Disclaimer: I don't own the Albino Alligator universe, and I don't intend to make any money off of it.

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They found Milo in the hallway. "Can they see you now? Can the kid see you?" Dova asked.

"He can't right now. We could still leave."

"Hey, it's gonna be alright."

"No, it isn't!" Milo stopped and took a deep breath, visibly struggling to calm down. When he continued, he voice was quiet and even, and if you weren't listening for it, it would have been easy to miss the undercurrent of fear. "We can come and go here now, but if we stay it's going to get bad. The way I got in- there's a price. I don't know what it is, but I know we don't want it. I don't want it."

"What are you talking about? All you did was talk to the kid. Got him to invite us in or something. You didn't hurt him or even scare him. What could be so horrible about that?"

Milo shook his head, but didn't say anything. His eyes were on the floor. Dova stared at him in consternation for a moment, then took his arm and led him into the first room he came to, which looked like a playroom. As they went, Dova cast a meaningful look back at Law. Stay there.

Once they were alone, Dova turned to Milo and saw that he was looking around the room nervously.

"Listen to me, Milo. I wouldn't lie to you. You know that?"


"Good. What you're feeling isn't real. 'Cause of… because of the way you died. I'm so sorry about that. You believe me, right?"

"Yeah, of course." Milo managed a slight smile. "Wasn't your fault."

Dova gave him a grateful look and clapped a hand on his shoulder. "Just try to keep it together, okay? I've got everything under control."

"You usually do." Milo's voice held just the barest hint of sarcasm. Then, before Dova could reply, "Better check on Law, then."

Law wasn't in the hall. After some searching, they found him in the basement. The basement was unfinished, with bare concrete floors and piles of labeled boxes in the corners. Two small windows just above ground level gave it a weak natural light. Law was standing in the center of the large, open room, looking around. He turned at the sound of their footsteps on the stairs, an easy grin on his face. In this light, the effect was rather like the grin of a black mastiff that comes wandering out from behind a bush as you're hiking through the woods by yourself.

"Reckon we could stay here. Beats the hell out of sleeping in that old truck."

"Happy with the basement, huh? Sure you don't want to go claim their bed?" Milo asked scathingly.

Law's eyes flashed angrily, and before Dova realized what was happening he was across the room and had knocked Milo down. Dova started towards them to break it up-

And then everything disappeared. The world went black, then started to flash red and white. A high, insectile whine filled his ears, drilled into his head, drove him to the ground. It was indescribable. It was hell. What else could it be? They had been here all along, god, they would be here forever. He began to scream, and couldn't hear himself over that hideous whine.

Days later, Dova found himself lying on the floor of somebody else's basement. He didn't move. There was silence for the moment, and he had never been more scared. When it started again, it would be unbearable.

"Still wanna head toward the light?"

Dova steeled himself and fearfully opened his eyes. It looked okay, now. Dova had always been the level-headed one, he'd had to be. So, minutes after the most nightmarish experience he had ever endured, he carefully sat up and figured out who was speaking.

It was Law, of course. Only made sense that Law would be here in hell, too. "What just happened?"

Law didn't reply. He was pacing, and from where Dova sat on the dusty floor he couldn't tell if Law was muttering to himself or just growling. The air was crackling around him, almost sparkling. An old and ugly glass vase flew across the basement and shattered against the cinderblock wall. Dova jumped, but Law didn't even glance towards it. A folding table fell over with a crash.

"Law, stop it!" Dova yelled as a holiday popcorn tin clattered across the floor. From the shadows, Milo watched silently. Just then the door at the top of the stairs opened. The woman who lived here came rushing down, clutching a broom.

"Damn raccoons! Git! Go on, git!"

Law cast a single, furious look at her, and a pair of boots took flight. One hit her square in the face, and she screamed and stumbled on the stairs.

"Goddamnit, Law, you stop!" Dova headed toward his sociopathic friend, having no idea what he meant to do.

Shrieking, the woman half-ran, half-crawled up the stairs and slammed the door behind herself. There was an audible clack as she locked it.

For a moment, all was silent and still. Then Dova said, "What the fuck, Law? Why would you do that?"

"I don't know. She shoulda stayed upstairs. She called me a raccoon. Come on, what's the big deal?"

"Might as well try to explain algebra to dog. He ain't capable of understanding why you don't throw a fucking boot at a woman", Milo said.

"Be quiet", Dova said reflexively. He ran a hand through his hair. "Can you control that? I mean, can you always throw things? Without touching them?"

"I don't know." Law hesitated, then admitted, "No. Not yet, anyway."

"Well, just leave the woman alone. And the kid."

"I ain't gonna hurt the kid", Law said sulkily. "Christ, what kind of sicko you think I am?"