The Time Machine

The year: A.D. 5097. The place: Mars. Man has been able to live on other planets for at least fifty years. Time travel is as common as going to Bognor Regis for a holiday. All the history books have been corrected. A child could be born in one year, and have his first birthday five years before he was born. Mars has buildings on it that could be described as travel agents, only to a different time.

One such place has an old-fashioned sign (neon lights) which reads ‘Henry Crun Limited. Takes you wherever you want to go, whenever you want to go!’ Inside there is a desk and some chairs and two more doors, one labelled ‘Gents’ and the other ‘Ladies’, but they aren’t what they seem.

Henry Crun Limited had opened last week and has not had any customers. The proprietor, Henry Crun, has one helper, Miss Minerva Bannister (Minnie for short). They were both old, but Minnie was very with-it and liked the new style of music, Gaflumfle!

On this particular day they were in luck. Nedward (Neddie) Seagoon and his friend, ‘Mad Dan’ Eccles, wanted to go hunting big game, but all the other firms had been booked. They entered the shop and buzzed the buzzer. From behind the desk arose Crun, his spectacles hanging from one ear, and behind him arose Minnie. “Oh. I hope I didn’t disturb you,” said Neddie.

“Oh no. We were just looking for a pencil that I’d dropped,” said Henry.

“Oh, well, anyway. Me and my friend, Eccles, wish to go big-game hunting,” said Neddie.

“Manchester United are at home today,” said Minnie.

“Not that kind of game. Something a bit gentler, like dinosaurs!” said Neddie.

“I see. Well.. er.. just look at this catalogue, it will help you I’m sure… er… I didn’t catch your name,” said Henry, enquiringly.

“I didn’t throw it, but if you insist, it’s Neddie Seagoon.”

“Thank you. And yours, sir,” asked Crun.

“Um, you’re asking hard questions. I, er, um, wait a minute, it’s here in my coat… Saint Michael. not that ain’t right… er… um let me see…” Eccles said.

“Er Neddie, perhaps you know?” whispered Crun.

“Yes, it’s Mad Dan Eccles,” whispered Neddie.

“Thank you,” whispered Crun. “Right, I’ve written your names down. Follow me, please.” Crun continued in his normal voice.

Crun led them to the door labelled ‘Gents’ and proceeded to press some buttons next to the door. “If you would… er… care to step inside,” said Crun to Neddie and Eccles. They did so and found themselves in a dense jungle. Crun was still with them, and so was Minnie. “Follow me and I will show you to your er… guns and er… transport,” Crun said. “Are you coming too, Min?”

“It’s about time she came to. She ain’t said much so far,” Eccles said, laughing.

Crun led them to a wooden shack and got out two elephant guns and a tandem.

“Haven’t you got something a little more up-to-date?” asked Neddie.

“Sorry, but we’ve only just opened up.”

“In that case, these will have to do.”

“Are you coming or not, Neddie?” asked Eccles. “I’m already on board,” he added.

“Oh, sorry.”

Crun and Minnie left to go back to their own time and Eccles and Neddie went off in search of dinosaurs. Eccles, who was on the front saw one first, and he jumped off and grabbed his gun. Neddie lost control and banged into a tree, and down from the tree dropped two ape-like creatures.

“Who are you? Man hasn’t been invented yet,” Neddie stated.

“I know,” said one. “My companion, Count Jim ‘Spring-Knees’ Moriarty, and I have been stranded here for some years now, when our time machine broke down.”

“Oh, I see. And what do you need to fix it?”

“Two bicycle wheels. Just what you have, isn’t it?”

“Yes. What? No! You can’t… I mean… Why? What for?” said Neddie.

But nothing he could do or say could prevent these two devious characters from attempting to steal the tandem’s tyres.

Meanwhile, Eccles had been stalking a dinosaur and he was aiming at it, unfortunately he was holding the gun the wrong way round and when he fired, the bullet went in the direction of the two creatures pinching the tandem’s wheels. The bullet ricocheted off the bike and hit a tree.

“Owww, that was close, Grytpype, ” said the creature named Moriarty. “Let’s get them!”

But Neddie was too quick for them and he mounted the bike and pedalled away, leaving Eccles alone, but as Moriarty and Grytpype advanced to him, they stopped then turned and ran away.

“Hah! I guess I frightened them. Well, I must get back,” said Eccles and he walked off in the direction of Neddie’s squeaking bike.

What had frightened those others away was a giant Flamboozle!* (*They became extinct early.) It followed Eccles back to the shack where the bike and Neddie’s gun was. “Oh! I wonder where Ned is?” Eccles asked himself. He walked along the path to where he had first appeared and stepped through, but not to his time, but to nineteen-fifty-seven, and, of course, he was followed by the giant Flamboozle.

“Rattle me gronkers, what’s this? Where’s me old military encyclopedia? Hmmmpf, not in,” said a man with a military bearing, (which he tossed into the air and caught).

“Er, is this Henry Crun’s office?” enquired Eccles.

“No, most certainly not. I am Major Denis Bloodnok. Take your friend and get out of here!”

“Uh what friend?” said Eccles, turning round and seeing for the first time the giant Flamboozle. “Oh oh ooooooo!” he exclaimed and ran between the giant Flamboozle’s legs and dived through the door which he had come through. He fell with a thud in Crun’s office.

“Ah, there you are ‘Mad Dan’, we were getting pleased you hadn’t turned up, buddy!” exclaimed Minnie.

“Yes,” agreed Henry. “We were just going to call up the ace cardboard detective.”

“You mean my friend Bluebottle?” said Eccles.

“Come Eccles, we must go. Time is catching us up,” said Neddie and they departed.

{It goes on. Sorry! I could have written more but I managed to restrain myself}

(c) M. Robert Gibson
First written 1976-12-14
School exercise.
Don’t forget, it was written by a schoolboy.
It is published here for purely selfish vanity reasons.