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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2105107
by Espero
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2105107
Joe and Tommy's Science Experiment
“Hurry up Tommy, get your stuff, let’s get home so we can start on the science experiment.”

“Yeah, I’m coming, what’s the rush anyway, we have a month to do it? Just my luck to get partnered with an overachiever.”

“Oh come on Joe, it will give you less time to pester the girls, give them a break for a change.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.”

The boys hopped on their bikes. With one more longing look at the girls standing outside school, Tommy hurried to catch up with Joe. They headed to Joe’s house where his father agreed to let them use his workshop if they kept everything picked up.

“So now what?” asked Tommy.

“I don’t know,” responded Joe, “We’ll have to give it some thought, I want something extraordinary.”

“I’ve got it!” Joe shouted, “A volcano!”

Tommy looked at his friend with an exasperated frown. “Seriously, that’s what you came up with? I’ll bet you half the class is going to do a volcano. Get your thinking cap back on, we’re not doing a volcano.”

“Ok then, you’ll love this; we’ll catapult a bouncing ball around the room.”

“Strike two. No, it’s been done a million times. Call me crazy, let’s build a time machine, a big one. My dad’s got unused lumber in back; he can haul it to school on his trailer.”

Tommy doubled over laughing. “A time machine! This is your great idea? It won’t work and we’ll get an F.”

“Well it won’t actually work, but we can make it do things like rumble and shake. We’ll put lights all over it. It will be awesome? We’ll use my dad’s mini generator.”

“Awesome, right.” said Tommy with a snicker.

Joe was the persuasive one of the two, it wasn’t long until they were standing outside, admiring their time machine which looked more like a telephone booth.

“Just a quick coat of paint, then we’ll get to the fun stuff.” said Joe.

“Good, I was wondering when we’d start to have fun.” responded Tommy.

Joe was mechanically inclined and set about installing devices into the time machine, ordering Tommy to fetch this and that for him. It took a few weeks, but soon, the time machine was rumbling, spouting out black smoke, shaking and squeaking. Tommy admitted it was pretty awesome. “If nothing else, it gives a good performance.”

“Just one more thing,” said Joe. “I have to install the jet propulsion, it will make the machine jump up and down just a tad. Remember that huge weird key I found over in the gravel pit, it will make a great addition.”

The machine was done; the boys stood back and admired it. “Let’s take her for a ride,” said Joe, “where would you like to go?”

“Oh, I dunno,” how about Egypt? Maybe we’ll see King Tut,” laughed Tommy.

They squeezed into the machine, side by side, Joe turned the dial to Egypt on the board he had installed with different countries listed. He pulled a lever and the rumbling and shaking started. A push of another button started the smoke. “Hang on,” shouted Joe, and he turned the huge key.

There was a shrieking sound and everything went black. They felt a slight jolt and then nothing.

“What the heck happened? Did you spike my Coke with something?” a demur Tommy said, all trace of that infernal smirk gone.

“Darned if I know,” Joe said, “but we’re not home any more. We’ve landed in a pile of sand; I don’t know how, but it worked? Let’s get out of here and see where we are.”

There was sand everywhere they looked, they trudged through it until they came to the top of one of the dunes. Peering over the top they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“Pyramids, are you kidding me?”, said Joe, “real life, honest to goodness pyramids.”

“What are they doing down there?”, questioned Tommy, “it looks like some kind of caravan those guys are hauling on their shoulders. It looks like it’s made out of gold.”

“Don’t know, but I’m not sure we want to go and find out, they might not welcome us.”

“Might not, but I sure could use something to drink, it’s hotter than sin out here.” Tommy replied.

“Look!” Joe pointed off in the distance where a rising cloud of dust appeared. “I think we might be getting company, better get out of here while we can.”

The boys took one more look and hurried back to the time machine as quickly as they could in the deep sand. Joe turned the dial to home and pulled all the appropriate levers just as the forms of about a dozen camels came into view. They saw the astonished look of the Egyptian riders as the machine shook and quivered. Just before all went black a volley of arrows thundered into the machine.

“Whew, I think we made it out of there just in time,” Tommy said, after the machine came to a stop. “Unbelievable!”

“I have to admit it feels good to have my feet back on home territory,” Joe replied. “OMG, look here, there’s an arrow stuck to the side of the machine. We could have been lying in the sand run through by an arrow right now.” Still think it’s a dumb idea? I think we’ll get an A for this one after we give teach the ride of his life.”

“Not to mention, a big hit with the ladies.” Joe replied.

“Yeah, we could start a business, Joe and Tom’s two way trips to anywhere. We could be rich!”

“And famous,” Tommy replied.


Thousands of years ago, a ship crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. One lone survivor floated ashore to an unknown land where he wandered aimlessly for months before meeting his unfortunate death by the hand of savages. A rather large key with the power of travel was dropped by him only to be found years later by two unsuspecting boys.



997 Words

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