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A Quick Jaunt Through Space and Time

As summer draws to a blistering end, it’s time to look back and wonder how it flew by so fast—and yet so slowly. As someone with children (aka she who has been pelted with pool noodles, bottles of sunscreen, orphaned flip-flops, board game boxes, and Cheetos wrappers), the weeks between the last day of school and the first are both eternal and instantaneous. 

It really does defy the space time continuum.

As a child, I spent my summer breaks reading. To this day, I can’t navigate anywhere, and my mother blames it on having my nose constantly in a book. One of my favorites continues to be A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. When the movie trailer launched last month, I’m pretty sure I terrified my children by jumping up and down in the kitchen and then collapsing into tears. “It’s Mrs. Whatsit.” They just stared like I’d lost any marbles I had left.

“I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.”
― Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

You see, in A Wrinkle in Time, Megira is the awkward geeky girl who doesn’t fit. She’s all of us. We might not all be geeky or awkward or have trouble talking to boys, but we all have something that makes us feel like an outsider. And whatever that is, A Wrinkle in Time shows that in some alternate universe, our weakness is our greatest strength.

For this month’s issue, we bring you our own version of the space time continuum. In each one, characters might not understand but it doesn’t change the extraordinary reality of the worlds they inhabit.

Andrea Corbin’s “Three Ways to Ruin Your Best Friend’s Birthday (And How She Fixes It)” is a delightful caper filled with adventure and hijinks across time and space. It’s an exploration of how our best intentions often go awry and how a true friend is willing to overlook even the most egregious gaffs … like escaped polar bears.

In “PLAIN JANE LEARNS TO KNIT WORMHOLES” by Wendy Nikel, the Martha Society and their knitting will never be quite same. It only takes one wormhole for everything to go to hell. Casseroles not included.

Travis Burnham brings us a bittersweet yet heartbreaking exploration of love and loss in “That Dark, Sweet Magic.” A talking apple tree and a shoe golem might be beyond understanding, but the main character’s love for his late wife resonates in all of us.

And finally, appearing yet again (it’s like we can’t get rid of him), Stewart C Baker has allowed us to reprint “Proceedings from the First and Only Sixteenth Annual One-Woman Symposium on Time Manipulation” originally published in Time Travel Tales. The academic lecture circuit has never had a travel budget quite like this. Not that it would need one. Or would it? You’ll have to read this one to make up your own mind.





Anna Yeatts

Anna Yeatts is the Publisher of Flash Fiction Online. Since Flash Fiction Online is a free magazine, she spends a great deal of time over at Patreon, trying to drum up enough money to keep a free magazine in business. But she appreciates all the readers and supporters (including the world’s most amazing staff of editors and slush readers) who make FFO a reality every month. 

Anna writes in that nebulous overlap between genre and literary works where offbeat, surreal stories are born. Her short stories appear in Cicada, Daily Science Fiction, Mslexia, Drabblecast, PodCastle, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Penumbra among other publications.

When not writing, Anna wrangles two wonderful children, two matching cats, and a German Shepherd who doesn’t believe in weekends. Follow her at or on YouTube.

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