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“I swear we have really built it!” Earnest said amidst laughter. Melvin and Algie stood by his side, his ever loyal companions. I just couldn’t take it, I was too curious. “Built what?” I asked. “A time machine! A real working time machine!” He yelled. More laughter. “Show me.” I said. Derby followed and so did Ted and Kirby, only Derby was trying to convince me not to and Ted wanted to see the time machine. “Chill out Derby. It’s probably not even a real time machine, I bet it’s just a cardboard box with tin foil and coat hangers attached or something.” Ted said. Derby shot him a look and I guessed Derby was thoroughly unconvinced. The Nerds led us to the observatory and Earnest showed us what looked like a cylindrical chamber with a very big sheet over it. “That’s not a time machine, that’s just an old sheet!” Kirby cried out. “That’s not the time machine you imbecile, this is!” Earnest cried, yanking the sheet. It was as incredible as I thought. But I saw a little thing on it, like a small square pad, green and it looked like one of those DNA-reading things I used to see in the cartoons.

I reached my hand forward and rested it on the green as Earnest was saying “It’s not quite done or well…working, okay?” As soon as my hand touched it the whole machine made a whirring noise and it lit up and Earnest, puzzled, said “I take that back, it seems to be operating now.” I tried to take my hand off but couldn’t. “Help!” I called out and Ted and Derby came and with their combined strength pulled me free of it. The whole machine got really loud for a moment and smoke was everywhere. We couldn’t see a thing. I heard the door slide open from the time machine and when the smoke cleared there were two extra people standing there with us.


The older one looked about twelve, with very wild brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a big backpack. There was something oddly familiar to his grin. The second was no more than nine years old, with blond hair and brown eyes. The older boy wore a look of excitement, adventure. But the younger boy seemed to be strangely serious for a kid his age and his eyes looked almost too knowing to be the eyes of a little boy. There was something oddly familiar about the way they looked and from the similarity in features I deduced they were brothers. I saw Ted, eyes wide, whisper “Oh my god.” Then the brown-haired kid looked at me and said “Dad! There you are!” and he and the younger kid walked over to meet me.

“I’m your son Rudolph.” The brown haired kid said. “No way!” I said, more grinning than confused. He nodded cheerfully and said “And this is my brother Lyell.” The little boy nodded at me, but didn’t smile. Well these kids can’t be lying, I had decided last year what names I would pick if I had sons and those names had made top two on my list. “It’s broken! You broke my time machine!” Earnest cried, pointing an accusatory finger at me. To no one’s surprise we had to exit the observatory quickly. Once at the football field, Ted tossed Rudolph the football, which he got deftly. “Yeah the kid’s yours.” Ted said. “He got mad skill for a little kid.” He added, then running off to play football with Rudolph. I decided to let him.

The little boy looked at Derby and I and we felt a bit unnerved. “It was that Earnest’s fault the time machine is broken…he didn’t make necessary adjustments to the inner component.” He said, in a quiet and very intellectual sounding voice. My jaw dropped. My nine year old kid’s a genius! No not just that, a prodigy! “Okay but Lyell, how did you and Rudolph get here?” I asked. “We built the other end.” Lyell said, as though it were an easy thing to understand. The little boy looked up at me but this time he made the most innocent, convincing face I'd ever seen, moreso convincing than Ted's puppydog face, which had been his weapon into attempting to get me to join the football team. Then Rudolph's big pack fell over and rolled. With a sigh Lyell went to open it and there was a cute little girl inside, holding a teddy bear. "Lily?! I told you to stay home!" Lyell hissed. "Well I wanted to come too!" She said. She was short, but judging by her voice and the way she talked I assumed she was no more than four years old. She had brown hair and blue eyes like Rudolph, and she looked so much like the others I knew she had to be my future daughter. She walked over to Derby. "Youwe shirt looks funny mister!" she said, but Derby didn't look offended at all, in fact he seemed to find it cute. "Lilllaaaaay!" Rudolph yelled, running over, picking up his sister and hugging her. "Hi Wudy." she said, clearly just as happy to see him. I nodded with approval, my kids seemed to get along. "This is my sister Lily, the cutest four year old in the world." Rudolph said. "Hi there Lily." Ted said, "I'm Ted." he added. "I like him!" Lily cried, pointing at Ted. "His name reminds me of a teddy bear!" she cried. Ted laughed and gave her a piggyback ride.

"So these are your kids, huh?" Ted said. "I guess so. Can't you tell? Where else could the kids have gotten these good looks?" I said, running a hand through my hair to demonstrate. I supposed I would now have to introduce everyone to my kids, then again I knew there would be no problem with that. They were so cute they already had stolen everyone's hearts. Dad knew the full extent of the smarts the Nerds possessed so he would probably like being grandpa. And I was eager. Here was an opportunity to show my kids all my friends and all the good things around here. And they would love everyone. And so I decided that even as a kid I would be the best dad to them while they were here.

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