Mapping the Heavens



F3 – Cycle 118 – Time after Time

Prompt: Write a story about someone time traveling, describe as best as your narrator can, whether he’s a common man or a brilliant scientist, the experience.
Word Limit: 1,600
Genre: Sci-Fi with a mash of whatever you like.
Deadline: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. ET

This is still a little rough. I wish I’d had a little more time to work on it but a big part of the fun of FFF is working to meet the deadline.

I’ve already thought of some changes I’ll make in a future version but if any one has any ideas feel free to share. I’m always open for suggestons.

So without further adieu…


MAPPING THE HEAVENS (1494 words)Sundial in Sand

Day 1

I leave on my journey today. Nothing exists for me on Earth any longer.


Day 462

I really can’t blame anyone else for my being out here. It was my choice. I signed up for this job. Its not like I’m stranded, but I’m so far away from everything that I know and anyone that can help me that I might as well be.

Why the hell did I ever do this anyway? Oh yeah, my wife divorced me and I had a midlife crisis and decided to become an astrocartographer. ‘Go out and map the heavens’ they said. ‘Adventure of a lifetime’ they said. The poster should have said ‘be bored out of your freaking mind for three years.’ A three year tour. I’m floating in space for three years.

Well, at least I’ve gotten a bit more than the first one down. Fifteen months. That’s leaves only 21 more months to go.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could talk to someone, but nothing travels faster than light. I’ve been traveling at about three quarters of the speed of light for nearly 15 months. That means I’m about a light year away. Something like that. The training was pretty thorough but I’m still no rocket scientist. Just a low level button pusher.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could get a newspaper. But the ones they send me don’t get here fast enough and I know from my clock and calendar that the USA Today I’m reading is over a year old. It just makes me feel disassociated from everything. Then again I guess I am. You’d have to be crazy to take on a job like this.

At least I’m too old to have signed up for the big jump. Going out for eight or even 10 years. Them young bucks have to be crazy to do that. But they go in pairs or threes so they have someone to talk to. And someone to bicker with. I learned all about that in marriage. Someone to love and someone to hate. I guess It’s my fault that it fell through. I should have stayed away from Stacy.

But she was just so perfect for me. What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back and make things right. No with my wife. To hell with her. She was an insufferable bitch. But with Stacy. She was the girl I should have been with. She was the girl of my dreams. But alas, she’s too young and already married. And her religion will never let her get a divorce.

So I just decided to go on the worlds longest vacation (not counting the higher level astrocartographers) and in the past year and three months I’ve cataloged 43,000 meteors, taken samples from three comets and measured the elemental composition of my surroundings 462 times. If I don’t get some action or adventure soon I’m going to go nuts. Then again, if I do get some action and adventure I’m hardly prepared for it and I’ll probably die.

Stranded in space. Three years. And the crazy thing is – it was my decision.


Day 643

Today I glimpsed one of the greatest mysteries of the solar system: a black hole. It’s very hard to see. I can only tell that it’s there by the way the light is bending around it and the utter darkness at the center. Its almost like looking at a convex mirror at a supermarket. I can actually see light bending into it and where it disappears in the center. The event horizon. I’ll have to read up on some of the literature they’ve given me and review some of the videos. They had me watch them and I was tested before being sent out, but a review can’t hurt. I was an accountant for twenty years, it’s not like I can be expected to learn all of the nuances and subtleties of space travel in the several months of training I received. After I’ve done my elemental composition check I’ll bring them up on the video screens and double check some stuff.

Finally, after nearly two years charting asteroids and comets and writing ‘mostly hydrogen’ in this stupid log book I’ve come across something special. Something unique.


Day 644

The astrocartographer manual and training videos all have the same thing to say about black holes: Stay Away! They have plenty of theories about the physics involved in black holes but nobody seems to know for sure what is actually going on inside them. I’m curious to find out for myself. I’m tempted to enter the black hole and see where it takes me. Of course, all the mathematics concerning the equation tell me that I’ll die by a form of torture involving immense gravitational pulls called ‘spagettification,’ but it still seems like it would be fun to see what’s inside.

Haven’t humans always been focused on looking over the horizon? In this case it’s just an event horizon.

Of course I could just swing around it. Use its immense gravity as a sort of slingshot. Maybe then I could break the light barrier and travel back in time. People have been trying to do that for a few years. Those are just theories but I could be the first to actually test them. I’d return a hero! First person to travel faster than light! It would be great.

And the best part. I would have a future with Stacy.

This deserves some food for thought.


Day 645

After I’m finished with this entry I will place the pages of my log into a pneumatic tube and shoot them toward Earth. Then I will use the black hole as a slingshot in an attempt to break the light barrier.

If anything goes wrong, the hole is located in section 9-49-ht-g. And tell Stacy I love her.


Day 646?

I’m not sure if my experiment worked. I felt an increase in thrust but passed out. Now All the timekeeping devices on my ship are now broken or flashing 12:00. My calendar is now offline and my copy of USA Today has not arrived. Many other controls are not working such as my speedometer and odometer, but my solar sails still seem to be operating. I’ve decided to head back to earth. I’ll take my findings to the higher ups and physicists back there. They can try to make sense of it all.


Day 1100?

I’ve finally returned to earth. After over three years away it was great to see that big blue marble again. I crash landed in the Atlantic, not far from Florida and am now waiting for pick up. I’ve radioed base and they are now on their way out to get me. Soon I’ll be able to turn over my log and resume a normal life as a civilian. I never thought I would say this but it’ll be great to return the life of an accountant.


Day -7216

My experiment worked. I’ve traveled close to twenty years backwards through time. I’m now being debriefed and answering questions on what happened during my travels. The top brass tells me that this may take a while, but I am ecstatic. I will finally get my chance with Stacy! The perfect girl for me.

Also, I seem to have regressed in my aging. I’m now physically twenty years younger than I was when I left. I can’t wait to get out of this little box and back to a normal life.


Day -7203

It seems to be taking a little longer than expected. I’ve been given comfortable lodgings but I’m forced to stay here indefinitely.



I’ve finally been released. I will now travel to my hometown with my new wad of crisp money and find Stacy. I can’t wait to begin my new life with her.


Day -6326

Asked Stacy to marry me today. This is the happiest day of my life. I’m sure it will only get happier!


Day -3278

Things in my marriage are no longer going as well. We don’t talk as much. We don’t get along. I’m hoping things will get better.

Physically I am still healthy. My accounting job sucks.


Day -2464

Stacy filed for divorce today. I’m miserable once again.


Day -1698

Alimony due next week. Don’t know how I’ll pay it. Better look at another job.


Day -865

They’re reviving (beginning) the astrocartographer program. I’m tempted to try it out again, but I’m not sure. I guess I have an advantage over anyone that’s trying out today.


Day -283

Signed up for astrocartographer program again. Received my old number. Due to length of time I’ve been out of the service I need to complete training once again. After that I will leave on a three year tour.


Day 1

I leave on my journey today. Nothing exists for me on Earth any longer.



About Zack

Associate Degree. Music Lover. Blogger.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction Friday, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mapping the Heavens

  1. Pingback: F3 – Cycle 118 – Time after Time Stories | Flash Fiction Friday

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