I didn’t plan for several of my stories to hit the market in November, but here we are. The first reprint I ever submitted was accepted by the good folks at Smoking Pen Press for their time travel anthology. I like that the editors didn’t decide on a name for the anthology until they had selected the stories to include. That way they could see what common themes came through, and they found one. Nothing good seems to come from time travel, so they titled the anthology The Trouble with Time Travel.
My contribution is “Temporally Out of Service.” If you’ve followed this blog back to its beginning, you may recall this was the first story I every wrote. It was inspired by a misspelled sign I encountered on a hotel elevator. You guessed it, that’s where the story title comes front. If you like sci-fi time travel or private detective noir or both, this is the story for you!
After the rights reverted to me last year, I happened to see this publisher’s call for time travel stories. Since reprints were accepted, I took a chance. You know what they say, don’t self reject; and I’m glad I didn’t. You can purchase the eBook here from any of your favorite online retailers. A print version should be released in the coming weeks. If you’d like a little taste, read on.
Not really paying close attention to the clerk beyond learning which way the woman went, I raced past the desk and headed down the hall. I hurried by the business center on the right and then what appeared to be a tiny fitness center immediately after. I next passed the elevator. It was in a recessed alcove on the left with a sign taped to the door, still fluttering a little as if someone had rushed by. On the other side of the elevator was the door to the stairs. At the end of the hall was the south entrance, the one I did not have a view of earlier.
All was quiet, so where did she go? I poked my head into the stairwell. Nothing. No footsteps racing up the stairs. No doors to other floors above slamming open or closed. I opened the door to the outside and scanned the area. Nothing. I backtracked down the hall to peer into the business and fitness centers. Nothing. I started to worry I would have to go door to door and floor to floor to track her down.
Not wanting to make that scene quite yet, I retraced my steps one more time to the end of the hall. This time when I reached the elevator I read the sign attached to the door.
OUT OF SERVICE
“Temporally?” I asked aloud. “The staff can’t even spell ‘temporarily.’” I was about to launch into a long mental diatribe about the sad state of the public education system when I noticed the sign and entire elevator door had the same sheen that had covered everything in the parking lot earlier. If you would ask me years later why I did what I did next, I’d tell you I don’t know. But I did it. I pushed the UP button. The doors opened. I walked in, and the doors closed.