One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows

18 Sep

Here is this week’s 100 word story for Friday Fictioneers. It is based on a true story that is happening now and on the photo prompt shown below courtesy of John Nixon. Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for winding the ship’s chronometer, to Ben Franklin for my title and to R. A. Heinlein for everything he ever wrote. The stories of all contributors can be found here. Take some time to check them out. Never know what you’ll find.

(For those of you new to Friday Fictioneers, the founder, Ms. Madison Woods, is getting married this weekend. Talk about your ripples in a pond. She has changed many people’s lives for the better, even if she doesn’t know it yet, or modestly denies it.)

Madison, thank you for all that you’ve done. May you find the magic and love you have deserved for so very long. Aloha, D.

One Tomorrow

Life was a holding action in which I could see no future. Seventy years of bad decisions found me worn out and headed straight to hell on a bad road paved with good intentions.

Which is why I paid attention when my doppelganger walked into the store and placed a satchel full of hundred dollar bills on the counter.

He handed me an envelope and one-thousand dollars.

“Tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby. Bet the trifecta, 19-6-5. After you collect, open the letter and follow the instructions. Don’t screw this up. Don’t think. You’ll only hurt yourself. We’ll talk again twice. It’s time.”

Click this link.

Or not.

67 Responses to “One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows”

  1. Adam Ickes September 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    The only thing I can think of here is Back to the Future. Sadly, I can offer nothing constructive because I can’t get past that thought

  2. sustainabilitea September 18, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    To me, the title says it all. As for “Don’t think. You’ll only hurt yourself.”, I got a good laugh out of that. I know a person or two like that. Or maybe they’re in office somewhere. Whatever.


    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      Dear Janet,

      You are very kind to grace my story with such a nice comment. I thought about how I’d talk to myself should I ever find myself in that position. As for the office holders…we are in so much trouble.



  3. Craig Towsley September 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    The “talk again twice” line is so full of mystery and promise. Nicely done, Doug.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Dear Craig,

      Thanks for the the comment, sir.



  4. Linda Vernon September 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Oh I really like this one. It’s very Rod Sterling! 😀

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Dear Linda,

      Who is Rod Sterling? Googled him but they thought I wanted some guy named Rod Serling. I told them they were mistaken, but it didn’t help:)

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



      • Linda Vernon September 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

        Ahahha! I can’t believe I wrote Rod Sterling! I think I’m getting to be like the guy in the picture, Doug . . .sigh . . . 😀

  5. Madison Woods September 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Doug, my phone isn’t letting me see what I am typing so I hope there aren’t any crazy typos when I’m done. You’re sweet and I hope the doppelgänger really did leave you with a good tip.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      Dear Madison,

      Today’s the day you are married. I am so happy for you! Stop reading this and get back to that honeymoon thing.



  6. ~L September 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    You and Buckminster been hittin the hookah, hangin in da cosmic garage? ? ? Love this one, Captain.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:30 am #

      Dear L,

      R.A. Heinlein’s packing the bowl. Nice to see your words here.



  7. pattisj September 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    I may need to borrow your time machine…

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      Dear Patti,

      We all need to borrow my time machine. Come on over and get in line.



  8. Sandra September 19, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    I knew I could rely on you to avoid the obvious take on the prompt. You didn’t disappoint and I’d love to read more. I liked the line “We’ll talk again, twice.” Full of innuendo. Well done.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      Dear Sandra,

      What? You didn’t want to read another wedding dress story? Glad I didn’t contribute to your canal rage this week. Thanks for reading. it’s nice to know you’re there.



  9. high five and raspberries September 19, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    do you think you can get Saturdays winning loto numbers from his? SWEET

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:35 am #

      Dear Patricia,

      I guess if I could have, I would have already. That’s the trouble with time travel. You’ll know it the minute I get my machine running. Thanks for visiting and commenting.



  10. JKBradley September 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I’d bet it all, no doubt. But I’m curious what will come next. I’d also hold that envelope up to a bright light. Maybe even try to steam the seal.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      Dear JK,

      Which is probably why he tells himself not to think….

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



  11. Joe Owens September 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Do the deed, embrace the excitement.

  12. denmother September 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Seventy years of bad decisions – yikes. Things aren’t starting off well…

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am #

      Dear Denmother,

      Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. This guy has had a long run of bad luck. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  13. moondustwriter September 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    hmm hope he is a betting man
    love the mystery

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Dear MDW,

      I think he’ll make the right decision. Thanks for reading and commenting,



  14. draliman September 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    I’m eager to know what happens next!

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Dear Draliman,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay tuned.



  15. claireful September 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    But if he could go back to when he was seventy in order to win lots of money, why not choose twenty, when he would have had lots more time to spend it? I love the instructions. I think that’s just how I would talk to myself (actually that’s exactly how I do talk to myself).

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:43 am #

      Dear Claire,

      The why’s are contained in the letter and in what he’ll say to himself in one of the two more times they will speak. Sharp eye and discerning mind you have.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



  16. freyathewriter September 19, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    Ooh – I am thoroughly intrigued!

  17. Jan Brown September 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    I agree with Claire. I don’t why my future self has waited so long to save me…. Then again, after a certain age, I must admit the chances of a “future self” are dwindling!

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Dear jan,

      You never know with time travel. Take heart and stay fit. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  18. zookyworld September 20, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Cool idea to include time travel! You wove it into the story very well, in between the suggestions of a complicated, difficult past (“seventy years of bad decisions”) and suggestions for the future (“open the letter, follow instructions”). Well written!

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      Dear ZW,

      i couldn’t think of a dress story. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  19. rgayer55 September 20, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    There needs to be a next episode. Inquiring minds want to know.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      Dear Russell,

      Your wish is my command. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  20. unspywriter September 20, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Very nice! I’ll be sure to pay attention to my future self now. 😉

    Here’s mine:

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Dear Maggie,

      I really enjoyed your story this week. Well done. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  21. summerstommy2 September 20, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Good one Doug, enjoyed it.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Dear Summerstommy,

      Glad to hear it. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  22. Perry Block (@PerryBlock) September 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Boy, I’d like that to happen! And I hope the me of the future still has some hair too. Entertaining story even without clicking any links.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Dear Perry,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. The you of the future has a surplus of laugh lines crinkling your face. Hair? Future is not clear. Please try again later.



  23. waitingforaname September 21, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    Oh, very nicely done! The more I read this, the weirder and better it gets! And yes, kudos to you for not taking the obvious path with this prompt.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Dear Lisa,

      Thanks for re-reading and for the kudos. I appreciate them more than I can say.



  24. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 21, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    La this is perfect.. Alderney references and a good story. Indeed I think back to the future.. Interesting with trifecta as the trifecta weekend challenge is about time travel 😉

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      Dear Bjorn,

      Strange coincidence, eh? Thanks for reading and commenting.



  25. annisik51 September 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Vastly enjoyable story Doug. As one prone to ‘premonitions’, I’ve been hurting myself over the question of time for many years! Ouch! But in your story, there is the also the possibility that this is not the man’s doppelganger but somebody pretending to be so. I would like to read on, to find out what happened after he placed that bet. 🙂

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      Dear Ann,

      What happens after he place the bet and collect s is that he reads the instructions and returns to the shop to tell himself what to do and to give himself the thousand dollars and the letter. And then there is one other small task…. More soon.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.



      • annisik51 September 22, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

        Ah, a sequel. 🙂

  26. bridgesareforburning September 21, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    That part about not thinking, it’s one of my rules of life. This is one of those time travel tangles that makes your mind do gymnastics. I sat in front of my screen numbly thinking (thereby breaking my own rules) for quite a while. Very far out and thought provoking take on the photo. Ron

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      Dear Ron,

      Thanks for thinking. If you think reading it was hard, you should have been in my head as I wrote it. Thanks for reading and commenting. (and stay tuned.)



  27. vbholmes September 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    Does the “We’ll talk again twice” refer to the two of you (doppelganger and you) carrying on the two possible conversations on the morrow depending on whether you follow his instructions or not? To be perfectly frank, I think I’d keep the cool thou and bag the track. Doppelgangers are notoriously capricious creatures.

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Dear VB,

      The ‘two more times’ line is spoken because the doppelganger has already had both conversations. Some would keep the cash and pass on all else. Parallel universes are made from such decisions. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  28. lingeringvisions by Dawn September 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Sounds like he has nothing to lose.
    Go for it!

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Dear Dawn,

      Exactly right. Takes some impetus to make that leap of faith. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  29. The Bumble Files September 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    I did click on the video to learn all about the problem with the source of origin. Is the second link for a Tumblr account page? My computer is wacky these days. This is fascinating stuff, Doug. Well done!

    • dmmacilroy September 22, 2013 at 4:34 am #

      Dear Amy,

      Yes, the second link is to Tumblr sites that feature the meme photo ‘Nothing Really Mattress’, a play on words and a countervailing opinion to the first link about Ontological paradoxes.

      Thanks for reading and commenting in such a kind way.



      • The Bumble Files September 22, 2013 at 4:37 am #

        Oh, thank you. I thought so. I just wanted to be sure. Frequently, I click on a link and it takes me somewhere else first. Funny, see, I read it as “Nothing Really Matters.” Ah! Good one.

        You’re welcome. Always a pleasure to read your work.


  30. Quackzalcoatl September 22, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    Aloha Doug!

    Dopplegangers are a nuisance. A bane. They must NEVER be trusted. ESPECIALLY when they give you money. This story cannot end well…..

    • Douglas MacIlroy September 22, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Dear Quackz,

      It ends well, indeed. This doppelganger is the exception to your rule. Thanks for reading and commenting.



  31. gingerpoetry September 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Aloha Doug!
    Funny to find a German word – Doppelgänger – in your story! Really mysterious, I´d like to know what will be the instructions in the envelope! Creating suspense is not so easy, but you managed it.
    Good stuff to go on with…
    regards from Germany

  32. talesfromthemotherland September 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Nice work Doug! Love that Derby twist… didn’t expect it. Freshly Pressed this weekend, and it’s kept me from reading all these wonderful posts! I really appreciate you stopping by, and love reading your weekly contributions. Nice work! Aloha.

  33. Lindaura Glamoura September 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    How about Two tomorrows are worth three todays? I watched the video, which was very charming. I love the paradox – and I love conundrums, and I love Star Trek’s Voyager series, which often presented these paradoxes with great fineness and usually heartbreaking results. If you have not seen them, I suggest you look at Episode 37 “Deadlock”:
    Love from Athens,

  34. Shirley McCann September 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    Ooh. Doppleganger. Haven’t heard that in awhile. Nice take on this prompt.

  35. Sarah Ann October 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    I hope he makes the right decision this time and does as he’s told. I wish we could have more of this story.

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