Original Short Fiction: "Time on Their Hands"

Updated on November 24, 2019
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

Short literary fiction is one of my areas of writing interests, so I dabble in composing short stories and flash fiction from time to time.

Time Dripping from a Hand


Opening Lines

Every reader knows that there are times to stop, or at least where worrying might be a first thought. In almost every season, you find out that there are times to relax, but autumn is definitely not one of them.

The defense of absolutely nothing, against the obsessions that turn out to be snuffed, for the non-reason that as a social activity, sniffing is liable to all the sort of inherency in any ranging midst: group think is self-pleasing, and backing over your adversary just to get ahead of the pack is gotta be the worse thing in the bunch, even for bananas baked into bread, especially the stale literary kinds of trash.

Laundry List Experts

Books about the science of history were never written for laundry list experts; therefore, they never can be about both historians and scientists, but about things they make up out of whole cloth to shine away in the buckets where they leave them. Don't get me started on mops.

A butt-ugly spiller will never let you see all the nuts and bolts that men and women who dream the dreams of, say, the big bang theory, but they are glad to show the world their big egos that float like saber balloons about and believe the blank asking of the horizon.

Most time is spent like dollars, not necessarily silver dollars, but any dollars you might be able to trade for stuff from soup to nails. Your food will be getting cold but the nails come that way, and you will remain glad as will your hammer also. When you go to build that apparatus and you take out your bucket of nails, don't think about time. Sure, you have time, but while you are pounding nails, time is not on your hands.

The Uninvented Theory

One of the most unusual hinter types becomes the overbearing shill and will be both nervous and over zealous—which is a theory no one has yet invented. No one cares that puff balls blow up in everyone's face—know what I'm sayin'?

You have to know what I'm talking about because you are not stupid. Not like the excitable techies who fence stolen products. They post their posts every other month, swallowing whatever useful tool might have led them to tabloid computers. You can easily recognize that kind of nonsense.

Don't even think back in the seventies or eighties when websites not even in the picture were yet to be sublimated by minds of common steel. They stunk up the scenery and offer no reason for stopping. They had no common sense let alone design feature. But they nevertheless offered a place to stop, a place to sort of think. But about what? Other than the moss that grows on old trees in the midst of older lakes.

Even on the verge of burgeoning they did not even stop to think of photoshopping until colors came in flashing letters. They settled on crappy pictures the quality of tree bark.

The last time they sat around applauding the ventures was probably last month when time to share visions still opened onto the veranda and caught glimpses of the same rays of suns that Aristotle must have scooped up. Marble and felt still make civilized politicians cringe if they feel threatened.

As the whole shebang has evolved and dissolved monstrously over the last couple of moments, computer wizards have lost so much functionality that they have scarped out a massive whole from the common board. And we are all richer for every last crumb of midnight oil that specks the seaboard from whimsy down to fluffed.

A Simple Take

My own take is simple: let fire burn but let water run too. Don't crave the same thing you spit out a month ago. Get your letters in order, but don't make other people hunt and peck over your leavings. Unless you really are stupid—and I don't think you are—leave a few wishes for the apples and pears. And above all, don't wind up too tight about all the hot-air spewed on the common. That's all I can think of to offer as advice. My story is a little flaked and chipped in the wrong places—but I never promised roses in my garden, and I never would promise apples in my trees.

Every story should end on time, but sometimes it just doesn't even though it could. The teller may feel like weeping and so has to put off until the weeping is over. The teller may feel like singing a little ditty, but sings so off-key you get a little anxious. The teller may feel like having more of your company and thus can't part with the pen or keyboard. You have to allow all kinds of things, like old-fashioned phones, horse & buggy methods of cooking, so hope the word "pen" didn't trigger a snow-flake hissy.

The End in Sight

But sooner or later you see the end in sight and you are glad beyond lightning. You lay down your heckles, you stand up and stretch, and you wonder how you can ever get those moments back. If you had seen what a waste of time reading this far in this piece would have cost you, you would have decided to go for a walk instead of staying with it this far. But then you are like every other schmuck who begins a story: you keep wondering what will happen next. You know that is the only thing that the drives a story, and when you quit wondering that, you quit reading.

Unfortunately, some writers seem to do that very same thing: they keep on writing and writing and writing, wondering and wondering and wondering what they will write next. You're better off not reading those writers; you're better off going for a walk. But then you might just be gouged in the ribs to write your own stuff. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Time Still Stands

Still the issue of time on the hands gives rise to many slants, which too bad more people don't address. I would like to hear all the slants, well, maybe not all but some at least. If time could be wrapped up and sold, what would that look like? We all gotta wonder about that.

And still it is not so fortunate as you might think, even though you are not stupid, and you might remain surprised about the clunk and overload the crappy quality brings into the whole scene. Wrapping time into little bundles has become the latest trend—a happy event for all those with so much of it on their hands.

Linda Sue Grimes at the SRF Windmill Chapel


© 2018 Linda Sue Grimes


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