Desk was provided as a prompt last March (2023), so I thought I’d slip it in here. It’s from the writephoto meme by KL Caley at, but unfortunately KL is on hiatus.

I have recently discovered that my neck (which has been bothering me for over eighteen months) has things that help it and things that don’t. Unfortunately, typing and editing it likes not. I think it’s the constant movements from looking at keyboard to screen. Since the physio has improved it in many other ways (although not sideways), I think I ought to limit my posts again. So this one is short, about 330 words 🙂


It was just as she imagined. 

The great man’s writing desk, where he’d practically invented the notion of time travel, and now she’d come back to examine it. 

Practically new, as you would expect of a Victorian piece of furniture. Was his desk always this tidy? What was in the other drawers and cupboards? Locked. That was a shame. She would have loved to see what was not on display, get a real insight into the man.

There were four piles of paper on the open bureau.

Was this the script?

She settled down on the comfortably upholstered armchair, picked up the first sheets of paper. 

“Chapter 1. The Dinner Party”

So far, so good. She laid the pages out side by side, took out her wand, and stored the images in it.

She carefully placed them back as she’d found them, and went for the next, followed by the third, and finally the fourth. It didn’t seem finished, and the piles themselves were more of notes than paragraphs. 

She looked at the last page of the fourth pile before she replaced it. The Lockwoods seemed to be having trouble with the Ellises. That can’t be right, surely?

A noise at the front door drew her attention. Time to fly.

Back in her own time, she downloaded the images from her wand, and started to compare with the archaic ebook.

Well, her theory seemed to have a basis in fact. These pages were not the final story, if indeed it was the story at all.

Had someone gone back in time and changed his masterpiece before its publication?

After a couple of weeks analysing the content of the great man’s desk, she paced her study cubicle for at least two hours. Then she sat down and wrote the definitive version of the Time Machine, using the technology available in this time to reproduce the original paper.

Now to nip back and make sure the correct copy went to the publisher.

© J M Pett 2024


Desk | #writephoto Flash Fiction
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3 thoughts on “Desk | #writephoto Flash Fiction

  • 13 March, 2024 at 7:39 am

    I do love this Jemma, it’s a great story! I remember the one I had Morgarna landed in!
    I am sorry to hear the neck is playing you up… How are the hands doing..
    . Keep well 💜💜

  • 13 March, 2024 at 2:57 pm

    Wow, love the time-traveling circles there! Hope moderating the computer time will keep the neck and hands both happier.

  • 13 March, 2024 at 5:08 pm


    Time travel, ghosts, trying to believe, or not to believe
    The desk… No masterpieces, yet, but mine has a little history. When the MoD had a garage sale, a few miles from Bath, where I used to live, the mahogany desk was exactly what I needed. Solid, not in the least beautiful, no left behind military secrets, ,just a small enamelled plate, with a College Green Bristol address.


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