The Grand Adventure – Sunday Photo Fiction

The Grand Adventure

Herbert Dowding strolled along the boardwalk as he had for the seven years since she’d left. Idly, he noticed the time of 10:15 on the clock tower at Victoria Point. He wondered how many more times he’d look at that clock before she returned home. What time was it aboard the Faster Than Light ship they’d built? What was she seeing and experiencing?

Looking one city block inland he could see the warehouse where Odyssey was built. Everyday he strode before the now unused structure remembering the struggles of design. He turned to Gavin Willingbrook, his Chief Engineer and friend, who joined Dowding’s daily vigil. “Are you certain about this Time Dilation thing?”

Willingbrook was getting older too. He limped slightly on old knees. “The science is solid.”

“How long has she been gone from her perspective?”

Willingbrook shrugged. “It depends on how far she’s gone and how fast she went relative to Earth. It could be years or just hours.”

Dowding saw it first, an optical distortion in the air. The stealth fields that kept the ship hidden from prying government eyes were still active. “There!” he pointed.

“She’s returned!” enthused Willingbrook. “See? Your daughter is safe. She’s landing at the warehouse.”

The two men ran as fast as they could on old, tired knees to the warehouse. The Odyssey landed and the hatch opened. Dowding’s own daughter, Agatha, emerged looking very different after her grand adventure. The two men hobbled up the long sidewalk to the warehouse entrance. “She’s so changed after seven long years,” amazed Dowding. “Look at those things in her hair! Perhaps that’s a hairstyle copied from advanced aliens!”

“Looks like hair curlers to me,” remarked Willingbrook.

“And those shoes! Were they constructed from the hide of an exotic creature?”

“Or maybe they’re pink bedroom slippers,” noted Willingbrook.

“That robe! Surely bestowed upon her by the royalty of an ancient alien culture!”

Willingbrook winced. “Looks like a bathrobe.”

Agatha entered the warehouse and returned by the time the two arrived. “My darling daughter!” crowed Dowding. “You’re safe! Tell me about your arduous journey and all the wonderful things you’ve seen!”

Agatha rolled her eyes. “Dad! Relax. It’s my first morning.” She held up an implement. “I just forgot my toothbrush!”
Author’s Notes:

The Time Dilation Effect means that time aboard a traveling spaceship will not pass at the same rate as on the planet. Even on satellites orbiting close to the Earth, time passes at a different rate. Imagine the difference if a spaceship travels far from Earth!

This was written for Sunday Photo Fiction. The photo above from Alistair Forbes is this week’s writing prompt. Look here to see what other folks wrote:

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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21 Responses to The Grand Adventure – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. phylor says:

    A sly twist at the end. What I have come to expect. You always get me drawn into the stories and the characters. So 7 space years = one morning on earth?

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Glad you liked the twist. I do try to deliver the goods. 😉 The amount of time dilation is variable. It really depends on how far and how fast. I didn’t do the math, I’m just guessing. In the story, Agatha made it to Alpha Centauri before she realized her toothbrush was missing. . 😉 Thanks so much!


  2. luckyjc007 says:

    I wasn’t sure what to expect while reading it and was surprised when I got to the end of the story. I enjoyed this very much and thank you for the information on Time Dilation Effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. I do like saving my surprises until the end. I also like throwing in a little science education as well. I’m happy you enjoyed this. Thanks so much! 🙂


  3. Loved it! That was one long night of sleep. Haha! I bet she didn’t age a single day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Francesca Smith says:

    A very clever and interesting take on the picture.
    The science behind it is fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Danny James says:

    10:15 or 2:53? I saw 2:53.

    Still, nice story. Always like your clarifications.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Susan Langer says:

    Loved your story. It had me laughing in the end.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OnChi says:

    Who knows, maybe one day this will really happen. Like, if you settled on Mars, I wonder how time would pass. Very intriguing story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I really hope it does. I think time dilation won’t be that intense voyaging to Mars. There will be a difference, but not nearly on the scale of years. I’m glad you enjoyed this, and thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Shey says:

    I’m glad she forgot her toothbrush and came back or else he would have passed away already if she stayed there for just a few days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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