“What the hell?” Ivy asked, walking around and around his invention. “Adao, what is this? It doesn’t look like a bomb. What does it do that’s so important to the—” She stopped talking and pressed her lips together.
Adao let out a heavy sigh. “It’s a secret. I want to tell you, but it’s not exactly finished yet, and…um, I wouldn’t get too close if I were you.” Ivy was standing right beside his invention, running her hand along the hard metal claws. “Ivy, you really shouldn’t touch that,” he said. But it was too late. The machine activated, coming to life with electric hisses and crackles. Then it began to do something Adao had never seen it do — glowing with a fiery bluish light.
“It’s so weird,” said Ivy, who placed a hand, and then a foot into the center of the light. “It looks like an electric charge, but it doesn’t feel like anything. What is it sup—” Ivy’s words were cut off by a sudden ultra-bright flash of energy from the machine. Adao closed his eyes and shielded his face, but he could sense the light burning all around him. His stomach dropped, as though he were on a roller coaster at Five Flags.
“Ivy!” he cried, reaching out for her, but there was nothing but bright light and nothingness. And then, his feet hit the ground. Dazed, he stumbled forward out of the claws of his machine. “Ivy?” he saw her standing there in front of him, staring into the distance. “Are you okay?”
Ivy whirled around. “Am I okay?” In her bewildered eyes, Adao could see the reflection of the dying bluish light of his machine. “Am I okay?” She raised her voice. “Adao, where on earth are we? What happened? What did you do?”
Adao offered a shaky smile. “Umm…I built a time machine?”
“YOU WHAT?” Ivy’s eyes grew very wide. She glanced from him to the machine, back to him. Then without warning, she turned and ran.
“Ivy wait!” Adao raced after her. They ran outside and practically half a mile toward who-knew-where. Until at last, Ivy stopped in the middle of the street. Her face was filled with panic, which was unusual for her. She had always seemed to cool and calm to Adao. “Look,” he said. “Just look at your phone. Check your GPS.” They both pulled out their cell phones, which surprisingly still worked. A few moments later, Adao had a location. “This is Hiver Park, all right,” he said. “I think this used to be a Walmart.”
“This does not look like Hiver Park,” said Ivy, looking around at the strange buildings and cars. “Where are our houses? And where is all the snow?”
She was right. Not only was there not a sign of snow, but the air felt too warm, like when he used to visit relatives south of the border during the summer. “Apparently,” said Adao, turning off his cell phone. “There is no snow in Hiver Park twenty-five years in the future.”
Ivy grabbed Adao’s arm and shook it hard. “Take us back home,” she said. “I wasn’t prepared for any of this. Take us back to the past!”
Adao shook his head. “I told you the machine wasn’t ready yet,” he said. “I’m afraid we’re stuck in 2040.”