Jack turned away from the drawer sulkily. He had been playing with his father’s camera. He loved it. It was what his father called an antique. Jack didnt suppose that he could blame his father for being grumpy. There were so many problems. His parents didnt think he understood and talked in hushed tones when he was around but he understood perfectly. There was no money. That’s why they now had a family living in the rooms upstairs and that’s why half of the furniture had dissapeared.
Jack wished he could help. But he was only 7, what could he do? Then suddenly, he had a brainwave. Why not sell photos? He had seen people taking pictures around the farm and father had told him that they were professional photographers who sold their photos for money. Yep, that’s what he would do. With his father’s camera.
That afternoon, while his Father was hard at work in the stables, Jack stole into his study and borrowed his father’s camera.
He walked out into the sun feeling elated. He sunk to his knees next to the rose bush and focused the camera as he had seen his father do. He pressed the button. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a bright flash.
Gripping the camera tightly, Jack turned. A tall man was standing in the middle of the garden. He was wearing a bright red jumpsuit and was smoking slightly as though he had just run through a fire.
‘What year is this?’ said the man.
‘erm .. 2011,’ said Jack, confused. Where had this man come from?
‘I am hungry. Do you have anything to eat?’
‘Yes. Sure. But who are you? Where are you from?’ said Jack, before he could stop himself.
‘My name is Kevin,’ he said. ‘Did you say you have something for me to eat?’
Back at the house, Jack sat watching for the next 10 minutes, as Kevin shovelled food into his mouth, barely speaking. When he had finished, he leaned back into his chair with a sigh and looked at Jack once more.
‘What were you doing with that camera?’ he asked.
‘I wanted to sell some pictures to help my family make money,’ said Jack, looking back at Kevin resolutely.
‘You have helped me a lot, Jack. Where I am from, there isn’t enough food. I had been starving for days. In return,’ he continued, ‘I will do you a favor.’
Jack looked confused.
‘I am from the future,’ said Kevin. ‘That camera of yours lets people time travel. When you clicked it to take a picture, I was pulled in to your time-frame.’
Jack’s jaw dropped. Kevin had to be kidding.
‘Take it to your father. Tell him to take a look inside. I am sure all your problems will be solved,’ said Kevin. ‘And now,’ he added, ‘Will you help me get back to where I belong?’
‘How?’ said Jack, still ogle-eyed.
‘Just click the camera again,’ said Kevin, with a smile.
Jack picked up the camera, pointed it at Kevin and pressed the button. With a puff of smoke, Kevin vanished.
Jack was astounded. So Kevin had been telling the truth!
Jack looked at the smoke which still hung around the chair Kevin had been sitting in and whispered, ‘Thank you.’