Why Would I Want To Do That?

Avatar Author: kyle90 Read Bio

Dear Sir or Madam,

Your application, dated January 8 2025, for one-time retrotemporal use (100 years or less) of chronoporter Alpha has been approved. Please report personally to Time Travel London at your convenience to set up an appointment with one of our schedulers.

Sincerely, TTL Inc.

My eyes wandered to the edge of the screen, confirming that today was in fact only January 5th, before I read the postscript:

Please note that, due to Novikov regulations, pre-approved applications must still be written and submitted.

Bloody timelords. I didn’t even want to use the damned thing, and now I had three days to come up with a good idea… Then another thought crossed my mind. If I was already approved, then I could be as ludicrous as I wanted.

Instead of starting a new message, I tapped the reply button — let their e-mail servers choke on that causal chain — and began to write.

To whom it may concern,

I require use of a time machine to go back and make Hitler have a funny moustache…

View this story's details


Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?


Oh no! This story doesn't have a sequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (5 so far!)

  1. Avatar BiC

    I like the introduction of the ‘self-consistency principle’ to avoid time paradoxes. The ‘chained reply’ is pretty deep stuff – hurts my brain really. Still, I feel the caviler tone is distracting and out of place in this setting. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Overall, I think it’s good.

    FYI on Ficly Rules of when to use the ‘mature’ label: Language: If you wouldn’t hear it on a primetime drama on network TV. – Com’on guys, you’re making me look like a nanny.

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    ah, so he didn’t have one, but now he does, success!

  3. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    That was great, simply great. Nothing heroic, nothing to alter the timeline, just a bit of fun. Great use of the idea and the constraints of time travel for both the story idea and the story set up.

  4. Avatar kyle90

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    (I’ve edited out the swearing; it wasn’t really necessary for the story anyway)

  5. Avatar Zerrakhi

    Very good. You’ve stuck strictly to the challenge parameters and written a vibrant, humorous story at the same time. I like it.

    The main weakness is that it’s not as polished as it could be. For example, you use the word “I” five times in the one paragraph, which feels repetitive. A couple of them could be changed to “it” (referring to the application). Also, I don’t understand the control character after “reply button”.

    I’m ambivilent about “timelords”. Yes, Doctor Who is enough a part of our culture that if there really were people in charge of time travel they would probably be nicknamed time lords. So it’s realistic. But it still feels distracting, as if I’m being jolted out of your story and into a different one.

    In summary, a excellent job on the writing, but you could work on the editing.

This story's tags are