ADSactly Short Stories - Twenty Minutes

in fiction •  9 months ago

Twenty Minutes




A man in suit steps out of a room on the right and Derrick recognizes him: the co-founder of Time-Tbox.

“Wait,” the man says.

Derrick stops. The three people behind Derrick stop.

“I’m Prof. Lambert.” He walks over. First, he shakes hands with Derrick. Then the chubby guy on Derrick’s left.

“Glad to meet you, sir,” the only lady among them says as he shakes hands with her. The fortyish man wearing a cowboy hat is next.

“In a few minutes, four of you would have an experience of a lifetime,” Prof. Lambert says and starts toward the shiny door at the end of the hallway. They follow.

Derrick imagines, anticipates.

The floor vibrates as the door slides open. Once Prof. Lambert steps in, he turns around—his hands behind him—as though he wants to watch as they enter.

The blue lighting in the room switches to red. There are two time machines on the left and two on the right.

“So, I know all of you have been on the waiting list for at least five months. As you can see, we have only four M8 TBoxes, the only four in the world, actually, and we can only run them once in eight days. Thank you for your patience.”

He says a long code that starts with “M8,” and the machines which look like tall fridges turn on. The large displays in front of them show “0.” Every few seconds, they beep twice.

Prof. Lambert tucks his hand into his pants pocket. “You were told this during orientation, but I’ll say it again: avoid instant death; avoid - instant - death. Getting shot in the leg is good. Getting shot in the head is bad.

“The machine will give you a Soul Power based on some algorithms. Every human alive that isn’t bleeding… dying should have a Soul Power above ninety percent.” He rubs his bald head and continues. “Let’s assume when the experience starts you find yourself in front of a bus, and it hits you. And you start dying, slowly. Your Soul Power will start depleting. Once it gets to twenty percent, the machine will bring you back to the present—you’ll be back in the machine.

“But if you find yourself in front of a train and it crushes you and you die instantly, your Soul Power will deplete fast to zero. The machine may not be able to bring you back because of how fast your Soul Power depleted.

“Avoid instant death: it’s the most important of all you were told during orientation.”

The only sounds in the room are the beeping of the machines for several seconds. Derrick thinks of “instant death,” the rest are probably doing the same.

“Any questions,” Prof. Lambert asks.

Derrick steps forward. “This wasn’t mentioned during orientation: what would happen to a person who isn’t returned to the present because of instant death?”

“The person’s body would be stuck in wherever… whatever year he or she time travels to.” Prof. Lambert takes a step toward Derrick. “Let me add that once twenty minutes is over you will return to the present - as long as Soul Power is above zero.”

“So, the whole body leaves the machine?" the lady asks.

“Yes. Your body and soul leaves.”

Prof. Lambert turns to the chubby guy as though it’s his turn to ask a question.

“How can we prevent finding ourselves in front of a train?” the chubby guy asks.

Prof. Lambert smiles. “If you find yourself in front of a moving train, jump off the track. Um, don’t let my answer scare you. It likely won’t happen.”

The guy wearing the cowboy hat clears his throat, drawing everyone’s attention. He doesn’t ask a question, though; he says he’s ready.

Prof. Lambert confirms they’re all ready and asks them to choose a machine. Derrick walks over to the one closest to him. Standing in front of it, he takes a deep breath, waiting for the next instruction.

Then someone says loudly, “I can’t do this!” Derrick looks back and the chubby guy is walking to Prof. Lambert, his chest heaving as if he just ran a hundred meter dash.

“Sir, I can’t.”

“Are you scared of dying instantly? You can stand beside me as the rest journey into the future - or past. Everyone, place your right hand on the screen.”

When Derrick’s hand makes contact with the screen, the number changes from 0 to 96.7%. His Soul Power, he guesses. Then the front of the machine fades, and Prof. Lambert asks them to climb in.

Inside the machine is white, and the lights in it are damn bright. There’s a chair, and a small screen is on one of its arms.

“Sit,” Prof. Lambert says.

The chubby guy stands with his hands resting on his waist, looking scared. More like he believes someone won’t return.

The front of the machine seals.

“Now, configure your experience.” Prof. Lambert’s voice is clear as if he’s in the machine.

Derrick looks down at the small screen.

Action - Soft - Random

Derrick taps on “Action.”

Before 2200 - After 2200 - Random

He selects “After 2200.”

Same continent - Specify continent - Random

He chooses “Random.”

Start experience - Change setup - Abort

He moves his finger toward “Start experience” and stops. His heart pumps harder.

Maybe I should change Action to Soft.

“No, no. I just have to avoid instant death and everything will be fine,” he mutters.

What if the machine malfunctions? What if I get shot? What if—

He stops the negative thoughts and taps on “Start experience.”

A countdown timer appears in front of his left eye. 20:00. Its text is green, and it moves up slowly and stops just above his eye level.

Nothing happens for about half a minute.

Then—the machine starts beeping faster, vibrating intensely. After a few moments, sounds fade; Derrick hears nothing. The lights turn off, and the timer starts counting. He sees a bright flash of light, and suddenly it feels like he’s falling—fast. An ear-splitting sound blends with the wind rushing past his ears. One moment he feels hot, and the next, cold. He starts screaming, but he can’t hear himself. He concludes his Soul Power has dropped to zero.

A Quirky Time-travel Story - Black hole


Everything stops, and he’s lying on a hard surface. His vision clears. The place is dimly lit. It looks like a cave.

“Illegal teleporting gone wrong.” “Is he alive?” “Look—he’s blinking.” Derrick hears voices.

He looks left and three men are sitting on the ground, staring at him. Light from a circular, flat thing on the ground in front of them highlights their faces.

Quickly he raises himself and shifts away, and his back hits the end of the space. It’s damn small. His head almost touches the ceiling. A flat thing on the floor lights up in front of him—just like the one in front of the men.

“The universe has sent us food,” the man in the middle, with big ears, says. “I think so,” the man on the right, with a long neck, says and starts crawling toward Derrick.

“Wait, wait, I’m a human - just like you. I’m a time traveler.”

The man stops and sits. He glances at the other two. “We normally don’t eat humans, but we haven’t eaten in twelve days.”

The other two crawl to where the third is and sit; the man on the left is the biggest of the three. “Time traveler?” he asks, pulling his long beard. “From which year?”


The man with big ears says, “This is the year 2475. Anyway, your real body should be safe somewhere. We shall eat you.”

Timer: 17:05

The long-necked man (Long-neck) pulls out a knife from his pants. He licks his lips as if he’s gazing at his favorite food. “Please, please, do-don’t eat me,” Derrick pleads. Long-neck leans forward and grabs Derrick’s leg, while the big-eared man (Big-ears) pulls off Derrick’s shoes.

Long-neck is ready to cut out some flesh, but the big man stops him. “No. We won’t eat him.”

Long-neck and Big-ears frown. Long-neck flings the knife to the other end of the space and crawls away. Big-ears follows, murmuring.

“Ask questions,” the big man says. “Isn’t that what you came for?”

Derrick tries to open his mouth, but he is so terrified. It takes about a minute of stammering and shuddering before he asks, “Why are you in this... hole?”

“We tried to overthrow their government. They are searching for us.”

“Which country is this?”

“Animal country,” the big man says. “They rule in this part of the earth.” He glances back at Big-ears and Long-neck who are whispering to each other.

“You look surprised,” he says.

“Yes, I am. Aren’t humans smarter?"

“Humans were smarter. But in 2242, a scientist called Collins Nikilovic gathered a hundred and fifty different animals and injected them with Nikilovinium, some brain booster he invented. And since then, everything changed.”

He opens his mouth to say more, and it stays agape. His eyes widen. “They are coming!”

Something sounding like an airplane seems to be approaching. The big man quickly turns off the lights by moving his hand over them. Darkness. A tiny hole is opened close to the ceiling and someone peeps through.

“It’s the Wolf Army. They are coming in this direction.”

The sound gets louder and louder; it sounds closer and closer.

Timer: 15:10

When the sound stops, Derrick hears voices.

“It fell around here," a voice says. "I’m very sure I saw it. Blue. It looked like a capsule.”

“Start digging,” another voice says.

Someone crawls to Derrick. A warm air caresses his outer ear as the person whispers, “They’ll find us.” He recognizes it’s the big man talking. “They’ll find us because of you; they saw you arriving.”

“Dig faster. I can smell humans. Damn humans. Dig, dig, dig.”

A leg of an animal penetrates the ceiling just in front of Derrick. Another penetrates at the other end. Sand starts pouring in.

More legs penetrate. Holes are everywhere.

The ceiling collapses.

Wolfs standing on two legs pull them out. All are wearing black T-shirts. Some are holding guns. Some are wearing sunglasses. Derrick and the other three are hauled to a craft that looks like a zeppelin, and they are thrown into it.

A Quirky Time-travel Story - Zeppelin


The wolves climb in, about twenty of them, and it takes off.

Derrick’s arm hurt where claws had penetrated—where he’d been grabbed. His mind is on his Soul Power.

I should have chosen “Soft.” This is big trouble.

The craft lands.

Derrick, the big man, Long-neck, and Big-ears are dragged out. It seems the craft landed on the top of a building.

Timer: 10:23

The wolves pull them down a flight of stairs, and they emerge in a long hallway with flower decorations on the walls. Giraffes, Buffalos, Zebras, Wildebeests… different quadrupeds are standing on two legs, on both sides of the hallway, chanting, “Instant judgment, instant judgment.”

The word “instant” scares the piss out of Derrick as it takes forever to get to the end of the hallway. The chants get louder.

A wooden door is at the end. A monkey wearing a shirt and a bow tie raises its hand, and the chants stop. It walks over and says, “You are about to enter King Zomba’s throne room. Homo sapiens, behave yourselves.”

The door hinges squeak as the monkey opens it. Derrick and the other humans are pushed inside with so much force that they all fall.

King Zomba is sitting on the throne, wearing a crown that’s twice the size of his head. Two female lions are on the left, and two are on the right. Cheetahs are palace guards.

He tips his head back, laughing. "You can't hide forever.

“My people want instant judgment for four of you; I’ll do what they want.” He moves his hand through his mane, looking in different directions as if he’s searching for something.

Timer: 7:15

“Feed the two men on the left to the big cats in prison. But first, bring him to me.” He points at Big-ears.

Two palace guards walk over, and one drags a quivering Big-ears to King Zomba.

Derrick looks down, hoping for a “good” judgment. He wishes King Zomba would feed him to the big cats too: that wouldn’t be instant death.

Big-ears screams and Derrick raises his head. King Zomba is munching. One of Big-ears’ ears is gone. He motions for the palace guard to take Big-ears away.

“Let’s test our H20 guns on these two. Firing squad—now.”

Firing squad? No. No. That could be instant death. I have to think of something. I won’t die in 2475. I won’t. I won’t.

“Fight me! Let’s fight without weapons,” Derrick says loudly.

All heads in the throne room turn to Derrick, staring at him like he has gone crazy or something.

King Zomba laughs. “You want to fight me? Without using a weapon?” He continues laughing. “Interesting. You are brave. But let me remind you that a heroic death is still death. And unfortunately, you have chosen a more painful way to die. Take him to the arena!”

For several minutes, Derrick stands in the middle of the arena watching animals troop in.

When he heard King Zomba say all seats had to be filled before the fight would begin, he felt relief: the timer would count to zero before it gets filled. But he was wrong. It reaches 02:59, and every single seat is occupied. More and more animals rush in.

A monkey holding a trumpet runs to the middle of the arena, close to Derrick, and blows it. A few meters away, opposite, King Zomba stands on four legs, and a female lion takes off his crown.

A Quirky Time-travel Story - Lion


He roars. Every animal sitting stands up, clapping. They start cheering.

King Zomba takes a few steps toward Derrick, flashing his canines.

Derrick takes steps back. There’s nowhere to run.

One moment his eyes are fixed on King Zomba. The next moment he’s pushed to the ground as King Zomba pounces on him.

Timer: 02:00.

Derrick closes his eyes, waiting for the worst.

Some animals chant, “Eat him,” some, “Kill him!”

Teeth penetrate Derrick’s throat, deep. He screams, feeling his blood gushing out. Life is being squeezed out of him, fast.

Suddenly, he rises above the arena. And he can see his body, King Zomba’s jaws locked on his neck.

Then his body disappears.

The noises around fade the higher he gets—his vision too.

Where’s the timer? Am I rising to heaven? Has my Soul Power dropped fast to zero?

He feels cold, and then very hot. He rises faster. The wind rushing past his ears sounds like a whistle. A bright flash of light follows.

Then—everything stops. For about a minute he sees nothing. He hears nothing. It’s just like his imagination of what happens after death.

He concludes he’s dead until his vision begins to clear.

He hears beeps in a distance.

Am I back in the machine?

Everything becomes clearer; he’s back in the machine.

The small screen displays “Passenger retrieved.”

He stands up. The front of the machine fades. He steps out and finds Prof. Lambert standing beside the chubby guy.

Glancing back, the screen on the front of the machine displays 20%.

“Welcome back. You lost your shoes,” Prof. Lambert says. “Unfortunately, your memory of the experience will fade in about… three minutes. The machine captured some moments, though."

“What did you see?” the chubby guy asks.

“Humans. Animals. Death,” Derrick says.

Authored by @jeffways
Original cover image source: Unsplash

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This was a short story and it took me almost 8 minutes to read. I wish that I can write such stuff but we cannot do everything. I should remain in my areas of expertise and those are Crypto and Food & health.

To be honest, I am getting more interested in these fiction short stories now.


nice follow you blog thanks.


i am getting more interested in these fiction short stories now.


Thanks for taking the time to read @cryptokraze.

thanks for share good post

“Getting shot in the leg is good. Getting shot in the head is bad.”
Derrick thought he died out there.
Very interesting story. 3A7CD9E1-6192-408F-89E8-1E17207951DD.jpeg


Thanks @milano1113. I like the cartoon :-)

The Golden Cobra has struck!

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Strike Speed: 64/Millisecond

Venom circulation period: 7 days

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Send 0.001-0.004 SBD/STEEM + url->memo to @thegoldencobra for an upvote! :)

Wow! What a nice read. This has given me the motivation to put my stories out there for ya'll steemains. I hope ya'll will enjoy them just as we have enjoyed this read.

Oh wow, @jeffways. what a story!!! I couldn't stop reading till I got to the end. I hope the other guys went too. I'd like to read their own experiences. Can I get a follow back?

your short stories of 2o minutes really remarkable.i also like your story. i read your story fully its really learning for me.i think that,every fiction very valuable and important.thank you also for your good post sir..@adsactly..

Good fiction story. i like this types of writing.. go on.Best account of steemit by far@adsactly

I find it captivating!

Wow......i appreciate this writing....i like this story......all the best....

Good luck master

It is a good story. thsnk you for sharing

A wordly blog ..... Resteemed

how much time did you spend to write this story?? You need a lot of talent to compile this.

This is very unique content.. i like this types of writing.. go on.Best account of steemit by far@adsactly

It is a good story. thsnk you for sharing...@ adsactly.Upvot and resteem

That's a very good post. I really like to read it. Lots of knowledge contained therein. Thank you for giving me a very valuable lesson.

Successful greeting is always for you.

I Love You Steemit

Ur post are really very good thanks for sharing

I am a regular reader of your post, you everytine come up with beautiful task, i love your posf

Interesting fictional write up you got there. Its a bit lengthy tho. But i had to painstakingly read through because of its intrigue.


Hello @josiahebighe, glad you finished reading it.
And that you liked it.

Nice adn steady

This is very nice story thanks for sharing up vote and redeem..

Good fiction story
You might look to mine i have created recently too

Good one bro..

very-very good picture ok I've vote.jangan forgot vote back

Never seen a short story that took me this much time to read and absorb the information.

The story is a great one and although fictional I guess we don't invent Some sort of Nikilovinium 😀😀

I literally felt how terrified Derrick was as he waited patiently for time to count down as fast as possible, but it's always in these cases that time tends to move the slowest.

Great story all the way, I'm drawn into this and will be looking forward to more of these amazing stories.
PS: makes for a good script


@nexrules. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

guess we don't invent Some sort of Nikilovinium

:-) not in 200 or 300 years. Maybe never.


Hehe, thank you. Never should it be invented. Thanks for this wonderful piece, I love it.

Awesome story i like this type of story

Spectacular @adsactly. You are never boring for following you

wow this awesome hope to see more of this stories from you


You will definitely see more. Adsactly posts good stories often. Thanks for reading @jamespower

Very interesting, and rather true to life. You’ve accurately captured the process. Appropriately lengthy – as is the process. Quite fitting. The ideaas you have in here are like the shiny stones you sometimes find randomly – a glint, and it stands out from everything. Jeez, there’s a lot I want to say about this, up to and including: I totally and entirely agree. I love this piece.

Great Fction story..
i very like it all content n this story is so good

Derrick reply should be to fat guy
"a parallel world"
Though firstly I thought story looks a mixture of Inception,journey 2 ,avatar.,but when I kept going further it gets some turns thats interesting
Indeed it's a good story to read.especially the protagonist Derrick seems very brave & logical in prejudging the situation.i almost though he would gone in when the time shows 2 minutes,looks like he is the master in engaging while coming across some of the weirdest sensitive situations.
Perhaps the fat guy get some push,&might be looking forward to the expedition next time.😊


Hello @iamanwaar. After hearing Dericks's response, I doubt the chubby guy would ever want to have the experience. :-) Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

Just like the title, 20 minutes..
It took me 20 minutes to finish this short story...
I must be a very fast reader...


I guess your are a fast reader lol. Thanks for reading.

Hmmm lovely article ,it got me reading twice and i found it interesting


You read it twice? Wow really cool. Glad you liked it.

This is a great story i read the story full @adsactly from @nasimmd #Rahat

very good friends ... success always yes.

Good posting
Please upvote and follow me @nuaraini06

Great fiction story! You should wright a book mate!!


I will. Thanks for the suggestion :-)

well i like the post amazing

very long text😎😎😎 @titanik

really this post is nice.....
thanks for @adsactly

Nice and steady....
please post have me

Most excellent post! I was looking to read a good story today and this more than satisfied my needs. Thanks for posting @adsactly it was very entertaining!!!


Hello @silasdavid. Thanks for reading. And glad you liked it too.

@ adsactly.Upvot and resteem

Nice story! Really enjoyed reading it! :)

Great and inspiring. Greetings from Uganda sir!

Good post!

nice story, thanks for share

What a great story. Thank you for sharing


Bizden biri @titanik

An incredible story, especially the small details that make all the difference. I could actually see the characters. Bravo!!!!


Thanks for reading @eugenekul

Congratulations @adsactly, this post is the third most rewarded post (based on pending payouts) in the last 12 hours written by a Superhero or Legend account holder (accounts hold greater than 100 Mega Vests). The total number of posts by Superhero and Legend account holders during this period was 52 and the total pending payments to posts in these categories was $4778.64. To see the full list of highest paid posts across all accounts categories, click here.

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I like the story devices of the soul-power, and the return countdown. Well done.


Steem Power actually inspired Soul Power :-)


I thought as much. As they say, all the good ideas are borrowed; all the brilliant ideas are stolen.

La hisotria esta genial, algo distinto de otros post pero que buena forma de realizar una publicacion, un poco mas de contenido digital y seria mucho mejor a mi concepto

Wow! This is beautiful. Superb imagination here!! Keep writing!!!


Hello @uc-phoenix.
Thanks for the encouragement!
Thanks for reading!

Hey! have a good day. If you are part of the steemit community upvote this comment

resteemit done sir,,,,,,,,,,
carry on

Oh my! I really love this story. And your writing style is unique. Nice one.

Really interesting though took sometime to read up

Michah, It is good to connect with you here old friend. Story telling is a fine art and your post is that of a skilled painter. I hope you are doing well up there in the Great White North. Gavin

C'était une histoire courte et il m'a fallu près de 8 minutes pour lire. Je souhaite écrire des choses comme ça mais nous ne pouvons pas tout faire.
Je voudrais rester dans mes domaines d'expertise, crepto, alimentation et santé.

Pour être honnête, je reçois plus d'attention dans ces histoires de fiction courtes maintenant.

Wow, this was riveting. Nice characters and storyline! Instant follow for you my friend.

Really nice short story. Took my time to read it and i enjoyed it all the way. Thanks @adsactly


Glad you enjoyed it @yucee. Thanks for reading!

That was awesome! I read like a movie I saw where a space travel mission went awry and the hero landed on a planet or timezone where animals were smart and they ruled. This story was way more interesting though. I loved every minute of it. Thanks a million @jeffways!


Hello @mosunomotunde. Thanks for reading.


Twas my pleasure

Love your story. I write storys also, about my adventures on the Canary Islands, at a time when I was living without money and therefore had the richest, most human experiences.

I am from Indonesia I love you @adsactly. Follow me @yasir123

What a thrilling reading experience for a time-machine story. Derrick must come up with a strategy to avoid being eaten in an animal dominated world within 20 minutes. I can sense Derrick terrified personality in the story. Upvoted!


Thanks for reading. He was damn terrified.

It is really a good short story. I love stories but I am not sure how to write it. You have done an awesome job

Please follow me back @abdulhanif thanks

Please recommend
Ask me for boarding

I love the story... very interesting

I like it.. this is information

interisting story...
thanks for sharing with us...

Hi guys, I know this is completely unrelated to this current topic, but I was wondering what the best way to promote a larger audience to your page is, other than posting articles continuously.

it is not short story is full book, 10 mints to read, i was thinking now will be end, but every page was interesting,,nice post, please also check my post if you have 8 mints,, just 8 second,, thank for this good post, i am fallowing you


I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

Wow..its good,,amazing and intresting story..keet it up..

Hey @adsactly - is there a way to apply for a writer at your account? I would love to write for you in a dedicated art category if that's something that you're into. Just let me know here (I'm also available on under the same name once it is up again)

I love fictional stories and this one just stabilized my interest gauge for today. I even imagined it happening as I read through and I hope no nikilovinium is created.


No Nikilovinium would be created lol. Or... no one really knows. :-)

awesome writing...
resteem done

Hi Steemians, I’ve started a crowd-sourced story here. It’s about AgentX and his secret life with cat-women. Here’s an invitation to write the next line of the story! @suezaacat

What an experience all packed into one. Mind blowing.

You are darn good with writing. First time seeing your post and I am so following


Hello nnennaewa, thanks for reading.

I did not believe i would read the whole thing....surprisingly i saw i was at the end of the story. when is the next story.


@t-belema adsactly posts cool stories often :-) Thanks for reading!

Congratulations @adsactly!
Your post was mentioned in the hit parade in the following category:

  • Pending payout - Ranked 4 with $ 401,21

This is pretty good.

nice share
thank you

Hello @jeffways,

a few criticisms on the wording of the story:

Do people shake each other in the future or did @jeffways mean they shook hands? I think he means "ceases" when he writes "seizes". It is funny there is no colon between the minutes and seconds for the times.


thanks for share!! great post

“I’m Prof. Lambert.” He walks over, hand outstretched. First, he shakes Derrick. Then the chubby guy on Derrick’s left. “Glad to meet you, sir,” the only lady among them says as he shakes her. The fortyish man wearing a cowboy hat is next.

That's funny. I can imagine how the guy was shaking the woman. Then she sued him for harassment just to join "me too" movement.))

I like

. i like this types of writing.. go on.Best account of steemit by far..@ adsactly.Upvot and resteem