Fiction: Time and Again

An essay by an unnamed assistant, as provided by Stephen D. Rogers
Art by Errow Collins

First of all, it wasn’t my fault. And even if it were my fault, it was an accident. I never meant to bend time into a Mobius strip, and probably couldn’t have done that if I tried. Besides, what kind of idiot tries to manipulate the physics of cause and effect?

My kind of idiot.

Let’s just get this straight: it wasn’t my experiment, it wasn’t my theory, and it wasn’t my idea.

This human of mine, he gets these flashes of stupidity that he mistakes for brilliance, and unfortunately, he knows just enough science to follow through.

Who gets blamed for the mishaps? Right, me.

I’m always there–as if I had any choice–and so I’m automatically at fault.

Black and white illustration of someone working on a piece of paper with a red clock superimposed over it.

First of all, it wasn’t my fault.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2019 collection.

What does Rogers mean by “Made-up Languages”?  I speak three of them. Am I made up?  Definitely not.  Maybe I should write An Encyclopedia of Imaginary Writers.  Maybe I’ll do that.  Maybe I’ll do that and send him a copy, and then once I have his address, I’ll write an Atlas of Make-Believe Locations.

See how he likes that.  Hmph.

Stephen D. Rogers is the author of A Dictionary of Made-Up Languages and more than 800 shorter pieces.  His website,, includes a list of new and upcoming titles as well as other timely information.

Errow is a comic artist and illustrator with a predilection towards mashing the surreal with the familiar. They pay their time to developing worlds not quite like our own with their fiancee and pushing the queer agenda. They probably left a candle burning somewhere. More of their work can be found at

“Time and Again” is © 2019 Stephen D. Rogers
Art accompanying story is © 2019 Errow Collins

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