The Tale of the Chronodon

Jeff Powell
5 min readFeb 3, 2023

Happy Friday everyone.

I have no clue how we got here so fast. I woke up yesterday morning sure it was Wednesday. I worked on that theory until the late afternoon, when I discovered it was Thursday completely by accident.

What happened to Wednesday?

I might have been slighly delerious as there had been a lack of sleep the night before. (Tinkerbelle got me up four times, mostly due to being starving because she had not eaten enough. Don’t ask. She was offered plenty of food and chose to ignore it. Weird dog.) Anyway, whatever my mental state, I decided that perhaps Wednesday had been consumed by a creature that eats time as food. Those of you familiar with Dr. Who might recall the Weeping Angels, who live on the life energy of their victims which they access by sending them back in time. The Chronodon — the name I gave this magnificent beast — is something like that, except it actually consumes time itself.

You might recall Einstein’s famous equation

e=mc²

which relates energy to mass. In fact, mass actually is energy. It occurred to me that perhaps time is energy too, and therefore a creature could evolve that lives on it, right? Makes sense to me.

I envision the Chronodon as a large, dinosaur like creature that is usually invisible, but must become visible in the act of consuming time. It has large, clawed feet and scaley skin in a brightly coloured, camouflage pattern.

And of course it was (and remains) the only possible explanation for where Wednesday went. Nothing else makes sense.

I was going to write a short story about the Chronodon making part of my week disappear, but I decided to let ChatGPT have the first pass at it. You’re the test audience for our new AI overlords. Here you go:

ChatGPT query: Write a short story about the Chronodon, a huge dinosaur like creature that eats time to live. It ate last Wednesday.

Once upon a time, in a world beyond our own, there lived a Chronodon. This mighty creature was unlike any other, for it possessed the power to consume time and use it as sustenance.

One day, the Chronodon came upon a small village that had forgotten all about last Wednesday. The villagers were puzzled, for they couldn’t seem to remember what they had done or what had happened on that day.

The Chronodon saw its chance to feed and crept quietly into the village. It opened its great jaws and, with a mighty gulp, consumed all of last Wednesday. The villagers gasped in horror as the day disappeared, leaving them with only fragmented memories.

As the Chronodon continued its feast, the villagers realized that their crops and livestock were aging rapidly. The children who had been playing in the village square only a moment before were now suddenly grown and with families of their own.

Desperate to restore balance to their world, the villagers banded together and journeyed to the lair of the Chronodon. They confronted the creature and implored it to give back last Wednesday.

The Chronodon was initially defiant, but as it listened to the villagers’ pleas, it began to feel a twinge of remorse. It had never considered the consequences of its actions before. It opened its jaws once again and, with a mighty release, returned last Wednesday to the village.

The villagers were overjoyed, and the Chronodon went on its way, a wiser creature for the experience. From that day forward, it made a vow to be more careful in its consumption of time, for it did not want to cause any more harm to the world it lived in.

Terrible, isn’t it? But it’s a start. I had something more like a horror story in mind, where the victim realizes something has gone missing, but doesn’t know what it was until the very end, when (of course) he loses today as well. So…

ChatGPT query: Make it a horror story about a single victim who realizes last Wednesday is missing, discovers the Chronodon, and then loses today (and his memory).

John had always been a stickler for routine. So when he woke up one morning to find that last Wednesday was missing from his memory, he was beyond disturbed. He couldn’t remember anything from that day, no matter how hard he tried.

John’s search for answers led him to a strange and dark forest, where he stumbled upon the lair of the Chronodon. The beast was massive and its eyes gleamed with an otherworldly light. John realized with a sinking feeling that this was the creature responsible for the loss of his memories.

He confronted the Chronodon, demanding that it return last Wednesday to him. The Chronodon merely laughed, a low and rumbling sound that echoed through the forest. “You cannot have what I have taken,” it said. “For it is mine, to consume and use as I please.”

John was desperate. He refused to let this monster take away his memories and his past. He lunged forward, determined to fight the Chronodon. But the creature was too powerful, and with a swift strike, it consumed the present day as well.

John woke up to find that he was back in his bed, with no memory of what had happened the night before. He tried to remember the events that had led him to the Chronodon, but they were gone, consumed just like last Wednesday and today.

And so John lived the rest of his life, never realizing the true horrors that lay just beyond his memory. The Chronodon remained in the shadows, waiting for its next victim, for it was a creature that lived off the stolen moments of others.

I love it. Still pretty simplistic, and I forgot to add the description of the Chronodon to the query, but it’s pretty good for an AI.

For those who might be interested, ChatGPT is free to use. You can find it here, and it is at least mildly amusing to poke at. You’ll need to create a login, but I used my gmail account. Nice and easy.

Of course, to go with this silliness, we need an image. I asked Dall-E to create one, since that goes with the theme of this post. The problem with Dall-E is that the site was really busy and I had trouble logging into it. Eventually I did manage to make it work:

Dall-E query: A large dinosaur like creature, with brightly colored scales in camoflage pattern, and clawed feet, sneaking through a suburban neighbourhood

The Chronodon, about to strike and consume its next meal

That’s your entertainment for the week. If you want to try it yourself, you can find Dall-E here. As with ChatGPT, it’s free and you’ll need to create a login.

In terms of other things going on this past week, it was all mundane stuff: tax preparation, drywall crack repair in the living room (ongoing), that sort of thing. I did take a lovely walk with Heather over the weekend and we caught up, since I hadn’t seen her in ages.

Honestly, there wasn’t much else happening, unless it was on Wednesday, which was consumed by the Chronodon.

See you next week.

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Jeff Powell

Sculptor/Artist. Former programmer. Former volunteer firefighter. Former fencer. Weirdest resume on the planet, I suspect.