Hurry! You’re going to be late!

Quickly I found a can and raced to the lab. First I pulled out a piece of paper to use in court. 1. Protect the trees, 2. Pick up unwanted garbage, 3. Keep the water clean. I had read this many times, constantly reminding myself of what is to come. I looked outside as clouds rolled over the hills.

“Rain isn’t good for the machine.” I thought as raindrops snapped against the window.

As the car pulled away, I burst into the building. Frantically, I ran into my teacher, Professor Philip.

“You’re late again, Kaden,” he said.

After a fifteen minute walk, we entered a large room containing the time machine. The room was like a cockpit with a large metal dome, and a massive door. On the inside, a foldable chair was placed in the center. The walls were painted like an old scroll; on it a timeline from 1500 to 2019. I stepped through the door, and the professor spoke.

“Remember, you’ll be invisible to other people and good luck.”

At that, the door closed. I took a deep breath, then tapped 1859 on the wall. The machine hummed, then quickly, I sat on the chair and closed my eyes. Take me to when Oregon is about to become the 33rd state in the Union! I thought.

Suddenly, I felt as If I were floating through space. When I came to my senses, I was in a courtroom; it was a zoo. The room was filled with arguing men, all dressed in silk and lace.

“Who should I talk to?” I thought.

Then I saw an obese man sitting in the front row. I walked up to him.

“Who are you?” he asked confused.

“I am your self conscience. I will give you advice when you need it.” I said.

The man frowned. Now I knew how to give my message. Then the skinny, frail judge startled me by banging his gavel on the large desk.

“We are here to sign the paper to make Oregon an official state. First I will read the document, and then we will discus if anything needs to be changed. I will now begin. We declare that all...”

After he finished, men started shouting ideas.

Then I suggested, “For every tree cut down, another should be planted. It will keep forests safe and there will be more animals.”

Instantly, the man stood up and shouted out the idea. I tried again.

“Pick up all unwanted clothes and trash to keep Oregon’s water clean.”

The man shouted that out too.

Suddenly, I blacked out. I woke up in a hospital bed, surrounded by the Professor and my parents.

“You’re awake! Congrats Kaden, you did it!” the Professor cried happily, “Oregon has forests and clear lakes now!”

“What happened?” I asked, my head throbbing.

“The storm came and knocked out the power, but you’re ok. Go back to sleep.”

My body took over; I slept in peace.

— Paige Kingsley

Elementary division, 1st prize

Contract Publishing

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