Flash Fiction: for writers, readers, editors, publishers, & fans


Flash Reprint: Christopher DeWan’s “Hoopty Time Machine”

Hoopty Time Machine

by Christo­pher DeWan


Dad is out­side work­ing on a hoopty car in the dri­ve­way, always work­ing on it. It’s never going to start. It’s a fam­ily joke. He comes home from his job, pops the hood, bangs away at the car’s insides, gets cov­ered in grease, tries to turn over the engine, curses, kicks the car, comes inside for din­ner, and goes to bed.

Every night like this.

Finally, “Dad, why are you always work­ing on the car?” And he answers, “It’s not a car. It’s a time machine. It’s how I’m get­ting out of here.”

Sure enough, one day, Dad and his car are gone, and I know with­out being told that he’s never com­ing back. He’s off some­where in his hoopty time machine, with­out me or Mom, try­ing to cor­rect all his past mis­takes.



Note: This story orig­i­nally appeared in The Bin­na­cle as the win­ner of their annual Ultra-Short Com­pe­ti­tion.


Author’s Note

I’ve always liked the idea that magic might be in the eye of the beholder–and we all know the eyes of chil­dren more open to behold things that the rest of us can’t see. I like when my sto­ries act almost as opti­cal illu­sions, where you can look this way or that way and see two dif­fer­ent things. That’s what I was hop­ing to do in “Hoopty Time Machine.”


DeWan.jpgChristo­pher DeWan is a writer and teacher liv­ing in Los Ange­les. Learn more at http://christopherdewan.com


FF.Net Edi­tor Com­men­tary (Ran­dall Brown) 

We’ve all seen it–haven’t we? A dad work­ing on a car. Why? I love the answer here, some­thing so sur­pris­ing that I say aloud, read­ing the end­ing, “Well, of course that’s it.” It’s what takes him way from his fam­ily, sure enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *