It’s raining hard now, the burning stuga crackling and sizzling.
I hold Anders, try to protect his wound from the rain. The lump in my throat almost chokes me, I can’t howl, I’ll break down. Please don’t leave me Anders.
I can’t do it. I can’t leave her. Was that a siren in the distance?
I lay Anders gently on the grass, prop his head up on my sweater. Dash back inside.
She’s awake. Only stunned momentarily, but she’s on the other side of the fire, trapped, terrified.
Back outside, skid on wet grass, scrabble to my feet, round the back.
A wood axe. It’s heavy. Can I lift it? Of course I can. Shatter the window. Tove crawls over. She’s weak. Inhaled a lot of smoke.
The siren gets closer. They’re almost here.
She reaches out, I grab her hand and lift. She screams as the burning wood singes her; the paint is boiling, bubbling.
Tove is out. She looks at me, opens her mouth to speak. I turn, run back to Anders.
She stands, dazed, on the grass, watching dully as the police car approaches, skids on the mud. Nadja Johansson runs to her.
I hold Anders, my tears mixing with the rain on his face. I don’t care about anything else. Please Anders.