“As the bugle faintly blurred out, so did my heart. It was time for my swim test. As I walked through the grass, I saw my friend Georgia. She was headed for the lake. She had a smile on her face and her towel in her hand.”
As the bugle faintly blurred out, so did my heart. It was time for my swim test. As I walked through the grass, I saw my friend Georgia. She was headed for the lake. She had a smile on her face and her towel in her hand. I slowly caught up to her. She was very excited because she was going swimming. Then when I said that we were having our swim test, her smile turned into a frown. She said she was worried she was not going to pass.
When I saw that she was frowning, I quickly tried to cheer her up by saying, “You’re a really good swimmer. I think you’re going to pass.”
She said, “Thanks,” and ran to get on line.
When I got changed into my bathing suit, I felt I had the power to change my swimming life forever. On my way to the lake, somebody gave me a clip with my name, Jules Alemany, on it. I put my clip on lane two, and then I hopped on the dock. I felt it shaking. So did my brain. I was going crazy. I thought I was going to make it, but I realized I wasn’t.
I couldn’t hop back on land before I hopped back into my lane. My swim instructor or counselor or whatever you want to say said that her name was “Elise” or “Alice.” I couldn’t tell because my ears were full of water.
Then, she said, “Let’s begin.”
The first thing that we had to do was show her what strokes we could do, back and forth. The seaweed was touching my legs, and it felt like it was pulling me down. I was freaking out. Next we had to do five long breaststrokes without breathing. Then, we had to tread water for five minutes, and it was killing me. Instead of treading, I was floating, and I didn’t realize it.
My counselor was looking at me and said, “That’s floating, not treading.” And I knew I wasn’t going to pass.
Next, we had to do the dead-man’s float for five minutes, and I couldn’t do it. Every time I tried to go up for air, my hair got in my face, and it stopped me from floating. The last part, I could not do. I had to float on my back for five minutes. After all the stuff I had to do, I was exhausted. After, when I got out of the water, I put my stuff back and went to change back into my clothes.
When I got out to go and sit and wait for the bugle to blow, the instructor said, “Wait, you didn’t pass. I’m sorry.”
I felt a wave of sadness coming on, but could not let it show, so I pushed it away. I was lucky because next was rest hour, so I went back to my tent and started to think. What did I do wrong? As I thought, I was wondering what my mom and family would think. As I thought that, my eyes felt like crying, but this time I did not hold them in. I let them out.
The next day, I was walking to breakfast. I was so sad I tripped on something shiny. It might have been a rock, but I still took a glimpse of it… I knew it! It said Time Machine, so I picked it up, shoved it in my pocket, and headed to breakfast. I knew that it was a toy and not a real time machine. After breakfast, I quickly took it out and started to investigate.
I noticed that there was a line that you could open at the back, so I did and found a bunch of buttons. I started typing, and all of a sudden, I remembered my swim test, so I said, — while I was pressing the button, which I did not know was the speaker button — “Wow! I really failed on that swim test.” All of a sudden, I felt super dizzy, and I fainted. Everything blacked out.
I felt something touching my head. I opened my eyes slowly, and I saw Piper and Jane, two of my counselors, saying, “Are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay?”
“Yeah yeah,” I said as I got up from the ground. “I just — wait — what? Where am I?”
“Uhh, you’re at your swim test,” said Piper.
Jane was so worried. She asked me, “Do you want to go to the Mary Nap?” That’s the nurse’s office.
I said, “No, I’m okay. Let’s get swimming!” I just remembered. I could help myself. Because I wasn’t actually there, I could fake it and also get an awesome grade for my swim test, and I would still pass.
Then, they said, “Everyone watch Jane do the examples, and I am going to be speaking while Jane acts it out.” I couldn’t stop staring at her bathing suit — it was atrocious. As she did her example, I was worried. I didn’t want to change the timeline. But I said to myself, Hey, at least I’ll get an A on my grade. I still had that sick feeling in my stomach I wasn’t going to pass.
But I stuck to my gut, and I said, “No, I can do this.” When it was my turn, I got up, and I walked to the lake. I changed my clip to lane two because that’s where I was swimming. Then, I hopped into the lake and began.
It was freezing cold, but I was ready. Once I adjusted to the water, it was not that bad. So, I listened to what the counselors were trying to tell me, and I started to do what they said. I did the strokes, then the breaststroke, the five minutes of treading, and finally I got on my back and did the dead-man’s float. But guess what happened? I got on my stomach and did the dead-man’s float! It wasn’t very hard, so I just kept doing it. I didn’t hear them because my ears were underwater — but what I did hear was, “GRRRLIA! GGRLIA! GT OUTTA THWATER!”
When I put my head up to see what was happening, everyone was in a circle around my lane trying to drag me because they thought I was drowning. I got up and said, “I’m fine! I’m fine!”
But they all were like, “We need the medics, guys!”
At that time, I was thinking, Man I really want to go home. Wait — am I at home? Wait, no I’m not. I’m back in time. I didn’t know where I was. I was lost in the lake. I wanted to get out. I wanted to go back… I wanted to redo it.
I hopped out, and I ran. I ran and I ran and I ran. And then I tripped. I fell on something shiny. Wait — I just remembered, didn’t I do that an hour ago? I picked it up — I found it — it was the time machine. But wait, if I did this, would it change the timeline? I took my chance.
I picked it up, pressed it, and said, “Normal timeline.”
Poof! Everything went black.
I saw the future. Wow, it looked different. Hold on, wait, this wasn’t my timeline — why did I say, “Normal timeline?” I should have said, “2018, 12:05, going to lunch.” I was searching and searching. I couldn’t find the time machine. What happened to it? Wait, was I stuck here forever? I felt terrible and lonely. I wanted my mommy.
I was laying on a concrete floor. It was super uncomfortable. Wait — if I said normal timeline and it didn’t bring me home, where was I really? Was this the normal timeline? Was I an alien? As I ran and ran, I saw nothing but tall black and white and purple buildings. But there was nothing in front of me, so how could I be seeing that? I didn’t know. But what I did know was I just ran into something. I was sitting on the floor — I think I twisted my ankle. Something went wrong, but there was nothing in front of me. So, I tried to stand up, but I fell right back down. My ankle hurt really bad, so I touched the invisible wall, and it was curvy.
I tried crawling around the wall, but it felt like it was a never-ending wall. So I went back — wait, I couldn’t go back. My back was stuck on something, and the walls were closing in. What was it? I had to get out. So, I tried pushing myself up and up and up. I felt an opening, so I took it. I jumped and landed in one of the buildings. There were weird chairs, and it looked like I was in a hospital because it had drips, bandages, shots, and needles everywhere, as well as lots of hand sanitizer. There was one person that looked like my mom, so I ran and I hugged it, but it stabbed me in the back. Then, I realized there was no blood coming out of me, and the not-my-mom paralyzed me and put me in one of the weird chairs, strapped me down, and put something over my mouth that made me go to sleep.
I woke up, and I was still in the chair, but I was in my timeline. So, I tried getting out, but then there was that lady that looked like my mom again, except she wasn’t really there. She had the time machine in her hand, and she started talking.
“Did you use the time machine to change the past? You can’t do that anymore, okay?”
“Okay,” I said. “Can I get out of here please? I’m really freaked out. I want to go home.”
The lady said, “Which home? Camp home, where you were when you used the time machine? Or home home, like in Colorado?”
I said, “Camp home, where I was. I’m really sorry — I’ll never use the time machine again. What was that thing?”
She said, “It’s a secret high tech technology. I’ll grant you one wish if you promise to never use any high tech technology that our people make ever again.”
I said, “Okay — please take me home — camp home I mean.”
The lady said, “Okay. Good night.” And she put the mouth thing on me again. I went to sleep, and I woke up. I was home in the exact place I was at camp, heading to lunch. Wow, I will never use that thing again.