Hey! Here's how the story continues!

I plan to post the sequel to The Secret Island of Edgar Dewitt "blog" style over weekly installments, chapter-by-chapter, so check in every Thursday.

Of course, to catch up on the story you should check out (& read!) my debut novel, The Secret Island of Edgar Dewitt.

It's about a boy who finds the proverbial "Hole Down To China," but from Washington State (his new home)

the hole actually goes to a tiny island about the size of a baseball diamond that sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean - a place where Edgar can travel to escape newfound bullies, maybe do some fishing, or even enjoy his brand new hobby: skydiving all the way through the Earth!

That said: buckle up and ready yourself. Edgar's story is about to take a "huuuge" turn into Weirdsville...

Thank you so much for reading along!

Sincerely,

Ferrill Gibbs

THE RISE OF EDGAR DEWITT

By Ferrill Gibbs

Sometimes at night to fall asleep

I think about a hole so deep

that if I thought of falling in

I feel I'd fall from this world's end

And down to Russia...maybe China

Actually from Alabama

I go down to the Indian Ocean

I'm only there for one quick motion

Flip around and fall back through,

Back through the core and crust I'd spew

Up from the hole and back in bed...

 

Some folks count sheep. I fall instead.

                                                                     "Chevy" - All The Kimonos

Prologue 

Here’s a question to Kerry, my good friend and teacher of Physics in Calgary who’s also a master of Astrophysics. 

(He’s also an amateur comedian as well, apparently.) 

Kerry! I’ve got a question: What would it be like to be 37,000 feet tall? 

I was flying on a plane the other day and looking down at the city of Atlanta from the window seat and wondered what size lake, perhaps, might provide a 37,000-foot-tall giant with a decent slurp of water? 

Or what might he find to eat to fill his massive, miles-long stomach? 

Or how long would it take for him to walk around the globe? 

Stuff like that. Lemme know! 

Ferrill 

 

Kerry: Hey, this is kind of a neat idea!  If a standard human male is six feet tall and that person grows to be a height of 37,000 feet tall, then each foot on your giant would be about a mile long. 

Each would also be about a third of a mile wide! 

So, just putting those big feet down is going to be a big problem. 

At that height he couldn’t even walk through a city at all - his foot wouldn’t fit between buildings. He would trample millions of people with just one step if he ever stepped foot in New York City or Mexico City -- maybe even more in Tokyo. 

His hands would be about 3800 feet long – that’s about three-quarters of a mile apiece. So, picking up Earthly objects would be extremely difficult.  For example, let’s say he wanted to pick up a 15-foot-long pickup truck: for your giant, that would be like trying to grasp the teensiest grain of sand…and nearby humans would be the size of the dusty pollen specks around that grain of sand! 

For movement, each step your giant takes would cover the distance of about three miles. And each of his legs would be moving at a brisk 19,000 miles per hour! 

Which works out to be about Mach 25. 

Which means that each of his strides would easily break the sound barrier. 

Which means that sonic booms and pressure waves would erupt with every step he takes! 

Which equates to about 8,000 Hiroshima level nuclear explosions per step! 

Which means: your giant’s gonna need himself a pair of fireproof pants

On the brighter side, though, he could circle the globe in just about an hour  on foot. 

There’s a reason why commercial airplanes fly so high, Ferrill: because the air up there is very thin. 

In fact, at 37,000 feet there is maybe one quarter of the oxygen available to your giant compared to what his lungs are accustomed to down here on Earth’s surface. 

Heck, at above 25,000 feet, humans can’t even survive! So, considering your giant would be trying to breathe in copious amounts of air into his gigantic, miles-long lungs (mind you, air that is not at all fortified with any substantial amounts of oxygen), he’ll also be breathing faster, which means you just might have yourself a hyperventilating giant. 

Oh, and the temperature up there is going to be very cold, too: approximately negative 40 degrees F.

So do try to get your poor giant at the very least a nice, warm hat.

Chapter 1: How To Dig A Hole Thru The Earth 

Xaxxyn Wuju (pronounced "Zak·sən") used his last bit of strength to teeter to the cave door. Once there, he peered out and was abjectly disappointed to find the sun no less blurry than the day before. 

Or the day before that. 

The world was a hazy, black smudge, and across the plains and distant mountainsides light was cast as if by a vanishing dusk or a harvest moon, the ash ever-present, ever-thickening, closing in, wafting down, and stinging his lungs. Their village was drowning in bad air, as were all the earthlings on his side of the world. 

It was 11,453 BC. 

Xaxxyn slumped to his knees and wheezed, trying to catch what might be his final breaths as his watery, bloodshot eyes lifted in desperation to scan the village lake, where atop its murky waters the fish had been swarming for days: some bobbing, some finning sideways, others belly up altogether. It didn't take an above-average, Mesolithic kid to know why the fish were bobbing: because they were dying too, just like the beasts in the clearing that had been coughing and spitting and toppling over at the foot of the mountains day after day, same as the flowers in the grass fields beneath their feet had crumpled to dust, then flittered away with the oncoming and relentless whirling gusts of ash. 

Behind Xaxxyn, deeper in the cave, could be heard sprawled about moaning and clutching their guts his family: his brothers and sisters and mom and dad, all of them sickly pale, just as Xaxxyn was, which was particularly distressing since these were a people of deep, dark, almost almond brown color. 

Almost black, you might say. 

That’s when, suddenly, as Xaxxyn watched the dying fish and struggled to take his breaths, like Armageddon had broken wide, there came monsters tall as paperbark trees over the mountaintops and up from the valleys: all of them hairless, dressed in garments of metal – a metal that somehow seemed to sway fluidly, like rivers. And, charging down the mountaintops with them followed a squadron of great vessels, all rolling along obediently, making the Earth rock – making it lurch like a wafting boar skin billowing violently from a clothesline in a storm, an army that seemed to be making a dust-raising beeline straight toward Xaxxyn’s village. 

Beneath his dirty, bare feet he could feel the cave floor shaking with the crescendoing vibrations. He could see the stones and pebbles dancing wildly around him, like swarming fleas about his blackened, flaky toenails. 

“Chaaxolq…” he coughed over his shoulder: a warning to his family. 

What a strange time to be alive.

As the great creatures finally reached the village, then congregated down by the lake shore, Xaxxyn tried to slump behind a cave wall but dared to peek out with one wide, terrified, charcoal-colored eye.

He could see his neighbors peeking out from their caves too: the Stone-Tree girl from her neighboring cave, for instance, who he used to play with. With her he gaped at the machines that had suddenly arranged themselves in a tight semi-circle of sorts, grinding to a halt uniformly, each announcing its full-stop with an ear-shattering note of some strange chord in one harmonious, terrifying, otherworldly hum. 

Some of the machines seemed to idle on round, black circles, Xaxxyn noticed, while others idled on nothing at all – rather they hovered just off the ground and on air, as if on wheels of magic or, as if, perhaps, they were the heavenly chariots of the gods themselves and so glided on the shoulders of Xaxxyn’s ancestors' dead souls. 

After another moment’s pause, as Xaxxyn and the village watched breathlessly from their cave dwellings, the tallest among these alien beasts stepped forth - a glorious one she was, who turned and motioned with three of her six arms to the idling squadron. 

Xaxxyn marveled at her enormous, beige face. It was as clear as the sun. Her two massive catlike eyes - an irradiant yellow, deep and beautiful - were the only yellow eyes amongst her clan.

All the rest were deep sea green.

But she was towering: at least ten men stacked together foot to shoulder, who wore a brilliant blue and yellowed armor that seemed to magnify a million times the last little fragments of the weak and waning sunlight. 

At her beckoning, and with a mighty jolt, one titan machine rolled forth (a gargantuan thing, silvery in color, easily as big as a small mountain and certainly as wide as eight stacked evergreens). With great power it roared and approached the village’s blackened lake. 

Drunk with fascination now, Xaxxyn could not help but to step forth into the dim light of the world, too lost in curiosity to remember his fear as the behemoth’s wheels rolled to a full stop by the lake. 

Then, as the six-armed god walked to its side and bopped it with her beige fist, there plunged from the ship’s belly two snake-like, corrugated tubes: one it seemed for sucking, and the other for spewing

Deep into the murky waters both the tubes sank, and somehow, with some sort of unspeakable, inhumanly power - along with an ear shattering blast from deep within the innards of the machine - one tube began to take in undrinkable lake water, and the other began to gush out clean, clear, ash-free water. 

The ship was filtering the liquid before Xaxxyn’s very eyes. 

Within minutes the massive lake was crystalline blue, utterly ash free, and the fish (who'd been sucked up and spat out along with the millions and millions of gallons of lake water) were suddenly alive again, not bobbing or finning sideways but each and every one spritely and playing and jumping and completely renewed.

Xaxxyn caught himself holding his breath in light of this miracle, even though he had no breath to spare. 

Once her task was complete, as the machine flashed some blue lights, her filtering vessel rolled dutifully back to the squadron’s semicircle and the six-armed god gazed out over the waters to survey. 

Her beautiful, feline eyes darted back and forth across its surface. 

Once satisfied, she nodded and turned back to the squadron. The lake behind her rippled clear as quartz. 

At some point Xaxxyn’s family had arrived and were peering out over his shoulder at this wonderful transformation.

What is happening, their blood-tainted, questioning eyes seemed to ask. 

“Unka dewdoq,” he wheezed.

The tall one cleaned the lake

Xaxxyn’s father, the crafty and well-liked Boqdroq, gazed down at his thirsty, dying children. And so, spanning his arms, he corralled them and his wife as well and duly led them forth, out from the cave, all his children stumbling after him coughing like a sickly herd and even as the gods and their machines towered over the family, the Wujus bravely limped forward through a line of them toward a life-saving drink. 

Xaxxyn looked up at the looming gods as he walked, realizing that they were much taller than he thought they were. Now, suddenly, they were all gazing down at him and his family, like Xaxxyn often studied defenseless rodents he might find scurrying around the cave.

Xaxxyn’s father lifted a hand as he led them through, a demonstration that the Wujus meant the gods no harm. 

Down by the lake’s shore, the tall god with her yellow eyes gazed down at Xaxxyn’s family before lifting all four of her enormous legs to step aside and allow the Wujus final passage to the water. Xaxxyn supposed she could just as easily have crushed them like ants rather than give to them a drink, but such a gruesome act never came. Instead, as they knelt by the shore and cupped clean water into their hands for a drink, she only continued to study them. 

The cold, clear water hit Xaxxyn’s throat like a spattering of hornet stings, and suddenly he was into a coughing fit so violent that he quaked and stammered and seized. Through hot tears he heaved deeply into the lake, trying so hard to catch his breath as both of his lungs rattled with death. His family paused their drinking, clean water dripping from their cracked and calloused hands, as they looked him over with worry. 

That’s when Xaxxyn felt a large presence move behind him: it was the mother god, standing behind him now, casting him in a long, dim shadow that stretched far out into the deep waters of the lake. Finally, as he finished his coughing fit and spat the last of some red spittle into the lake, he wiped his mouth with an arm and labored to stand, turning to face her. 

Blinking down with eyes big as water bowls, she studied him. He noticed her pupils were mineral gray, and there seemed to be a warmth to her expression – even though her features were not of this world. He could see it: She meant no harm. There was a compassion that shone like brilliant starlight on her face – as if she were truly the mother of them all. Her warmth radiated from all points on her gigantic, rippling body.

And suddenly Xaxxyn was not afraid. 

That’s when her mighty, flesh-like finger extended down, reaching for his face, perhaps to touch the streak of blood that remained on his chin from the coughing, but Xaxxyn’s mother leapt from the lake shore and got between them. Instantly she flashed a fiery scowl at the god, her mouth contorted in a toothy hiss in defense of her son. 

“Ungdoq!” she cried. 

Sublimely, at her request, the giant creature immediately withdrew her massive finger and bowed apologetically to Xaxxyn's mom, before turning and motioning for another machine. 

This time, a different vessel jolted forth: it resembled a pair of giant coconut shells – shells as big as the great beasts from the lake’s deep – but the shells were stuck together open ends out, like two massive gaping ears of a monkey. 

It also hovered, standing about half as tall as a tall hill and half as wide as however far Xaxxyn’s dad could probably throw a rock. 

At the six-armed god’s request, its engine revved to the decibel of about a million eagles screaming and then the coconut halves began to quake violently. Suddenly, somehow, through the left shell, there began to be sucked in so much dirty, ashen air of the world; and through the right side, there began to be spat out clean, breathable, ash-free air onto all of Xaxxyn and his entire village. 

Into the caves, out across the lake, the clean wind blew: healing air, pulsating out from this splendid machine and deeply into all of their blackened, sickly lungs. 

It was a welcome cyclone of life that covered their village instantly, and Xaxxyn could feel it in all his extremities - it was medicine to his very bones. Out to his fingertips the oxygen trickled and all the way up to the top of his throbbing head - even out to the tips of his toenails it seemed, where instantly there began to be sweet relief. It was as if he'd been smothered by a sheep's hide for weeks and now suddenly, the hide had been lifted.

Through blurry eyes he gazed up at the tall god and smiled at her and lifted his hands to her, in thanks, then turned and peered out across the lands beyond her giant feet to what now seemed to be a zone - a bubble of clean air all the way out to the feet of the mountains where beyond it was still a dark region, like the dying world of ash had not yet been touched by the crisp elixir being strewn about by the gods’ great, life-saving coconut machine. 

Suddenly, like a river, the village poured forth from their caves, folks who’d been hiding from sight until now but now basked in the clean air, and who took in huge, reviving lungsful while coughing out bad lungsful gleefully, flocking down to the clean lake like wild geese to drink in the pure waters greedily, splashing joyously in the shallows, hollering, laughing, celebrating.

Surely it meant they were saved. 

That’s when, from the heavens, at the giant god's third and final beckoning, one last, heavenly machine descended. It was the sleekest machine of all, easily as tall as a towering cypress and merely as wide as one large boulder.

Like a silver, celestial snake... or a worm. 

In front of this vessel spun a large, rotating metal spiral, and as it neared the ground the spiral began to spin ever faster, more and more furiously with each passing second, its humming and whirring ear-shattering as it floated ever downward. With a wave of her six arms the mother god ushered all the village into the nearby caves, for shelter. Obediently, Xaxxyn’s family and all his neighbors retreated back to their homes, lingering just inside the cave openings to peek out and see just what godly miracle might be on its way next. 

As clean air from the coconut machine continued to blow liberally into their caves, the villagers watched the descending machine as it finally reached the ground and then, with its rotating spiral, began tearing violently into the earth. 

Bearing down now, it sent huge chunks of dirt and rock and Earth’s crust flying while crystalline vents on all sides of the ship began to open and suck in all those flying chunks – every pebble, every piece of crust, all of it caught like morsels of deer meat in a leopard's mouth, leaving no earth or boulders or earth’s crust even strewn about.

In this way, it dug. 

But soon the digging machine was gone, off into the Earth, while nothing remained except for waves of vibrations beneath the villagers’ feet. In its wake, a 17-foot-wide hole in the ground was all that remained, just feet from the lake shore. 

The six-armed-god then waved the villagers back outside, corralling them around the hole, presenting it to them, pointing many of her alien fingers downward, deep into the blackness below. 

"This goes to your new home,” she explained, surprisingly in their own tongue.

The entire village gasped in awe. 

How did she know their tongue

Xaxxyn looked down past her fingertips to make out the tail end of the ship. It was still descending, about 40 yards beneath them now. From its tail he could see that it had been lining the side walls with a tight layer of golden, keenly inscribed bricks as it went. All the bricks were perfectly arranged and beautiful. They were so shiny and not of this Earth, and were like nothing Xaxxyn had ever seen before - like a payload of treasure from the gods, probably converted - he quickly figured - from all the earth and rock and boulders it was taking in as it dug. 

The entire hole seemed to glow from deep inside the Earth, like the sun, even though the sun above was still, for the most part, blotted out. 

"This will take you safely to the other side of the world," she continued, "where you will be safe from all the damage that the falling star has created on your side of the world." 

So, the ashen air had been the product of a falling star? It made sense to Xaxxyn now. He had seen a few of those in his lifetime, streaking hotly across the sky, but never any big enough to just about kill them all. 

"You must jump to get there," she urged, "but do not worry. You will be safe as you fall. Just clutch to the side wall when you arrive on the other side.” She grabbed an imaginary wall with her own six hands to demonstrate, and when she did this, it reminded Xaxxyn of a many-armed insect. “The place you will find down there will make a good home for you, I promise. So make the most of it, villagers. Make a good world down there.” 

She then looked up at the quickly deteriorating situation beyond their bubble of fresh air that she had provided and for the first time, Xaxxyn realized she was fretting.

Maybe they were running out of time. 

“Yaard-gontaah,” pleaded Xaxxyn, snatching away her attention. She gazed down at the boy along with the entire village. He could feel every eye on him now, but it had to be said. There was no way he could jump down that hole! Everyone knew that he was absolutely mortified of heights. He would almost rather die staying behind than to jump such a terrible distance. 

Besides. How did they know this wasn’t a trap? Maybe the gods had been making the world livable for themselves - breathable air, edible fish – just to convince Xaxxyn’s village to go away by jumping off to their deaths down inside the deep Earth?

How did the village know for sure that the gods were so nice after all? 

"You can do it," she encouraged, a heavenly smile on her face that revealed teeth as gold as the bricks themselves… and suddenly he was under her spell again. “You must do it, Xaxxyn, if you want to live. Don’t you want to live?”

So the god knew his name, as well. He was learning not to be surprised.

“Yet! Once you do get there - and heed this, all of you, village: whatever comes of your world down there, do not ever jump into the hole again - never once you arrive on the other side. It is made for one trip only, and only one!" She bent lower to them, lifting her many arms in warning, her voice pleading. "Multiple trips will be detrimental to you humans. These bricks… they have characteristics that are unfit... more than one pass will be deadly. Please understand..." 

Everyone nodded, including Xaxxyn, because this was not an issue. Even as he gazed down the hole which was darkening by the minute as the hot, golden bricks continued to cool, he knew that as deep as the hole was, one trip through would be more than enough. 

*** 

Later that day, at three in the morning Pacific Standard time, Xaxxyn and his village climbed forth from the hole, one by one. 

They were standing on a new, non-ashen land, finding themselves for once in many weeks safe and sound. 

Not only were the villagers welcomed by a blast of cool, clean air (unaided by any double-coconut type machines) and a brilliantly starry sky (where the constellations were strangely upside down), but also a slew of healthy beasts that peacefully grazed off in the dimly lit fields beyond. 

Xaxxyn didn’t recognize the species, but they sure seemed to be something like the great Meadowbeasts of the prairies back home.

Strange as they looked, they were probably pretty tasty to eat. 

These were the first American settlers, Xaxxyn and his village. It was a group that waved goodbye to the last benevolent machine of the gods as it rose swiftly into the sky on this side of the planet, with its big spiral whirring and its blinking of otherworldly lights as the humans stood to face a new life on the opposite side of the planet from which they had come. 

As the final ship made its way up into the heavens, their village then turned to focus their efforts on the strange land (wherever it was), to seek shelter, and to begin to build a new life here in this brand new, fascinating world. 

It was North America, 11,453 BC. 

Days later, when there came seawater bursting forth from the hole, like a massive artesian well shooting sheets into the sky, they had to take to higher ground; and though the village was safe from the flooding, many of the beasts of the field drowned grazing unaware in the salty flood. 

No matter: as the flood waters subsided, the villagers began to gather up carcasses from sea creatures that had fallen from the skies and ate those, and for years after they would learn to pull more sea beasts from the watery hole as it was fished from the top, like ice fishing. 

More than 10,000 years would pass before the hole to finally dried out, and became again what it was always meant to be: a transport.

A safe and prudent passage to the other side of the world.

Chapter 2: The Fall of Chris Weedy 

Chris Weedy was faking it. He'd been faking it the whole time, basically. 

Yeah, his shoulder hurt from where that dumbass Flounder had blind-sighted him but he could still stand up and destroy the kid if he wanted to. But still, he let Flounder drag his limp and uncooperative body away from the cabin and down the forest trail just to see how far the kid could go. It was hilarious, too. Weedy tried not to laugh and blow his cover. 

"Where am I?" he finally groaned, when he could take no more of the weakling's grunting and huffing. He opened his eyes to see Flounder dropping hold of the hoodie lid by which he dragged Weedy, and a face of worry melt into the ecstasy of relief.

"Thank God!" Flounder exclaimed. "You’re awake! We've got to get you out of here, man! Edgar says something bad is coming." 

Edgar was right, Weedy thought.

Something bad was coming. 

Weedy was coming.

"No, it's ok,” muttered Weedy, fake-coming to. “I'm getting up now. I can walk now. Thanks Anthony.” 

As if Flounder could knock Weedy out! What a moron. Chris dry swallowed rage from having to fake his surrender to such a...nothing of a person. 

“Cool," said Flounder. “Well, I’m glad you’re ok, Weedy.” And at that, with an unsure nod, Flounder peeled off down the trail and off into the night, running back home toward Mount Lanier to evacuate from the coming wildfire.

Once he was gone, Weedy turned and cracked his knuckles and glared at the cabin where Edgar had vanished.

In a rage, the bully began a dash toward the cabin door. 

"Dewitt!" he hissed. 

He was going to kill him. 

Once he burst into the room, all aglow from Edgar’s lantern, he screamed down the stupid hole.

“Dewitt!” he hollered, knowing that the trailer-park-hick must be down there. Weedy had seen him jump earlier into the hole with that big, goofy bag in tow - had watched Dewitt and Flounder from where he lay on the forest floor as he fake-groaned and fake played-dead like a possum, after that turd Flounder had cheap-shotted him. What a coward! Weedy had watched as they told each other goodbye. Flounder had begged Edgar not to go. But Edgar had jumped anyway, and hadn’t come back since.

Which meant that Edgar was still down there - had to be

Wherever "down there" was. 

“I know where you aaaaaare!” Weedy screamed, more enraged by the minute. 

He was alone, too, had to be, and now with the help of none of his friends Weedy could have his way with the little redneck. Whatever Edgar had been up to - whatever stupid undertaking he had been involved in, Weedy was about find out exactly what it was, and then he was going to stop it because he hated Edgar Dewitt so much - enough to want only the opposite of whatever things Edgar might ever be trying to accomplish. All of them. 

And then? Well, that was gonna be the fun part: then Weedy was gonna beat the ever-living crap out of Edgar Dewitt. 

Before he jumped, though, he dashed across the room to Edgar’s fish station and grabbed a silvery cylinder from the countertop - it was an old timey flashlight. With the torch-end out he flicked it on to see if it had any juice. 

“Yeah," he purred. "This'll work."

Then he turned and leapt out over the expanse of blackness, freeing himself from the confines of the cabin and feeling himself being sucked down by all the gravity in Earth - whooshing down like a golf ball tossed from the Empire State Building. 

Down, so violently down, he fell. 

But he did not wince as he fell, not him. Because it was nothing, really. 

Well, almost nothing. 

Maybe he had a butterfly or two, and maybe a slight queasiness in his sinking stomach, but soon enough it was gone and he was finally able to open his eyes again. As he spiraled through the world he shined his light around and studied the walls before him, floating toward them, even reaching out to touch the inscriptions on the bricks with his fingertips, studying everything, taking it in. 

So. This is what that turd’s been hijacking Van Rossum’s class for. He’s found a hole through the Earth! 

It all made perfect sense now - how had Chris never seen it? All those questions the hick had been asking Van Rossum about a "Hole Down To China" – that idiot had had a purpose. 

As the revelation overtook him, he turned the flashlight to his Rolex and began to run figures in his mind: he'd been falling for about seven minutes or so… and the world was about 8000 miles wide (he remembered that from Van Rossum’s class) … and since gravity pulled exponentially at negative 9.8 meters per second squared -- well, he concluded, there must be about 35 more minutes of freefall left until the other side.

Nobody knew this, but Weedy’s dad was a physics instructor at the local Christian college and Chris paid grave attention to him. He watched all his father’s taped lectures and tried all his father's sample calculations. Weedy paid attention - always paid attention - to everything. Unbeknownst to all the other jerks in school who might have ragged him for it, he really didn't mind messing around with math too much. 

At any rate, it was sure coming in handy now. 

Hitting full velocity, he reached out his hands and tucked in his legs and fell like a rock through the world, until finally he looked up the tunnel and saw what he'd fully expected to see.

A light

Frantically he clamored to the side wall and reached out his hands, then, just as the opposite end of the Earth arrived, he grabbed it and strained for a moment – ah, this bum shoulder. You idiot, Flounder! - but finally he was able to pull himself out and into the warm sunshine.

Standing on wobbly legs, he reached down to dust himself off.

Where am I

Looking around, he realized he had made it to some other world – some other kind of an island world – where the sea surrounded him and fish swarmed the waters and waves pounded the shores.

As far as he could see in any direction, there was nothing but ocean stretching out to the ends of the Earth. 

But where was Dewitt? He must be on this island somewhere, and now they were alone...

There was no way Dewitt could escape him this time. 

And there he was! It was Edgar, spotted by a giddy Chris Weedy from on top of the island, as he stood just beside the hole's edge. Edgar was currently rowing away from the island in some kind of stupid, lumpy, ridiculous-looking, lopsided orange rubber raft that was piled so high with all kinds of stuff, it almost made Weedy burst out laughing. 

Almost.

“DEWITT!” Weedy screamed as he sprinted down to the shore, stopping just beside the chilly waters because they seemed to fall off so quickly. “YO... EDGAR!” he hollered again, balling up his fists, cursing Dewitt up and down from the shore, but it was no use. Edgar was too far away in his stupid death-trap and probably could never hear from that distance and on account of the brisk, gusting ocean wind. 

Whatever. It would be alright. Weedy would just hang around on the island until the redneck got back, because where else was he gonna go? There was nothing but ocean all around for as far as the eye could see, and when Edgar got back to shore, Weedy would be there to meet him! Then Weedy could then do all the Weedy things he had always wanted to do... 

That's when he realized something on the island was very wrong. There was a noise. Coming from nearby. Nearly frozen, he glanced down at his feet and when he did, he released a gasp of horror. He'd been so wild with rage and had focused so hard on Dewitt and his stupid boat that he’d walked right into the most terrible situation. 

All around him, from shore to sandy shore on this tiny island – even right below his feet, inches away – was stick upon stick of sinister, ominously placed dynamite. 

And there was something even worse: Through the violent ocean winds he could make out the hiss and spark of a very furious fuse, brightly lit and coming his way. Yes, only yards away now, he realized with wide, terrified, pupil-less eyes. It was a hissing, slithering snake of fire, briskly headed to devour its first bunch of dynamite. 

Weedy's jaw dropped open and he let out a scream like a baby with diaper rash. 

He was of course standing on the mountain of Edgar’s dynamite: dynamite soon to be used to famously blow up his secret island and to make rain in Mount Lanier. 

In a fit Weedy turned and sped towards the hole to escape, diving out over its abyss in retreat, screaming and wailing all the way. Once he was falling, he pointed his body straight like a dart and got up as much speed as he could muster – as much aerodynamic positioning as he could maintain – and dove through the Earth to speed away from that dumb hick Edgar Dewitt and all the idiotic things he was currently up to. 

What in God's name is with this guy? He thought with a shudder. Weedy grabbed his hands and squeezed them tight, trying to calm the shakes as he fell. He hated the shakes. They were weakness ripples, percolating forth from somewhere soft within. 

Ah, forget him, Weedy decided. Forget Edgar Dewitt for now. Weedy would fall back to Mount Lanier and Edgar could have whatever friggin dynamite pity party he was hell-bent on having on his stupid, deserted island. 

So Dewitt would get a pass…for now. 

And that is how Chris Weedy fell through the Earth twice: once in pursuit of Edgar, another to escape Edgar's dynamite. 

It would be weeks before he started growing.