The room was full of tense air and the smell of distaste. Brad sat in an uncomfortable plastic chair across from Mr. Emit. Mr. Emit removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. He had dealt with Brad many other times before. He always go the same reaction. Brad would sit without even pretending to be listening. Mr. Emit would work to get him to believe in his words and fall short every time. This time he was determined to get it through to Brad. "Brad you really need to learn how important grades truly are. Out in the real world people need to work hard to get what they want. Nothing is handed out for free. Think of great it will feel to get that first A Brad. Brad you really need to consider your future. How do you plan on making a living?" Brad had denied that he needed an education.
"Future this and future that. Education is for the ugly. People see me and throw cash at me just for being this handsome. Why would I work for something when people will give me things just for being me? Why would I waste all this talent on something like homework? I am a walking gold mine Mr. E." He spat the words at Mr. Emit with a tone that said "I'm better than others. Education is for wimps."Mr. Emit shook his head and gave him a stern look.
"You'll regret not getting a proper education. One day you will need this knowledge to go out into the world and prosper." How could someone not want a proper education? Mr. Emit thought to himself. He looked on his desk finding his time turner. He slid the clock like device into his hand and turned the dial. I'll just have to give him one. Nicholas Emit was a man that thought all children should get a proper education from start to finish. Being that he was a school teacher he only thought it appropriate. He would not let this one get away without one.
"Whatever Mr. Emit, one day I'll be famous and none of this will matter." Brad stood to leave and had to grab his pants to keep them from falling down. He figured he just did not tighten his belt enough and kept walking. Education, brad thought. How ridiculous. Brad had gone through most of his life getting things handed to him. Homework was too much work. He had to focus on working out, looking good, getting ladies, and being on the football team. He thought when he graduated people would throw money at him just for being him. His parents never bothered to tell him that education was important because they thought he would get a scholarship for being a football player.
Brad walked down to the locker room to prepare for football practice. He had tossed what Mr. Emit said back and forth in his head before deciding he just didn't care. As he entered the room some of his team mates began to laugh and a few were staring at him differently. He wanted to know what was so funny. He turned to one of his team mates and asked," What's so funny." Only to have him reply," You dude."
"What? What are you talking about?" Brad was utterly confused. He had not had someone laugh at him since he was in grade school. He felt a hint of panic strike into his bones. His face felt warm with anger and distress.
"Get a mirror man." The boy returned to preparing for practice.
Brad opened his locker to look in his mirror. He was appalled by what he saw. All over his face were small red bumps. I haven't had acne since grade school. He remembered the harsh words people would say to him. "I'm so…ugly," He spoke the word as if it were a deadly weapon striking through his heart. Not grade school all over again. He ran his hand over the bumps hoping they'd disappear with his touch. When that didn't work he shut his eyes and rubbed his face. The acne was still there. Brad made a growl and slammed the locker shut. "This is ridiculous," he spoke loudly to no one in particular.
"Chill dude, I'm sure it will clear up by tomorrow. Just get through practice," his team mate said before walking out to the field. "And man, have you been losing weight?"
"Yeah, I hope so. What do you mean losing weight?" Brad looked for a bigger mirror to look in. He saw himself but in a smaller size. He had shrunk at least a few inches and lost some of his muscle. What is going on? Brad grew even more frustrated. He began wondering if he had contracted some acne causing, body shrinking disease and decided he would immediately seek help after practice. He almost considered just going home to avoid any further embarrassment out on the field. Instead he decided to suck it up and go out to the field to prove he was no one to be laughed at.
Out on the field, Brad was not doing his best. He certainly was not proving that he was no one to be laughed at. He thought he'd be fine with the acne; at least it could clear up. With his talent disappearing Brad felt helpless. What would he do if he could get by with football? He certainly did not have the education to get a real job. No, he thought, I'm beautiful and talented. This is simply a minor setback He tried to push his worries and concerns out of his mind. No more distractions, no more thinking about Mr. Emit's lecture. The words he scoffed at.
Without Brad knowing it, Mr. Emit stood on the sidelines holding his time turner. He gave the dial another spin. Soon it will be done. You will get an education. Brad suddenly felt smaller compared to the field than he normally was. He looked around him to see taller players running past him. He looked at his arms and legs noticing a mass amount of missing muscle that he worked so hard to build. This is not happening. This is not happening. I will be fine in the morning. I will see a doctor and he will tell me everything is fine. Just get through the practice Brad. Hetried to get a grip of himself before panicking.
It is Brad's turn to kick and he can feel his heart beating as though it is trying to escape from his chest. He puts a hand over his heart as if to hold his rib cage together so his heart cannot get away. You got this Brad, he thought preparing himself for the kick. He swings his foot into the fall using the same form he had throughout his practices. He smirked to himself thinking he had done a good job. He heard a burst of laughter coming from his team mates. He looked and his ball had only traveled a few feet, a much shorter distance than normal for him. This is not happening. None of this is real. I am in a bad dream. I will wake up and be normal. My acne will be gone and girls will be swooning over me. My muscle will be back and the girls will be trying to grab onto my biceps. He set himself up to kick the ball again. You've got this, focus. He kicked the ball as hard as he thought he ever could. He watched the ball fly through the air and land. He fell short again.
The team was laughing, "Nice try kid. How about you go hit the showers and leave this for the professionals." Brad looked around. The whole team was either laughing or talking about how his kicks were falling short. Brad had always been the best player. He could not believe his team would be so quick to want to drop him.
"I've got this I know it. Just give me one more shot," he pleaded his coach. He heard an odd screech come from his throat. Was that a voice crack? I haven't had one since puberty. The coach had to hold back his laughter to give him another chance.
He set up angry and unfocused this time. He gave the ball a hard kick convinced he had to have broken his toes. He felt his jersey slip down his shoulder but did not care. He was focused on how hard he could kick the ball. The ball stopped where the previous one had. No improvement. Brad looked down at his ankles in disappointment just in time to watch his shorts drop. His legs had turn to scrawny chicken legs. The dark, manly leg hair had shortened and was barely visible. This is not a dream, this is a nightmare. Laughter boomed throughout the field. Brad felt his face turn the darkest shade of red it ever could. He ran off the field and head for the locker room where he could bear his shame alone.
This is perfect, Mr. Emit thought. He had witnessed the whole scene with Brad's kicks falling short and then his shorts coming off. He tucked his time turner into his pocket and started walking behind Brad towards the locker room. This boy will get an education yet. He could feel a hint of excitement coursing through his veins. He wanted nothing more than to give Brad the education he refused to give himself.
Brad had to hold onto his clothes to keep from losing his shorts again. He ran to the closest mirror he could find. Before him was standing the body of a small child. His jersey draped over him like a dress. This was not his body. He was struck with panic. How could I be getting younger? He heard the footsteps of someone walking in his direction. When he turned to see who it was he saw Mr. Emit. "Mr. Emit, what are you doing here?" His voice now was resembling that of a young girls, cracking off and on. He cringed at the sound of his self echoing off the walls.
"I saw you out there on the field. Not doing so great there are you Brad? Seems like your sports career is headed down the toilette, now isn't it Brad? You should have really looked into getting yourself an education." There was something in Mr. Emit's voice that made Brad uncomfortable.
"Mr. Emit, you have got to help me. My body, it's like it's getting younger, but my mind is still here. I don't know what's going on." Brad rushed over to Mr. Emit. His head just reached above Mr. Emit's waist. He remembered being able to look clear over Mr. Emit's head. "An education isn't going to matter if I'm not alive to use it. My talents aren't even valuable at this point." Brad was crushed at this realization. He almost felt like crying but decided to maintain the little amount of dignity he still had. He swallowed down his sadness and looked up at Mr. Emit's face. There was a smirk and Brad was confused.
"Oh don't you worry about that dear boy. It'll all be fine soon. Just relax." Mr. Emit pulled his time turner out of his pock and turned the dial. Brad felt the clothes drape even more over his shrinking body.
"What the- Are you the one who's doing this? Make it stop! Make it stop now!" Brad threw his self toward Mr. Emit in hopes he still had enough force to do damage. He had no luck. Mr. Emit threw a palm onto Brad's forehead, easily deflecting his blow. Brad swung his arms around in hopes they would be long enough to hit him at least once. No luck. He just appeared to be a small child throwing a tantrum. "Let go, stop this!" Brad was desperate to go back to his regular life of being popular. He now realized this was not a dream. He was aging backwards, losing all progress he had made, and there was nothing he could do about it. Mr. Emit had all control now.
"Quiet down boy. You could have prevented all of this if you just would have given yourself a proper education. Now, let Mr. Emit help you rewind and redo your past. There is hope for you yet." Mr. Emit gave a grin that frightened Brad. He lifted the time turner and turned the dial a full three turns. Brad turned to a mirror and watched as he shrank. His hair thinned and his limbs shortened. Eventually he was a mere infant covered in clothes to big and whining. Mr. Emit bent over and picked him up. "Hush, Daddy's here and everything will be just fine."