Speakeasy: Teenage Dreams

Time Travel

Teenage Dreams

While we were eating breakfast, the letter was delivered, dumped unceremoniously on the table by the world’s most sullen teenage boy.

“What’s this?” I asked as I picked up the envelope. My name was written on it in blue ink.

Staying firmly in character, my son Matthew shrugged, a gesture that clearly took all of his strength to execute. Even Atlas would have felt bad for him. “Dunno,” he said, plunking his lanky frame into a chair and reaching for a box of cereal, “That new science teacher, Mr. Potter, asked me to give it to you.”

A frisson of electricity ran up my spine. Mr. Potter? I shook my head before my brain even went down that road. Just a coincidence, I figured. Potter wasn’t exactly an uncommon name. I glanced across the table at my husband, Alex, light of my life. He smiled and offered to top up my coffee.

As Alex poured the coffee, I opened the envelope and unfolded the letter inside. I expected an information sheet from the school, maybe about an upcoming fundraiser — or a letter about something Matthew had done and neglected to mention. I didn’t really expect it to be from him. But there it was, his signature at the bottom of the page.

Jacob Potter.

The letter itself simply read: “I told you I’d find a way back.”

I hoped the blood draining from my face wasn’t obvious to my husband and son. As casually as I could manage, I excused myself and made a beeline for my closet. I pulled the small metal box from the back of the uppermost shelf and sat on the floor with the box in my lap. The combination lock was still securely in place. Quickly, I walked it through the correct sequence of numbers and then carefully opened the box.

The documents sat there in a neat little stack. All the research, all the schematics, all our notes on the trial runs. And beneath that lay a handful of pictures. We looked so happy, it was hard to believe how things had turned out.

It’s not every day you invent a time machine. And it was probably even less common to use that machine to send your boyfriend back in time to deal with stone age humans and sabre tooth tigers. Rarer still, I imagine, to discover that said boyfriend had built a time machine in the stone ages so he could track you down and discover you’d raised his child as someone else’s son.

I sighed and put everything back in the box. Amazing what humans can accomplish with the right motivation.

I slipped back into my spot at the dining table and picked up my coffee. Alex smiled and Matthew grunted. I took a sip of coffee and wondered what it would be like to have a weekend alone with Alex. Then I wondered how long it would take Jacob Potter to decide he’d been better off in the stone ages.


This is my submission for this week’s Speakeasy challenge #104.

This week, in honour of the Speakeasy’s official 2nd birthday, not only must submissions be under 500 words, but they must also deal with a theme, which is the past. Submission must also contain the following line (they don’t have to begin with it this week):

While we were eating breakfast, the letter was delivered.

Finally, submissions must reference the photo prompt, which is the following image:


Fractal image credit: Jaroslav Uher / Photoxpress.com

26 thoughts on “Speakeasy: Teenage Dreams

  1. Matthew’s teenage-ness really shines through — the son in my story has the same name lol! At first I thought it was a stalker, or old flame that the MC wanted to hook back up with. I certainly hadn’t expected time travel! Well done, as always!

    1. Thanks Bee! I live with a teenage boy, so I have a live subject for inspiration… Too funny that we picked the same name for our sons — great minds think alike, right? 😉

  2. I’ve checked and double-checked all the apostrophes, Suzanne, and all appears fine, mate. I could suggest you use a few more since there appears to be a paucity here.
    But – most importantly – I’m at a loss to understand how you time-warped my own son, Matthew, across to there. I’m sure he was grumping at our kitchen table just moments ago?

    1. Haha! I guess I’m really skilled at channeling my characters! Thanks for commenting David — and thanks for using the word paucity. Such a great word!

  3. This was so believable, it wasn’t till I got to the part of the time machine! I didn’t know that it was a prompt for speakeasy, till I got to the end as I thought the Title Speakeasy Teenager Dreams, was exactly about that a Teenagers Dream and he/she spoke of them.
    Now that just shows you how talented you are young lady! 🙂 or I’m a bloody idiot, I prefer to think of the first explanation.

  4. What a story-tale-r you are, Suzanne. (checking to see if that at all drives you crazy.) 😉
    ok, so here was my favorite part — AFTER we find out dad’s been hanging out in the stone ages, Matthew grunts. Scientifically priceless.

    1. Lol! Testing the editor in me — sneaky! (It may have driven me just a little crazy, but I’m sure I’ll cope…)
      I love that you picked up on that grunt Jody. Thanks for commenting!

    1. 😀 I think unloading a teenager on him might just do the trick! But I imagine she has some other tricks up her sleeve too. Thanks for commenting!

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