The Mother of Invention
“You’ll just have to!”
Charlie stared even more intently at the telly. Maybe she’d go away.
“But it’s ready. Come on. Please, Son.”
With a familiar sigh of defeat, Charlie straightened from his slump and snapped off “Dr Who”.
Down the rickety steps, deep in the cellar, under the stairs, a bare bulb hung, illuminating the machine. It emanated a throbbing hum.
He rolled his eyes. She had been working on the time machine for as long as he could remember. Longer probably. But a time machine made largely from a recycled exercise bike, a liposuction vacuum stolen from a plastic surgeon, some control underwear, a syringe of BOTOX and a tub of moisturiser was NEVER going to work.
“Jump on, son!” she urged, her wild eyes flashing. “Just pedal backwards as fast as you can!”
For a moment, Charlie gently held her soft and weary face. “It’s not going to work,” he said, kindly.
“It has to.”
As she blinked away tears, he did as she asked. Eyes shut, he pedalled backwards as fast as he could. The humming grew to a buzz. The buzz soon turned to a roar. As Charlie’s usually idle legs blurred with speed, there was an unbearable fizzing and buzzing and crackling and scratching and screaming and silence.
Charlie stopped pedalling and opened his eyes.
Where his mother had stood there now lay a brand new baby wearing a charred pair of control top undies, a dollop of moisturiser – and a smile.