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Back in Time by Remy Andrew Bogacz, age 10, Scotland – HIGHLY COMMENDED


As I woke up on the pull-out bed in the flat above my dad’s laboratory, the first thing that came to my head was: this is just the start of another boring day in the life of Archie Smith.

But little did I know that this day would change my life forever.

Ever since my parents divorced when I was 11, I’ve been staying at my dad’s for the weekends.

At my mum’s house it is a bit better but hard at night because I can hear her crying.

I’ve already mentioned that my dad is a scientist. Most people would think that it would be ace; but no, it’s exactly the opposite.

To me, my dad is wacko, with his big sciencey words that no-one understands apart from himself and his scientist pals.

But his latest project is the most cuckoo by far: he’s trying to make a “time machine”.

Insane, right?

After I was dressed, had breakfast, and brushed my teeth, I decided to check out the “time machine”.

Even though my dad had forbidden me to enter, I was super curious so I decided to ignore the sign that said:


(unless you know what you are doing so it is not likely that you will die)


My Dad’s lab was massive.

There were test tubes with bubbling, green froth on one table, a crate full of scrap, three desks each with a notepad and pen.

And at the back was: dun dun dun!! – A porta potty????

No wait. I’ve read enough sci-fi comics to know this would be the time machine.

Just as I climb up on the metal platform and open the door, I hear my dad’s voice coming down the hall.

Looks like he’s back from breakfast.

Without thinking, I jump into the machine and close the door.

But my head hits the chronometer and my elbow hits the big red button next to it.

The machine begins to vibrate.


The whole machine rocks dangerously as I am hurtled back into the past.

WOOOAAAHHH!!!!!! I shouted.

It suddenly halts and the machine drops about a foot, and ricochets off the smooth earth.


According to the chronometer I am 1&1/2 years into the past.

Slowly and cautiously, I open the door, expecting to be in the lab.

But no.

In front of me is a solid brick wall.

Then it hits me. Dad’s lab is an extension. It isn’t built for another year.

Hold on. I have gone 1&1/2 years back.

This was the day my parents had the massive argument that led to the divorce.

Then I have an idea. I’ve seen Back to the Future.

If I can stop the fallout, then when I return to the present I will have a better and happier life.

After I pushed the machine behind a skip and nicked an old overcoat, sun hat, shoes and two blocks of wood, I felt I was ready.

Next stop: the Casino!

That day my dad had decided to try and win some cash but ended up losing 500 quid. Mum was absolutely furious.

Dad had set off at half three. I checked my watch. It was twenty five past.

I met up with my dad in the nick of time.

“Hello,” I said in my best manly voice.

“Are you going in there?”

I pointed towards the Casino.

“Er. yes,” my dad replied.

“Well if you are not a master of Rummy, then I believe you are doomed. There are some cardsharps in there.”

“Well maybe I’ll get lucky,” he says defiantly.

UH-OH He begins to walk away.

“No, wait!” I’m starting to panic now. “Do you have a partner?”

“Yes – a wife”

“hen if you loTst loads of money, how would your wife feel?”

There was a big silence. Oh-no

“Mmm, I think you’re right. Thanks.”

Phew. “Well have a nice day,” I said.

I wait until he’s gone. then I sprint back towards the lab.

It takes ages.

I step into the time machine. I set the chronometer to 1&1/2 years in the future.

“Away we go!” I shout as the time machine flies into the future.

I’m back in the present and my new life is amazing.

Everyone is happy – all thanks to my wacko dad’s time machine.

Name: Remy Andrew Bogacz
Age: 10
Country: Scotland, United Kingdom

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