The Race.

Monday 31st March 2014

This story was first posted on my other site ‘Sitting on the Porch [as part of my Porch Stories ]and decided that today’s daily writing prompt suited this story almost perfectly.  Hope you all enjoy it.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine –


Words 889

The sun was rising in the distance, starting a new fresh and bright day, casting long fingering shadows across the heath and grass land. The vision it was casting was misleading, it pulled at ones eyes to look harder to see the real image. The impression was very different to the reality, but beautiful either way one would see it.

Suddenly a sound made me look about, lots of sounds made me look up to see where it was coming from. Cyclists, many of them pedalling past my porch, stirring the dust from the track. Speeding past me and my porch, racing each other, the trail of cyclists went on for several minutes until the last cyclist went by. Surprised by this event I stood looking up the dusty track watching after them until the last one disappeared from view.

Now back to the normal serenity and silence, I tuned my guitar and started playing a few tunes. The heat of the day was starting to be felt on my hands and face. Considering my guitar I decided to stop playing and put it out of the sun by taking inside and placing it back onto its stand. After a couple of hours the silence was broken, the sounds started again, cyclists racing by once again, I rushed out to the porch to watch this surprising event. Suddenly there was an accident, two made contact and both crashed to the ground. One of the cyclists got to his feet shouting obscenities at the other, he then promptly checked his cycle and then mounted it and raced off. I looked at the one cyclist sitting on the ground. He was different to the others, his cycle was different also. I stood watching him, was he hurt, surprised that no support had arrived to assist him. After a minute or two realising no help was coming I assisted him onto my porch and sat him a chair. “I’ll just get you a drink, wont be a minute.” I said rushing into the house.

When I returned he was fiddling with his cycle, talking to himself or the cycle. when he heard me he stood up and smiled, came up the steps with his hand held out, “Hi I am Herbert I am a time traveller.”

I shook his hand, handed him his drink, “Oh right, ..from when?” I stupidly asked. “I had noticed that your clothes are different to the other cyclists and as for your cycle it would not win a walking race.” I quickly said before he could say anything.

“Ah! a disbeliever, you are not the first. I come from 1892. I am trying to get back to before this accident.”

“How come you are in the cycle race then?” I queried.

“It was purely accidental, on arrival to your time, I took my cycle and left my time machine to explore. But I came upon your law officers, and they did not believe me either. At first they were quite polite with their questions, and like you they did not believe my story. Shortly they became abrupt and rough and tried to man handle into their motorised vehicles. But I could not allow this, I could not interfere with your time as much as this. I am aware of the possible disasters that can be caused if I change things or interfere with routine events. So I struggled and managed to get away from them, quickly pedalled away, it was shortly after along the road I came upon all these other cyclists. So I just followed them, trying very hard to keep up, and stay out of sight….. your cycles are very fast. Oh! of course I camouflaged my machine.”

“Of course you did.” I said rather sarcastically. “Sorry sir, but your story does seem rather inflated, and unbelievable.”

“That is alright sir, I am used to people being disbelieving, apart from taking you to my time machine, .. well I cannot do that anyway. I really must be going I think the law will still be looking for me and I cannot afford being caught.”

“Hang on!” I said and disappeared inside. I returned with some food and a bottle of water. “Here, in case you get hungry or thirsty on your travels.” Herbert took my offerings and mounted his cycle, just as we both heard the sound of the racing cycles nearing. Herbert looked behind and could see a group of cyclists nearing the porch. “Before you go, what is your name, proper name I mean.”

As I asked there was another sound in the distance, a siren, a police car siren. the first of the cyclists started to pass the porch, Herbert started to pedal away, and mixed in with the group. He looked back and shouted, “Herbert George……” I did not hear his last name.

A few minutes after they were gone, out of sight a police car came to a halt in front of the porch, “Excuse us sir, but we are looking for a rather strange man, we think he is dangerous. He has short well groomed dark brushed back hair and has a full mustache, and dressed in what we would call old style fashion, brown tweed looking pantaloons and matching jacket. He says his name is Herbert Wells.

Gaa/C ©

Wednesday March 12th 2014.




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