Hold on, little one.
She shot up from her dream and hit her head against the car seat in front of her. She groaned as she rubbed her head and fell back in her chair.
“Mera, you okay?”
She looked at her brother, who looked at her in surprise.
Mera knew he already knew that she’d had a nightmare about the attack again. She gave him a small smile and nodded.
“I’m fine, Mitch,” she said as she started massaging her aching arm. She looked at it, and even though the sleeves of her hoodie hid the scars, she still felt the pain from them.
After the attack, the doctors did everything to try to salvage her arm. With a miracle, they pulled it off, but the cost that came with it was one she didn’t want to pay.
The pain she felt in her arm would never go away. Her nerves were severely damaged.
They’d tried everything to take it away, but nothing helped.
Because her arm was basically shredded, she’d also lost 50 percent of her mobility. Her entire skin was composed of scars; no smooth skin was left.
They’d said she’d been lucky.
She was anything but lucky.
Mera saw her best friend being killed.
She saw Kelly being ripped to shreds, and that image would haunt her for the rest of her life.
The guilt of not being able to save her was something she could never get past.
A tear fell down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away and looked through the car window at the moving scenery.
The attack had been six years ago, and she only remembered bits and pieces.
She remembered seeing Kelly like she was looking at her right now.
She remembered they were attacked by wolves, but she couldn’t remember what they looked like or where she was attacked.
She remembered seeing the reaction of two parents who heard their daughter had been ripped to shreds and had passed away.
Mera hadn’t seen Kelly’s parents since the funeral.
They lived in the village where she and her parents had rented a cabin for the holidays.
It wasn’t that she didn’t want to go, but she didn’t remember the name of the village.
Sometimes she was glad she didn’t, but at other times, she felt guilty for never visiting her best friend’s grave.
Her parents knew, but she had always been too afraid to ask.
Another tear rolled down, and she brushed it away.
She looked at the scenery and saw they had entered a forest.
“Where are we going again?” she asked her parents.
Her dad chuckled softly. “Our new home.”
Mera rolled her eyes.
Her dad had been offered a new job in a remote village. Because of the pay, he took it and ultimately decided they had to move there.
She didn’t mind.
A change of scenery and people was something she craved.
After being “the girl that was attacked by wolves” for six years, she’d really had it with the city.
The thing was, her parents hadn’t told either her or her brother where they would be living.
They’d just said, “A village in the forest with a big city nearby.”
They always said it like it wasn’t a big deal, but she and Mitch just thought it was weird.
Afterward, her dad told them it was a surprise, and that was the reason they were being so shady, but it felt like there was more to it.
Why else would you suddenly move to Norway?
Not just because you get a job there, in her opinion.
“Thanks for being shady, Dad,” she commented eventually.
He snorted and winked at her in the rearview mirror.
She rolled her eyes and looked outside again.
Truly, she had been excited when she’d heard they were moving to Norway.
She had always loved the stories of Scandinavia, and she was excited to live there.
They all were.
“How long will it be until we’re there?” Mitch asked.
“Look ahead,” their mother said.
Mera and Mitch looked to the front and saw a village getting closer.
They briefly looked at each other before they looked back.
They’d got here faster than they’d expected.
Mera took in the village as they drove through. It was nice.
The houses were modern in style but were made of beautiful different-colored wood and stone.
There was a big fountain in the middle of the village. It was also the center of the village where all the shops were.
It was a more open and softer-looking village than she had expected for a village in the woods.
They drove on a little further, out of the village, and a beautiful cabin appeared.
Their dad stopped the car, and they all got out.
“Welcome home,” their mom said as she hugged her daughter.
Mera gave her mother a small smile as they walked into the cabin.
It was completely furnished, and just like in the village, there were modern features everywhere she looked.
They walked to the first floor, and Mera was drawn to a door at the end of the hall. She walked to it, and as she opened it, a beautiful room was revealed.
Her mom and dad looked at each other briefly before they looked back at her.
She walked in.
The bed was king-sized and had blue sheets. There was a desk with her laptop and a couch by the window with her accessories; some of her drawings were hung on the wall as they had been in her old room.
There was a huge walk-in closet filled with her clothes and also a mirror.
The room had walls like the outside of the house, and the ceiling had a stoke near the wall, which was made of glass that merged with her windows to give it a more open feeling.
It had an adjoining bathroom which she would have to share with the person who had the room on the other side of the bathroom.
The bathroom had a separate shower, a toilet, and a beautiful sink with a large mirror above it. Everything was modern and white.
The doors to the bathroom could be locked from the inside. The floor was made from black tiles, and the walls from gray tiles.
Mera got the feeling she’d been there before.
She walked back into the bedroom and saw her parents and brother.
“So I guess this is my room,” she stated.
Her mother smiled and nodded.
“We weren’t waiting for a fight about who gets which room, so we chose for you,” her dad said.
Mera and Mitch looked at each other and started laughing.
“Let’s go get the bags,” her mom said as she and her dad walked downstairs.
“Question,” Mitch started. “Do you also feel like you’ve been here before?”
Mera looked at the room and nodded. “Yeah, but I don’t know if we’ve ever been to Norway before,” Mera answered.
Mitch nodded as well.
“You guys coming, or are you going to sleep in the car?” their dad yelled from downstairs.
Mera rolled her eyes as she walked downstairs, followed by Mitch.
She walked outside and saw her mom grabbing one of her brother’s bags out of the car.
Mitch saw this as well and immediately ran toward her to grab the bag from her.
Mera looked toward the left and saw people approaching: a male, a female, and two younger males about her age.
“Hello,” her mother answered as she walked toward the four.
Mitch and Mera briefly looked at each other.
“I’m Mayor Adrien Måneskinn,” the older male said.
He had short light-blond hair and was wearing a blue button-up shirt with black trousers and black formal shoes. His eyes were hazel and kind.
“This is my wife, Synne.”
The female nodded at them with a smile. She had raven-black hair which reached her thighs, green eyes, and she was wearing a blue pantsuit.
Have I seen her before? I feel like I know her…
“And the two young ones are the interns. This is Edvin.”
Mera looked at the male next to the mayor. He had brown hair and blue eyes.
He was wearing the same kind of clothes as the mayor and the other intern, but she could see his muscles through his button-up shirt.
The other one wasn’t without muscles, either.
He and Edvin were also wearing black trousers, but Edvin was wearing a white button-up shirt with a tie, and the other wore a dark-green shirt with rolled-up sleeves and no tie.
Mera looked at the other intern and noticed his blond hair was held together in a small bun, and his dark-brown eyes were almost as dark as hers.
He had freckles which only made him more handsome.
“And Ken,” the mayor said as he pointed at the blond intern.
Ken’s eyes met Mera’s, and he smiled at her.
She returned the smile before she looked away and listened to her mother.
“I’m Dina Pack. This is my son, Mitchell.”
Mitch walked to the front, where their mom stood, and nodded at the mayor.
“And my daughter, Esmeralda.”
Mera gulped and walked toward her mother as well.
They looked at her as she gave them a smile and nodded.
The mayor looked her up and down like he was assessing her. When he met her eyes, he smiled and nodded as well.
“And you already know my husband, Patrick.”
Mera looked to the side and saw her dad approaching.
“Ah, yes, the one I had to contact and persuade to take the job,” the mayor said as he shook her dad’s hand.
Her dad chuckled.
“It wasn’t a job next door, but I’m glad we came to an agreement,” her dad said.
The mayor also chuckled. “I’m glad we did. You are just what the town needs, and I’m sure you’ll feel at home in no time.”
“Welcome to Måneverdener,” Synne said with a smile.
On hearing the name, another sense of déjà vu ran through Mera’s body. She decided not to linger on it and moved on.
“Thank you,” her mom said excitedly.
“There’s a craft market tomorrow that the children of the elementary school will host. It’s a school project.
“There will be different things you can make and items for sale made by the kids. They do it every year, and it’s always a blast. I hope to see you there!” Synne said.
Mera could see she was enthusiastic about the market and immediately knew she was a good mayor’s wife.
Synne looked at her, and they smiled at each other.
“We will! Esmeralda loves to craft things,” her mother said.
Mera could have died of embarrassment at that moment. She looked at the other four and saw them all looking at her.
“You do?” the mayor asked.
I’ll bet my life on it that I’m as red as a tomato right now.
“Yeah, I’m not very good, though,” she said.
Synne chuckled and walked toward her. “We’ll see if that’s true tomorrow at the market.”
Mera was surprised at her remark.
Synne gave her a wink and walked back to her husband.
“We’ll leave you to unpack. It was nice to meet you, and we’ll see you tomorrow,” the mayor said.
Her mother and father shook his hand, and he glanced at her as they walked away with the interns.
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