She'd always though that there was something different about herself. There'd been weird things happen to her all her life. From a very early age, things happened around her that didn't seem to happen to other girls. Her parents had been alarmed at first and thought that their daughter had some sort of condition, some 'ism' that they could hang her behaviour on. She'd been paraded around so many doctors surgeries in the past eight years that she must have seen every medical practitioner in Yorkshire. They'd all come up with the same conclusion, she was a very bright girl but there was nothing medically wrong with her.
At school she tied hard to make friends but somehow she'd always been shunned by the other children. When she had managed to make friends with another boy or girl, she found that their parents soon pulled them away from her telling tale in muttered whispers. Over the years Sinead had grown resilient to their barbed comments developing a thick shell that even the worst insults couldn't penetrate.
Lately as she'd reached eleven years old, she'd started to have visions and seemed to have the ability to hear what people were thinking, even though they didn't speak. The first time it had happened was when her junior school teacher had looked curiously at her when she'd got all her maths correct.
'That girl is weird, those were A-Level questions and she managed to crack them' Sinead heard the teachers mind say. Then the teacher had looked into Sinead's eyes and blushed as though she knew that Sinead was reading her mind.
Sinead had kept this from her parents. Strangely they were the only people whose minds she couldn't read. They remained blank to her thoughts, no matter how hard she tried to penetrate their defences.
Sitting in the window, she looked out on the street below. She lived in a little steel town called Stockby. It was a bit grimy and dirty. The ere were rows of terraced houses built close together on the valley floor and newer larger houses on the valley side. Sinead and her family lived in one of the small terraced houses close to the town centre. Her father worked at the local steel mill, whilst her mother was the secretary at the school where Sinead went to. The family had few friends and only had occasional visits from a selection of weird relations whose arrival usually caused great mirth on her street.
In a few short weeks, Sinead was due to start at the local High School. She was dreading the move to a place where she was known, wishing she could move somewhere where no-one knew her, where she could start a new life.
On the house across from them Sinead noticed an owl perched on the TV aerial. She did a double take at it. She'd seen them in books and at a local bird rescue facility, but never in the day in the town. It was a beautiful shade of white with accent black feathers around the neck. It was looking straight into Sinead's room. It appeared to be holding something in it's vicious looking beak. As she watched the bird suddenly swooped off the aerial and dived towards their front door. Sinead gasped as it appeared to be heading on a collision course with her front door. She peered down in vain to spot where it was going. She heard a knock at the door and then saw the bird majestically sweeping upwards and out of sight.
She sat and waited for her parents to answer the door. She could hear her mum scuttle along the hallway and open the door.
'It's arrived Sidney' she heard her mother say.
'Sinead come down here, there's a letter for you'