"Shhhh! Ike! Not so loud, you're gonna get us killed!" Taylor warned.
Then gritted his teeth when Ike did it again, louder this time. When that happened, neither of the boys had time to react to what came next. A giant mother of an Iosie stormed up to Ike's stall door, slammed it open, and slapped him across the face with the back of his hand, sending the young man sprawling to the ground with a loud grunt and left him dazed. Unprepared for what happened next, the Iosie came up and started kicking him over and over in the stomach and ribs with a big smile on his face. Caught off guard, Ike started coughing, not just a little clear-you-throat-cough-cause-something's-stuck-in-there, but deep hacking coughs that brought more tears then Ike had already to his eyes. He took a deep breath and started coughing all over again when the immense Iosie yelled at him to.
"Keep quiet, no talking or I'll be back to finish you off!"
Ike nodded weakly and collapsed to his "straw" pile. Shortly there after he passed out, leaving a stunned Taylor staring at him.
"Ike. Ike man, wake up...please!"
Holding back tears, he knew it was useless to try and wake his battered sibling up. Desperately, he stuck his left arm through the bars of his pen, stretching them as far as he could, coming only inches from touching his prostrate brother. Growling, he tried lunging forward through the bars even though he knew it wasn't going to help any. Discouraged, frightened, and exhausted, Taylor leaned his head against the cool bars of his enclosure, hoping his brother would be ok.
"The stupid guys in charge of this place could at least tell us some ground rules, for example.NO YELLING!"
He crossed his arms in anger and banged his head against the metal bars out of anger and boredom.
"Ok, this really blows."
Turning his head, he looked at his brother who was having a hard time breathing.
"Please be ok, don't die or anything Ike."
He lay his head back onto the bars when he heard something faint, but clear. Three metallic clangs, dull, but something he'd heard a long time ago when he was little rang out. He waited for a minute, then the clanging came again.
"Nuh uh, no way! That's not Zac is it?"
Finding another pebble on the ground, there seemed to be millions of em in his pen, he wrapped his sleeve around the edge and tapped out his spie code. He waited. When he was about to do it again, he heard the three taps once more. So he tapped back one more time feeling like some one had told him Hanson had sold a billion records. With tears making a fast stream down his face, he let out a sob of happiness, apparently a very loud sob because it woke Isaac up.
In a hoarse voice, he asked Tay, "What's wrong Tay? -*wheeze-* Tay?"
Isaac hadn't move from his spot, but met his brother's eyes.
"It was Zac, Ike. It's him." Having said that, Taylor started to weep all over again.
"It was!? Oh man, how do you know? Did some one tell you?"
"Remember? Remember when we were little and we played spies all the time?"
Isaac grinned, already catching on. "Yeah.."
"Well, I guess Zac did too cause he tapped out his name code and I tapped back. We did that a coupla times to make sure. It's him!" Taylor's tears had dried up by now and he was smiling ear to ear.
"That's great Tay, I knew it was him." He sighed, which brought on a small coughing fit, which ended soon enough.
"You ok over there? Want me to ask for help?" Tay's brow's knit together in concern.
"Naw, I'll be ok. I just need to sleep. Do something rare and listen to me k? GET some rest!" He grinned when Taylor shook his head 'no', but made to lay down anyways.
A muffled 'what?' was Isaac's reply.
"Cripples can't win here ya know, now it's settled, I'm gonna rule this place man." Taylor tilted his head to the right waiting for his dead-tired brother's response.
"Riiiiight, now lemme sleep k? I'm sore and tired!" Ike's irked mumble came.
"Sweet dreams dearest brother."
"Fine. Mouth hole's a closin!"
"Finally, now keep it closed!"
"Will do... have done!"
"Tay! Quit it!"
"Quit what Ikey?"
"I swear, I'm gonna kill you if you don't shut up!"
A few minutes of silence passed, just when Ike was about to drift off, something whapped him in the back of the head.
"Gawd! TAY... just..stop..no more now!" He was mad, very mad.
"Oh Ikey, why do hate me so much?" Taylor batted his eye lashes in Ike's direction.
"When we get outta here, I'm beatin your ass down." Ike had sat up easily, showing few ill effects of his experience.
He put on puppy eyes when he asked, "Please Tay, will ya let me sleep?"
His sincere request decided Taylor, as long as he was awake, so was Ike.
"Sure Ike, sure." Taylor just grinned.
"Thank you!" Ike plopped onto his back, relaxing when a pebble bounced off his chest.
"This is gonna be a looong night."
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