Sam built a time machine out of two scratchy blankets, a transistor radio, his favorite pinwheel, and the thing that beeped beside his bed. He set the dial and left for the future.
The next day, when his mother came to visit, he told her of the wonders the future held. Of the amazing gadgets that cleaned the house for her, made dinner every night, got those bloodstains out of his sweater, and eradicated brain tumors. He told her of the glass bridge in Paris, of the great hanging gardens of Spokane, and the glittering awe of the Moon colony. He asked her to record him on her phone as he regaled her with all these tales so that when the future came, she’d have proof he was right.
Then he told her how he gave up that glorious world of the future, all the robots and flying cars, interstellar travel and endless video games. He gave it up to come back and be with her, because he didn’t want her to cry when he was gone.
The next time Sam left his hospital bed, he did not come back. But the gift of the time machine allowed his mother to hear him again and again far into the future. And although she did cry when he was gone, she also smiled and dreamed of the future she knew would come…