- Eric and the Time Machine -

a wee drawing of our time machine

PART 1: a part with sticky little toes & a tick tock clock.

Once upon a long long time ago is where all good stories start, but when it's a story about a time machine you can start it at any time you want! So to make this story extra good we will start it a whole week before once upon a time...so...Just the other day, a whole week before once upon a time we were playing a game of hide & sneak...

It was Eric's turn to be 'it' and when Eric is 'it' it's a problem. When you are 'it' you have to close your eyes and count to ten while everyone else goes and hides. Eric is an expert at this part of the game. He's so good he can sometimes even count to ten using only 6 or 7 numbers...it's the next part of the game that's a problem. The part where he has to sneak around and look for everyone that's hiding cause if he sees anything that he finds just a little bit interesting (and that is almost everything) he's going to stop looking for you and play with his new found treasure instead. This means that if we are still hiding after ten minutes we are probably going to be hiding all day so we have to come out of our hiding spots and we all end up looking for him...and this is not even the worst part. The worst part is when we find him, cause as soon as he sees us he jumps up with a big grin on his face singing 'found them! Eric wins! Found them! Eric wins!'

We are never quite sure if he does this cause he is very easily distracted or cause he's very very sneaky!

Lucky for us it's usually very easy to find him. There's always a trail of sweetie wrappers, cookies crumbs or something sweet that follows him wherever he goes...and today was extra easy! It seems that he found an open jam jar along the way so we just had to follow the sticky footprints...and they took us all the way to the big cupboard in the hallway...

We've never seen inside this cupboard...not even a little peek. We aren't allowed to go near it and also it's always locked so it's impossible to get in, we've tried everything....but not today. Today someone left it open so we peaked inside and we could not believe what we saw...it was the biggest mess in the whole world! If our cupboard ever looked like this we would be in troubles for ten million years. It was like a crazy maze of boxes and machines and buckets and mops from the bottom all the way up to the very top of the cupboard. If it wasn't for the sticky footprints we would never ever find Eric in there but lucky for us they went straight to a wee little wooden box in the corner. It was a mysterious box. It was covered in fancy letters and sticky fingerprints. The letters were very old and faded so we could not read what they said but the fingerprints were brand new and Eric shaped. This didn't explain the mystery of the box but it was a very important clue as to where Eric was. The other clue was the footprints that stopped in front of the box. Any detective that is worth some salt would agree that this is conclusive proof that Eric is definitely inside the box...

We sneaked up to it, counted one two three and flipped open the lid but instead of Eric there was just an old tick tock clock inside. We could not believe our eyes...someone turned Eric into a clock! We thought about this for a while and realised that that is actually impossible. Eric has never ever been on time, a clock would be the last thing in the world he would turn into, there had to be another explanation and when you think about it logically the explanation is quite obvious. It's not a box with a clock and a missing Eric inside...it's a time machine! Eric is probably making troubles in another time...and we have to go get him!

PART 2: a part with dinosaurs and kelangedangs.

It's not every day that you discover a time machine in the hallway cupboard. Usually this would mean you could travel to any time you want...but not today. Today we had to go look for Eric cause Eric found the time machine before we did. Lucky for us we knew that he went to a long long time ago, we could tell cause the box is covered in dust and all the letters on the side is faded away...like all things that's from a long long time ago. We decided that we should probably paint new letters on the sides before we go. It won't go very far with letters that's already faded. Oh...and maybe we could also make one or two other adjustments while we are busy...

We've built our own time machines before but none of them worked very well. They couldn't go back in time, they could only go to the future and they weren't even very good at that. They were much too slow...usually you arrived in the future at the same time as everyone else that wasn't on board. This didn't help us very much back then but at last it became useful cause this is called experience and also we kept all the ingredients we used to make them. We had some strings and wires for making connections and antennas, some tin foil for hats, and an calendar to use as a time map, we had some flies and confetti (cause time flies when you're having fun) and a big green button for starting the time machine..and of course a little square thing on a key-ring that goes 'beep boop beep boop'. This is a very important ingredient for building any type of machine cause for a machine to work it needs to either make a 'beep boop beep boop', a 'vroom vroom' or a 'tick tock' noise. We already had the clock that goes tick tock but when you are planning to go traveling it's always good to take a spare.

We quickly went to get all these ingredients and started working straight away. My brother painted new words on the one side that said 'DO NOT DISTURB ~ TIME TRAVELS IN PROGRESS' and on the other side it said 'DESTINATION: LONG LONG AGO (ON A WEEKEND)'. Mika painted some red stripes and lightnings all over so that it could go extra fast while Liloo and I made antennas and sticky taped them to the top of the machine. We tried to put the rest of our improvements inside the box but they couldn't all fit so we took out the tick tock clock and fixed it to the outside of the box with some string and sticky tape. This actually looked quite snazzy cause the hands of the clock looked almost like propellers. This time everyone and everything fitted snug as a bug.
We closed the lid and pressed the green button.
The thing on the key-ring went beep boop and off we went!

The funny thing about time travel is it takes quite a long time. For a while it felt like we were all just sitting inside a box wasting time instead of travelling through it but then all of a sudden Mika did a big sneeze. To the inexperienced time traveller this won't mean a thing but we are new experts and we know Mika's nose. He always does big sneezes like that when it's getting cold outside, and given our current situation and location this could only mean one thing...we must be travelling through the ice age! Suddenly this adventure got very very exiting! And not just for us...it must have been just as exciting for everyone living in the ice age! Imagine how surprised they must have been to see our wee little time machine whoosh past them at top speed! It's probably this jaw dropping event that made the sable tooth tigers end up with such long teeth. We don't think the big woolly mammoths saw us though cause they are almost too big to imagine...so that would probably make us too small for them to imagine. The abominomnomnomable snowmen would have seen us for sure. They probably took some lovely polar-roid picture of us with their ice cameras. Some people think that the abominomnomnomable snowmen would be scary but the way we picture them would make this impossible. They would be way too fluffy to ever be scary. All the birds and bumble bees would be fluffy also. We should definitely stop here on the way back to see if these bumble bees make ice-cream instead of honey. If they do we would probably stay for a while. Ooh! Ooh! The bugs! Imagine all the bugs! They must be as big as breadbins. There would probably even be some of them that are made completely from ice so that you can see right through them! Can you picture that! Oh...and they probably have much more than just 6 legs cause if you run around on ice all day you want as many feet as possible...cause some of them would be slipping all the time

We were still dreaming up all kinds of potential ice crawlers when we suddenly heard a cacophony of kelangedangs outside the time machine...At first we thought it might be an ancient earthquake or an prehistoric avalanche but on second thought it sounded a bit more like the tick tock clock that fell off the box and maybe one or two other things that got knocked over inside the cupboard also...that is if it was still a cupboard! We might have gone back so far in time that it's a dinosaur cave by now... There were another few sounds, a click and then we heard the roar! There was no doubt anymore...There was definitely a T-Rex right outside the cupboard (which is now a dinosaur cave). It was a terrible sound...it sounded almost like a vacuum cleaner sounds but only much scarier! We didn't move or make a single sound...we were all as quite as a sleepy mouse.

Lucky for us after a minute or two we could hear the roar moving further and further away from us...
"Wow...that was a close one" whispered my brother.
"Yep Yep" we all agreed.
"It was such a very scary monster" said Liloo.
"It was a dinosaur" I said, "a T-Rex".
"Dinosaurs sounds allot like Hoovers" said Mika.
"Only scarier" we all agreed!
We sat quietly for another while.
"What happens now?" asked Liloo.

Luckily brother is very smart and knows almost everything about everything. He explained that because the clock fell off we probably stopped traveling back in time. This means we will start moving towards the present time with everything else. For everything else this would usually take about one hundred million billion years but cause we are from the future we know the way back and all the best shortcuts so we should be home in just a little while but we better just stay in the box and be very quite till we are back home...there might be other scary things outside with even bigger teeth.

We sat quietly for at least five minutes but nothing happened other than five more minutes passing by. Are we there yet whispered Mika. Nope said my brother, we are probably in the Stone Age now. That's good said Liloo. Stones are much less scary than real life dinosaurs. Yep yep said quite a few little voices in a box followed by a little giggle from Mika. Hehe...do you remember that time Eric ate all the crayons... he thought if you ate enough green ones you will turn into a dinosaur... but all he got was a tummysaurus. Now we were all making giggles.

And can you remember when Eric said he saw a magic berry in the old tall tree by the river. He climbed all the way to the top and took a big bite of it before he realised it was not a magic berry but a wasp nest. Yep yep! And lucky for him I was there to catch him said Mika. We didn't remember the bit where Mika caught him. We remembered Eric falling out of the tree and landing on top of Mika...but it's probably better that he caught him so we will remember the story like that from now on.

Oh! And do you remember when we made that big hole in the garden and found the middle of the world...
...And that one time...
...and can you remember that day we...
...Oh Oh! And the time when...

We were having so much fun making giggles and memory trips. The box was filled with laughs and adventures. It was like we were back there having those adventures all over again...we almost completely forgot that we were stuck inside a time machine. We also completely forgot about that one time when we were almost eaten by the T-Rex...or at least until we heard another noise outside!

We were not sure what is was but it was definitely getting closer and closer very quickly until it was right next to the box! It was so close we could hear it breath! The lid swung open! Bright light poured into the box followed by sticky little jam fingers and a massive big grin... Haha!....found them! Eric wins! Eric wins! said the grin. We could not believe it! He did it again, every time we play hide and go sneak with Eric we end up looking for him and somehow he still wins, even if we are in another time. He licked off the jam that was left on his hands and climbed into the box with us. What are we playing now? he said.

We asked him how he first found the time machine and if he was also almost eaten by a T-Rex, but the story he told didn't all add up. He told us that he was on his way to come and look for us when he saw someone left a jam jar out. Worried that some passer-by by might also see this and be tempted to eat it he thought it would be best to put somewhere safe...but while deciding whether the safest place for jam is the fridge or in his tummy he heard giggles coming from the hallway. He then followed the giggles and found us inside the box! He also said he didn't see any dinosaurs on the way there but he said he can show us a dinosaur if we give him some green crayons...

My brother's explanation also doesn't quite make sense...He said we arrived back there at the same time Eric was fist going to climb inside the box...but cause we came from the past we were already inside the box when Eric first found it...even though Eric found it long before we did...He said this is called a time travel box paradox but we think it was all just part of Eric's plan to win the game without having to come look for us cause he's sneaky like that.

We still use the time machine all the time...but we found out the only ingredients you need to make it work is a wee bit of imagination, a friends or two to join you and of course the magic words 'do you remember when'... Oh...and a thing on a key ring that goes peep boop!

by the Picsees
Eric and the Time Machine (a short story)
Written by the Picsees and first published on 5 July 2013
© thepicsees.com
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