“What are you, bloody French?” said the man standing across from June.
“I am neither bloody nor French,” said June, pointing a standalone eraser at the man. “Now who are you and how did I get here?”
“Dost thou not know me?” said the man, looking like a penguin in his 16th century getup. “For what hapt hath been for to see, beheld.”
“You kiss your mother with that mouth?”
“Yes, ta mere. Now who are you, and what is your name?”
“Yes, for I am hence the burliest, the bravest, without behest of burlesque or a questioning hypochondria.”
“Do you always talk dirty like that, or is it just me?”
“Sir, sir, question not the sully and soiled tongue, for it is bequeathed in paradise and there is none other to view what must be left undone.”
Just then, there was a flash of light, and everything started spinning. June was used to it now, and he no longer got sick. The shaking was unstoppable, and June wasn’t sure if it would work this time. This wasn’t his idea anyway, and he wasn’t quite sure what was causing it. He immediately tried to grab hold of his current world, wanting to keep himself there. Yes, it wouldn’t be easy surviving in “Jolly old England,” but at least he’d have a home. This effortless travel was taxing.
Just then, a feeling of intense heat overcame him. His eyes began to water and his mouth began to sweat.
“I’m not cut out for this,” said June. “Where? Where am I going? Where are my parents? Did they give me away? Is that what this is?”
June was confused and unable to think clearly about what his next step would be. Suddenly, he heard a roar. He looked up and he was standing in a forest with gigantic trees. Everywhere around him was green. The worms were the size of his arm. The flies were almost bigger than him.
“I know this,” said June. “What did Deets say about what to do if you went back to dinosaur days?”
Just then, a loud thump came from behind him. He turned around and saw a giant leg, muscular and dark, with pulsating veins and scaly skin. The animal was purple and the size of a small building. It looked like it was hungry and not too friendly. Its face was distracted yet powerful and its eyes darted to and fro. It caught June’s scent.
“Okay,” said June. “This isn’t going well. Hey, buddy. You got any cheese slices?”
The large animal, now identified as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, bent its head over and got a closer sniff of June. It sniffed a few times, testing out the merchandise before tasting. Suddenly the T. Rex began shaking uncontrollably. He staggered around for a few steps, screaming like a damsel in distress. After a few steps, it fell over and hit the ground with a giant crash, knocking over a few trees and crushing a few giant insects on the way.
June lifted the front of his shirt in order to test his own scent.
“What? I know you don’t expect me to shower every day. Come on. It’s not that bad.”
“Hey Dogenberg, over here,” said an unknown voice.
A million images flashed through June’s mind at once. The dinosaurs spoke English? How could his teachers have forgotten that little tidbit of information? June looked around with lusty eyes, wanting to put a face to the voice that he heard. Due to auditory reflections, he wasn’t sure exactly where the sound came from. Widening his stance, his gaze shifted from darting to scanning.
Soon it was darting and scanning. There was another call from just ahead of the nearest fallen tree. She stood there, covered in the leather skins of a dinosaur and wearing necklaces of teeth and bracelets of amputated claws. She seemed average height, by 21st Century standards, and she had long, brown hair, a big nose and full lips. Her hips were wide and round. She carried a trident with a sash around the middle of red.
As June approached her, she appeared like she was ready for war, like she would follow him wherever, slaying dragons and testing time. June dodged the many football-sized mosquitos on the way to his destination. She looked at him, her large pit bull standing by her side, spikes on its collar. It had an entire harness across the length of its muscular body.
“Greetings, Road Warrior.”
“What? Dogenberg. What?”
“No, what’s going to happen next? Is XXX going to come skiing through the forest and then Dwayne Johnson will probably eat a missile?”
“I know not the names for which these people of which you speak.”
“Never mind. Look, Dogenberg…”
“You? How do you know my last name? Nobody knows my last name. I’m invisible.”
“No, you’re not. I see you.”
June stood there, unable to fathom what could have brought him here.
“Look,” said June, beginning to cry. “This is unfair.”
“No, you look,” said the woman. “We have to come to a resolution on the points laid out by the time council.”
“The time council. They have raised an alert in absentia and are preparing for an invasion.”
“Invasion? Invasion by who?”
June immediately regretted asking that question.
“By whom? Oh, by me of course!”
Just then, June turned around again to see a squad of soldiers wearing a combination of primitive cloths, VR headsets and composite armor. Their leader was a short, stout man who introduced himself as being “The Intruss.”
“So,” said The Intruss, approaching June with his stun wand. “You know what happens to the little foxes that spoil the vine, don’t you?”
“No,” said The Intruss. “Good guess, though. I’m going to enjoy running you through.”
With confidence and power, The Intruss walked toward June. When he got close to him, he sniffed, then fell over.
“Master,” said one of his servants, running over to him.
“This man hasn’t showered in days,” said The Intruss before passing out.
June was surrounded by The Intruss’s underlings with no way of escape.
“What? I was going to shower when I got home from school, right before bed.”
“Master!” they all said in unison, covering their noses. “You have defeated a mighty warrior. We will follow you to the ends of time.”
Soon enough, they all made their way back to June’s real time, to his high school. As they sat out in front of the building, many people honked as they drove by.
“What’s that noise?” said June’s first companion, Tempala, holding her ears. “The Scores of Valhallah?”
“You’d think that,” said June, “but it’s really just a car horn.”
“Horns?” said another companion. “I doth not see horns.”
“Come to think of it, neither do I,” said June. “Weird.”
“Will you show us your mighty palace, where you administer your unstoppable forces with the depth of an early Exygeze?”
“Just as soon as that bell rings.”
Just then, the school bell rang, and all of June’s companions held their ears.
“Are these weapons?” said the metal detector attendant at the front door, looking at Tempala’s trident and a few clubs.
“Uh, they’re made of wood. It’s okay,” said June.
“Oh,” said the attendant before waving them through. “I’ll be sleeping easy tonight.”
The whole crew walked down the hall, looking like a professional football team. June looked from side to side, nodding to all of his classmates and a few others he was loosely acquainted with.
“Your entire kingdom is run by…teenagers?” said one companion. “This is heresy.”
“Naw, they’re pretty cool,” said June.
They all entered the classroom just as the teacher, Mrs. Rosenthal, called his name for attendance.
“Why, who are your guests, Mr. Dogenberg?” said Mrs. Rosenthal. “Are these your cousins?”
“In a manner of speaking, yes,” said June.
This was a big day in Jonas Prep High School. Book report day. Lots of props. Lots of sources cited. Lots of fun.
The first one to go was Jackson Furrier. What a snorefest.
“Jackson wouldn’t know entertainment from a root canal,” said June, whispering.
“Roots have canals?” said his companion.
After the snorefest was over, June was next. He had all of his companions line up at the front of the room and gave his presentation.
“And then, I went to Jolly Old England. There was this old English knight. He looked like I must sound right now. Just this massive, burly dude. Quite the subject. Ooh, and then I saw this T. Rex, but it fainted. And my girlfriend here, she- “
“That’s not your girlfriend, doofus, she’s too hot,” said a boy in the back.
“Well, I’m telling you, she’s my girlfriend.”
“Excuse me,” said Tempala. “What means this term ‘girlfriend’? Should I be worried?”
“Girlfriend is just another word for assistant. Warrior.”
“Yeah right,” said the boy in the back. “The only war you’re going to is the Pocket Pool Championship in Lansing, Michigan.”
“Okay, okay,” said June. “So the guy – the short guy – he was going to tase me, but he fainted because I didn’t take a shower. And now I’m the king of time, and the universe, but I’ve got to keep a low profile. Any questions?”
A few students raised their hands immediately. After the class had concluded, they all went out for pizza.
“This ‘food’, as you call it,” said Tempala, “smells delectable.”
“Yeah, I almost deleted them too.”
“No, I…never mind,” said Tempala. “I’ll just eat.”