Sold to hated rivals for a peace accord, Desi uses her knowledge and womanly talents to survive. Years pass and events bring forth a hard truth. A secret family, her full freedom, and the love of the man she spurned years before, waits for her if she survives a deadly face-to-face encounter and a broken tree limb.
An American town faces changes.
For so long and like many other small towns across the United States, Hill Park struggled to stay alive when businesses closed and people moved away for better opportunities in larger towns and cities.
Today, few residents of Hill Park remember when the large property on the corner of Main and Bypass was a motel owned by a local family. A bad business move resulted in the closure and sale of the U-shaped motel.
The property sat vacant for a time, then without any fanfare, a group of five men came to see the property. Two weeks after their tour of the motel, the group of men sent the real estate agent an offer to buy.
The agent accepted the offer on behalf of the last of the family and the deal closed.
Soon the people of the town knew that the motel would not to be a blight on the community anymore. Word spread quickly, and people were curious to find out what would happen.
The property became the talk of the town, as one day a person would drive by and not see any changes, and the next day, something would be different about the property.
The first change many noticed, the building got a new coat of paint.
Another change people noted, bricks replaced the street side windows on the ground floor.
An exterior change that no one could miss, was the installment of a high wooden privacy fence topped with razor wire. It was the fence that made many wonder what the new owners would place inside, that needed the protection of such a fence.
It soon became known that the property would again give refuge to people. What was new was the idea that the people coming in were not just staying overnight and moving on, but arrived with the intention of increasing Hill Park’s population. They were people of Scandinavian descent.
They were Vikings.
Men, women, singles, and families, came on two, four, six or more wheels. Some pulled trailers behind pickups and cars.
Deliveries of construction materials and other items to the motel property grew. For town folk, the influx of cash from the Vikings helped Hill Park’s economy.
Some of the other items that came with the Vikings, included long-time family business connections. Some of those connections carried influence among ancient royal houses of the world.
Some of the newcomers came with ancient titles from European families, that meant nothing in America, just a piece of paper with words. It was still a topic of discussion around dinner tables, and there was an uptick of demand at the library of books about Vikings and their culture. To most in town, the newcomers were a rare treat.
Unique is how some described them, and they were more welcomed in Hill Park than others. The Vikings chose to assimilate into the community. Those that needed to become citizens, paid their dues and became American.
When the newcomers began to find work among the town's businesses or applied to open their own new businesses, and when the town council agreed with the school district to add a new school bus stop near the old hotel, people realized the Vikings were in Hill Park to stay. Among their number, they brought people trained in a variety of professions to Hill Park.
They brought with them their own style of farming, which when they incorporated into American farming practices, helped the land produce better yields without the use of more commercial insecticides.
One highly trained and professional family brought with them knowledge of wild animal husbandry. In the historical rolls of the town, they credited that Viking family as the first to build a public zoo in Hill Park and populate it with unique animals.
The Vikings helped put Hill Park back on the touring maps of America. City leaders pushed the idea to vacation planners, who touted to their customers that a short stop in Hill Park would give travelers an opportunity to meet real descendants from the Vikings of old. They could visit a real working small Viking fishing and agricultural village. See rare items of historical value, sit in a life-sized long boat, and buy real, items created from old-world technology to have treasures from the Scandinavian part of the world. Visitors could even try some Viking foods made in the traditional ways, if they wished.
Thirty-some years after the arrival and integration of the Vikings into the community of Hill Park, those that came first, began to pass on to Valhalla. Into the vacancies stepped sons, daughters, and grandchildren, to fill the shoes of their forefathers.