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Charlie MacDuff and the Test of Time
by I. MacPenn

Chapter 3:
Furniture Problems

Charlie looked around his room. Almost everything in it had changed. There was a crib where the bed had been a second ago, and a baby's changing table had replaced the bookcase. There was a rocking chair in the middle of the room and corny lamb curtains hung on the windows - the dinosaur curtains were gone. Something was wrong.

Charlie heard his father yell from downstairs, "I've called the doctor and put your case in the trunk. Lets go." He sounded really nervous. The front door slammed shut. Charlie looked out his window and watched his parents drive out of the garage, but the car was different. He wanted to yell at them to stop, but he couldn't think of anything to say. What could he say, "Stop, my furniture is wrong?" And why were they going to the hospital?

Before he could think of anyhting else, the car drove away fast - too fast. Something was definitely wrong.

Charlie walked down the hall to his sister's room, but it was different, too. There was a sewing machine on a table where her bed used to be, and an ironing board stood against one wall. Charlie called for Kate, but she didn't answer. Charlie was all alone in his house with strange furniture. He went downstairs dejectedly. The living room and kitchen were almost right - only a few things were different, but even they seemed a bit peculiar.

Charlie was trying really hard to figure out what was going on. His furniture had disappeared, his parents were on their way to the hospital, and his sister wasn't home. Maybe Kate had gotten hurt and was in the hospital. But that didn't explain the furniture.

He didn't even want to think about the other explanation that came into his head, but he couldn't stop himself. If he went back to the day he was born, that would explain the weird furniture, his parent's trip to the hospital, and no younger sister. Had he traveled back in time to the day he was born? That would explain everything - except how he got there. Then he remembered his new computer.

He went down to the kitchen and looked for a newspaper. Sure enough, there was one on the counter where it always is, but the date on it was the day Charlie was born. Charlie WAS back in time, and his computer must have done it.

He was trembling as he ran back up the stairs to his room (or at least what used to be his room or would be his room). He picked up his computer, which was on the floor near the window and noticed that the date on it was indeed his birthday.

He had to get back to the present but wasn't exactly sure what to do. He tried typing in the date that he had been in before he went back to his birthday. He then pressed the red, triangular button and hoped for good luck.


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