At my school, I run regular creative writing competitions. The students are all learning English as a foreign language. They take four hours of classes a week. Having learned Japanese and Chinese for years as well as Spanish at university and only ever reaching reasonable competency, I’m astounded by the natural flare and creativity of my students. Here is the last winner.
The Strange Machine
My uncle is an inventor. One day I was looking through the basement of his house, and I discovered a strange machine. It had many buttons, knobs, dials, and levers. I had never seen anything like it before. On one side was a button that read “on”. The machine had two big frog’s eyes, four things like legs, and hands. I was really excited so I decided to turn it on.
I pushed the red button carefully. Strange things happened. The screen said, “Hello! How’re you doing mate?”
“OK,” I said. It started flying around the basement. Suddenly diamonds and money flew out of its hands.
“Do you want to get on my back to take a trip?” asked the machine.
“Yes, of course,” I said.
It took me over the clouds and into the sea. It was wonderful. Hours later the machine asked again, “Do you want to meet Da Vinci, the president of America, or any one else?” I thought for a while and answered, “Jesus.”
Then the machine made a ‘time hole’ and flew into it. Everything was quiet. The numbers of years flew past me. 1980, 1009, 300, 3,2,1…..I opened my eyes. I thought it was the kingdom in which Jesus lived. Poor people were all over the roads. But a man with a big beard was talking to some people. It was Jesus. I thought it couldn’t be happening. Then, I walked up to him. He looked old; maybe he was too tired. Then I got his signature.
Yipee! It was a great trip.
The machine brought me back to the real world. If you have been to the past and come back to 2008, you’ll think this is such a terrible world. Garbage is all around you. Dirty air fills the sky. It makes the earth warmer and warmer, with the ice melting and the sea getting bigger and bigger. One day in the future we’ll have no place to live.
“Can you turn the world back?” I asked. The machine nodded its head. Then it used its magic. The earth was like it was thousands of years ago-that beautiful; no garbage, no dirty air, and …no robot! In making the earth not warm, it died.
“Thank you machine.”