Jun. 29th, 2014

Kids saw so much more than grown ups thought they did, Faye knew that. Faye had known this for years.

Like the woman who lived on the corner called Mrs Wishhart who tried to entice Roe and Faye over with cakes then grabbed Roe's hair and started screaming horrible things about her. Faye had seen that or something like it coming for weeks. Mrs Wishhart was weird, the kind of weird adult that kids had to avoid. Faye didn't know why she was like that, though. That was the problem. Faye knew there were secrets, but she didn't know what they were.

Like when she lived with her birth parents, she could always tell when her Dad had started using drugs again. She didn't know what to do about it, though. How to stop it, or what to tell her mother, who seemed to know but not care that much. She knew what to do now, of course. She has a social worker, and they all had a family counselor they saw twice a month, and she had Nonnie and Dom. But none of those things had helped her the first time it happened. That was the problem with being a kid, you had to suffer and blunder through the times where you knew absolutely nothing in order to learn anything.

Like right now. Faye did not know what was happening between Cai and Nonnie right now but she knew she wasn't supposed to be seeing it. She just knew it was big and bad.

They were just outside Dom's shed, and Cai was covered in sawdust as usual. Faye was watching from the kitchen window that looked out over the back yard; she'd stepped up to the sink to get a drink of water and looked out and seen them. Seen Cai step sharply backwards from Nonnie, his face distraught.

Distraught, shocked, angry; Cai burst into tears.

She'd never seen Cai cry before. Faye stared from the kitchen window, looking out at her foster family like she didn't recognise either one of them.
Over the last few days at Zoe’s house, Rachel had felt her brain and her body settle in an unfamiliar way. Despite Zoe’s house being legitimately haunted, the sense that Rachel always had to watch her back had… gone. She wasn’t aware that this was the particular thing that had changed, but she certainly felt its effects. She didn’t flinch if she left any mess around the house (although she tried not to) and she wasn’t worried about seeing something she shouldn’t if she went for a walk at midnight.

There was Danny to worry about, but, Zoe seemed on top of that. They’d had planning meetings and there were superpowered people things (Rachel didn’t want to think too hard about them just now, though) watching his house and looking after him, plus the police. Greg seemed like such a distant threat.

Even Indigo and Imogene seemed like a distant threat. Zoe was protecting her there, too.

... )
Across the city, in the bushes under Zoe’s window, Rachel’s old phone lit up.

It lit up as if stubbornly defying Rachel’s belief that she wasn’t due any miracles. Despite its fall, and despite lying forgotten on the ground for two days (Zoe had not reminded her to pick it up – her mind was elsewhere), it was not completely dead. Quite miraculously, it was not dead.

The battery was at the end of its life, though; a thin, thin stripe of red represented its last gasp. The screen was cracked beyond saving, but the mechanisms were okay.

It lit up, silently, as someone tried to call.

... )
Zoe was in her room, yes, but there was no way she would have been able to notice the phone, even if it was in her room, unharmed and whole. Zoe was too busy, too far away.

Her body seizing on her floor.

... )
Rachel’s dad, who was not Rachel’s dad at all, drove her back to her old house. This seemed like a normal enough place to have a conversation about the future, and Rachel wasn’t worried until she and her father had passed the main gate and were on the path, when she looked up and saw her father, sitting at the kitchen table.

She balked, because her father was behind her? Rachel spun, and found she was right. He was behind her. And in the window? Her mind faltered. This did not feel like a normal hallucination, and yet?

... )
Cai needed a moment, leaning against his bedroom door like he could keep the rest of the world out. It was safe in his bedroom, comforting, familiar. It wasn’t Dom on the floor of the living room. It wasn’t Nonnie in a rain coat bent over his body.

Cai doubled over, close to throwing up again and only fighting it back because he’d promised Zoe he’d get to Rachel. He managed to keep it inside, but he did burst into tears again; they were too close to the surface to fight. Dom… Dom… Jesus Christ this couldn’t be happening.

... )
For as long as she could remember, Indigo had known as much as she needed to about her family.

When she was very little, she lived with a big group of them, a few other cousins older than she was, a few aunts and uncles who were also cousins. It was one of them – it must have been one of them who told her that her parents were cousins, and two of her grandparents were half-brother and sister. She’d known that, and known that it was a shameful secret, for as long as she could remember.

... )


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Darker London

October 2014

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