Short stories

Back to the past

Back to the past

Inside Doctor Denhound’s lab there was utter confusion. Every colour wire you could imagine lay around on chairs, tables, the floor, everywhere. You see, Doctor Denhound was inventing the world’s first time machine. With it, he planned to go back to the dinosaurs, bring one back and become world famous. All he had to do now was connect the red and blue wires, and everything would be complete.

The clock struck six and Doctor Denhound pulled a sheet over his invention and locked the door behind him. Outside, it was raining. Doctor Denhound decided to take the short way home. He turned off main street and into the back alley behind the bookstore. It was while he was passing a bin that suddenly colours began flying everywhere and Doctor Denhound found himself spinning around and around. He had stepped on a magic ring that took you back in time.

Doctor Denhound woke to the scent of a Stegosaurus’s foot about to step on him. He barely had time to roll over into a nearby lake. Some of his shirt was torn though. All of a sudden, he found himself in the mouth of a Diplodocus nibbling happily at the grass surrounding the lake. Inside its mouth, Doctor Denhound knew his end was near.

The large white teeth were closing fast. Too fast for Doctor Denhound’s liking. Just as he was about to see the last of everything, the Diplodocus fortunately caught sight of some other rather tasty-looking plants. Doctor Denhound was tossed up, up into the air, and was caught in a passing Pteranodon’s beak.

The ground was a dizzying drop. Doctor Denhound almost wished he hadn’t come here at all. The next bit was the worst. He was dropped into a Tyrannosaurus’s open claw!

Doctor Denhound couldn’t help it, he opened his mouth and screamed. The Tyrannosaurus thought it was a joke. He started bellowing and laughing. Doctor Denhound didn’t quite get the message, and thought the Tyrannosaurus was preparing to eat him. After all, he was a carnivore, and Doctor Denhound was meat.

Then all of a sudden the Tyrannosaurus spoke. “Who are you? I’ve never seen you before. Are you a Triceratops? Stegosaurus? Diplodocus? Pteranodon? Brontosaurus?”

Poor Doctor Denhound was too scared to speak. Had he heard properly? Had the Tyrannosaurus really spoken English? Doctor Denhound had thought it would be fun in the past, but now he was not so sure.

Then came a great thumping, and the earth shook. A fierce Allosaurus came walking down the path.

“Here, you can have it,” Doctor Denhound heard the Tyrannosaurus say to the Allosaurus.

“What is it?”

“Don’t know.”

“P-p-lease, are y-you g-going to e-eat m-m-me?” Doctor Denhound managed to stammer.

“What are you?” asked the Tyrannosaurus suspiciously.

“I am a human being from the year 2010.”

“A what?!” the Allosaurus thundered.

“H-h-human b-being.”

The two dinosaurs ignored him and the Tyrannosaurus asked, “And when is the year 2010?”

By now, Doctor Denhound was used to their talking English, and answered evenly, “Oh, that’s millions and millions of years away.”

“Did you come in one of those stupid time machines?” the Allosaurus enquired.

“Well, no. All of a sudden I was here. But what did you say about time machines? Has someone been here before me?” Doctor Denhound sounded disappointed.

“Yup. A person called Professor Pipbrain. Came, crashed and was sent back somehow.”

“You know,” put in the Tyrannosaurus, “he left only seconds before you arrived.”

“Hey! Seeing you can’t stay here forever, why don’t you go back in his time machine,” the Allosaurus brightly suggested.

An hour later, Doctor Denhound was saying goodbye to his two new friends. He gave them his handkerchief as a reminder of him. Then he hopped in the time machine, shut the door and pressed the 2010 button. Doctor Denhound found himself in the back alley. The time machine had gone back to its owner.

When Doctor Denhound told his story, no one believed him. “He was only seeing things. Wouldn’t blame him either, on a night like that in a back alley.”

But Doctor Denhound knew the truth. After all, his handkerchief was missing.

Note from the author

I wrote this story when I was ten years old and in year 5. I’ve reproduced it faithfully here, with only very minor editing. Writing has always been a part of my life, and lately I’ve been trying to locate pieces I wrote during my childhood and teenage years, when my imagination had no bounds, to remind myself to have fun with what I write. By publishing this story penned by ten-year-old me, I hope to encourage fellow writers of all ages to let your imagination run wild and free and to be fearless with your writing.

Author bio
By Lian Flick

The creator and curator of Novel Collective, Lian is inspired by people who imagine without limits, writing that evokes powerful emotion, the colour and stories of other cultures, and timeless style.

Feature graphics designed by Freepik

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