A Missing Sheep Part XXI

“Good,” said Papa. He ruffled Fin’s hair again and stood up. “Now hurry and pack some stuff!”

Fin looked up to his father with big open eyes, the dagger still in his hand. “Where are you going?”

“I’ll ready the horses and the cart. Go on, Fin, we must hurry!” With that, he pushed Fin gently towards their room and hurried down the dimly lit corridor.

Fin stood there for a few more heartbeats and looked down on the weapon in his hand. Then he slowly pulled the dagger out of its sheath and touched the blade very carefully with a finger. “Ouch!” he cried, more out of shock than pain. He put the bleeding finger in his mouth.

“Fin!” called his mother. “Where the bloody night are you? Come on in and help us packing!”

“Coming!” Fin put the dagger back in its case and stuffed it under his belt on his left side, so everyone could see it. He rushed back into the room to help his mother and sister. “Hush now,” Mama said. As she spotted the dagger on Fin’s side and the (still bleeding) finger in his mouth, she shook her head and sighed. “Just like your father.” Fin just grinned stupidly and walked to the opposite side of the room to his closet to search for clothes.

“Warm ones, Finnán! It’s cold in the mountains!” Mama said behind him.

“Yes, mother!” said Fin and rolled his eyes. Of course he would pack warm clothes and of course he had heard Mother the first time she had said that. He was no child anymore. He touched the dagger on his side and smiled.

“Mama?” Arthema asked after a while of silent packing.


“How long do we have to stay there?”

Fin spun around and answered before his mother could reply something, “’Until it’s safe’, Papa said. We will know!”

Arthema aped Fin and stuck out her tongue. Fin replied with his.

“Fin! Packing!” Mama commanded. Fin turned around again, stuffing more clothes in his back bag. Warm ones of course.

“Your brother is right,” Mama said. “Until it’s safe.”


Suddenly Ira started barking. Fin’s hand moved instinctively to the dagger on his side. He turned around and looked at his mother and Arthema, both frozen in their current movements. Motionless, they looked back at him. Mama put a finger to her mouth, signaling him to keep quiet. Fin nodded. Were they here already? But what about Papa? Has he scared them away?

Soon, loud and fast footsteps were echoing through the hallway, coming closer.