Bumbles in Time #6: The End of the Bumble

Previous Story Synopsis: Felix is on a time-traveling field trip in ancient Guatemala when he meets a Mayan girl named Ixchel. Ixchel accidentally pushes Felix’s Emergency Evacuation button, but instead of going back to Felix’s school, they find themselves in Morocco in 1911. They escape from Berber warriors and travel to 15th century Indonesia. After an unfortunate stop in Antarctica, they reach Quebec in 1998. They only have the battery power to jump through time once more so Felix is determined not to use it. However, when they are almost hit by a car, the armband evacuates them automatically. They find themselves in Hawai’i in 1893 and just happen to help stop a take-over of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. Unfortunately, that seems to change history and now the field trips that they were going to meet to get them home have disappeared.

Read the full chapters here:

  1. Bumbles in Time #1: The Mayan Girl
  2. Bumbles in Time #2: The Berber Danger
  3. Bumbles in Time #3: The Malacca Meander
  4. Bumbles in Time #4: The Quebec Catastrophe
  5. Bumbles in Time #5: The Hawai’i Conspiracy

Bumbles in Time: The End of the Bumble

“They’re gone!” Felix said. “The field trips we were going to meet to get back home.” When they had stopped the man with the wagon of guns from taking over the Hawaiian palace, they had changed history so much that the field trips that were going to happen now did not exist anymore.

“I might not be born anymore,” Felix said.

Ixchel poked him in the arm. “You were already born once. Do you need to do it again?”

“But I haven’t been born yet, at this time in 1893,” he said. “They didn’t teach us what happens if you change time this much: they just said, ‘Don’t bumble.’”

The translation must have been strange since Ixchel looked confused. “Don’t do anything to change time,” Felix said. “Like meeting you.”

“I’m glad I met you,” Ixchel said. “This has been a lot more interesting than just being at home, practicing for a dance I had to do perfectly or there might be war between Ixkun and Tikal. At least that’s what my uncle said.”

Felix nodded. He wasn’t sure how he felt. The last week had been an adventure, but it would be a lot better if he knew it would end okay.

“Maybe we could send the school a message,” Felix said after a minute. “I can ask the people here to hold the message and deliver it in 250 years. At least, if the school still exists now.” It was hard to see how a wagon in Hawaii could change his school 250 years later in Piratini, but his teachers had talked about how anything could affect anything in the future, even if it wasn’t always likely.

Felix asked one of the palace servants to bring them paper and ink. He had never used a quill pen before and ruined several pieces of paper before writing a decent letter.

“Dear Mr. Summers or whoever is teaching history, if the school exists. This is Felix Soto, if I still exist now. It is January 17, 1893 and I am in Honolulu, Hawaii. Right now I am in ‘Iolani Palace. I am stuck here and cannot get home. Please send help.”

Sincerely, Felix Soto

He addressed it Rina Patel Elementary School, R. Mal. Andréia, Rio Grande, PIRATINI: DO NOT OPEN UNTIL AFTER MARCH 15, 2155.

“Can you mail this?” Felix said to the servant who was waiting to take the pen and ink back. “Don’t worry, it’s not urgent. Actually, you can wait 250 years.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” the servant said in a tone of voice that showed he clearly thought Felix was insane.

“Now what?” Ixchel asked.

“If they get the message, they should be here soon,” Felix said. “Although I didn’t tell them what time it was at the moment. Of course, it might never get to them, in which case they are not coming.”

“This sounds a lot like magic to me,” Ixchel said. “Or you have food poisoning. Is your tummy feeling okay?”

“I’m fine,” Felix said. “As long as that letter can go 12,000 km, 250 years from now, we’ll be fine.”

One of the palace guards came to the door. “I see you have finished eating,” he said. “I can bring you back to where you are staying. The queen has said you can keep the clothes.”

“Where should we go?” Felix whispered to Ixchel. “I said in the note that we were here, but we can’t just stay in the palace, especially if they never get the note. Let me look for more field trips.”

“Do you know the address of your lodgings?” the guard said after a minute of Felix looking at his arm.

“Take us to the docks,” Felix said. He smiled in relief. “I found a field trip on the Big Island a month from now. It’s 250 km from here, but we have lots of time to take a ship there.”

They followed the guard to the back of the palace where a small carriage was waiting for them. The driver asked which dock they wanted to go to but since Felix did not know, the driver said he would bring them to a place where they could ask.

The air was warm and there was a refreshing breeze blowing from the ocean. Felix felt his eyes close and was about to drift off when Ixchel gave a shout.

“Hey,” she cried. “There’s the man who tried to kill me.”

Felix’s eyes flew open. Ixchel was standing up, pointing down the road to where a group of men were sitting on horseback. The one closest to them was John Good, the driver of the wagon and the man who had hit Ixchel and pushed Felix.

“I thought they killed him,” Ixchel said.

“You said they should, but they’re not going to just kill him because you told them too,” Felix said. “Plus I was the only one who understood you. I did he’d be locked up though.”

John Good looked over at them, then pointed and said something to his friends. They turned and started to ride towards the carriage.

“Can you go faster?” Felix asked the driver.

“Not much faster,” he replied. “Are you going to miss your ship?”

It was clear that even if the carriage went twice as fast, the men on horses could easily catch up.

“We need to hide,” Felix said to Ixchel.

She nodded. “I wish we had taken some of those weapons in the truck.”

“You can stop here,” Felix said to the driver. As soon as the carriage slowed, Felix and Ixchel jumped out and ran between two buildings.

“The spies are getting away!” they heard John Good shout.

“Spies?” Ixchel said. “How dare he call us names. He hit me first!”

They were near the docks now and ran past crates filled with bags of sugar. It was hard to run in their new clothes and Felix was out of breath.

“Hide here!” Ixchel said. She ducked down behind a crate of sugar. They crouched down, hearing the horses get closer.

At that moment, a figure fell out of the sky and landed next to them. It was a man wearing a dark blue uniform and a helmet. His glove caught on one of the bags of sugar, tearing it open.

“This better not make me sticky,” he said with a sigh, in English. “Felix Soto, right?”

“Yes,” Felix said. This seemed to be someone from the future, but it was no one he recognized.

“Let’s get out of here before these dingbats notice you,” he said. “Hang on.” He put an arm around each of them. It seemed way stronger than a normal human arm. The next second they had shot into the air. Felix had a glimpse of all of Honolulu spread out below them until he threw up most of the banquet they had just eaten at the palace.

“I hope it lands on those guys following you!” the man shouted over the noise of the wind.

They landed on the mountain ridge in the center of the island. Ixchel was looking sick too. “That was worse than jumping through time,” she said. “But fun too, if I hadn’t eaten so much before.”

A minute later, five other people arrived, some flying in, others running impossibly fast up the mountain slope.

“Felix Soto,” a woman said. She laughed. “I can’t believe we actually found you. We’ll get your story later, but right now, we should get you home.”

“Did you get my note?” Felix asked, still too shocked at their sudden rescue.

“Eventually,” the woman said. “My name is Nikke Swathi, the leader of this team. We’re from the United Chronexcursion Authority, from the year 2249. Someone was renovating a house in Germany and came across your note. No one knows how it got there, but we did some research and figured that you were here and that no one had ever come to get you. So we came to find out.”

“So my family never knew where I went?” Felix asked.

“No, we checked on that and you went back after class, so we guessed that was us rescuing you. Our computers are much better in our time about checking all that to make sure we don’t mess anything up.” She motioned to Ixchel. “Who’s this? You didn’t mention anyone else in your note.”

Ixchel had heard the translation of all this, and immediately started telling the adults about who she was and where she had come from. And for the first time in their adventures, everything there had translators, so Felix did not have to translate for her.

“We can bring you home too,” Nikke said. “But we should probably go before long. The Hawaiian National Congress only gave us permission to look for you for 24 hours.”

“Do you want to go home?” Felix said. That had always been the plan but now that they were suddenly leaving, he realized he was going to miss Ixchel a lot. They had been through a lot in the last few weeks, or thousands of years, depending on how you looked at it.

“I think I should,” Ixchel said. “It’s tempting not to, but I’ll always be listening to your arm and that’s a hard way to live. But can you visit me when you get a chance?”

“I’d like that,” Felix said. She grinned and bonked him on the head, then gave him a hug.

*         *         *

16 years later

(or 278 year later, depending on how you look at it: Felix is 25, in any case)

Mr. Felix Soto, the history teacher at Rina Patel Elementary School, was just checking the equipment for the day’s field trip when the students came into the history room from lunch. They lined up by the wall, all wearing their time traveling clothes, and waited for instructions.

“Today we are going to visit a Mayan city,” Felix said, looking at his class. “Does anyone remember the name of the town from our lesson yesterday?”

“Ixkun,” the student chorused.

“And who is the ruler of the city?”

“Eight Skull!” the kids shouted, laughing. Every year, they loved that name.

“Right, although we are not going to see him. Instead, we are going to go visit a good friend of mine. Her name is Ixchel and she has lived in Ixkun her whole life. Normally we would never talk to anyone on a field trip, but Ixchel is a special situation. She speaks some Portuguese but she will be speaking Mayan today. You can understand through your translators.”

Felix handed out the armbands and checked them. He had already made sure the Emergency Evacuation function was working on them all, but still he wanted to check them all again.

“Okay, everyone ready to go?” he asked. “Now, what’s the number one rule?”

“No felixing!” the students shouted together.

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