A Missing Sheep Part X

Arthema slowly opened her eyes as consciousness returned to her and with it the pain of over a dozen bruises, cuts and a splitting headache. As she tried to sit up, another source of pain – this time from her left shoulder – added itself to her agony and her vision became blurry. Her clouded mind immediately wished it could succumb once more to the sweet darkness a few moments ago. She grunted and sunk back into her pillow.

Her pillow. Forests should not have pillows. She sat up slowly and flinched as the throbbing pain in her head increased. She was lying in her bed. That would explain the pillow. And she was in her room or rather the room she was sharing with her brother. It had to be night or still very early in the morning because the only sources of light were a flickering candle on her bedside table and the half open door to the corridor.

Fin was sleeping beside her on a chair. It looked rather uncomfortable how he had slumped in there like that. And was he snoring? She giggled. “Ow!” She groaned. Giggling was not good. She touched her head and realized it was bandaged, just as the rest of her body. What happened? Arthema thought. She could remember entering the woods and searching for her lost sheep. She had found it, but it was already dead. And then she ran. But from what?

Loud voices from down the corridor tore Arthema out of her thoughts. It sounded like her parents were arguing about something.

“They are like this since we found you and brought you home”, her brother said suddenly.

Arthema nearly jumped out of bed. “Fin! Don’t scare me like that!”

He looked at her and stuck out his tongue. Then he jumped up from the chair and hugged her tightly.

“Ow ow ow! Be careful, please! I feel like every bone in my body broke and got glued back together again,” she complained half-hearted but soon hugged him back. Just feeling his presence seemed to drive away most of her pain.