The estate occupied an unreasonable expanse of Peckham land. It grew from the bloodstained pavements of the North Peckham estate, and existed beneath the shadows of brokenness, unforgotten dreams, and Damilola Taylor's legacy. The buildings grew until they became a landmark of the area, at once golden in colour, and over time paling to dull yellow, until the sun bleached the walls with calcified patches. They kept the colloquial name, though: Yellowbrick was etched in eternity.
When Lacey and Riann, their mother Sheraine, and their younger brother Jordan embarked upon Yellowbrick's shores, they were both welcomed and shunned. Those who had spent their mornings festering in the benches of the Bournemouth Road housing office, their whole lives sitting by their feet in black bin liners, were sympathetic to the family's Nunhead loss. Their counterparts, having lived in and around the area their whole lives, found the family's arrival more of an intrusion. They were from Nunhead, which meant they were naturally condescending towards people from Peckham, and quietly aspirant for East Dulwich, that golden crest on the common's horizon. It was divine justice that a fire should destroy Nunhead, and bring its population to Yellowbrick of all places, one of the most despised estates in South East London, and they watched mirthlessly as the quartet lugged suitcases up the concrete stairs and struggled with the jammed front door.
The day after the move was a Monday. The twin girls, with mahogany legs and bouncy hair, made their way to school with new Just Do It bags and ribbons in their hair, Kickers pumps and short pleated skirts as if nothing had happened. They were fourteen but they had a discomforting childishness about them, dark eyes narrowed to slits and round mouths for laughing. There was a dangerous innocence that they carried with them tauntingly, and it was evident in the smiles they held on their face, with two round cheeks, each resembling a galaxy minstrel. They were unafraid of Yellowbrick. The rumours of gangs and crimes were nothing compared to the noise of dying screams, and the sight of burning bodies tumbling out of first floor windows. They could face the hoodies if they dared, but their time was not worth it. When they were off the estate and on the bus, they sighed in unison. The pressure of all those eyes, and all those hearts--beating into them since they first arrived--was exhausting.