A Swirling Vortex of an Adventure

Aiden’s eyes narrowed in the dim light of his father’s lab. His father had finally decided to come up for air, some decent food, and a shower after 48 hours in what he referred to as “his workspace” and Aiden called “the black hole”. It was a measure of his father’s preoccupation with his current work that he left the lab door unlocked, something that Aiden had counted on, knowing that the only time his father became forgetful was after too many hours spent searching for answers, living on snatched sleep and little bits of food when he remembered to eat. Just what exactly has him so busy? Aiden wondered. At sixteen years old, he was too old to take much stock in his father’s apologies for being an absentee father. He knew his father was working on some important experiment for the government, and Aiden was ready to see what it was. His eyes rested on the red glow of a button, as enticing to Aiden as cheese was to the little white lab rats Aiden’s father kept, who were mostly pets, his father’s experiments almost always focused on some type of technology. Just then, Aiden heard the creak of the lab door, and his father’s voice “Aiden? Are you in my workspace? Please come out, have some dinner with your old man. I am not ready to show you my newest bit of work quite yet; it is unsafe for you to be in there. Aiden?” Aiden stubbornly ignored his father’s words, and stealthily made his way to the little red button. Just then, he felt his father’s eyes on him, stormy blue-green eyes that matched Aiden’s perfectly, despite looking nothing like his father in any other way. “Aiden? What are you doing?” His father asked, his voice sounding panicked now. Aiden made no effort to reassure his father, and instead decisively touched the button, at the exact moment his father yelled “Aiden, DON’T”.

Aiden found himself caught up in a swirling dizziness that made him feel sick to his stomach, light headed, yet also had the scary-fun feeling of a favorite roller coaster ride. It was, if nothing else, disorientating, and Aiden closed his eyes and steeled his stomach against the nausea that was quickly overcoming the roller-coaster-ride feeling. He was caught up in the feeling for what felt like an eternity, until finally he woke, feeling clammy and dangerously close to losing the contents of his stomach, on a white sand beach, on a sultry summer day, on a cliff overlooking amazingly turquoise crystal blue water. Aiden felt warm, familiar hands on his shoulders which snapped him out of the lingering effects of his recent travail. Looking down at himself, he saw that his body was broader, his muscles more defined. No longer the lanky whipcord body he was used to seeing, he appeared to have the body of a full grown man, dressed in a white suit. “How old am I?” he wondered to himself, before investigating the owner of those comforting hands on his shoulders, finally looking up and meeting stormy, blue-green eyes the exact same color as his own. A sense of relief came over Aiden, as his father’s voice asked “Are you ok, son?” “Yes, I feel a little sick still Dad, but nothing like a few minutes ago.” Aiden answered, speaking to his father for the first time, shocked at the husky sound of his voice, similar to his normal voice, but slightly different than what he was expecting. “I am glad you are feeling better son, because you are about to experience the unpleasant side effects of time travel again, and we have about 30 seconds to get out of here before we are stuck.” And with that his father hit a red button “why are they always red?” Aiden grumbled, before being caught up in the swirling vortex that would bring them back to their present time.

Reality returned slowly to Aiden, and when he finally had himself together again, he looked at his father, expecting sharp words of rebuke. His father simply shook his head, and said

“Aiden, I was terrified today. I haven’t quite worked out all the kinks in this new program, and…I know I am not always around enough, but I love you, and I can’t stand the thought of you being lost or injured or…worse.”

“I am sorry dad…I really want to be a scientist like you, and I wanted to know what you were working on, but you were so caught up in your work…well, I should have just asked.” Aiden’s father was thoughtfully silent for a minute before responding

“I will include you more, Aiden. I am sorry, there is no excuse but I get so caught up in my work sometimes, that I just don’t think. Not even to eat.”

“I know Dad, and I really am sorry. But, it was an adventure! This is such a neat invention Dad! Hey, by the way, where were we?”

“your wedding”

“No way! Who? Is she Hot?” He asked, a burning question for a hormonal 16 year old boy/man.

“I guess you will just have to wait and see” his dad responded with a chuckle.

“No fair Dad, you gotta tell me, or we could go back and check it all out.”

“Not on your life mister” his Dad replied, ruffling his son’s golden blond hair. “Just consider wondering for the next ten years or so your punishment for nearly giving me a heart attack. C’mon, let’s go get some dinner” He said, exiting the lab behind Aiden, giving the door one final tug to ensure that it was locked.

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