The Mysterious Adventures of Zack and Luke. By Michael Leclair.

Chapter 0; Introduction; W1D1, Tuesday; "The funny beginning."

W1D1; Tuesday afternoon, "The funny beginning."

"The only thing I had kept was a torn image of you."

Introduction by Snow Gotttlieb

There was a time when the world was normal, common and boring, then after children are born and become potty trained, things became boring, common and unexciting again, but when kids are actually encouraged to interact with their surroundings, life can rapidly become… "Interesting."

This story is about best friends that have been friends since, surely long before I knew them… I guess that isn't that much time, because... since... But you know, friends that last more than a few weeks should be very treasured indeed because most of us will probably never be able to maintain such a thing as a loving, trusting, safe, pleasant and peaceful companionship.

Well anyways, this particular story started like this, while we played chess in our bedroom, Noah looked out the window to watch our neighbor Luke kneel down to look at something in the backyard, and soon she become nervous with excitement, I brushed it off because she always tends to become excited about everything, but after I walked with her out of the kitchen, I found out why Noah was nervous… I was too.

'It looks like an oil puddle but…' Luke thought as he kneeled down on the back lawn to study the strange, colorful thing that was laying on the grass, 'It's just laying there, should I touch it?'

"Hey," Snow shouted to Luke from the back door, then he walked down the stairs with Noah and added, "Hmm, Something odd, eh?"

"Huh," Luke looked at Snow, "it's nothing really, just an oil stain." then he touched the smooth surface of the strange and colorful object, and was so surprised at how solid and clean it felt that he quietly added, "Or something…"

'Maybe it's just stained glass?' Luke thought as he started to pick it up and became even more surprised when he watched the colors change into cloudy shadows.

'Or something…' He skeptically thought about what it was as he remembered that Zack tried to explain something about strange things that he kept seeing between window panes, then mumbled, "Lights just coming through this filthy piece of glass, maybe?"

Snow laughed, "And the odd thing about picking up a puddle is that…"

"It doesn't run off?" Snow's sister, Noah cut in as her soft, furry skin brushed against Snow's boots.

Luke stared at the strange object and thought out loud, "Puddle..?" then he yawned and told Snow, "Maybe it's just a candy wrapper... You know, I thought Zack might be interested, but, maybe it's just stupid."

Snow pursed his lips as Luke continued to explain, "He's been taking pictures of things he sees in the mirrors, "They aren't just reflections" he says, but he actually hears them talk and stuff."

Luke stood up, sighed and told Snow, "I know it sounds out of this world, and, he's really childish at times, but," then he started to smile as he held out the color changing object, and asked, "but it also sounds really, really cool, and I thought he might really like something like this."

"So," Snow walked closer to Luke and asked, "what is that?" then he looked closely at the colorful glass in Luke's hands and said, "It's like, moving right?"

"What do you mean?" Luke asked Snow as he held the object up to see that the clouds had indeed changed shape again.

Noah tugged on Snow's hand, then he looked down and asked her, "What is it Noah?"

"I think I might have left that down there." Noah whispered.

Snow made a funny face, then sighed and quietly told Noah, "Oh well, we're both pretty clumsy eh?"

'Noah left it? Is it hers?' Luke wondered as he watched the colors in the glassy object swirl around like a storm and morph into distinct shapes with features, then he said, "It's not just swirling like oil though… There's like figures and stuff."

"They aren't just our reflections?" Snow asked sarcastically as he picked Noah up, then stared at Luke with concern.

Luke blinked surreally at Snow and Noah for a moment, then looked at the small, thin, colorful object and slowly tried to convince himself, 'It's just a strange piece of trash...?' then told Snow, "No, this is like what Zack was telling me... Strange reflections..."

A tear fell from Snow's eye, then he turned around, walked toward the house and mumbled, "They became entranced by the mysteries... And lost their way back home."

Snow sat down on the stairs and looked at Noah, "They had just found our way home and, and I don't wish that on anybody." then watched Luke walk around as he looked at the reflections with his new glass, caught his eye, smiled and whispered, "Especially not you,"

'I guess she still is crazy…' Luke thought as he watched Snow wrap his arms tightly around a squirming Noah.

"You know?" Snow started, "I'm sure Zack will love it, and I should know because you two are like my little brothers."

Luke laughed, then looked at Noah who was even smaller than Zack's baby brother, Joey and said, "Yeah?" then he wiped some dirt off of the object and found out that it was somewhat flexible, so he wondered, 'Plexiglas?'

"You know," Luke started to tell Noah and Snow as he leaned against the house and admitted, "he's been taking pictures, trying to get me to believe him, but I thought they were just too weird, things he sees in mirrors and, I mean he swears they aren't just funny things to post online."

When Luke put the strange object to his ear to listen for any strange sounds, Snow stared at him and exclaimed, "You mean, Zack's been showing you those things and you wouldn't believe it?" then he grunted and told Luke, "You didn't make fun of it, I hope!"

"No, of course not," Luke answered, "but I only humored him." then he held the object with both hands, smiled and told Snow, "You know, he actually hears them talk and stuff, like in the movies, with magic!" He looked back at the glass and added, "But, I thought it was at most, you know, like a science experiment or something."

'If Noah dropped it…' Luke thought as he tried to hand Snow the object and asked, "So, do you hear anything? Or can you tell me what it is?"

"Hmm..." Snow looked unsure what to say, "I figure it's Mylar or something," then he explained, "you know candy wrappers are sometimes in two parts and they get water trapped in the middle making lots of funny stuff, right?" Snow laughed strangely, then stopped as Noah glared at him.

"Oh, I thought…" Luke started to think outloud, 'You guys left it here… For me?' then he started to explain, "Well, anyways. Zack comes home with these wild stories about you, an' I thought..." then he scratched his ear, smiled slightly his thanks, walked to his back door, sighed and told himself, "It's just a corroded mirror, but I still think to Zack, it'll be cool."

"I hope so," Snow told Luke as Snow and Noah's mom, Kaitlin opened her inside kitchen door and waved to Luke as he told him, "Well… Then I better keep a lookout for any other mysterious things, eh."

"Okay, thank you, see you later then." Luke waved to Snow, Noah and Kaitlin as he opened his own back door.

"See you later!" Noah shouted to Luke as he walked inside and listened carefully as she told Snow, "You know, if he's looking into mirrors, it'll be such a waste not to know who I really am."

Luke opened the window a crack so he could listen closely to Snow and Noah because, 'They obviously know what is going on…'

Snow hopped off of the stairs to walk to the apple tree and mumbled, "How long until..." then he glanced at Luke's side of the duplex and asked Noah, "Did you ever forget what home looked like?"

"What?" Noah asked, then she smiled and moved her body in jerks like a puppet for a moment, then laughed and answered Snow, "Don't you worry hunny, they have each other."

That was how things started that for Luke, when leaves are starting to fall, Halloween seems just around the corner, and strange, somewhat spooky things are certain to happen.