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Time Traveling-The Boys Succeeded But It Wasn't What They Expected
Friends Who Did Everything Together
Sometimes things happen, or someone gets a bright idea but it just does not come out the way you thought it would.
The boys did try very hard not to do anything that would get them into trouble. After the time they accidentally turned Mr. Oxford's dog loose, and it ended up getting caught by the dog catcher's, It had cost both Steve and James several weeks of their allowance to repay the fine to get him out. Before that James had borrowed his brother's bike to go riding on the beach with Steve, and when he went to the bathroom, in a matter of less than one minute, it was gone. This also had cost him all of his money, to buy his brother another bike. It seemed like both of them were on a spree of bad luck lately. This is what gave them the idea of time travel to begin with. They had been talking about going back in time and changing those two very expensive mistakes, so that they would have money to do what they wanted to this summer.
James was a genius when it came to science, and he had been jabbering to Steven for weeks now, about how this time travel was possible, for he stated, that time really did not exist, except in the minds of men. He explained to James that time was really only a distance, and that if they moved their location, time as they knew it would not be. He also had a theory, that speed entered into the factor too, He explained that the faster you traveled, the less time, or what we measured to be time, would go by.
Steven only half understood his friends words, then understood even less when he began telling him about distance, and the vehicle that would take them that exact distance in less than a measured micro-second, and how that was not the same as a second on our clocks and watches. Oh goodness, he pretended to understand far more than he really did.
"You do understand what I am talking about right Steven?" James asked him, "cause if you don't, it could be the difference of a successful time travel, or even if something went wrong, getting back safely. You know what I mean?" he said.
"Yeah, yeah, I get it already, how could I not get it, that is all that you have talked about for weeks now" Steven lied, for he did not want to appear to be a dummy. For a split second he felt a pang of fear that hit his stomach. He calmed himself down, for hat whole thing was no not going to happen. What were to odds of them actually being able to build the machinery they needed to proof or disprove their theory?
It sure would be nice to be able to go back and fix the things they had messed up so badly. Not only because of the money involved, but because ever since they had gotten into trouble, they had been talked about, and not in a good way, around their neighborhood. The littler kids called them idiots for what they did, and the adults were saying things like how irresponsible they were, and after all the times that they had been trusted with things, as adults. It proved to be very embarrassing for both of them.
What One Did Not Think of the Other One Did
The next day, James and Steven got together early in the morning, with graph paper, and number two pencils. They picked the corner of James' garage, and set up a card table, a couple of camping chairs, and to work they went.
For several hours it was actually pretty quiet as they worked on the mathematical formulas that they thought they would never need in algebra last year. A guy never knew did he? They shuffled mixed and matched math problems that went on for page after page. Finally, with the pages numbered and in order, they straightened the pile, looked at each other, and both broke out in smiles that went from ear to ear.
They had done it, theoretically that is. On paper it all worked out perfectly. They had checked it and rechecked it. Now it was just a matter of building the machinery they needed to perform the task at hand. James said that he thought it would take about a week to build. Then, they would be their own genuine pigs. If something went wrong, who knows what would happen. After all, there would be a three and a half micro-second lapse that they would be traveling faster than they could calculate. Then there would be a kind of sonic boom, only with light, and instead of a boom that could be heard, it would be a big bright flash of light, that was so bright in fact, that they figured it would raise the temperature inside the vehicle at least 20 to 30 degrees F. Wow, this would be exciting. Steven had never done anything like this before, except for the experiments that he did for the science fair.
James and Steven worked diligently on this project. After the better part of the week, and after making several mistakes, finding them and fixing them, they finally had what they thought would be their time traveling machine. Next they had to plan the exact time and dates, and figure out what exactly they wanted to do while they were back in time. The vehicle of travel was made of the frame of an old care, a 1957 Chevy pickup truck. It wasn't exactly aerodynamic, but it did not have to be for inside the garage, was a tunnel of sorts that they would actually be traveling in.
Tomorrow morning would be the day. If everything worked out as planned, it would only take one hour to go back in time for two full days, and back. If all worked as planned, they would also come back with several hundred dollars, and a new red bicycle. The best thing though that they would be coming back with, was a completely changed past. They would no longer be the untrustworthy boys to the adults, or those dumb older boys who were so stupid they got laughed at by the younger boys. Everything was going to be fixed.
What Was Going to Happen? They Could not Tell.
The next morning, the two boys met up in the garage. They went into the inner tunnel, then climbed into the truck, sealing the doors, and windows. They put on the seat belts and took one long look at each other, and nodded.
James reached over and flipped the switch, They leaned back in their seats, and hung on. The whole truck began to shake severely. In what was supposed t be three and a half micro-seconds, and with a start, everything just stopped. The dust was falling down through the rays of the sun as they shone through the cracks in the garage door. Everything was so quiet.
What would they be facing? James tried to remember what had happened exactly that day, and where he had been at that time, and remembered suddenly that he had still been in bed. Wow, that was something he was too late to change. Suddenly the thought of how so many things would be changed and also remembered something someone told him once about how it was dangerous to change the past, for every little thing that they danged, would snowball into a large change in their future, or actually their today. They better get moving. There was a lot of fixing to do.
They jumped down out of the truck, crossed over and went out the side door of the garage. The very first thing they had to look into, was to see to it that the gate of the next door neighbor get shut and his dog be on the inside of it. The boys ran over, and whistled for Chiggers, seeing if he was still in the yard.
Here he came, running around the side of the house, jumping up on the boys who had called him. They ruffled his fur between his ears for a minute, and turned to shut and lock the gate. Steven hooked the lock on the gate so the dog would not escape, and just as he did, the hook snapped. - - it snapped right into two pieces, and he held half of it in his hand. "Oh great, look at this James!! Steven yelled, "This wasn't supposed to happen, that was a new latch, and now I can't lock the gate. He grabbed for the edge of the gate, to make sure it stayed closed. So far so good, the dog was still in the yard, but what was going on?
"I don' understand what happened Isn't everything supposed to happen just as it had that day?" Steven asked his friend.
"Maybe it is too late to do everything just as it happened that day, maybe we already changed something, maybe something small that went unnoticed, but was enough to start the ball rolling, ---- in the wrong direction."
Both boys got to thinking about what was happening, about the lock snapping, and were both thinking that maybe it wasn't possible to change what happened. Perhaps what was going to happen, would happen regardless, just a different way. Or as Steven had suggested, maybe we had changed some small thing already without being aware of it, and there was no going back at this point. Only our micro-seconds would tell....
"Here, I will hold the gate shut, will you go and see if you can find another part to the lock and see if we can fix it so that the dog does not get out?" he asked .
"Surely I will", and he took the hook and off he went into the garage to find a hammer, screwdriver, and another hook. He was opening the second drawer, when suddenly the whole drawer pulled out and the contents of the drawer spilled and scattered all over the garage floor.
"What in the heck was that" yelled James from outside. He grabbed a big rock and put it in front of the gate, so it wouldn't open and went into the garage, seeing what happened, he said to his buddy, "You know, I am afraid we may have started something that is not going to come out anything like we planned".
"I was thinking the exact same thing". added the other boy,"but all we can do now is to try to get everything back as close as we can to correct, and get back to our right day and right time."
Together they swept up the contents of the drawer, and they found a piece of rope to tie the gate up. They tied the gate closed, and went on their way down the street to see about saving his brother's bike. No sooner did they cross the street to take care of the bike business, when the very bike that they were going to go lock up, went flying past them. On it was the rightful owner of the bike, his little brother. Now where was he going in such a rush? When they got to the sidewalk, watching his brother, and as he rode lickety-split past Mr. Oxfords house, the dog began chasing the young bicyclist from his side of the fence. When he ran out of yard, the dog simply flew up and over, as if a wind had lifted him up, and over the fence, without any effort at all. He brother kept going, turning right at the corner, and the dog kept going, turning left at the corner, and he too kept going.
The two boys just stopped and looked at each other in disbelieve. Perhaps no matter what they did, the results of those hours and days could not be changed.. They felt as if they were living in the Twilight Zone.
As the Time Wore on Nothing got Better
As the boys watched the dog go one way and the bike go the other, it seemed like perhaps this may have been a scientific miracle, but a miserable failure as far as changing things as they should have been.
As soon as they caught up to the dog, they found out that the dog catcher had caught up to him sooner. At this point, both boys were convinced that there was no way to change things as they had planned. Right after that, Steven's little brother came running around the corner yelling that someone had stolen his bike from the park when he went into the bathroom.
At least we wouldn't get blamed this time, for all of this happened without their help. They decided that the best thing they could do would be to go back and get where they were supposed to be, before something else happened. In agreement, they went back to the garage, where the time machine was. They climbed into the pickup, and reversed the process, and went back to the correct time.
As the vehicle stopped shaking, and came to a complete stop, the two boys looked up, and to their surprise there was a fire that had started in the corner of the garage. Apparently when the flash of light flashed as they came back into the time zone, it sparked some paper that was in the trash can. They jumped out and grabbed rags and tried to put the fire out. They only succeeded only in spreading it further into the room. James went outside and grabbed the hose, and turned it on and put the fire out.
As it turned out, they did not get into any trouble over the dog, or the bike, but on the other hand, when the insurance adjuster came out to look at the damage, the amount they were quoted for the damages, added up almost exactly to the dollar how much they would have had to pay for the bike and the dog. So, their little trip was successful in the going, but not successful in the reparation of the damages.
It is funny how things work out sometimes. Just when you think you have control over a situation. you find out you are so wrong, but you did have a nice trip trying. This would be one of those stories, when told to their children or grandchildren, they would be laughed at and everyone listening would think to themselves, boy those two old men really have a screw loose, don't they?