HumorScience Fiction

The Time Cookie Wars

By Benjamin C. Kinney
964 words · 4-minute reading time
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Ten hours smiling at potential donors to the Temporal Branching Lab, and two more tour groups to go, but my snack stash held only a box of crumbs, without even a fleck of chocolate. The other graduate students had left some milk and a few wrinkled apples in the break room fridge, but stealing those wouldn't be worth the trouble tomorrow. For cookies, though, I'd shiv the lot of them.

My stomach growled. "Past self, why did you let the cookies run out? Current self wants cookies. Come on, past self, get with the program."

I crept back to the lab's main room. I had told a hundred rapacious philatelists: it takes you to a different timeline, so you won't change history; and the mass calibration term has 1.3 kilograms of leeway to bring things back. Things like stamps. So why not cookies?

I flicked a switch, and the Temporal Branching Machine began to hum.

I rifled through the cupboard, setting aside the chocolate chip and peanut butter as I dug toward the Milanos deep within.

"Excuse...

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About the Author

Benjamin C. Kinney is a SFF writer, neuroscientist, and the Assistant Editor at the science fiction podcast magazine Escape Pod. Find him online at benjaminckinney.com or follow him on Twitter @benckinney.

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