she breathed. She gazed around, searching for somewhere to
hide, and ducked behind a small rock way off in the corner.
come on!" Will Marshall scolded his little sister as she stopped
yet again to pick a bright flower. The kids were on their way
to the waterhole to fill the family's water jugs, and Will was
anxious to arrive and to do a bit of fishing as well.
such a beautiful day! Why are you in such a rush?" Holly asked.
why! Because it's beautiful and I want to try to catch some
supper! Now, would you hurry?"
arriving at the water hole, Holly offered to fill the jugs and
Will sat and stuck his line in the water. He grinned happily.
Fishing was his favorite thing to do here. With the sun shining
warmly over everything, Will stretched his legs out and sat
back to relax. When the jugs were filled, Holly sat beside
Will for a moment, lifting her face to the warm sun.
this is nice." She said happily. Will smiled in agreement.
Holly smelled her fragrant bouquet
of flowers and noticed that they were already starting to wilt.
I'm going to find a gourd to use as a vase for my flowers.
Keep your eyes open, though. We're in sleestak land." Will
will. But they're not too likely to come out in this beautiful
sunlight!" Holly walked through the jungle and found a perfect,
long gourd to use as a vase. As she cut it open to gut it,
she became aware of a strange, pulsing buzz. Holly frowned
and walked the short distance to the edge of the jungle and
the Lost City. The strange sound came from the central entrance,
the one that lead to Enik's cave! Enik must be trying to open
the doorway! Holly raced back to the waterhole.
jumped up and ran toward his sister. "What is it? What's wrong?
Is Alice chasing you?" he asked frantically.
There's a buzzing noise coming from Enik's cave! He must be
trying to open the doorway!"
boy! Let's head over!" Will proposed excitedly.
Will, what if Enik does open the doorway, and we're there without
Dad? One of us should run home to get him!"
took Holly's shoulders. "You're right. You go back, and I'll
look for Enik. I don't want you in the Lost City alone. Be
careful, though, okay? Watch out for Grumpy!"
I will. You too, okay?"
smiled and patted Holly's arm as he promised to be cautious
and they went in separate directions, Holly carrying the half-full
crossed the plaza and entered the Lost City with no trouble.
Inside, he carefully followed the short tunnel to Enik's cave,
thankfully not encountering any sleestak! But he did stub his
toe on a small rock right outside the doorway chamber. He grunted
as the tender flesh yielded to the solid rock, and hopped on
his other foot until the pain subsided.
cave was empty when Will stepped in, but the time doorway was
open! The door was surrounded with mist and showed the jungle
Enik?" Will wondered aloud. "Why would he open the doorway
and then leave?" Will approached the matrix table, but pulled
his hand back before he touched it. " No, I'll wait for Dad.
This is too important to fool around with!"
As Will glanced around the cave,
he suddenly found himself looking into the wide, frightened
eyes of a little girl with long, dark hair and big, blue-framed
own eyes widened in surprise. "Hey," he said gently, "how did
you get in here? Who are you?" He walked toward the girl and
crouched down beside her. "What's your name?" he smiled.
smiled. "Annie Porter." The young man had kind eyes and a
gentle smile and she trusted him right away.
hi, Annie. I'm Will Marshall." He held his hand out and helped
Annie stand. "You're not alone, are you?" he inquired.
I was picking strawberries and I noticed something weird going
on in the tunnel door. When I stepped through the fog, I think
I almost fainted. I couldn't think clearly, and then when I
tried to leave the tunnel, I found myself here. But I've never
seen this room before."
"Were you just at your house? Were you..how do I put this..were
you on earth?"
My Dad and Kevin, that's my brother, and I were caught in an
earthquake and our jeep slid into a crack in the ground. We
drove through a weird, bluish tunnel. When we came out of the
tunnel, we were lost and trapped in a place where there are
dinosaurs and creepy reptilian humanoids called sleestaks.
Where are we? Do you know?"
Will breathed in amazement. "Uh, we're still in the same place,
unfortunately! Almost the same thing that happened to your
family also happened to mine! We were rafting in the Colorado
River in the Grand Canyon, when an earthquake struck. We rafted
through a crack in some gigantic rocks and then plunged over
a thousand-foot waterfall! That's how my Dad and little sister
and I got here."
frowned and bit her lip. This was all so strange.
what year was it when you left earth?" Will questioned.
Annie told him. "Why, was it a different year for you?"
It was 1974!" Will was amazed.
I sure hope that twenty-two years haven't passed since we've
been here! As I figure, we've been in the Land of the Lost
for almost eight months!" Will told Annie.
what we call it, too!" Annie smiled.
smiled back and laid his hand on the girl's arm. "Well, why
don't you come with me? We'll find my Dad and see if we can
figure out how to get you back to your family."
you think I'm in another time? Maybe I could just step back
through the doorway?" Annie asked hopefully.
not open to anywhere right now," Will explained. "See, we
can't see anything, it's just black, like empty space. But
Dad's pretty good at figuring things out. He'll know what to
do. It's hard to say what amount of time you skipped when you
stepped through the door."
looked worried, so Will comforted her by putting his arm around
her shoulders. "Let's go. These caves aren't the best place
to hang around!" Will lead Annie out of Enik's chamber and
quietly through the tunnels. Annie gazed around fearfully and
was extremely glad that Will was right behind her, guiding her
along with his hands on her shoulders.
sure glad I found you, Will. I'd be terrified if I had to
be in these tunnels alone!" Annie whispered.
smiled. "They are very creepy! Look, there's the sun shining
in, we're almost out!"
and Will quickly exited the Lost City and after a quick look
for Big Alice, Will lead Annie across the plaza. They were almost
to the jungle when the allosaurus charged for them from the
right. Annie gasped. Will grabbed her hand and pulled her
along with him as he raced for the jungle.
Annie! We'll find a place to hide in the foliage!"
two kids plunged into the trees and soon dove behind a large
boulder surrounded by ferns. Will hugged Annie protectively
to his side.
move, don't speak!" he whispered. Annie nodded, her eyes as
wide as saucers as they listened to the allosaur thrash through
the jungle and winced at her deafening roars. Luckily, she
soon gave up and stomped off, roaring, in search of easier prey.
Will and Annie slumped in relief.
are you okay?" Will asked in concern.
Annie smiled weakly.
get going!" Will helped Annie up and they headed toward High
Bluff, looking over their shoulders to be sure that Big Alice
wasn't going to spot them.
Very soon, they met Dad and Holly.
Holly called, and then she and Dad stopped in amazement.
Holly, this is Annie! She's from another time in the Land of
the Lost. She stepped through the open time doorway! But the
door went black before we left!" Will explained.
hello, Annie!" Dad smiled and shook the little girl's hand.
Annie!" Holly beamed. "I'm Holly! Boy, is it ever great to
have another girl around!"
Annie smiled at everyone. "It sure is awesome to meet some
that on your belt?" Holly asked.
is my cassette walkman." Annie said. "I love Brittany Spears!
Luckily, I brought lots of batteries!"
walk man? Rick asked. None of the Marshalls had any idea what
that was. "Annie, what year was it when you entered this Land?"
Annie's from 1996!" Will exclaimed. "She's here with her Dad
and older brother!"
your family's just like mine!" Holly noted. "That's strange."
better get back to the cave." Dad said. "It's starting to
get dark. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to check out that
doorway. It's just too dangerous right now. We'd run into
the sleestak for sure." He frowned, disappointed.
clasped Annie's hand as everyone walked to High Bluff. They
were all full of questions about what earth was like in 1996,
a full twenty-two years after the Marshalls knew it!
the girls walked on ahead, chattering nonstop, Will and Rick
followed, smiling as they watched how happy their girl was with
her new friend.
knowing what year Annie's from makes me wonder how much time
we've been missing. I mean, here it's been about eight months,
but, could it really be that long, over twenty years, on earth?"
son, I suppose it could be. But I think that people from all
times and places get stuck here, and it doesn't mean anything
to our particular situation."
nodded. "I sure wish we could get home."
put his hand on his son's shoulder and gave it a reassuring
squeeze. "Tomorrow we'll all go back to the Lost City. We'll
find Enik and ask him if he opened that doorway, but I'm pretty
sure that he would never have done that and then left. We'll
ask him to help us get Annie back to her time and then we'll
ask him to try to open the door to earth." Rick promised.
Will smiled in excitement.
maybe when we're gone, the Land of the Lost will allow Enik
to return to his time too, so that everything will be normal
again." Rick added.
Will asked, "Dad, if Enik didn't open the door, then what happened?"
"I don't know, son."
"Maybe something is wrong with one
of the pylons, or some of the crystals in the matrix table!"
just have to see tomorrow, Will. But it's too dangerous right
now with night coming."
and Annie became the best of friends in a few short hours.
They talked and giggled endlessly as Will and Dad prepared supper.
Holly was ecstatic when Dopey dropped by for a visit and she
was able to introduce him to Annie, who fell in love with the
baby brontosaur right away. Will laughed and said to his Dad,
"I can't believe it! Those two haven't stopped talking since
chuckled too. "It's wonderful to see Holly so happy."
was a giddy celebration that night. Annie continued to fill
the family in on all the interesting things that had happened
since 1974, and listened with rapt interest to their reminiscences
about their lives in the seventies.
girls cleaned up after supper while Holly giggled and enjoyed
listening to Annie's walkman. When Will and Dad returned from
gathering strawberries and melons at a patch near the cave,
the girls had finished the dishes and were dancing together
and laughing. When they spotted Dad and Will, Holly ran to
her brother and grabbed his hand, pulling him over to dance
with her and Annie. Will laughed and shook his head, but joined
the girls in their fun.
on, Daddy!" Holly begged, but Dad shook his head as he placed
the collected fruit in a large gourd.
thanks, honey, I'm having too much fun watching!" he laughed.
the kids had exhausted themselves with dancing, they joined
Rick around the cozy fire he had built. Annie and Holly still
hadn't discussed everything that they wanted to discuss, so
the talk moved from the seventies to the eighties and the nineties,
and to clothes and shopping and friends and teachers and finally
to their families and being stranded in the Land of the Lost,
with the men joining in whenever they could squeeze a word in
sideways! Rick told Annie about the pylons and the doorways
and finally about the pylon without a key that opened when the
Land's three moons lined up in the sky. Annie told Rick that
her family had tried those things also, but that they hadn't
known about the moons and had never seen a keyless pylon!
everyone settled down to sleep for the night. Rick lay in a
light, pre-sleep, with thoughts of the time-doorway running
through his head. He was almost asleep when he heard a quiet
noise. He came awake and listened and there it was again.
A sniffle, and then another. He sat up and then rose to his
knees. Another sniffle. It was little Annie, crying softly.
Rick rose and went to the child.
What is it? What's wrong?"
Annie sniffed and wiped her eyes.
sorry. I didn't mean to wake you." She apologized.
alright." Rick touched Annie's arm to comfort her. "What's
wrong?" he asked gently.
miss my Dad. I even miss my brother." Annie whispered so as
not to wake Holly and Will, who were asleep right beside her.
Rick rubbed Annie's arm, his hand going up and down to calm
you worry, Annie. We'll all go back tomorrow and try to get
the time doorway back to your time." Rick smiled kindly. Annie
sniffed and then sniffed again.
"Will you be okay now?"
nodded and Rick pulled her blanket up snugly to her chin. "Sleep
well. Tomorrow is a new day." He smiled.
the next morning, the Marshalls set out for the Lost City with
Annie. The sun shone brightly and a gentle breeze caressed
their faces as they walked through the giant trees, ferns and
palms. A pair of pterodactyls soared high overhead. They could
hear Grumpy roaring in the distance.
seems like the Land of the Lost is having a quiet morning."
Rick remarked contentedly.
sure is nice to just be able to walk through the jungle without
having to dive for cover!" Will agreed. "I hope we can reach
Enik's time doorway chamber without any trouble!"
the Marshalls' luck held. The Lost City plaza was quiet, and
they crossed quickly and entered the tunnels. They quietly
walked through the damp, dark tunnels to Enik's chamber. He
was nowhere to be found. The time doorway, though, was still
Holly said upon seeing the mist-shrouded, black portal. "It's
never seen a door stay open for this long. It has obviously
opened itself. Enik would never have done this. Where can
he be?" Rick wondered. "I wonder if he found his way home?"
Will and Annie looked at Rick. If Enik was gone, maybe they
could get home too! But Enik was also the only one who knew
a little bit about opening the time doorways.
Will walked over to the matrix table
and quickly called Dad over.
The crystals are so much brighter than usual!" he exclaimed.
right, son. Something is definitely wrong here."
what could it be, Daddy?" Holly asked.
"I don't know, honey."
you make the doorway work, Rick?" Annie asked. The little
girl had been very quiet since they had entered the tunnels.
I'm not sure if that would be a good idea, Annie. I think we
should try to find Enik and see if he can help us. If he's
here. But somehow I have the feeling that he's still here and
that the door is just malfunctioning. Maybe he'll know why
the crystals are glowing brighter and why this door opened.
Come on, kids. Holly, Annie, stay close to Will and I." Rick
Cautiously, the four walked down
tunnel after tunnel and past the pit room, which was empty,
but found no trace of their Altrusian friend.
could Enik be, Dad?" Will asked. "He must not have been in
his chamber since at least yesterday, when Annie and I were
there, or he would have closed the door!"
maybe he has been there, Will, but just doesn't know how to
close the door. There's no way to know until we find him."
like you said, maybe he's gone." Will added soberly, but quietly,
so the girls wouldn't hear.
getting tired, Daddy." Holly complained.
we have to keep looking for Enik. He's the only one who might
know how to open the doorway, and we've got to help Annie."
Holly nodded, and Annie took her
hand as they resumed their search.
When they had walked for over twenty
more minutes, Rick halted them.
can't go on any further. This is deeper into the caves than
we've ever gone, and if we continue, we could get lost." He
looked at each of the children. "We're going to have to go
back to the doorway and try to open it ourselves."
Marshalls and Annie retraced their route, stopping and pressing
themselves into a corner or as far behind a boulder as they
could get on several occasions when they thought they heard
have a bad feeling, Dad." Will said, looking around warily.
"It was very quiet while we were coming in, and now that we're
leaving, I keep hearing strange noises, like the sleestak might
be one the move." He added softly.
keep going, Will." Dad ordered. "Keep your eyes and ears open.
And if we see any sleestak, I want you all to run to Enik's
cave as fast as you can!"
scared!" Annie looked around nervously.
stepped behind the two girls and placed a hand on each of their
shoulders. "Come on. Let's go. It'll be alright." He comforted
They headed up two more tunnels,
when suddenly they rounded a corner and there were four sleestak!
and Annie screamed. Dad and Will each pushed one of the sleestak,
knocking the beasts backwards, then started wrestling with the
Run! Take the girls and run!" Dad ordered.
Dad!" Will resisted, shoving the sleestak he fought, but then
being grabbed by yet another.
be careful!" Holly cried.
no, you don't!" Annie yelled and rushed to Rick and the sleestak
who held his arms. The girl kicked the green monster hard on
his leg, causing him to let Rick go. Rick rushed to Will and
helped him to shove away the two sleestak who were struggling
with him, while Annie fiercely kicked the other sleestak again
on his other leg.
run!" Rick yelled. Dodging the remaining sleestak, who grabbed
at Holly but was shoved aside by Will, the family bolted down
the tunnel toward Enik's time-doorway cave.
that was too close!" Holly panted as they ran. "Annie, you
were super! The way you attacked that sleestak was so brave!"
right, Annie! You're a hero!" Will grinned as the family slowed
to a walk.
was terrified!" She answered her friends.
brushed Annie's hair quickly with his hand. "Thank you, honey.
You really saved us back there."
Annie grinned at Holly, who smiled
happily at her new best friend.
Rick and the kids arrived safely
at the time-doorway chamber and were gratefully surprised to
find Enik there!
Rick said. "Thank goodness you're here! The time doorway seems
to have opened itself. Unless you did it?"
did not open this doorway. I thought perhaps that you had tampered
with it." Enik stated. He cocked his head at Annie. "Rick
Marshall, who is this?" he asked.
Annie. I'm from another time in the Land of the Lost. I need
to get back to my family! Please, can you help me?" Annie
stepped through this time doorway from another time in the Land."
regarded the small human. "Did you open the door yourself?"
Annie answered. "I was picking strawberries outside the tunnel
entrance, when I saw some strange mist in the door. I went
in and then I got dizzy and confused. Instead of walking back
to my jungle, I stepped through the door and arrived here."
is all most strange." Enik said.
do you have any idea why the door opened?" Rick asked.
I'm afraid that I know very little about the doorways. As you
know, I have had no luck in returning to my own time."
we must get this doorway to open on Annie's time! Her father
and brother will be worried sick about her! With the door still
open, it shouldn't be hard to find. Can't you touch the crystals
to turn the doorway back to it's last location?"
shook his head. "I am sorry that your weak human mind cannot
understand even the simplest workings of the time doorway. It
is not that simple. But, I will try."
Holly and Annie looked at each other
hopefully and clasped their hands together as Enik stepped toward
the matrix table.
Enik! Sleestak!" Will hollered as their four attackers appeared
in the tunnel opening.
turned toward the tunnel door and waved his outstretched arm.
A mist appeared around the top and edges of the rock opening,
and the four sleestak were trapped outside.
invisible barrier." Enik explained. "They cannot come through."
a handy trick, Enik. Thank you. That's the second time you've
saved us with it." Rick said with relief.
nodded, and turned back to begin his work on the matrix table.
Rick and Will stepped up beside him, followed by the girls,
who still held each other's hands. After Enik touched three
combinations of crystals, everyone could see a view of the jungle
appear in the doorway. Will looked excitedly at Holly and Annie.
opened it to the jungle!" Rick exclaimed.
wonder if it's Annie's time?" Will asked.
will we know if.." Holly began, then fell silent as two men
stepped into the cave through the door.
"Daddy!" Annie ran to Tom Porter and he picked her up and hugged
her as the Marshalls stood with their mouths open in shock.
"Oh, sweetie, oh, Annie, we've been
crazy with worry for you!"
"Daddy, I was picking strawberries
and there was some mist in the tunnel entrance and when I stepped
through into the cave, I got dizzy and I didn't know where to
I know. It's okay." Tom hugged Annie again and then set her
down. "When you didn't come back, Kevin and I went looking
for you. We looked for hours, until I finally remembered that
you probably went
the strawberry patch beside the tunnels. When we arrived there,
we saw the mist and felt all the same confusion and dizziness
that you said you felt. So we stepped forward through the door,
hoping that we were doing the right thing to rescue you. And
thankfully we found you."
looked confused. "But Daddy, I've been here for a whole day
seems as if you were caught in the time doorway for almost half
a day!" Rick hypothesized.
that is why the doorway has remained open for so long." Enik
said. "This is all most mystifying."
when I stepped through the doorway, I arrived in this chamber
right away!" Annie said. "At least, I think I did! This is
if felt to me that we arrived here right away, too, Annie.
Who knows, in this place, what really happened?" Tom said.
Dad, Kevin, this is Rick Marshall and his kids, Will and Holly!"
Annie explained. "And this is Enik. His people built a lot
of the strange things here."
and Kevin shook hands with everyone, smiling and joyful to meet
other people. Then Kevin hugged Annie. "You sure had us freaking
out. I even missed you!" he joked.
smiled as she returned the hug. "I missed you and Dad so much!"
don't want to interrupt your emotional meeting," Enik interrupted
"but I believe it would be best if the Porters returned through
the time doorway while it's still open."
right." Tom agreed. "Rick, Will, Holly, I can't thank you
enough for keeping my little girl safe for me." Tom shook Rick's
was our pleasure." Rick replied. "We wish you the best of
luck in trying to return to earth."
wish that for you, too." Tom turned to Kevin and Annie. "Come
on, kids, let's go!"
Kevin and Will shook hands while
Annie and Holly hugged.
I'm going to miss you. You're my best friend! I'll never forget
you." Annie said with a tear in her eye.
my best friend, too, Annie! I've had the best time while you've
been here! And I'll never forget you, either!"
pulled her pink ribbon from her hair and passed it to Holly.
"Take this. I want you to have it. Every time you wear it,
just sing our Brittany Spears song and know that we'll be best
Holly smiled and the girls hugged one last time.
went to stand in front of Rick and Will. "Thank you for taking
such good care of me." She said to them. She hugged Rick and
he gave her a gentle chuck on the chin.
was nice to meet you." He smiled.
Annie smiled at Will and he wrapped her in a big bear hug.
"Take care, Annie!" he smiled.
Annie joined her family at the doorway. The Porters waved to
the Marshalls and Enik as they stepped through the misty doorway
and faded from sight.
you alright, honey?" Rick hugged Holly close.
Holly answered. "I'm just happy that Annie and her family were
Will joined his father and Holly. "I've been wondering..well,
you know that Enik has told us that for three people to enter
the Land of the Lost, that three people must exit. So, when
the three Porters entered.."
people had to leave!" Holly finished Will's thought excitedly.
Will grinned, eyes wide with hope.
put his arm around Will, so that he was hugging both of his
kids. "That sounds like pretty positive proof that we're going
to get out of here, doesn't it?" Rick agreed.
and Holly beamed at each other.
just hope that they will escape from here, too." Rick added
Marshall, I will attempt to open the doorway unto our worlds.
I do not know if I will locate either one, but now is an optimum
time to try." As the Marshalls stepped over to the crystal
matrix, Enik began to touch crystal combinations with his large,
if the doorway opens to your world, I don't know if I'll have
enough knowledge to open it to earth!" Rick pointed out to
do not know what will happen. The doorway is not reacting to
my attempts to locate Altrusia as it usually does. I have opened
the door many times, but always there is something that is wrong
and I cannot go through."
Enik continued to concentrate on
working the time doorway when suddenly the crystals in the matrix
table went dark, the glowing rocks on the cave walls went dark,
and the time doorway disappeared, fading into a solid wall of
is this?" Enik spoke aloud.
what's happening?" Rick demanded.
do not know, Rick Marshall. I am incapable of explaining what
has been happening with the time doorway. It is extremely
Do something!" Holly whined.
shook his head and held up his hands in bewilderment. "What
do you think is happening, Dad?"
frowned. "I don't know, son. The Land of the Lost has demonstrated
to us many times just how complex and unexplainable it is, and
this seems to be just another mystery."
touched the stones in the matrix table, but to no avail. The
usually softly glowing crystals sat dark and unresponsive in
their stone nest.
The sleestak that had been waiting
outside the chamber door had long since given up and gone, and
Enik quietly waved his clawed limb.
Depart." He instructed the Marshalls. "There is nothing more
to be done here." Enik's usually unemotional voice sounded
depressed and tired to the Marshalls, or perhaps it was just
their own dampened hopes that made it seem that way.
on Will, Holly, let's get back to the cave." Rick put his hand
on Holly's shoulder and followed her out into the tunnels, with
Will following quietly behind. "Don't worry, honey," he smiled
"we'll find a way, we'll get back home."
looked at her father and smiled. "I know. It's just disappointing.
But I'm really glad that Annie got back to her Dad and Kevin.
As long as they're together, they'll be okay, just like us."
family walked together through the tunnels, on their way back
to their cave home.