RHL School

Reading Comprehension
Volume 1, Number 10, November 12, 1996

     Charles could tell that the old abandoned building had once been his
childhood home. The dark, dusty rooms reminded him of brighter,
happier times. This cold place had once been warm and alive.
The face that looked back at him from the broken bathroom mirror
was that of an old man, an old man who had outlived all family and
friends. How wonderful it would be, he thought, if you could go back in
time. If only he could travel to when he was a boy and fully appreciate
everything in his life.
If only once more, he could run into that house after school, and
know that his parents would be there. His brothers and sisters and he
could still be children whose biggest concern of the moment was,
“What’s for supper?”
It was difficult to remember if he had realized then how much he
loved them all. It was harder to remember if he had ever really let them
Would he really do anything differently if he could go back? Charles
believed that he would. But you can’t.....
The alarm clock buzzed its annoying announcement. But it wasn’t
annoying this morning. The alarm was the time machine that granted
young Charles his wish. It was a gift he could use or forget.

Some questions for discussion:

1. What would be a good title for this story?

2. How did Charles feel at the beginning of the story?

3. Is this story realistic or fantasy?

4. “It was a gift he could use or forget.” What does the author mean?

5. Is this story meaningful to you in a personal way?

Copyright 1996 RHL