Not Quite As Planned

100 words about a time traveller who's' trying to save the world
photo from Public Domain Archive 

She recognises neither the place nor the time. The machine’s display, after emitting a blinding light, has gone black; she hopes this is where she meant to go.

There’s a knock. She unlatches the window and finds herself surrounded by crude petroleum-fuelled vehicles. Rightish time, it seems. But these people speak a language that doesn’t sound like any of the hundreds she’s learnt. She makes what she believes to be the universally understood sign for ‘I don’t understand’; they shrug.

Before she can stop them from destroying the planet, she’ll have to figure out a way to communicate with them.

27 thoughts on “Not Quite As Planned

  1. Interesting take. We don’t often consider going back in time how are lexicon of language changes so fast. It would be like us trying to speak to people in Chaucer’s time. Well done.

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  2. The present tense works really well here. I like that we see from the perspective of the visitor to our time and that she doesn’t speak the language. I feel like there’s novel potential in the concept of a traveller trying to stop us from destroying our world.

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  3. That would be a very frightening thing to know they are about to destroy the planet, yet have no way to communicate with them and know that time is running out. Hopefully, she can at least do some type of sign language to help them understand. Wonderful story! 🙂

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    1. Glad that part made you laugh 🙂 – It was partly inspired by my daughter who spent all afternoon signing with a little Chinese girl in the playground the other day. They didn’t understand each other but they didn’t let it get in their way…
      But yes, the same goes for desperate situations.


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