Tick Tock Outta Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Boy travels through time but things go wrong.

Submitted: November 01, 2015

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Submitted: November 01, 2015

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Jack returned to his quiet home after a hard day’s work at school. Even though he loved going to school, his work had begun piling up. His free time was limited due to his participation in the school’s award winning marching band. With his parents constantly on top of him, Jack considered quitting the thing he loved most to please his parents and improve his grades. He loved marching band and his friends within the organization, but he could see no way around it. He had to do something soon if he wanted to continue the rest of the season.

The next morning when his alarm went off, Jack ran to the dining room to greet his family for breakfast. While waiting on his food, Jack grabbed the newspaper and discovered an ad from NASA. “Test subject needed for a revolutionary new device… allows the user to control time… if interested please send a letter explaining why you would be the best candidate…” Jack knew he had to have that device. It was the answer to his prayers. He immediately began brainstorming on the letter, but he would have to wait and write it after school. He loaded into his Mom’s car, head full of ideas, and traveled to his school excitedly.

The school day felt as if it would last forever. Seconds turned to minutes, minutes into hours. Jack stared at the clock eagerly waiting for the dismissal bell to seventh mod. Once he got to band, he would be one step closer to going home, but he still had the four hour practice to go through. To Jack, band always seemed to go by too fast.

“Ding, Ding, Ding!” The bell finally rand and Jack took off towards his second home. The bandroom was always packed and buzzing with students. It seemed to be everyone’s favorite class. Jack quickly got out his instrument, the trumpet, and headed out to the field with the rest of the band members. Once there, he proceeded to stretch and prepare for another hard day of practice. The band “squeaked” and “Squawked” like they always did at the beginning of the year, but it was slowly getting better. By September, the band would be back to where it once was or even better than the years past.

Jack tried to concentrate, but all he could think about was the ad in the paper and what he was going to write in his letter. He’d have to come up with something outstanding and creative in order to be picked. It was a longshot, but he felt he would be chosen for the position. He’d explain his situation, of course over exaggerating a little, to NASA. Hopefully they would feel sorry for him and pick him out of sympathy.

Finally, the band director called the band to attention. It was time to go home. The drum majors dismissed the band and Jack took off to meet his Mom in the crowded  parking lot. Sure he had a ton of homework to do, but if he gets chosen, he would have all the time in the world time to do it. The letter was more important to him at this point then his school work assigned. Once home, Jack ran to his room and began to write everything he had come up with over the course of the day. Finally, he sealed the envelope and sent it off to NASA; his fate, and grades, lied in their hands now.

A week later and Jack is still struggling in school. His parents are continuously furious. He began to think that NASA did not choose him. He decided to check his beaten up mailbox one last time before he would give up all hope. As Jack stumbled out the front door, a beat-up old  mail truck pulled up to his house. A man stepped out holding a small package, but he did not look like an ordinary mailman. Jack was sure mailmen did not wear white lab coats and carry an official badges. The man presented the package and a clipboard to Jack. Jack signed the paper then ran back inside excitedly with his package, beginning to forget about the strange mailman. Carefully cutting away the tape, Jack opened the small cardboard box. A letter sat on top of a smaller metal box.

“Dear Jack,

You have been chosen to participate in the experiment. Inside you will find the time controller. There are rules to go along with the device, very important rules. 1) Do not go back further than six weeks. We do not want to mess with history. 2) Do not use for the wrong purposes. Only use it for what you have told us in your letter. 3) Do not let it fall into someone else’s hands. We chose you for a reason and do not wish for anyone else to use this technology. Just follow the instructions contained within the metal box. Good luck! We trust you to make the right choices.”

Jack was ecstatic; he could finally fix his grades and make his parents proud. He carefully took out the shiny metal box and laid it on his bed. It was smaller than he expected. He opened the box to find an even smaller device. It was a small metal bracelet; it did not look like anything out of the ordinary. He found the untouched instruction manual and began to read. He would fix everything by tomorrow night.

After further reading, Jack began to think more about his decision. Time traveling was extremely dangerous according to the manual. Was fixing his grades worth the risk he was taking? The manual said that he could mess up time and space or even cause a giant black hole that would destroy the Earth. He had the potential threat of changing too many things and effecting people more than himself. He began to regret his decision and placed the bracelet back into the metal box. If he was going to do this, he needed  more reassurance.

Jack walked back into the living room where he found his Mother. She was sitting on the torn couch glaring at a recent crumbled up note Jack had brought home from school. When she noticed Jack she put down the note and glared at him instead. He knew what she was thinking, but did not want to even think about the possibility that she could pull him out if band anytime she wanted to. His Father entered the room and things began to get heated. His Dad began listing reasons why he needed to quit his favorite hobby and how he was disappointed in Jack for not doing it sooner. He continues on by saying if he had done better in school and done better with his work, then they may have considered letting him continue on, but since Jack had not even tried to do the work, which was a false statement, then actions had to be taken. Jack had until the end of the week, four days, to show an improvement before his parents took him out of band.

Jack was angry. He did try to do the work. He did put effort into it when he tried, but he did not have anytime and teachers would constantly assign him work. The teachers knew the students in band had no time, but they still expect them to do it at a quality level and get sleep. Most students have to stay up all night to do the work, and then the teachers ask why they cannot focus in class or why the work does not live up to their expectations. Jack had made his decision. He was not just going to fix his own grades, but he was going to make it so that all the band members had more free time.

Jack stormed back to his room and reopened the metallic box. He placed the bracelet onto his wrist and reread some of the instructions. After setting the dial back six weeks, the beginning of the school year, he pressed a small button on the side of the bracelet. Due to waking up late, Jack did not get to go to the first day of school, but now he had to power to go back and start off the year on the right foot. Suddenly, a purplish time vortex formed around him, then POOF, it all disappeared. He was still standing in his room next to his sleeping self, but something felt different. He traveled back to the living room to find no one there. He once again stumbled out the front door to find a small red envelope peeking from under the door mat.

“Dear Jack,

We knew you would come here first. It’s the first day of school. No worries you have plenty of time to get there. An hour to be exact. The bus will arrive in forty minutes. Did you read the entire manual? I hope so. It will help with your overall goal.”

Jack did not know the name of his new ally, but he had a feeling there would be more letters to come. There was a section Jack skimmed over in the manual. Maybe that is what Jack’s newly found friend had meant. It was about a pause button. It allowed him to continue on, but it stopped all time around him. The only downside is he would continue to age, while everyone else and the word remained frozen.

Jack made his way to the bus stop like he had the first time, but this time he was more prepare. When the bus arrived he climbed on and found one of his best friends to sit next to. While the bus made its way slowly to the school, Jack pondered on ideas of how to achieve his goal. He had to somehow make it so that band student had more time to complete assignments, or make a way so that the assignments were not given in the first place.

The school was busy as usual. Jack arrived in his homeroom and his teacher handed him his all too familiar schedule. The teacher went over all the papers that needed to be signed and returned, which Jack did not do in the first place. He made it a goal of his to get those in by tomorrow. The bell rang to rebegin his first day of school. By sixth mod Jack was tired and ready for band as always. When the bell rang, he did his normal route to the bandroom, but stopped when he noticed another red envelope sticking out behind the water fountain.

“Dear Jack,

Before you go in, remember why you are here in the first place. You do not want to start off on a bad foot. Here is your first sept towards your goal. Tell the director about assignments and time.”

At the end of practice Jack did just that. He asked how school work and band would mix. The director told him he had a good point and made the decision to end practice thirty minutes early so that way class work can be done. Jack was grateful for his friend’s letter, otherwise he would have never thought to ask.

On his way home, he heard one of the worst sounds that he could have ever imagined. His bracelet started emitting a sound that was like and alarm of some sort. He remembered the manual. It said if an alarm sounded he had changed the future of many lives. Changing that many time streams at once increased the risk of tearing a hole in the fabric of time and space. He looked down at the bracelet to see a tiny  blinking red light; a red light meant high risk. His biggest fear had been realized when he looked up at the sky. A giant purple swirling cloud started to form. All he did was get time off of practice. He was confused on why that had caused a problem. Jack started to panic. He set his dial back five minutes and pressed the button, nothing happened, but the beeping stopped. Then he set the dial to the morning after he received the package and pressed the button. The vortex once again consumed him, but then it disappeared as fast as it came. Jack stood ten feet from his home in darkness. He took off towards his home to check on his family. At the doorstep was another letter.

"Dear Jack,

Do not worry. The tear was fixed when you went back, then forward in time. The time off practice still stands. Congratulations! Your first step in completing your goal. You are almost there!”

Jack decided he probably needed to focus more on his life. Once inside and in his room, he paused time. He sat at his oak desk with pencil in hand and started on all of his work. When he had completed an assignment he would go to the point in time where it was due and turn it in. With each assignment bringing a different time he used the bracelet to its fullest. When Jack had just written his last paper, he decided to unpause time. After a while his Mother entered the room.

She hugged Jack and told her how proud she is of him. The note she had previously been disappointed in him with was now a note of praise. Jack was proud of himself too, but without the help of the letters he would have never finished his quest. He opened his desk drawer to place the final letter inside, but froze after he saw what was inside. Small red envelopes were scattered all about inside. They were once used to house his birthday invitations, but they were the same size and color of those left for him. He glanced outside to see the sky swirling with purple. He came to the realization that he had left all those letters for himself.

Jack knew what he had to do. In order to insure that his changes stayed in place he would have to leave notes to himself. Then the balance in the time stream should be restored. He quickly wrote the letters copying word for word from the others. Then he set his dial back to two minutes before his first travel and pressed the button. The time vortex consumed him. When he arrived the sky had turned purple and the wind had picked up. Time was falling apart, but he had to push through. He placed the first envelope then reset the dial to later that day two minutes before seventh mod’s bell and pressed the button. The vortex once again consumed him

The hallway was dark and dead silent. Jack placed the second envelope at the grimy water fountain. That letter was the most important, that one had to be found. Once again he reset the dial and pressed the button, but no vortex. He pressed it again, no vortex. Jack panicked and began to wonder if he was too late. He ran outside and observed the sky, pitch black. His bracelet alarm began to sound.

A figure approached him from the distance. He was wearing a white lab coat and a badge. The same man who delivered the package only he too was wearing a time bracelet. He removed the bracelet from Jack’s arm and replaced it with his own.

 “Don’t worry, I know what to do.” He told Jack. The man took Jack’s last envelope, then reached over and pressed the side button on the new bracelet. The time vortex surrounded Jack.

Jack woke up in his bed as if nothing happened. Everything was back to normal. Jack greeted his family in the living room. Both parents were smiling. Jack got to stay in band and he had time to do his work. Life was all happy. When Jack got older he got a job working at NASA, never forgetting his experience with time travel. By the age of twenty-five, NASA made him a time agent due to his past experiences.

Three years later, Jack was asked to go back in time for a mission. Before he left he was given a familiar box. His boss handed him a bracelet and told him when he was ready to press the button. Which Jack did. The familiar vortex took him to n old beat up mail truck, like the one he saw all those years ago. When he entered the divers seat there was an address written on a sticky note for where to deliver the package. When he arrived at the address, a small eager boy stumbled out the front door to greet him. He handed the small boy the package and the clipboard for him to sign. The boy then ran quickly back inside the house with a huge smile on his face.

Jack stood staring at his childhood home remembering back to when he received the package, remembering back to the mailman in the white lab coat and the badge who not only delivered the package but also came save his life. Jack knew when the time came, he would once again have to be brave and clean up the mess that he had once created.


© Copyright 2017 Moonlight14. All rights reserved.

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