The most excellent Damon Lindelof has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. To be continued, daily…

Chapter One: I’ve Never Written A Short Story Before

“They’re going to kill us.”

George looked at her. She was smiling, but there was something about the way she said it.

“Nah,” George said, smiling back, “We’ll be fine.”

“I heard them whispering…” She leaned in, whispering herself, “I heard them say something something something murder.”

“They’re kids. They talk about murder all the time. It’s a whole thing.”

“A “thing” is TikTok, George… murder is not a thing.”

Elizabeth’s smile was gone now. Come to think of it, it hadn’t been there in the first place. Neither of them had really smiled since PH&W.

“Wait… are… You’re serious?”

“I heard them whispering… I heard them say murder and then the floorboard creaked and they stopped. Because they knew I was there in the hallway.”

“The floorboard… creaked? Like in the movies?”

“No one says that. No one says ‘like in the movies’ unless they’re in a fucking movie.”

“Well I said it and I’m in real life.”

“Are you?”


“There are four of them and two of us. We’re outnumbered.”

George shrugged. “But they’re smaller than we are. And dumber.”

“Alden’s not dumber.” She said. “And he’s the one who said murder.”

She looked at him. He looked back at her. Theirs was a romance forged in their shared unwillingness to blink.

“Maybe we should tell them where it is.”

He shook his head. He should have seen this was where things were headed.

“If we tell them where it is, they’ll use it.”

Both of them knew where it was. And both of them knew George was right. The kids would indeed use it.

“They’ll find it. We’re in this house for weeks… they won’t stop until they find it.”

“Well then maybe you should have kept your time machine at work, Elizabeth.”

Her brow furrowed. “Don’t call it that.”

“I’m sorry.”

He wasn’t.

But he would be. George would be very, very sorry indeed.

It was Day Two of the Self-Quarantine.

To be continued…