A Missing Sheep Part XI

“I was so worried,” he said, his voice trembled.

She closed her eyes, smiled and hugged him tighter. “It’s fine now. I’m home.” After a while they let go of each other. Fin coughed and hurriedly wiped away some tears. She herself had to swallow a lump in her throat. “Fin, could you bring me some water?”

“Sure.” The boy rushed to a small table at the other side of the room and came back with a cup of water. She took it and drank. Her lips and her throat were bone dry and soaked up the water like a sponge. After a few sips however, she coughed and stopped. Fin reached out to grab the cup but she shook her head, calmed herself down and drank the cup empty. She let out a long sigh. “That’s better, thank you.” Fin took the cup and placed it on her night stand. “Fin?”

Her brother looked up.

“What happened after we parted?”

“You don’t remember?”

“It’s all blurry and foggy”, she said. “I remember finding the sheep but it was already…” Slaughtered, she thought suddenly, as memories flashed up before her eyes. She shook her head and continued, “Dead.”

“Poor Myka…” Fin said and looked down.

“I’m sorry. I know she was your favorite one.”

Fin looked up again and scratched his head. “Well, that’s life, Papa always says.”

Another memory came back to her. Three lights in the distance, coming closer. “You looked for me, didn’t you? You came back with… Papa and Ira?”

Something rustled suddenly after hearing her name and Ira’s head popped up at the end of her bed. The sheepdog hesitated not one second before jumping onto it and cuddling herself carefully but determinant on Arthema’s lap. “Ow! Careful Ira!” The dog just mumbled pleasantly as she started ruffling its head.

“Yes! After I’ve led the sheep home, I’ve told Papa that you went looking for Myka. He cursed, like you–” he said and smirked.

Arthema stuck out her tongue.

“–and then we were looking for you. The storm was becoming stronger and we feared we might not find you in the dark and in the storm.” He paused and ruffled Ira, too. “But Ira here has never lost your scent.”