Michael crouches low as he sprints across the slippery prison roof, darting from cover to cover, trying to avoid detection. He counts his steps, measuring the distance from the last old brick chimney- thirteen, fourteen, fifteen steps. He stops and drops to his stomach. A light from the guard tower sweeps just inches above him and he pushes himself further into the roof tiles, trying to be invisible. He places his ear against the roof's surface and listens intently for a break in the fireworks exploding around the grounds. A moment of silence confirms that he is in the right location. With one quick look to ensure he will not be seen, he rises to his knees and begins ripping at the tiles with his bare hands.
'What can you see, Link?' Michael calls in his high pitched eight year old voice.
'Nothing, its too dark. Hand me the torch.' Link replies, his voice already deepened at fourteen years old, muffled by the dirt walls that surround them.
Michael crawls further into their little tunnel and reaches forward past Links' legs to pass him the torch.
'I can't reach it, Michael.' Link calls back to him. 'You have to move up.'
'Link, I don't think we should be in here. Let's go back.' Michael starts backing up in the cramped space.
'No way. Don't you want to see where it goes?' Link refuses to back up too. 'Don't be scared, I won't let anything happen to you.'
'Promise?' Michael asks, still unsure.
'Have a little faith, Michael. I'm sure this tunnel goes somewhere cool. Maybe we'll find some treasure hidden at the end and then we won't have to stay in that house anymore.' He says with enthusiasm.
'Cool.' Michael says, smiling easily lead by his brother.
Pass me the flashlight so I can see the treasure, Michael.' Link orders. Despite being scared in the cramped darkness, Michael crawls forward and jams himself up against Links legs so he can pass the flashlight to his big brother.
'Almost got it. Just a little further, Michael.' Link coaxes Michael, while stretching as far back as he can. His fingertips touch the end of the bright flashlight, casting shadows onto the walls of the dark mud walls. Michael crawls on top of Link's legs and pushes himself up against the roof; trying to get past his bigger brothers' lower body. The roof of the tunnel starts to disintegrate and dirt falls gently on Michaels' head.
'Link.' He calls out, realising he's trapped. Panic sets in. 'Link, Link! I'm stuck. Help!' He cries.
'Its okay, keep still.' Link orders trying to wriggle forward to free his little brother. Finally, he frees himself and crawls forward a few feet to give Michael some space to breathe.
'Are you okay?' He calls back, hearing Michael sobbing in the tunnel behind him. Michael swipes away his tears and is about the reply when dirt from the roof of the tunnel starts to fall in front of him like rain. He sees Link disappearing behind the dirt as it starts to fall faster and tries to go forward towards his big brother, but as soon as the falling dirt hits his little head he panics again and backs up.
Suddenly the dirt roof collapses in, cutting him off from Link completely.
'Link, Link!' He screams, dirt and dust choking him. The tunnel starts to fall down around him as he scampers back as fast as he can. Within seconds he is outside the tunnel, watching the ground above fall in on itself, forming a channel in the surface of the little hillside. Michael picks himself up and runs to the top of the hill. He drops to the ground with his ear pressed firmly to the dirt. He hears what he is listening for and starts to desperately dig with his bare hands, shredding his skin against the tough soil and rocks, all the while crying out his brother's name.
Out of the darkness, Link's hand appears, suddenly bringing Michael back to the present, all thoughts of that day in the quarry and the terror it held for him forgotten. Without hesitation Michael reaches out and takes his brother's hand in his, pulling him free from the shadows for the second time in their lives.