The time machine

May 10, 2010
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“Slow down!” Bob shouted.
It was a mild afternoon in Phoenix, Arizona. Only 90 degrees in the sun, and it was summer. Bob and Beth were walking home from the last day of school; they went to Hazel Brook high.
Beth was in 11th grade and Bob was in 10th grade. They lived in the juniper valley neighborhood. The “wealthy” part of it. Their dad was the owner of a giant water company who controlled what water people used. They were so spoiled that even the other rich kids despised them, because they bragged and complained about it, a lot. They had everything that money could buy and yet they still complained.

“Beth, wait up!” complained Bob again.

“I am you slow poke!” retorted Beth.
They always argued on the way home it wasn’t that far of a walk but Bob hated walking anywhere, usually he just got their dad to let him take a limo. But not today, their dad was on a cruise to Alaska and he would not be back for another week. For now they had an old annoying nanny who would not let them do anything, except homework and chores.

Beth slowed down, she didn’t want to get home that fast. Bob caught up and was bent over wheezing trying to get air into his lungs.

“I- pant- told you –pant-to wait – pant – up for me!” Bob said indignantly.

Beth smirked, “And I did, you caught up didn’t you?”

“That’s not-hey who is that?” Bob asked bewildered.


“That man over there.” Bob points to the spot where and old dirty man lay sprawled on the lush green grass, across from their mansion.

“Ew, what is he doing on there?” Beth asked disgustedly.

“I wish I knew, I guess we could ask him. Bob said cautiously.
They went over toward the man. He opened one eye when he got near them.

“Water?” the man croaked from a dusty throat.

“Get your own water.” They said in unison. They didn’t like this guy, he was in front of their house and he wasn’t rich.

“Very well then children I guess you should get a reward for not talking to strangers.” The mans voice wasn’t dry and cracked, now it was rich and deep.
Beth and Bob didn’t notice his voice change they just wanted the reward and they wanted it now.

“Give it to us then!” Bob cried. It isn’t fair to make us wait for it Bob thought.
The man regarded them silently for a moment and then stepped behind a bush and out of view.

“Hey where did he go?” Beth questioned.

“He just ran away!” Bob Shouted

“I did not run away I just went behind that to get your present.” Came the mans voice from behind the bush.

He came out pulling a big silver object behind him. It looked really heavy and hard.

“There you go.” The man said with satisfaction.

“Um, what is that?” They asked with confusion.

“Well, it’s a game machine, you go into it and then it puts you right into the middle of your game.

“Thanks, I guess, but it better work!”

“Oh, it will, it will work perfectly, don’t you worry one bit about that.” The man said with an evil glint in his eyes.
They missed the evil glint and started pulling the machine back across the street to their house. Despite the fact of it looking really heavy it was really light and super easy to pull.

That night they went to bed in high spirits of the thought of being able to use it tomorrow, because school just got out and they didn’t have to wake up early.

They woke at ten the next morning and jumped beds and raced to their game room where they kept all of the other virtual games that they played. As they raced down the marble clad hallways they passed the room their dad had given them for Christmas last year. Inside was a giant water slide, a wave pool, a regular pool, a smoothie stand, an ice cream stand, and the whole thing was built onto a trampoline so you could jump everywhere, and the temperature was always at a nice 89 degrees. They ran right by not even pausing to look at it, it was old and boring and they wanted the new game yesterday that the man gave them.

They slid to a stop in front of the doors that led to the game room. They opened the doors and there it was shining silvery light everywhere, poring through every crack in the room and filling it with unnatural light. They stood bathed in the eerie glow.

“Are we going in there?” Beth asked

“Yep.” Bob said.

“Let’s do this.” Bob added.
They entered together at the same time; the large doors were effortlessly wide enough to fit both of them side by side. They walked up to the machine they opened the door; cold air greeted them with a sinister feel upon entering it. Beth shivered, for what she did not know; maybe it was the excitement of trying a new or maybe it was the sense of something profoundly wrong that made up the atmosphere that layered the room or just the of the overall appearance of the sleek sliver machine.

Inside it was expensive looking velvet and silk that adorned the walls and seats, after what they had seen on the outside, Beth had been expecting metal and silver machinery there were buttons all shapes and sizes, a sign said select a number and press the large red button. They decided they would go to a game with dinosaurs, so they went back sixty million years. The doors closed shut with finality about them, as if they would never open again and they were plunged into darkness. A little red sign came down and wrote: DO NOT BE ALARMED YOU WILL ARIVE AT THE DESTINATION SHORTL, HAVE A NICE DAY.
Soon they saw a bright light and then they started hearing noises and roars that seemed to loud to becoming from any living thing. Then the little sign came out again and said: YOU HAVE ARRIVED AT YOUR DESTINATION, HAVE A NICE DAY AND REMEMBER NOT TO GET EATEN!

What was that about Beth thought? It’s not as if we are going to a place that has real dinosaurs, it’s just a game, and we can’t actually get hurt or eaten. Beth worried to herself.

They tried to open the door with the handle, but it burned their hands when they touched it, and so they ripped of some of the velvet to protect their hands. They tore they opened the door together and stepped out into the blinding midmorning sun, and the fresh smell of pine trees after it rains. They smiled as they reveled in the pureness of it all. Then the bubble of happiness that surrounded them was shattered with a roar that must have belonged to a creature as big as a mountain: a dinosaur.

It towered over them like an old giant from fairy tales, except this wasn’t a fairy tale and now that Beth and Bob had seen it didn’t even seem like a game. The dinosaur roared its annoyance at having its lunch scared away by the arrival of the time machine.

“Uh oh, I think that, it that we scared away its meal.” Beth muttered to Bob.

“I think we’re the replacement!” cried out Bob. The dinosaur paused as if Bob’s outburst had confused it, but soon it would way from the monster, it gave chase. It would soon overcome them and then it wouldn’t matter about anything, absolutely nothing because they would be dead and now it was even more annoyed and it would take longer to feast, and the feast would be them!

They turned and rand. They came to an old oak forest with think trunks and looking up into the sky at the tips of the trees they squeezed between the towering trees and ran into it. The monster paused and started pacing in front of the grove. At first they waited sure it was going to leave but as time worn on it became apparent that it was going to stay very so they settled down to wait, they went and gathered wood for a fire, neither of them had any experience of making a fire but they had seen enough T.V shows to know what to do, but then they realized they had no matches so they just curled up and sank into fitful slumbers. They awoke to the sound of something creaking and groaning, then a crack like gunshot rang thorough the air.

They jumped to their feet at the noise, only man made metal could make that kind of noise. The machine! They raced out to the edge of the woods and looked out in horror at what the dinosaur was doing, it was ravaging the machine, tearing bits and pieces off f it and spitting them out into the distance. The worst was that they knew what had made the gunshot sound, it had sat on it and the machine had snapped under the pressure like a twig under an elephant.
“I don’t really think this is a game, I think it’s more like a time machine!” Beth exclaimed.

“Oh great now we will never get back to our own time, we will live here for the rest of our lives!” Bob muttered miserably to himself.
“Oh I wish we could go back we could stop so many things from happening and we could save the world. People would love us and we could go into the future and get the cure for cancer or ask them how to help us with our problems and so many other wonderful possibilities,” Beth stopped. “If only,” she sighed.
They hear clapping, the sound echoes strangely around in the old growth forest.
"Who's there?" Bob asks, voice quavering slightly.

"It's only me, and I just came to congratulate you on passing my test!" the old man came into view, his eyes crinkling merrily and he stepped forward, "come on now don’t you want o go back?"
"Your test?" They asked confused.
He said nothing as they walked back to his time machine as they got in they asked him questions and kept pestering him, but he wouldn’t answer any of them. The trip took but a second and he let them get out, as they turned to thank he was gone, and they would never see him again.
It was night so they bade each other good night and went to sleep, they woke up the nanny didn’t notice they had been gone and didn’t believe them, saying it must just have been a very real dream.
Their dad came home the next day, and was surprised to see a clean house; he looked at the nanny curiously.
"Don’t look at me that was your kids, they cleaned the whole house yesterday." She said with a sense that made him think she couldn’t believe it either.
Then Beth came into the room with Bob coming up behind her, they were laughing and caring a bucket because they had just come from washing the giant bathroom floor.
"Hey, your back!"
"We missed you so much!
"Why were you gone for so long?"
He raised a hand for silence against the onslaught of questions coming from his children.

"I am sorry I was gone for so long, I had unavoidable business to take care of and I came back as soon as I could." He paused, "and I want you to know that I am so proud of you, it's like your two different people now."

"And I love you."
They all hugged in a circle, and from then on they were more like a family and Beth and Bob were much better friends and children.

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