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MPH essay 2006 1


I attempted to tear myself away from his gaze. This proved rather difficult, for sitting across the table was a man in his late thirties, grinning like the Chesire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. He was dressed smartly in a creaseless white suit like that of a ‘professional entrepreneur’.

“Now then, I’m Smeeves from Chrono Corporation. You’re Lynette Parson, correct? Well, now, I believe we’re properly acquainted.”

I nodded reluctantly in response.

The Millefueille Café was packed that day. Several business luncheons were held at almost every table. I was uneasy as I was the only high school student with her little brother at her side having some cake there. No doubt I was soon about to engage in a business affair of my own.

I just happened to meet Mr. Smeeves in the park. He stopped me on my way back home and asked me if I was interested in purchasing something. He was very charming and I was persuaded by a promised treat at this particular café.

“So, sweetie, what do you think of my company’s newest merchandise?”

Mr. Smeeves opened his briefcase and laid a device carefully on the table. It looked like an ordinary digital watch.

“The possibility of time travel has been scientifically proven through Einstein’s theory of relativity, at least to the future, that is. But, our company has taken a giant leap. Not only are you able to operate time travel without going out into space, but you can also manipulate time by making it move faster or slower to your own personal liking.”

My skeptical mind refused to process this new information. Theoretically, it was farfetched. Manipulating time? That’s impossible. This man is a con!

He must have noticed my doubtful expression, because he quickly added, “I’m offering you this once in a lifetime opportunity. Take it, or leave it. There are plenty of teenagers out there who would jump at a chance like this.”

He smiled in a suspicious Mephistophelian manner. I felt a little shiver of unease, but at that moment, my younger brother Jake tugged me by the sleeves.

“I want the watch! I want the watch!” he whined as any toddler would. Come on, don’t tell me he believes all that junk?


The man was waiting for an answer. I bit my lip. Just then, Jake started hollering in my ears. I was growing desperate. Most of the patrons were now staring at me. I was embarrassed.

In the end, I gave up and bought the stupid watch. The man left in satisfaction.

I was very angry with my kid brother.

“That’s it! Enough dealing with weird business dudes!”

However, during our journey home, I started wondering about the functions of the watch. What harm could it actually do? It can’t possibly manipulate time. Who knows, it could have just been a child’s toy.

Out of curiosity, I snatched the device from my brother’s hands.

“Hey!” he cried out in surprise.

I studied it carefully. I needed to know exactly what my months’ allowance was worth. There’s got to be a useful property to it. Yes, it could definitely tell time, but there were several additional buttons on its side. They were labeled, ‘FAST’, ‘SLOW’, ‘FREEZE’, ‘REWIND’ and ‘FORWARD’. How peculiar.

“This could be an MP-3 watch. If so, then it’s mine for keeps.”

Jake started shouting as I pocketed the device.

“Give me back!”

He reached out a tiny hand into my pocket and triumphantly held it out in the air.

“Now watch me press this button!”

“You don’t know how to work it!” I held on to the other end of the rubber strap.

Without warning, Jake pressed down hard onto the ‘SLOW’ button.

There was a moment of uncanny silence. Both Jake and I were speechless.

All of a sudden, my skin tingled and a strange sensation washed over me as if a jolt of electricity was going through my body. My surroundings became a spectacular blur of colors. I wasn’t able to identify any details of the abstract canvas spread across my vision. Objects around me whizzed by in animation faster than my eyes could see.

I pinched myself. My mind was still lucid, but why did I feel like I was walking in a dream? I stumbled forward as something hit me from behind. A biker?

Jake hugged me tightly. I held him close to my trembling body. We were in an alien dimension and we needed to get home.

Amongst the shadowy figures, a man stood still. Apparently, he was moving at an equivalent speed towards us. I squinted and recognized him immediately  Smeeves!

He approached us, greeting us with his million-dollar smile.

“Smeeves!” I choked out in surprise. Perhaps he could get us home, but I had a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Let me explain,” Smeeves offered. “The watch that you bought can’t actually manipulate time, or slow it down as the button you pressed just now says. It actually slows YOU down or anyone in contact with it. Your movements are no longer visible to the passers-by. They’re all moving at a regular speed, but you’re moving too slowly for them to see.”

I find it hard to process this new information. This can’t be happening!

Suddenly, Smeeves pounced on us like a hungry tiger. He was trying to tear Jake away from me! I struggled to hold on to Jake, but I was finding it hard to breathe. Smeeves’ body smothered me.

Jake began shouting, but no one was able to hear him. We were helpless. I reached out frantically for Jake, but Smeeves’ powerful arms pushed me to the ground. I fell onto my back.

Tears began flowing from my eyes. “No, please! Don’t take him away!” I pleaded.

Smeeves laughed scornfully. “I thought he was a brat. Say, what if I make him Chrono Corp’s new guinea pig ”
“Lynn!” Jake yelled.

With a blink of the eye, Smeeves was gone.

Number of words: 999


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