"Times Are A Changin'"

by Louder

part 3

Stan surveyed his machine. It didn't look damaged but had just overheated and the CPU had shut down. He figured Margo was on a fast track to age 15 complete with a teenage mind to match. His original plan had worked and allowed her mental self to become in sync with her proper time frame but now that was all coming undone by being stuck in 1980.

"Am I, like, gonna be a teenager again? Is that what's happening?" Margo asked.

"Well ... uh huh. I'd say so.... That's how it seems to work I guess," Stan replied.

"Cool!" Said Liza.

"It's not 'cool,'" Stan told her. "'Cause we're messing up the timeline because the real ... well, real for 1980 Margo will get a whole bunch of knowledge and it might affect how she acts and stuff! I gotta get this thing cooled down and try to get it to reboot!"

"So what?" Margo said.

"Ummmmm, well.... I'm not sure but what if you - errrr - she decides to be more responsible and put off dating for school 'cuz she gets so much smarter now? Maybe you and dad don't meet and so we don't get born! All kinds of weird stuff like that might happen!"

"That's stupid! We're already HERE! We're already born!" Liza declared. "Besides, why wouldn't mom want to marry dad?"

"Ummmmm, Liza ... have you ever paid attention to your birthday and compared it to mom and dad's anniversary?" Stan asked seriously.

"No???" she answered.

"Oh ... so what if me and your dad didn't get married until after Liza was born? So what? Like, I didn't want to look all fat and stuff in my wedding dress!" Margo added.

"See ... maybe mom decides to. .. ummmm, ya know ... ummmmm, like wait? Ya know? Not 'do it' until after she's married!" Stan explained.

"Oh???? Wow ... but we ARE already here??" Liza questioned.

"Yeah.... I dunno what that means exactly but if we get out of here now it probably won't matter. If we wait I'm not exactly sure!"

Margo was crossing the threshold from childhood into blooming into a young woman. She was taller and lankier and her features less childlike. The baby fat was gone.

"I think this is ready ... we better hurry. I think mom's about to go thru her growth spurt!" Stan told everyone. "Here goes!"

He set the machine for the year 2000 and to arrive at a period after they all had been gone so as to insure no one occupying the same place in time. The portal opened and they jumped in. The tunnel carried them toward their destination.

"Whoa! We're home!" Max said seeing familiar territory. He looked over to see what had happened to Margo. She looked all of 15. And only 15!

"Wow ... mom ... you're like a - teenager!" Liza exclaimed.

"Totally cool!" Margo replied as she examined her young body.

"But you still know you're mom and stuff ... right?" Stan asked.

"Yeah, Unfortunately, geekboy! This is like soooooooo RAD!" she sang.

"'Rad?'" Stanley asked.

"Yeah, like tubular, uhhhhh happening, COOL! Ya know? Geez, you need to like get a life!" Margo told him.

"Well, let's get back to the house and see if we can get everything back to normal!" Stan decided.

"Normal? Maybe mom doesn't want to be 'back to normal?' It's not like it not WAY cooler bein' a teenager than an ancient geezer!" Liza said.

"Liza, We'll see.... I dunno ... besides YOU'RE older than her!" Stan explained.

Margo seemed to think about that and Liza laughed. "Not by much!" she said.

"WAIT!" Max suddenly shouted.

"What?" Stan asked.

"Look at your house! It's different! And whose car is that? And who's that in the yard?" Max said.

This wasn't what they expected. Someone else was living in the house! It wasn't their house at all anymore.

"This is what I was worried about! Mom must've gotten too smart and decided to be more responsible or something! I bet we don't even exist anymore in this world!" Stan theorized. "This isn't good!"

"Great!" Max said sarcastically before pondering the situation "Hmm. But I woulda been born so at least I still exist!"

"I wouldn't be so sure! Or else you may exist and be here NOW. Co-existing in the same time!" Stan said worriedly.

"Huh? Whatdya mean?" Max asked.

"Well, IF Mom didn't marry Dad and have me and Liza then this machine never was invented," Stan explained.

"And?" quizzed Max.

"And ... so you never would've left here with me in the first place! You wouldn't have time traveled because you couldn't so you'd be here right now! Both of you!" Stan said.

That made sense to Max after he had time to think about it. "Soooooo, then what happens to me since I'm really the same person and the same age!"

"Ummmm, I dunno...." Stan told him.

"But you guys should be OK because you don't exist in this world, shouldn't you?" Max asked.

"Hmmmm.... Ya know ... we don't exist at all - maybe ... we were never born! I dunno what happens! And Mom does exist here although with a different life! We gotta go back to 1980 and fix things somehow!" Stan said worriedly.

"But won't your mom totally lose it? I mean forget and just be a 15-year-old again with no memories of this stuff?" Max said. "And can they both exist back there for long together?"

"Hey! Like ... what're you guys planning?" Margo asked the two boys.

"It's a risk we'll have to take. It's not like she isn't almost there anyway!" Stan said as he set the machine for 1980 and pushed the unwilling Margo into the void.

Again ... they found themselves smack dab in the middle of 1980 when their mother was a 15-year-old girl.

"OK ... I got a plan but it's getting too late tonight to do anything! Grammy's got a treehouse at her place and we can sneak up there for the night!" Stan ordered.

"But what about, mom? Won't that be too late?... I mean won't she slip too far back? Her memories?" Liza wondered.

"Ummmmmm - mmmmmm - mmmmmmm, well, ummmm - mmmmm ... we'll have to make do!" Stan declared.

To be continued


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