The raft plummeted down the ten-foot waterfall, with Scotty and Eddie clacking their heads together, and the three boys landing on top of Sara Ellen.  The force from the fall was so strong, that it drove all of them deep under the surface of the water. The water turned from the red muddy color of the creek, to a clear and brilliant blue. No longer was the taste or feel of the nasty creek water; it was salty and fresh like the ocean. Struggling to the surface, trying to catch their breaths, a wave pushed them towards the beach. Eddie, Dan, and Scotty came up for air, floating on their backs, trying to assess if anything was broken, when another wave crashed, and drove all three of them onto the beach. The water retreated back into the ocean, and left the trio on the beach lying on their backs.

Eddie sat up because something was digging into his back. He rubbed his head, where a knot was starting to rise, and while he was trying to figure out if anything was broken, something clicked inside Eddie’s mind.

Wait I was just on the creek with Dan and Scotty. He reached back and felt his Ark. Then how did my Ark get on my back? Slowly his eyes started to focus.

“Oh, my God, I think we’re dead,” Scotty said still lying on his back.

Eddie’s gaze went down his legs and stopped at his feet.

Slowly, Dan rolled over, gathering his bearings.

“Huh, why are we on a beach?” Dan said now face down, staring at the sand.

Eddie began to panic. He had on his Guardian clothing! But wait…he quickly looked over at Scotty and Dan, they were here with him…and they were both 16 years old! Scotty actually had sideburns and a mustache, and Dan looked like a professor from school.

The panic slowly changed to excitement, and a big grin crept up Eddie’s face, Holy smokes…they’re gonna freak out! I did it, they’re here with me, and they’re not gonna believe what just happened! He thought.

Eddie quickly jumped to his feet, pulled out his Ark, and stuck it in the sand next to him. He folded his arms across his chest, as if he were posing for a picture. The looks on their faces are gonna be priceless! Eddie thought, holding back a laugh. He stood there, motionless, waiting for his friends to realize they were NOT in Drayton Woods!

Dan slowly pushed himself up to his knees.

“Wow, it’s bright…when did the sun come out?” he asked, shading his eyes with his hand.

Scotty was still on his back and had started to rub his head. “Man, I’ve got another knot on my head. Is everyone okay?” Scotty suddenly realized his voice was a great deal deeper. He moved his hand from the knot on his head, to his neck, and tried to clear his throat.

Eddie snorted trying to hold back a laugh, attracting Dan’s attention.

Dan slowly turned and saw Eddie.

“AAAHHHHHH!” Dan screamed, crab-walking backwards towards Scotty. “Who are you?” he screamed grabbing for Scotty. “Scotty?”

At that second, he bumped into Scotty and turned to look at him.

“AAHHHHHHH!” they both yelled when their eyes met.

In one move, Scotty rolled away from Dan, and quickly jumped to his feet.

“Hey,” Scotty said, his voice cracking a bit when he pointed his finger at Eddie, and then stopped on Dan. “Who are y’all, and where’s Edd....” His voice trailed off and cracked in a high pitch. Scotty slowly squinted, and fixed his eyes on Eddie, “Eddie?”

“Yep,” Eddie proudly said, with a big grin. “It’s me.”

Scotty studied Eddie’s face a little longer. Slowly, but surely, a small grin started to climb Scotty’s face. He took a few steps forward and walked around Eddie. “You’re bigger, and what are you wearing?” asked Scotty.

 “Like I told you at the tree house, I’m 16 now, and these are the clothes that I wear…,” Eddie paused for effect, “in Carlousia,” he finished, still sporting a huge grin.

Dan was in frozen shock, mouth wide open, with skin clammy and pale, looking as if he was on the verge of passing out.

Scotty had almost immediately calmed down; things to him were getting very cool, very quickly. He reached out and squeezed Eddie’s bicep, testing it for strength.

“Dude, you’re built!”

Scotty, realizing he too, had changed, suddenly grabbed his own arm.

“Duuuude, so am I!” Scotty shouted with excitement and did a half circle trying to look at his back and legs.

The air was broken with a sudden scream. Dan had finally caught his breath; like young children who have been frozen, in that mouth-open, silent scream, right before they catch their breath and unleash a ear piercing cry, “WHAAAAAT AND WHEEEEEERE?!” Dan jumped up, threw his arms over his head, and started to pace. “Ohhh, this is not good…I’m not here, what am I doing here, I can’t be here…I need to go home,” his voice got higher and cracked, as he started a full-on panic.

The sound of Dan’s loud, whine, snapped Scotty and Eddie out of their joy. Scotty rolled his eyes and Eddie winced as if he were in pain. The combination of the bright sun, Dan’s fit, and their banged heads, brought on a headache that started to throb.

“Calm down, Dan, good grief,” Scotty said annoyed, squeezing his eyes tight, and rubbing his knot again. “You’re acting like a girl, aaaaa-gain, and you’re hurting my head.”

“I’m acting like a girl?” Dan threw his arms over his head again, in a flounce, and spun to point at Scotty’s face. “You have a mustache…and sideburns. We’re in a…a…a… another world and I’m supposed to calm down and stop acting like a GIRL?!” Dan blurted in frustration until he heard himself say …GIRL…then he froze again.

“I do?” Scotty said forgetting his pain and getting excited. He reached up and stroked his face, “That’s cool, Dude, I’ve gotta mustache,” he said, and then smacked Eddie with the back of his hand. Scotty moved in close to Eddie and flexed his muscles, like a fierce wrestler. “And I’m buff!”

“Giiiirl,” Dan repeated, this time the word seemed to hang in his throat, “oh, my God.” The words were barely coming out of his mouth; he swallowed hard. “GIIIIRL,” Dan said louder. “SARA ELLEN!”

Scotty and Eddie both reacted quickly, the fun was over. Instantly, the three of them spun around and scanned the beach; she was nowhere to be found.