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beyond help and the evil had total possession of him. David


described to his son the pain he and Dorothy had gone


through at the hands of Marcus. They went from living like


royalty to the pigpen, at the hands of their own son. Sam


told his father he was very sorry and assured him


everything would be all right soon. The group continued to walk toward home. Peter was


excited to see his new home fully. Dorothy and Jane sat


quietly in the back of the wagon. Suddenly, it began to


shake violently. Dorothy looked out, and she was in the


air. Sam had used his powers to levitate everyone into the


air. The people were now flying; this was the only way to


get home quickly before nightfall.


Through the sky they went. The children were having


the most fun touching the clouds. The birds moved out of


the way, and the long trees shrunk to make way for the herd


of people.


"Wheeeeee!" said they kids.


Up and down they moved and chased each other. This was


the first time many of them had been completely free. The


adults were placed in the back. Many of the older ones were


afraid, but Sam put their fears to rest assuring them now


that he would not drop them. Faster and faster Sam flew


them through the air, going in and out of trees, flying


over vast stretches of land. People on the ground were


pointing and shouting with surprise. One kid on a bike


rolled into a patch of hay when he saw the crowd in the


air. People were running, trying to catch up with the


flying people. Some were running to neighbors, telling them


what they had seen. The fresh air did Jane a whole lot of good; she woke


up smiling, asking for her family, until Dorothy filled her


in on what was going on. Jane pushed her hair back and


looked out of the wagon window, and smiled at her family to


show she was okay. This gave Sam more strength to move the


wagon even more quickly. Suddenly, the wagon and the people


came falling down slowly from the sky.


"We are home," said Sam.


The Carrot-Tops' home had arrived in one piece, safe


and secure. It was no longer frozen in time. The house was


like a castle -- there must have been hundreds or even


thousands of rooms. It was like the Carrot-Tops were kings


and queens of Baja. The home was fit for royalty. The crowd


of people stared at the enormous house and wondered how was


it that Sam kept all of this when their homes were either


destroyed or taken away. Some people in the crowd were


happy to have a warm place to bathe and sleep, while others


were becoming very jealous of the Carrot-Tops.


The people went through the house feeling and touching


things. It had been years since they had even seen or in


fact been in a house as luxurious as this. The people were


like kids in a candy store -- they wanted to feel and touch


everything in sight. Some people were even trying to steal


little knick-knacks outside in the garden, before they even went into the house.


"There will be none of that. Anything you want is


free. There is no need to steal," said Sam.


Peter ran up to the door and waited on his father to


open it. One deep breath and Sam gave the door a turn, and


swung it open. Everything was just like they had left it,


only this time, nothing was in an altered state. The cats


were running around the house and everything seemed to fit


in place. Sam went and lifted his wife out of the wagon and


brought her into the house. With Jane resting comfortably


on the sofa, Sam invited everyone in for a hot meal and a


fresh bath.


Some people began to grumble, they were upset that Sam


still had all of his wealth and they had nothing. He tried


to ease the tension in the crowd, but no one wanted to


listen. They were all jealous of the luxury Sam and his


family had.


"All of you have been loyal to me, and I will see that


you also get all that you left behind," said Sam.


But, no one wanted to hear that. They were upset. They


had lost everything because they were Sam's followers.


"Why should we trust you?" one man asked.


"Because we all have suffered," intervened Sam's


father. But the pep talk did no good, and off went the crowd,


grumbling and complaining. Only two people stayed behind,


Red Fox and Samantha Grey. Red Fox was half-man half-fox.


He was one of Sam's loyal friends and commander of his


army. Red had grown old and worn; his fox fur was matted


and his demeanor was that of hopelessness.


He looked Sam in the eyes and asked him, "Will you


make me like I once was?"


Tears began to fill Sam's eyes and he let Red Fox know


that he would do everything in his powers to make things




Then Samantha Grey stepped forward. She was a young


woman, no more than twenty. Her gifts of being a ninja had


served Sam's army very well. Samantha was of Asian descent;


her long body and jet black hair made her stand out in a


crowd. She had taught thousands of Sam's soldiers how to


fight and how to respect the art of becoming a ninja, and


her army was unstoppable.


Samantha explained to Sam that she had had to hide in


the Black Forest when the elders kicked him out of Baja,


and she did not want to get killed like the others. Sam


went over and gave her a big hug, and told Samantha


everything would be all right.


"Don't blame yourself for running,” he said. “It was the right thing to do.”


But Samantha still felt like a coward, since she could


not protect Sam's family from being punished at the hands


of the elders. But Sam never held it against her. He


understood that at the time, she had to fight for her own




Red and Samantha were the only people in the crowd who


stayed, the rest left, intent on trying to reunite with


their families that they hadn't seen in ten plus years. Sam


understood that they were angry with him, so he let them


go, knowing that most of them would be back once they were


rejected by their families and friends.


The remaining guests made themselves at home while


Peter and Dingo were having a blast running through the


house. Up and down the staircase they ran. Jane was pleased


to see her son finally finding a place to call home. It was


kinda strange to the Carrot-Tops to be back in their house


that had been vacant for years.


That night was so strange for the family that they


couldn't sleep, so the night was filled with stories by the


fireplace. Deep down inside, everyone was wondering what


tomorrow would bring. Jane began to tell Peter of a great


primary school, the great Waldorf Academy School. She told


him it was a school of possibilities, and that whatever his dreams were, the school could make them come true.


"Oh boy, I can't wait!" said Peter.


Jane told her son that he would fit right in with all


the other kids, unlike back in Georgia. For a moment,


Georgia seemed strange. They seemed to have been gone from


there for so long already. So, they put thoughts of the


human world in the back of their heads and continued on


with the stories by the fireplace.


Red Fox slowly came down the stairs; his fur was all


wet and shaggy. "Oooh, that was a great bath!" he shouted.


"It has been so long since I had a good hot bath like that.”


The family just laughed and welcomed him to sit by the


fireplace. Jane noticed that her mother-in-law was missing


and went up the stairs to find her. Dorothy was in her old


room stroking the pillowcase.


She heard Jane coming and said, "It has been years


since I slept on a bed, it seems so strange to me."


Jane sat on the edge of the bed with Dorothy and gave


her a big hug, promising that Sam would make everything the


way it was. Dorothy put her feet in the bed and crawled up


into a ball.


Jane went down and told Sam about his mother. He


rushed right up to her bedside to make sure that she was


okay. Sam saw the state his mother was in, and ran to the phone and called a doctor. David ran to his wife's side and


comforted her.


"It's the years of digging in those nasty tunnels that


has her sick," said David.


At the same time, Sam was on the phone talking to the


doctor, asking him to get there right away. Within a few


seconds, he appeared out of thin air. It startled everyone


for a moment. Sam went over and tried to shake the doctor's


hand, but it was only a hologram of the doctor that told


the patient and their family what to do to help their loved




The hologram of Dr. Doo came on with a computer


generated voice telling the family to boil hot water with


lotus leaves and place them on Dorothy's chest. The family


was stunned for a while, but did what the hologram told


them to do. Dorothy went in and out of a coma. Sam was very


sad, and he begged his mother to hold on just a while




Before anyone could say another word, the medicine


worked. Dorothy was still ill, but was feeling much better.


She leaned over to her son and asked him to bring Peter




Peter went forward to hear what his grandmother had to


say; she whispered, "You are the eighth key." Peter did not understand what she meant and just went


on agreeing with her because she was ill. She fell fast


asleep and everyone left the room. The computer-generated


image vanished and the door bell rang. Jane walked to the


door and opened it slowly.


An older gentleman walked in and said, "Hi, I am Dr.




Jane was caught a little off guard and proceeded to


take the doctor upstairs. Dr. Doo explained to the family


that the computer-generated image stayed with a person who


was ill until he arrived. This was a far more advanced


technology than the Carrot-Tops were used to. The doctor


examined Dorothy and told the family she would be fine; she


just needed a little rest and clean, fresh air. Dr. Doo


also let the family know how wonderful it was to see them


back in Baja, and that he supported them one hundred




The family was amazed to see the support they were


getting from all over Baja, and this made Sam more


determined to fight. The night was quiet and everyone went


to bed waiting for tomorrow to come. Yet, Sam could not


sleep. He walked through the house, pacing back and forth,


trying to take in all the emotions, and to find out where


his life had left off at. He went and sat at his office desk, reading the papers


from ten years past. The headline was the exile of the


Carrot-Tops. The report made the Carrot-Tops look like a


disgrace. Sam read the report over and over again. In his


mind, he could picture and replay the event again and


again. He went through his office with a fine tooth comb,


looking for anything out of the ordinary. He knew that his


brother would probably try to set him up again.


Sam suddenly fell asleep in his office. The spirits of


the seven elders came to him, one by one in a ghostly


fashion. They swarmed around the office and said in soft


voices, "Sam, Sam, wake up." The voices repeated their


request one by one.


Sam woke up, but he was also now a spirit. He walked


out of his body to be in the same form as the spirits. Sam


looked back and saw his body lying lifeless, sleeping away,


then he turned his attention back to the spirits. He tried


to reach out to them, but a force field stopped him. To


Sam, it felt as if his legs were made out of iron. The


spirits warned Sam that they must talk quickly and he must




"A war is coming and Peter is the key. If we do not


awake in the time before the war, Baja will be lost


forever. We know you are not the one at fault. Your brother is, and he must be stopped or we will lose everything,"


said the spirits.


Sam acknowledged them, and promised the spirits that


he would try to make things right and Baja would not be


lost. The spirits reminded him that there was nothing that


they could do while in hibernation and the longer they


hibernated, the less powerful they would become. It had now


been ten years and they needed to get out of hibernation as


soon as possible. The spirits' images began to fade in and


out, and then suddenly, they disappeared.


Sam woke up in a pool of blue goo; it covered his


entire body. He ran to the bathroom to wash his face. He


could not stop thinking about what the spirits had told


him. After a quick check on everyone, Sam was back in his


office, thinking about the way in which he could save Baja. Chapter 6


Waldorf Academy


Morning had arrived, and the skies were bright purple.


Everyone was a bit in awe of what was happening. Grandpa


David told everyone it was okay. He said a purple sun


happens in Baja every six months. To Peter, this was the


best thing that had ever happened. He reached for his


father's telescope and looked into the skies.


"Wooowww!" said Peter.


The family was happy to see Peter settling in so well.


Everyone had something to do today. Jane had to put Peter


in school; Sam, Red Fox and Samantha Grey had a serious


mission to work on -- saving Baja and waking the elders.


Grandpa David had to watch Dorothy and make sure she


remained in good health. Everyone's day was planned, but as


we all know, nothing ever goes according to plans.


The doorbell rang while everyone was eating breakfast.


It was a reporter from the London Times. He was a slender


built man with black-framed glasses, and he had a


suspicious air about him. Before Sam could invite him in,


he barged his way into the house.


"I am Isaac McPhee, the London Times reporter," he said.


Everyone at the table stared at him.


"What in the world do you want?" asked Red Fox.


"Well, what everyone wants, which is an interview with


the boy," said Isaac. Since Red was a protector of Sam and


his family, he kicked the reporter out of the house. As he


was being escorted out, he shouted, "So tell me, folks, how


will it feel to be responsible for destroying Baja twice?"


No one answered as Red Fox kicked out the reporter.


News had spread all over Baja so quickly that people were


coming from all over to get a glance at the house were the


boy savior and his family were living. Jane was very upset


that this might be putting a lot of pressure on Peter, but


by his reaction, he did not care. All he wanted to be was a


kid, and be loved by everyone. The only thing on Peter's


mind was making new friends.


A tabby cat suddenly leaped onto the table and began


to talk. "Jane, I have missed you," said the cat. Jane


screamed with excitement. It was Felix, her cat.


"Where have you been? I looked all over for you."


Felix began to lick his paws, and jumped into Jane


arms and let out a soft “purrrr.”


Jane explained to the family that Felix was a magical


cat given to her by a man selling jumping beans, and from then on, Felix and Jane remained the best of friends.


"Who is this little one?" Felix asked.


"That's Peter, our son," said Jane.


"Oh, you have been away too long, Jane. We must catch


up," Felix replied.


Jane filled Felix in on everything, but she was more


excited to see her old friend again. Peter was amazed to


see a talking cat and wanted to take it with him.


"No, no, you can't take Felix anywhere. He likes it


when he's home," said Jane.


"But, Mom, I will be the newest kid on the block, and


I will need something to break the ice," said Peter.


"No!" said Jane as she rushed Peter upstairs to brush


up for his meeting with the school.


One person was not happy, and that was Dingo. Ooh! He


did not like Felix. He began to chase Felix around the




"Behave, you two!" shouted Jane, and each animal went


their separate way.


But today was also a big day for Jane. She wanted to


find her parents to see if they would accept her again. She


picked up the phone to call and then hung it up again. She


was very nervous about making that very important phone


call to her family. Poor Jane never seemed to have the courage, and instead walked away from the phone.


Finally, Sam came and held her hand while Jane made


that important phone call. She listened as the phone rang


on the other end.


Someone picked up and said, "Hello, hello."


Jane could not say anything; she was at a loss for




Then Sam got on the phone and asked to speak with Mr.


or Mrs. Burgandy.


The voice replied, "This is Mrs. Burgandy.


Sam quickly gave the phone to Jane. "Mother! This is


Jane; I have come back to Baja."


But the voice said nothing and the phone went


completely dead. There was disappointment in Jane's eyes,


but she did not let on and told Sam that it was the wrong




But the day was just beginning, and before Jane and


Sam were ready to leave the house, a sudden knock was at


the door. The face looked so familiar, but neither Jane nor


Sam could put a name with the person until he introduced


himself once again.


"Hello, I am Patric Stewart; we met on the ride over




"Oh, yes," said the Carrot-Tops, Sam and Jane remembered Patric.


Jane and Sam asked him what brought him back to see


them. Patric explained to the family that he was the


headmaster over the schools and the entire world of Baja


until the elders woke. Jane was a little reluctant to hear


what Mr. Stewart was saying, but she was caught up by his


charm, and listened to every word. Patric was quite the


ladies' man, always neatly dressed with a well shaved head


and the finest suits in the entire galaxy of Baja.


He explained to the Carrot-Tops that he wanted Peter


to be in the best school with the other gifted kids. So, he


wanted Peter to go to Waldorf Academy, a place for only the


gifted. In all, there were over one million kids in the


gifted program. Jane was very surprised and asked how that


was possible, to have so many kids in the same place at one


time. Patric explained that when the elders went into


hibernation and the Oracle read that a gifted child would


release the spell, everyone in Baja began to have children


to try to save the world as they knew it. After many births


and many years of waiting, none of the children could undo


the spell.


Patric also said that Peter must be a gifted child to


be born out of the world of Baja. "A ghost can not survive


out of the realms of Baja and on Earth.” He went on to say that for years and centuries nothing like this had ever


been done.


Peter was the first ghost to be born on the side of


the dead to the living. More importantly, Peter was born


outside of Baja. No childbirth had ever been successful


outside of Baja. Jane wanted to get up and leave, but every


time she did, Mr. Stewart would bring her back in with his


charm. Jane and Sam finally gave in and told Mr. Stewart


that Peter would attend Waldorf Academy.


Mr. Stewart was excited and told Jane he could not


wait, but Sam had a strange feeling about Patric.


Nevertheless, he agreed and didn't listen to his gut


feelings. Sam was still concerned about his parents, but


they had so many things to do. He told his father he would


be gone all day and to take care of his mother.


"Peter, come on. Time to go," shouted Jane.


Peter came running down the stairs. Jane told him


about his new school and how he will love it. Peter was so


excited! He was ready to go, rushing out the door, leaving


his lunch and everything behind.


"Slow down, son," said Sam in a precautionary sort of




All of the Carrot-Tops family went to a wonderful


school for all the gifted children in Baja. Jane and Sam were excited for their son. For the first time in a long


time, Peter would feel like he belonged.


As the family stepped outside, ready to go, Red Fox


pulled up in a white and gold flying vessel. What a beauty!


The vessel was very clean, and the white paint shone in the


sun. The peanut butter colored leather seats were


exquisite. The vessel was like nothing anyone had ever seen


before, except for Sam's father.


David was not only a creator of toys and gadgets, but


also the futuristic weapons and transportation in Baja. Red


Fox explained to Sam that David wanted his grandson to go


to school in style. He also explained to Sam that this


transportation was hidden in the caves below the house.


David hid it well to protect and preserve it when they were


banished out of Baja.


Sam went over to the vessel and slowly touched it. It


had wings like a bird that spanned out for miles. The car


slowly and silently hovered over one spot. Sam was


impressed by his father's work, and looked toward the


window where his father was, and gave him a thumb’s up.


"Jump in," said Red Fox.


Peter ran toward the vessel and the doors


automatically opened. Inside was totally awesome.


Everything could be run by an invisible force. Red Fox and Sam were in the front seat as Jane and


Peter sat in the back. Sam loved the way the vessel took


off; for once, a happy childhood smile crossed his face. He


was like a kid again. The ride to Peter's new school was a


fun trip. At last, the family began to see a newly


developed Baja, a planet they had so long missed and hoped




Fairies in their pink, blue and green dresses followed


the car and waved to the family. Oh, yes! Baja was unique


in itself. Peter tugged on his mother's skirt as he saw


giants and their kids sliding down a huge Beanstalk. At the


right rear of the window, Jane glanced out and saw her


neighborhood, and a sudden rush of emotions came over her.


"Are you okay, mother?" asked Peter.


"Yes, son, I was just thinking of all the fun I had


when I was a kid."


Peter smiled and continued to look out of the window.


There were so many things to see in the skies, from falling


rainbows, to giant plants. It was all new and unique to


him, so he took in all the sights. The vessel moved so fast


and silent, everyone was pointing and calling out to the




"Look!" said a woman taking her kids to school.


Everyone's eyes were fixed on the skies. There was a massive object up there that no one had ever seen before.


Everyone gathered around, from police officers to news




"We have a welcoming committee," said Jane.


Red Fox lowered the massive object, ordering the crowd


to make room through a loud speaker. Everyone moved, and


the door flew open.


"Who's inside?" asked a bystander to a reporter.


Then through the doors walked the Carrot-Tops family.


People began to take pictures and walked up to Peter trying


to shake his hand or even touch him. Peter loved all the


attention, but not Sam. His mind was on the war at hand.


But as any good parent, he played to the crowd, and then


walked in the school. This school was huge; over one


million students, and each one of them had a gift of some


kind and came from galaxies near and far away.


Up above in the skies was a unicorn race. This was a


part of an annual school sport, some unicorns and their


riders were dressed in red and the others in black. They


flew through the skies dodging and jumping through


invisible rings that appeared and then disappeared.


"Oh, boy! That looks like fun," said Peter.


"Don't worry, son. You can join once you start your


new school," said Jane. As the family walked into the school, they were


greeted by Mr. Stewart. "I have been expecting you, come on




Jane and Peter were all smiles, but Sam was not too


happy with Mr. Stewart. For some reason, he had a bad


feeling about Mr. Stewart. As the family walked to Mr.


Stewart's office, there was very little talking until Sam


asked, “Why do you want my son here? Is it because of his


abilities, or you just want to exploit him?"


"Neither, I just want a young man this gifted to


attend one of the brightest schools in the land," replied


Mr. Stewart with a devilish grin on his face.


As the family stepped into the office, it was like


walking into a freezing storm. The office was very cold, so


that their breath froze in mid-air.


"It's cold, Mother!" shouted Peter.


"I will adjust the heat," said Mr. Stewart.


Within minutes, the office was nice and toasty.


"Why is it so cold?" asked Jane.


"Well, I suffer from a rare illness. I need to be cool


at all times," said Mr. Stewart, and he motioned the


Carrot-Tops to take a seat.


As the family sat down, they were treated like


royalty. Servants brought hot cocoa for Peter and brisk tea for Mr. and Mrs. Carrot-Tops. Mr. Stewart looked Peter all


over, from his orange hair to his different colored shoes.


All Mr. Stewart would say is "Ummh, hmm." It made the


Carrot-Tops very suspicious of him; so suddenly Jane


grabbed Peter from Mr. Stewart's hands and sat him on her




"What are you looking for?" asked Sam.


"Just to see if the boy is truly the one," said Mr.




He went on to tell the Carrot-Tops that most kids in


this school had some sort of power, but none like Peter's


-- so powerful and well controlled for a boy his age.


Unlike Peter, all the children were born in Baja. Peter was


the only ghost child born on Earth and out of the world of


the living dead.


Mr. Stewart also told Peter's parents that most of the


kids' powers only lasted a while and never returned. That's


why there were so many kids at the school. Baja was short


on talented and powerful kids. Once a child's powers left


them, they were given a pension and kicked out of Waldorf


Academy. This was very displeasing to the Carrot-Tops, and


they let Mr. Stewart know how very unhappy they were with




Nevertheless, Mr. Stewart did not care about the Carrot-Tops liking him. All he wanted was to bring the


elders back from hibernation and get Baja back as one of


the most powerful ghost worlds. Sam wanted the same thing,


but not at the expense of his son, or any other child.


As the family continued to talk to Mr. Stewart, Peter


noticed the lion's head and eyes moving, but when he looked


again, the movement would stop. Mr. Stewart's office was


very weird and strange, as if they were in another


dimension. Every once in a while, Peter noticed ghostly


figures walking by, yet none of the adults were able to see




"You have many spirits in your office!" shouted Peter.


"What do you mean, son?" asked Sam.


Peter explained to his parents that he saw figures


moving back and forth, in and out of Mr. Stewart's wall.


"Nonsense! What an imagination," said Mr. Stewart.


"But it's the truth," said Peter.


"Hush," said Jane to Peter.


"Our son never lies, Mr. Stewart. Something is in your


office, that's why it is so cold," said Sam.


"Nothing is here, check if you like," said Mr. Stewart.


Peter ran over to the wall and began to slowly touch


it. He could feel an eerie finger run across his face, but


when he turned around the figure was gone. He quickly shouted to his parents, but no one could see the figure, so


Peter gave up trying to convince the adults of what he was




As his parents and Mr. Stewart talked, Peter eyes were


intensely fixed on the walls. They seemed to stretch up and


down, longer and longer. The colors seemed to blend into


one. Suddenly, a strange figure jumped out of the walls and


disappeared so quickly Peter could not keep up.


By Mr. Stewart's emotions, he knew what was in the


walls. He gave a phony grin to Peter's parents, and every


once in a while, he would glance at Peter. For some reason,


Mr. Stewart was not to be trusted. He seemed to be a very


secretive man, and could be in more than one place at a




Peter knew he would have to convince his parents that


something was very wrong with Mr. Stewart, and now was not


the time. He also knew his mother wanted the best for him,


and he wanted to make his mother happy.


As his parents talked to Mr. Stewart, the ghostly


figure came out again, motioning to Peter to hush and


watch. Peter watched the figure as it rumbled through Mr.


Stewart's office. The ghost had no face, just a long black


hood that covered it from head to toe. Every time the


figure came in the room, the temperature seemed to drop. Suddenly the room began to form ice, and then snow!


As Peter went to motion to his parents, he froze. He


was solid like a block of ice. His face was pale, and his


skin turned white. As he looked toward his parents, they


were also frozen in their seats. Jane was frozen as she let


out a burst of laughter, and her breath was frozen in thin


air. Sam was taking off his glasses as he was frozen. The


only thing Peter could do was move his eyes back and forth.


He glanced at the ghost talking to Mr. Stewart, but


could not make out the words. The strange figure looked


back and glanced at Peter with his faceless head. This was


frightening to Peter, and he began to scream. But his


screams were frozen solid, and all that was left was the


frozen air.


Peter drifted off to sleep in the block of ice. He


could vaguely see the hooded ghost leaving, and then the


temperature went slowly back to normal. Things began to


melt quickly, and Mr. Stewart called in a group of little


fairies to clean up the place. They came in to dry the


place with the air from their wings. A thousand of them


were like a whirlwind. The fairies spun and twirled as some


of their wings flickered with different lights. Then it was


as if a sand storm touched down. The fairies worked until


everything was thawed and the office was dry again. Peter and his parents began to wake up out of the


frozen block of ice. No one knew what had happened. It was


as if time stopped and then started again, but Peter knew


something was wrong. He told his parents he wanted to


leave, but not until Mr. Stewart charmed Peter with stories


of playing with children his age and riding the magic


rainbow and Beanstalks. Peter did not want to lose the


opportunity to see more of Baja and to make new friends.


"Well, Peter, you still want to leave?" asked Mr.




"No, sir!” Peter shouted.


"Come, let me take you on a tour of the school," said


Mr. Stewart.


Peter and Jane were very excited, but Sam still had a


feeling that something wasn't right. He went along with Mr.


Stewart and his ideas. All Sam wanted was for his son to


attend a prestigious school. Mr. Stewart hurried the family


out of the office with his sly grin, a grin that never


seemed to wipe from his face. Every day he wore the same


smile as if it were painted on.


Mr. Stewart called for his secretary, and off they


went through the school. "Are you ready to see your


future?" Mr. Stewart asked Peter.


"Yes, sir, show me," said Peter. The family and Mr. Stewart walked up to a giant door.


Peter could hardly see all the way to the top. The door


read “Waldorf Academy” and had an etched drawing of seven


warriors and a group of lions.


Peter and his family stared at the image repeatedly,


it was fine art. The images seemed to be moving. Peter and


his family took a closer look at the lions, and when they


got closer to the image, the lions began to move. Peter


rubbed his eyes thinking he was imagining things. As he


looked back to the art, the lion jumped out. Both Jane and


Peter covered their faces, and when they looked back,


everything was back to normal.


"Honey, did you see that?" asked Jane.


"No," replied Sam.


"I saw it, Mother," said Peter.


Suddenly, the door gave way and parted in half. It


slowly opened, but Peter and his family could see a little


bit of the school, and what Peter saw, he loved.


"Oh, what a beauty!" said Peter.


"What, son?" asked Sam.


Peter explained to his parents that he saw a large


flying fish. Then the doors completely opened. Peter was


right! The place was like heaven, children were everywhere,


and the scenery was out of this world. Some of the children were riding flying fish in the air. The fish were


multicolored; some were red, white, orange, green and blue.


The children were strapped in tight to each fish, holding a


leash. The fish were all different species; there were


whales, sting rays, sharks and marlins.


One of the children swooped down so Peter could take a


closer look at the animal. This creature was beautiful; his


blue big bugged eyes glanced at Peter and everything around


him. Then it began to lick itself. It was covered in white


with blue polka dots. This was something Peter had never


seen and he was very impressed.


"Mother, look! It's out of the water and on land,"


said Peter.


"Yes, dear. Baja is full of surprises," replied Jane.


Peter went up to touch the animal and it took off into


the skies.


"Oh! It's okay, son. It's a little shy, you will have


to train it," said Sam.


What a magnificent creature. It looked like a silver


metal animal; its skin glittered in the sun as it flew


away. Then Mr. Stewart took the family closer to the river


that was flooded with a milk-like substance. There were


kids riding magic seahorses.


The children sat on the seahorses with leather saddles. There was a race going on, and each seahorse had a


number printed on its side. Just like the other animals of


Baja, they were just as beautiful and charming. The


seahorses were at least ten to twelve feet tall, and the


same or more in length. On them were the magical symbols of


Baja. Their skin was made out of some type of flexible


metal; they looked almost like they had skin made of silver.


There were only three types -- white, black and gold,


and pink. Pink was the rarest according to Mr. Stewart. To


acquire these types of seahorses, hunters had to travel to


the Black Forest where it was very dangerous, so seahorses


came at a very expensive price. Mr. Stewart glanced over at


Sam as he was talking to Peter about the seahorses,


assuming that Sam had no money if his son wanted the




Sam just nodded at Mr. Stewart, knowing his


intentions, "If my son wants it, I will purchase it for


him," he demanded.


Jane looked out and whispered in her husband’s ear,


"Honey, you know we are not established yet. We can't


afford this school or anything in it.”


"Don't worry, honey. I will find a way," Sam said.


At this time, Mr. Stewart was smirking because he


heard everything that was said. He replied, "If you agree that Peter can stay here, I will supply all his needs and




"No, no, we can afford it," said Sam as he looked at


Mr. Stewart in a vengeful way.


As the adults talked, Peter watched the race and


cheered on the winner. The other children began to stare


and point. "There goes the boy who was born out of Baja,"


one child said. They all stopped and watched as Peter took


a tour through the school.


Then suddenly, Clara Cabbage stepped forward and


yelled, "Peter, Peter! Remember me? It's Clara from the


Captain Johnny ride."


Peter ran to Clara and gave her a big hug. "Yes, I


remember you. How could I forget one of the most tomboyish




Clara took that as a compliment and began to blush.


The two friends hugged again, and Peter introduced Clara to


his parents.


"What a beautiful girl you are," said Jane to Clara.


The school bell sounded. "We must go, but I will see


you around," said Clara.


Jane and Sam were shocked to see Peter had a friend


already, mostly because it was a girl.


"See, he's making friends already," said Mr. Stewart. "Oh, Mother and Father! Can I go to this school,


pleeease? I love it!" said Peter.


"But you haven't even seen all of it," said Sam.


So, Mr. Stewart took them further into the gates.


There was plenty to do at Waldorf Academy, from swimming,


riding seahorses, seeing flying fish and going to the moon.


There were also trips to the giant and the Beanstalk, and


the magic classes along with regular academics. The


building that housed the students was humongous.


The school was built like a castle with over 200,000


rooms. The grounds had to be mowed by beavers and very fat


cows. The castle school was all brick and had the emblems


of the elders. This school was almost like stepping back


into the Egyptian era. There were columns upon columns of


hieroglyphics on the walls and all over the building.


There were statues of pharaohs; some were huge while


others were small to medium. It was very intriguing to


Peter. He’d read about Egyptians on Earth, but never


thought he would ever see something like this in his


lifetime. Everyone was impressed. Even Sam had to admit the


school was great for his son. As the tour went on, guards


stood by the doors guarding entrances and exits.


"Why all the guards?" asked Sam.


"Well, these kids are the keys to Baja. Some may be worthwhile in the future, and it is my responsibility to


make sure they are safe,” said Mr. Stewart. “Besides, these


children belong to the richest citizens of Baja. If


anything happened to their children, it would be my head!"


Sam liked the fact that security was tight, and these


were no ordinary security guards. These were monsters and


giants that were built like mountains. They were huge! On


their faces and bodies were the symbols of Baja, burned


into their flesh. Some guards carried sticks; some carried


big clubs like in the caveman era. Their eyes were always


glancing back and forth over the children, making sure


everyone was accounted for. These monsters could sense


danger and fear a mile away.


Peter gazed upon the huge monsters, making eye contact


with them, but to the monsters, Peter was just the size of


a mere ant. "This place is a dream!" shouted Peter.


"I am so glad you like it," replied Mr. Stewart.


As the family continued to walk inside, the place


became even more beautiful. There were huge plants that


whistled and burped out bubbles.


"And who made these plants, Peter?" asked Sam.


"Mother!" shouted Peter.


"You're right, my son," interrupted Mr. Stewart.


The plants were so beautiful. Jane had taught them how to talk and communicate with people. The plants had become


family. When the plants saw the Carrot-Tops coming, they


shrank down to size. "Our mother has returned!" shouted one


of the plants, and they all came slithering down. One by


one, they used their leaves to pick Jane up into their arms


and spun her around.


"Oh, how we missed you," said one of the plants.


"I missed you too," said Jane.


Everyone laughed and had a ball. Jane explained to


Peter that they had had to leave before she could see her


plants fully grown, and at that time, they were still in


flower pots.


"So someone must have taken them," replied Sam


sarcastically as he looked over to Mr. Stewart.


"Well, all I can say is that I acquired them from a


close friend, before you two left Baja," said Mr. Stewart.


Jane also introduced Peter to the flowers and plants.


They all put their leaves together and began to clap


vigorously as he stepped forward.


"The boy king has arrived!" shouted the plants. One


plant took her leaves and looked Peter over from head to




"He is perfect. I have never seen a child born outside


of Baja that lived to tell about it," said the plant. "We must go," said Mr. Stewart.


For some reason, Mr. Stewart wanted the family away


from the plants. He wanted something kept a secret. Mr.


Stewart pushed and hurried the family on with the tour. But


there was no more convincing Peter, and his family was


hooked. Waldorf Academy was a great school for Peter, and


Baja was a great place for his family. As the school bell


rang, the classes let out, and the hallways were packed


with children.


All the kids managed to get a look at Peter. Some ran


up to touch him, while others stayed back and looked him


over. There were whispers through the crowds of the boy


king. Word passed so fast through the school, but Peter was


more excited to see them than they were to see him.


"Kids, I want to introduce you to Mr. Peter Carrot


Tops and his family," said Mr. Stewart.


The children began to clap and welcome Peter to


Waldorf Academy. Jane and Sam were happy to see their son


finally fitting in with his peers, so they pulled Mr.


Stewart aside and told him they would be pleased to let


their son attend the school. Mr. Stewart just gave that


sneaky, weird smile that he always did.


Out of nowhere, Mr. Stewart magically pulled out a


contract and asked the Carrot-Tops to sign. He explained to them that it was just a standard contract that all parents


had to sign and made the Carrot-Tops believe it was just


for enrollment. As they signed the contract, blood began to


fall from the pen ink, and then it turned back into ink.


Jane and Sam did a double take, they weren't sure of what


they were seeing, but they looked at the joy on Peter's


face and continued to sign. Once the signatures were on the


paper, Mr. Stewart could care less about anything else.


What the contract said, they would never know. Mr.


Stewart took off waving his hands and told Peter's parents


to have him back at Waldorf at 8:00 a.m. every morning, and


he let his secretary lead the family out.


"Well, I think he got what he wanted," said Jane to




"Well, I have a bad feeling about this too," said Sam.


As the family left Waldorf, Peter was still overjoyed


from his visit. Jane could hardly keep him still -- he was


like a kid on sugar. His parents were happy to see their


son was finally excited about something. Jane and Peter


stopped at a uniform shop in the village shopping area,


while Sam and Red Fox met Samantha Grey in the village to


discuss military business.


The village was a huge area that looked like a


Christmas town. Cobblestones were all through the town with secret codes and hieroglyphics. There were bakery shops,


toy stores and many more merchants selling to the citizens


of Baja. As Jane and Peter walked through the town,


everyone was pointing and staring. Of course the orange


hair on Peter made them more noticeable.


For Jane, it was great to be back in Baja, her home


she had missed so much. Peter and Jane shopped for uniforms


for him to start school the next day. It was a fun time for


mother and son to spend quality time together. Even though


there were friendly stares and pointing, Jane did not let


this ruin time with her son.


They passed her favorite shop, Cotton Candy Ice Cream.


"Oh, Peter, my dear, you have to try this ice cream!" said




Both of them ran up to the store door and inside they


went. It was an ice cream shop tucked away in a little


corner, and was one of the locals' favorites. The shop was


like a candy land -- there was candy decor for miles and


miles. Every candy known to man was at this store, but the


favorite was cotton candy ice cream. Peter's eyes grew as


he saw many selections to choose from. For the first time


in a long time, Peter had the choice of pigging out on pure


sugar. The shop was very busy; people were walking in and


out. There was a jolly old man at the counter waiting to


serve children big and small. His name was Mr. Smork. He


had a great long blue, purple, yellow and red beard, and


long white hair. His laugh was filled with joy and


happiness. He remembered Jane from years back.


"Welcome back, Jane. Can I get you your favorite of


yellow cotton dip?" said Mr. Smork.


"You still remember," said Jane.


"I will never forget anyone's favorite treats. And who


is this young man?" said Mr. Smork.


"Hi, I am Peter Carrot-Tops. Could I try the


strawberry cotton dip?" said Peter as he extended a


handshake to Mr. Smork.


"You sure can, young man," said Mr. Smork as he belted


out a jolly old laugh.


Peter and Jane watched as three little elves made


their cotton candy ice cream. The elves began to whip the


cotton until it fluffed out of the bowl. Then they added


magical sprinkles that made the cotton candy puff up.


"Wow, that's the largest ice cream I have ever seen!"


said Peter.


Jane and Mr. Smork laughed, they were glad to see a


child's face full of joy. People began to crowd the store


as Jane and Peter were leaving. The news had gotten out, and once again, the little corner ice cream store was in


the news.


"Bye, Mr. Smork!" shouted Peter as he and his mother


walked away.


People began to push and shove just to get a look at


the boy king and his royal family. Peter and Jane walked


the cobblestone streets skipping and eating their ice cream.


"Oh, this is so good, Mother!” proclaimed Peter.


Off they went to sit on a bench in the park where


Peter and his mom talked about starting a new school and


how Peter must be very careful of the power he now had.


Peter took his mother's advice and gave her a big kiss on


the cheek. From there it went on to laughter and tickles,


Peter laughed with happiness.


"Mother, I am truly happy here in Baja," said Peter.


"Don't you miss Georgia?" Jane asked.


"No, I never fit in, but now I am in a place where I


truly belong and people accept me for who I am," said Peter.


Then off they went. Peter and Jane hit the toy store


named Santa's Box. Peter could not believe his eyes. It was


like an amusement park. There were rides, reindeer and


contests. It was the place everyone wanted to be, and it


even snowed inside. Peter ran up to the door as a


nutcracker greeted him, but Jane stood outside and gazed at the store. It was the way she last saw it, the big doll and


teddy bear hanging from the roof, and the big face of her


picture as a little girl in the center.


This store was built in her honor by Sam's father to


help all the kids of Baja to have toys, whether it be for


birthdays or Christmas. It was taken away from her and her


family when they were exiled out of Baja. Jane tried to


control her emotions, but was unsuccessful at it. Peter


came running back, asking his mother what was the matter.


She explained the story of her picture and how the store


was once owned by their family.


Peter gazed up at his mother's baby picture and belted


out, "Mother, you are so pretty."


Jane just smiled, held onto Peter's hand and walked


into the store. It was truly a toy land. There were life


size riding trains, dolls, stuffed animals and all the


latest toys a child could want. The atmosphere was filled


with joy and children laughing. It was as if Peter and Jane


had walked into Santa's North Pole. Peter took off and


began to play with the disappearing flying balls.


Suddenly, a short, stout old lady approached Jane.


This lady was very short; she only came up to Jane’s knees!


She wore her hair in one old-fashioned bun, and let her


glasses tilt at her nose. "Mrs. Carrot-Tops," the squeaky voice said.


Jane quickly turned around. "Oh! Ms. Sweeney, how are




"Fine, now that you're back," said Ms. Sweeney.


Jane explained to Ms. Sweeney that they did not own


the store anymore, but Ms. Sweeney had great news for Jane.


She said that since her family was reinstated, everything


that was taken away from them would be given back in full


and with interest. Jane could not believe her ears.


"Are you serious?" asked Jane, as she shook the


daylights out of Ms. Sweeney.


The two ladies sat and talked for a while. Ms. Sweeney


caught Jane up on as much gossip as she could, then she


took Jane by the hand and introduced her to her new staff.


Most of the employees were happy to meet her, but they were


more interested in Peter. Jane called him over and


introduced him to all of her employees.


Jane let Peter know that there had been a change of


fate, and she would regain ownership of the store. Jane let


everyone know that she would be returning to work the next


day, but in the meantime, she had to pick up uniforms for


Peter. He and Jane left the store waving bye to all her


friends. Jane was so excited; she couldn't wait to tell Sam


and his father. Chapter 7




Quickly, Jane stopped by the tailor shop, watching as


Peter got fitted for his uniforms by three small chickens.


Their shop was called the “Taylor Chicks, where all your


tailoring needs are complete.” One worked at the top, one


in the middle and one at the bottom. Sometimes all three of


them were on top of a table or each other, but they quickly


moved like the speed of light, one behind the other.


They stitched, sewed, pressed and measured, spinning


Peter around and around. He looked as if he was in a


whirlwind, but he was enjoying every minute. All Jane could


think about was starting back to work at her own business,


something she loved doing. She couldn't wait to tell Sam.


As the chickens finished tailoring Peter's uniform,


they told Jane the uniforms would be ready in an hour and


would be delivered promptly.


Jane said, ”Thanks,” and off they went to meet Sam,


Red Fox and Samantha Grey in the center square.


Everyone seemed to be on top of the world. Things


seemed to go according to plan, when Jane looked out of the


corner of her eye and saw a ghostly figure, just staring and watching every move they made. Peter saw the fear on


his mother's face.


"What's wrong, mother?" asked Peter, and before Jane


could say anything, Peter saw the ghostly figure too. He


explained to his mother that this was the same figure he


saw on the ride to Baja and in Mr. Stewart's office.


"Why didn't you say something?" asked Jane as she


shook Peter.


He began to cry and Jane quickly hugged her son and


apologized for what she had done. As they both turned


around, the figure was gone. This was very frightening to


Jane and Peter, so they walked faster to the center square


to warn Sam about what they had seen. Jane and Peter ran up


to the table where Sam, Samantha and Red Fox were sitting.


"What's wrong, Mrs. C? You look like you saw a ghost,"


said Samantha.


"We have," said Peter quickly as he looked over his


shoulders in fear.


Sam comforted his wife and son, then they all listened


to Jane and Peter as they described the ghostly creature.


At the same time, the creature appeared again across the


street. Peter hid behind his father. This time the ghost


seemed to be very angry, not saying a word, just making


fighting movements. The onlookers were afraid. People began to scream and panic all over town. No one stayed to fight.


Everyone seemed to be afraid of this creature. Dust began


to fly through the air in slow motion. Even the dust


particles took the form of an angry face and began to scare


the people in the square.


Sam used his powers to lift the creature into the air


as Red Fox attacked it. Jane quickly reached into her purse


and pulled out some magic seeds. On the ground, the seeds


rolled and suddenly began to grow. Jane put Peter on the


branch as it grew taller and taller into the air.


Samantha Grey jumped in to help Red Fox as they fought


with the creature, but it seemed to have remarkable


strength. Sam was having a hard time using his abilities to


keep the creature in the air. Sam was growing weaker and


weaker by the minute. He fell to the ground, still trying


to keep his powers going, but whatever it was, it was


draining him dry.


He finally let go and the ghost fell to the ground,


but Red Fox and Samantha kept on hitting and fighting the


creature. Samantha used her kung fu and every martial art


form she knew, but the creature was hitting her from right


to left, throwing her around like a rag doll.


Peter saw his family in trouble, and he slid down the


tree branch and began to work his powers on the ghost. Back and forth Peter grew holes, swallowing up the ghost. Sparks


began to fly from the ghost. Colors burst out of his eyes.


Red, blue and green flames sprayed into the air like a




But the creature still had a lot of fight left in him,


and as he was about to get up, Peter created a hole small


enough to bind the ghost so it couldn't move. All one could


see was the ghost’s head, the rest of the body was hidden


in the hole.


"Great job, son," said Sam.


Samantha and Red Fox patted Peter on the back. Sam


walked up to the creature as it began to mumble and foamed


at the mouth. The noise the creature made was crushingly


painful to the ear. Sam grabbed it by the neck.


"Who are you?" he demanded.


The creature would not answer, and suddenly Sam ripped


off the ghostly cape in anger to find a little devilish


looking troll. It was covered in mud, and the smell was


outrageous. Everyone held their breath as the odor swept


past their noses.


"Oh! My goodness, you stink!" said Red Fox.


"And so does your mother," said the creature.


Red Fox was not amused and went to punch the creature


before Sam stopped him. "Once again, why are you here?" asked Sam.


The creature began to whistle and roll its big black


eyes around and around in circles, but never answered.


Samantha Grey stepped forward and kicked the creature.


"Okay, calm down," said the creature to Samantha.


"We want answers, and we want them now," said Samantha


as the creature caught its breath.


It told of how Marcus Carrot-Top paid him to keep an


eye on his brother and his family. "I was promised a palace


in the kingdom when it crumbles from the fall of the


elders," said the creature.


"Where is Marcus now?" asked Sam.


The creature explained that Marcus was in the forest


with the seven wizards. He advised Sam not to go there


because his powers were weak and no match for his brother.


He began to chuckle at Sam. Sam immediately grabbed him up


and ordered Red Fox and Samantha to take it to the prison.


"No, no, not the prison! I hate it there," squealed


the creature.


Red Fox and Samantha grabbed the creature by its neck


and pulled it out of the hole.


As the creature passed Peter, he whispered, "You don't


look like a boy king. You can't stop what is coming."


Samantha grabbed him by the neck and threw the creature into a wooden box, and off they went.


Peter was a little shaken up and he ran to his father


with a big hug. "I’m all right, son, and thanks," said Sam.


Jane joined in on the hug as the crowd looked on and


clapped. "Something is truly wrong, and we will get to the


bottom of this," said Jane.


"Oh! No, just me alone will do it. I can't risk you


getting hurt. I can't ask you to follow me again," said Sam


to Jane.


With a stern voice, Jane let Sam know that they were a


family, and as a family, they would fight together, and no


questions asked.


"Yeah, Dad, we can do it," said Peter.


"Relax, squirt, I want you to have a normal life, not


a life of fighting," said Sam, but Peter was not accepting


that. He was going to fight on the same side as his father.


After an exciting day, the Carrot-Tops were finally on


their way home, but Jane wanted to make a stop at her old


home to look for her parents. Finally, she had the courage


to face her fears of her family disowning her.


The road was long, quiet and very dark. A sparrow in


the tree made a calling sound as if warning someone was


coming. Suddenly, the noise stopped and the trees and


shrubs began to shake violently. All that was noticeable were large shadows and yellow cat’s eyes.


Jane told Peter to get down lower to the floor of


their vehicle. She knew something was very wrong. Then, out


of the darkness, a big black cat jumped in front of them.


It was the size of ten polar bears. Symbols glowed in the


darkness and gave light to a nametag which read “Oscar.”


Jane's eyes grew bigger and bigger as the cat claws poked


out, ready for an attack.


"Oscar, it is me, Jane," Jane shouted.


The cat stopped for a minute and began to talk. "It is


impossible," said the cat.


"No, it is I," said Jane.


As Jane repeated her name, the cat began to break down


and cover its ear, rolling in the middle of the road. With


caution, Jane and Sam stepped out of the sky vessel and


approached the humongous cat.


"What's wrong?" Jane asked Oscar.


"All these years, we waited for you to return and you


never came. Now in front of my eyes, here you stand," he




The cat's eyes were dead, and its rough scruffy voice


sounded as if he had seen better days. Oscar explained to


Jane that they had been fighting the silent war between


Baja and the wizards of the dark forest, and their leader was an evil man named Marcus.


Sam blushed with disappointment when he heard the name


of his brother. Anger and disappointment filled his heart,


so Sam questioned the cat. "Why is there a war? What has my


brother done this time?"


Oscar was very reluctant to talk to Sam. He took his


nose and nudged Jane into a corner to speak with her


privately. Sam was very upset and threw his hat to the


floor, demanding the cat come back at once. Oscar ignored


Sam and kept on talking to Jane.


Meanwhile, Peter looked out from the sky vessel and


watched all the action. Oscar told Jane that Marcus was


building a league of monsters to attack Baja because he


wanted to become king and ruler over the ten thousand


cities in Baja. Oscar explained that while Jane and her


family were banned from Baja, they were not forgotten and


were deeply missed. He told her that her family was safe,


and was running an underground safe house so when the war


began, at least some citizens of Baja would be able to




Jane was still in awe over the size Oscar had grown


to. She began to rub her hands through his coat, back and


forth. She reminisced of all the fun she’d had with Oscar


and her childhood home. Oscar then gave her a wet slobbery lick on the face to wake her up. Jane snapped out of her


dream world and asked about her parents.


Oscar pointed with his huge claws. "They are over




Behind a twelve-foot iron gate lay Jane's childhood


home. Through those doors was where she would find her


parents. She ran back to the car to inform Sam of all the


information she had learned from Oscar, and that her


parents where on the other side. She was quite nervous to


see her parents; for years they blamed Sam for their


daughter's banishment.


Before they pulled up to the gates, Oscar stuck his


big head through the sky vessel window. "And who is this


little one, Jane?"


"This is Peter, my son," said Jane.


"Yes! The boy king who shall save Baja; I look forward


to serving you," said Oscar.


Peter was still hiding low to the ground but managed


to peek for just a second. He could not keep his eyes off


of Oscar. "What a huge cat, Mother!" said Peter.


"Well, he wasn't always that big. I think it was the


milk," said Jane jokingly.


Then Jane began to choke from nervousness. She was


afraid to meet her parents, but she knew deep down in her heart she had to make things right.


Oscar gave the guards at the gate the sign to let the


car through and they did. The big iron gates opened and


Oscar's shadow could still be seen several feet away. As


Jane's eyes caught sight of her old home, her eyes began to


tear up. Sam held his wife's hands closely and gave them a


big squeeze.


"Honey, it will be all right. We are Carrot-Tops. We


will make it as always," said Sam.


As they approached Jane's old house, everything seemed


to have died. All the plants and trees she’d grown were


withered and dead. The place almost looked deserted, but


Jane and her family got out of the sky vessel and


approached the house.


A butler opened the door. In his old scruffy voice he


asked, "Jane, is that you?"


"Yes, it's me, Willard, and I brought my family," said




Willard the butler began to tear up and hurried to let


them in. Jane looked around the house. What a disaster! The


house looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. Stray


animals were running through the house and so were homeless




"Where is Mother, Willard?" asked Jane. "She will be back any minute now, Madame Burgandy,"


said Willard.


"No, it's Mrs. Carrot-Top now, Willard," said Jane.


Willard apologized and began to look Jane over from


head to toe. Jane introduced Peter and Sam.


"What is going on, Willard? This place looks


depressing and dilapidated," said Jane.


Willard explained to Jane that after she left, her


mother could not take the isolation from her friends and


the people of Baja, and began to keep to herself and threw


a pity party. He told Jane that they did everything to try


to get her back into the swing of things. Nothing worked,


until one day, Jane's mother had a vision from the elders


that Jane and her family would return.


Willard explained that this was the only time her


mother ever got out of bed, and now she was fighting the


evil spirits to free Baja and its people. As the story got


intense, Jane sent Peter to sit by the fireplace, out of


adult conversation. But Peter could still hear everything,


and it also helped that he put his ears to the walls.


Willard told Jane and Sam that a war was coming, and


the people of Baja needed to get ready. He said it seemed


everyone was so lackadaisical about fighting, and it felt


like Baja was too peaceful to ever be in a war. But Marcus Carrot-Top and the seven wizards were coming, and coming


with an army of demons and imps.


This was why Jane's mother, Mrs. Burgandy, started an


underground army with tunnels and secret passages built to


house the people of Baja once the war came. Mrs. Burgandy


was so busy she let the place go.


"And where is my father?" asked Jane.


Willard stalled for a minute, but Jane wanted an


answer and she wanted it now. He told her it was too much


for her father to handle, and he walked out and was never


heard from again. There were search parties and even a


visit to the Oracle, but Mr. Burgandy was never found.


Everything was just as he left it. Jane was very upset at


her father for leaving her mother all alone, but she also


blamed herself.


She walked through the house, trying to turn back the


hands of time, wondering and wishing that she could go back


into her childhood days and spend time with her father;


wishing that she could undo all the wrongs and make them




Jane went to her old bedroom and everything was still


the same. Even though her mother was upset that Jane


disgraced the family, she still loved Jane and missed her


dearly. In Jane's room there were antique dolls and old doll houses. The pink ruffled bed set was still on the bed


collecting dust. The place looked like it had never been


touched since she got married and left home. On her bed


laid an old doll, one she had never seen before. The eyes


began to glow and a strange sensation began to come over




Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a creepy


image. When she turned around, it had disappeared. Jane was


very frightened and began running and screaming down the


stairs. She told Willard and Sam what she had seen.


"They're everywhere," said Willard.


"Who?" asked Jane.


Willard explained to Jane that the creatures of the


forest were all over Baja. They were filthy creatures


created by the seven wizards and Marcus. They were imps of


the underworld, and they mostly came out at night, but had


been seen in the daytime as well. Willard began to look for


his magical book of secrets.


"What's that for?" asked Peter.


The huge book was purple and the pages were made of


thin cloth, layer by layer, until it weighed over fifty


pounds. The book had the same symbols as everything in


Baja, and it glowed back and forth like a breathing motion.


"Where did you get that?" asked Jane. Willard told Jane and the rest of her family that he


got the book from a magical store on the outskirts of Baja,


but he really didn't know how to use it. All he knew was


that when something evil came around, the book opened and


did what it was supposed to do.


"Let me give it a try," said Peter.


It had a big dial on the cover and a lock on the back.


Willard watched intensely as Peter opened the book. Once


the right combination was given and set, it popped open and


a bright light shone through the house as if it was


scanning the room. The light was so bright, but yet there


were no visible images. Suddenly, blood-curdling screams


came from all over the house. It was like echoes of horror.


Everyone covered their ears; the sound was so overwhelming


to their ear drums.


Then bubbles of smoke began to burst as the creatures


began dying. Apparently the creatures were all over the


home. They were invisible to the naked eye. No one knew


that they were there. One by one, they burst into a cloud


of smoke and fumes. The smell was horrible, and disgusting


blue and green guts splashed the walls and everything in


their path. It was the grossest thing to see, but Peter


thought it was very impressive.


"Willard, we're going to leave. Tell Mother I will talk to her later," said Jane.


"Wait, how did you do that, son?" Willard asked Peter.


"I don't know," said Peter.


As they were leaving, Jane's mother showed up. It was


not the same lady she had known all of her life.


"Mother, is that you?" asked Jane.


"No! It's the grim reaper," said Jane's mother, Mrs.


Burgandy. The comment was sarcastic and rude.


Mrs. Burgandy did not seem as if she was happy to see


Jane. She looked rundown, and her clothing was ruffled and


dirty. Her hair was a mess, like birds were making it their


home, and her nails were long and dirty. Jane looked her


mother over from head to toe and could not believe what she


was seeing; Jane was stunned for a minute and did not know


what to say. She stared at her mother. Her mother stared


back, but the look Jane was getting from her mother was


cold and callous.


Jane did not know the woman standing in front of her.


She was not like Willard had made her out to be. Mrs.


Burgandy did not miss her daughter, nor did she care if


Jane was safe or not.


"This is all your fault for marrying Sam Carrot-Top,"


said Mrs. Burgandy.


She pushed Jane out of the way, as if she was rubbish on the side of a street corner. Jane was hurt and tried to


call out for her mother, but Mrs. Burgandy kept walking


into the house. Jane followed her intensely.


"Mother, what is wrong with you? Why are you treating


me like this?" shouted Jane.


Mrs. Burgandy explained to her daughter that she was


scorned and verbally abused by the town. She said, after


Jane ran off with Sam, the Carrot-Tops became a disgrace.


Her daughter was married to one of them, and the people in


the town were upset and angry at Mrs. Burgandy for having a


disobedient child like Jane.


Because of the Carrot-Tops, their family name was also


ruined and put to shame, everything was lost. Mrs. Burgandy


was no longer the center of attention from the town's upper


society. Worst of all, Jane's father up and left, never to


be heard from again.


The hate showed in Mrs. Burgandy's eyes for her


daughter. She wanted Jane to never come back to the house


again. All she was concerned about was the loss of her


wealth and status in Baja. Jane told her mother she loved


her and walked out of the doorway of the old sitting room.


Willard passed by and told Jane how sorry he was for


lying to her, and that her mother missed her. He said he


only did it to have Jane stay. He thought maybe once her mother saw her, she would change her hate into love. Jane


accepted Willard's apology and asked him to take care of


her mother.


Before Jane left, Willard gave the magical book to


Peter and told him to take good care of it. As Jane and her


family left the Burgandy's mansion, she could not help to


look back. Suddenly, everything began to turn to stone, the


dried up trees in the courtyard, the starving dog on the


front porch. It was like a virus spreading.


"Run, run," said Sam as the house began to crumble.


Piercing screams filled the air. Jane wanted to run


back and help her family, but it was too late. Sam grabbed


her by the hand and jumped into the sky vessel, but there


were no keys.


The stone virus was coming closer and closer, it


looked like a tidal wave. Sam jumped out and used his


powers to lift him and his family into the air. As they


looked down, the house was being swallowed up by a black


hole. Everything was going down into the hole. It was as if


a wall was crumbling and then being swallowed. Jane saw


Oscar trying to escape and was frightened that the stone


virus was going to catch him.


"Honey! Oscar, help him please," said Jane.


With all his energy, Sam lifted Oscar into the air just as the virus was going to attack him. Between helping


Oscar and his family, Sam's powers were getting weak. He


had to lay them down in a safe area. As soon as the stone


virus subsided, Sam set his family down. Everyone caught


their breath as they lay on the grass trying to understand


what had just happened. Peter ran into his parents' arms as


Oscar looked on and panted for air.


"What's going on, Oscar?" asked Jane.


Oscar explained that rumor had it that her mother made


some type of deal with the wizards to get Jane and her


family into the house so they could be destroyed. Jane was


angry at Oscar for not telling her earlier, but Oscar


explained that the prophecy had to come true.


"What prophecy?" demanded Sam.


"The prophecy that Peter somehow will know how to


decode the book and save Baja. Whether you guys like it or


not, Peter is the boy king, and I will be his protector,"


said Oscar.


"So my mother risked her life for us?" said Jane.


"Yes," said Oscar.


Oscar explained that after Jane and Sam left the city


of Baja, many people were upset and turned away Mrs.


Burgandy and all her family. There was a curse on the


Burgandy and Carrot-Top names, so she made a deal with the seven wizards of the forest.


From then on, Mrs. Burgandy gave up on life. Oscar


assured Jane that her mother loved her. He said when Mrs.


Burgandy found out that Marcus and the seven wizards were


behind the fall of Baja, she changed her mind about Sam,


but it was too late. She had already made a deal with the


devil. In order for her to save Jane and her family's


lives, she had to act as if she hated Jane to get her out


of the house in time before the stone virus hit. Most


important was for the magical book to get passed on to the


right hands.


The book, for some reason or another, could not leave


the house. Everyone who had tried to take it out would


burst into flames. Not even Willard could take it out. He


didn't even know how to use it. Oscar took his huge paw and


patted Jane on the head gently as he comforted her. He


reassured Jane that her mother loved her and had to


sacrifice herself to save her family. Oscar reminded Jane


that there were underground cities and her mother started


them all.


"The war is coming. We must be ready," said Oscar.


"Wait just one minute. How do we know we can trust


you?" asked Sam.


"Well, I am all you have right now!" said Oscar. "My mission in life is to protect the boy king. I was groomed


for this part many, many years ago."


Jane looked on in amazement and bewilderment. She


never knew when she was pregnant that she would be carrying


a baby boy so special.


"We must leave, the imps will be coming," said Oscar.


As they walked along the debris, Jane looked every


once in a while over her shoulder at the home she once


knew, and that was now in rubble. She looked for anything


that she could pick up and save, but Oscar stopped her.


Jane picked up an old locket, and Oscar warned her that


evil was everywhere, and told her not to bring evil into


her home. Jane quickly dropped the locket.


As it hit the ground, the locket turned into stone


right before Jane's eyes. She began to cry hysterically,


Sam could not keep her from sobbing. Peter felt really bad


for his mother, and anger began to grow in his heart. Oscar


pulled Peter aside and talked to him while Sam comforted




"Peter! Listen, my boy. There are good people, and


there are bad people. What side do you want to be on?"


Oscar asked.


"Well, the good side of course," Peter replied.


Oscar smiled and walked away. In his heart he knew that Peter would always do the right thing, that's why he


was chosen. Jane's eyes glanced over all the rubble that


was left behind. Her childhood home was gone and so was her


family. Sam could no longer comfort his wife. Jane began to


cry and he quickly used his powers to levitate everyone


into the air.


"It's been a long day, and it's time we all went


home," said Sam.


No one said a word on the way home. They were flying


like birds of the skies, but their hearts were so lonely.


No one muttered a sound, they all just looked out to the


horizon where the beanstalks grew and the giants slid up


and down. The waterfalls were changing color in the night


air, from red to blue and then to green. This was like a


fireworks show to Peter. He enjoyed it very much. It was as


if nature was trying to comfort them.


Word had spread, and even up in the air, thousands of


feet above the clouds, animals were welcoming the boy king


known as Peter Carrot-Top. Flying dragons quickly came up


from behind and blew fire of glittering flames. The flames


danced to welcome the boy king. Then the dragons did an air


dance and flew away. Peter noticed the beauty of the


dragons. All had the magical symbols of Baja, and all were


wearing armor of protection. For the most part, these huge giants were very friendly. Peter watched as their orange


and yellow tails glowed in the dark as they waved good-bye.


Although the ride home was fun to watch, there was too much


under the surface going on. Everyone wanted to be home.


"A few more minutes and we'll be there," said Sam.


No one answered, not out of rudeness, just out of


sadness and depression. Sam felt bad for his family and


began mumbling to himself. Sam blamed himself for


everything, even the evilness of his brother Marcus. He


felt as if he’d let his brother down somehow.


Oscar glided his way closer to Sam and looked him in


the eyes. "This is not your fault. The prophecy must be


fulfilled. This was not your doing.”


"How do you know? You're just a dumb talking cat!"


shouted Sam out of anger.


Oscar said nothing more and just glided his way back


in line. Sam was going to apologize, but Oscar moved too


quickly out of his way. Finally they could see home in


sight. Everyone started to get a little anxious. They


couldn't wait until their feet hit the ground. As the dust


touched their shoes, off everyone went in their own


direction. Jane ran to the garden oasis. Peter ran up to


his room with his magical book in hand. Sam flew into the


house and into his office, slamming the door shut. Oscar was left outside, but he followed Jane to the


garden oasis and kept her company, like a good friend


should. She could not control her weeping, but Oscar was


there to comfort her in every way possible. Jane was


feeling anger and rage. He went to her side and cuddled


next to her. Jane slowly calmed down and began to stroke


his ears like old times. A smile suddenly crossed Jane's


face. She quickly gave Oscar a big hug, letting out all her


anger and frustration in tears.


Like a good pet; Oscar stayed by Jane's side, licking


her face with his big tongue. She just smiled and went on


into the house with him. The house was very quiet, but


someone seemed to be having a good day. Jane walked up the


stairs to jolly music playing. It was David and Dorothy


Carrot-Top. Dorothy was feeling much better and was up


singing and dancing with her husband. Jane ran over and


gave her a big hug.


"I can't believe it's you," said Jane.


David explained that Dorothy was feeling much better


and he was happy to see that everyone was home so they


could have a big family dinner. Jane explained that the


entire day was horrible, and everything that could go wrong




David gave Jane a big hug, telling her everything would be all right and that in the end, it would all make


sense. Jane told him that he might want to go and comfort


his son because he was down in his sorrows. David nodded


and went downstairs to Sam's office while Jane and Dorothy


prepared dinner.


Before Jane went downstairs, she stopped off at


Peter's room. He was in deep thought, and didn't even hear


the knock on the door. Peter was slowly and carefully


studying his magical book.


"Give it a rest, honey! You had a hard day today,"


said Jane.


"Mom, what if I can't save Baja? Will we be exiled


again?" asked Peter.


"No, son, we are here to stay. A ghost can't enter the


real world more than once. If it happened, we would be


destroyed," said Jane.


Jane continued to reassure Peter that everything would


be all right and that even if Baja wasn't saved, she would


always love him. She also reminded him that his big day of


school started tomorrow. Peter gave his mom a big hug and a




"Wash up for dinner," she said as she left his room.


Peter felt much better, and began to study his book


even more as his mother left the room. As he opened the magical book to page fourteen, a big face appeared. It


scared Peter and he quickly closed the book, and ran into


his closet. He peeked out of one eye to see if anything was


coming after him, but there was nothing. Peter slowly


approached the book again. The face appeared, but it said


nothing. It was like a blue genie, with eight long arms


covered in gold and silver bands. On the bands were the


codes of Baja, just glowing in the dim light.


"Hi, who are you?" Peter asked.


"I am Merseft, the genie, here to grant all your


wishes and true desires," said the face.


Peter was so excited he could hardly contain his


emotions. A big grin came across his face and he was ready


to use his new powers.


"Be very careful, with power comes great


responsibility," said Merseft.


Peter closed his eyes tightly and repeated the words


in the magical book. "To the mirror, to the walls, to all


things great and small, grant my wish after all."


He kept his eyes closed tight and wished for his


mother to have a table of feasting. The aroma of baked


chicken, ham, turkey, apple pies, buttered corn and breaded


pork chops filled the house. Everyone came downstairs.


"Jane, what great cooking," said David. "Oh! Thanks, but I did not cook this meal," said Jane.


She and Dorothy were quite confused since they were


the only two women in the kitchen and they had not yet


prepared dinner.


In came Samantha and Red Fox.


"Oh! That food smells great, let's eat!" said Red Fox.


Jane explained to everyone that neither she nor


Dorothy had made dinner yet. As they walked into the dining


area, there was Peter with his mouth filled, chewing on a


piece of chicken leg. The table was set for feasting; it


was dressed and made for royalty.


"Oh! My, this is good, Mom," said Peter.


Jane wanted to know where the food came from. Peter


let his family know the magic book made his wish come true.


Jane was very skeptical and asked Peter to show her the


magical genie. He ran to get the book, but as he opened it,


there was nothing inside. Peter did everything he could to


make the genie come out, but the pages were silent. It left


Peter feeling as if he was a tattler.


He begged his family to believe him, but they


dismissed it as a young boy's fantasy. Nevertheless, they


ate, but Sam was missing. Jane asked David to go and talk


to his son. As everyone feasted on the finest dinner in


Baja, there was a lot more to talk about, but no one brought up anything that happened that day. This was a time


for laughter and happiness.


"Yes! Food brings the family together once again,"


said Dorothy.


As David went upstairs to his son's office, he glanced


over his shoulder and saw his family eating and being


merry. This brought joy to his heart. For so many years, he


missed out on a true family, one he thought that he might


never see again. With a big, wide smile on his face, he had


found peace.


But Sam was in no mood for eating. His views about


Baja had changed drastically. For the first time, Sam


wanted to be a ghost in the human world. He wanted to back


out and leave Baja to fend for itself.


"Why should I fight for a world that exiled my family


and I?" asked Sam as he talked to himself.


Suddenly came a gentle knock on the door.


"Son, may I come in?" asked David.


Sam mumbled under his breath and slowly opened the


door to let his father in. The look of disappointment was


all over Sam's face. Gently David consoled his son and gave


him a gentle touch on the back, letting him know that


everything would be okay. David began to tell Sam how they


never gave up hope that one day Sam and his family would return. He told Sam to hang in there and to never give up


hope. Sam had few words to say. His heart was filled with


anger, not only at the events of that day, but what also


took place in Baja.


To make matters worse, the brother he had loved and


trusted was now his enemy. David began to put his son's


heart to rest letting him know that no matter the outcome,


the two would always remain brothers, one for good and one


for evil. With a few moments of silence, Sam was ready to


join the family for dinner.


Out of the office and down the stairs they went. Sam


was not happy, but he knew he had to put on a happy face


for his family. Everyone was glad to see him joining them


for dinner. After a word of prayer and thanksgiving, the


entire family began to eat and share moments of happiness.


There was Dingo, pulling on Oscar's ears in a playful


manner. Peter and Samantha Grey were practicing judo moves.


Jane and Dorothy were catching up on old times, while the


boys talked about war strategies. The house was happy, the


mood was delightful. Through all they had been through that


day, everyone managed to come together and be a family,


which was more important than anything in the entire world.


As dinner was coming to an end, there was a knock at


the door. The family wasn't expecting anyone to come over that late at night; so, with caution, Sam and Red Fox went


to the door. Slowly Sam opened it. It was some royal


guardsmen in uniform. They told Sam that they were sent to


him by Mr. Stewart. The guard informed Sam that the


Ambassador Forest was under attack by Marcus and the seven




"Are you sure?" asked David.


"Yes, sir," said the guards.


The Ambassador Forest was the place where all of


Baja's wealth, healing, and magical beings came from. Now


it was under attack. Sam went into his army mode and began


to immediately plot a way to save the forest.


"Tell Mr. Stewart that we will be in the Ambassador


Forest by mid-day tomorrow," said Sam to the royal guards.


As he closed the door slowly behind him, he realized


that this was his mission: to save Baja. But he was also


concerned for his son's well being. Immediately, Sam


informed the family of what was going on. Red Fox and


Samantha Grey were ready to fight. Jane was also on board,


but Sam did not want his wife to go. Jane insisted, as a


family, they would eat and fight together. Of course Peter


wanted to go, but the answer was a definite "No!" from both




Peter was told to stay home and help his grandmother, but he had other plans. The entire family was now in a


warrior's mood and mindset. Peter quickly ran up the stairs


and into his room to try to get the genie Merseft to come


out. Slowly he opened his magic book and the genie's face




"Hellloooooo!" said the genie.


Peter was very upset that Merseft did not show his


face in front of his parents and family members. Merseft


explained to Peter that parents never understand.


Reluctantly, Peter agreed. He began to tell Merseft of the


plan to save the Ambassador Forest.


"Yes! Peter, I am very familiar with the forest, but


why is it under attack?" asked Merseft.


Peter explained to Merseft about the evil of his uncle




"Your wish is my command," said Merseft.


Peter let Merseft know that somehow, there would have


to be a look-alike of Peter to fool his parents while Peter


snuck off with them to war. Merseft explained to Peter that


he would forfeit and miss the first day of school, but


Peter wanted to be with his family fighting side-by-side


for good.


Meanwhile in the garden, Jane was practicing making


deadly vines, some with razor-sharp thorns and others with deadly odors. A look of intensity came over Jane's face as


she perfected every step. One by one, Jane made deadly


plants that were under her control.


In the other courtyard, Red Fox and Samantha Grey


practiced fighting and using special weapons that Sam's


father made for them. There were swords and body armor that


glowed in the darkness of the night. The armor was made


completely out of pure gold, one-of-a-kind, with magical,


built-in protection. To test if the armor worked, Red Fox


launched at Samantha with a sword, and suddenly, the armor


began to glow, and covered her from head to toe as if she


was transforming into a huge giant. Red Fox was amazed and


began to step away from Samantha because, by now, she had


grown to at least nine feet tall. The armor was impossible


to penetrate, as Red Fox tried to cut into it with his


sword. Every scratch made on the armor healed as if it was


skin on a human body.


There was no way to penetrate this secret weapon. When


the fighting was over, the armor returned to an ordinary


breast plate. Samantha was most surprised at the


advancement in technology. She rubbed the breast plate with


her fingers over and over again, looking at it back and


forth, not believing what she had just witnessed. To both


of their amazement, that was the greatest weapon they had ever used, and ran to tell David and Sam how much they


liked the armor.


Back in Sam's workshop; he was fitting Oscar the cat


with his own breast plate. Because Oscar was so huge, it


was taking Sam and David both to fit the plate onto Oscar.


He enjoyed every moment of the pampering. Suddenly, through


the door ran Samantha and Red Fox. They were filled with


excitement over the new armor David had made.


"Well, I am so happy you like it," said David.


Then they looked up and saw Oscar.


"What a beauty!" said Red Fox.


"Well, thank you very much!" said Oscar.


"Oh! Silly cat, he is talking about your armor," said


Samantha as Oscar began to blush.


"We have a lot of work to do," said Sam.


Sam was a little overwhelmed and on edge, but managed


to keep his emotions in place. Through the night, the team


of friends began to practice the skills that they had


hidden for many years. David was a great builder of many


things, and not only toys for holidays and gifts. He was


also the creator of the greatest fighting weapons. As a


child, Sam had noticed that his father could build and make


anything he set his mind to. Sam had the best and most


unique toys imagined by anyone. He was most popular in his school. Sam remembered the days working side by side with


his father to build anything they wanted. Now that time had


come again.


As the adults were practicing their skills, Peter was


upstairs in his room making magic. A gentle knock came upon


the door. It was Dorothy, Peter's grandmother.


"Hi, Nana," said Peter.


Dorothy gently smiled and rubbed Peter's head. She


began to tell Peter of the emotional stress for a little


boy to have to save his world, but Peter felt he was up to


the challenge. Never once did he complain about his burden.


Dorothy was very impressed by her grandson's attitude. As


she was leaving the room, Peter held her by the hands


letting her know that everything would be all right.


Suddenly, Peter's magic book began to glow a solar green.


"What's that?" asked Dorothy.


Peter told his grandmother of the genie. For the first


time, the genie came out in the presence of an adult. Peter


was so happy to prove to his family that he was not making


it up.


"Sonny, we knew you were telling the truth, but we


didn't know how powerful it was," said Dorothy, but was


just in joy to see that Merseft the genie had appeared.


"Well, hello, lovely lady," said Merseft to Dorothy. A soft reply from Dorothy came out. She was so amazed


at the size and shape of the genie that it was a little


frightening, but Dorothy knew that this mystical creature


was harmless.


"May I grant a wish for you, madam?" asked Merseft.


"No, no," said Dorothy.


She told Merseft that she would leave everything in


God's hand. She kissed Peter on the head and off she went.


"Oh, thanks, Merseft, for showing yourself," said


Peter as he ran to hug the genie. The genie was made out of


thin air and illusion, and Peter fell through him and


landed on the floor. "Ooh, Ouch!" said Peter.


Merseft began to laugh. As he laughed, clouds of smoke


filled the room. Then Peter began to join in the laughter.


It seemed like Merseft and Peter were made for each other.


Someone was getting a little jealous though, and it was




"Oh! Settle down, boy. You're still my best friend,"


said Peter as Dingo began to bark constantly at Merseft.


Dingo jumped on Peter's bed and kept one eye on


Merseft. Merseft was trying to do anything to make Dingo


happy. He made a huge bone appear. He made fluffy toys that


squeaked appear, but he could not get Dingo to take it.


Dingo stuck to his guns and cuddled up to Peter. Peter saw this as a friendly sibling rivalry.


A voice shouted, "Off to bed, Peter. You have your


first day of school tomorrow."


Peter quickly jumped into bed, after a very long day


of things going wrong. Jane came upstairs with a cup of hot


cocoa and a warm blanket. She covered Peter and Dingo, gave


them both a goodnight kiss and off she went. Peter was out


as fast as the lights, and so was Dingo, but there was much


to do in the Carrot-Top household. In David's office there


was much building and designing going on. He was working on


the most advanced technology, from laser bows and arrows to


manmade contraptions. David felt right at home, and he was


becoming his old self again.


Jane worked on some of the most potent plants and


trees she could think of. One of the plants was so potent;


it began killing the rest of the plants around it. Jane


called it the viper plant. With one spray of its mist, it


would wipe out acres of trees and vegetation. The viper was


huge and grew by the second. It dug its roots into the rich


soil of Baja and began to grow constantly. There were huge


vessels showing through the stems of the plants as it


absorbed nutrients from the earth. After feeding, the plant


would spray purple and green mist which killed all of the


surrounding plants. Jane had to tweak and fix this plant. It was one of


her most powerful works yet, but with the viper around, the


other plants and trees would not come out of the soil


because they were afraid. They kept their roots and leaves


buried in the ground, shivering from fear of the viper.


"Sorry, little guys and gals," said Jane.


When the plants saw that it was all right to come out,


they quickly did so. A smile came upon Jane's face to see


all of her creations come alive, something she loved doing


and missed while exiled from Baja.


On the other side of the courtyard, Sam, Red Fox and


Samantha Grey practiced their fighting skills. Sam


practiced moving two-ton rocks with his mind. One minute


the rocks flew in the air, and the next they were on the


ground as if they were thrown there by a giant. The rocks


made a loud crash onto the ground causing the ground to


rumble for miles away.


Red Fox, with his military skills, was the sharpest


arrow shooter and a skilled fighter. His one special skill


was turning into a gentle fox, so harmless and innocent,


and then when danger arose, he changed into a half-man


half-fox fighting machine. He had a great disguise to get


into the forest and talk with the forest animals. Because


of this ability, he could blend into the forest, going virtually unnoticed.


But Samantha was skilled in all the martial arts of


fighting. She had conquered armies and villages. There was


a hefty bounty placed on her head, but this never worried


her. Because of her skills, she had managed to escape


capture every time. The team practiced all night, until


Jane announced to everyone that it was time to get some




Because so many people had forsaken Sam and the entire


Carrot-Top family, he only had an army of five instead of


an army of thousands. Nevertheless, he was going to save


the forest from his brother and the seven wizards. Most


importantly, Sam wanted to not only restore the Carrot-Top


name, but to protect his son from having to face the evil


axis of Baja. Everyone went inside to take a rest, for


tomorrow would be a day of fighting and sorrow.


As Peter lay in his bed sleeping, he began to dream a


great and terrifying dream. He could see himself standing


over his own body in a dark and gloomy wilderness. He was


being chased by huge sand worms. They were huge and ugly,


diving in and out of the sands. The huge monsters sprayed


sand pebbles out of their noses, like dolphins spray water.


They were ugly, filthy creatures, with hair all over their


bodies that was shaggy and matted. They snapped at Peter with long claw-like teeth. He


could not believe how real this dream felt, so he began to


run as the creatures got closer and closer. But Peter was


no match for beasts this size. After Peter was through


running and tired out, he finally stopped and created one


of his large black holes.


It was a gift of tremendous power, but Peter still had


not perfected his abilities. With a little fear and a will


to escape, he created a hole so large that it swallowed up


the entire desert. As Peter looked down, all he could see


were the creatures and their home going down a spiral


twist. The amount of power frightened Peter.


He found himself standing on an abyss of thin air;


there was nothing in sight but darkness. Peter began to run


as fast as he could, but was getting nowhere. There was


darkness after darkness. No matter how fast or far he ran;


it was as if he wasn’t even moving. Peter began to panic,


crying out for his father, but no answer came. Then he felt


an evil presence. He looked from left to right, hoping to


see something, but nothing appeared. Then Peter curled up


like an infant in thin air and began to rock himself,


saying "It's not real, it's not real," over and over again.


Then a voice said, "Yes, it is."


Peter jumped up as if fire was under his butt and looked around. A blue light was coming out of the abyss, it


had an evil presence, and his hair began to blow.


Through the abyss came a man, slender in build, with


long black, flowing hair. In his hand he carried a walking


cane with a huge glass bulb on its top. The bulb changed


bright red as he came closer to Peter.


"Are you afraid, my child?" the voice asked as it came


out of the abyss.


Peter said nothing, just watched as the man came


forward. He walked in slow motion, as if he was gliding on


thin air. His body was adorned with the finest fabrics and


armor that was all black and shiny metal. As the man came


closer, half of his face was covered by a silver mask, as


if the mask was burned onto his skin.


One thing this stranger couldn't hide was a little bit


of orange hair that stood out on the side of his mask.


"Uncle Marcus!" Peter shouted.


"I am not your uncle, nor will I ever be," said the


man, but in his heart Peter knew about that it was his




Because of this, Peter was not afraid anymore. The man


came closer to Peter and showed him the destruction of Baja


through the crystal ball that he took off of his walking


stick. A voice taunted Peter over and over again of how Baja would be destroyed and how he and his family would be


put to shame in a prison camp.


"You evil man! My father will never let you get away


with this!" shouted Peter.


The wicked man laughed hysterically. The laughter


continued like a roaring echo that became louder and louder


to Peter's tender ears. The next thing Peter knew, he woke


up screaming with his mother and father at his side.


"Oh, Mother, I had a bad dream," said Peter as his


mother rubbed his head.


"It's okay," said Jane.


"Everything will be all right," said Sam.


Peter began to mumble and tell his parents of the


awful dream he had of his uncle Marcus planning on


destroying Baja and all its beauty. Somehow, Sam knew his


brother was getting stronger from some type of mystical


powers. His heart grew angry. He quickly tucked Peter in,


kissed him goodnight and out the bedroom door he went. Jane


stayed behind to make sure Peter fell back to sleep, but


Sam went to see his father. David was resting in a chair.


It was obvious he had been up all night, planning and


drawing weapons and attacks.


Sam saw this and decided to let his father rest


peacefully, so he went into his mother's room and talked to her. Dorothy could tell that her son was very anger and


asked him what was the matter. Sam explained that he did


not understand why Marcus was the way he was or why he


would betray the Carrot-Top name in a disgraceful manner.


He wondered what went on in Marcus' life that he no longer


respected the place they called home for many years.


Dorothy looked with disappointment and disgrace at her


son. She had no explanation why Marcus was the way he was.


All she could do was speculate. She told Sam that ever


since she took Marcus to see the Oracle when he was a


little lad, his attitude and behavior changed. She told him


that Marcus might be the destroyer of Baja, but they had no


idea because they were never allowed into the room to hear


what the Oracle said to Marcus.


"Through it all, son, please remember that Marcus will


always be a part of us," said Dorothy.


But Sam was not feeling the love. Marcus had disgraced


their family name, and Sam was going to make him stand up


and pay for all of his evil doings. Chapter 8


First Day of School


Morning came bright and early. The sun in the sky


changed color from yellow to blue, then pink and green. To


the people of Baja, this was a great way to start the day.


But, in the Carrot-Top household, it was Peter's first day


of school after coming back home, but he had different




He wanted to go fight on the side of his father. Peter


quickly jumped out of bed and summoned the genie Merseft.


As he arose out of the magical book with his sleepy eyes,


Peter commanded him to make a double look-alike to fool his


parents. This would give Peter the ability to be in two


places at one time.


Merseft was a little hesitant, letting Peter know that


parents are smarter than they look, but Peter was confident


that it would work. With the power of a magical spell and a


room filled with glowing smoke, the genie conjured up a




"Wow! He looks just like me," said Peter.


"Well, isn't that what you wanted?" asked Merseft with


a sarcastic tone. Peter went over and touched and poked the look-alike.


He couldn't believe his eyes to see a real duplicate of


himself. Peter knew in is heart of hearts this plan would


work. He wanted so badly to fight on the side of his father


and grandfather, but his parents were not having any of it.


They wanted him protected because of the prophecy of the


elders. If Peter was indeed the eighth key, they must


protect him.


The look-alike Peter was dressed and ready for school,


courtesy of Merseft. Now it was time to put the look-alike


to work. Peter sent it on its way downstairs to breakfast


while he awaited his parents' departure. There was only one


small problem, the look-alike was too stiff moving and the


personality was off. As he (it) went downstairs, Jane and


Sam noticed right away something was wrong.


They began to ask the look-alike many silly questions


like, ”What is your favorite orange?”


The look-alike had no idea and said, "Well, orange of




"Ha, ha, ha. You're wrong," said Sam.


"My son's favorite orange is strawberry, grown in the


finest parts of Baja," said Jane.


They knew Peter was up to something, so Sam went to


the neck of the look-alike and saw a little button. When he pressed it, the look-alike was cut off. Sam and Jane




"It's a little early for him to be skipping school,


isn't it?" asked Sam.


"Yes, indeed, we must get to the bottom of this," said