Short Short Story | The Solemn Matter of Keeping Time

I thought I might share one of my short shorts with you today! When I was in Ireland, I was a member of the Writers Society, and one of the prompts was to use the phrase: “This isn’t life in the fast lane, it’s life in the oncoming traffic.” We had only ten minutes to write the short short, and we were allowed to alter the phrase, so long as we maintained the general meaning of it. This is what I came up with!

Summary: A short short inspired by Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days


Brett Coreander wasn’t much supportive of new things. His life was routine, planned out by clockwork, ticked down by seconds, minutes, hours, days, and months.

There was merit in keeping time.

His friends and neighbors thought him odd, but wonderfully controlled and defined. Determined in most of everything. Stepping left and stepping right, one foot in front of the other. Precise and unburdened by unpredictability and unforeseen fortune, defiant of Fate herself.

As many believed, life was to be more rewarding if lived in the fast lane, a lane of surprise and hurt, of happiness and tears. A lane of human life and breaths of frosty air and sun-dyed skies.

Nevertheless, Brett Coreander saw that life wasn’t in the fast lane at all, but a life bleeding into oncoming traffic. Without counting steps and keeping seconds, there lives a moment of undeniable blindness in the corner of the eye, the flashing light and sounding horn. A breaking of bone, tearing of flesh, and the fleeting beat of the heart. The blanket of black and blue.

Brett Coreander believed there was merit in keeping time.


This story can be found on my blog along with a few others (mostly works in progress)! If my little short short piqued your interest, you can go ahead and check out some of my other works here

Thanks for stopping by! 😀

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3 thoughts on “Short Short Story | The Solemn Matter of Keeping Time

  1. I love this, and actually immediately reread it. How on earth did you write this in ten minutes? We did a bunch of those types of exercises in my undergrad (I was a creative writing major), and most of my finished products were five incoherent sentences blurred by my nervous sweat. I admire and envy your ability to put together a solid scene while under pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks so much, Liam! ❤ And honestly, I have no idea lol. I'd just finished reading Around the World in 80 Days hours before the session, and so my mind was stuck in a Victorian, existential state of mind haha. It might have helped just a bit 😀 But writing in such a short time is so nerve-wracking!

      Liked by 1 person

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