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Crystal for Your Soul?

A Fan Fiction Round Robin

Completed by the fans on the Lost List

Section I: Anonymous

"Carrots and strawberries, strawberries and carrots," Holly muttered under her breath. She trudged beside her brother Will through the thick sand towards their garden. "Will, is my skin turning orange?"

"What?" Will's mind had been elsewhere. He was thinking about going swimming at the water hole after they finished their chores. Maybe Dad would say yes this time. Will had worn his bathing trunks under his clothes, just in case they finished early and had time to go for a swim.

Holly's question was the only thing out of her litany of complaints that penetrated through his thoughts. "Orange? What are you talking about?"

"Holly? Did you say you thought your skin was turning orange?" Rick asked. He stopped and turned to regard his daughter.

"It's nothing," she said. "It's just that we've eaten so many stupid carrots over the last month that I think my skin is turning orange."

"We should be thankful for the fruits and vegetables," Rick said. "They -"

Will cut his father off and addressed his sister directly. "That can happen. You can turn orange from eating too many carrots."

Holly stopped short. "You're kidding, right? Dad, he's kidding, isn't he?"

Rick shrugged noncommittally. "Ask your brother. Will?"

"Really, it can happen. There was this girl in my class, Karen Wheeler, and she wouldn't eat anything except carrots day in and day out. She wanted to be a model and go to New York like Cheryl Tiegs or something." Will blushed slightly. He had a thing for Cheryl Tiegs.

"She thought eating nothing but carrots would make her get skinny. And you know what?"

"What?"

Holly believed just about anything. It took away half the fun for Will. Rick was trying so hard not to laugh he looked like he would choke.

"She turned orange." Will said seriously.

"Nooo!" Holly's shriek was just too delicious.

"Yes! Just like a Halloween jack o'lantern. Come to think of it," Will pondered for a moment, as if seriously considering something.

"Come to think of it, she had a gap between her two front teeth, just like a jack o'lantern and we used her at Halloween to decorate the dance!"

Holly swung the empty dinosaur bladder bag she carried at her brother, catching him good upside the head. "Sometimes Will Marshall you make me so mad."

Rick had a good laugh too. "Sorry, Holly," he said, wiping a tear from his eye. "But you have just got to learn not to be so gullible!"

"Well you two are my only source of information," Holly pouted.

"It would be different if I had someone like Mrs. Bradshaw at school to go to for information, or like Aunt Ruth. But there isn't anyone. You don't have to be so mean to me!"

"Honey, we're just having fun."

"I don't like your idea of fun!" Holly cried. She pushed past her father and stormed down the path.

"Gee Dad," Will said, "if I'd have known she'd be so sore, I wouldn't have teased her like that. I'm sorry. Should I go after her?"

Rick shook his head and watched as his daughter disappeared into the jungle. "No, let her go, Will," he said. "Your sister is at an age when girls are particularly sensitive. Everything hurts. She's got to develop a tough skin. That's not to say you have leave to tease her about everything," Rick warned, suddenly noticing the gleam in Will's eye. "But don't go after her now. Let her cool down. She'll laugh at this later."

"Are you sure she's going to be all right, though? There's been lots of Sleestak activity in the jungle lately, particularly in this direction. Enik warned us not to go off the paths around here." Will scanned the greenery on either side of the path, but the only thing he saw was the endless jungle, ferns and flowers. They could hear dinosaurs stomping through the jungle far to the east, but around them the land was surprisingly peaceful.

Rick too was scanning the area. "Enik was very vague about the reason we shouldn't stray from these paths. I wouldn't have let her go ahead if I thought she'd be in any danger," he said. "I'm sure we'll catch up with her near the water hole. Come on Will. Those carrots and strawberries won't pick themselves."

Will began to walk forward, then he stopped abruptly. "Can carrots turn your skin orange?"

Rick shrugged. "I don't know. But if we have to keep eating them every night, we're sure to find out!"

*   *   *

Holly stormed angrily through the jungle, ruthlessly shoving aside ferns and vines, snapping them when she felt like it and leaving a trail of broken twigs in her wake. She kicked a rock the size of a baseball and sent it spinning until it smashed into the base of a palm tree. She envisioned it as Will's head.

Will Marshall, she thought angrily. You think you're so smart about everything, but I'll show you! Someday I'll be a big hot shot and.

Who was she kidding? The anger left her abruptly. She wasn't going to be a big hotshot professor at a university, so smart that it made Will's head spin. She wasn't going to be a doctor and discover the cure for cancer, or a famous lawyer presenting cases before the Supreme Court. She wasn't even going to get to be a housewife if they didn't get out of the Land of the Lost soon. And to get out of the Land of the Lost, they had to stick together as a family, not go running off like she had.

I'm such a baby, she thought miserably. She sank down into the sand and leaned against the base of the tree that she'd hit with the rock. Aloud she addressed the rock, "Is there any other kid in the universe as miserable as I am?"

The rock, thankfully, didn't reply, although Holly imagined that in the Land of the Lost, anything was possible. Nothing was right in her world. She was growing up, and growing up was hard. But growing up on an alien world, far away from any other living girl or woman, was even harder.

It's hard for Dad and Will too, a little voice whispered in her mind.  They don't quite know what to do with you either. Nothing in Dad's life prepared him to raise a daughter alone, and Will certainly doesn't have any experience with a twelve year old girl, her conscience whispered to her.

Holly took a deep breath. That was right, of course. She was being

selfish. Will was just trying to be friends with her when he teased her. Boys did stupid things like that. Girls gave you presents or told you your hair or dress was nice. Boys called you names and razzed you when they liked you.

She felt a thousand times better now that her mind had sorted things out. She stood and brushed off her jeans. Now that her anger had fled, she was able to see her surroundings clearly, and what she saw puzzled her. The trees weren't right. Come to think of it, the path wasn't right either. She glanced around but recognized not a single landmark. The shrubs were different, there was a patch of orange flowers she swore she'd never seen before, and the palms grew so close together they seemed almost like one tree.

"Oh no," Holly said aloud, "I've wandered off the main path. I must have been so angry, I didn't even notice that I wasn't on the path to the garden. I'm on a Sleestak path. I'd better retrace my steps and get back to Dad and Will, fast!"

Luckily the path of destruction she'd wrought through the jungle made it easy for her to find her way. She picked her way through the dense jungle, stepping over vines, ducking under tree limbs. It's amazing I walked this way, Holly thought uneasily as the light seemed to fade and the jungle grew darker. The vines underfoot make it so dangerous, I'm sure I should have tripped.

She continued on for another minute until she realized why she was so uneasy. The landscape was growing wilder, and she was walking steadily uphill. She felt for sure she hadn't walked down any noticeable hills during her rampage. She was actually walking in the opposite direction from where she should have been. She was walking further and further northeast, towards the Lost City.

"I'm on a Sleestak trail!" she thought, suddenly realizing what the fresh broken fronds might mean. "I'm right where Enik said not to go. What do I do?"

She dropped into a crouch like Rick had taught her, to keep out of the line of sight of any Sleestak hunters who might be in this part of the jungle. The Marshalls had found, through trial and experience that if they stayed out of sight the Sleestak would often shuffle past them.

They rarely ran into the reptilian creatures during the day, but often at dusk when they went down to the water hole they would hear the telltale hiss of Sleestak breath, and Rick would motion for the children to crouch down behind a rock or thick strand of ferns and stay low until the Sleestak were out of sight.

But no matter how Holly strained to hear, she couldn't hear a single hiss. Gradually she straightened up, all the while looking around her carefully.

"No Sleestak," she thought. She tried to look up through the trees and judge where the sun was so she could get a sense of directions, but the jungle was so thick the light barely penetrated. Strange birds hooted and cackled among the vines, and jewel toned scarabs marched along the low hanging branches of the trees. "But where am I?"

Well, there was no point in sitting around and feeling sorry for herself. She might as well start walking, and find out why Enik had been so worried that the Marshalls might explore up on the rise near the Lost City.

Gradually Holly worked her way down the narrow Sleestak path. She could well understand why they liked it hear. Everything was dark and scary. The branches were a thicket of dark green, and she had to force her way through certain parts of the jungle. Even the dinosaurs couldn't get into this thick part of the jungle.

The path seemed to be rising higher and higher uphill, and although Holly couldn't see beyond the thickets of trees blocking the sky, she sensed she was climbing a hill higher and higher into the area surrounding the Lost City. She wondered if the path would lead to an entrance into the catacomb-like tunnels, and for a minute, she grew fearful again. But she gathered her courage and pressed on.

Holly walked on for another fifteen or twenty minutes through the dark jungle. She was hot and perspiring, and very thirsty. Will had been carrying the water bottle. Holly thought she would collapse from exertion when suddenly the dark jungle turned light, and the path entered into a clearing. What she saw in front of her drew her breath away.

Holly stood on top of a small mountain, about level with the top of the entrance to the Lost City where the ancient Altrusians had carved the sunburst tympanum. Far away were the white, snow capped mountains the Marshalls could never quite reach when they explored; below and to the northwest was the swamp and the Mist Marsh. Holly could actually see the dark, boiling clouds and thick mist swirling over the landscape of the Mist Marsh. But in front of her, glittering like a jewel, was a perfectly rectangular blue lake. The blue waters were smooth and still as glass. Not even an insect rippled the surface. It looked as if the top of the mountain had been an old quarry, for boulders and rocks of similar size and shape were placed in a ring around the top of the mountain, forming a natural wall.

As Holly watched, a formation of five pterodactyls flew overhead, forming a gigantic V so large they cast a shadow over the shining blue waters. The ancient flying dinosaurs veered down as if to land and drink from the lake, and Holly prepared to hide behind a boulder until they flew away. But strangely enough, the birds refused to land. They veered close, then suddenly swooped up and disappeared to the west, presumably to continue their flight to their nesting grounds in the high mountains.

"Wow," Holly breathed. The glittering blue waters of the lake were enticing. She could imagine the cool water slide over her parched mouth and throat. Boy, was she ever thirsty. Holly hesitated. What would Dad say? He wouldn't approve, she knew. What if something was wrong with the water? But she was so thirsty, and it seemed as if the longer she stood on the edge of the quarry, watching the shining waters, the thirstier she grew, until she could no longer bear it. Glancing from side to side to make sure there were no Sleestak waiting to ambush her, Holly left the jungle and approached the lake. A spot near the edge of the lake was worn down like a shallow bowl. The rock had been hollowed out by years of Sleestak feet skittering over its smooth surface. Holly knelt in the depression, her knees fitting into the shallow grooves as if the rock had been carved just for this purpose. She lowered her head and gazed at her reflection in the water. To her surprise, even though the water looked clear, something in it prevented her visage from reflecting back.
 

Section II: Contributed by daizy1@sympatico.ca

"Ooooh!" Holly gasped, startled. The beautiful, clear blue water didn't reflect her face at all! This was weird, but, of course, it WAS the Land of the Lost. Holly dipped her hand in the cool water and then rubbed it over her face and throat. She was so hot and so thirsty. She looked around again, eyes wide as she searched for any sign of Sleestak and strained her ears to hear any sound. Nothing.  And she hadn't seen or heard anything but birds and the far away cries of the dinosaurs for at least half an hour.

"Well, I guess it should be okay to take a little dip. Have a little drink." Holly smiled as she slipped off her rust colored corduroy pants and her red checked shirt and, wearing only her underwear, she dipped her foot into the beautiful water.

"Hmmm," Holly sighed. The water was so warm and it felt like silk sliding over her skin. She slowly stepped down the natural grade into the water and then stroked out with her arms, luxuriating in the silky whisper of the refreshing water over her heated skin. Smiling, she dove under the water like a little seal and sluiced through the natural swimming pool, then surfaced, wiped the water off her face with her hands and rolled onto her back, floating and gazing up into the sunny sky, her whole body and mind relaxed.

After gathering enough carrots and strawberries for dinner that night and breakfast tomorrow, Will and Rick sat on a large rock and drank from their canteen. Rick was frowning worriedly and Will looked at the ground.

"Holly's been gone over half an hour, Dad."

Rick nodded. "I know son. I think we'd better go and look for her. This is an area we aren't very familiar with, and close to Sleestak stomping grounds." he paused. "I hope she hasn't gotten lost."

"Or....." Will began, but Rick interrupted him.

"Come on, son, let's just walk over the way Holly headed out. She won't have gone far. I'm sure she just needed to cool off a little bit."

Rick and Will started off in the direction Holly had gone, calling her name and listening. Then Will, who was ahead, noticed the broken branches and crushed ferns where his sister had run through the undergrowth. "Dad, look, it'll be easy to find Holly. She must have been in a hurry because all the ferns are bent and broken."

Rick nodded. "We'll just follow her trail. And Will, why don't you be extra nice to your sister tonight. I guess she was pretty upset over me allowing you to tease her."

"Sure, Dad." Will agreed, hunching his shoulders a bit and putting his hands in his pockets. "I feel a little bad about causing her to go off alone. I was just having some fun."

Rick smiled at his son. "I know. Come on, let's follow Holly."

As Will and Rick followed the crushed vegetation trail through this rather unknown part of the jungle in the Land of the Lost, Rick gradually became aware that they were heading uphill. "This is strange, Will. We're heading uphill." He paused a moment. "If I'm figuring right, we must be climbing up the mountain beside the sunburst on the Lost City entrance."

Will nodded. "You're right. When we veered off of the path Enik told us to keep on, we would be heading right in that direction."

"It makes me a bit nervous, Will, to be ignoring Enik's advice. He is an Altrusian of few words, and those he does speak, we would probably be best to heed."

"But we don't have any choice, Dad. We need to find Holly. I hope she's okay."

Rick nodded again and continued to plow through the dense undergrowth in search of his daughter. Gradually, as the two men walked, the jungle grew less dense and the light grew brighter and brighter until they came into a clearing. And there, making their jaws drop and their feet root to the spot, they saw Holly, backstroking in a naturally made swimming pool.

Will chuckled and turned to his father. "Well, Dad, you were right! Holly certainly does know how to take care of herself."

Will started off at a jog toward the pool, pulling off his shirt as he went.

"Will, I don't know if you should do that, we should probably get out of here as quickly as we can."

But Will had reached the pool and Holly had spotted them.

"Dad! Will!" Holly grinned.

"Dad, I can't resist having a swim while we're here!" Will called to his Dad as he stripped off his brown cords and did a jack-knife dive into the water. Rick sighed and shook his head indulgently as he watched Will surface and grab Holly to raise her above the water and then dunk her into the blue depths. She came up laughing and splashing her brother and then challenged Will to a race as she kicked off with powerful strokes.

"Hey!"

Will cried, laughing and diving under the water to quickly gain the lead on his little sister.

"Ah, what the heck." Rick said, and quickly stripped off his own clothing and lowered himself into the pool, stroking over to join his children and playfully shaking water droplets from his curly hair to further soak the happy kids. Holly grabbed Will's shoulders and wrestled him beneath the surface of the pool as Rick laughed and treaded water, relaxing in the hot sun and waiting for his children to come up. And waiting. And waiting....................................

Part II contributed by Jeffrey Juli flipflopkid13021@yahoo.com

Suddenly, the fun enjoyed by the swimming began to wear quickly as Rick wondered why his children were under water so long. "During our first swim at the water hole" he thought to himself..."Holly stayed under water for 1 minute and Will for 2"..."those were records for both of them, but this has been at least ten minutes, if not more".

Rick finally decided to sink beneath and find out what was going on. When he did, he was horrified to see a long green sea lizard with its tail wrapped around Holly's waist. Will was trying to get it to unravel her, but wasn't strong enough. Rick tried to help pull the creature's tail open, but even both couldn't do it together. Rick decided to swim back to the surface. Once back to the surface, he got in their survival kit and took out his jack knife. He jumped back in, swam quickly back to were the children were and lunged at the sea lizard with the knife.

The lizard unraveled its tail to let Holly go. It then turned on Rick and lunged at him with its mouth wide open. Will swam quickly over to Rick and took the knife. The creature kept swinging its jaws from Will to Rick and back again, with them continually dodging its moves. Holly swam in back of the lizard, grabs its tail, and this allows Will time to attack with the knife. Will came so quickly toward the creature that it was scared now and turned to go.

Holly is more than happy to see it go, so she lets go of the tail. All three of them then swim back to shore.

Once back on the surface, they take a minute to dry off before redressing. Holly is whining a little because of the pain in her stomach and waste. All three embrace each other in a big hug, all heaving a sigh of relief at being safe and O.K. After a minute, they are able to speak, once the shock wears off.

Still holding each other-Will says: "Lil sis, I'm so sorry I teased you the way I did. I'd felt terrible if anything happened to you. I would've blamed myself."

Holly said, "Don't be hard on yourself Will. I shouldn't have overreacted like I did and should figure at my age that people don't turn orange!"

Rick replied, "I'm partly to blame too, honey. I know how sensitive girls are at your age and shouldn't have gone along with Will..."

Holly interrupts. "Never mind, you two. The important thing is we're all safe!"

They continue to hold each other in another big sigh of relief.  Then they start getting their gear together to go back, slipping on their pants, shirts, and shoes.

Will is wondering: "How did that kind of creature get into the water hole?!"

Rick: "I don't know Will. Maybe it was washed through a time doorway into the river or was living in the swamp. We do know now that Enik and the Sleestak are in danger if they swim in this waterhole. We'd better tell Enik somehow...
 

Part IV contributed Robert Porter sleestak2@juno.com 

"Yeah," Holly agreed. "Maybe he can tell us why it's such a funny shape."

In confusion, Rick and Will simultaneously looked toward the lake, then back at Holly. "What funny shape?" Will asked.

Holly pulled a strand of loose, wet hair from her face and gave them a mischievous grin. "It's a perfect rectangle," she answered. "You can't see it from this angle."

Will's expression turned suspicious. "Oh, I'm not falling for that one. You're just trying to get back at me for teasing you earlier."

"No really, it is." She turned and ran off. "Come look," she shouted back over her shoulder.

"Holly!" Rick demanded. Because of Holly's impulsiveness, they'd just escaped with their lives from an aquatic lizard attack. Now she was running off recklessly again. "Don't run off!"

She stopped at the top of a small rise and looked down at the lake.

"It's okay, Dad! Come here, you'll see it."

Begrudgingly, with Will not entirely convinced it wasn't a joke, they hiked the short distance to stand next to Holly. Looking out toward the lake, they saw it. Will gasped, "Oh, Dad, it's a perfect rectangle, just like an Olympic-style swimming pool."

"The only things missing," Rick said under his breath, "are the depth markers and it's not made out of concrete."

Vindicated, Holly jabbed her brother in the ribs. "See, I wasn't kidding you." Proud of her discovery, she added, "That's not all. It doesn't reflect either. C'mon, I'll show you."

She ran down the hill toward the impression in the ground at the lake's edge where she'd first looked into the water and noticed her reflection wasn't there. She put her knees into the depression and looked into the water...

"Holly!" Rick shouted as he grabbed at her shirt and pulled her back.

"Don't go near there! We were just attacked by a lizard in these waters and you're putting your head back over the water. That thing is just going to reach out and pull you back under."

"I'm sorry, Dad," she responded, flinching at her father's anger. "I just wanted to show you."

Curious, Rick momentarily poked his head over the water, ready to jump back if the lizard chose to attack again. He confirmed that he saw no reflection. The water was beautiful and crystal clear, allowing one to see to the very bottom. Although that might be deceiving because he couldn't see the lizard either. He pulled back and confronted Holly.

"What have I told you about unknown things in this land? You were in an unfamiliar area, you saw that this lake was--" he waved his hand at the lake as he searched for the word, "--rectangular. And you knew that you had no reflection in its surface. What possessed you to want to go swimming in it?"

Holly pouted, "I don't know. I was thirsty."

"Thirsty!?"

Will grew alarmed as he saw a vein about to pop in his father's forehead. "Easy, Dad. She just--"

Rick swung his arm and backhanded his son across the jaw, causing him to fall back into the dirt at the pool's edge. Holly screamed in terror. Her father had *never* hit them before.

Dazed, Will tasted the sweet taste of blood, where the blow had cut into his inner cheek. He didn't know what to think either. This behavior was so alien for his father.

"Daddy, no," Holly pleaded, drawn to tears. "Don't be angry."

Confused at his own behavior, Rick stumbled backwards and fell to the ground. He cradled his forehead in his hands and he tried to fathom what had come over him. His mind was a haze and he couldn't think straight. It was as if a thick, mind-numbing fog had filled up his brain and he could only think with the primitive, animal portion of his mind. His emotions bubbled to the surface, easily exposed and raw.

He couldn't control them. He couldn't think straight. He was so angry.

What was it that was numbing his mind?

Holly was horrified and worried about the change that had come over her father. It was so unnatural. At the same time, a part of her brain found it amusing. He looked so funny there, sitting on the ground and beating his own head as if trying to work a bug out of his ear. That image amused her even more. She couldn't help but snicker. Then she laughed at her own laughter, finding it amusing that she would laugh in the face of her father's bizarre behavior. Soon, she was laughing uncontrollably. Her mind went numb and while part of her was horrified at what was happening to both her father and herself, another more primitive part of herself found it all so funny. That primitive part pushed to the forefront.

Sitting up, Will looked to his father and tried to contemplate the angry hateful expression that had come over him and the insanely strange fit of laughter that had overcome his sister. Something very strange was going on here.
 

Part V contributed by ironman1438@aol.com 

Two thoughts raced thru Will's head, where can I find Enik and tell him of the sea lizard and the unusual acts of his father and sister. Finding Enik in his cave Will quickly told him of the morning’s events. Enik said "They have been bitten by the sea lizard". Enik went to the crystal matrix table and got red, yellow and blue crystals. " Take me to them Will Marshall".

Back at the lakeside, Will watched Enik as he searched for bite marks on Holly and Rick's bodies. He found a bite mark on Holly's right leg and on Rick's left arm. Enik said "Will Marshall, cup your hands together and fill them with water from the lake". Will did and walked to Holly. Enik put a red, yellow and blue crystal in Will's hands, " hold them tightly until the water turns green then rub it on their bite marks". Shortly afterwards Holly and Rick regained their normal composure.

Rick noticed the blood on Will's mouth "son what happened"?

"Dad it's a long story" said Will "Let's talk about it later o.k."?

 Holly interrupted "Enik how did you find us "?

Will told them of their encounter with the sea lizard and of Enik's help.

Will ask Enik "Why is there no reflection when I look into the lake"?

Enik replied "Will Marshall you must have crystals for your soul". Will, with a puzzled look on his face," Enik I don't understand" Enik said "Farewell my friends" and disappeared into the jungle.

 

Part VI  (Not sure who wrote this chapter:)

Rick walked to Will and put his arm around his shoulders. "Son, I'm so, so sorry that I hit you." Rick said, pushing his lips tightly together in consternation.

"Ah, that's all right, Dad. I know it was just the poison from the sea lizard's bite." Will looked at his toes for a second. "It makes me realize how lucky Holly and I are to have you. You would never, ever do anything like that to us normally."

Rick ruffled Will's hair."You're right. We are lucky Will." Rick smiled and pulled Holly to him for a hug. Holly smiled and said "Come on! Let's get back to the cave." and she started to walk. But Rick hung back, frowning. Holly stopped and placed a hand on her hip, looking at Rick expectantly.

"What is it, Dad?" Will wondered aloud.

"I was just thinking of what Enik said, son," Rick replied "about needing crystals for your soul. He seemed unsurprised that we weren't able to see our reflection in that water." Rick paused, frowning. "Will, you still have those crystals that you used to heal Holly and I from the sea lizard poison?"

"Yeah, right here." Will pulled the crystals from the pocket of his tight, brown corduroy pants.

"Let me see them." Rick took the crystals that Will held out to him and walked over to the natural pool. He held them in his hand and knelt in the depression. Looking into the pool, he saw his reflection, and then he noticed that the three crystals in his hand were glowing.

Back near the foliage, about ten feet away from where their father knelt by the water, Will and Holly gasped and Holly screamed, "Daddy!" as Rick disappeared before their very eyes.

"Will! Will" Holly cried, tears steaming down her face. "What happened to Daddy?"

"I don't know!" Will yelled, putting his arm around Holly's shoulders and running a few steps toward the pool. "He just vanished!"

"Oh, Will, I'm scared!"

Will looked down at his sister and pulled her closer. "I know. Me too."

"What are we going to do?" Holly looked from the water to Will, her lip quivering.

"Well, as far as I see it, we have two choices. We can wait here and see what happens." Will paused, looking up as he considered the plan that was forming in his head. "Or we can head over to the Lost City, each grab a yellow, a red and a blue crystal, then come back here and kneel by the pool like Dad did."

Holly's eyes grew round as she considered her brother's words. "Well, why don't I wait here in case Daddy gets back, while you go to Lost City." Holly shrugged. "I'd probably just slow you down anyway."

"That's a great idea. That way I know you're safe, and Dad will know what's going on if he gets back while I'm gone!" Will started off, then turned on his left foot and looked at Holly. "You know, you’re acting incredibly grown up today. You’re only thinking of Dad’s safety and I’m really proud of you."

Holly looked down at her shoe and shrugged one shoulder. "Thanks, Will."

Will smiled and ran off through the jungle, as Holly sat down at a safe distance from the pool and wrapped her arms around her knees. She felt very happy with herself for thinking of Daddy and not just trying to prove that she was capable of keeping up with Will. She knew she could hold her own with her big brother, because she had done so many times.

"I guess part of growing up is not having to broadcast that you are," she thought to herself.

Will was so thankful to make it through the jungle and to the entrance of the Lost City without encountering any dinosaurs – or Sleestak. He could hear Big Alice roaring in the jungle not too far away. Will took a few moments to adjust his eyes to the dim interior of the Lost City before he started quietly down the tunnels, moving stealthily and straining to hear any sound of Sleestak approaching. Almost at Enik’s matrix table room, Will pressed himself against the tunnel wall as he heard a thump behind him, some distance behind. At the same moment, he heard the buzzing, thrumming sound that the matrix table made when Enik worked on it.

"Enik!" Will whispered to himself, and he set out at a run to the matrix chamber. Enik calmly turned toward Will as he entered. Will skidded to a stop, glancing from Enik to the golden time doorway that shimmered to Enik’s left.

"I deduced that you would be arriving, Will Marshall." Enik replied in his echoey voice. He stretched out his left arm, palm up, toward the golden rectangle that Will was staring at. There, hovering as if in a state of suspended animation floated Rick Marshall.

Conclusion by Anonymous

            “Dad!” Will gasped. “Enik, what happened?”

            “I told you the area of the pool was forbidden, Will Marshall,” Enik said. He tiled his head to the left and gestured towards the time doorway. “Did you not know that water is an excellent conductor of energy? The crystals, combined with the waters of the pool, have opened a most unusual time doorway. Come and see.”

            “I can see. Can you get my dad out of there?”

            “Perhaps.” Enik turned and began touching a complicated sequence of flashing colors on the matrix table.  The time doorway shimmer, but the image of Rick remained frozen, floating in suspended animation.  His father didn’t look frightened, just sort of puzzled, as if he’d stepped into a room and wondered where he was, but couldn’t quite figure it out.

            “I told you the area of the pool was forbidden, but I did not tell you why. Perhaps I was remiss in that.”

            “You think?” Will muttered under his breath. He’d forgotten how sharp Enik’s hearing was.

            “Yes, I think so,” Enik replied.  “The pool is the sight of an old quarry. In Altrusia, many such quarries dotted the landscape. Crystals were mined from the depths.”

            “Why are they rectangular?”

            “To mark crystal quarries from all other places,” Enik said. “Crystal quarries are quite dangerous. The conflux of crystals of all colors and types, the waters that collect in their depths…the power they unleash is strong, and uncontrollable. Your father has released considerable power into the atmosphere, literally forcing open a time doorway.”

            “As if he wedged a crowbar in a door and forced it open,” Will said softly.  He stepped closer to the matrix table.

            “Crow bar? I do not know the word. But yet, it is as if he has wedged open the door.  The energy from the crystals in his hand is holding it open.  I will see if I can guide it here.”

            With a graceful wave of his right hand, Enik suddenly activated every yellow crystal on the matrix table, followed by red, green and blue, all in sequence.  The time doorway shimmer and a rush of sound and light filled the room, followed by Rick Marshall tumbling to their feet.  Rick dropped the crystals and sat, holding his head in his hands, dazed.

            “Dad!�� Will rushed forward and threw his arms around his father. He grabbed him by the arm to help him to his feet. “Are you okay?”

            “Where am I? How did I get – here?” He glanced around, and realizing he was in Enik’s cave, he said, “Enik? The last thing I remember, I was at the pool…”

            “You were cured of the serpent’s bite, but you did not know the proper way to use the crystals,” Enik said.  “I have closed the time doorway that you inadvertently opened. Now Marshall family: Stay away from the pool and the area.  There are many, many more dangers lurking in the woods, some worse than Sleestaks and sea serpents.”

            Will shuddered. “You bet we will, Enik.”

            “And Will…there is one more thing. Who was the first to enter the pool?”

            “Holly. Why?”

            Enik told them.  He did not understand why Will and Rick double up with laughter.

            “Humans,” Enik shook his head. “A most puzzling species.” 

*   *   *

            The sun was low in the sky, and the night shift, as Rick called the nocturnal dinosaurs, was gradually overtaking the day shift.  They met up with Holly and everyone quickly grabbed baskets of fruits, vegetables, and water to continue the trudge back to the cave before they were caught out at night.

            “Daddy, are you okay?”

            “Yes, Holly,” Rick said, smiling at his daughter. He winked at Will over her head. 

            “What was it like, being in a time doorway?” she asked.

            He paused to consider, his face serious for a moment. “Frightening,” he admitted to his children. They both looked at him, alarmed. “Oh, it didn’t hurt or anything,” he added quickly to reassure them. “But it was like…like time flowed like water, and unfolded in rings of golden light. I could see you, I could see the pool, I could see back to our raft falling through the waterfall, and I could see Enik’s cave.”

            “Could you see home, Daddy?”

            Rick shook his head. “No, Holly. That was the odd part. It was as if time only began with the waterfall.”

            “Are we real,” Will asked, “or just a splinter of ourselves that fell through the time portal? Is there another set of us back on Earth, back at school, back home?”

            “I don’t think we’ll ever know that, son.”

            They paused while Will tied his shoelace.  Holly took the moment to reach into her pocket for her little pink mirror and comb to fix her hair.  Suddenly, she let out a shriek.

            “Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you tell me?”

            Will couldn’t stop laughing. He straightened up. He was grinning at his sister from ear to ear. “Tell you what? Would you believe me?”

            “Now honey…” Rick spoke reassuringly, but he too was holding back his laughter. “Enik says the effects aren’t permanent…”

            “I’m BLUE,” Holly screamed. “I’m bluer than blue. My skin is the sky blue. I look like…I don’t know what I look like. But I’m BLUE.”

            “It’s the waters,” Will said between laughs.  “Enik said the pool was once used to mine crystals, and there’s so much crystal dust floating in the waters, it tints the skin with whatever predominant crystal was in there.  First one in gets the worst of it.  Dad and I will probably look a little green around the gills later. It wears off.” He couldn’t stop laughing.  “At least…”

            “At least what?” Holly demanded.  She really did look spectacular with her blue skin, blue eyes, white blonde eyebrows and blonde hair.

            “At least you’re not orange!”

THE END 

 


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