To Alter the Present | Teen Ink

To Alter the Present

July 4, 2009
By Lonnie BRONZE, Livingston, Montana
Lonnie BRONZE, Livingston, Montana
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments

This is the story about a young fifteen year old boy named Max Cunnings, and he was a local boy who . . . wasn’t so popular at his school. Max had brown spiky hair, brown eyes, and white skin with a little tan to it. Max had only one best friend in his whole freshman class, and the boy’s name was Rusty Mowes, and Rusty had bright orange hair, bright blue eyes, and the palest skin you ever saw with freckles dotted all over his poor face. One normal day at school, Max and Rusty walked into school together and instantly Max stopped. In the distance, Max’s long-time crush was in view with her best friend Ivy, (who has long blonde hair, brown eyes, soft freckles and cool braces). Also talking to his crush was her boyfriend Troy Hamner, who had long brown hair, (that covered his forehead, partially his eyes, and his ears), amber eyes, and was the ugliest jock you ever saw).

With Ivy and Troy was finally Max’s long-time crush, and her name was Penny Piettre. Penny had long beautiful black hair, the shiniest and brightest blue eyes you ever saw, and the most clearest face that a goddess would have, or at least that’s what Max thought. As Penny talked to her best friend Ivy and her boyfriend Troy, (and if you haven’t guessed they were popular), Max deep down knew he had no chance with her at all. The reason for their popularity is that their parents had a lot of money, but it was all the girls who wanted to be Penny, and all the boys who wanted Penny.

“Dude, I am so in love!” said Max, staring straight at Penny’s laughing face. Rusty looked at Penny, then laughed.

“Dude, you’re way outta her league! Penny’s popular, and we’re . . . well, we’re not. And on top of that, Troy would beat you up.” Max looked at Rusty.

“I don’t care. I’ve loved her longer than Troy has, I’ve loved her since she first moved here in fifth grade. And last I’ve checked, Troy only asked her out in the sixth grade.” Rusty put his hand on Max’s shoulder and said,

“Good luck with Penny then!”

The after-school bell rang and everyone quickly scattered out of the school. Max and Rusty were walking out together when Max stopped dead in his tracks.

“Rusty look!” In the distance, Penny was saying goodbye to Troy and Ivy, who were leaving together. Troy tried kissing Penny, but for some reason she kept avoiding or dodging him. When Ivy and Troy finally left, Rusty said,

“Dude, this is your chance! I’ll leave so you can be alone okay!.” With that, Rusty left the school with Max smiling after him. Max began to walk towards Penny, who was now passing papers out to people who walked by. When the coast was clear, Max finally approached Penny, who was faced the opposite direction. Suddenly, Max cleared his throat and said,

“H-hi . . . P-Penny.” Penny turned around quickly to see Max smiling at her, then she smiled real big, showing her white teeth.

“Oh hello. Max, right?” Max nodded giggly.

“Yeah. I-I-I’m . . . Max.” Max gulped, he felt like he was losing it. Penny smiled, then turned to her stack of papers.

“I’m part of the City Sister Club, and our assignment is to pass out these ads to donate some money for us to go to Japan this summer. Wanna donate?” Max stared at her as she talked, she was so graceful.

“Um, sure! How much?” Penny looked up.

“You can donate how ever much you want really. My parents are lawyers and they’re already paying for all the other girls. So I figured I’d ask for donations for me.”

“Why did you pay for all the other girls instead of you?” asked Max.

“Well, they’re my friends. Besides, people think I’m a snob because I have the money, so I’m also trying to prove I can make money alone.”

“Wow. That is so neat. You’re so cool.” Penny smiled. Max looked down at the papers. “Oh sorry, let me donate!” Max dug in his pocket as the Principal walked up from behind Max.
The Principal, Mr. Polish, looked at Penny and said,

“Girl. New job for you. Go up town and pass the papers out for your trip to Japan.” Penny smiled queerly.

“Ok sure.” The Principal looked at Max and sneered.

“Who’re you? What’re doing after school hours?” Penny quickly acted,

“He’s with me. He was donating before you . . . came up.” Mr. Polish grunted.

“Well then, take him with you you silly girl.” Mr. Polish left, and the two were left together.

As they walked down the street, Max looked at Penny and said,

“Sorry for getting you into trouble like that. That was my bad.” Penny looked like she thought nothing of it.

“Nah it’s cool. Besides, Mr. Polish is a jerk anyway.” Penny kept looking like she was regretting something. “I can’t believe I’m here.” Max looked down in shame.

“Well if it helps, you can tell your friends I’m following you?” Penny looked at Max confused,

“What?” Suddenly she thought, “oh my gosh no! No! Oh gosh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that.” Max and Penny smiled when all of the sudden they stopped, and in front of them was Troy and Ivy making out together! Max looked at Penny, who then turned around and ran away. Troy and Ivy noticed and called after her, so Max turned around and ran after her. A couple blocks down, Ivy was sitting on the sidewalk when Max came up and sat next to her.

“Penny I’m . . . I’m sorry.” Penny shook her head, she wasn’t even crying.

“It’s okay. We’re so over.” Penny stood up. “Besides, I’m going to be the bigger person and walk away from this mess.” Max smiled when he looked down.

“Hello, what’s this?” Max picked up an old watch, from the gutter lane.

“A watch?” asked Penny.

“Yeah and look, look what it says on it!” Max and Penny observed ‘Past’, ‘Present’, ‘Future’, ‘Stop’, ‘Play’, ‘Rewind’, ‘Fast Forward’, ‘Slow’, and ‘Pause’.

“What does all this mean?” asked Penny.

“I don’t know? Let’s try one out,” said Max when he pressed Rewind. Instantly, the wind reversed the way it was blowing, and the environment rewound! The wind blew opposite it was blowing, and the scenery flashed before their eyes when Max pressed Play, and they were standing directly in front of Troy and Ivy.

“What happened?!” asked Max loudly, when Troy and Ivy broke apart.

“Oh hey Troy,” said Penny rather nicely. Troy began to tremble and Ivy began to cry. Penny grabbed the watch out of Max’s hand, and pressed Pause. There stood Troy and Ivy, frozen in time as everyone else around them were frozen in time. Penny handed Max the watch while humming softly, and while doing that, Penny kicked Troy in the groin and punched Ivy in the nose, both as hard as she could.

“Uh . . . ? Penny?” asked Max, Penny turned to Max with a psychotic smile and said,

“Okay Max. Play!” Max pressed Play, and as time started flowing like normal, Troy dropped on his knees screaming as loud as he could, and Ivy held her nose crying as it bled. Penny stood there and laughed, and soon Max joined her, laughing at Troy mostly. Suddenly, Max looked at Penny and said,

“Do you realize what we have in our hands!”

“I wonder . . . ?” Penny took the watch again and pressed Past. On the watch’s display screen, there was a list of dates that began with the previous day, leading all the way to the very first year on earth. Pressing Future, there was a list beginning with tomorrow, leading all the way to the year 9,999,999.

“Wow. Guess this earth isn’t gonna die for a long time,” said Max with relief. Penny let out a little giggle and said,

“Come on Max, let’s have some fun!” Penny then pressed a button on the watch, and they instantly disappeared where they stood . . . .

They appeared in the year 2005, where Penny first met Troy and was te bestest friends with Ivy.

“What are we doing here?” asked Max.

“Hold on, I’m gonna make sure I never said yes.” Penny then began to run to a large tree close by the past Penny and Troy, but Max quickly grabbed her arm and said,

“Wait! Haven’t you heard ‘change the past, alter the future’?” Penny sighed.

“Come on Max, please? I want to give that jerk a piece of my future self mind!” With that, the future Penny broke free, and made her way to the large tree the past Penny and Troy were.

“Oh Troy, you’re so cute! Are you single?” The future Penny rolled her eyes.

“I sure am. Would a pretty girl like yourself want to date the hottest guy in school?” It almost pained Penny just hearing all this, she felt so stupid.

“Yes!” The past Troy and Penny then kissed and then hugged. Suddenly, the future Penny lowered her voice and said, (rather sounding like Troy even),

“Never mind, you’re not worth my time.” The past Penny let go of Troy and asked,

“What?” Troy looked at past Penny with fear in his eyes.

“I didn’t say that!” Past Penny looked down with hurt, then the future Penny said,

“Gosh you smell like trash.” The past Penny looked up in anger.

“Well fine, all you had to say was no!” Penny punched Troy in the gut and walked off.

“But Penny!” said the past Troy when he chased after her. Penny then made her way back to Max feeling successful, and he looked mighty worried.

“How is this going to affect out present Penny?” Penny shrugged.

“All I know is, I’m not going out with Troy to begin with.” Max shook his head when he pushed Present on the watch, and the two disappeared where they stood.

The two arrived back at the school in the morning, then Max and Penny looked at each other.

“What happened? Why is it morning? We left the present after school got out?” said Max, now really worried. Penny shook her head.

“Oh boy, what have I done?” Luckily, the two appeared in the same spot as last time, so they all walked down the road to school, which was just beginning. At the front doors, the two saw a group of kids crowding someone, so they looked at each other and ran over to see what was going on. Together, Max and Penny broke up the fight, and what they saw was Troy, only he was wearing glasses, had big teeth, and his face was nearly almost covered in acne. Troy also wore nerdy clothes and was just different.

“Troy!” exclaimed Max. The guy next to him sneered at him, and it was none other than Rusty! Rusty now had gorgeous red hair, no acne and was attractive wearing a letter jacket. What’s worse was that it was Rusty who was bullying Troy. After a while, Troy had looked up at Penny and spat in anger,


“Hold on, we need to finish off this dweeb,” said Rusty as he went to pull Troy to his feet, but Troy punched him across the cheek, got to his feet, and pulled out a gun!

“I’M SICK OF YOUR BULLYING RUSTY!” Troy then shot Rusty in the heart, instantly killing him. Kids everywhere went running away screaming, Max and Penny stood there in shock, still regretting what had happened in the past. Both Max and Penny were still amazed on how Rusty and Troy traded places by altering the present.

Suddenly, a blonde girl with nappy hair went running by, and Troy shot her. As she dropped, Max and Penny saw her acne, braced face.

“IVY!” yelled Penny. Suddenly, Max looked up and yelled,

“PENNY LOOK OUT!” Max ducked and pulled Penny’s arm so she ducked too. The two looked up and saw Troy pointing the gun at their heads.

“You brat!” said Troy as he aimed the gun at her head, “because of you I was bullied. I was rejected by the prettiest girl in the school, and everyone assumed that if you didn’t like me, then they shouldn’t like me!”

“T-Troy! What happened to you?” asked Penny.

Troy began to shake and cry as he held the gun to her head, he was going to shoot when Max jumped up wrestled Troy. Penny got up to get the gun, but Troy shot and it hit her in her side.

“OW!” yelled Penny as she dropped and blood splurted everywhere. As Max and Troy wrestled, Troy threw Max to the ground and shot Max in the heart, instantly killing him. Penny screamed and made her way to his body. Troy then pointed the gun at Penny. Helpless, Penny said,

“Please Rusty. Don’t do this. Don’t do something you’ll regret.” As Penny was over Max’s body, Troy smiled and said,

“The only thing I regret is letting you live.” With that, he shot her between both her eyes. Her body fell over Max’s, and the watch fell to the grass. As Troy watched the bodies, the cops were lined up and had their guns pointed at him.

“DROP THE GUN KID! DROP IT!” Troy only smiled and pointed the gun at the cop who just spoke, and with that, the cop shot and hit Troy in the head also. Troy fell to the ground, and four five teenagers were dead. As the cops checked to make sure Troy was dead, he accidentally stepped on the watch and broke it. Instantly, the world was blinded by a white flash, and the next thing anybody knew, Max, Penny, Troy, Ivy and Rusty were all standing in the very spots they all died, only they were back to their normal selves and they were alive.

Glad to be alive, the five then all made friends after they experimented that horrible alternate world.

“What happened?” asked Troy.

“That was so scary,” said Ivy. Suddenly, they both looked at Penny, and Ivy approached her.

“Penny. I am so sorry for what I was doing behind your back. In fact, I don’t deserve your friendship.” Penny smiled.

“That was a different world. And, I forgive you.” The girls smiled and hugged each other, they were still best friends. Troy approached Max and Rusty and said,

“You know, you two are pretty cool.” Max and Rusty smiled.


“What do you say gang?” asked Troy as the girls and Max and Rusty looked at him. “This is the start of a brand new friendship.” They all smiled and cheered, and soon after that, the five were the best of friends. Soon, their school lost cliques, (such as the nerds and the popular kids), and everyone was friendly with one another, and no one was less or more than anybody else.

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