished-looking gentleman appeared on the computer-monitor, replacing text.

“What the hell?” the writer growled.

“Greetings,” the monitor-gentleman replied.

“Who are you?”

“Herbert.”

“I don’t know any damn Herbert.”

“I travelled all this way to help.”

“Get lost!”

“I know about these things.”

“What things?”

“Time travel and writing…”

With his last breaths, the writer fought to get the intruder off his computer-monitor. H.G. Wells shook his head mournfully, saying he should have arrived earlier, but had been having trouble mastering electronic time-travel.

First published in Drabble Harvest #7

 

J. J. Steinfeld

Canadian fiction writer/poet/playwright J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published 19 books, including Madhouses in Heaven, Castles in Hell (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2015), An Unauthorized Biography of Being (Stories, Ekstasis Editions, 2016), Absurdity, Woe Is Me, Glory Be (Poetry, Guernica Editions, 2017), and A Visit to the Kafka Café (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions, 2018). His stories and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and periodicals internationally, and over 50 of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in North America.