The Nori 4 in 4 hroni 4 les

the First: The Steven Nori 4 in S 4 hool for the New Ra 4 e
Part 1: The Lost Boy
By Mark Sheldon
4 hroni 4 le

MCN: CBPQ2-684B8-7YAR3

The Noricin Chronicles: Chronicle the First Part 1: The Lost Boy © 2010 by Mark Sheldon Cover Artwork © 2010 by Gothicmama This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Wait!!! Have you read Chapter 1, yet? I would hate for you to be lost and confused! So head on over to the link below and get caught up!

The Noricin Chronicles: The Lost Boy

4 hapter 2

Friends and Foes
Mrs. Gruoch – a corner of one of Boston’s lesser-visited neighborhoods. As is often the case with lesser-visited neighborhoods, this neighborhood was lesser-visited for very good reasons, not the lesser of which was evidenced by the bullet holes in the street signs. He gingerly sat on the dirty bus bench – half-convinced that by merely coming in contact with the bench he would contract some horrible, fatal disease (and not the kind of disease that was quick and painless, either – Something that would make amoebic dysentery seem like a mere case of the sniffles) and waited. After fifteen minutes, he had just about convinced himself that he had made every-thing up after all and consigned himself to return to the orphanage where he would undoubtedly be placed under every psycho-therapeutic medication known to modern science. He was rising from the bench – slightly sickened by the subtle pull on his clothes as they came free from the sticky surface of the seat – when a yellow school bus pulled up. There was nothing spectacular about the bus; in fact its exterior was just about as dirty as the bench Dan had just removed himself from. The front door of the bus slid open, revealing a large, intimidating-looking man sitting at the wheel. “Sorry we’re late,” said the driver, “but a couple of the other Freshmen had trouble getting’ up this mornin’, apparently.” Dan stood, looking up the steps at the driver, like an Australian bilby caught in the shadow of its predator. “Well, you gonna get on? You’re Dan Regal, right?” “Yes.” “Well, hurry it up, then. We’ve got one more pickup after you, and then we can get moving on up to Snisnar. It ain’t a quick drive and it ain’t gonna get quicker with you just standin’ around like that all day.”


n Sunday the first of September, Dan made his way to the location described by


The Noricin Chronicles: The Lost Boy
Dan’s legs finally listened to his brain and he began to ascend the stairs. As he looked down the aisle he saw, gratefully, that the interior was much cleaner than the exterior, which made him suspect that the external grime on the outside was cosmetic, for the sake of inconspicuousness. There were about thirty other students on the bus, all about the same age as Dan, many of whom also looked as nervous as he felt, which offered a small bit of comfort. He took a seat next to the one boy who was sitting by himself, a rather tall boy with light blond hair and brown eyes who seemed to be trying to hide his awkward height by slouching some-what. His dress was very neat and tidy, and a pair of glasses sat primly upon his long nose. “Hi, I’m Dan, Dan Regal,” he said, offering his hand to the boy. “Mike Pringle,” said the boy, taking Dan’s offered hand. “Pringle, like the—“ “Yes, like the potato chips,” replied Mike, rolling his eyes slightly. “Sorry, I guess you get that a lot…” “Eh, you kind of get used to it, I guess.” “So, what do you make of all of this?” “What do you mean?” “I mean the whole Norcinite thing. I only just found out a few months ago…” “Oh yeah, I only found out recently, too. I’m not really sure what to make of it. When my parents told me, I thought they were joking.” Dan heard someone scoff from the back of the bus, but before he could look around to see who it was that was eavesdropping, Mike cut him off. “When did your parents tell you?” “Oh…I…don’t know my parents…I’m an orphan…” Again, Dan heard a scoff from the back of the bus. Dan craned his head around to glare to the back of the bus, from whence the offensive scoff had originated. Sitting at the very back of the bus was a menacing-looking group of teenagers, three boys and a girl. One of the boys looked to be about the same build as Tommy Tuttle, more muscle than brains. Sitting next to the bull-boy was a taller, leaner boy, but he looked to be just as formidable as his friend, the bull. Sitting between the tall boy and the girl was a shorter boy with dark hair and cold dark eyes. Even though he was the shortest of the boys, something about the challenging 2

The Noricin Chronicles: The Lost Boy
glare he returned to Dan made it perfectly clear that he was the ringleader of the group – and the one who had snorted. The boy’s diminutive size coupled with his aura of over-inflated self-confidence reminded Dan comically of one of those tiny little dogs that has confused itself with a Doberman Pincer or a German Shepard. The girl had cruel dark eyes and long, black hair. She was grinning malevolently and seemed to generate the attitude that her position, next to the ringleader of the group, was the best seat on the whole bus and that anyone else should be jealous of her for being included amongst such honorable ranks. She wore a long, black dress decorated with flowing, dark purple streamers fluttering lightly in the wind from the window. “Don’t pay any attention to them,” Mike said, having noticed Dan’s surveillance. “Marcus Noricin and his whole family are rotten. My dad says our families have been at each other’s throats for generations.” “You already know him?” Dan asked, amazed at how quickly he was falling back into a world of isolation. “Well, yeah. Fact is, I actually know most of the other kids on this bus, now you mention it. I thought it was kinda odd when you got on and I didn’t recognize you, but if you’re an orphan, I guess that’d be why.” Something clicked as Dan’s mind made a connection. “Noricin…that’s the same name as the school, isn’t it?” “Yeah, when my parents told me about all this, I noticed the same thing. So I asked them about that, and they said that almost all the Norcinites are related to each other. Ap-parently we’re all descended from the guy who founded the school, Steven Noricin. Dad said most of the people who still have the Noricin name think they’re better than the rest of us, which is why I guess our families don’t get along.” Then, he added in an undertone only Dan could hear, “Truth is, according to Dad, the only reason they still have the Noricin name is because they all marry their cousins.” Dan couldn’t help but crack a smile. For the first time in his life, he felt like he actu-ally had made a friend. And, at the back of his mind, he couldn’t help but wonder if this information about the Noricin family might lead to him discovering his parents. If most Norcinites were de-scendants of Steven Noricin, then that meant there was a fairly good chance his parents were in the family… 3

The Noricin Chronicles: The Lost Boy
Suddenly, a gust of wind blew in the open window. Mike’s eyes bulged as he quickly withdrew a handkerchief from his pocket and sneezed so loudly that several heads turned their way. “Sorry,” Mike said sheepishly, “allergies.” He returned the soggy handkerchief to his pocket. “You’re not…keeping that…are you?” Dan said, a little disgusted. “Yeah,” Mike replied, blushing slightly. “I…uh…don’t like Kleenexes…they’re too rough on my face…my hanky is the only thing I trust…” So, Dan had picked himself a rather…idiosyncratic new friend, but it was a friend, nonetheless, and Dan was absolutely willing to overlook Mike’s…peculiarities. The bus pulled up to a corner and came to a stop. The front doors opened and a girl stepped up as her parents waved goodbye, making Dan realize that he was probably the only one on the bus who hadn’t had someone wish him goodbye. The girl started coming down the aisle. She had a light-blonde ponytail sticking out the back of her Red Sox baseball cap, and bright blue eyes. She wore a plain white t-shirt, and faded blue jeans, with a hole or two in the knee area. Dan couldn’t help but notice that Mike started reddening as soon as he saw her – his breath became somewhat erratic and he quickly reached into his pocket and withdrew an inhaler and began puffing on it. “My asthma kicks in when…um…my heart rate increases,” Mike explained sheep-ishly, blushing profusely. Dan was fairly certain that asthma didn’t work that way, but decided against pointing that out to his newfound friend. The new girl’s eyes fixed on Dan, her brow furrowed somewhat, and she crossed down aisle and took a seat across from Mike and Dan. “I don’t think I’ve met you before,” the girl said as the bus picked up again. “I’m Dan Regal,” he said, offering his hand. “He’s an orphan,” Mike said quickly, then blushed even darker when he saw Dan’s face drop a little. “Oh, sorry Dan.” “It’s okay,” said Dan.


The Noricin Chronicles: The Lost Boy
“Shelley Anderson,” said the girl, taking Dan’s proffered hand. “So I guess that’s why I didn’t recognize you, because you’re an orphan...Interesting. And you’re Michael, right? Michael Pringle?” Mike’s face turned so red that it apparently burned up his vocal cords, for all he was able to do was nod wordlessly. “I prefer Mike…” Mike muttered, quietly, once he had regained use of his voice. “Oh, sorry,” Shelley replied. “So you two already know each other, also?” Dan asked, wondering if there was going to be anyone at this school who didn’t already know each other. “Well, I wouldn’t say that,” Shelley said, “we went to the same school – in fact, I think most of the kids on this bus went to our school – and we had a class together in…third grade, wasn’t it?” “Fourth,” Mike corrected, blushing even more. “Oh yeah, that’s right. Mrs. Parker, wasn’t it? Anyway, I guess if we really are all related, then it’s not that surprising that our parents would send us to the same elementary school, is it? Oh, except for you, Dan. Sorry. Do you know anything about your parents?” “Nothing. All I know is that I was left on the doorstep of the orphanage with a note mentioning my name and birthday and asking to take care of me. I don’t even know if they’re still alive.” “Interesting,” Shelley replied, nodding thoughtfully. Apparently, Shelley Anderson seemed to find many things interesting. “So what do you make of all this Norcinite stuff?” Dan asked Shelley, wanting to get her take on it – as well as wanting to steer the conversation away from his parents. “I think it’s exciting. At first I couldn’t believe that my parents had never told me about it before, but I guess they’re not allowed to.” Dan heard something muttered from the back of the bus that sounded annoyingly like “pathetic,” followed by hushed giggles. “It makes sense,” Mike added, “since I guess the Norcinites don’t want to be discov-ered by the rest of the world, and little kids aren’t exactly the best at keeping secrets.” Dan hadn’t thought about that, and realized it did make a lot of sense. “Why don’t the Norcinites want to be discovered?” Dan asked. “Well, think about it,” Mike responded. “It’s not exactly like humankind is histor5

The Noricin Chronicles: The Lost Boy
-ically tolerant of people who are different. For thousands of years people have been fight-ing with and trying to suppress anyone who is just the slightest bit different – and that was just among normal humans! Can you just imagine the reaction they’d have if they found out there were a bunch of people with psychic paranormal powers walking around among them? They’d probably freak out and try to have us all killed.” “Or perform experiments on us,” Shelley added, her eyes widening with imaginative excitement under the brim of her cap. “You know, like brain dissections or something. Try and figure out why we’re different, or try and make us into an army of zombie slaves or something.” “Lovely, Shelley,” Mike responded, rolling his eyes, “but yes, that is the general idea.” Dan thought back to his initial comparison of the Norcinites to the X-Men, and real-ized that Mike was right. If the Norcinites came out into the open, they would be treated like freaks – mutants – and would not be welcomed with open arms. No, it would be far safer and more peaceful to stay hidden in the shadows. He was beginning to realize just how complicated this new life was going to be. Considering how uncomplicated his previous life had been, he actually didn’t see that as a bad thing. The three of them got to talking, and before they knew it, the sun was setting and the bus was heading along a twisting, forest road. They turned around a large hill – at the peak of which Dan could see a single large apple tree reaching into the night sky – and came upon a large set of iron gates set into a massive stone wall that stretched on into the woods. As the bus approached the gates, they slowly swung open to reveal an expansive clearing. Off in the distance, Dan could just make out three massive structures that looked like giant tombstones. As the bus drew nearer the grim cemetery, Dan saw that they were not grave markers but buildings, one in front – the largest of the three – and two in the rear, forming a triangle between the three structures. Even close up the grey buildings hauntingly resembled tombstones, and Dan could just imagine the bodies of giants buried underneath each pillar. The bus came to a stop in front of the first building, and the bus driver rose out of his seat, stretching. “Well, kids,” the bus driver yawned, “welcome to Snisnar.”