“Alright, just a few more tweaks, and done,” Lucius said to himself. He was only ten and already he had built his first time machine. He was only slightly above most kids his age, (most kids only built their first one at 12), and he was always told by his parents how proud they were of him. Despite their constant praise, Lucius felt that he wasn’t worthy of it. Because of this, he was going to go on his first time journey and he was going to go back to 2010. Once there, he had planned to find something his parents always believed to be lost. He’d planned to get his great-great-great ancestors’ one of a kind sunglasses. Since the rules of time travel clearly state that you cannot interact with your ancestors, the sunglasses had always been lost to them…until now. He had worked out exactly where and when to find it, so that it wasn’t in his ancestors’ possession.
He hopped into the time machine, closed the hood, set his dial for Savannah Beach, 2010 and turned the key in the ignition. He was ready to be the family hero. Everything began to spin around him. Each color began to blend into the next. He got dizzy. He thought he might puke up his canned CloneBurger© lunch, but before he could, he’d stopped. He saw air bubbles all around him, and he was exactly where he’d planned to land. He changed into his beach wear; a simple pair of black swimming trunks. He examined himself in the tiny mirror he had installed in the machine.
“Don’t I look dapper!” he said as he ruffled his blonde hair up a bit. He placed the time machine on lock down and ejected himself into the water. It was colder than he’d expected. Definitely something that wasn’t characteristic of 2010. He began to worry. Was this really the right place? Maybe it was just one of those days in 2010? What if he wound up on the wrong date? He thought of all the possibilities but, upon breaking the surface of the water and wiping his eyes out, it seemed that his assumptions were all wrong. It wasn’t just the wrong date. It was the wrong time period. It was the era of Rock n’ Roll, The Time of Bebop. By Golly, it was the 50s. It was then that he understood why President Lin opposed child time travel.
He floated at the top of the water for a moment, and considered his options. He could always break the rules and just steal them from his ancestors…of course he didn’t know what consequences would befall him if he did; and he didn’t necessarily want to know. He couldn’t turn around though, even if he wanted to. The time machine was on lockdown for the next 3 hours. He had to do something though. He couldn’t just stay in the water for the next 3 hours.
He stepped onto the soft sand, and that’s when he saw her. It was his great-great-great-great-grandmother and her sister. This was bad. His heart began to race; his eyes darted from side to side. She couldn’t see him! He watched them from afar at first. They then turned to take a photo. He saw his opportunity and ran for it. Just as he crossed behind them the camera snapped; and his heart sank. He knew he had just done the worst thing any time-traveler could do. He’d gotten captured in a photo. Granted, this was the fifties, and blur reduction hadn’t yet been perfected. He had to steal that camera before his time machines’ lockdown mode was done. He had to get it or else the future could be ruined.
He sat down in the sand, far out of the line of sight of his ancestor. He knew he must look strange to the other people on the beach, sitting there with his head in his hands while everyone else was out in the sand frolicking about. It was then that the idea struck him. If he ran fast enough he could yank the camera out of his ancestors’ hands and swim right back to his time machine. He had to have just enough time to get out of there. So he waited….an hour passed, two; then finally he had ten minutes to do what he had to do. She was still there sitting on a beach towel with her sister, they were seemingly having a lovely time and he was going to ruin it. They stood up off of their beach towels and began to prepare to leave. He darted towards them. She grabbed the towels, the camera and her sunglasses. His feet continued splashing against the sand. Suddenly, he was only feet from them. He eyed the camera in her hands and proceeded to grab it. But something unexpected happened. She held on to it firmly.
In a fit of what could be described as fear and anger, he placed his hands on her stomach and pushed her down, then he sped off towards the sea. He gave one last glance backward before he jumped into the water and that’s when he saw several people crowded around her. She was clutching her stomach and there was blood in the sand. He was only ten, but he knew what a terrible mistake he’d made. He looked down at his hands and they began to fade. He could see the grains of sand through them. The camera fell to the ground, and his heart beat slowed. The more blood that leaked out of his great-great-great-great grandmother the more he began to fade. The mistake he made had cost him his life. And there was nothing he could do to stop it. He was only ten, but the choices he made would resonate throughout the future; erasing not only him, but his mother who had been so proud of him. His emotions ran like wildfire. He was scared, then angry at himself, then he accepted his fate.