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Cora stared at the tree in their backyard where her mother was buried

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Cora stared at the tree in their backyard where her mother was buried.

Her mother was a spitfire, always pushing their family to leave Kamas and help the hunters.

She had died before they could do such a thing. Although things were different now, and Cora wondered if it was finally time to act. The hunters had come two weeks ago bearing grim news, their words still echoing in her mind, "Soon, we will start an initiative to reclaim what has been stolen from us. The lycans think they won the war, but it's just begun."\

War. The hunters wanted war. She didn't know how she felt about that. On one hand, she felt revved from the energy of actually fighting rather than hiding. On the other, she truly didn't want an entire war. She didn't know if humanity could survive another one.

She shivered as the morning air was extra crisp, the cold wind brushing over her un-braided hair. She took a sip of the hot water in her mug, the steam smothering her face. They were out of tea, but she still liked the warmth of it. The mug had a pink heart and the word coffee printed over it in cursive.

Such an odd design, and I don't even drink coffee. It was a part of the mug collection found in their home when her mother and father settled here.

She heard the squeaking of the patio screen, accompanied by the dramatic sigh of her ten-year-old brother. "What's US 248 mean?" Ben asked. She looked down to the younger version of herself, and he kept pushing his dark brown hair out of his eyes. She'd need to trim it soon.

"What?" she asked, gripping the mug tighter to warm her hands.

"The sign in the living room. I was looking at it while I drank my hot water, and I just realized that I have no idea what it means," he said, pulling a walnut from his pocket and using it to tap the wooden railing of their porch.

She furrowed her brows. "You really don't know what it means?"

He flicked the walnut up in the air and nearly missed catching it. "I thought it was just odds and ends! Like your coffee mug. But then I saw that Harry had one at his house, and he said it was for the highway, but he didn't know what that meant either. I didn't realize more than one person would have it," he said, glancing up to his sister. He had dark brown eyes like their mother, the only thing that was opposite of Cora. She had her father's hazels eyes instead.

"US 248 was a highway, and those are signs that they used to put on them. Our village is near that highway," she explained.

"What's a highway?"

"Those giant roads that the cars drove on," she explained.

His eyes lit up. "Oh, cars...like what the hunters drive?"

She nodded. "Kind of. Father says that cars used to look a lot different than the ones that hunters drive today. They use diesel instead of gasoline."

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