By: Liam Cuddy
“I’m not doing it. I’m sorry but I’m not getting in there.” Mr. Walsh said as he massaged his temples.
“Honey, just look at him. He is literally jumping with excitement.” his wife replied.
He ran a hand down his long face. “Alright I see that, but he’s 16 years old Rebecca. He’s going to be a Junior in High School. This sort of thing might have been cute years ago but… I just don’t want him to feel like this is normal.”
Rebecca placed her hands on her hips as she cocked her head to the side and looked at him with pity. “You want to talk about normal? You? Mr. I’m gonna wear socks and sandals every day of my life?”
Mr. Walsh began to grumble. “That was a fashion statement, this sort of thing could get him committed to a– a mental institution.”
She rolled her eyes. “He built a time machine out of an old dumpster and some cheap hardware supplies, it’s not like he’s seeing things that aren’t there.”
“The kid talks like he actually believes this thing will take him back in time. He said he tried it last week, he’s telling his friends that’s why he aced his tests this semester… I think he actually believes it works.”
She placed a hand on his shoulder. “Well… the best thing we can do right now is show our support. I’m sure he’s just trying to get some more attention is all.”
He shook his head again. “Getting attention is pulling a prank or getting into a fight, not spending hours on end inside a dumpster with a toolbox…”
Mrs. Walsh thought about her response but was cut short when Robby swung the door open with gusto. “Guys…” he said with a wide smile and a dirt smudge on his cheek. “It’s ready for a second trip!”
They accompanied Robby out to the backyard where the large rusting dumpster sat. “Who’s first?” he asked with pride.
Mr. Walsh looked at his wife before angling his stare down to Robby. “Son, I think that–”
“I’ll go.” Mrs. Walsh stated as she plugged her nose and approached the dumpster. Robby skipped after her and closed the door behind her, turning the various knobs on the back which made the lights flicker on and off.
He ran back to his father’s side and watched his creation roar to life. Mr. Walsh stared at his shoes and wondered how he was going to put an end to all of this.
Just as he was ready to break the news, the door slid open, and steam fell onto the dying grass. Mrs. Walsh stepped out, trying to regain her balance. She looked up at the two of them with tears in her eyes and two hands over her heart.
Robby jumped up and ran to give his mother a hug. Mr. Walsh looked on at the scene, knowing that from that point on, things would never be the same.