The Time Machine

The Time Machine

A Story by GlamGirl

It didn’t look like anything I had expected. I ran my calloused hands over the metal, inspecting every bolt and seam. So much hard work… for this?
“So, do you like it?” a tiny voice peeped. 
I turned around, and looked down at a little boy who was maybe only 9 years old. He was impatiently rocking back and forth on his heels, creating small indents in the grassy lawn. His big, brown eyes looked up at me, asking for an answer that I couldn’t give. 
I had expected more of… a machine that looked like a time machine. This looked like a piece of junk that came out of the 2070s. The battery was bigger than a truck, and I could tell the antennae didn’t work just from looking at them. I was disappointed.
The boy, Aero, looked at me, and turned to his older brother who was reading the newest edition of the dictionary on their front porch. The brother shrugged, and continued with his reading.
“I expected more out of you, Aero. Other kids in your class can do better than this, so why can’t you?”
“I tried! I swear I tried! Ask Darin! I spent all month on this project, sir!”
I sighed, and walked around the machine again. All of the wires were exposed, and it didn’t look too safe to ride in. I shook my head. This kid is never going to go anywhere in life. His father stepped out on the porch, curious as to what my reaction was. 
“A plus, right sir?” he asked, chuckling as he walked toward the piece of junk his son had created. 
“I’m afraid not.”
“What do you mean?” he roared, his tone quickly changing.
“It’s hard to say, sir. Your son just doesn’t have what it takes to build a time machine for the competition at the academy.”
“He doesn’t have what it takes? Do you know how much money I spend on this kid? I don’t send him to your stupid school to be told that he’s not good enough. I don’t send him to your school to be told that he can’t build a time machine. I send him to this school because I trust that you will teach him how to build a time machine and become a successful man when he grows up. You are the one who deserves to be yelled at, not my innocent child.”
“I am sorry sir. We only accept the best of the best, and I’m afraid there are many other kids his age who are much more advanced.”
“Get in that darn machine that he created and make my kid feel like he’s worth something,” he harshly whispered into my ear. 
“Aero!” I called. 
He came running over from his brother’s chair on the porch. Darin was one of my best students. He had graduated from the academy early to go to a school of higher learning. I wished that Aero could somehow step up to the plate and follow in his footsteps. It was hard to tell a child’s parents that their kid wasn’t good enough. 
“Yes sir?” 
“Show me the inside of your machine.”
His young face lit up and he groped in his pocket for a few seconds before drawing out a golden key. He led me to a small door on the bottom of the machine that I had not noticed before. He inserted the key, and the door swung open without a squeak. 
I gasped as my eyes fell upon the miracle that I now saw before me. Intricate crafting of wires and signaling devices lined the small area, just big enough for him to fit into. Blinking and beeping buttons and lights covered a long but thin command strip on the ceiling of the space. I’ll admit; I was impressed. 
“Wow,” I breathed out, letting him know of my amazement. 
His face was split by a huge smile, overwhelmed by the fact that he had finally pleased me. I smiled too, knowing that that spark I had always seen in him was now ignited. 
Still smiling, he turned to me and said, “Can I have my next assignment now?”
“Of course. I want you to go to… your fourth birthday celebration. Did you have cake?”
Aero looked over to his father, who nodded his head.
“Now, I want you to take a fingerful of that frosting and bring it back here. Okay?”
He nodded, and took a trustworthy look at his time machine. Getting into the small capsule, he smiled as he shut the bronze door behind him. I held my breath and listened for the familiar windy sound that signaled when the time travelling was successful. When I heard it, I don’t think that I could have felt more proud. 
I looked over to Aero’s father, who was almost in tears. 
“You must be mighty proud, sir.”
“It’s… it’s not that,” he said, obviously trying to cover the fact that he was crying. “Why… why did you have to choose his fourth birthday?”
“What wrong?”
“You’ll… you’ll see. Just you wait.”
He slowly walked back inside, as if in deep thought. I looked back to his son on the porch, who was clearly oblivious to what had just happened. What could have been so bad at his fourth birthday party? Nothing can go too wrong at a four year old’s birthday party, right? I stood there awkwardly on their lawn, waiting for Aero to return to the present. 
Finally, another whooshing sound came from inside the machine. I jumped back, startled. 
“Dad,” Aero cried, scrambling out of the time machine, “Dad!”
His dad held him in a hug, which made me curious as to what really happened at this birthday party. Aero turned to me, tears running down his cheeks.
“Here, sir. Here.”
He held up a finger covered with blue frosting, partially smudged from hugging his father. 
“Good job Aero.”
“Dad, why didn’t you tell me? Why?”
“I’m sorry, but I am unclear as to why there is so much drama involved with this birthday party,” I said, 
“Could someone please explain?”
“Well,” started Aero, struggling to find the right words, “There was no one there! My mother made a huge cake, but no one had showed up to the party. Why, dad?”
“Son, we had thought of you as another version of your brother. Smart, friendly, and likely to succeed at everything in life. We didn’t know that all children of ours wouldn’t turn out perfect. That birthday party was when we first realized that you… weren’t as perfect as we had imagined. We invited everyone in your class to this party, assuming that you were just as popular as your brother was when he was your age. No one came. Your mother felt awful, so we ate the whole entire cake by ourselves. From that day, I’m sorry to admit that we haven’t really thought much of you. You were just our ‘second son’.”
I gulped, and glanced over at Aero. He was trying to be strong. What father tells their son that they don’t think highly of them? That’s the ideal example of bad parenting.
“Today, I have seen a side of you that I didn’t think existed all of these years,” he continued, “You have showed your teacher and myself that you can be as good as your peers when you put your best foot forward. I have faith in you son, I have faith.”
I reached out and shook Aero’s hand. He smiled. Finally, Darin came running down from the porch to join us. 
“Hey bro! Cool time machine. I think yours is even better than mine when I did that project! Heck, I don’t even think Dad kept mine.”
“We’ll definitely be keeping Aero’s. This day is to be remembered forever!”
I grabbed my coat and clipboard from where I had previously left them on the ground. I turned to leave, watching Aero show his dad and his brother the cool things that his machine could do.
“Thank you!” he yelled, noticing that I was about to leave.
I waved, and started the long walk back to the place I call home. ▪

© 2012 GlamGirl

Author's Note

We had to write a short story with a theme for school

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Are you going to add to the story? I like the description and the conversation. Could be expanded to a interesting story. A open ending. Thank you for the excellent story.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Wow, I really enjoyed reading this! It's written very well and the length is perfect. It was short enough to keep me interested, but long enough to build a clear picture. Awesome story!
~Rae Emeral

Posted 9 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on March 16, 2012
Last Updated on March 16, 2012




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