In Time For Dinner – Friday Fictioneers

Written for the Friday Fictioneers. A story about discovery and a curious effect begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Photo by: Claire Fuller

In Time For Dinner

“84 years ago, Jorge Alvarez built the first warp engine right here,” said the museum curator to the engineering students. “Alvarez worked complex patterns in Maple and Black Walnut. The resulting warp field was accidental, of course. Sadly, Alvarez was never seen again. Luckily, scientists were able to duplicate his designs. Since then, humanity has colonized space.”

A hand went up. “What about the time dilation effect? A traveler moving faster than light would experience mere moments while decades pass at his origin. He might still be traveling.”

*poof*

Jorge Alvarez suddenly appeared, sitting on beautifully inlaid tabletop. “Madre de dios! What a crazy dream. I hope I didn’t miss dinner!”
_________________________
Author’s notes:
On this page, I thought Maple and Black Walnut had interesting properties: http://www.dragonoak.com/Magical-Wood-Properties.html
Time Dilation effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

Each week, Authors both short and tall, thick and thin, join together to write for the Friday Fictioneers. A photo prompt is the source for 100 words of flash fiction. Won’t you join us? Here is this week’s prompt: http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/31-january-2014/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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47 Responses to In Time For Dinner – Friday Fictioneers

  1. qrparker says:

    I wish I understood this.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Time Dilation not explained thoroughly enough?

      Like

      • qrparker says:

        I slept a lot of high school.

        Like

      • EagleAye says:

        Haha! Okay. The math is quite beyond me, but the effect is simple enough. If a guy leaves Earth in a spaceship moving at a high fraction of the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), he may be gone for only one hour. The clock on his ship will correctly say he was gone for one hour. But when he returns to Earth, he’ll find that a month has passed. The clock on his ship and the clocks on Earth are both correct. It all has to do with Einstein’s Special Relativity, where the location of the observer makes a huge difference. It’s all pretty mind-bending, but it works mathematically. It’s been proven true. The clocks of astronauts in space always show a time difference when returning to Earth.

        Like

      • qrparker says:

        Oh, okay. That’s badass. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

        Like

  2. Robin says:

    A great time traveling story with a funny ending 🙂

    Like

  3. Brilliant twist! Of course warp engines would obey Einstein. 🙂

    Like

  4. I think I saw a Star Trek episode like this once. I didn’t understand it, either. But Jorge’s reaction when he pops up again is priceless!
    I’m not writing this week, but I’d love it if you’d drop by my blog for a second anyway, I posted a big announcement today

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. Time Dilation not a commonly understood effect. SciFi geeks like myself are among the few that have studied it. Still, it can have some amusing consequences that anyone can enjoy. I’m glad you liked Jorge’s reaction. 🙂 I’ll swing by your blog right now. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  5. Thanks for explaining that. Now I feel twice as stupid since I still don’t get it. But that’s OK and it makes for an interesting story.

    janet

    Like

  6. Danny James says:

    Someday I will understand this. Maybe. But you are consistent.

    DJ

    Like

  7. plaridel says:

    i learned something new today. 🙂

    Like

  8. Well, why not wood?! I mean if something is going to get us to “splinter time”…

    Like

  9. A dream really? I love the explanation of time travel.

    Like

  10. This was a very humorous story. I really enjoyed it. We all need a good laugh now and then. No fancy machine for him. A well-made tabletop was sufficient.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! I’m happy to hear you had fun with it. Imagine the shock of thinking you’re just making a great table, and you suddenly end up in outer space. Maybe you’d think those wild mushrooms weren’t such a good idea after all. 😉 Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

      Like

  11. Linda Vernon says:

    HA!! This is a good story in any time space continuum!

    Like

  12. pattisj says:

    He’ll find himself in the doghouse if he’s late for dinner! It’s amazing the distance your writing mind can take you in 100 words!

    Like

  13. This is thought provokingly funny. Great piece.

    Like

  14. rgayer55 says:

    I’m glad he made it back. Now I’M HUNGRY!

    Like

  15. Dear Eric,

    What a wake up call for Jorge. Pobrecito. A bit like Rip Van Winkle meets Back to the Future. Fun stuff…only forget about the math and science. Those are lost on me. 😉

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  16. atrm61 says:

    Ha!ha!So funny-84 years late and hoping he didn’t miss dinner! 😀 I wonder though if the visitors in future saw him materialise and can he “see” them too? A great story EA:-)

    Like

  17. Haha! Interesting and fun 😀

    Like

  18. Eric,
    I love this. I’ve always loved the idea of time dilation. Of course, Star Trek got around it with the idea of subspace, but they fudged a lot of things. 🙂 Great ending.
    -David

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Well thanks, David! Time dilation makes things interesting doesn’t it? Star Trek did fudge a lot of things to make the story more enjoyable for anyone. For instance, the Enterprise when viewed outside wouldn’t make a sound, but they put sound in anyway. They even knew this is a flaw, but they flet it made a better cinematic experience.

      Glad you liked the ending. Thanks much for stopping in and commenting!

      Like

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