Plugs

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Father Time

by Jon

Once there was a man who realized the days of his life were finite. Unlike others, he decided to do something about it and so paid a visit to Father Time. Back then you could speak to Father Time if you moved in the right circles.

“Father Time,” he said to the greyness, “will you add more days to my life?”

“No,” said Father Time in a faded voice. “But I can lengthen the days.”

“That will do,” said the man. So with his lengthened days the man went on to build giant robots, huge armadas, a vast empire. But soon the man realized he had very few days left, so he went again to Father Time. Back then you could speak to Father Time a second time if you paid the right bribes.

“Father Time,” he said to the crumbling mountains. “Will you again lengthen the days of my life?”

“No,” said Father Time in the voice of the tide. “But I can lengthen the hours.”

“That will do,” said the man. With those lengthened hours he accomplished more: he carved monuments, composed anthems, designed cities. But soon the man realized he had very few hours left, so he went again to Father Time. Back then you could speak to Father Time a third time if you sacrificed the right people.

“Father Time,” he said to the hourglass. “Will you again lengthen the hours of my life?”

“No,” said Father Time in a fleeting voice. “But I can lengthen the minutes.”

“Very well,” said the man. So with those lengthened minutes he did even more: rewrote DNA, split the quark, warped space. But now he had almost no time left at all. “Oh, Father Time,” he cried out, for once you have seen Father Time three times you are old friends with each other’s name in your rolodex, “my time is almost up. Will you again lengthen the minutes remaining to me?”

“No,” said Father Time in a distant voice. “But I can help you know what you should do with the time remaining.”

“That will do,” said the man. So Father Time showed him Death, for the power of Death is to concentrate the mind on what you most fervently needed to accomplish. The man looked into the end and then he knew what he must do.

But now he had no time left at all.

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