Into the Skies

by Isla Connolly

You know, people are curious over many things, but when it comes to me, I am only set on one thing—my inventions. I grew up being laughed at because I made odd things. Now everybody knows of my inventions, not for the good of them but for the bad. The army comes day after day, collecting my research and stealing my inventions for their personal gain. What everybody doesn’t know is that if I haven’t made something new by the end of the day, my life will end.

These machines must work and be functional. If not, something worse than death will be in my way. I have attempted countless times to run away, but my attempts always fail. My facility would be raided and turned upside down if they couldn’t find me. This is the world I live in, and there’s nothing I can do to prevent it from happening.


It was after the soldiers came that I felt a sudden urge to go and save all my inventions, an urge that pulled at me until I gave in. My body moved itself out the door. I didn’t know where I was going but I couldn’t fight this urge to make all my inventions be used for good. Adrenalin was pumping through my body and I was shaking. I was scared out of my mind, but I wanted to do the right thing and become the hero I was always meant to be.

My instincts were heightened as I walked through a mass of trees, which clumped together in union. I was already regretting my decision. My feet dragged along the floor, but I couldn’t stop now. My head was tilted downwards, so I was unaware of what was in front of me.

Suddenly, my body slammed against something that felt like metal. My head bumped against cogs and wheels; I fell backwards in pain. I raised my head, and my eyes met a familiar invention, an invention that I thought was lost. It was a rose gold metal, wrapped in a cylinder shape, with silver cogs poking outwards and moss growing over the top. This was a time machine that I had made way back before the army came, but one night it had disappeared. I had just finished building it, and the first stages of testing would have begun the following morning.

Maybe I could go back in time and stop my younger self from inventing dangerous weapons. Maybe I could make my younger self stop inventing altogether. But what impact would that make on the future? Would I have another passion? Would I still be out in the middle of nowhere? These thoughts ran through my mind as I reached for the handle of the machine. The door swung off its hinges as I went to pull it towards me.

“Old, much …” I muttered to myself.

My voice trailed off as I studied the atmosphere around me. Levers lined the wall, and dates and time stamps were carefully marked. Much had changed in my design processor from then to now. I wouldn’t have decorated before I finished the product. I wouldn’t have open cogs or steering parts surrounding me. The room wouldn’t be as big and there would be a roof. But I didn’t have time to contemplate whether I should change the whole place right now, I had to move.

I pulled down levers, changing the date and time of the machine. Trailing my left hand over to a bright red lever, I pulled downwards.

A speaker blared over the machine. “Self-destruction mode engaged, self-destructing in five seconds,” the speaker blared.

I stood in shock, frozen. Why would I create a lever that did that?

“5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … Self-destruction initiated. Failure, failure. Sending back in time.”

Sweat stopped trailing down my face, relief flooded through me. I relaxed. My shoulders, no longer tense, drooped down at my side. I felt safe again. The hunk of metal rocked back and forth, then came to a halt.

I glanced at the dial. It was exactly the right time.

I was going to persuade my younger self that whatever happened, I would always be with me.