500 Words Story: Time to Go Home

It took him a while…nearly 40 years, but he finally solved the problem with his sub-transit temporal confabulator. Or we can just call it a “time gate”, for you and me.

It all started as a game when he was a kid. He would build spaceships, gadgets and machines out of any sort of cardboard box he could find. He would use old wrapping paper tubes for swords and flatten boxes for his shield to slay the dragon dog that lived in the house. If it was a small box, like a shoe box, then the machine would be a model for his action figures…a miniature to experiment with and hopefully build it to scale at a later date…when his parents bought a new refrigerator perhaps.

Now he was a grown man and had been experimenting for years with these devices and he finally has figured out how to set up a time portal. A sub-transit temporal confabulator.

All this came to pass when he recently purchased a new office chair. After unpacking he decided to save the box to be used with the device at a later date. It would be the perfect size. He could step over the sides to stand inside easily, with the box coming up just over his knees.

It took a while but the day finally came where the sub-transit temporal confabulator was properly installed. All he had to do was step into the box and he would fall into his childhood. He would journey back in time through the portal he would create at the bottom of the box. He figured somewhere around 8 years old. As he paced around the box hitting buttons, turning dials and flipping switches he thought about his childhood. He also couldn’t help but make his own sound effects. Bweep, schoom, click click tck-shh…until he finally realized how silly he was being, and he laughed at himself. He was giddy with excitement about returning to his youth.

He remembered all the simple excitement and joy from his childhood play. He yearned to be lost again in his imagination creating worlds, defeating bad guys of all sorts and conquering new lands. With this new confabulator he would be able to cross back and forth. He would teach himself all that he has learned through the years. He would be able to do the one thing we have all wished for in our waning years…”if I only knew then what I know now”. With this new confabulator he would be able to right all his wrongs and once again cherish those fading moments of his childhood. Those innocent times without worry of mortgages, taxes or bills. Those moments where you could easily build an entire world in one afternoon with the right amount of legos and action figures.

“Now was the time”, he said aloud. He snickered at this idea because he had a time confabulator at his disposal, and with that anytime was “The Time”.

He pulled the blinds and turned off the music on his player. He had prepared his house as if he were going on a long trip. Not knowing when he would return he didn’t want any dirty dishes or trash left behind to rot and stick up the house. He set his automated lights to prevent burglars and stood ceremoniously before his sub-transit temporal confabulator. All he would need to do was to step inside and he would fall into his childhood. He lifted a leg over but before he stepped down the image of him falling through time and space flashed and he quickly stepped back out. Thank God that at the last moment he had realized the folly of his design. If he stepped into the box with both feet he would, according to his calculations, fall into his childhood. FALL into his childhood…and there is no knowing what sort of damage this might cause on the past surrounding, or his own adult body. At his age, falling anywhere is not a good idea.

The light bulb went on over his head and he realized that he must turn the sub-transit temporal confabulator on its side. He would crawl into the box and gently enter the time portal to his childhood. Now that’s a plan.

With giddy excitement he turned the box on its side and with a lot of creaking, joints popping, and groaning he got down on all fours and crawled into the sub-transit temporal confabulator and bumped his head on the back of the box.


  1. con-fab-u-late, con-fab-u-lat-ed, con-fab-u-lat-ing, con-fab-u-lates
  2. One who talks casually; chats.
  3. Psychology To fill in gaps in one’s memory with fabrications that one believes to be facts. Unconsciously replace fact with fantasy in one’s memory