AR 1212-12-31 Old Friend, New Girl
On the morning of December 31st, New Year’s Eve, Kara was working at one of the makeshift hospitals in the poor section of Melinir, as she had for the last week. She felt something brush against her leg and looked down to see a gray cat rubbing up against her. “Well, hello there,” she said. The cat let out a loud meow. Kara had been rushing around all morning, and the prospect of stopping for a minute to pet a cat and catch her breath in the process was too much to pass up. Kara knelt down and scratched the cat behind the ears. It in turn rubbed its face repeatedly against her hand, as cats are wont to do. It sniffed intently at her left hand, making Kara wonder if she had forgot to wash after preparing morning snacks for the children. The cat meowed several more times, as if telling the woman all about its day. “My, you are very friendly. I wonder who you belong to,” Kara said, knowing full well that many pets had been ‘orphaned’ when their human families perished in the earthquake.
“There you are!” Kara looked up to see a girl of about 12 or 13 approaching. She was pretty, with strait black hair that fell past her shoulders. Her arm was in a sling, marking her clearly as a patient. “Don’t go running off like that, naughty boy.”
“Is this your cat?” Kara asked the girl.
“Yes ma’am. I’m sorry if he’s bothering you.”
“Not at all,” Kara said with a smile. “He’s a very nice cat, and lucky to have a nice girl like you looking after him.”
“Thank you, ma’am. He’s my best—my only real friend,” the girl said with a tinge of sadness. Kara was continuing to pet the cat as the girl spoke, “He likes you. He…he knows you. Oh! You’re Kara Odinson!”
“Yes, I am.” Kara was quite used to being recognized as a celebrity of sorts. “And what’s your name, dear?”
“My name’s Martina,” she said, “Martina Eyvaltsdottir. You knew my father, Eyvalt Olafsson.”
“Oh my gosh, yes!” Kara exclaimed. “I haven’t heard from Eyvalt in ages. I had no idea he had a daughter. How’s your father doing?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in over a year. He went off to fight an evil monster somewhere and never came back.”
“Oh no,” Kara said, shocked. After a moment she said, “Where’s your mother?”
“Mama died when I was a little girl,” Martina said. “It was just me and Papa. Before he left he sent me to stay with Uncle Max in the town of Kleine, but…he died in the earthquake.” Tears began streaming down the girl’s face.
Kara hugged the crying girl close to her, “I’m so sorry, dear.”
The cat pawed at the girl, as if patting her in comfort. There, there, Martina, Grimsvotn spoke to her mind. Everything will be alright. As I told you before, Kara and her husband are good people and they will take care of you.