Addison Albright: Cave Drawing

And for our next story, a lovely poignant little flash fiction on the subject of ‘ink’, from the talented Addison Albright. If you enjoy this story, you can find the Ink anthology it appeared in here (along with work from 120 other authors). Or why not try her longer m/m accidental time travel novel When Are You? or just potter along to her website to find out more.

Hello, lovely M/M readers! *waves*

A year ago this 300-word bit of flash fiction was published in Queer Sci-Fi’s annual flash fiction anthology. The 2021 edition is titled Ink, and includes 121 teeny tiny (no more than 300 words each) flash fiction stories that must contain queer characters, be in some way about “ink,” and be either fantasy, Sci-Fi, paranormal, or horror. Romance is optional in the anthology.

I think my story does, kinda/sorta, include romance. Many would probably call it bittersweet, but nobody actually dies, and I suppose we can hope or imagine that Ryan and Simon manage to find each other again. I like to think so. It falls under the Sci-Fi umbrella, being about accidental time travel.

Without further ado, here is my precisely 300-word story:

Pic credit: Aleks Dahlberg on

CAVE DRAWING by Addison Albright

Ryan would never again see his husband, Simon, but he could communicate, dammit. He’d already done so.



Could… would… had. It got confusing. Ryan blinked away tears, stared at the blank cave wall, and scoffed.

If he didn’t do it, would he create an alternate timeline, or would that seemingly unobtrusive change affect their singular timeline like the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings, obliterating his own existence? Was it even possible to change things?

After weeks spent deciphering his new reality, Ryan was now positive the wavy air he’d run through had been a time rift. Others nearby must have seen him disappear. It was a small comfort to know Simon wouldn’t suffer wondering if he’d been abducted and tortured. Instead, Simon might believe some natural phenomenon had disintegrated him. A premature but painless demise.

Or would Simon figure it out?

Ryan pulled in a shaky breath and stirred more minerals into his ink. Locals had been stymied, but Ryan now understood that the cave scrawls where he and Simon had enjoyed quiet picnics together had been (were about to be?) his own doing. The art had appeared primitive, but the surviving text was in English, so it obviously couldn’t have been legitimately ancient.

Except it was. “Thousands of years,” Ryan muttered.


His new present was a time before humans inhabited this place, yet not so far back that the terrain was comprehensively changed. Trees had shifted, the cave entrance had eroded in the future Ryan came from, but it was still recognizable. 

Same place. Different era.

A single tear traced down Ryan’s cheek as he dipped a trembling finger into his stone bowl and applied ink to wall. Maybe… just maybe… the next time Simon visited “their” cave, he would look at Ryan’s message and know.



9 thoughts on “Addison Albright: Cave Drawing

  1. Pingback: FLASH FICTION: The RoM/Mantic Reads Zine! |

  2. Pingback: Meet the Contributors #2: Addison Albright | RoM/Mantic Reads

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