Hope you like this. Just to be clear, totally missing that first through second season cast… a lot.
Chapter One – Echoes
"The city breathing,
The people churning,
– The Rapture
This was fair. Breaking and entering was the crime that she had been charged with and that was exactly what she had done. Nora yawned, stretching her arms above her head. She tied her wavy brown hair up into a messy bun, 'no need to impress anyone' her light brown eyes distractedly scanned the viaduct below. From her perch at the edge of the roof on top of the community centre building she could see that the estate had gone from being completely dead to operating at its usual dull buzz.
She wasn't meant to be there until 8 a.m. but she had managed to arrive an hour earlier, luckily the building had been easy enough to get into. After the weeks of arguing and crying Nora had become an expert at avoiding her mum. At times the passive aggression was still too much to bare, hence the early morning departure from the flat. She had some books to read and music to listen to in any case, so it wasn't too much of a big deal.
It wasn't hard for Nora to understand why her mum was so distraught. She was meant to be the good child.
Just 'cause she didn't like doing what her little sister did, just 'cause she was quiet, 'cause she used to make her mother feel better, just 'cause according to her mum and her aunts she was prone to seeing too much of the best in people…
Nora knew that all of that made her seem like the good, naïve middle child. But all it really meant was that she just not like her sister or even like her older brother... that chaffed skin under the ankle bracelet that they had snapped around her left leg was an example of that. It was a gaudy thing, easy enough to forget… it wasn't as though she had a life that would make her break her curfew, but it was a bit of a shock to stop thinking about it then look down suddenly remember that it was there.
Her light brown gaze dropped at the sound of a metal door slamming shut below her, she saw three orange dots leaving the community centre, she quickly pulled her phone out of her bag to check the time "Crap!" she jolted up, shoving the book she had been reading and her phone back into her bag as she stood up 'How is it 8:20 all of a sudden?'
She ran down to the info desk by the change rooms and entrance just as a boy in a green cap and a blonde haired girl, both in orange jumpsuits, walked out of building as well. Nora opened her mouth to ask them to wait when a deep voice spoke up behind her.
"Are you my seventh?" she turned to see a very tired looking middle-aged black man.
"Pardon?" Nora asked.
"I'm the probation worker for the community service here…" he went on.
She nodded "I'm Nora." She thought about sticking out her hand for a shake, but he was already moving on.
"Tony" he introduced himself "and you're late." He sighed, walking past her to the front entrance. "Lockers and uniforms in there" he nodded at the change room, "I've locked the front door, so just hurry up, make sure to shut it properly and meet us by the benches at the water."
"O- ok…" Nora said just as he finished propping the door open. She rushed to get ready, picking out the least grimy of the jumpsuits and lockers that she could from what was left over by the others. Outside she heard the sound of angry thrashing and swearing.
"Shit… my cap…" was all that she could really make out and by the time she had gotten to the hall whoever it had been was gone. She guessed it had been the guy with the hat from before and she figured that his being in the building was nothing to worry about.
She looked away from her path to make sure the lock clicked, as she turned to race out of the door the back of Tony's large form suddenly appeared before her. "AH!" she dodged him with a sidestep, her relief was short-lived though as she crashed, hard, into another form and felt herself fly, fall and fill with a white strike of hot light.
"What the fuck!"
"We should be dead." Some boy with a shaky manner next to her commented.
"Maybe we are… Oh! Look! An angel!" an amused voice rumbled from under her. Nora gasped out a breath, she hadn't realized that her eyes had closed at the shock of whatever it was that had happened. She blinked now seeing orange and red under her body, she craned her head up to see a skinny boy laying back on the pavement propped up on his elbows with a dark mop of curly hair and a cheap grin "'Ello love" he spoke in a cheesy put-on voice, wriggling his thick eyebrows.
The guy shifted his focus back over Nora's head "A little reassurance would be nice, you know." He spoke in what was clearly his natural Irish accent as he offered suggestions "You're fine! Looking good!" His bluish green gaze returned to her face "Some people!" His tone was exasperated, but the smile on his face showed that he was obviously joking "I mean manners, am I right?"
Nora, who had been held in a stunned state up until that point, suddenly realized how she had landed… that her fingers were spanned across his bare neck, that she was still pressed up against and splayed between the legs of this random boy. She jerked up and pushed herself off the top of the guy.
"Ah! Gentle, gentle…" he groaned. She didn't know whether it was because of her weight shifting or the fact that they'd all just apparently been struck by lightning or perhaps because she sort of kneed him. "No need to ruin it for the rest of the ladies of the world…"
"S- sor…" her apology was drowned out by a quiet but clear statement.
"Wanker," she heard Tony mumble from behind her as she stood up on wobbly legs.
"Did he just call me a wanker?" Irish boy asked, glaring around at the four others still lying on the ground next to him… there was what had to have been the pale nervous boy who had talked about death, an impeccably accessorized girl, a familiar looking athletic black guy and the blonde girl from before.
In her survey of the area Nora also took in that there was snow and chucks of hail on the concrete 'Weird…' she tried but couldn't recall any signs of freak chances of snow being in the weather forecast. She turned head up to squint at the consistently grey sky 'Nothing out of the ordinary…' she thought of the shock of what had just happened 'well not really…'
"Oi!" fingers snapped in front of her eyes, drawing her attention back to the Irish boy, who was now standing a total head taller than her as well "A bit daft aren't we darlin'?" his grin turned into wince as the blonde girl whacked the back of his head "Ow!" he spun to scowl at the tough looking girl.
"Don' be such a dick 'ed."
"All right, all right I get it…" he backed away following the others into the community centre, raising his fist in a sign of solidarity "Sisterhood shit…"
The blonde girl shook her head and rolled her blue eyes, made even bluer by the fact that they were thickly outlined with black eyeliner. As the two girls began walking back inside and into the changing rooms the blonde girl introduced herself with a huff "I'm Kelly."
"Um, I'm Nora…"
"Nice tah meet ya" Kelly replied as she proceeded to change her clothes. Apparently the probation worker had decided to call it a day while Nora had been having her little interval staring up at the sky.
Now Nora was fully dressed but she had become distracted watching Kelly comb her hair back, it made her own scalp burn to think of how tightly the nice blonde girl was pulling back her hair. Nora wasn't the only one, the other shorter girl who had irritably introduced herself as Alisha was watching Kelly as well.
"Wot did ya say?" Kelly suddenly barked at Alisha.
"Nothing." Alisha replied looking taken aback. Kelly then turned to look accusingly at Nora, who shook head in silent uncertainty.
Kelly let whatever it was go for a minute before "Wot?" she asked, moving threateningly towards Alisha again.
"I didn't say anything," Alisha slammed her locker shut and rushed out of the room.
"She really didn't say anything," Nora felt compelled to add with a well-intentioned shrug. Kelly looked even more confused than Nora felt. "Come on lets go, it's been a balls mad day…" Nora went on.
Kelly nodded slowly, they heard the Irish boy shout "…Wa- Wanker!" from outside.
"Wha' a knob" Kelly scoffed as they exited the change room to see a now empty hallway and the front door of the community centre closing behind the others.
Once they were outside again Nora said goodbye to Kelly, telling her that she had to go in a different than her direction to get home. But really Nora just didn't want to get home too early before her mum left for her nursing shift at the hospital, so she hung around the community centre.
"Ow!" Nora had been reading and napping on a bench for the past two hours, taking advantage of the rarely present sun, but a sudden bolt of pain in her chest made her sit up. The pain moved from her chest and became a pit of despair in her stomach. It still hurt in a way though… with a sudden gasp she felt herself being pulled in the direction of the flyover that was close by the community centre. Her hands lifted up her shirt as she walked, just to check 'not hurt…'
As she approached the bridge the pain lessened, from the sidewalk she looked over the edge of the empty flyover as she crossed it. 'What the hell?' Nora rubbed her belly, checking again, the pain was gone. There was whistling coming from under the flyover now, a few seconds later the Irish boy's bobbing, curly haired head appeared. He clambered up the path under the bridge towards the community centre, with a knapsack on his back and bags in hand, whistling happily as he went. She was about to call out to him, when she felt her phone vibrating in her bag.
"Rosie?" Nora answered her phone, looking away from the boy and down at the water rushing past as she leaned over the banister of the overpass "I'll be home soon… Is Granny Keira still asleep? What did she say? Ok what kinds of lollies do you want?" Nora smiled at the laundry list the four year old gave her, the little girl was only meant to use the phone for emergencies, but it seemed more often than not the emergencies involved a shortage of candy. "All right, I'll be there soon. You let Granma sleep now, she's gotta go work… Love you too."
Nora sighed, happy in that moment. With a glance over her shoulder at the Irish boy's shrinking form in the distance nearby the community centre, Nora decided to leave his weird reappearance alone.
'Good whistler… could hear him over the water…' Nora mused as she began her walk home.
Her mum was rushing out the door just as Nora arrived at their three bedroom flat. "Rosie'll be needing a bath…" she had muttered out quickly as she brushed by Nora, who resisted hugging the older woman in a passing farewell.
The four year had squealed when Nora had handed her the gummy candies after dinner.
Rosie was a beautiful, sweet little ball of energy... perhaps a little bit too energetic at times. She had inherited her light brown skin colour from her black father, she had gotten his big curly hair as well, although it was much lighter than his had been. Her appearance was not important to the family but publically it caused problems, as people seemed to second guess or question the family's relationship to Rosie, which annoyed Nora and her mother to no end.
The two had played with dolls for a while, watched a Dora the Explorer DVD and when Rosie had started crashing from her sugar high Nora had eased the little girl into the bathtub.
Rosie had become one for showing everyone that she could do things for herself, as she changed for bed and rambled on about her time at the park earlier that day. Nora listened, her light brown eyes travelling around the walls of the girl's room. It was dimly lit by these reddish fairy lights that Nora and her mum had put up when Rosie said that she was afraid of the dark. It was the smallest room in the flat but there were trinkets and drawings on the walls that made Nora love this cosy room more any other.
Her smile widened when her gaze reached a month old nametag stuck to the wall over the little girl's bed it read "Saoirse (Ser-sha)". Nora had called Rosie a clever girl for that. People were always mispronouncing Rosie's real name, which would always make the four year old so angry. And that reaction was so cute that Nora teased the little girl by purposely calling her Rosie, eventually everyone in the family started doing the same thing and the nickname stuck. When Nora had called the little girl clever for clarifying her name, Rosie had corrected her and said that her Granma Keira had added that pronouncing part to the name tag.
"Done" Rosie announced with a yawn.
"All right Rosie Posey, time for bed."
"Aw…" she pouted but got into her bed anyway.
Nora chuckled, "Good night little bug" pressing a kiss to the girl's forehead and tucking her in "Love you."
"Love you too Aunty Noni" the girl yawned again her hazel eyes fluttering closed. Nora left Rosie's door open a crack, making sure the hall way light could get in before walking to the bathroom to shower.
Nora turned on her bedside lamp as she changed into her pajamas after her shower. She yawned, tired now herself. As she crawled into bed she felt fine, when she turned off her lamp she felt fine, it wasn't until she lay back and closed her eyes that she felt her heart start to race… what had happened today hit her like a train. 'I was struck by lightning…' she blindly clutched her chest, as she calmed down she mumbled a soft "Holy hell…" against her pillow before finally drifting off to sleep.
Please let me know what you think so far.