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Nine (part 12)

Joe Spivey's picture
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Everyone peered in as Finny’s fingers pulled off the wrapping paper to reveal a small, felt covered box. Inside was a mound of shiny white metal which uncurled into a long silver chain when Finny gently lifted it high so that all could see. At the end of the shiny chain was a silver ring.

“I have put it onto chain because it is too much big for littler girly finger. Is a ring, see.” Silja indicated the inscription. “Look. See it has áletrun… er, scratched, inside.”

Finny squinted at the tiny letters. Then she remembered the thing that ‘Soggy’ Moise had given her and dove into her pocket to find it. Everyone smiled at the sight of Finny examining the ring through a jeweller’s loupe. Everyone except Kirsten who gave Joe ‘that look’. Joe shrugged.

Finny was turning the ring round and round as she tried to make out the strange symbols.

hvað fer í kring kemur í kring

“What’s it mean?”

Silja tapped the side of her nose and gave Finny an exaggerated wink.

“Ah. That is for you to be finding out.”

Finny stood up and hung the mysterious ring around her neck and then hugs were exchanged.

“Thank you Silja.”

When they let go of each other Kirsten was holding out a large, deep, flat box. Finny just managed to get her outstretched arms around the edges and sank back onto the carpet under its weight.

With wrapping paper ripped of Anneka style, Finny separated the lid from the base and openly gasped at the contents.

Clothes. LOTS of clothes. Tee shirts, tops, real jeans, more tops, sneakers, shoes, socks, even underpants! But everything in the box was crisply folded and screamed newness. Finny dived in, pulling out everything one at a time to hold it up, to measure it against herself and just to feel the gorgeous newness of every item. What dropped her jaw, though, was the top with her name emblazoned across the front in huge, fully embroidered, letters. Finny heard her name and only then remembered that there were people around her. She looked up.


It was Kirsten, bending over her, with her hands on her knees for support.

“I said why don’t you pick something for now and go and get changed upstairs?”

Ten minutes later, Finny came back down stairs to a round of applause, magnificent in brand new blue jeans, white sneakers and, of course, the personalised pink and red top.

When she came back into the living room, to the little semicircle of waiting people, it was to find Casper, prevented from running away by Kirsten’s hands on his shoulders, nervously holding out his own inexpertly wrapped present.

Finny stared at the pink paper with red hearts that it was wrapped in. Casper noticed.

“Um, it was all he had for free. I spent all my chips on the… on the thing.”

So, with both of them blushing, Casper passed his gift to Finny.

Kirsten nearly melted at the sweetness of the little scene and even Silja had to work to keep a nonchalant expression.

Finny opened the parcel to reveal the leather-bound journal.

“Oh! Mister Trent sells these.”

“It’s a write your own story book. You hafta write down stuff you do, like that adventure we did.”

Finny beamed.

“I was thinking of doing that!”

“Oh, right. Er, good.”

Finny and Casper stared uncomfortably at each other for way too long until a slightly exasperated voice whispered from the doorway.

“Oh fer fu…”

But was immediately drowned out by Kirsten.

“Right! Well then, let’s all go through to the dining room and start the party, shall we? I’m sure everyone is starving.”

Kirsten and Silja shepherded the kids past Joe and across the hallway into the dining room. Joe stepped aside to let them past. When they had all gone he crossed to the couch and knelt down to examine the big jar of candy.

On the wooden base there was a torn-to-size piece of paper with ‘FINNY’ written on it in Onetooth’s unmistakeable scrawl. It had been stuck down over something else. Joe peeled the homemade label back and frowned at the words revealed on the brass plate beneath. Standing up, he touched his finger to a stud on his collar.

“Tuki? It’s Joe. You got a sec? Or are you elbow deep in some poor bugger’s guts as usual?”


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