by Hugh Wesley
Sometimes, you really should follow directions.
|“By clicking ‘Continue’ below, you agree to use the ‘Go Then’ app as intended, including but not limited to NEVER entering a date more than two years before or after the current date.”
Chad clicked “Continue,” and a text box popped up on his phone screen.
“Enter year:” the instructions said.
“How hokey can you get?” Chad said. He typed in “1958.” It was the year his father graduated from high school.
The screen went black, and then a red hourglass appeared, turning one way and then another.
“Stand by for transport,” the screen reported.
“Jeez, Louise!” Chad said. He’d had enough. He clicked the power button on his phone and slipped it into his back pocket.
He looked up just in time to avoid walking into an old push mower sitting on the sidewalk.
“Whoa!” Chad said, dancing out of the way.
“Oh, sorry,” the man bent over the machine said. “Just cleaning the carburetor.
“Wow, that’s a classic!” Chad said, admiring the banana-handled mower.
The man grinned. He was wearing slacks and a white t-shirt. His black hair was well-oiled and perfectly coiffed. “Yes, indeed! A 1957 Big Chomper!”
“Nineteen fifty-seven?!” Chad exclaimed. “That was a long time ago!”
The man looked puzzled. “Sure, if you consider last year a long time ago.”
A car honked as it drove by, reminding Chad he was standing in the street. He turned to find a big, hump-backed vehicle with tail fins driving away.
His eyes grew large as he took in the neighborhood — picket fences everywhere, not a single car newer than the 1950s … and the trees in front of his own house, at the end of the block, were nothing but saplings.
Panicked, Chad clutched at his back pocket, and the horrible realization set in.
There were no cell phones in 1958.