“Doctor Brown I am afraid we may be here as a waste of your time.”
“The only time wasted my dear is time already spent. With my DeLorean here we can…,” Brown began to hesitate as he turned to look at the now demolished one of a kind vehicle. “Well we could…I guess …it seems we are short one DeLorean with the flux capacitor installed.”
“Dr. Brown, I am such a huge fan. Surely you have a back up,” Joe gushed.
“Surely I must!” Brown said his eyes wild with mixture of amazement, confusion and surety. “I mean of course I do!” Brown shuffled off beside Joe, making his way around the debris and Smashed DeLorean to the rear of the barn where a large black tarp with camouflage netting waited his attention. Brown tugged at one corner of the large cover, but was not making any progress.
“Where is that Marty when you need him? Had he been driving I might not have had this accident and hit my head.” Brown began to wobble around as the effects of his hard hit became obvious. “Seeing stars, not feeling so great, feed Einstein before you leave Marty.”
‘’Now will you explain to me why you are here and must speak with me,’’ Doctor Brown asks while stroking a huge black cat.
‘’Well sir…. Um… Joe you explain,” Hannah says as her eyes look to Doctor Brown then to Joe.
Joe let out a big gulp and said ‘’Well you see sir….’
“Yes, yes, spit it out young fellow.”
“We are here about the Mayan calendar,” Joe said.
“Finally! I just got back and I could not convince them they needed to recover the missing key to the other half of their calendar.”
“Other half?” Joe and Hannah said simultaneously.
“Yes, did I stutter?”
Hannah stared the old man straight in the eyes, trying to determine if he was speaking truth or babbling incoherently. She glanced at Joe who looked at the man quickly, then turned to what he was trying to uncover. Joe walked over and grabbed two handfuls of the fabric so he could uncover the mystery.
Hannah was ready to leave, checking her countdown clock on her cellular phone to see time still quickly slipping away. She shook her head and screwed her face into an unapproving smirk as she watched her team mate struggle to fulfill his outlandish ‘Hail Mary’ plan
“Buzz, I could use your help!” Joe said as he gave a quick glance over his shoulder.
“Really?” Hannah said to no one in particular incredulous that he still felt there was something as valuable as their time at this place.
Finally she rolled her eyes and slowly, grudgingly approached the other end of whatever this monstrosity was and gave it a strong tug. Her pessimistic notions seemed prophetic when the tarp slid away to reveal a paper white colored bus, with the words Time Chaser printed where at one time the local county school district identification may have been.
“Awesome!” Joe said as he surveyed the front of the bus.
“Are we to honestly believe this thing even runs? How in the name of good sense can anyone take something this ancient back in time?”
Joe pushed the folding door open, walked up the steps and turned to show Hannah he had the keys to the ignition.
“There’s only one way to find out!” Joe said as he cranked the key.
Hannah knew something was different as the bus started. There was a low whine that sounded somewhat like the report of a small jet plane. The darkened ten inch tablet sized computer screen flashed to life, immediately scrolling messages as it went through a computer driven boot sequence.
“I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore,” Hannah said as she joined Joe on the bus.
Joe applied the slightest pressure to the accelerator and both of them turned to watch the glow from the flux capacitor as it started to glow brighter. They could hear the rising whine of the engine, definitely sounding more like a conventional jet as it spun up.
“We might as well give it a try,” Hannah said.
“Yes!” Joe agreed, feeling the power of the bus feeding his adrenaline rush.
“Is Brown awake yet?” Hannah asked.
Joe looked across the hood of the bus where they left brown, but saw no sign of him. While the engine idled they exited the bus and searched the building and house, but found no sign of the man. Joe turned to look at Hannah with a smile and nod, which told her exactly what she could expect next. They would attempt to make it on their own.
“Let’s look in the DeLorean to see if he has any information on where we need to go,” Joe suggested
Hannah peered in the window of the passenger side, but saw nothing that looked like it would be of help. She thought she saw a round disc of some sort that had some unusual symbols on it though.
“I see a Mayan calendar,” she announced.
“That could be a clue!” Joe replied.
“Hey Joe, didn’t Doctor Brown have some entry panel that allowed him to designate the time and place he wanted to go?”
“Yes!” Joe said. He squirmed through the small gap of the door, but got stuck trying to crane his neck so he could read the dashboard which was glowing a dim red.
“You’ll have to do it, I am too big,” he told Hannah when he successfully wriggled back out.
There was a strange twinge in Hannah’s gut as she saw the numbers 650 A.D. on the panel for targeted date. Her eyes followed the read out to the date, 19 DEC. So Brown had traveled back over 14 centuries to talk to who knows whom about the Mayan calendar that was sure as shooting coming to an end.
With the old feeling of supreme doubt about to win, Hannah noticed a tattered archaeology of Belize tourist book tucked down between the front seats. She tugged at it a couple of times before it popped out of the confined space, spewing a wad of paper documents all over the seat. Hannah could hear the engine of the bus whining as Joe had his fun revving the throttle and tried to rake all the papers into a manageable pile. She had no idea a crucial slip of information had escaped her efforts, one that would have made their attempt a cake walk. Instead she scrambled back aboard the long, white school bus just in time for Joe to jerk the gear shift into reverse.
The engine continued to spool up as they turned and rolled out toward the mile long spur that led to the main highway. A short debate decided which road they thought might be best and it was settled they would try Brown’s private drive.
“Here we go,” Joe said.
Hannah started the attempt standing to Joe’s right at the front of the bus, but quickly realized the seat would be necessary when they reached the higher speed on their way to the requisite “88 miles an hour”. Hannah could not believe she heard the Huey Lewis song “Power of Love” playing in her head, the soundtrack from the Back to the Future movie. The truth presented itself as the volume of the song reverberated through speakers from all sides as Joe twisted the volume controls to ear-shattering levels.
“Is that really necessary?”
“Just like Marty McFly babieeeee!” Joe cackled.
Hannah’s fingers dug into the foam backing of the seat in front of her as she 2watched the old analog speedometer slowly record their increasing speed. She kept visually comparing the road in front with the rate of increase in their speed. It seemed they were running out of road at a faster clip than they gained speed.
“We’re not going to make it,” Hannah shouted over the music and roar of the engine.
“Yes we are,” Joe shouted back. “Hold on!”
Hannah’s heart jumped into her throat when she saw Joe’s hand slide over to a simple red button with the crude duct tape label that said simply “super booster”. Her head bounced off the back of the seat with the power of momentum the bus suddenly gained and the speedometer ticked off the miles per hour much like a pinball score.
“Eighty-five, Eighty-six…” Joe called out loudly. Hannah felt like every filling in her head might fall loose as the white Blue Bird manufactured buss shuddered from the jet engine’s power. “Eighty seven….EIGHTY-EIGHT!”
Both of our heroes raised their arms up to shield their eyes from the bright flash that accompanied their entrance into the space-time continuum. Hannah felt a brief sense of bewilderment at the range of emotions before everything went black.
Follow this link to Chapter 3
Note: This is the second installment of a multi-part serial fiction work created by Hannah McAmis and Joe Owens. Hannah is a 16 yr old junior at Twin Springs High School and I had the joy of meeting her and her family on a recent mission trip to Belize. Please understand this is merely an opportunity to collaborate on a purely fictional work. As Christians we both know the world will not end on Friday, but thought we could have some fun with the subject.