“Rover and the Failed Science Experiment”: A Short Story

In an effort to escape prehistoric times, Rover carries out a risky experiment. Will he succeed?

Photo by Alejandro Quintanar from Pexels

In an effort to escape prehistoric times, Rover carries out a risky experiment. Will he succeed?

Rover was different; he was not like everybody else. He had long arms, dull teeth, and horrible vision at night. Hunting, to him, was revolting; he didn’t stand a chance in a fight, and he would always come home late with the same excuse: “I got lost in the forest again; you know me with my memory and all…”

However, this little white lie held something much greater: Rover had a colossal brain capacity. Yes, he made a pathetic tyrannosaurus rex, but he was working to create a secret; a scientific breakthrough so large it would have changed the course of history and evolution as we know it, had it not been for the meteor that wiped out almost all life forms— especially dinosaurs— 65 million years ago.

Rover was tired of living day by day; tired of being different. He desired more from life: More adventure, more fun, just anything more. That was when the fireball ignited in his brain: If nobody I know can give me more in life, and I’m tired of being in the present, why don’t I just find my way to the future? Surely, nobody will miss me when I’m gone— I mean, I barely get acknowledged when we have a family reunion, so why wait until someone gives me a roar?

Time was of the essence—Rover knew that to be a fact. It also happened to be an integral component to his creation, his invention, his pièce de résistance: A time machine. Nestled in the faraway canopies of the bustling forests, where the brachiosauruses liked to have good conversations over a leafy lunch (occasionally fruit, if one got lucky), his contraption of humble materials held a considerable amount of weight to them—weight in both the physical and intellectual senses. Yes, it looked like a cacophony of twigs, leaves and branches thrown together haphazardly to recreate some sort of extinct ancestor, but at its core, it was a gateway to the future. And for Rover, that meant a way out—finally.

When his machine was built and properly tested using a rather young, naïve brachiosaurus who he sent to the year 1933. The subject did not return, and Rover saw this as a good sign to advance onward. Thus, he had a plan in motion. He woke up very early the next morning, having a sundial alarm clock (which was also very ahead of his time) all cued up. Using a system of levers, the sun’s rays would set fire to strands of bamboo holding a small pebble above a perched dodo. The pebble was released onto the bird’s puny little brain, causing him to squawk loud enough—out of pain, aggravation, and possibly delirium—for Rover to hear him.

At that, Rover sprang up and dashed through the morning sunlight into the forest, using his serpentine arms to swing himself from branch to branch up until he could go no higher, when he had promptly reached his destination with time to spare. He was then grateful for his unimpressive set of teeth, which hindered him from eating much and weighing a ton like his great-aunt Dolores. Gazing out on the never-ending horizon, he was ready to leave this world behind. He turned round to face his time machine, feeling a sense of pride as he switched around some twigs and set the transportation date to March 13, 2020: Surely, he thought, nothing bad would happen if a little dinosaur like me would be added to the future world. I mean, how bad could things be right about then? The world now seems so monotonous, never exciting enough for me, anyhow.

As quick as his soliloquy about his future hopes had started, it ended, as out of the corner of his eyes he saw a great star hurdling towards Earth— straight towards his home— at a mile a minute, “Great balls of fire!” he shrieked. Quickly, he started to gauge levers, adjust any moving parts that seemed flimsy, trying to ensure the safest (and quickest) possible journey to the future. He frantically scrambled into the gateway and closed the door shut, when he realized “Shoot! I forgot the flip the switch! Oh, my sized brain can’t fail me now!”

He swung open the latch and reached his arm—his long, trusty arm—out towards that lever, but it was of no use—Rover could not reach the lever. Something else, though, reached him first: The deafening roar, louder than all his pack joined together, met his ears. The darkness, thicker than the longest night, reached his eyes, and Rover was zapped to a new dimension without even pushing a button.