time-machine[1]

 

Continued from Part 2

 

Maria groaned. “But we’ve done four times this weekend already! And anyway Jurassic is far too dangerous, and we haven’t filed a flight plan and…” Her voice was drowned by a well honed grizzle from the back seat.

 

“Mummieeeeee! Daddy promised. I want to do one more time NOW! I want Jurassic NOW!”

 

Maria lifted her eyes to heaven. Regrettably no help was forthcoming from the Almighty. She turned and faced her husband full on “Oh no!” thought Donald. “Not the Bawl Out! Not now. Anything but the Bawl Out.” Fortunately for Donald, for whatever reason his fears of  thermo-nuclear marital confrontation were not realised.

 

“Well,” said Maria. “If you’ve promised the child one more time, I suppose you’d better get on with it.”

 

Taking that as an indication of acquiescence if not formal approval, and desperate for a quiet life at any cost, Donald took hold of the vehicle’s control lever. Gradually he eased it back form the forward position it had been occupying. Though relatively inexperienced as an inter-temporal pilot, he listened carefully for a change in tone in the vehicle’s time alternator circuits as it gradually slowed in its dimensional transfer. Drawing to a halt in the space-time continuum rift, he reset the coordinates for the Jurassic era and placed the control lever into reverse. Again he listened closely for the build up of energy in the time alternator as the vehicle reversed its direction of travel back through the millennia.

 

Satisfied that all would once again be well soon, Maria had quickly returned to her blissful sleep. Peter, too, was sprawled out on the back seat dead to the world. By contrast Jessica bounced happily up and down, pulling on Donald’s headrest and repeating “Jur-ass-ic! Jur-ass-ic” ad infinitum, in time to the alternator’s hum.

 

Donald gritted his teeth and prayed for an early touch down.

 

Not many minutes later the vehicle did indeed arrive in the Jurassic era. It was a beautiful sunny morning at a point on the world’s surface that one day would be covered by near innumerable fathoms of the Atlantic Ocean. But now, it was dry as a bone under the glare of a merciless prehistoric sun.

 

And as Donald flicked the switch to draw back the shields and behold the glory of a morning several million years before the first indigenous human foot would be placed upon the world, he had three thoughts in quick succession.

 

As he looked out of the rear window, the first was “Maria was right. This is exactly why it’s illegal to make time visits without filling a flight plan. I should never have listened.”

 

As he glanced at his wife the second was “It’s just as well she’s asleep or she’d be blaming me for this, too.”

 

His third and final thought was “This is positively the last time the Cunningham family will ever visit!” And the Tyrannosaurus Rex brought its foot firmly down, irreparably crushing the time circuits at the rear of the time machine.

 

The End

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