5) The Collector by Peter Winy.


5 Outside
I'm outside under the trees. It's evening. The hamburger isn't very good, but I'm going to eat it. I hope it's OK. The chips are cold. I don't like them. Twentieth-century food is terrible. But I've got the blue banknote. I can buy three packets of cornflakes. I'm rich!
I can't sleep. It's three o'clock in the morning, and I can't sleep. I can hear a dog. It's angry. I'm afraid of dogs. We don't have dogs at home. Not now. It's cold under the trees. I'm standing up and walking around. I'm very tired. The supermarket opens at eight o'clock. Five more hours!
Three packets of cornflakes. And a green, grey and gold packet of Twinings tea (maybe Tilda knows something). And some Cadbury's chocolate. And it's only eight thirty in the morning. I've got two supermarket bags (they're blue and red with the 'Tesco' name), and some small coins. The bags are 5,000 units at home. Now, I'm going back to my time machine. In ten minutes I'm going to be back at home in 2561. In 2561 it's always hot, and everything is clean, and there aren't any dogs. In 2561 we don't eat hamburgers - ergh!
So, where's my time machine? You can't see it. I can't see it, but it's here. I leave the time machine just one minute into the future. It's here, under the trees, but it's always just one minute in front of us in time. That's why you can't see it. It's waiting for me. I have a small remote control. The control stops the time machine. Then I wait for one minute, and the time machine is here! Then I can go home!
Right, take the remote control... but it isn't here! It isn't in my jacket pocket. But why? It isn't in any of the pockets. It's lost! No remote control, no time machine! I'm here, in cold, dirty 1993 and I can't leave.
In 2561 my three packets of cornflakes are nearly a million units. Here? They're just breakfast, that's all. Just breakfast, and I haven't got any milk!

The End