A Missing Sheep Part XIII

Fin was confused, scared and did not know what to do because he hadn’t seen his sister cry before. She had always been the strong one and had protected him again and again. But she did it in such a subtle way that it did not look like he was a helpless wimp. And for that he loved her.

It was only last week that she stood with him against the Thorlakson twins. They were lying in wait for him on his way home from the market. Not only were they two years older than him, they also were two heads bigger. And of course there were two of them. He was quite sure that he would have beaten at least one of them to a pulp, but two?

Thankfully he was not very far away from home at that time. So as they jumped out from behind a bush and demanded his goods, which he had bought at the market, he pushed one to the ground, slipped through the grip of the other and sprinted like Vac himself was after him. With burning lungs and no more breath, he collapsed at the hill from which one could see their farm; the two bullies only a few dozen feet behind him.

“We’ve got you now, sheep-boy!” one of them shouted.

Fin looked down the hill to their farm and smiled. His sister was running towards him, with stones in her hand and a wicked smile on her face.

“Fin!” Arthema gasped suddenly and tore him back into the here and now. “I– can’t– breathe–!” Her breath came in huffs and her eyes were wide open.

“Ira! Go get Papa! Go!” Fin said. The dog barked, jumped from Arthema’s bed and rushed out of the room.

Fin looked at his sister. Her breathing got faster and faster. Uncertainty and fear grew inside him. It laced around his chest like wire. He took her hand and pressed it. Her hand was sweating but warm. He got angry because he felt so useless. “I don’t know what to do!”

She tried to smile, her face still wet with tears. “Just– stay– and– hold my– hand,” she huffed and pressed his hand back. Her warmth loosened the wire a bit.

“You have snot on your nose,” Fin grinned.

Arthema made a grunting noise which should be a laughter he guessed. “You– are– a– snot!”