Chapter 1: Waking Up With a Bang

May 12th, 2007, Saturday morning 7:30am
Narrator’s POV:

                                                           BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BANG!

Isabella Cromwell groans into her pillow and then pushes herself up and out of bed. Sighing, she walks down the hall and in to the kitchen. She starts a pot of coffee, and then goes back up the hall and pokes her head in the bedroom door on the left next to her own, and sure enough there right smack in the middle of the wall across from the bed is a giant scorch mark, and beneath that is her youngest sister’s alarm clock mangled and smoking on the floor.

“Well Catherine there goes the fifth one this month.”

                                                                              Catherine Cromwell                                                              

Cathy turns her back toward the door.
“Go away, and leave me alone.” Isa rolls her eyes but continues with a sly smirk

“I’ll go wake up Serenity. I’ve already started the coffee so be dressed and on the porch in five minutes if you want any, otherwise Uncle Phil and I will drink it all without you.”

Cathy’s head shoots up and she rolls back over to face Isabella.

“You wouldn’t dare!”

“Try me.”

Isa turns to leave.

“Hey Isa?”

She sticks her head back in the doorway.


“Have you heard back from Aunt Peggy about the possibility of you taking the tests for you to work for MI6 again?”

Isa sighs and moves to lean against the doorjamb,

“No, but she said she’d let me know by Tuesday so I’ve got three more days. Why, what’s up?”

Cathy looks confused as she sits up fully.

“I don’t know, I feel like something is off, and that question just popped into my head. I think I dreamed about you last night, and about Aunt Peggy, but I can’t remember what it was all about!”

Cathy frowns and shakes her head. Isa looks thoughtful as she takes a moment to turn information over in her mind.

“Maybe the details will start to come back to you once you’ve had time to really wake up and let it drift to the back of your mind. You know most things become clearer once you’ve distanced yourself from them a bit. Do you think the dream felt as though it was urgent?”
“Not exactly, I mean not like a ‘move now or a car will hit you in three seconds’ kind of urgent, more like the ‘hey, heads up, something’s coming your way’ sorta thing, like it might happen in a few hours or not for two weeks, but definitely coming soon.”
“Hmm… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what comes our way. No sense in worrying about it without having more information.”
“Yeah, you’re right. As usual. I’ll go ahead and get ready, meet you on the porch in ten minutes?”

“Sure, I’ll be waiting.”

                                                                          Isa Cromwell

Smiling, Isa turns and closes Cathy’s door behind her. As she begins to walk down the hall to her daughter’s room, she is surprised to hear a light, gentle voice call from the living room,

“I’m in here Mommy.”

Isa goes into the living room and sits down next to her daughter on the couch as Saturday morning cartoons play on the TV in front of them.

                                                                                                     Serenity Cromwell

“Hey baby girl, how long have you been up? Do you want me to start making your breakfast?”

Serenity turns her head to face Isa and frowns.

“No Mommy, you need to pay attention. We have to leave soon; Aunt Peggy is going to need your help!”

Serenity turns back to a drawing pad in front of her on the coffee table. And Isa watches as Serenity sends spirals of color down her arm, through her fingertips and on to the drawing pad. When the picture was finished Serenity hands her the pad and says calmly,

“One week.”
Isa looks down at the drawing and feels the blood leave her face. She turns to watch as Serenity picks up the TV remote and flips through the channels until she finds the CNN morning news. What Isa sees there is enough to make her blood run col


“Oh Gods!”

Isa’s head whips around, just now realizing that her Aunt Renée followed by Phil, have come to stand behind the couch. 


                                 Renée                                              Phil

Isa turns back to the TV as the news reporter begins to speak about the attack.

‘This is CNN Breaking News. Emergency crews are still trying to assess the damage as investigators hunt for leads in what now appears to be a major terrorist attack in the heart of London. No one has yet claimed responsibility for what sources are calling a possible “cyber-terrorist assault” on the British Secret Service. Earlier reports from the scene indicate at least six dead, many more injured, with victims being evacuated to local hospitals within minutes of the explosion.’

Renée grips the back of the couch hard, as though she’s about to faint. Phil places a hand on her back to steady her and says,

“Peggy is probably just fine; she probably wasn’t even in the building at the time. If the director of the MI6 was injured or dead they would’ve mentioned it I’m sure.”

Cathy pipes up from the doorway,

“Aunt Peggy’s probably busy trying to deal with the fallout from all of this, I’m sure she’ll call to let us know that she’s all right as soon as she has a free moment. Everything’s going to be fine; the important thing is that we don’t panic until we have all of the information.”

Isa turns to Cathy.

“Do you think all of this has anything to do with your dream from last night?”

Renée turns sharply to look at Cathy.

“You dreamed that this would happen?”

Cathy looks back-and-forth from Renée to Isa.

“No. I didn’t dream this. But I am starting to remember more of my dream from last night, I dreamed that you were standing behind Aunt Peggy while she was sitting at a desk, in front of the desk were two men sitting across from her. She was talking to them about something that was stolen, I get the sense that it might be connected to this bombing, but I could be wrong. I think that this is the beginning of something very important. You’ll need to pay very close attention to your surroundings, and make sure to stay objective. Of course you don’t really need me to tell you that, you’ve always been very good at doing that in most any situation, so I’m sure you can handle it. Always remember that we have faith in you.”

Isa smiles weakly and turns to Serenity.

“Sweetheart, I want you to go to your room and start getting dressed. When you’re done, come out to the kitchen to eat breakfast and then we’ll go back to your room and start to pack. We’ll probably need to leave for England sometime later today or early tomorrow, so it will be better if we go ahead and start packing now.”

“OK mommy! Do you think I can bring my new sketchbook with me on the plane?”

“Yes baby girl, of course you can bring your sketchbook. Now go ahead and start getting ready.”

Serenity hops off the couch with a smile and runs off to her room. Isa turns to look at Phil and Renée.

“Things will probably move very quickly now, and I’m so sorry that everything is happening this way. Thank you for letting me come live here with you when I adopted Serenity, I know it’s not been easy having a little one under foot again after so long, especially since you both had just gotten married, but it’s meant the world to me that you allowed us to stay here. Thank you so much for everything that you’ve done us.”

Renée is too choked up to answer, so Phil answers for them both.

“Isa having you both here has been such a blessing in our lives, watching you grow into such a wonderful mother has been incredible. Every day you and Serenity bring so much joy into our lives, it has been a privilege to share this journey with both of you. Know that we will help you with whatever you may need to help you prepare for this next step in your journey.”

By this point there’s not a dry eye in the room, they can all feel that changes upon them, and it presses upon none of them so much as it does upon Isabella.

Isa begins to answer Phil but before she can open her mouth the phone begins to ring…