This might well be the beginning of a longer story.
"You've got to be kidding me," Alan said when followed Eric into the wooden shed. The only light came in through the door and a few holes in the roof but it sufficed to see the monstrosity that took up almost the entire space inside the building.
"Could you have chosen anything more cliché?"
Eric didn't reply. His face was that of a ten year old boy presenting his newest invention. A kid in a middle aged man's body. That's what he'd always been. Alan had grown up knowing his uncle's naive enthusiasm but it had never struck him before how odd it was. He also scolded himself for believing the older man's words earlier on. It had all seemed scientifically sound. There had been equations and blueprints and it had all made sense. Yet, knowing Eric, he should have anticipated the disappointment.
"Look at her," Eric said running his hands over the black metal. "Isn't she a beauty?"
"It's a steam locomotive," he stated. "A damn steam locomotive. In your shed. How did it get here?"
"By doing the maths before using it, kid. Did you listen to anything I explained to you earlier on? There are two coordinates you can use. One is time. One is space. Both have to be considered because depending on when you end up, the world looked quite different to what it looks like today."
Alan shook his head. Yes, he had listened. He had listened to the entire two-hour-long lecture his uncle had prepared. There had even been a bloody PowerPoint presentation.
"Are you going to keep pretending this whole time travel story was an elaborate metaphor?" He asked.
Eric's face fell. He looked hurt.
"Does this look like a metaphorical steam engine to you?" He asked.
Alan shook his head. The giant metal vehicle in front of him couldn't have been any more real.
"Then," Eric carried on with a triumphant gleam in his eyes, "explain to me how it got here without tracks to roll on."
He pointed to the door they had come in through. It was a big gate, twice as tall as a man and more than five times as wide. But it was definitely not big enough for the locomotive.
"And tell me how I got it in through this opening."
His uncle hopped onto the steps and opened the door to the driver's cabin.
"Now, boy. Are you ready for an adventure or are you as boring as your father always wanted you to be?"