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The sun over Peach Creek was hot and bright that fine summer morning. As usual all the neighborhood children were out and about, tending to their daily rituals. The foreign child who lived on a farm worked the soil. The popular jock rode around on his bike, showing off for the others. The younger children played with their toys on the sidewalk, caring only for their immediate amusement. Everything was right with this seemingly self-contained world of childhood innocence. And that’s when familiar visitors greet the children in the middle of their cult-de-sac.
Three young men, each of varying heights, had walked into the street. The shorter, squatter gentlemen strutting confidently at the front of the group was grinning deviously. The meek, tall, fair-complexioned boy with a hat followed not far behind, also smiling contently. The last one, a tall, burly boy followed in the back, his arms dangling behind him, giggling incessantly.
Upon seeing this motley crew, the others soon became weary. These were the Eds.
These neighborhood delinquents lived nearby, and nearly every day would attempt to scam them with fake products, attractions, and events that usually ended in disaster for everyone. Most plans backfired on the Eds. Eddy, the short confident leader, never thought any of his plans through and was too arrogant and self-centered to notice the flaws of his plans. Edd, the shy one with the hat, was friendly and righteous, but was too subservient to Eddy to raise his hand in protest. Ed, the large one, was wholly unintelligent and often ruined their scams with his absent-mindedness and clumsiness. Together they formed a trio that were inseparable and every time they appeared, something unexpected and destructive usually followed. The others glared at them as they approached, suspicious.
“What do YOU dorks want?” Asked the jock, adjusting his hat as he spoke.
“Oh…nothing…. only to show you the greatest device ever constructed by science! Show them, Sockhead!” He then gave the floor to Edd, who revealed a device covered in a sheet. He pulled the cover off to reveal a curious device, constructed with random junk and common scrap, Edd’s specialty. He was always designing Eddy’s harebrained contraptions.
The Dream Machine
The device was constructed from a toaster with several flashing lights on top and a strange wheel attached to a long arm attached to the forehead that faces the wearer. It’s supposed purpose was about to be explained.
“What is it?” Replied a small meek boy in blue. His voice seemed to shiver with fright as he spoke, as if afraid of the unknown device.
“Only the Ajax of scientific progress, Jimmy boy!” Eddy replied.
“Apex Eddy, the APEX of scientific progress!” Edd corrected.
“Shut up and just turn it on, smart guy.” Replied Eddy as he presented the item salesman-style. Ed just stood behind them both and laughed to himself, hardly able to contain his excitement.
“Introducing, the Eddy-patented DREAM MACHINE! Give yourself the ability to live your dreams with this specifically tested, mind reading, and virtual reality headgear! 25 cents for 25 seconds! Who’s first?”
“It looks like an ordinary helmet to me,” replied the jock again. “How do we know you aren’t pulling another fast one on us? Does this thing even work?”
“Of course it does, shovel chin.” Replied Eddy sarcastically. “Why don’t you see for yourself?” He held out his jar for collecting the payments and waved it in front of his face.
“Fine. But if this thing is a rip-off, I’m pounding you dorks.”
“Oh, don’t worry Kevin. It works.” Eddy turned and winked at Edd, who gave him a disapproving nod. Kevin deposited two quarters into the jar and sat down on a stool provided by Ed. The others looked on as Eddy lowered the helmet over Kevin’s head and flipped a switch on the back of the device.
First, the helmet shook as it powered up. Mechanical noises of the gears turning and pistons pumping began to emanate from the inner workings of the device. The lights began to blink on and off now and the mechanical arm that held the wheel set itself into position right in front of Kevin’s eyes. Kevin looked into the spinning wheel and his eyes soon began to match the wheel’s pattern. His expression went blank and he focused only on the wheel, as if in a trance.
Eddy spoke up: “Kevin, when I snap my fingers, you will live your wildest dream.” Eddy then snapped his fingers and Kevin immediately reacted.
He jumped onto his bike and began to tear around the cult-de-sac multiple times, going faster and faster with each consecutive lap. After about half a minute, he skidded into the center, nearly running over a few people, leaped off the bike and acted as if he was accepting a trophy. Eddy snapped his fingers again. Kevin came to.
“That was amazing! I dreamt that I was a pro derby racer. Choice! That was worth every cent!”
“See? What did I tell you? So, who’s next?” Eddy asked, holding his jar up.
The others went wild over the device and the next hour was spent profiting off of this marvelous invention. One child wished to be a fashion designer, another was a tree, another boy spent 50 seconds as a professional butcher and a little girl was a successful but overly demanding businesswoman. Ed even took the machine for a spin and ran around the block like a dog for 50 seconds.
The sun was setting now and everyone left to go home for the night. The Eds gathered their things and began to walk home. They were ecstatic at their success.
“Look at all these quarters! We’ll be eating jawbreakers for weeks!” Eddy exclaimed greedily.
“I’m in my happy place, double D!” Edd yelled, grabbing his friend and spinning him around.
“I’m very pleased to deem this venture a success, gentlemen. We have actually managed to create a device that is not only structurally and mechanically sound, but one that also poses no risk to anyone using it. We can get this patented!” Edd proclaimed, proud of his hard work finally paying off.
“We’re in the clear, boys!” Eddy added triumphantly. “Finally a scam doesn’t blow up in our faces! Tell you boys what, I’ll keep this dream machine at my house tonight, and we’ll get them all again tomorrow.”
“Eddy, are you sure? You always entrust ME with the inventions. Wait, are you up to something Eddy?” Edd asked imposingly.
“Me? Nah. I just want to keep it safe, I need it for…uh…inspiration for how we can improve on its profit possibilities. Yeah that’s it.” Eddy smiled awkwardly.
“Fine with me, Eddy. But I’m warning you right now. That is a very sensitive device. Any degree of harmless misuse, and who knows what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into. It was programmed for scam purposes only. Got it Eddy?”
Eddy looked at his friend and replied: “Of course Sockhead. I get it.”
He had the look of a madman. And his fingers were crossed.
To Ed or Not to Ed: The Dream Machine series
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