Raging Waters: The Misadventures of Sarah Davies


Despite a premonition of danger and feelings of personal conflict with her boyfriend, Brad, Sarah Davies is determined to enjoy her family's reunion during the Fourth of July weekend. But the festive atmosphere just outside of Bearsfield, Idaho, turns tense when five-year-old Joey, a boy who suffers from severe autism, disappears from the picnic site.

Sarah and her friends join the emergency volunteers to search for Joey before an unexpected summer thunderstorm breaks loose. ...

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Raging Waters: The Misadventures of Sarah Davies

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Despite a premonition of danger and feelings of personal conflict with her boyfriend, Brad, Sarah Davies is determined to enjoy her family's reunion during the Fourth of July weekend. But the festive atmosphere just outside of Bearsfield, Idaho, turns tense when five-year-old Joey, a boy who suffers from severe autism, disappears from the picnic site.

Sarah and her friends join the emergency volunteers to search for Joey before an unexpected summer thunderstorm breaks loose. Joey, partially deaf and driven by fear, doesn't realize danger, and he's running scared. Undeterred, Sarah and her friends, Meagan, Brad, and Ali search relentlessly. They find clues that lead them deep into a forest and eventually to the consuming river of raging waters.

None of them are prepared for the dangers or the challenges that await them, and nothing scares them more than the fear that they won't be able to get to Joey in time.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475957976
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/31/2012
  • Pages: 174
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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The Misadventures of Sarah Davies
By Ronnie Dauber

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Ronnie Dauber
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-5797-6

Chapter One

A seized Wheel

White Falls Park was the ideal park setting for our family reunion and it was only about a two-hour drive from my home in Bearsfield, Idaho. We have these family gatherings every few years so that my mom's family can get together and catch up on their busy lives. Each of her brothers and sisters and cousins get to pick the park that it will be held it in, which is why they're always at a different location, and also why this was the first time I'd ever been to this one.

Meagan always comes to these reunions with me, and even though she's my cousin on my dad's side she's more like my sister and we do everything together. We're even dating two guys from our neighborhood who we graduated high school with, and who are also best friends. Meagan waited all year in our last grade for Ali to ask her out and now they're inseparable. Two weeks ago he gave her a beautiful diamond ring and she's ecstatic even though they haven't set a date yet.

Meanwhile, Brad had asked me out a hundred times and I was too caught up with the high school football icon to really pay any attention to him. But when I finally accepted I was amazed how much we had in common, and now I never want to be apart from him. I know he cares for me, but he's never given me a ring or even hinted at it so sometimes I worry if we're really as close as I hope we are.

The sky was clear blue, and the sun warmed the gentle breeze that brushed against my bare arms. There appeared to be a promise in the air that today was going to be a great day. Everything seemed perfect: the weather, the fact that we got here without encountering any problems and the fact that every member of the family had agreed to come. And this was a first because usually there was some kind of issue going on and some couldn't or wouldn't come.

Everything was perfect except for the nightmare I had last night that still scourged my thoughts and scared me into worrying that something bad was going to happen. It was so real at the time and every detail was clear to me then, but within minutes of coming out of it I'd forgotten most of it. I only remember some things and one of them is the wave of fear that almost paralysed me in my dream and that continued to haunt me afterwards. I knew that it wasn't just a bad dream, but it was a forewarning of some vile, impending danger.

I dreamed that we had come to the park, but I couldn't remember why, and Meagan and I were dressed in formal gowns as we walked along the calm beach with Brad and Ali. Brad was about to ask me to dance, but then disappeared just as someone went missing. At first I thought it was him because he was gone for quite a while, but then he returned and I knew it was someone else. I had no idea who, yet everyone seemed to be in a state of panic while we searched for this lost one. There was something else going on at the same time, but I couldn't remember what it was, but it made searching for this person a terrifying race against time.

Just thinking about it shot goose bumps up and down my arms. I knew it was more than just a dream brought on by my emotions as a result of the movie I'd seen with Meagan. We'd watched Titanic recently and it bothered me that so many people died and that there was nothing anyone could do to change their fate. I told Meagan about the dream and she insisted that it was my emotions reacting to the movie. Maybe it was, but I don't think so.

I've had dreams before that turned out to be warnings and I had the same creepy fear flood through me right afterwards and throughout the visit of wherever we went. And something always went wrong just like it did in my dream. So, I knew that this was a premonition of some kind, and yet, nothing around me even hinted that anything could go wrong.

Meagan and I drove with the guys in Ali's Kia sports car and followed my dad's van into the parking area of the park. Ali pulled up beside my dad who had driven Aunt Gerdi and Grandma Watson along with my mom and my brother.

"Come on, you guys. Aunt Gerdi and Grandma Watson are probably banging on the walls of the van by now so let's help Dad get them out."

Brad pulled the side door to the van wide open and smiled at the old the older women as he told them that he would help them out and onto the grass. Grandma Watson reached for Brad's hand and smiled back at him.

"What a nice boy you are."

They chatted for a few seconds and then Aunt Gerdi leaned as close to Brad as she could and then shouted out to my embarrassment.

"No wonder little Sarah likes you so much. She's told us what a gentleman you are and how you smell so nice. Oh my, but you do smell lovely. Doesn't he smell lovely, Agnes?"

My face flushed with embarrassment and I wasn't sure what to say, but Aunt Gerdi did and so she just spoke her mind as usual.

"Poor Sarah, she's all embarrassed, but you shouldn't be. He's everything you said he was, Dear. And you're right; he does have beautiful brown eyes. You hang onto this guy, Sarah. There's probably lots of pretty girls out there who want to take him from you. Why, if I was a few years younger I'd snatch him up myself."

Then she and Grandma Watson laughed loudly and Brad turned to me and winked, and then laughed along with them. My heart practically stopped as my face got redder and I felt so embarrassed that they told Brad what I had told them. But the truth is that his deep brown eyes were filled with a passion that drew me to him every time he looked at me. And I loved the way he smelled. He had a manly woodland scent about him and I loved it. I just didn't expect them to blab it out and tell him what I'd said.

Ali hit Brad in the arm with his fake fist and laughed.

"Hey man, quit flirting with the ladies. I'll get the wheelchair set up for Grandma Watson."

Meagan grabbed my arm and giggled and I knew that she was going to have fun with this later on. Then she leaned in and whispered.

"Come on, Sarah. She didn't say anything that wasn't true. And maybe it's time that Brad did know how you feel about him. I know you adore the guy, but you have to tell him once in a while or he may think that he's not impressing you."

"It's just hard for me to come out and say things like that. I mean, I think them all the time, but I'm not sure how to say them, you know?"

"Well, Aunt Gerdi knows how to and now Brad knows something that you should have told him yourself. But don't worry about it. Maybe she just made things a little easier for you."

Meagan was right. I loved Brad, but this last year at college had kept us more apart than I wanted because of my studies. And every time we planned to do something special together something went wrong, and so I've still never really been out with him. Our dates are usually the four of us sitting at Meagan's house playing a game or watching television.

Meagan and I both wanted to be able to dress up for the guys and have a real date, but it hadn't happened yet. She was a lot more outgoing than I was and she and Ali always held hands when they were out and they were often whispering things to each other. Brad always held my hand, too, and I liked that, but we didn't seem as connected as they were. Maybe it was just me because I was always shy around guys.

It bothered me that he'd never seen me in anything but blue jeans and a hoodie. I worried sometimes that maybe he'd like to go out with a girl in a dress and that maybe he thought that would never happen with me, but there was never an occasion to dress up for him. Brad didn't know how I really felt, but I wanted him to know and so I hoped that maybe today would be the day that I could tell him.

Ali lifted Grandma's wheelchair and Aunt Gerdi's walker out of the van and set them up on the grass while Dad and my younger brother Scott took out all the folding garden chairs from the back of the van. Brad helped Aunt Gerdi and Grandma Watson step out and onto the grass and Meagan and I helped him, and then we grabbed the two big lunch baskets of food from Mom.

We headed right away for the secluded spot that Uncle Dave had found earlier, which was on the far side of the park and away from the crowded picnic area. The grounds began to fill up quickly with hundreds of visitors from towns all around who came to celebrate this July 4th holiday weekend. Uncle Dave hustled across the open field of grass ahead of the rest of us to claim our spot before someone else beat us to it. The rest of us scurried behind him as fast as we could.

Minutes later we arrived at the large, quiet picnic area that backed onto a dense forest and bestowed the most privacy from the rest of the open park. The large field of green grass that we just crossed was spread in front of our picnic area and was a great place for the little kids to play. There was a hidden river far to our left and behind the trees that was perfect for those brave enough to enjoy some summer white water rafting in its raging waters.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go rafting even though Ali suggested it with such enthusiasm. The water looked pretty wild and I wasn't here for a wild adventure. I just wanted to be with my friends and have a day of fun with no strings attached. And besides, Meagan and I knew what we wanted to do.

In honor of the long weekend, the grounds crew had set up a temporary amusement park about 800 feet straight ahead of us and that's where Meagan and I planned to spend most of our time with Brad and Ali. We really weren't into challenging horseshoes with the elderly family members any more than we were into playing tag with the toddlers, so we didn't want to hang around the picnic area.

We helped my parents set up their table and the lawn chairs and then Meagan and I took the guys around to all the other tables and introduced them to my relatives. Everyone liked them and we had lots of laughs and fun as roamed from table to table. After we'd greeted everyone I told my mom that we were heading out to the amusement park and she reminded me that the family barbecue would be going on around 1 o'clock and that we shouldn't be late. I knew that Uncle Dave would be in charge of cooking the burgers and that Aunt Christine would undoubtedly be in charge of everything else, so the four of us decided that it was time to go and have some fun.

We waved goodbye to some of my little second cousins, but they ran up to us and clung unto our legs and begged for the guys to play ball with them. Brad and Ali began to roll around on the grass and play before Meagan or I could say anything. So, we joined in on the fun.

After a few minutes Brad noticed my cousin's little boy sitting alone on the grass lining up a group of little cars and being totally disinterested in the other children. Brad became concerned about him and stopped playing as he pointed in his direction.

"So that's the little guy with autism. It doesn't seem right that he's all by himself over there."

I grabbed Brad's arm and urged him to keep his voice down.

"Joey doesn't respond to people very well because he's not able to communicate with anyone, and so he doesn't really know how to play with the other kids. He really feels happy and safe when he's near his mom and playing with his little cars."

"And I guess that harness is for his own safety?"

I looked over at Joey and he was totally content with just lining up his ten little colored cars in a perfect row. He stared at them and then moved them all again, one at a time, into another straight line.

"Yeah. He's smart and so methodical, but he can't express himself so he's not able to let us know what he's thinking or what he wants, and this frustrates him. Loud noises and new faces scare him, so he tends to run so he can get away from his own confusion. And he'll keep running until his mind settles down or until he stumbles onto something that relaxes him. Usually it's music, so if he's at home someone there can quieten him down by rubbing his back and playing a quiet classical piece."

"Yeah, I guess we have a lot in common then because classical music does that for me, too."

"You like classical music? I'm sorry. It's just that I never knew that about you."

"There's lots you don't know about me, Sarah. But yeah, I like lots of great bands that are out there, but there's just something about the real classics that I find so peaceful."

Brad chuckled as he winked at me.

"I guess we're learning a few things that we didn't know about each other today. But don't tell your Aunt Gerdi or she'll tell everyone and then I'll look like a dork in front of my tech buddies."

Brad looked back and grinned as he watched Joey, but I knew the harness still bothered him.

"See, when Joey gets scared he runs and he doesn't turn back, and it could be fatal for him because he has no concept that he'll get lost-just a fear of all the things around him. He's not able to yell for help or tell anyone that he's lost and so that's why Becki has pinned a name tag with her cel phone number on his shirt. And he's partially deaf so he can't really hear anyone call out his name. So when his family goes to public places they keep a hold of him by using the harness and it's for his own good even if it looks a bit cruel. He's really an adorable little boy and he's easy to love."

Brad looked at me and I could see the compassion in his eyes. He looked back at Joey and then down to the ground.

"Well, he sure seems content over there. What about his sister, is she okay?"

"Hailey? Yeah, she's fine. She's a little slower at learning than most kids her age, but otherwise, she's good. And she's probably the only person besides his parents that Joey likes being with-well, except for Meagan and me. We've babysat them both since they were born and as long as I don't change my looks or the way I act, he comes to me. So this gives his parents a chance to get out on a date every once in a while."

"He sure seems happy just playing with his cars. So, I guess he's obviously not going near the rides."

"No Brad, not a chance. The noise would scare him to death. Anyway, that's why you'll see either Becki or Paul disappearing periodically with Hailey. It's so she can go on the rides and not miss out on the fun that the other kids are having."

"Wow, I never really knew much about autistic kids. He looks so at ease playing there."

"Yeah, Brad, he's a happy camper when he's near his parents and alone with his cars. But he's not an autistic kid. He's a kid with autism. Big difference."

Brad looked at me and nodded and then looked back to Joey.


"Anyway, he doesn't really miss the other kids so it looks a lot worse than it is. He's healthy and happy and loved."

Just then Meagan budded in with her cheerful voice.

"Hey, you guys. I think we've tired this bunch of little guys out so let's go and have some of our own fun."

We waved goodbye to the children and headed across the grass toward the amusement area. There were a lot more rides than we had guessed there would be and they covered the entire side of the park. It seemed almost as if we were at Disneyland with the huge Ferris wheel and roller coaster rides and the many Disney characters that insisted on taking our pictures or inviting us to play one of arcade games.

There were also a lot more people than we anticipated and the crowds of kids and parents pushed us apart several times. We had to stand in long lines for all of the rides and that could have been frustrating, but we managed to talk and joke about everything, which made the waiting that much more fun.

When we got to the Ferris wheel, all four of us pushed into one seat and the guys sat on the outsides with Meagan and I in the middle. As the wheel rose to the top I got an amazing view of the entire park and I could see for miles around.

"Wow, that river is filled with rapids. It disappears behind those trees, but it sure is wide-the part I can see anyway."

Right after I said that I got an eerie feeling and little spikes of fear rolled up my back. The river reminded me of the river that I was in during our high school trip where I was caught in an undercurrent while we were trying to rescue another student who had been victim to the mudslide. That trip was a nightmare and it took me a long time to get over the trauma of everything that happened. And the only good thing that came out of it was Brad.

I couldn't help but notice in the distance beyond the trees that the sky appeared a bit darker, but before I could concentrate on it we began to descend and Meagan grabbed my arm.

"It sure is wild. Look at those guys white water rafting. That looks like so much fun. Let's do that after lunch. We don't have to go in the water this time. We'll just ride the rapids."

Brad and Ali shouted that they wanted to go rafting, as well, so I agreed. After all, I've been white water rafting before and it was a blast, so I knew that once I got there, I'd be okay. This day had a lot of great things in store for us, yet, as much as I wanted to go when I looked down at the water again a creepy sensation crawled across my neck and gave me the shivers. The dream flashed in my head and fear struck me in the chest so hard that I could barely breathe.


Excerpted from RAGING WATERS by Ronnie Dauber Copyright © 2012 by Ronnie Dauber. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 A Seized Wheel....................1
Chapter 2 Fallen Teen....................10
Chapter 3 More Sorrows....................18
Chapter 4 Missing....................26
Chapter 5 Clueless....................35
Chapter 6 What's in a Name Tag?....................43
Chapter 7 Running Scared....................52
Chapter 8 A Step in Time....................61
Chapter 9 Tale of Two Cars....................69
Chapter 10 The Hidden Fall....................77
Chapter 11 Treading Water....................85
Chapter 12 Voices....................93
Chapter 13 When Fear Takes Over....................100
Chapter 14 Buckled Up....................108
Chapter 15 Heavy Breathing....................116
Chapter 16 The Last Wave....................124
Chapter 17 Adrenalin Rush....................132
Chapter 18 Snap, Crackle, Pop....................140
Chapter 19 Crushed....................148
Chapter 20 The Last Ring....................156
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