Autumn Term: Time Travel
This term our Journalists have been flying through time to bring your unusual and surprising stories.
The Truth Kills
By Robert Ebner-Statt 8WB
He examined the immaculate carvings in the machine’s side before blowing off a layer of dust that had made its home there. He flicked a switch and stared in awe as the metal pod came to life, wondering where in time to travel to first. The man exclaimed “Take me to the day I get married” and stared hopefully at the space around him, yet his face fell when nothing appeared to have happened. He peeked round the doorway to the bustling school corridor yet nothing had changed, everything was as it had been before.
The man took his seat in the silver chair once more and said “Take me to my first child’s barmitzvah”, another scene in time he longed to see, but still there was no hum of machinery or flash of light and to his dismay when he surveyed the corridor the same children were playing, everything was the same. The man’s cheeks turned red and rage consumed him, had he done all those things for this – a piece of junk.
The man kicked the pod aggressively, so much so that a dent formed but lights started flashing in the bulbs. A smile appeared on the gentleman’s face as he took his seat for the third time.
“Take me to the day I die.” This time sound erupted from the machine, the bulbs started spinning and changing colour. A flash of light then swarmed around the room and the man had to cover his eyes. Cautiously he got up and looked into the corridor, yet there they were, the same children. Nothing had changed. The man’s cheeks turned red once more as he jumped on top of the pod, breaking the glass and most of its contents. Then a woman appeared from the shadows brandishing a revolver and screamed “What have you done to the time machine I made?” The man replied “It didn’t work.”
Time Travel to the Chanukah Story
By Aaron Jaffe 7BH
If I had the lucky chance to visit one time period, I would love to visit when the Jews had the festival of Chanukah. The location was found somewhere near Babylon, but ruled by Greece. The Jews lived in these sort of comfy but not the best caves where they would secretly learn Torah and spin Dreidels (spinning tops). I admire the braveness of these wonderful people, including the Maccabees. I would have loved to join and be part of the search for the missing oil.
Let’s picture me, it’s Chanukah and I’m just about to receive a present as I’m writing this now. This present is beautifully wrapped in blue and gold decked with silver dreidels. I tear open the paper to find another box with no signal of what it could be. I rip open the box with full energy and see a pair of black and white Virtual Reality Goggles. I get them opened and working and then type into my phone ‘Chanukah’. It came up with 102,000 results. The top one was in the eyes of Yehudah Maccabee. The third one however, sparked my attention; it was titled “The Hanukkah Story from the Life of a Caveman Jew.” I clicked on it and slid in my goggles, fascinated to see what this person had made out of a technology project.
I was immediately put into a telephone box, normal like one on the streets of London. Then it started to twist into a mountainous area. The area was sparsely populated, but after we rose over the mountains a huge amount of caves were to be seen. The telephone box landed heavily at the entrance of a cave. The cave belonged to no other than Yehudah Maccabee, who welcomed me to his tent. He taught me everything I needed to know like when to learn Torah, and how to hear properly when the Greeks were coming. I also properly learned the game of Dreidel, which surprisingly had passages of Torah on them so whilst the Jews would play they could read their Torah. I left the cave and thanked all of the caring and kind people who were in the tent at this time. I still couldn’t believe that all of this was on a VR box.
I left and walked around the village until I found a cave that said “Aaron Jaffe and Guests.” I entered and went to check out this cave. There was a lovely table which had a secret compartment where they hid Torah, Chumashim and more. Thanks to the Maccabees, I knew how everything worked. I opened up a cup to find a whole selection of different dreidels all with a line or even a paragraph of Torah on them. Suddenly, I heard the secret sign and took out my dreidel and started to spin it round and round. The Greeks were getting closer by the second. Then I heard them reach next door. I stayed confident and the general took one look and went away to the next cave. I sighed a breath of relief, but made sure only when they had passed by every single cave to whip out the Torah and start reading again. Lunch was latkes, typical that we eat them on Chanukah as well. Then, everybody got into war clothes, and I found out that I had missed all the fights and this was the last fight between the Ancient Hellenist Greeks and the Jews. If the Jews won, we would retain our land and go back to the Beit HaMikdash. I was chosen to be not at the very front but not at the very back. Somewhere in the middle, I found the first Greek to fight with, whipped out my shield and cut him right in the leg. I took out a couple more, and then started to move to the front row where I fought the main generals. I was so close, and managed to kill about 50, but then we realised everyone was dead and the small group ran in big excitement to the Beit HaMikdash.
We spent hours recovering the place and was on the search for a bottle of olive oil. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, under a sink lay a bottle of oil. I shouted at someone to examine the oil, and it was indeed a kosher sealed bottle of oil. The bottle would only last for one day, so everyone worried. By the time it ran out, there would be no olive oil. We lit the Menorah, in hope and G-d gave us a huge present, a candle lit for eight days. I was congratulated by Yehudah when my phone buzzed. The video had ended and I received an achievement on the app for coming this far. To receive this much information in detail from a Virtual Reality game was just incredible and as I took of my goggles, I came back to reality where my family was gathering to light the Chanukiah and sing Maoz Tsur.
By Amelia Kay -7ZG
We have all fantasised what it would be like to time travel, to live as Cleopatra or to be in a Roman Garrison. I have just taken part in a brand-new travel experience. No more planes, no more long lines at passport control. Instead travel in style with the company ‘Travel time limited’.
I arrived at ‘Travel time LTD’ company’s building. They gave me coffee, a luxuriously rich chocolate biscuit and a change of Victorian clothes and said that the tour would begin in 10 minutes. I started off with a simple tour around the house I would be staying for the day and a half. They showed me the larder and where the food was kept. Much to my surprise, there was no fridge or freezer so I would have to go shopping for fresh food and hope for the best that the food does not go off and I don’t get food poisoning from it when I eat it! Then they showed me where I would be sleeping. Again, I was surprised to see what looked like a normal bed, only to find out when I sat down, it was a lumpy, straw mattress. I have no clue how they got to sleep at night in the Victorian times (I guess they just got used to it after a while). The toilets were probably the most disgusting thing that was in the house. Once you were done with your business you had to empty out all the nasty excrement you have left behind. I couldn’t believe my eyes; a little metal basket was supposed to be a bath. You had to fill it up half way to not waste any water, and then you were given the dirty and torn piece of cloth to wash my face with. Room service was non-existent so I had to go to the market. This holiday is self-catering taken to the extreme.
Then I was taken to go have a look at the market where I would be doing my shopping. It was just 2 little stalls and the rest was delivered to my house. One stall was for meat, another fruit and vegetable. No souvenir stand to be seen. I got taken back to the house to get going straight away with my Victorian experience. The first thing I did was start to cook dinner. I was given a whole Victorian cook book for recipes. One of the main courses were ‘Suet pastry filled with tender steak and kidney in a rich gravy’ which obviously sounded satisfying to me, and for dessert ‘bread and butter pudding’. I started cooking and there was a bit of a disaster in the kitchen and we ended up eating nothing, so I would not recommend the food mainly because there was none!
Next thing we did was go right to bed and again I did not get sleep. The bed was so uncomfortable; it was like it had needles sticking out of the cover. So, I would not recommend getting a Victorian mattress EVER! I got up and dressed made breakfast which was not the best but better than last night. We had a full English breakfast with ‘Eggs, vegetarian sausages and toast’. I then had to go to the market to get some more butter, beef, sugar and tomatoes. Before we started I was given 5 shillings and was told to spend them wisely. I must say the market was fantastic and I enjoyed that experience so I would recommend the Victorian market. Once I got back home I had to start preparing the lunch, Cottage Soup which was the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted in my life and I would not recommend this to absolutely anyone. Nobody should ever have to eat that filth.
So over all it was an interesting experience to see and feel what it would have been like in those times and I would recommend if you would want to know what it was like but I would not recommend the food. If you can afford the deluxe package that includes a Butler and chef then I would take it.
By Ilana Long 7ZM
Lying in my beautifully made coffin, I lay in pure silence waiting for night to fall so I could finally go for my dead night walk with the girls. The second the sun disappeared over the ageing gates, I didn’t get the new old energy I was waiting for -no- instead I was suddenly overwhelmed with a powerful need to sleep. My head started to spin and with it my body fell back into the coffin, except I didn’t.
I was falling and spinning through a maze of mirrors and as I reached the bottom I saw a blinding light, then covering my eyes I entered the Carousel. It was just like the carousel that made me like this, the same eerie atmosphere and place where time and life stopped for me. I didn’t go on the ride, the worst and last mistake of my first life so this time I did. I sat down on the cold horse and the ride lurched into the air with an ear-splitting screech. The ride went faster and faster and faster until the fairground disappeared and when I finally opened my eyes I wasn’t dead or on the carousel but in Trowbridge walking down the street with my mother and brother. My dad left us at this age, so I hated living there when I was little. As we walked down the road I saw a man proposing to a gorgeous girl and I couldn’t help but smile, then as we crossed the road I saw a child running up to his parents after school and I wondered “how did I miss out on all of this joy when I was young?”.
In the blink of an eye I was back on the carousel and spinning higher and higher until I felt like I would fly off the carousel, but I didn’t except the white light came back. This time I was on the Alps and I felt like I was freezing to death (bad joke) even though just up ahead of me was this fairy-like village. When I entered the village, I saw this huge party in the middle of the town where everyone was dancing and having an amazing time whereas I was there muttering and shivering all the time saying, “why didn’t I take part in all the experiences that I was offered!”. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this light coming back for me and this time I welcomed it with open arms. Back on the carousel I hardly noticed how the carousel slowly was decreasing behind me until the horse started galloping forward and before I knew it I was riding this bright white horse through a never-ending world. The mirrors started to appear again and each one was full of the best moments of my life.
Then I woke up back in my coffin and this time I was full of this new, bright energy, a sudden will to live again and that was the first time in my second life that I smiled. As soon as I smiled I was flying and as I got higher my skin regained its beautiful olive colour, my shiny brown hair tumbled down my back and for the first time in decades I could hear my heart beating. When I opened my eyes all the colour came back into the world and I stepped of the carousel which had now saved me. Then I stepped into my new life.
By Max Morris 8ZO
I slowly tapped my foot on the floor expecting a hellish polluted planet in one billion years’ time but as I put my foot on some fresh soil I realise that this new futuristic world is… plastic! Oh sorry, you don’t know me or how I got here! Let’s start introductions, I am Max and you are… ahhh you don’t talk, that’s fine. I, Max Morris got here by creating a time machine. But how? It is rather simple, I just created a potion that takes me there with a simple splash of water, witch’s water, and a bucket of human blood; you think I’m in your era? No! I am in the year 4056; magic didn’t exist in your time. This book exists as I gave it to one of your past publishers. Magic is everywhere in this new era as that was the world’s way of saying you can use this magic to make fix your mistakes but of course, humanity ruins the world instead of fixing it.
I wander around and find a door built into the plastic as I push out of it I see humanity at its worst; people with super strength throwing cars at each other; people with water magic drowning each other and people with fire magic burning down houses. I cry in frustration about how humanity is ruined! Then I drink my potion and go back to my time. I warn everyone but no one will listen… humanity is doomed unless you, in the past can fix it. Please help save the world!
By Edan Phillips - 9WH
I’m in an enormous hall, thousands of grimy, ill people surround me and squeeze and rub against me uncomfortably in one of several sections of it. above me in booths and in front of me are several more wealthy-looking people, wearing big fluffy hats and beautiful robes. These people are more organised and don’t seem to be struggling to see as much as the people in my significantly larger section are. All these people are sitting down as I am, facing the same direction and hurling rotten fruit to the front of the room; the scent overpowers the disgusting stench of the people hurling the fruit. In front of everyone is a stage with wooden flooring and a generic backdrop. On this stage is a selection of props including a coffin. There is a twelve-year-old boy inside the coffin; the boy is dressed like a woman and is pretending to be dead. There is a 16-year-old man sitting on top of the boy’s lap, dressed in velvets with blonde hair. This man is unconvincingly crying and screaming into the air as he unsuccessfully tries to dodge the fruit and they splash against his cleanly-shaven face like a rock splashes on water. The yelling is like a battle to be the loudest screamer between the man on the stage and everyone else, and so far, the crowd seems to be winning. Above the stage, looking extremely bemused and disapproving at the same time, is an important-looking red-headed woman in her thirties; she is wearing a beautiful blossoming frilly white dress and is caked in makeup. This woman is her majesty queen Elizabeth the first, in her pride and glory. The queen gets out of her seat furiously and yells, above everyone else, with a sense of leadership.
“Order! Order! Let the show go on” and everyone went quiet abruptly. The man on the stage continued with a monologue about love and death, and then proceeded to drink from a vial of orange liquid. As the kid in dressed as a woman starts to wake up, the man slumps at his feet, falling off the coffin with a loud thud. The kid then yells in anguish as he lifts his sword to his torso and pretends to kill himself. The two boys and a barrage of other costumed people, who came from backstage, walk slowly to the edge of the stage and give a bow to the audience. The audience takes the opportunity to cheer and scream loudly in delight as the curtains fall.
Most of the people in the audience then proceed to leave the hall excitedly and contently. I just sit there, looking at all the greasy seats, obviously never cleaned. I noticed however, now that no one was in the hall, that everything was pristine, everywhere except the area that I was sitting in. Around my seat I could hear rodents gnawing the legs of the chair but everywhere else the walls were pristine, the paint hadn’t even started to flake, which was weird for me, as my area was so dirty, but before I could consider any more detail, an ancient man with a large coat on went up to me, his feet making a clop sound every time they hit the floor. The man went up to me and croaked “excuse me sir… the theatre is closed.” I left without a second notice, the dust shuddering from under my feet.
A JFS Journey
By Joshua Reuben 7BB
Last Sunday I was walking with my family through the City when we reached Duke’s Place. My father mentioned that this was where JFS started in 1732. “I wish I had been there”, I thought – no long bus rides to school, no SIMs and no SATs, for a start”.
Suddenly, I felt like I was floating, and in a flash, I was at a table at the back of a very strange classroom. Then I noticed we were wearing caps and a very uncomfortable uniform. It was a navy-blue jacket and a grey jumper, which I was used to, but a very big and thick starched collar that made it difficult to breathe. In the corner of my eye, I saw the JFS logo on the wall.
“Concentrate, Reuben!” screamed an elderly man. “Now, class, take your slate and calculate 2.67818 divided by 1.414, using your log tables”. “Log tables – are they something from the IKEA catalogue”, I muttered.
“Shhh” said my neighbour, as he pointed to variety of sticks on the wall “the beak has a vicious temper and he’ll beat you for talking in class.
I struggled to write on the slate, but somehow managed to get through the lesson without coming to the teacher’s attention. Next lesson was Biblical Hebrew and this time the ages of the pupils ranged from ages 8 to 15. Surprisingly, I was taught by the same teacher but he gave us a block of text and told us to add the correct vowels and stresses. Fortunately, my neighbour let me copy off him, down to the last sheva nach.
“Oi, are you cheating boy, you know what the punishment for that is.” A wiry hand grabbed my ear and dragged me to the front of the class.
“Put out your hand, Reuben!” He shouted, as he took the larger cane off the wall. I awaited six of the best, which I had read about in books, though never thought I would experience at first hand, so to speak. But just as I heard the whoosh of the cane, I was back in the twenty-first century with my family in Dukes Place. “Actually” I said to my sister “perhaps it is better nowadays.” I never found out if they had a reflection room.
By Sophie Shaw 9AA
If I could go back to one particular time, I would go back to the last time it snowed. I vividly remember building what seemed to look like a colossal snowman. Winter didn’t stay for long: I woke up the next morning, and the snowman wasn’t there. I wasn’t upset by this – Chanukah was just around the corner! I remember on all eight days, I would open a gift – I would search all over the house to work out where it could have been hidden. Everyone would sit at the dinner table in the evening, but eight days went by very hastily. Up next was my birthday and my family would be there, celebrating. I think now that if I could go back to a specific time, I would visit all of these days in winter and enjoy each of them.