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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Prince builds a time machine, and sends him, Fleana, Katrina, and Marion to prehistoric times.



Mom had pretty much banned talking for a while, so I hadn’t seen any of my friends in a while. As far as I knew, they all could’ve had kids of their own by now. Once my mom let me loose, her mixture of anger and disappointment finally fading into the background of her mind, I went to see them.

I knocked on Aurora’s door but he told me Prince wasn’t home.

“He went off to the junkyard.” He told me. “Boy’s brain is making him bonkers.”

“Yeah. Trust me, sensing other people emotions isn’t making me any saner.” I told him. “My mom’s mood was like a perpetual rain cloud.”

“I bet.”

I left and gathered Katrina and Marion, and headed for the junkyard.

We scrounged through huge piles of junk, which if I’m being honest we might had a hand in making. At least the jobs of being a junk man were going to be higher here. We called Prince’s name until he finally answered.

“Over here!” He waved from an old car.

“Come on, man.” Marion told him. “We got school in a minute. The bus is going to leave. We don’t have time for this.”

“Precisely. I think I finally crack it.”

“Cracked what?” I asked.

Prince gave me a sly grin and jabbed his thumb at the car, which I realized had a strange contraption under the hood instead of an engine. “We’re going back in time.”

Katrina scowled. “You’re still on that? I told you to let it go.”


“And even if you had cracked time travel--”


“Don’t you think you’re contraptions have gotten us in enough trouble?”

I hate to admit it, but I had a feeling Katrina was right. We had been grounded two consecutive times, which was two more than I wanted. I missed a whole month of TV.

Prince took a deep breath. “First of all, you asked me to build some of those things, only my rocket got us grounded and that was because Marion didn’t put up the signs right, and second of all this is different. We have the power to cross through time and space. Any problem we cause could potentially be fixed.”

Potentially?” Katrina inquired.

“Well, I’ll have to factor in what paradox we’re running on.”

“This is crazy.” Marion said. “Let’s go before we miss the bus.”

“Come on, one test drive. If it works, we could take all the time we need.”

A small amount of time passed. I wasn’t all that thrilled about tumbling through the timeline. What if I prevent myself from being…born?

Katrina shuffled her feet. “One test drive.”

I called shotgun as we all filed into the car. Prince cranked the engine and the car began trembling and teeming with blue energy. For a second, I thought we were truly out of here, but the car stopped and exhaust began clouding the car. We jumped out before any of it could touch us.

“Well, that didn’t work.” I said. “Now before you kill us with more pollution, let’s catch the bus so that we could die at the hands of our teachers like normal students.”

This time Prince didn’t argue, but he did begin muttering about what could’ve gone wrong.





My irritation at Prince completely vanished as soon as we landed at Levels Academy, where it was essentially beat up Katrina and her friends day.

Jason and Mason, twin nerdy bullies, helped Coach Vector set up new versions of torture just for us in gym class. I’m not exaggerating here. They were out for blood, and we were pretty much a half slaughtered cow limping from a slaughter house. Kids here were always derisive of us because we had the highest level, but were also the worst students to ever set foot here. The faculty did give us “special” treatment, but what that amounted to was twice the normal work load, something Mrs. Rosethorne was gleefully on board with. Being recently experimented on also did not stop the talk about us really being science experiments all along. Trust me, it’s tough being a test tube baby.

I almost didn’t mind Prince getting back to work on the time machine. Everybody wants to feel in control of their lives and when you feel like you’re not, you’ll do anything to reassert control, even break through time and space.

It was only a matter of time before my mom sent my sister to collect me for dinner.

“Sis!” Caroline called. “It’s dinnertime!”

“Not hungry.” I told her.

“There’s got to be something wrong here.” Prince muttered.

Caroline stared at me for a minute. She took off her glasses and began cleaning them on her shirt. “You know, it’s not bad to struggle. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid or incompetent. It just means you need some time to figure it all out, and just need a little help.”

Her thoughts were genuine, but it didn’t make the pain go away.

“Your concern is appreciated.” Marion spoke up. “But it’s clear these two aren’t in the mood to talk.” He jabbed his thumb at Fleana and me. “I have no feeling in general, and this one here is trying to do the impossible.”

Prince was doing something with a screwdriver.

“Yeah, what is he doing?” Caroline asked.

I sighed. “Trying to build a time machine.”

“You know if you spent more time studying instead of these crazy pursuits, then maybe--”

“Got it!” Prince exclaimed.

The machine fired up and immediately, I regretted strapping myself into the backseat. The car began glowing bright blue, and faster than I could think, we lurched forward in a flash.


The landscape we found ourselves in was completely…well, primal would be understatement. Large trees loomed all around us, scary animals that I knew should be long dead were grazing around us, and there were landmarks that well shouldn’t have been there. Put simply, it’s really saying something when you’re in a rusty old car and it’s way too high tech for this place.

“W-where are we?” Fleana trembled, probably regretting calling shotgun.

“Hmm…” Prince scanned the area. “Big trees, prehistoric animals, no sign of any TV or electronics. We did it! We’re time travelers!”

“Great Scott!”

It would’ve been cool if a saber-tooth cat didn’t just materialized on the hood of the car, snarling at the windshield, and trying to get at us. All of us, except Marion, screamed our heads off.

“What is that?!” I panicked.

“Smilodon!” Prince explained. “Extinct over ten thousand years ago! It’s primary diet--”

“I don’t care!”

“Right, we need to get out of here!”

“Well, press the freaking button, send us back to our time dummy.” Marion told him.

“It only works on the outside.”

We derided him with a bunch of “yeahs” and “good calls”.

Suddenly, the smilodon went rigid. Its ears twitched in a certain direction and it bounded off into the woods.

We all sat in silence, too scared that the thing might come back to finish what it started.

“Go out there and turn it on.” Fleana urged Prince.

“No.” Prince told her. “What if it comes back and eats me?”

“Well, it’s something you deserve!”

Even I thought that was cold, but Fleana being Fleana immediately apologized.

“I am just scared.” She said with convincing tears.

Prince patted her wrist. “Me too.”

“Marion,” I turned my head to him. “You can’t get scared. Turn on the machine.”

But just then somebody knocked on my window, causing me to jump hard. My jaw dropped to my chest as I beheld the person knocking.

“Fleana?” I wondered.

The girl raised an eyebrow and continued knocking.

“If that’s me, then what am I doing here?” Fleana shoved me to remind me of her presence in the car.

As I peered closer to the girl’s face, I realized that it couldn’t have been my friend. Her skin was slightly darker, her hair was brown and so were her eyes, and her clothes looked like they were made of animal skin. Next to her stood almost perfect imitations of Marion, Prince, and me. If not for their darker skin, black and brown hair, dark eyes, and clothes, we could all be twins.

Fleana’s twin kept knocking.

“Well?” Fleana asked me.

“Well, what?” I jeered back.

“Aren’t you gonna answer?”

Her twin kept knocking.

“No. I’m not answering.” I told Fleana.

“You’re rude.” She said.

Her twin still knocked.

“Look we can’t do anything here.” Prince explained over the knocking. “If we screw with the past, we won’t have a future.”

“But they’ve already seen us.” Fleana pointed out. “If the timeline was really that sensitive, things would’ve already changed by now and if we’re not worried now, who cares?”

She had a point.

Fleana’s twin got impatient and slammed her fist against the window.

“I guess it couldn’t hurt. She just cracked a window.” I started to get out.

“Kat. Be careful.” Prince warned.

Our twins marveled at me as if I was a scientific marvel, which I guess I was. My counterpart, who had chestnut hair and unreadable brown eyes (traits I wish I had over my blonde hair and crystal colored eyes. I look too much like my mom), stepped toward me. She reached out her finger and touched my nose. I tried not to get irritated with that, but then I felt a current rushing throughout my body. My eyes rolled to the back of my head and I hit the floor.





Our counterparts pointed at Katrina and laughed.

The one that looked like Fleana said something in caveman.

“What did she say?” Our Fleana asked as if we knew.

“I think the closest translation is ‘sucker’.” Prince answered.

I raised my eyebrow at him.

“What? I modified my itablet to translate cavetalk. Y’know, just in case.” He tapped the screen. “I could also contact our families through the timelines. Complicated, but worth it.”

After a second of ringing, someone managed to pick up. It was Aurora. He furrowed his eyebrows. “Son? Where’ve you gone? Caroline said y’all vanished into thin air. Storm’s worried sick.” He listened to someone in the background. “Oh, and she’s wondering if Katrina’s alright.”

“Well, long story short, we’re in prehistoric time.” Prince explained. “And about Katrina…define ‘alright’.”

Aurora had to cup his ear as a loud thunderclap sounded off in the background. “At least alive.”

I spotted Kat pulling herself off the ground. Her sharp glare made prehistoric Fleana backup.

“Oh, she’s fine.” Prince told him.

“Good. Now, get your butts back here. You have school tomorrow.”

“Uh…” Prince eyed the engine. “sure…”

Prince shut down his itablet.

Fleana sat up in her seat. “You don’t know if you could get us home!”

“What?!” I dropped the apathy.

“I could!” He defended. “It depends on how bad the smilodon scraped up the engine.” He hopped out of the car.


The engine looked okay to me, but Prince groaned.

“Is all well?” I asked.

“No,” He told me. “the engine isn’t damaged too badly, but its battery is all used up. I guess it wasn’t meant to take a hard trip through the time stream. We need a strong charge.”

I was about to call Kat over, who was with Fleana trying to entertain our prehistoric selves with air and lightning spectaculars, but Prince stopped me.

“We need a huge amount of energy.” He said. “Kat has a finite amount of power, remember?”

Prehistoric us finally got bored and began chasing Fleana and Katrina around. The girls ducked inside the car, and the cavepeople started laughing at them.

“They can not be our ancestors.” Fleana glared.

Prince went over and plucked a strand of her hair, my hair, his hair, Katrina’s hair (which I’m surprised didn’t earn him an electric beatdown), and all of our prehistoric selves’ hair (which I’m only slightly less surprised they didn’t attack him). He held up his itablet and a blue light traced over the strands.

“DNA match.” He announced. “We’re all related.”

“You’re joking.” Katrina marveled.

“The scan does not lie.”

“Well, whatever, we’re kin.” Fleana waved off. “Let’s just get out of here.”

“Can’t.” I told her. “We need more power.”

Just as Katrina started rubbing her palms together, I told her. “Save your energy. We need more than that.”

“I have an idea…” Prince directed his attention to our ancestors. “Can you take us back to your village?”

Prehistoric Fleana said something, which Prince translated as “yes”

“Good. Glad I built—wait?” He turned toward her. “You can understand what I’m saying?”

She said what clearly was a yes.

“So you speak English?”


Prince ignored Katrina, Fleana, and me snickering at him. “Well, can you take us to a storm cloud, then?”

“Yes. Come.”

And they began leading the way.





The walk must’ve been the same distance as our walk from the junkyard to our apartment back in our time, which means not very far. But the forest…it freaked me out. Large animals popped out of no where, vines turned out to be snakes, ants the size of my big toe marched pass our feet in herds. I didn’t know how our ancestors did it, barefooted no less.

Squag!” Fleana’s ancestor bellowed.

“Bird?” My itablet translated. “What the--”

We just managed to scatter as the biggest bird I had ever seen swooped down and snatched some coyote.

“I hate it here!” Fleana yelled.

“Calm down, dear.” Cloud said on the other line. In Katrina’s hands, the itablet could be powered forever. “You’ll be home soon.”

Fleana gave her mother an uncharacteristic look. “Well, you’re not the one whose in danger of getting eaten by monsters!”

A hand clamped down on my shoulder. I turned and found…

“Nathan?” I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Bro!” My brother shouted over the itablet. “I’m in the present, remember? Plus, since when do I have black hair and that dark of skin?”

Prehistoric Nathan had friends, and it’s really eerie how much they looked like my friends’ siblings.

My prehistoric brother growled at me. “You’re supposed to watch sheep. I had kill twenty squags!”

“I think you have me confused with someone else.” I told him.

“We legend now—Wha?!”

“Yeah, I think the ones you’re looking for are in those bushes.” Katrina pointed to the bushes where our ancestors hid smiling at us.

“Lazy.” Prehistoric Caroline snarled.

“Yeah, so--”

Prehistoric Caroline pointed her spear at Katrina’s neck, and the other three followed her example.

“Safe! Safe!” Fleana’s ancestor chanted.

“Don’t know who they are.” Prehistoric Susan dug her spear deeper into our Fleana’s throat. “Intruders.”

“Want mom!” Katrina’s ancestor screeched. “Need help.”

Prehistoric Caroline cackled and they all lowered their spears to let us by. Somehow I got the feeling she was expecting her mother to kill us.

“She is.” Fleana whispered to me later.

I gotta tell you, the village was more sophisticated than I thought. Adobe houses loomed large, and were detailed with cave paintings of livestock. I saw the building that occupied the space where our apartment would stand. It was basically a freaking castle.

“Home.” My ancestor told me and pointed at Marion’s twin. “Father built for community.”

I noticed a sort of pulley system drawing water from a river, where it was promptly carried over to a bonfire. Next to the fire, women were plucking huge birds like the one that attacked us earlier.

“The tribe will eat well tonight.” Prehistoric Susan puffed out her chest.

“I bet.” I said under my breath.

The livestock were neatly organized by well placed fences, though a lot of cows, pigs, and I think bison were lying around as bloody carcasses. Judging from the claw marks, my prehistoric brother’s comments, and vicious looks being thrown at my ancestor, I assumed they came from the giant bird attacks.

“Geez, it looks like your ancestors are even bigger screw ups than you guys are.” I heard present day Susan remarked. Her prehistoric self grunted in agreement.

If our prehistoric selves cared about what she said, they didn’t show it. They were too busy playing with the bison. By jabbing them in the butts with spears. Before the bison could turn around and go on a rampage, prehistoric Matthew snatched their spears away. He jabbed his finger at the walls of the buildings and said something in caveman.

Our ancestors went to pull out some utensils from a nearby boxes, and began drawing animals on the walls.

“Wait.” Katrina raised an eyebrow. “They drew these?”

“Yea,” Prehistoric Matthew frowned at the bird picture they drew. “those bumps make good paintings, but every once in a while, they leave paintings on the walls. To taunt people. But today is the day!” He summoned a big ball of fire in his hand and started chasing them. “Hey! Get back here!”

Prehistoric Caroline sighed. “He never catches them.” Then she gave us her attention again. “Stay. Mother will be here soon.”

“So what’s the deal with this place?” Fleana asked. “From the look of things, your mother must be very important.”

She couldn’t fool me. I knew good and well that she used her empathy to sense the general opinion of the family from the people here.

“She matriarch.” Prehistoric Sue explained. “with my mom. They are ones who bring rain.”

“My father is one of two patriarchs.” My prehistoric brother added. “They look after village. They are powerful. Us children protect the village when they gone.”

“They kind enough to raise us when we had no family.” Prehistoric Caroline said. “We owe them our life.”

“Good parents wouldn’t ask children to owe them their life.” Katrina said.

I think that was the first time in any age that Katrina managed to get Caroline to clam up.

There was a moment of silence that didn’t break Fleana’s ancestor tugged my sleeve.

“This not skin.” She said. “What this?”

“A special cotton fiber blend.” I told her.

Her eyebrows bunched together. If I didn’t do something fast, her head was going to explode.

“So…” I thought. “You paint?”

She giggled. “Paint fun. Make people mad and they clean walls.”

“So, what was thought to be the earliest form of communication and artistry was really graffiti?”



Suddenly, the wind picked up. There was a faint sound of thunder in the distance. The people fled into the buildings, except for our ancestors and their siblings.

Emerging from the woods were two beautiful women and two handsome men, all bearing some resemblance to our ancestors. They all trained their eyes on our prehistoric selves, who were for the first time trembling.

“Father.” My twin whispered.

“Mad.” Katrina’s prehistoric self agreed.

Fleana widened her eyes. “Mom. I think that’s your ancestor.”

“That would make her your ancestor too.” Cloud pointed out.

“Oh. That’s right.”

“Just now getting it.” Susan snarked.

Cloud’s/Fleana’s ancestor focused her gaze on Fleana, Katrina, Marion, and me. She narrowed her eyes, but she didn’t look threatened. More like she had trouble seeing us clearly.

“My prehistoric father yelled something in caveman at my twin, probably grounding him for all the dead livestock.

Cloud’s prehistoric self pointed at the four of us and said something to her daughter.

“Friends. Family.” Her daughter answered, clutching her palm to her chest.

Immediately, her mother’s face slackened. She turned back toward us and cleared her throat.

“I didn’t realize,” She said. “are you from overseas? I could tell your clothing is not from around here and neither is your language.”

After snapping out of my shock from how well she spoke English, I said. “Sort of.”

“Are you joking?!” Katrina shouted.

She and her prehistoric self were looking at some pictures on the itablet.

“You painted that?!” She exclaimed.

“What?” I asked.

Katrina showed me the picture of a cave painting where a bunch of bulls, sheep, rams, and other livestock were converging together. The painting on the itablet looked very old, but prehistoric Cloud didn’t seem to notice.

“That old painting.” She sighed. “My daughter and the other three made that when we left for overseas. We were banished for damaging sacred stone. We then moved and started a tribe here.”

“Is that…” It finally dawned on me. “That’s the Corridor of the Cattle.”

“Okay, so I get that you guys are into the whole art thing,” Susan began. “but do you mind filling us uncultured folk in on the details here.”

“The Corridor of the Cattle is the most detailed cave painting ever discovered. It provided the greatest interpretation of what life was like in the prehistoric era, which means…Hey! That museum owes our families money!”

“Son.” My dad called.

“Or whoever. Anyway, twenty-five percent should be split evenly among us.”


“I mean the total of the that thing has got to be around--”

“Son! We don’t have time for this.”

“Right.” I made a we’ll talk about this later gesture.

Then a familiar roar echoed from the woods. I put my defenses as a smilodon leapt from the woods charged towards me, and then…began licking prehistoric Cloud’s face.

“Sabooth!” She petted the creature. “Were you hungry, again?”

It was totally the same one from before. Let’s just say when you get a close up view, you’d notice a few markings like that collar on its neck.

“Yeah, and we were on its menu.” I said.

Prehistoric Cloud looked at me with embarrassment. “Did he try to eat you? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have left the cat out. He doesn’t take kindly to strangers.”

The smilodon yowled as if to say Yeah, stranger.

“Whatever.” Marion interjected. “Look we need a storm cloud to help take us home.”

Marion’s prehistoric father looked at him. “Why?”


“Because this.” I pointed at our time machine.

“What is it?” My prehistoric father asked.

“That’s the ship we rode in on.” Fleana answered.

“Doesn’t look like it would float.” Storm’s prehistoric self stated, holding her two daughters tightly.

“Oh, it floats alright.” Katrina got in the back seat and pointed at the engine. “So just blast the thing right there and we’ll be on our way.”

“But that’ll sink the ship. And you’ll get hurt.”

“No, it won’t trust me.”

Storm’s ancestor looked hesitant, but she did what we asked. She raised her palm and a flash of light struck the engine, and another light sent us barreling into the timeline.


I would like to say we landed safely at home, where Storm awaited us with her famous pot roast, but we didn’t. All we got was sand and a few angry people in skirts, make up, and jagged spears.

“Where are we now?” Fleana put up her hands like the rest of us.

I sighed. “Ancient Egypt.”

Submitted: October 31, 2015

© Copyright 2020 xfmcdougle. All rights reserved.

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