Nature Future Conditional

The story behind the story: Time flies

Carie Juettner makes her Futures debut this week with her cautionary tale Time flies. You can keep up to date with her latest activities at her website or by following her on Twitter. Here, Carie reveals the origins of her latest tale — as usual it pays to read the story first.

Writing Time flies

I wrote the first draft of this story on April Fool’s Day. I’d signed up for the April monthly challenge on, a resource I find useful in helping me get to the page. On April first, rather than tackle my current work in progress, I decided to sit down with a brand new idea and see where it took me.

I’ve always been a fan of word play and the phrase ‘time flies’ had been in my head for a while. I thought about what would happen if I took it literally and what else might happen if I switched the word ‘flies’ from verb to noun. Then I started typing.

The story came pretty freely. I enjoyed thinking about the idea of being able to add years to your life (you only have to catch them first) but the more I wrote, the more I began to see the inherent flaw in the process. At the time, I’d also been buying a few scratch-off lottery tickets. I remember thinking how if I never won anything, it would be easy to give up, but I almost always got a dollar or two or three, and that made me feel like the ‘big one’ was just around the corner.

I tried to keep the story lighthearted, but it’s definitely a sobering issue. Here these two young people are wasting the time they have trying to bank more hours. It’s something that, in subtle ways, a lot of us do — worry about the future and lose sight of the present.

I left Kat and Jeremy standing in the dusk, still grasping for more time, but I dearly hope they manage to break free from the cycle and move on.


  1. Ed Rybicki

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    Ed Rybicki said:

    Ah, but there ought to be some negative rewards, too: venomous time flies, which actually knock time off! That sounds more fair? B-) Great story, thanks!