lost time incident 70 – hope

lost time incident 70
Hey there, lost timers! Hello to all the incidenteers! This is the last lost time incident of 2017! You spent all year hoping you’d see the last one of the year and here it is.

“Why couldn’t he write the last newsletter of the year earlier?” you’ve asked. “Why not send the last newsletter in Q1 and then it’s not hanging over our heads the whole year, casting a pall of dread over everything we do, leaving us unsure when the last newsletter is going to emerge from its well and grab at our ankles with its clawed fingers?”

Sorry about all your ankles, folks.

As per the yoozh (which is how we’re shortening “usual” now for all of 2018), we’ve got a few bits of microfiction arranged below for you. Please read all the words in the order in which they appear. In any other order, they may not work.

new year’s goals
) Free my mirror self from the mirror dimension… then immediately trap it in the shadow dimension. It’s not going to see that coming at all.

) Build a new familiar out of less flammable materials.

) Finally get my hands back on the correct wrists because no one believes I swapped ’em “because reverse clapping is going to be really hot this year”

) Send a blanket of imps through downtown to kick the ankles of everyone who plays music in public without wearing headphones.

) Finish this list <– Done already! This is easy!

yard sale
Just selling a few things that are starting to clutter the ol’ hut. Make an offer.

The Mask of Trees – Helps you blend in with trees, make friends with trees, seduce a tree’s tree-wife.

The Mask of Illusion – Makes you think you can look like anyone, but that’s an illusion. You look like an idiot in a mask that’s got no eye holes.

A pile of masks – I forget what these do. Probably cursed.

Even more masks – You know what? I thought I had a problem with clutter but I think it’s just these masks, reproducing. Rubbing their fake faces together and breeding.

Come get a mask. Cheap.

the start of a vibrant franchise

“They call me… The Scared-of-Fire Kid.”   – First sentence of my groundbreaking caveman/cowboy cross-genre masterpiece.

The Scared-of-Fire Kid walked into the village. As he passed by, women shooed their children into the comforting darkness of their caves. Local toughs, their lips smeared with fermented fruit, glared at him from under half-closed eyelids.

In the center of town, a wonder: Two big rocks stacked on top of one another.

“Well, I’ll be,” said the Kid. “Modern technology. What will they think of next?”

“This ain’t no concern of yours, Scared-of-Fire Kid,” said the leader of the club-wielding thugs. “Why don’t you just get back on your horse—” ”

I don’t know what that is,” grunted The Scared-of-Fire Kid. “I don’t think that’s a thing that’s native to my biome. Or maybe they haven’t evolved yet?”

[NOTE TO SELF: When did horses?]

“We want you out of this cave, lady,” said the fur-wearing tough. “Our boss has big plans for this space. He found a big pile of meat and he wants to store it in here, where it’s cool, eating as much as he can before it magically transforms into flies, which is a thing we believe happens.”

“Transmutation?” said the cave-lady.

“Less talking, more walking,” said the tough.

“You having some trouble here, ma’am?” asked The Scared-of-Fire Kid, who was terrible at minding his own business.

“Before we fight, we have to count down,” said The Scared-of-Fire Kid, facing his foe in the middle of a dirt path.

“I don’t count,” said the caveman, swinging a sharpened bone.


“In my head, numbers are like: one, two, three, many.”

“Then you do count, just not very high. We can still count down, starting at three,” said The Kid.

“I don’t see why we don’t just fight, like, right now.”

The Kid rubbed his unshaven jaw. “There’s this thing called ‘genre convention’–”


The Kid sighed.

The mother and child, safe from the bone club-wielding band that had threatened their village, watched The Scared-of-Fire Kid gather up his things to leave.

“Why do you have to go?” asked the child.

“My work here is done,” said the Kid. “Also, those guys set fire to your home and, uh… man, I do NOT like that.”

“We can build another home,” said the mother. “And cook you something… if you’ll stay.”

“What, like… cook with fire?” asked the Kid. “Yikes. No thanks.”

The sunset beckoned.


ending theme song
Doot doot doot-dooo.

I have no idea how to end this thing.

I have the same dilemma when it comes to this year.

And when it comes to myself.

The nice thing about endings is: most of them take care of themselves. They just happen.

Just like this…


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