Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, when writers from around the world post 100-word stories based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog. This week’s photo is by Adam Ickes. Thank you, Adam!



by Jan Brown

A fully automated docent led us through the first time portal. “Remember! Travelers must remain on the boardwalk at all times.”

We walked through time in a geographic setting known only as “North American Continent.” Each time slice was preceded by a portal, labeled in relation to the others:

♦ Before Europeans landed on the continent.

Before the native genocide.

Before human trafficking.

Before the Forty Wars.

Before Taurons landed on the planet.

Before the cyber revolution.

Before the Cleansing.

Before the Final Peace.

A single pair of “shoes,” the footwear required by the extinct, flesh-and-bone humans, stood at the exit.


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below:


64 thoughts on “Before

  1. Fantastic piece of writing! Love it! This reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode, “People are Alike All Over.” The astronaut lands on another planet and the martians seem exactly like humans except, in the end, they put him in an exhibit like an animal in the zoo. The cage plaque reads “Earth Creature in his native habitat.” Creepy!

    • I don’t remember that Twilight Zone episode…will have to look it up online! I do remember a Star Trek episode that started out that way, but in the end they wanted only the best looking humans for mating purposes. Yikes.

    • Thank you, Bjorn! I hoped the list format would move the story forward quickly without “explaining” the events. Of course, there’s very little room to explain the centuries in 100 words….

  2. Great story! Love that the Final Peace comes right before we learn that humans are extinct, although I’m left wondering: If flesh-and-blood humans are the ones extinct, does that mean there are plastic-and-polymer humans still around? Inquiring minds want to know 😉

  3. I love the timeline and that the museum of the future appears to have progressed somewhat – I like the idea of “time slices”!
    I don’t want to evolve into a Cyberman, though 😦

  4. This may only be 100 words long, but you gave me so much to think about. My imagination went wild with those bullet points, and you blew my mind with the idea that flesh and bone humans were extinct! Clever use of the photo prompt!

  5. That’s quite an interesting view of the future and quite an interesting concept. It reminds me of the book Last and First Men, by Olaf Stapledon, which deals with humans millions of years in the future.

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