A Missing Sheep Part XVI

Arthema opened her eyes.

“Feeling better?” Mama asked with a smile.

Arthema nodded.

Fin let out all his strain in one big sigh. He could hear his father behind him doing the same.

But then Arthema’s calm face crumbled as she threw herself crying into Mama’s arms. “I’m sorry!” she cried.

“Shh,” Mama said, hugging her tightly and stroking her head. “It’s fine now. You are safe with us.”

A moment later she loosened the embrace to look Arthema in the eye. “Tell me what happened.”

So Arthema told them what happened. How she searched for poor Myka and found her or what was left of her. How she ran away from the imitacs and killed most of them with stones. And how she threw her last stone and thought she was going to die. “And then,” Arthema sobbed, “I…” She stopped and looked at him, then at Papa and then at Mama. His sister looked so scared. Fin didn’t understand. She was safe now, wasn’t she?

“Go on, sweetie,” Mama said.

“I… felt the wind,” she finally said. “But not just like on my skin or on my hair. It felt as if I was the wind! And… And as I threw the last stone… Ma? Pa? I… I think I used magic!” She started crying again, burying herself deeper in Mother’s arms.

Fin looked at both his parents, confused. “Magic?”

“Bloody sheep shit!” his father cursed and threw his hands up in horror.

His mother’s face went pale. “Are you sure, sweetie?”

“Of course she is sure!” Papa said angry. Fin flinched. Arthema was crying harder. Why was his father angry?

“Have you seen the place, Elna?” Papa continued. “I’ve told you! It looked like a bloody mess! Everything was blown away. The imitacs were scattered across the bloody clearing all the way to the timberline. Every blade of grass–“

“Enough, Bren!” Mama said sharply and cut Papa off. She stared at him and the look she was giving him made Fin shiver.

His mother was the warmest and nicest person he knew. But on the other side she could also stare a timberwolf down and let him run away whining with his tail between his legs. At least that was what Fin believed. He only saw it once as Ira tried to eat some meat pie from the kitchen table. Although Ira wasn’t a timberwolf, Fin was sure his mother’s stare would have had the same effect on one.