Why write a post when you don't know what to say?

I am no economist or politician, so I will not pretend to be one. But I have been so immersed in the news-world lately, that I felt I couldn't squeak by everything without posting anything to look back upon.
I have to say that personally, I'm afraid to post things of this sort. I'm afraid I'll do injustice to one side, or mix up everything by telling a distorted version of it (any one in my family will smile when they hear me say this; I have had a way of telling mixed up things in the past. For example, when dad asked me several years ago who St. Patrick was, I responded: "Oh, I read all about St. Patrick Henry in my history book! And his most famous words were, 'we must fight, I repeat we must fight!' ")
And remembering the above incident reminds me why I like writing tabloid news stories with the help of my brother. We compile them in news-paper form and look forward to some day surprising relatives with them.
But I am off topic. In fact, I'm rather glad I'm off topic. It means I won't even attempt to recreate any of the current events here. Instead, I'll point you to the more trustworthy place, here.


Time......... (Part 4)

The door swung open and a stately man looked in. He looked about thirty-five and had dark brown hair. His brown eyes investigated them only a minute before he spoke.
"What are you boys doing in here?" he asked.
"Ha, ha," Kevin laughed nervously, "just playing."
"Playing! In the emergency-hideout?" He grabbed Kevin and Frank's arms and pulled them out of the alcove and into the hallway. Peter hesitated a moment before following, but it was one moment too long; the man had hit the button on the hall again, and the door clanged shut. Peter was all alone in the dark recesses of the hole.
"What did you think you were doing?" the man demanded of Kevin and Frank.
"Let go of me, Holmes!" Kevin said stoutly.
"Don't you talk back to me! I don't care who your father is or -"
"Is? You mean 'was,' don't you?" Kevin looked him full in the face with a questioning look, and the man let go of the boys' arms in a hurry.
"Of course I meant 'was,' you little know-it-all! Now run along, and don't let me see you hanging out around, or in, emergency-hideouts again!" he half stammered, half yelled. He let go of their arms and hurried on his way.
"That's the third time it's happened," Kevin remarked in a low voice.
"I'm surprised! The way you talked about getting into mischief, I thought you'd gotten yelled at more times than -"
"No, not the scolding. I've gotten more of those than I can count! No, I was talking about that mess-up about my father," Kevin said, his last words fading to a whisper.
"Who was your father?" Frank whispered back.
"He - my, goodness! Where's Peter?" Kevin cried suddenly.
"Peter?" Frank looked about him hastily, but Peter was not in sight. "He must have been left in the hideout!"
"He must have. He must have hidden himself well in there. Let's hope anyways. Come on, let's go look for him!" Kevin dashed back down the hall to the hideout.

Peter ran his hands over the wall. "There must be another button to open the door in here somewhere," he thought. He couldn't remember which way the door had been, though he had kept his eyes on the spot for as long as he could. He was also feeling worried for Frank. Kevin would do his best to keep him safe, Peter was almost certain. But after hearing his uncle, and Kevin's own explanations, he doubted whether Kevin could intercede on Frank's behalf and have any positive effect.
Peter felt his finger jarr against a nail suddenly. It hurt, and he felt his finger grow warm and moist. "I must have cut it," he thought. Yet he didn't withdraw his finger, for he felt sure this was the nail that opened the door, and he must not loose it. He leaned against the wall, and pushed the nail in gently. The wall moved, quite suddenly, throwing him down on his hands. He blinked in the stream of light that met his eyes, and stood up quickly. The door shut behind him and he felt his face flush with sudden fear as he saw the room before him.
In it, there was a group of five men, seated around a large white table. The top of the table was made up of a computer screen, on which was displayed a map. It was over this map that the the men leaned. They looked up suddenly as Peter entered the room.
"Who are you?" the man who seemed to be the leader presented the question slowly and distinctly. He stood up, followed by the others surrounding the table. The men, who had looked worried when they first saw Peter, now advanced and one of them grasped Peter's arm tightly. "I repeat, who are you?"

Kevin and Frank searched the hideout thoroughly, but to no avail.
"I'm sorry, Frank," Kevin said. He clenched his fists. "I'm sure this is all my fault!"
"Maybe - maybe he found the way out, and - and is wandering around the halls or - or something," Frank stammered. He swallowed hard, and brushed a sleeve across his eyes.
"We can always look. Come on!" Kevin took Frank's hand. "We're not going to get separated no matter what!"
"No," Frank replied. They raced out of the hideout, and closed the door to it.
"Let's look this way," Kevin said. "It leads away from the direction we took, and if he had gotten out, he would have tried to get away from trouble if he could help it."
"Then you don't know Peter," Frank said. "He never backs out of danger. He charged into a group of thieves once, when they stole my bicycle."
"Yeah, you know its' - forget it. My point was that he's brave. And he's loyal. He wouldn't leave me to my fate alone, as he's proven many times back on earth."
"Have you gone to earth before? I've always wanted to. I've heard it's a very pleasant place to live in."
"You mean - this isn't earth?" Frank said brokenly.
"No. You thought it was?"
"Yes. This is really great, a broken time-machine, a different planet, my best friend gone -"
"That last thing we can fix if we'd only get started on it. Which direction should we take?"
"I don't know. You know this place better than I do."
"But I don't know this wing very well. Uncle told me to stay out of here, and if I had to go into it, to stick to the main tunnel in here, and not to go into the emergency hideouts no matter what. Unfortunately....."
"Yeah, well, just choose some way to go, and let's get started! Peter doesn't know about forbidden tunnels or hideouts or anything. He could have gone anywhere!"
Kevin chose to go farther into the forbidden wing. "I'm positive Peter went this way. There's a gate further on, and it won't let you pass unless you know the code and how to type it in. If Peter went this way, he'll be stuck there. Or he won't be there at all, and we can determine that he went the other way," he explained as they began their search again.
"How do you know so much about this wing if you aren't allowed to come here?"
For answer, Kevin merely grinned, and Frank knew the answer. He was increasingly liking Kevin.
"What was it you were saying about your father?" Frank asked him and trudged on.
"That I'm doubting whether he's really dead," Kevin replied as casually as if he had just remarked about the number of spiders they saw on their way.
"When did he supposedly die?"
"When I was two years old. Uncle told me he was killed in a ship accident."
"Did it have a leak or something?"
"No, it just had a crash."
"And he drowned?"
"Drowned? No, they weren't in water or Melimp."
"What's Melimp, and don't all ships float in water?"
"You don't know anything, do you?" Kevin asked in an amazed tone. "Of course ships don't float in water! They float in air."
"Oh, you mean air ships I suppose."
"Air ships? Well, we don't exactly call them that. But haven't you ever heard of Melimp?"
"Oh, well. You meet some soon enough. But anyways, about my dad -"
"I don't remember him at all, and I never doubted uncle's word. Until recently. Three people I've met have said 'he is' instead of 'was', and it makes me suspicious."
"Do you think your uncle lied to you?"
"I don't know why he would. Unless there's some thing about my dad he doesn't want me to know."
They remained silent after that, until they reached the gate. It was a large gate, that covered the whole empty space between the two walls it bridged between, leaving no crack through which one could peek. Two strips on either side of the gate were covered with controls and a small type-pad.
"That's where you type in the password," Kevin explained.
"It looks like Peter didn't come this way," Frank said.
"Yes," Kevin went over to the type pad. "I've tried cracking this before, but it's impossible!"
"Have you tried the word 'Melimp'?" Frank asked.
"Your kidding, right? Everyone knows about Melimp! Why it's as common as water!"
"I didn't know about Melimp," Frank protested.
"Okay," Kevin typed in the word. "Nope. Says it's and error."
"Try 'Melimp as common as water'," Frank dictated.
"Just for fun."
"Okay, here it goes."
"Great Scott!" Frank cried suddenly. The doors of the gate had opened.
"We got in!" Kevin cried in excitement. "How did you know what the password was?"
"I didn't. I was just making phrases up!"
"Come on! Let's go check it out!"
"What about Peter?" Frank asked.
"My word! I'd forgotten!" Kevin paused before the open gate, and peered in. "There appears to be some sort of large screen in there, like a large map. I think it's a blueprint of the whole fortress!"
"Right, so let's go!"
"No, this might enable us to find Peter!" Kevin was already going through the gate.
"I don't see how it could. Come on, Kevin! We can get back in after we find Peter!" Frank followed him to tug him out into the hall once more, but as he stood in the doorway, the gate began to close on him. He leaped in after Kevin, just in time. And there the two boys stood in the midst of the forbidden wing.

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).


Time......... (Part 3)

It was warm in the hole, if hole it could be called; when Peter had recovered from his fall and stood up, he felt along the floor, hoping to meet up with a wall or something, but after considerable searching, he came upon nothing. Finally he got the courage to stand up. He had only walked two steps, though, before he fell into Frank.
"Ouch!" Frank howled.
"Hush!" Peter whispered frantically. "Have you got a match?"
"Of course! It says- bother! What does it say?"
"Not a watch, a match! But now that you mention it, does your watch light up?"
"It used to," Frank shook it. "There!" A faint blue-green glow came from it. It was too weak to show anything in the cavern, however; even in the utter darkness.
"That won't help very much," Peter sighed.
"Peter!" Frank cried out suddenly.
"What? Keep your voice down!"
"My watch! It's - it's going all weird!"
"What do you mean?"
"The hands are spinning around it non-stop! I'm afraid it's broken!"
"Hmm," Peter said thoughtfully. "I wish I could read my watch. It doesn't light up."
"Here, hold it under mine and I'll turn its light on."
"It says - it says - it's broken too!" Peter saw the hands of the watch glittering in the faint light as they wound around and around.
"Do you think it's a time glitch?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, couldn't it have been ruined by the speeding up of time?"
"Yes, I -I guess so. But come on, now! There's something much more important than broken watches here. We've got to figure out how to get out of here!"
"Get out?" a strange voice said suddenly. Frank grasped Peter's hand tightly. The two of them searched the darkness anxiously.
"You'll never get out." A glimmer of light started to fill the hole, and straining their eyes, the boys could see that a light was entering the hole by a door on the side. They now saw that the hole was a large chamber lacking both door and window, excepting the opening in which the light was now entering. But of yet, the figure behind it could not be seen.
"Never - never get out?" Frank stammered. He felt like he could have believed anything at that moment.
"No. At least, not yet." They caught sight of the speaker now. It was a man, tall and thin, but very young. The light he held shown up on his clean shaven face, revealing his stern features. They were stern, but not unkind, Peter noted with some comfort. The man's dark hair was straight, flipping out on the ends, by his ears.
"Who are you?" he said.
"That's what we were going to ask you," Peter said slowly. His hands shook as he said it, but he would not - he could not - let the man see that he was afraid.
"I asked you first," the man replied calmly.
"I'm Frank Liftun," Frank replied, gulping hard.
"Never heard of you," the man said simply. "But that's no matter. What were you doing, spying on us?"
"Spying?" Frank gasped.
"That's what I said, didn't I?"
"We aren't spies," Frank said quickly.
"What are you then?" the man grinned.
"We're - explorers," Frank said hesitatingly.
"Explorers?" the man laughed. "That's the lamest excuse I've heard yet!"
"We're lost," Peter said finally. "Can you help us?"
"Lost? In this place? You can't just wander into here from nowhere. Not unless you had a purpose."
"We do have a purpose! Just give us back our time machine, and we'll get out of here!" Frank yelled suddenly.
"Time machine? Just what is a time machine?"
"Come on! You guys are in the future! Of course you know what a time machine is!" Frank said impatiently.
"Future? Time machines? I just don't get it. But never mind. You'll have to come with me."
"Where are you going to take us?" Frank asked.
"To the General, of course," the man stepped towards them. Frank started to back away, but Peter stopped him.
"These are the only people who can help us," he explained in a low voice. "Better oblige them."
The man heard him and grinned again. He took Frank's hands in one of his own, and searched Frank's clothes for weapons.
"Odd clothes you two have got," he chuckled as he moved on to Peter. "No weapons. That's good. But I can't understand why you haven't got any." He looked at them curiously, then motioned them to go ahead of him. They left the dark chamber and entered a long, dark, tunnel-shaped hall, lighted by an occasional light. Peter looked hard at the lights as they clambered down the hall, but he couldn't figure out what they were made of. The odd thing about them was that they appeared to be supported by nothing, just a ball of light hanging in the air. Also, when he looked away from them and at one of the dark walls in the hall, no eerie green spots formed in his eyes.
"Where are we?" Frank asked after they had trudged on for ten minutes. "This place is huge! And I'm tired."
"Fairly so. It takes some getting used to."
"How much longer?" Peter sighed. He was out of breath, and his legs were becoming so tired they started to drag.
"You aren't tired, too, are you?" the man asked. "Most people I know can stand a ten-minute walk."
"Yeah, well, we had a difficult hike beforehand, and a long run before that," Frank explained.
"I see," the man sounded uninterested, "we're almost there now."
Peter looked back at the man's face and saw a grin hovering on it. "He seems to think we're very comical," Peter thought. "I wonder that we don't see any other people?"
They had passed several intersections where the main tunnel was jointed by other tunnels, slightly smaller, when the man took a sudden turn into one of the smaller halls. If the boys found the other tunnel dark, this tunnel was darker. The lights in it were fewer and farther between. Peter also began to notice doors appearing on the sides of the tunnel walls. Some were entirely dark, but underneath others, a crack of yellow light streamed out.
"I wonder what's in those rooms," Frank whispered to Peter. Peter glanced at the man and saw that he was grinning again. He had obviously heard Frank.
"He has amazing ears," Peter thought to himself. His thoughts sounded loud to him in the still tunnel, and he wondered if the man could hear them. "I can't hear his thoughts, so perhaps he can't hear mine," Peter started to comfort himself. And yet, in books, there was always an amazingly smart character who, if he couldn't read your thoughts, could accurately guess them.
"Okay, this is it!" the man said suddenly, paused before one of the doors. He knocked on it loudly.
"Who is it?" said an irritated voice.
"It's me, Uncle; it's Kevin."
"Kevin? I thought I told you not to bother me when I'm in my office!"
"I know but-"
"And don't give me any half-hearted excuses! Last time you bothered me, you said you lost your laser-gun while chasing badgers in the left wing. Badgers indeed! As if there are badgers around here!"
"There are, but that's not the point. It's-"
"Don't contradict me. Your getting too impertinent, thinking yourself so important just because you're the general's nephew!"
Kevin sighed and look at the two boys. The manly air he had held earlier seemed to have vanished, and deteriorated in his annoyance.
"So, I take this to mean you won't see me, or the-" Kevin was interrupted again.
"No! Go do something else!"
With another sigh and a shrug, Kevin turned to the boys. "Oh well, if you turn out to be spies, and you guys manage to escape and bring important news to your commander, uncle can't blame me for not doing anything!"
His uncle, who was so "deeply engrossed in his work" managed to overhear his nephew, and yelled out, "It's not going to work! Go away!"
"Is your uncle always like that?" Frank asked as they started down the hall once more.
"Most of the time," Kevin said. "He's extremely busy and can't stand interruption.
"I think I kind of noticed," Frank responded. "So what do we do now?"
"I don't know," Kevin thought for a moment.
"Look, if we're going to be stuck here for a bit, we might as well get to know each other," Peter said.
"Yeah, I guess so. It gets awful lonely around here," Kevin remarked.
"Why? Do you and your uncle live all alone here?" Frank asked.
"No. But almost everyone's older than me, and they always make fun of me."
"And you let them?"
"Yeah. After all, I'm not very important here, and so for me to stand up for myself would probably bring more down on my head."
"I see."
"How old are you?" Kevin asked.
"Me? Fifteen. Sixteen in November," Frank said.
"November? Where's that?"
"You mean 'when's that'?"
"You know, November, the month?"
"Who's he? A guy who discovered a planet and named it after himself? Though I've never heard of the group of aliens called 'months.' "
Frank and Kevin stared at each in a confused sort of way. Peter smiled to himself. Kevin seemed nicer now; he acted like a boy in some ways, and, his stern expression completely vanished, he looked little older than 18 or 19. "Odd," Peter thought, "learn a guy's name and you feel like you know him."
"How many people are here?" Peter asked suddenly.
"I don't know," Kevin shrugged. "I could make a guess, but I think it's supposed to be a secret."
"I see, kind of," Peter said. "What is this place?"
"It's - no, I shouldn't say. I've said enough already. And you probably could guess more from what I said than I intended to say."
"We aren't spies if you're still worried about that," Frank insisted.
"But what else could you be?"
"Normal, average teenagers, who like adventures and get themselves into trouble a lot?"
"I'm normal and average, so you can't be because your not like me. And what's a teenager?"
"It's somebody in their teens," Frank explained.
"Yeah, it's -"
"Frank!" Peter said with a laugh. "Don't try to explain, you'll only mess things up again."
They suddenly heard a clomp, clomp, the echoes of footsteps falling in another area of the tunnel. Kevin's face grew very grave, and he searched the smooth side of the tunnel with an experienced hand.
"What are you doing?" Frank asked.
"Shh!" Kevin said. His hand hit against a small jut in the wall, and a hidden door soundlessly opened. "Into here!" He whispered and quickly thrust them into the alcove. Then he climbed in himself, and shut the door after him.
"What are we doing in here?" Frank whispered.
"Hiding," Kevin said simply.
"From what?"
"From the somebody in the tunnel."
"Because I - I don't want you guys to be found," he stammered.
"I thought we were spies that you were just longing to hand over to your uncle."
"Yeah, well, not anymore. You see, that was before I knew you. But if I hand you over now, who knows what will happen to you! And then I'll be lonely again."
"But if we're spies, don't you think that it's more important to hand us over to protect this - whatever it is, than to be concerned with your own loneliness?" Frank asked.
"You aren't spies."
"I thought you said we were."
"But you never said you were."
"That doesn't count."
"To me it does."
"But just because it does to you doesn't mean-"
"Hush! He's here!" Kevin bit his lip nervously as the loud clomping of the somebody's shoes was heard distinctly outside the door. But the shoes didn't passed by! They stopped at the door. A faint brushing sound followed it as the somebody searched the wall for the nail. There was a click, and the door began to open.

Copyright - 9/18/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).


Time......... (Part 2)

The two boys froze in horror: the cloud was making a noise. And not any noise; it was an eerie squeaking noise.
The cloud paused quite suddenly, right in front of the broken time machine. Frank gasped, "What do you think they'll do?"
"They? How do you know it's a they?" Peter whispered back. The dust was clearing away, revealing an oddly shaped vehicle. It was deep blue, had antennas of wire, and twelve wheels on each side. It reminded the boys of a machine gun.
"What is it?" Frank whispered. Peter clapped a hand over Frank's mouth quickly. They watched the blue vehicle with anxiety. It started driving in circles, around the time machine. The circles started out small and close to the broken machine, before getting farther and farther away from it.
"I think it's a robot," Peter breathed into Frank's ear. Frank nodded.
"Is it trying to send signals?"
"Could be."
"Why? Did it know we were coming?"
"I don't know."
The vehicle seemed satisfied with its work, and started making its way back to a large, rocky hill.
"I think we're okay now," Frank said aloud.
"Maybe," Peter said uncertainly. He started to stand up. "My legs are so tired!"
"Mine, too. They don't like being cramped up for long periods of time!" Frank stretched himself out.
"I suppose we should go back to the machine and -" Peter froze suddenly. "Down, Frank! Get down!"
The hill was moving. A large door on one side of it opened up, and another blue vehicle came out. It joined the first one, and the two of them kicked up an even bigger dust cloud as they came back to the time machine.
"Oh, great!" Frank groaned. "Now there's two of them?"
"Two? There might be more in that...hill thing," Peter said slowly. His face had turned suddenly pale, and he grasped the rocky ledge with a shaky hand.
"What is it?" Frank asked anxiously.
"Didn't you wonder why this hole here seemed so much like a window?"
"No, not really. But now that you mention it...."
"And feel this rock!" Peter interrupted.
"I have felt it. It feels like any other rock, though maybe it is a little different...." Frank's voice trailed off as he examined the rock closely. "It has a kind of metallic sort of look to it."
"I'll say! And look at that "hill" over there."
"It's metallic-like too."
"Yes, can you guess what I'm getting at?"
"Couldn't the rocks here just naturally be like this?" Frank asked, but even as he spoke, his hand started to shake.
"No, it isn't natural. As we were running here, we had to clamber over rocks. And they sounded like rocks when we walked on them. Not these." Peter demonstrated his point by stamped on the floor of the hollow. It sounded like metal.
"Great Scott!" Frank cried. "It can't be!"
"But it is," Peter shrugged. "I think we ought to leave this place as soon as we can."
"Right," Frank agreed.
"We'll have to risk those vehicles and get to the time machine."
Frank looked uncertain. "I'm not sure which is worse; being stuck on top of a metal hill that might contain robots, or-or-anything, and being stuck in a broken time machine with those same vehicle-robot things bearing down on top of you!"
"Or having your only hope of getting back home be taken away," Peter interjected. He pointed to the time machine. The robots had already started lifting it.
"No! they can't do this to us!" Frank yelled. Peter grabbed his friend as he started to run towards the robots.
"Don't be stupid! If you run down that hill side, you'll meet certain death, if not by those vehicles, than by those sharp rocks- metal things- whatever they are."
"But they can't just take it!"
"We have no choice!" Peter gripped Frank's arm tighter. "We've just got to get out of here."
"Like, how are we going to that?" Frank said sarcastically.
"We'll get of this hill for starters."
"And meet those vehicles? No thanks!"
"Silly! Not that way! We'll have to climb down the other side of this hill."
"Then we'll have to finish climbing this side first," Frank sighed. "I'm so tired already! How can we make it?"
Peter was already climbing. Frank looked one last time at the spot where the time machine had been. The machine was being carried into the small hill by the two vehicles, and Frank saw the heavy door close behind them. The time machine was gone. He had no other choice but to follow Peter.
The friends struggled up the side of the hill. The "rock" was slippery and it was getting hot. Finally Peter let out a sigh and said, "Well, we're here."
"We're where?"Frank asked. "It looks like we're nowhere!"
"We're at the top of the hill," Peter clarified. Frank gasped as he looked down on the way they had come.
"It's just one big desert!"
"I'll say. Red and orange and brown and -" Peter stopped suddenly. He had looked down the opposite side of the hill. "Great Scott!"
"What now?"
Peter could only point. Frank turned about quickly and stood speechless in horror. The other side of the "hill" was one sheer drop. And at the base of that drop was not two vehicles or even three vehicles. There were twenty!
Peter came to himself in a flash, and started running back down the way they had come, dragging Frank after him. Frank saw his friend's plan, and started running as fast as he could. He felt himself slip, and at the same time Peter yelled,
"Run the other way!"
It was too late. The two of them slid into the gaping hole that had just opened in the hill. They heard a loud click, and found themselves concealed in the black depths of the hill.

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).


Time......... (Part 1)

Peter tightened the last screw on the machine and stood up, heaving a long sigh. "That ought to do it, Frank!"
"I hope so! We've spent nine months on this thing!" Frank exclaimed. "It should work."
"If I got that chemistry equation straightened out correctly, than I'm sure it will work!" Peter said. He wiped the sweat from his forehead, and grinned at his friend. His green-gray eyes twinkled as he said, "Should we try it out now?"
"I don't know," Frank said slowly. "Are you sure it won't blow-up again?"
"Well, there's always a chance that it might, but I think we'll be okay."
"Think?" Frank stared at him in disbelief.
"Well, yeah! I mean how many other time machines have been built in all of history?"
"Like, hardly any," Frank admitted.
"None, you mean! Therefore, who knows if it actually will work?"
"You, apparently did. Otherwise you wouldn't have been so insistent that we build this thing."
"Well, I don't actually know if it would work, but I thought we have a fat chance. And I think we still have that chance. The question is, can someone survive traveling in time?"
"Yeah. In the books and things they do," Frank said.
Peter didn't reply; he was washing his greasy hands in the sink. He grab a water bottle and started climbing into the machine.
"Well, Frank? You coming along?"
"Sure, I'll come," Frank sighed. He followed his friend inside. "What will our mom's say when they find us gone?"
"It depends, do you actually leave, or does it only fell like it?"
"Oh, don't worry about it! Start 'er up," Frank said impatiently.
"Okay, seat belts!" Peter said. He strapped his on. "Should we go to the past or the future?"
"Um, will we still be alive in the future?" Frank asked suddenly.
"Great Scot! I never thought of that! In books they always are, so maybe we'll be safe."
"I sure hope so," Frank said uncertainly.
Peter jerked the lever forward. A whizz and a pop, and then....


"Wh-what happened?" It was Frank who spoke first.
"I've no clue! Whatever it was- holy smokes! The engines smoking! We got to get out of here fast!" Peter snapped off his seat belt, and unlocked the security latch on the door. He jumped out on the flat, reddish ground. He was closely followed by Frank.
"Where are we?" Frank exclaimed.
"Presumably in the future," Peter said. He picked up some of the reddish soil and sifted it through his fingers.
"We're still alive," Frank said slowly.
"Yes. But it's so quiet here!" Peter replied. "So quiet that it makes one want to whisper."
"Yes...." Frank's voice trailed off.
"What's that in the distance?" Peter said suddenly. He threw the soil away and rubbed his hands together.
"I don't know!" Frank said. It was a dust cloud, huge and menacing. It made a rumbling sound, almost like thunder, but more like the roar of an ocean. And it was coming closer!
"I don't like the look of that," Peter said backing away.
"Me neither! Let's go home!" Frank said frantically. He ran over to the machine. "Peter, it's...."
"I know. It's still smoking."
"Did it survive the time glitch?"
"It should have! It's got to have, or else-" Peter didn't finish saying what. He was running over to the machine, opening the compartment in which the engine was located. A cloud of smoke drove him back coughing.
"This is what happens when I listen to you!" Frank yelled. "You always get me stuck in trouble!"
"Hush!" Peter said. "That cloud's getting closer! maybe it'll pass us by if it doesn't know we're here. There's a big mountain there, or a rock cliff, or something. It might do for shelter."
"You mean.... The engine's broken?"
"Broken? Oh, yes. It'll never work again. Let's hope these people know how to fix time machines," Peter's voice was calm, but his heart was racing. All high school boys get into trouble one way or another. And Peter was one of those that seemed to have an endless store of mischief; always in trouble, he was, but he had always managed to get out of it in the end. This time, however, was there a way?
Peter grabbed Frank's hand and started running for the cliff. They reached it, out of breathe, and started scurrying up the jagged rock. Frank slipped suddenly and fell a short distance into a kind of crevice.
"Hey, Peter! Get down here! There's a crack in it, and I can see that dust cloud through it!"
"Coming!" Peter lowered himself down carefully, and swung in, next to his friend. They peered through the crack, and tried catching their breath.
"Peter," Frank said suddenly. "Is this even earth?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean couldn't it be a different planet?"
"Our machine wasn't built for traveling through space, though."
"No, but that reddish dust-stuff. That wasn't in your garage, was it?"
"No, but-"
"And there wasn't any rock formation either, was there?"
"No, but it could have arisen over many years," Peter said.
"How many years have we traveled then?" Frank asked with awe.
"I haven't a clue!"
"Have we already lived and died, have years fly by, and are just ghosts, spirits, you know, looking at the present?"
"I'm not a ghost!" Peter said decidedly. "I don't feel like one."
"No, but how do you know what a ghost feels like? They might feel absolutely natural, but not be to other people, you know?"
"Yes, I guess so," Peter gulped hard. "I'm not sure we should have built that machine after all, at least, not until we found out more about it."
"Yes," Frank said softly.
"Memories!" Peter said suddenly. "Can you remember lying on your deathbed?"
"No, can you?"
"No. Can ghosts remember things?"
"I don't know." Both boys were solemn as they once more looked through the crack in the stone.
"It's almost here! What is it?" Frank cried. Peter remained silent. After all what could he say?

Copyright - 9/11/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).