A Missing Sheep Part XX

Fear gripped Fin as the words of his father sunk in. His stomach tightened. “No!” he shouted, shaking his head. “They can’t! I won’t let them!” They cannot take Arthema away, not after finding her again.

Papa smiled sadly and ruffled Fin’s hair. “I know you won’t,” he said. Then he brought out a dagger behind his back. “And we won’t let them take her.” He handed it to Fin. “Here, take this.”

Fin’s eyes widened as he looked at the dagger. The curved blade was nearly as long as Fin’s forearm. It had no hilt and the brown shaft continued the curve form of the blade. Fin knew that it was very sharp. He had often watched his father skinning animals with it. And not just once had he cut himself in the process.

Fin looked at his father. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. Take it.” Fin slowly reached out and grabbed the dagger. It was heavy.

“Now listen, son,” Papa said and grabbed Fin’s other shoulder. “Soon people will come and they will try to take your sister away. But we won’t be here when they come. So that’s why we are all packing. We are going to hide in the mountains where they can’t find us.”

“And how long?”

“Until it’s safe. We will know.”

Fin nodded. The mountains. He remembered hearing Mama and Papa talk about the mountains some time ago. Something about the resist… Or was it the resistance?

“But if something happens,” Papa continued, “I need you and Ira to protect her, no matter what! Do you understand?”

“Yes, father,” Fin answered without hesitation. Father’s words seemed as heavy as the dagger in Fin’s hand. There was a finality in his words, Fin could not yet understand.