Time Machine

Hebron Academy Middle School Writing Contest Winner             

By Jenni Flynn ’25

Footsteps. Dry, clicking footsteps and a rough voice. Sweat clung to me like a second skin, fear spiked through my body. The closet reeked of cleaning chemicals and wet mops.  Who am I? I am Samantha Stone. Why am I hiding in a janitor’s closet? Well, let’s just say I messed up the plan of an evil mastermind. They didn’t think a teenager would interfere.  Where am I? Mercury Headquarters. East Wing. I stole back the largest diamond from under Mercury Headquarters security guards’ noses. Scarlett Mercury is the brains behind this place. It was named after her because of how sneaky and deceiving she is. She has pulled off so many bank robberies, it is rumored she’s been thieving her whole life. She is the number one most wanted, and most dangerous mastermind you will ever find. I slowly opened the plaster white door. It made a soft creek. I tensed immediately, one foot hovering out the door. After holding my breath for a count of ten seconds I gingerly continued to open the door. Suddenly I found myself falling. I misjudged the step! Down I fell, my only thought was ‘this is over, this is over, over this is.’ I hit the ground with a loud thud, the sound echoing through the narrow hallway. The diamond fell out of my bag with a soft tinkle, stopping  a foot away. Pain bolted through my body, I might as well have been hit by lightning. Groaning, I pulled myself up, wincing as daggers of pain prickled through my body. I looked up, into the face of one of Mercury’s guards. Bob, I had named him, looked furious! I’m surprised he still managed to keep up with me. Bob had a very round face and black beady eyes. Bald he was, I could clearly see the sweat that was pouring off him in waves of stench. He loomed over me, heavily panting. Well, I can’t wait for him! “ Bye Bob” With that, I grabbed the sparkling diamond and started sprinting down the dark hallway towards the only door left. I crashed into it, fumbling with the handle. Glancing behind me, I saw Bob catching up, lumbering pretty fast, pretty fast for a person of his size. Finally, the frustratingly resilient door popped open with a soft click. I rushed into the room, stumbling over my feet in the rush. White steam poured out of the room in a soft whoosh. I squinted, this fog wasn’t helping. Beeps, whirls and cracks could be heard. This seriously reminds me of Darth Vader when he is about to make an entrance and seemingly kill everybody, the dark smoke, how it clears as a black robotic figure emerges out of  the clouds…, STOP Bob is coming! Spotting a door in the far corner of the of the mistly room, I bolted towards it but screeched to a stop as I say the label of the door; TIME MACHINE. ONE WAY ONLY. POSSIBILITY OF COMING BACK VARIES. Ohh, I could go one way, to the past or the future. No, no, no! I began to panic, tears blurring my vision. I can’t do this, what about mom, little Johnny, my family?! My friends, my life!? I possibly could never come back to this year. How co- “ Crash!” The defending sound forced me to cover my ears. I whipped around, dread filling my body. Bob glared back at me. Abruptly, he started running for me, his thick hands out, his face cherry red.  I don’t have a choice anymore. Frantically I ran to the door. There were two glowing buttons: PAST and FUTURE. Taking a deep, shaky breath, I pushed the future button. Instantly, the door yielded to my pull. Glancing back, I saw Bob still chasing me, he was close. There was no backing out of this now, With that, I jumped through the pearly white mist. It was like trying to walk on  air, feeling your stomach drop on a huge ride. I squeezed my eyes tighter than they already were, hoping, praying it will end. Then, thankfully, it did. I fell, hard, on a smooth tile surface. Opening my eyes, I glanced around. This place was familiar. Glass walls that shone with red lights from within tall arching ceilings. This is like Mercury Headquarters! Then it hit me. Mercury Headquarters. The time machine. Me hitting  the future button. Mercury Headquarters still existed in the future! Oh my gosh, I need to get out of here! Spinning around, I quickly looked for the nearest exit. If they caught me here, I may be dead. I would be giving Mercury Headquarters the diamond I worked so hard to steal back. Yes!, east wing exist. Snatching my bag off the floor, I ran down the dim hallway, my light footsteps the only sounds I could hear I was so close, so close, I was almost there. YES! I swirled into the exit, only to run into something. No, someone.I looked up, once again, to see the  pudgy face of Bob again. Oh no, no no NO! I turned around, there must be another way! There must be! But, before I could bolt, a voice filled the the air. “ You thought you could run from me?  The voice inquired. I froze. Nobody had to turn round to know who the voice belonged to. My blood turned to ice. Scarlett Mercury.  I finally forced myself to turn around; and there she was. Scarlett Mercury herself. She was a tall, thin figure with cascading, glossy hair. She was wearing a red, silk cocktail dress with a silver belt around her waist, and silver Angel wings heels. She looked stunning. Scarlett smirked softly at me. “ When you are done staring  at me, I would like the diamond” she said slyly. I froze. Fear immobilized me, I don’t know what to do. I could make a run for it though… As if sensing my thoughts, Scarlett snapped her fingers and Bob roughly grabbed me, twisting my arms behind my back. I kicked him frantically, struggling to break out of his grip. He had gotten stronger since the year 2018. Scarlet smiled at my efforts to escape. She leaned over and plucked the diamond from my bag. She stood there, admiring it with a triumphant smile on her face. “ How did I get here?” I asked. Scarlett looked up. “ Oh sweetie, you took a time machine. One that Ibuilt.” she said “ You know, when you go into time machines I, Scarlett Mercury make, there is always a hook, a snag, a catch.” Scarlett said dramatically, twirling her hair on a long, thin finger. “I sent you into a time loop.” Slick is seriously an understatement. If I live through this, I am so going to write a book about her. Scarlett glared at me menacingly. “I knew you would find my trap. I knew you would fall for it. And I knew I would get  my diamond” She finished, looking very bored. “ Now, I don’t have time to waste. I need to steal Cleopatra’s crown. I have a deadline! Hit it Bob!” She snapped her fingers and Cardi B’s song ‘Money’ rang through invisible speakers. Scarlett twirled around, dancing to the music. “Come along now.” she said gesturing to Bob. Bob shoved me forwards, forcing me to walk behind Scarlett her. Tears welled up in my eyes. No, I’m not gonna cry. I’m not gonna cry.  “ Why are you doing this and who are you?” I asked. Though I willed my voice to be strong, it broke at the very end. Scarlett twirled around. “ Who am I?” she asked, green eyes boring into me. “ I am Scarlet Mercury.” “ You won’t get away with this Scarlet Red Mercury!” I yelled after her. “ Ooh, not the full name, it’s momfor you. Yes, I like that muchbetter.” Scarlett  haughtily tossed her hair over her shoulder. With that, she spun back around,  regal authority in the air around her. Scarlet Mercury. My mom?!

2060 – The Year I Lost My Identity

Hebron Academy Writing Contest Winner

By Katherine Ducharme ’21

Imagine waking up one day and realizing your identity has completely changed. You are still yourself and can still identify with your given name, but the only issue is none of that matters anymore. The year is 2060. Just yesterday you were living your mundane life without a care in the world. However, waking up this morning you realize that nothing is the same. Everything you have feared has come true and there is nothing you can do to stop it. This is exactly how I felt on the morning of February 20th, 2060.

The one part of yourself that you have kept a secret from all of those around you is finally released into the world. Your DNA. It no longer matters what you have been eating or how much you exercise every day, the only thing that matters now is your genetic code. The government announced the “Genetic Coding Program” early this morning on the news and has ordered mandatory testing for everyone to go to the nearest Coding Station. President Patricia Locust gave her address this morning and issued a National Holiday, so that everyone may be excused from work to go get tested. I am extremely petrified to go and get tested because I already know what the results will be. I wish I could say I am optimistic about this experience, but without any parents left to comfort me, I am suddenly left with an unsettling feeling.

I teleport to the Testing Clinic as soon as my dog is safe in his rejuvenating chamber. Once I arrive I wait in line just like everyone else and am sure to stay clear of the unloading zone so I am not trampled by any teleporters. We have all been given surveys on our Pearpads to fill-out before the doctor is able to see us. I wait anxiously for my turn and when my name is finally called I stand up out of the waiting room seat and walk ever so slowly to the door where my clammy hands gently turn the knob. I am asked to sit on the patient’s bed and proceed to give them my arm so they can take my blood. I know this is not the most important detail, but you think they could have found a less invasive way to get this information. Anyways… before I know it the doctor has finished and grabs this strange looking device. The perspiration on my forehead is evident as he airdrops my results. He says “enjoy your day” and escorts me out of the room. It was not until I began to read the virtual ink of my demise that I understood why he was unable to read the results out loud.

Imagine reading every single thing about yourself that you never wanted to know. All of the flaws you carry that you were never able to admit to yourself. This is exactly what reading the results felt like. My eyes followed down the screen: 67% chance of early onset Alzheimer’s, 90% iron immune deficiency, then the ones I predicted, 20% this cancer, 82% that cancer, and the absolute killer, 97.6% Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. At that moment I wish I had not known what those words meant and I hated myself for being in medical school. Those three words and 38 characters meant I would become an absolute mess of tissue where my bones should be, within a couple of years. My name was no longer of any worth and my financial status did not mean a thing. The only thing people would now see me as is a large pile of walking tissue that can barely stand up on her own. Forget about becoming a doctor, I will be lucky to live past 21.

I have been kicked out of Med school and all of my hopes of becoming a doctor are shattered. It has been only a couple of months since being tested, and the symptoms of my Fibrodysplasia are bound to come any day. My teachers told me “it is best if you just relax and enjoy the rest of your time.” Just like that, I am no longer a human being, but rather another statistic who is awaiting their death. Once the symptoms kick in, I do not even bother going to see a medical professional. They cannot do anything to help me and I would rather enjoy my last months alive outside of a hospital bed. Ironically I spend my last weeks at the hospital I had always dream of working at. Instead of tending to patients. I would sit outside of the NICU and watch as each child was ripped of their innocence when the doctor came to code the newborns. I am thankful I was able to live what short amount of time I had without fear of what would happen the next day, unlike those poor children who will wake up everyday in fear of what could happen tomorrow.

Martianism

Hebron Academy Writing Contest Winner

By Kenny Mills ’20

It is a warm and sunny day, like all the days before and time to come. The weather is perfect, the mood is perfect, everything is perfect. All of the inhabitants work in tangum, all moving towards the same goal, enjoyment. I too relish in the perfect days I am blessed with, never really having a care that every day appears the same as before. In fact, I would want it no other way. The simplicity of life, it is soothing, it is calm, it is my home and the only thing I know.

I am often told stories of the hardships my ancestors faced. Having to struggle for life, their enjoyment blocked by their fight for survival. They had to provide for themselves, working their lives away, sleeping for what little was left over. But that time has passed. It is no longer, faded away to become only tales and legends, their only legacies. And what was all that work really for. They are dead and gone. Only now are the benefits of their sacrifices revealed, and they do not even come into contact with them. What a cruel world, all work and no enjoyment. They were slaves of hardship.

Four-thousand treacherous years later, and we are finally free. The hardships have vanished, and with it, slavery has dissolved. It all started two-thousand years ago, so legend has it, when God descended down upon the slaves from the sky and freed them from the grasp of hardship. At first, as naturally expected, the people resisted; they did not want change. Somehow,  they were happy with their circumstances, something I will never understand. But God would not halt his assault. He wanted his people to be free. They deserved to be free.

Slowly, city by city, God relieved the people of their hardships and took them to the Utopia we appreciate as our home today. No more slavery, no more violence, no more worries. It was just the people versus their enjoyment, the ultimate freedom. But the people did not want this Utopia, they were accustomed to their wars and straining lifestyle. They felt trapped in the grasp of God, the ultimate decisions maker. They wanted out of the freedom and back into slavery. They felt constantly monitored, an outrageous statement. They controlled their own lives, they just wanted a reason to complain. They did not understand the concept of perfectness as we do now.

As with all problems, time heals them or kills them. In this instance, it was death. With an ever increasing number of protesters, God realized he could breed out the imperfections. He could do what he wanted, he was God. And so, several generations later, the population forgot its ancestors and learned to appreciate the life they were given. They valued how easy it was and were able to do the hard thing that others could not, enjoy it. And so, another thousand years have passed, reaching the present, life only growing easier with the ever increasing amount of time.

I quite enjoy the freedom and enjoyment I am able to suck out of life. I truly cannot understand the fuss that the first citizens of this Utopia produced. Why would anyone ever want to fight a war or produce their own source of food. Everything is provided to us by God, our savior. Every night we go to bed, arising to a fresh supply of food, steady weather, freedom, and simplicity. There is nothing more I would wish for or ever want, except one thing; for God to have saved the people of Earth from slavery sooner, bringing them to our great Utopia, The Martian Zoo.