A wall of water was now visible at the far end of the canyon, traveling at an incredible rate of speed toward Ben, Eve, and Eleazor. Ben turned to glimpse a second wall of water coming from the opposite direction.
That’s impossible, He thought, we just came that way. Ben seized Eve and pushed her upward.
“Take hold of the tree branch,” he yelled over the now thundering sound of the water. Eve complied and then Ben jumped, grasping the lower branch and pulling himself into the tree beside Eve.
Ben looked down and noticed Eleazor still playing with his toes, oblivious to the events unfolding around him. As Ben and Eve climbed higher in the tree attempting to reach the upper edge of the canyon, the two waves collided on the pair.
Something akin to being squished between two bricks dislodged both Ben and Eve from their tree top perch. The water covered the canyon floor and Eleazor was nowhere to be found.
Ben and Eve had held fast to each other’s hand until a large fast-moving object missed Eve but kissed the back of her head. The near miss caused the couple to lose their grip and Eve to be sucked under water in the objects wake. Ben dove and freed his wife from the dying turbulence. He grabbed her around the waist and headed upward.
As Ben struggled to reach the life-giving air, he glanced back at the retreating object. Big and orange were the only sight his brain would allow him to process.
Ben burst through the surface of the water inhaling air between coughs and sputters. Turning his attention to Eve, he found she was groggy and sported a respectable knot on the back of her head. Ben struggled in the torrent of water to keep Eve from slipping away. He had become so turned around he didn’t know which direction he was moving. Was he advancing deeper into the canyon or retreating whence he came.
A large jet of bubbles surrounded them. As they subsided, Eleazor broke the surface and bobbed up and down in the water.
“Bennie boys!” he exclaimed. “And Evies, too! Me back! What you two is doin?”
Ben opened his mouth to speak, but a wave stifled his response, prompting a coughing fit.
Eve broke from Ben’s grasp. As her head dropped beneath the surface, the cool water partially revived her.
To keep from losing his wife, Ben clutched her floating brunette locks; any remaining grogginess cleared. Eve came to the surface with a shout, her hand searching for purchase. As she found Ben’s collar, he pulled her close.
“Good to see you,” she sputtered.
“Ben smiled. “Why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t swim?”
If looks could kill, Ben thought.
“Just trying to backstroke in a shipping lane before I mentioned my lack of prowess in the water.” That’s when Eve noticed the bouncing orange gargoyle. “I see Li’l Abner is still with us,” she said, her voice taking on more than a hint of disgust.
“Hi, Evies!” Eleazor exclaimed. “Me back, too!”
Eve smiled and nodded. Her eyes fixated on Ben, asking, What now?
Ben stared back, but before his answer became clear, they began to spin.
“What’s happening?” Eve asked.
“We is spinny-spin-spin!” Eleazor replied. “Let’s go faster! We need more faster!”
His request did not go unanswered as their speed doubled.
“I’m not sure, Eve,” Ben said, ignoring the bobbing orange monstrosity.
Eve held Ben in a death-grip. He watched as Eleazor swam unhindered amidst the churn.
“It’s a whirlpool!” Ben exclaimed.
The spinning water increased in speed until three heads disappeared at the bottom of the vortex.