A Missing Sheep Part XIV

Ira’s barking made Fin turn his head to the door. The sheepdog rushed in, wagging his tail. Fin’s parents stood outside on the hallway and they both looked as if they hadn’t slept well. His father’s gaze switched between him and his sister. Brennard was still wearing the same clothes as he was when they went to look for Arthema. Spots of dirt covered his mottled gray beard. He was a tall man. If Fin was as big as his father some day, the Thorlakson twins wouldn’t bully him anymore he thought.

“Papa! Mama! Arthema can’t breathe!” Fin said, still holding his sister’s hand.

Both his parents entered the room after a moment of hesitation. His father told him to make some room, so that his mother could take care of Arthema.

Elna was not as big as his father and had no beard. But she had black hair, just as Brennard, only longer and tied to a braid. Her eyes were red and teary. She sat down on the bed and placed a hand on his sister’s head. Ira wanted to jump back on the bed, too, but a sharp “No!” from Brennard stopped the dog.

After a moment Elna wrinkled her forehead and placed her hand on Arthema’s chest. “Arthema, sweetie, look at me,” she said. Arthema’s eyes were wide open and teary but she did as she was told. She was still breathing intermittently. “I want you to focus on my hand on your chest. Imagine that your chest is glued to my hand and can only move when my hand moves. Can you do that?” Arthema nodded. Fin thought that his mother had a beautiful voice. He could feel everything was going to be alright by just hearing the soothing sound of it. Arthema also seemed to calm down a bit.