I’m Nicholas Ray. I am sixteen years old and I have
shaggy brown hair and hazel eyes. There isn’t anything wrong with me,
but there was something wrong with me just a couple months ago. That was
that I was totally addicted to war until one day when I found out the
truth. Finding out the truth took me on the journey of a lifetime. Here
is my story.
Bang! “What!? I died again? Stupid war game” I yelled in frustration.
“Nick, are you doing your homework?” my mom asked while barging in
through the door.
“Uh, yes, Mom,” I replied while slamming shut my computer, pushing it
aside, grabbing my math book off the floor, and practically shoving a
pencil into my fist all in a split second so that my mom wouldn’t see
that I was playing video games.
“Then why did I hear that war game of yours?” my mom asked.
“Darn it,” I mumbled.
“Nick, I don’t mind you playing, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t want
to go to summer school because your not doing your homework” Mom
explained with a sort of worried smile. “ Now get started on your
homework or else I might have to start looking at some summer school
“Okay, I’ll get working,” I sighed. I flipped open my math book and
grabbed a pencil and got started. 5739 divided by 7 =_ 5097 times 7 =_.
How do I even do that?
“Ugh. This is boring and I don’t get anything,” I said to myself in a
frustrated and angry tone. Then without thinking, I popped open my
computer and slid in the disc for one of the new war games called Ready
to Shoot. It was my favorite war game out of the forty-two other ones I
owned. Later I heard mom calling me for an early dinner.
“Hey, bud!” my dad shouted from the dinner table.
“Hey, Dad,” I shouted back while coming down the stairs
“So, your birthday is coming up, what do want us to get you?” my dad
asked me as we sat down at our Italian marble table. “Don’t sit on top
of it, don’t spill on it, and never ever cut it” is what my mom always
“Cannon Fire! It’s a new war game and it’s coming out a few days before
my birthday!” I explained excitedly.
“Okay. Cannon Fire it is,” my dad said with a smile.
That evening mom gave me permission to go to the 8-11 store by our house
for a treat. When I was walking back home, a strange bald man in a
tuxedo came up to me and asked me, “Are you Nicholas Ray?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Mr. A.U.S.Y.L. or if you prefer, you can call me Mr. Ausyl.”
“What does that stand for?” I asked.
“Doesn’t matter now,” he answered. “A little birdie told me that you are
totally addicted to war video games, ” he told me.
“So? What’s your point?” I asked. I kept asking questions.
“I’m giving you the chance to go back in time to the war of 1812,” he
“And how would I exactly travel there? There’s no such thing as a time
machine, and if there was, everyone would know about it” I thought
“Well, I am a very rich man and my engineer servant just made me a time
machine and I need someone to try it out ” Mr. A.U.S.Y.L. explained.
“No. Definitely not. 100 percent no. If no one has tried it yet, then
I’m not trying it. It’s just not safe,” I replied with a sharp tone and
swivelled around on my heels.
“I’ll pay you 1000 dollars if you test it for me,” he called to me just
before I turned the corner. I stopped right in my tracks and thought
about it. 1000 dollars. That was a lot of money to offer. Slowly, I
turned around and started walking back toward him.
“You’re really offering that much money?” I asked him. Mr. Ausyl nodded.
“Then you’ve got a deal,” I said as I shook hands with him.
“Okay then. Meet me at the 8-11 store at 8 o’clock sharp tomorrow
morning,” he called to me while stepping back into his car. But before I
could answer, he drove away. The next morning I woke up at 7:30 and told
mom that I was going out to a friend’s house to study with him. She said
that it was fine as long as I was back by 8:00 tonight. By the time I
got there, it was exactly 8 o’clock and Mr. Ausyl was there waiting for
me in a sleek, shiny, jet black limo with his own personal chauffeur.
“Hop in,” Mr. Ausyl told me while his chauffeur opened the limo door.
Once I climbed
in, Mr. Ausyl offered me some French toast smothered in syrup and
showered in icing sugar and a piping hot mocha with whipped cream and
fresh strawberries on the side. I accepted this gratefully since I
hadn’t eaten breakfast this morning. While I was scarfing down this
delicious breakfast, Mr. Ausyl told me all the rules about the time
“Once we get to my mansion, I will give you the appropriate clothing for
1812 and give you time to change, and then before you get into the time
machine, I will give you a small earpiece so that we can communicate
through the past and the present. Once you get through to the past, you
can do whatever you like, and I would suggest signing up for war so that
you can see what it was really like and that it may help you get rid of
your addiction. But before the battle, immediately contact me through
the earpiece, so that I can get an exit ready for you so that you can
come back to the present before you get hurt. One last thing, never be
touching anyone skin to skin because if you have to immediately come
back here without warning, there is a sensor on your earpiece that
senses when the person in the past is in danger and it will bring you
back immediately, and if you’re touching someone, then that person will
come back immediately with you and that would be a huge problem,” Mr.
“Okay,” I answered.
“But what exactly do you mean by ‘Get an exit ready’?” I asked politely.
“What I mean is, well, you know how when you are wearing an earpiece and
it can sense when you in danger and can just automatically transport you
into the future? Well, it only does that when you are in danger. When
you aren’t in danger, you have to set up an exit manually,” Mr. Ausyl
explained as I slowly soaked up all the information he was telling me.
“How would you set up a exit manually?” I asked. Mr. Ausyl rolled his
“Never mind. I’ll tell you later,” he sighed. Slowly, I felt the limo
come to a halt. As the chauffeur opened the door for me, my eyes nearly
popped out of their sockets! Standing before me was the biggest, most
beautiful mansion I had ever seen. It had a flat white roof and the
upper half of the outside wall was blue tinted glass while the bottom
half was a bright white wall. In the center of the walkway up to the
mansion there was a big fountain spurting out crystal clear water with a
statue of an angel. The mansion and the fountain were surrounded by
exotic flowers and palm trees. As we walked through the doors, I found
out that it was even better on the inside! There was a glass staircase
leading upstairs and shiny silver doors along a long white hallway. Mr.
Ausyl opened one of the doors at the end of the hallway, revealing a
small storage room. Then, he went to a shelf and grabbed a gigantic
canister of ‘FAMILY SIZED BUG SPRAY! Good for the whole family!’
“Why do you need so much bug spray?” I asked.
“Actually, it’s not bug spray” Mr. Ausyl explained. Mr. Ausyl pushed the
little spritzer thingy on the top and the front half of the canister
popped open and revealed a little keypad and a tiny computer screen. Mr.
Ausyl quickly typed in a bunch of numbers and the top of the canister
popped open and showed a teeny tiny little bronze key. Mr. Ausyl took
the key and left the room and took me to another room and unlocked the
door and revealed a large room with a huge machine at the back. I just
stood there, my jaw open and my knees bent and wobbling.
“This is my time machine” Mr. Ausyl explained.
“This, it’s…just…amazing!” I stuttered.
“Yes, it is. Okay, I’ve explained all the rules to you so you know what
to do. You just need to change, and I will give you your earpiece. Oh,
and one more thing. This is the 18th century so your name is Nicholas,
not Nick. And if anybody asks you where you’re from, just say that you
are from Edmonton, and not Ottawa, because nobody will have ever seen
you before,” Mr. Ausyl explained. Then he handed me some appropriate
clothing and led me to a guest room to change. After I changed, I went
back to the room with the time machine and Mr. Ausyl went over the rules
with me one more time and then handed me my earpiece.
“Okay no matter what, stay safe.” Mr. Ausyl told me. Slowly I stepped
into the time machine and closed the door behind me. Mr. Ausyl pressed a
couple buttons and with a flash of bright light I was gone.
The next thing I knew, I was standing on a small busy cobblestone
street. I could hear Mr. Ausyl trying to contact me through the
“Nick, are you there?” Mr. Ausyl asked.
“Yes, I am here” I answered.
“Okay, good. Now, I won’t be able to bring you back for 24 hours, but
one day in the past, only counts as one hour in the future.” Mr. Ausyl
“Okay. So I am just going to explore right now,” I said.
“Okay, but I’ll be here if you need me.” Mr. Ausyl explained. After I
finished my chat with Mr. Ausyl, I started taking in my surroundings.
There were men at fish carts yelling, “Fresh fish for sale, come and get
your fresh fish here,” with cats yowling at their feet and bakers baking
fresh bread and cookies leaving an aroma of sweet smells. Most of the
men wore a vest with a tie and a long sleeved shirt with a long overcoat
over top and some other men wore long sleeved shirts and overalls. I
guessed that those men were farmers. The women were all wearing long
dresses and fancy feathered hats, which made them look very elegant. The
little girls wore short little lacy dresses that came down to just below
their knees and wore cute little bonnets on top of their heads. They
were all clutching their mothers’ hands or playing games of hopscotch on
the street. The boys all wore a long sleeved collared shirt with slacks
and suspenders, the exact same outfit that I was wearing, all running
free among the streets, playing catch, climbing trees and stealing small
sweets from the candy shop. Then I saw something that sort of caught my
eye. A sign-up sheet for war. Mr. Ausyl had explained earlier that if I
went to war it might help me with my addiction and then I wouldn’t have
to be in detention because I didn’t do my homework. I went up to where
you sign up. There was a man there and he asked me my name and age.
“I am eighteen years old and my name is Nicholas Ray.” I lied about my
“Are you sure? You look younger than eighteen to me. I also have never
seen you around town.” the man said.
“Yes I am eighteen and I come from Edmonton. I come up here every year
to visit my aunt,” I explained.
“Okay. Here, sign yourself up. We meet at dawn tomorrow morning,” the
man said. I quickly scribbled in my signature, thanked the man, and left
to find a hotel. I found a hotel called the Swan’s Inn. It was an
expensive place to stay at, but luckily Mr. Ausyl provided me with lots
of money. The next day at dawn, I woke up and went downstairs, where I
took a biscuit for breakfast and left to go to where I signed up for
war. When I got there, many other men were there, and once I sat down I
was handed a uniform and the colonel was there ready to take attendance
for the day. I learned that the colonel’s name was Colonel Cliff and
that he loved to bark out orders. We left to go to our camp, which was a
big strip of pasture with a bunch of cabins and a mess hall with the
rest as a war field. I sort of got acquainted with some of the other
soldiers. I even made one friend! His name was Timothy Brinkman. I was
learning a lot about war, and it wasn’t anything like my video games.
Like I learned how to shoot a real gun and how to make a fire by rubbing
two sticks together and how to flip someone straight over your back by
just grabbing their wrist and twisting it backwards and how to
camouflage yourself without using any kinds of paints. But one day, we
were all in our bunks asleep, when all of a sudden everyone heard a big
bang, and smoke started pouring into the tents. Then the colonel came in
and started yelling,
“FIRE! FIRE! THE GERMAN ARMY HAS INVADED OUR CAMP!”
Everyone quickly scrambled out of their bunks and started darting for
their guns. I quickly started yelling for Mr. Ausyl into the earpiece as
loudly as I could.
“Mr. Ausyl! Mr. Ausyl!” I shouted frantically into the earpiece.
“What is it, Nick?” Mr. Ausyl frantically asked me.
“The Germans! They invaded our camp!” I explained panicking.
“I’m getting an exit ready for you. Run to the forest and go to the
first pine tree you see that is on your left!” Mr. Ausyl explained. But
I was panicking too much. I darted to the pine tree on my right and
crashed right into it. The earpiece must have sensed my concussion
because the next time I opened my eyes I was lying on a hospital bed and
my mom and dad were hovering over me.
“War…trees…the German invasion…” I mumbled.
“You must have been knocked out hard, honey. There’s a big lump on your
head, and you’ve been out for hours mumbling about war,” my mom
“Uh, Dr. Borski, Nick just woke up” I heard my dad say.
“Hey, Nick. How are you feeling?” Dr. Borski asked me.
“I feel dizzy and sick,” I choked out right before I blew chunks all
over the floor. That’s when I saw Mr. Ausyl. He was slumped over in a
chair in the corner of the room. When he saw me, his face sort of lit
“Mom, Dad, have you met Mr. Ausyl?” I asked.
“Yes, Nick, we have. We have your 1000 dollars right here,” my dad
“Nick, remember when you asked me what A.U.S.Y.L. stands for? Well, it
stands for Adult Undercover Saving Your Life,” Mr. Ausyl explained. I
“In fact, you did save my life. From playing war games instead of doing
my homework,” I joked. Mr. Ausyl chuckled.
“Also, I know one thing is for sure. I don’t ever want to play war games
again. My addiction is gone,” I said.