The Cousins from Planet X

By: Heidi Nielson (Princess Pinkie)

"Hey, Ali! Over here!" I looked up from the weed I'd been pulling to see my cousin waving at me like a maniac. He was standing in the doorway of our shed, grinning like he'd just won the lottery. "What?" I yelled, trying to keep the annoyance from my voice. Wiping the sweat from my forehead, I glanced over at the towering pile of weeds that sat about a hundred feet away. I'd been pulling weeds all morning, and all afternoon, and I'd probably keep right on pulling all night, because I was majorly busted. My cousin's cry interrupted my gloomy thoughts. "I found something!" He disappeared back into the shed, beckoning me to follow. I heaved a huge sigh, and looked back at the garden. It was like a rainforest; weeds every shape and size covering the entire plot. I wasn't even half done, and I'd been at it all day! {I}I suppose a break couldn't hurt{/I}, I thought, trudging to the rusty, old shed. "Geez, took you long enough," greeted my cousin. "Hello to you to," I said sarcastically, "If you haven't noticed, I'm a little {I}busy{/I} right now; so you should be thankful I even graced you with my presence." He smirked, "My apologies, your Highness," he sneered, "I think you'll change your tune once you've seen what I found." I made a face, but I followed him anyway as he led me to the back of the shack. "Okay, what is it Sky?" I asked with irritation. "Patience is a virtue, my liege," he said coolly. I rolled my eyes. Whatever it was, it had better be good. My mom was going to chew my ear off when she saw that I'd stopped working. "Voila!" he exclaimed, pushing aside a carton and raising a torrent of dust. A strange, dusty, metallic object came into view, and I stared at it, my eyes watering from the dust. "What is it?" I coughed, covering my mouth and nose. "That's what I was wondering," he replied, stepping closer. "I thought I'd consult you before I began a further investigation." I grinned at him as I stepped up next to him. Partners in crime, that was the two of us. We were the notorius two in our community. No child or parent hadn't heard of us, or of our "evil deeds." The children and teenagers would look at us in awe as we passed by, simply wishing that they had the guts to do what we did, but the adults were another story. 'Young hooligans,' they called us. A highly unimaginative nickname, if you asked me. How about 'The Cousins from Planet X"? "Rebellious Hunkamonkeys" was another good alternative, but "bad kids" and "young hooligans" were terms that I was frankly very tired of hearing. How did we come upon this glorious fame? Well, we were still doing penance for our latest scandal. It was a little something we liked to call "Operation Penny Drop." Earlier the prior day my mom had dropped us off at the mall as a way for me to get rid of some of my babysitting money. My money and Sky's patience quickly ran out, and with three hours before my mom could pick us up, we were just itching to break a few rules. The abandoned pennies were our inspiration. Soon we were up on the second story, tossing the pennies at the feet of unsuspecting shoppers. We were having a grand old time watching an old man pick up the penny and stare at it quizzically, when we got an unexpected surprise. "{I}What{/I}, may I ask, are the two of you doing?" We spun around and found ourselves face to face with a 7 foot, 280 pound security guard. "Oh, {I}hello{/I} sir, how are you tonight?" I asked, in an attempt to smooth talk my way out of the whole thing. Unfortunately, he'd heard of us before. That's the only problem with a reputation as widespread as ours. Every knows you, and so {I}everyone{/I} suspects you. He finally let us go, after a twenty minute lecture of Do-You-Understand- the-Seriousness-of-This and Mall-Rules-Are-Still-Rules hoodoodies, on the understanding that we'd leave as soon as we could, and that we wouldn't ever throw anything off a balcony again, nor would we EVER disobey another Mall Rule. Too bad ten minutes later Sky felt the need to cool off. The guard had to drag him out of the fountain and we soon found ourselves at the police station, waiting for my mom to come pick us up. Believe me, that was not a pretty sight. We were busted, and forbiddon from fun or teen interaction for the entire month. Not to mention the back-breaking yard work we were sentenced to for a long line of Saturdays. If we'd only had a little foresight we would have remembered that Tuesday was the Good Charlotte concert, and that any messing around should have been postponed until after that. But being the "young hooligans" that we were, we'd forgotton the thinking half of our brains, and now, because of a stupid mall incident, the concert was off of the agenda. These were the miserable thoughts running through my mind as I ran my hand across the odd vehicle. Sky was examining the dials and switches on the hood. The contraption sort of reminded me of a motorcycle, but a fairly contorted one. But I knew for a fact that neither of my parents had the guts to own a what was it doing in my shed? "What is it?" I asked again, examining the wings on either side of the engine. "I have--wait, what's this?" I watched Sky scrub at the opposite side of the engine. He stared at it a moment, blinked, then stared some more. "Well, what does it say?" I prompted. "It says." he paused, still looking wide eyed. "Yes?" "It says.Time Machine 2003."


"WHAT?!" I exclaimed, "Are you crazy??" I rushed to his side, to see for myself. There it was in bold, golden letters. "Do you think it would work?" asked Sky, excitedly. I gave him a Look. "Of course not! Crazy-head! It's probably just someone's idea of a joke.." My voice trailed off and we stared at eachother. I knew we were both thinking the same thing. What if it wasn't? My mind began to race. If we could go back in time, maybe we could stop that stupid mall incident from happening! Then we wouldn't have to do this ridiculous yard work, and we could maybe even go to the concert! I looked at Sky and he grinned. It was as if he was reading my thoughts. "It couldn't hurt to give it a try." I began uncertainly. "No, of course not!" he said quickly. I grinned back at him. "Let's do it, cuz."


Soon we were seated on the bike; two fiery red helmets strapped onto our heads. "Now what?" I asked. We both looked around for something, or someone that could tell us what to do. After a minute, Sky whooped, and picked up a rather professional- looking manual. "Step one: Select date, time, and place," Sky read. I gave him a skeptical look, and he shrugged. I shook my head, but still leaned forward to examine the dials more closely. Now that I took the time to look, I saw that each one had a different label. Date, time, I looked at Sky who shrugged. I set the three dials to 9/5/02, 5:30 and MALL. "Okay then." I said quietly, "Step one complete." "Right," he continued, "Step two: Press the red button." We were off. We zoomed backwards through a Technicolor rainbow. It was so exhilarating! Nearly as good as bunjee-jumping. but before it had barely begun, it ended, and we found ourselves in the middle of the Seaside Mall. "Dude." breathed Sky, "That was unreal." "Yeah," I agreed. But we didn't have time to ponder! As we spoke, I caught a glimpse of myself tossing a penny. I'll tell you. There is no weirder feeling than that. I felt a chill run down my spine and I shivered involuntarily. "You okay?" Sky asked, sounding concerned. I hesitated, ".Yeah--yeah, I'm fine." Suddenly, a rather bulky security guard stepped out of the nearby elevator, and I was jolted back into reality. "Look who just joined the party." I muttered to Sky, indicating the security guard, as my yesterday self tossed another penny into the air. "You get Chunko," I commanded, "I'll take care of us."


We went off to our separate tasks. Chunko took a beating from the invisible Sky, and I wrestled the pennies away from my yesterday self. I tell you, there's nothing weirder than wrestling with YOURSELF. Nothing. I finally managed to get them away, (Hey, I'm a strong girl!) and Sky and I raced back to the Time Machine. While Sky reset the dials I glanced back over at ourselves. I burst out laughing. I don't think I'd ever seen Sky looking so confused, as myself tried to explain what had just happened to her. Then Sky pressed the big, red button and we were tossed back into the flood of color and sound.


"We did it!" I whooped, jumping off the bike. I skipped out of the shed, pondering what outfit I should wear to the concert, when I stopped dead in my tracks. There was the same pile, sitting there like we'd never left it. "Sky, what's going on?" I asked frantically. He joined me in my puzzlement. "Your mom got bored?" he said hopefully. Just then the kitchen door banged open. "ALISON MELISA KING!!" my mom yelled; her face red and a vein throbbing on her neck. "What?" I yelled back, feeling annoyed. "YOU HAD BETTER GET YOUR BUTT IN GEAR AND FINISH THAT GARDEN! WHY, AFTER THAT INCIDENT YESTERDAY--" "What incident?" Sky and I yelled in unison. "DON'T GET SMART WITH ME! YOU BOTH KNOW PERFECTLY WELL--" "Please tell us!" I pleaded. She gave us a look that could have melted a glacier. "TO REFRESH YOUR YOUNG AND IDIOTIC MINDS," she began, straining to keep some semblance of patience in her voice, "SKY TOOK A DIP IN THE FOUNTAIN YESTERDAY--" I rounded on him. "YOU!!!" He gave me a frightened look. "Come on Ali, you know it's not my--" "YOU HAD BETTER START RUNNING SKYLER JAMES ROBINSON!!!!!!!"