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Secrets, Spies, and Lies
August 5, 2012
Rhiley always thought there was something mysterious about her brother's death. Even her parents, who usually believe her, told here that it was just her way of coping with his death. And she was beginning to believe them. They had found the body, and buried it, obvious proof that he was gone. Maybe he was gone, but maybe he was on to something.
One thing kept her from believing her parents completely: the message.
He left it in his room the day he left. Rhiley was the first to find it. It was a code, bunches of numbers divided by hyphens, commas, and a single '+'. It read:
Gibberish, Rhiley thought to herself as she looked at the note for the another time. "What does it mean?" she thought aloud to herself. She put the note back in the drawer by her bedside.
After thinking awhile longer, she left her room and headed out back to find her younger siblings, minus Visola, playing hide-and-explode. Visola, on the other hand, was practicing her expert archery, even though she was probably the best archer in the world already.
Rhiley watched her brothers and sisters play and practice while she thought some more.
Its been over four years, wouldn't I have found something already? I've looked everywhere, but I feel like there's something I missed.....I've looked through the entire house, looked through ever book in the library, the treehouse, and even the animal dens, but why haven't I given up?!, she thought for what seemed like hours. She had looked everywhere, all the books from her family's past she had looked through...There was nothing in the treehouse except the books from their childhood, but her instincts almost never failed her before, almost.
I could have missed something in the animal dens...., She thought. And maybe she did, the animal dens were huge.
They didn't own a zoo, each child had their own animal. It wasn't a pet, but a friend for life. Visola had her giant eel-hound, Li had an armadillo lion, and Shinou had his own komodo rhino. Even Ming had a rabaroo.
Rhiley got up from her spot on the steps and decided to investigate the animal dens again, and this time, she would look at every detail she saw.
She found nothing. Rhiley had looked in every nook and cranny in every animal's den. She was frustrated. Frustrated with herself for not finding anything, and frustrated with her brother. Why did he make this so hard?! Who else wants this message that he needed to hide this so cleverly? Rhiley thought about the topic for the hundredth time while she made dinner. Maybe I'm not the one who's supposed to find it...But we were so close, he would want me to finish what he started, whatever it was that he had caught on to. Is it too dangerous? Does he not want me to get hurt? Come on, he knows I almost never get hurt! What if he never wanted anyone to find it? But, then why would he leave a code? No one came and asked to see anything of his or look through his room....
She continued to think about it until dinner was ready and V had set the table.
"When are mom and dad coming home?" Ming asked eagerly.
"We don't know, they said at least one more week, but I'm sure they'll write. Maybe they'll be home sooner than expected!" Visola replied. She always knew how to make something sound better than it was.
Ming smiled and dived into her food.
Soon, everyone was done with dinner. Ming was tired and went to bed early, and it was Shinou's turn to do the dishes. Li and V left to play a game or two of Pai Sho.
Rhiley felt she needed to clear her mind of the thought of her brother, the code, and anything else related to it. She went downstairs to the library. Her grandfather had written most of the books here. Rhiley picked up the book she was currently reading, one on Wan Shi Tong's buried library. She soon forgot about her brother entirely, for the rest of the night.
Rhiley woke the next morning. She looked around the room, and her eyes fell on a lamp. I could have sworn I turned that off. Yeah, I did turn that off!
She turned the lamp off. That's so strange...Maybe V or one of the others turned it on...But why?
She dressed and walked out to see Visola making breakfast.
"Hey, did you go into my room last night and forget to turn the light out?" Rhiley asked.
"Uh, no. Maybe one of the others did, or you just forgot," Visola reassured.
When the others awoke, Rhiley and Visola asked if they had turned the lamp on, but none of them did.
"I'm sure you did, but just forgot. You don't think someone would just walk into our house to just turn on a lamp, do you?" Li asked.
Rhiley let the question go, "You're right, I probably did." Yet, she was so sure she turned it off. I don't know...I turned it off, I'm sure...But no one could walk into our house, no, no one could walk into my room and go unnoticed. No one except....Shu. But he was gone, its not possible...
Or was it?
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