Zac bolted up in shock.
"Did I just hear my name?? IKE!!!" Zac sat up to get a better sense of direction as he listened carefully.
"Come on, come on! Yell Ike!" He sat there, tense, waiting for his name to come again.
"There it was! It's Ike!"
Silence, then he heard a terrible sound, the sound of some one being kicked or hit.
"Not Ike, not him please no..please no." He thought to himself over and over, waiting for an answer from his brother. He heard a grunt, then the sound of something connecting with a soft body, over and over. Coughing filled the now quiet air inside the convention area, a painful gasping sound followed by orders in Galidia to.
"Keep quiet, no talking or I'll be back to finish you off!"
Zac's face paled as he sat shivering in the dark.
"I'm sorry." Tears slid down his hot cheeks.
"What happened out there?"
Slowly he stood up, trying to see over the top of the pen. He could! Yes! He saw an ugly Iosie walking away from a pen around on the other side of the row he was in, towards the right.
"That's where Ike is, I'll bet. I'll find him tomorrow."
In the meanwhile, he decided he would try something him and his brothers used to do a long time ago when they were little kids. He searched the floor for something hard, anything. A piece of wood, a rock or pebble, scrap of metal, anything. He found nothing. Frustrated, he slammed his fists into the ground and flopped onto this "straw" pile, dropping his head to his chest in defeat. When his head fell down, it shot right back up as he yelped in pain.
"Stupid collar! Hey now."
Pulling the collar off, he smacked his lightly against his corral side, which made a nice dull metal ring, waking his neighbor.
"What are you doin'? Shut up, boy, I'm trying to sleep!" Charlie growled.
"Sorry man, my brother just got beat for yelling to me. I don't feel like getting the crap kicked outta me too, so this is where you shut up and let me do my thing."
Zac rarely was this disrespectful to adults, but right now, he could care less!
"What are you talking about?" Charlie questioned, finally getting the sleep out of his eyes.
"Well, when we were little, Tay, Ike and me, we used to play a game where we'd be spies. To communicate, we'd take sticks or rocks and beat it against a tree. It was usually two of us against the other, so we made codes. One of em, which I plan to use in a minute, was to say who we were. My code was 3 taps, Ike's was 6, and Tay had 2. So, kindly close your mouth hole and let me do this please!" Zac sighed, feeling very impatient at the moment.
Charlie held up his hands in a position of surrender.
"All right, kid! Sorry."
Biting his bottom lip, sending a prayer to god, and closing his eyes, Zac tapped out his code quickly. He waited a minute and tried it again. Nothing. He sighed and tried it one more time. He listened carefully and felt like crying when he heard a faint: Tap tap! Sniffling, he tapped out three more times and got the same reply.
"Tay! Oh man it's you!"
"Was that yer brother?" Charlie queried, breaking Zac's train of thought. Wiping his nose against his arm, he nodded.
"Well boy, congrats! Now, can I sleep?"
"Yeah, go ahead. I'm gonna find the guys tomorrow, just don't mind me!"
Zac was giddy beyond belief. He wanted to break out of his pen and run down the walk screaming his guts out and hug his brothers. But..he knew better then that, Tyto had beat common sense in along with the bruises from his repeated beatings. Sighing deeply, he lay down on his "straw" and thought of his brothers.
"Guys, I'm gonna see you soon, don't die on me Ike!"
Rolling onto his back, he thought of his brother's eyes, laughter, and them just being plain dorky when they were in the mood. He missed them. With that thought in his mind, he rolled over and settled into a rare night of deep sleep.
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