The sound of Truth- pt. 2- Fight or Flight

The sound of Truth- pt. 2- Fight or Flight

A Story by emily
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The second installment of "The Sound of Truth"

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      ***

                “I can fly, did you know that? It’s my superpower.” Noah’s voice sounded weak today but he tried to sound enthused.

Marianne sampled her homemade chilli and reached for the small bowl of chopped peppers, “you can can you?” She dumped in a quarter cup and stirred them into the mix.

“Do you believe me?” He asked moving to stand directly beside her; he was wearing his cape again.

She glanced down at him and tried to keep the pinched expression from her face. His skin looked pasty and sallow, his eyes sunken and heavy with exhaustion and he stood slightly bent, trying to ease the pain in his abdomen or back- whichever was worse today.

“Are you feeling okay honey?” She asked ignoring his question. He opened his mouth to speak then decided against it. “Do you need any of your pills?’

Noah instantly straightened himself out, “No, no pills please mommy.  I’m okay.”

 

Marianne frowned, he hated taking his pain medication because it made him sleep and sleep meant wasting a day that could be spent playing- the odd time he had the energy to. She knew he could probably use it right now but she wasn’t going to force him to take it.

“Are you sure? Maybe you should rest for the rest of the day.”

His eyes widened, pleading. “I want to go to the park with Nora though mom. I want to show her my superpower.”

 

Nora came around the corner with her school bag still hanging over one shoulder and padded her way to the stove where she inhaled the steam rising from the bubbling chilli, “Mmm. Smells delish.”

“Good because that’s what we’re having for supper.”

She dropped her bag by the kitchen table and turned to her brother, “You feeling alright little bro?”

Noah tightened his cape, “I have a new superpower Nora.”

“Oh yeah?” She pulled out a kitchen chair and flopped into it.

“I can fly.”

“Wow!”

“Mom doesn’t believe me.” He said disappointed.

Nora leaned in close to him, “that’s because mom lost her superpower a long time ago.”

Noah looked to Marianne amazed, “you had a superpower mom?”

“She did. And you’d never guess what it was.”

“What?” Noah asked eagerly. Marianne looked over her shoulder unamused as she stirred the chilli.

“A sense of humour. You’d never believe it now, but at one time mom was actually fun. Crazy eh?”

Noah giggled and Marianne shook her head, “I still know how to have fun.” This time Nora laughed. She rubbed Noah’s head playfully before wandering back over to the stove.

 

“Did you put lots of mushrooms in it?”

“Nora.” She said under her breath, “I don’t want you encouraging this superhero fantasy.”

Nora snorted, “Why not?”

“Because, what if he truly believes he can fly, then what?”

Nora put her arm around Marianne’s shoulder, “Then he would be happy for a small moment of his life. And that would be worth it all.” She smiled curtly, “Don’t you think?”

“He could get hurt Nora.”

 

Nora smiled at her mother over her shoulder and went back over to Noah, “I promised Noah we could go to the park. Is that okay with you, oh humourless one?”

“I’m serious about what I said Nora. Don’t.”

Nora looked offended, “Oh relax already. You honestly don’t think I will protect him?” She shook her head and walked toward the door with Noah following behind.

“Your father will be home soon, dinner is in an hour.” She called defeated as the door slammed closed.

 

Marianne wasn’t worried about Nora’s ability to protect Noah, she very well knew she was fully capable, but it was the ways in which she protected him that worried her. She remembered getting a phone call three weeks ago from the kids’ principal. Nora always waited outside her brother’s grade one class at lunch time after he became ill and kicked around a soccer ball with him. Soccer was Noah’s favourite sport and playing it- even just taking shots at the net while his sister played goal- distracted him from his pain, made him happy and that, in turn, made Nora happy. She ignored her friends after they refused to include Noah and soon her only friend became her brother.

 

When the principal called, Marianne had thought Noah was throwing up again and needed to be picked up but what he had told her came as a complete shock.

 

“Fighting?” She had asked incredulously. “Are you sure?”

Mr. Mayler, the principal had confirmed. “She attacked one of her classmates, Jake Prolick, outside during lunch hour. When two other students went to break up the fight she turned on them too.”

“Oh my God. Nora?” She said dazed, more to herself. She had never known her daughter to be violent. She was strong willed, yes, but never violent.

“I’m sorry Mrs. Young; I’m going to have to suspend her. Three days.”

Her senses came back to her then, “Three days? Mr. Mayler, certainly there is something else-“

“I’m sorry but I’ve been informed that Nora has been bullying these students for a few weeks now. There is nothing I can do.”

 

Marianne had interrogated Nora when she picked her up from school but her daughter only sat slouched in the passenger seat scowling. Marianne then had to resort to lectures about ‘violence not being the answer’ and ‘walking away is the best solution’ and ‘catching more bees with honey than with vinegar.’ She never did find out the whole story and after a week of grounding it seemed like Nora had forgotten about the whole thing.

 

      ***

 

When Nora and Noah stepped onto the empty S.W Public School soccer field she was instantly reminded of her fight with Jake Prolick and his annoying group of followers three weeks ago.

 

 People in Nora’s school either loved or hated her, she was blatantly honest about everything and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind to anyone who challenged her. She was a fairly athletic child and had played on a few school teams- before Noah had gotten ill- which had, for a time, made a lot of people want to be around her. When Noah was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer she stopped playing those sports and thus lost a lot of those ‘friends’ which she had never really liked anyway.

 

Nora spent her lunch breaks with her brother, kicking around a soccer ball and could not have cared less about anyone else at that school. In her opinion, they were all faceless copies who said and did whatever they were told be deemed ‘cool’ by their peers. That was another big reason why the opinions of Nora were so divided. Some people loved her honesty and wanted to be an individual like her. A contradicting statement of course. While others agreed she thought she was better than them, which she admitted was true for the most part.

 

The fight happened during one of her lunch hours with Noah. She was occupying one end of the soccer field- the one time she told Noah she would meet him there instead of outside his classroom- when she saw Jake and his stupid friend’s approach her brother as he made his way down the field by himself.

 

Jake, a boy in her grade, always picked on Noah when he had the chance and that day he had started teasing Noah about having no hair and wearing a “faggy” bandana to cover up that fact. They hassled him about how skinny he was, which was of course due to his bodies inability to digest food properly and picked on his signature apparel; his beloved cape among other things. Nora’s blood boiled as she saw tears form in her brother’s eyes and Jake shove him lightly into one of his lame buddies who just laughed. Furious, she stomped over to the thirteen year old boy and decked him square in the face before he even saw her coming.

 

She remembered hearing the satisfying crack as her fist struck his nose and blood instantly poured. He had staggered back and cupped his bleeding nose, looking at her stunned. She stood and waited for him to process what had happened, glaring at his friends who watched surprised.

 

Nora told her brother to go play with the soccer ball and she would meet him over there in a few minutes and after he moved away from the handful of students, Nora thrust herself into Jake knocking him to the ground. Jake shielded his face with his arm as the blood from his nose oozed onto his yellow t-shirt and to the grass beside his head.

 

“Get her off me!” He yelped in a nasal tone to his friends as she struck him in the ribs. In an instant two hands grabbed her arms and yanked her off of Jake who breathed quickly with tears in his eyes. Nora whirled on the one girl who held her left arm, pulling free, and spat on the front of her shirt. The girl, Jessica she thought her name was, looked appalled and disgusted and drove her fist into Nora’s right eye. Nora stumbled and clutched the sore eye with one hand but the pain was soon overshadowed by her adrenaline. She struck out at the girl, clawing at her skin and pulling her hair as she wailed in response. Nora couldn’t control herself, she was so angry with these people for continuously hurting her brother, she was furious with God whom she had at one time glorified, for bringing the illness to her innocent brother and her limbs flew wildly at the only two of Jake’s friends that had tried to stop her.

 

The fight ended when the principal came and pulled them apart. Jake had a broken nose, Nora had bruises and a black eye and the other two students had scratches across their cheeks and welts scattered along their torsos. Mr. Mayler had called her mom and soon she was officially on a three day suspension. She didn’t tell her mom her version of the story, she assumed it wouldn’t change anything anyway and so she let her believe whatever it was that Mr. Mayler had told her about the incident. The other kids weren’t punished at all but they never teased Noah again which was enough for Nora. They were seen as the victims because his friend’s had said she attacked Jake while they were minding their own business. Noah had more chemo that week so Nora merely stayed with him during her suspension.

 

The sky above the soccer field was already turning a crimson pink shade as the sun began to set and Nora dropped the ball at her feet, gently kicking it as they walked to the center. A cool breeze kissed her face as she stopped and turned to face Noah, kicking the ball to him. The school; a little smaller than average, was a few meters behind the field, partially hidden in shadow.

 

“Why did mom and dad name us so much alike?” He said as he passed the ball back.

Nora shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe they thought it would be cute.” She rolled her eyes.

Noah nodded, “I guess so.”

“Why do you want to know?”

Noah shrugged again, “this girl in my class asked me. I think she likes me.” He stuck out his tongue in disgust and make a horrified noise.

Nora laughed, “What’s so bad about that?”

He looked at her incredulously, “Because girls are no fun, they never want to get dirty and they squeal a lot.”

Nora raised an eyebrow, “Oh? Is that what you think about your fabulous sister?”

Noah grinned, “You’re not a girl though; you’re my sister.”He kicked the ball over to her, “I like hanging out with you Nora.”

She smiled, “Good because there’s no way you could ever get rid of me.” Noah was silent for a moment and they both kept their eyes on the ball as it rolled over the dry grass between them.

“I feel bad today. Not really bad, but it hurts.”

Nora paused and scanned her brother’s face, “Oh Noah. You should have told me booger.” She said sympathetically.

 

“I’ll miss you.” He said quietly and Nora looked up, letting the ball slowly roll past her. “You know, when I die.”

Tears sprang to Nora’s eyes but she blinked them away, “don’t be silly, you’re not going to die until you’re eighty-seven.” She turned and jogged down the field to retrieve the ball.

“How do you know? I heard the doctor-“

“I know because the tree-witch told me.” She lied. “She told me the doctors won’t know what to do but you’ll be okay because of the magic.” Nora passed the ball lightly.

“Is there really magic?” He looked at her with desperate eyes, “ Mom doesn’t believe in it.”

Nora stopped the soccer ball with her foot and stepped toward her brother, “I brought you here for a reason.” She said glancing at her watch. “Come, sit down.”

 

“You did?” He asked curiously as he sat cross legged across from her.

She nodded, “I’ll prove to you there is magic.”

Noah’s face lit up, “Really?”

“Yup. But the thing about magic is it only works if you really believe in it okay? It’s the same with superpowers.”

“You mean I can fly if I believe in it?”

 

Nora grew nervous for a moment, maybe her mother was right; if he truly believed he could fly, what would stop him from trying? “For something that powerful you’ll need more people to believe with you for it to work.”

Noah frowned, “How many?”

Nora considered, “well it all depends how high you’re trying to fly of course.”

Noah seemed satisfied with that answer and scooted forward on his bottom.

 

Nora glanced at her watch once again and smiled, “Now. If I show you magic will you believe me when I say you will live until you’re eighty seven?”

Noah considered, “Okay.” He smiled and Nora took hold of his hands.

“Okay, but for this magic I’ll need you to believe really hard with me okay? If you don’t then it won’t work.” He nodded. “Okay, then close your eyes and keep holding my hands.”

 

They held hands and Nora opened one eye a crack to peek at Noah. His eyes were squeezed shut and a goofy grin plastered his face. He was sitting straight up and his breathing was quick with excitement. Norah smiled and shifted her eyes down to her watch again.

 

“Okay Noah. I’m going to count to three and then the trick will work. One. Two.” She paused, knowing nothing would happen. “Three!” They both opened their eyes and Noah’s face fell when he looked around and saw nothing different.

“It didn’t work.” He said disappointed.

She contrived a puzzled look, “Were you believing?”  She asked and he nodded hesitantly. “Really?”

He looked down, “Well maybe not completely.” He admitted, looking back to her eyes, “can we try again? I promise I’ll really believe this time. I know it will work.”

Nora struggled to contain her satisfaction with the way this was going, “I don’t know...” She faked. “I guess we could try one more time.” They held hands once more and Noah closed his eyes. Norah took note of the timer counting down on her watch and grinned.

 

“I’m going to count to three again. Count with me this time.”

In unison they spoke; “One. Two. Three!” They snapped their eyes open as a wave of cold drops showered over them, soaking their hair and clothes.

“It worked!”  Noah cried, laughing with his hands held out to feel the drops. “We made it rain!”

Nora nodded, “its magic.” Her watch flashed a green light as the numbers 0.00 blinked across the screen. She had asked her old soccer coach what time the sprinklers were programed for and set the timer on her watch accordingly for this very purpose. Her brother looked genuinely happy as he let the drops fall into his mouth.

 

“I’m not going to die.” He said with appreciative tears in his eyes, “you were right this whole time Nora! The magic is real and I’m going to be fine!” He leapt to his feet and spun around in circles, his eyes shining. Nora laughed along with her brother, letting herself cry openly for the first time in a long time and it felt good.

“I love you booger.”  

He looked up at her and flashed a wide grin. “Wait here!” he said ecstatic as he hurried over to the soccer net a few feet behind the two of them.

“What are you doing?” She laughed as she watched him examine the two, large metal goal posts that stuck out of the ground. The white paint was chipping, revealing more rusted metal than paint.

“The magic works!” He repeated, calling over to her. He took his shoes and socks off and planted one foot on the pole, using his hands to pull himself off the ground. He lifted his other foot higher than the last and began climbing.

 

“Noah, c’mon what are you doing?” She asked with a slight hint of humour in her voice, climbing to her feet and dusting the wet grass from her bottom.

He climbed even higher, “if magic works than I can fly, you said so yourself!”

Nora’s smile disappeared, “Noah don’t!” She cried.

“Don’t worry!”

“It’s too high!” In a panic Nora tried to think of something to make him change his mind, “You- you need more people to believe! Remember?”

“But Nora, me and you made it rain by ourselves, we can make me fly too!”

Nora dashed across the field as Noah reached the top and straddled the top bar. “This is higher than I thought it was.” He mumbled in a shaky voice. He carefully got to his feet on the bar, holding his arms out his sides for balance.

“No!” Nora Shrieked, panting out of breath.

Noah’s face twisted into an expression of puzzlement, “How come it’s not raining up here?” He said confused, more to himself than to her. His cape flapped in the wind and he wobbled on the bar. “I’m going to fly Nora.”

 

She got a few feet from the goal post when he leapt.

 

Time seemed to move in slow motion in that instant. She screamed shrill and fierce as she watched those blue and green stripes descend. Her heart thrummed hard in her chest, feeling hollow and cold. Her eyes burned with tears and her lungs ached, feeling like she had inhaled a gallon of battery acid. The air seemed to be knocked out of her from the shock as she slipped on the wet grass and skidded toward her falling brother. She squeezed her eyes shut as a hollow thud resounded through the air when he struck the ground. She bit her tongue hard and tasted blood.

 

When she opened her eyes, there he lay crumpled in the grass being pelted by the water shooting out from the sprinklers. His muddied cape lay over the upper half of his body so it was hidden from view. He wasn’t moving.

 

                Choppy sobs broken by startled gasps flooded out of her mouth as she grabbed fistfuls of her hair and howled at the top of her lungs. Her whole body was numb as she trembled violently and she dropped to her knees, pounding her fists into her own thighs.

 

“Noah?” She choked, touching his shoulder gently. “Noah, I’m sorry!” she wailed, burying her face in his cape. She reached to touch his cheek. Moving the fabric from his face she gasped at what she saw and the sobs erupted once again. His face was bloodied; the source of the dark liquid unknown and his arm was bent at an impossible angle. “Noah? Please, please, please.” She cried in disbelief. She put her arms underneath him and lifted him from the ground, cradling him against her as she stumbled on rubbery legs across the field.

 

                Her home was only a five minute walk from the school, the hospital seven in the opposite direction and she debated which place to take him. If she walked home it would take five plus the time to carefully load him in the car and for her parent’s to drive him down there...or for an ambulance to get there. If she walked to the hospital now it would take a flat seven minutes and nothing more.

                “What do I do?” she cried frantically with blurred eyes

 

 

 

Part Three- http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/emylleigh/617127/


© 2010 emily



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emily
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the emotion of hope and the spirit of Noah soars within this chapter.
His sister's love and protectiveness shines in this heart tugging story.

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on October 11, 2010
Last Updated on October 11, 2010

Author

emily
emily

Canada



About
I am a twenty-two year old Justice and Peace student majoring in psychology aspiring to do all that I can to change this world for the better. I am very passionate about performing arts, filmograph.. more..

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