Peer Review by Lili Smith (United States)

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After they messed up

By: Alexa M.

    “Ice Age, a point in time were the world got warm, way warmer than ever before.  There were pros and cons to this such as, we got new species but lost many, we lost a lot of ice but  gained warmth and land. Many years passed after the next period occurred. Unlike the Ice Age this period was provoked by humans. They polluted the earth which caused a loss of many things. Land from flooding, species, civilizations, over all this wasn’t a pro, but a con in the earth’s history,” she stops and examines the classroom, a white block with students listening. “ Our species did this! They screwed up our lives and left us to fight for our lives,” the classroom is silent, all whispers in the back have left and all I hear now is complete silence. “The waters rose and lands sunk, no land remained, no land except North America.” The tension in the room has risen as the teacher is in fumed by anger towards our ancestors. We are yet to speak out.
    “How many species did we lose?” blurt out a student in the back.
    “5.9 billion species, known” is written on the board. A buzz slowly rises among the 27 kids in the room.
    I look out the window. The citizens of colony 9 section B4  have been picking up trash for about 5 hours now. I glance at the clock which reassured me class is to be finished in five minutes, and clean up duties are about to begin. I pick my supplies and wait for the bell to dismiss me.
    I am in line for my stamp, as I stand a voice plays out to citizens of colony 9 section B5, which I happen to be a part of.
    “ Colony 9, section B5, get to the clean up destination immediately for your stamp and begin your duties,”this plays about
10 more time before  I get my stamp and and head over to my designated area. Thoughts begin to migrate in my head about the lesson I attended previous to coming here. What if I stopped the flood? What if I went back!! What if I went back?! These thoughts are screaming inside my head. Of course I would never go back, as it’s forbidden. As to the reason it is, no one really knows for sure except the government, but it is believed if the time line was changed most of us would have never existed. Of course the gov. doesn't want to mess up the timeline  so they took that option out of the picture.
I look around slowly picking up trash so I don’t draw attention to myself, the projects lab is 3 feet away. I am 3 feet away from something that could possibly change the timeline. The disasters we created… I could change that!
No, no no. that is forbidden. I reassure myself.
    “Colony 9, section B5 is dismissed from clean up duties. You are to go home and watch afternoon announcements.” The voice echoes through all the trash and people and straight to me. All steps are taken towards the exit… except mine. 
I walk through the trash close to the buildings. The skyscrapers tower over me as if they were to swallow me whole. I reach the science lab entrance. The metal door is closed shut. The air blows my hair back, and it starts to drizzle. There it is!
I reach towards my hair for a bobby pin. It takes about 5 minutes till the lock is picked and I am in the building. It is deserted as it usually is on most Tuesdays. It is mostly used Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Water drips from my brown plain clothing I got from my sister Suzie last year. She would probably kill me if she found out I,  Samantha Rae Crossbay, am about to break in a time machine.
    Sirens begin to scream. I dash to a section called “Private”  there I find it. The machine. I jump quickly and fumble with the buttons and levers till the world around me disappears, and I am on my journey back in time.
As dizzy as I am I step out of the time machine and realize my clothes are different. I am wearing a plain dress and black boots. I am now in 1907! I look around surprisingly it looks clean, no mountains of trash or polluted air as we have in the year 3156.
    I search around for a man named Leo Hendrik Baekeland, at least that is what a man in an ill fitting black suit told me as I searched through the streets of so called Ghent, Florida. 
    “Excuse me would you perhaps know where Leo Hendrik Baekland would be right now?”
    “ If you don't mind me asking why would a young woman as yourself be looking for him?”
As defensive as I feel I try to brush it off and tell him I have an important message, he writes down an address and leaves the bench were he was sitting .
    I’m knocking at his door. The metal door knob turns and I am surprised to find him, Leo that is. 
    “I need to tell you something!” I blurt out, which is followed by a chuckle on his behalf.
    He lets me in his humble home, I am offered things I haven't heard of, such as coffee and muffins. I bounce on the vintage sofa with jitters about my conversation to come. I try to get straight to the point. “I am Samantha Rae and I am from the future, please listen to my idea…”
    He seems amused  with my statement but agrees to make his invention, Plastic, biodegradable, that is the compromise I got, not to bad.
     I am let out from the home and I head straight towards the machine. It starts raining. Water finds its way into my shoes as I run up a hill. Pedestrians stare at me as I jolt up the grassy hill currently filled with pounds of mud. I find my way to the time machine. The sun glistens on it as I hop in. I press a series of buttons and I am on my way back to the future. I start to feel dizzy all over again.
    I arrive fine except I don't think I pressed the right year, there are flying cars to my left and hovering building on my right. I double, triple check the year but this is the year 3156. It is different, no plastic filling every block, no guards on everywhere you turn, there’s bright clothes. It’s amazing!
      I step forward and enter my new beginning.
    Happy people walk on a trash less side walk, or bike down a road paved down to a detail. I turn around waiting for it all to fade, it never does. The sidewalks are filled with joyful souls and amazingly architecture buildings hovering off the ground. Each bush is cut to a science, and the sky is cloudless and beautiful.
    I turn around and head into a new version of my old life.

Peer Review

when you say "there it is" it makes me exited to read more about what you are talking about by saying "there" instead of saying like what it actually is.

when you say "my sister will kill me if she found out...." because these are the things that come in to mind when doing things for a real life problems.

when you walk into the time machine you said its used on specific days of the week maybe you could go into detail about what/why its used.

the future.


Reviewer Comments

lili smith <3