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Shadows and Secrets by Laurie

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"Who are you..?" The voice echoed softly within the alcove of the cliff-face, it's depths too dark to peer into, cloaked from human eyes. Only these weren't human eyes any more..

"Who you talking to Mike?" With a haphazard grin, Sam dropped belly first onto the sand and lowered his torso over the ledge, tapping his brother on the shoulder repeatedly.

Michael just frowned in annoyance, swiping Sam's hand away and stubbornly gazing into the darkness. Just a cave.. Not the cave. "Mike... Goddamn it Mikey.. " He heard Sam's boots crunching up ahead as he retreated, opening and closing the car door. But the engine didn't roar to life, he didn't leave without him.. And so he knew he'd be back. He was just sulking.

It really was a pitiful excuse for a cave, nothing more than a small hole in the wall. The waves below sent up a cold spray that fell against Michael's cheek periodically, salty air on his tongue when he breathed. He knew if he squinted into the distance he'd see it.. The dreaded opening into the ground.. But it was nothing more than a tomb now. And a bad memory.

The drive home was silent, the two brothers exchanging no more than a few punches on the arm as they both struggled for dominance of the car radio. Michael sometimes caught Sam staring at him, his eyes narrowed and thoughtful.. And he knew what it was about. It was about the fact that Michael still had no reflection in the mirror.. No appetite for food. But mostly it was about the fact that a week ago Sam's dog, Nanook, had mysteriously dissapeared.

"You think I did it.. Don't you?" Asked Michael bitterly, his eyes focussed on the road, an icy blue. Sam merely shrugged, rolling his eyes and snatching up a leaflet left to flap about on the dashboard.

"You know what Mike.. Stop pretending, okay?" He shifted in his seat to face him, his brow arching incredulously. "Like you didn't do it to Mrs Orson's cat? And that noisy dog across the field?" Shaking his head now he frowned, positively glaring at him. "He was my dog.. Mike. My best goddamn friend.. And you just sucked him up like a slushy.. Didn't you!"

Sam's voice raised to a high pitch, almost causing Michael to veer off the road. "I didn't touch your fucking dog!" He roared furiously.

Sam blinked and swallowed cautiously, watching as Michael's eyes began to dance with color, an unnatural glow emanating from within their depths. If he were to open his mouth now.. He might see.. With a shiver he nodded and turned abruptly to sit forward, eyes locked on the passing scenery through the window, examining the smudges dully. "Okay Mike.. I believe ya.. " he whispered the lie.

Michael was too stung to care when they almost missed the turning to their grandpa's house. He swung the car around and parked it noisily on the gravel, hurriedly opening the door and stalking inside, leaving Sam to shut off the engine and take the keys inside to the old man.

"You boys have fun?" Asked grandpa with a grin. Sam made a face.

"Any luck...?" But he didn't sound hopeful anymore.

Sam shook his head and sighed. "We should have staked him grandpa.. When we had the chance." He muttered.

The old man frowned and watched Sam climb the stairs, his eyes twinkling in the fading daylight. He for one.. Didn't think that Michael was the one who killed Sam's dog.. And he had a good mind to force Lucy to take those two boys and get as far from Santa Carla as they could. Should have done it long ago..
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