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Image by Milad Fakurian

The Angel of Torin Woods

A Betwixt the Sea and Shore Novella

Orkney Islands, 1735

“There you are! Where have you been?” Tam asked with a glare.

     The young man's brother didn’t answer as he wandered into the house and made his way toward his room.

     “Didn’ you hear me, whalp[1]?” Tam snarled, grabbing the other boy by the arm. “Answer me when I’m talking to—”

     But then Tam got a good glimpse of his sibling’s face, and his annoyance turned to curiosity. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. What happened?”

     The younger McLaren, a sixteen-year-old boy named Vincent, looked up at his brother with a dreamy, far-off expression. “Tam, I just heard the most beautiful singing in the whole world.”

     The older boy’s nose wrinkled. “What? What are you talking about?”

     “I was up in the woods when I heard it. I’m sure it must have been an angel…” Vincent explained, his eyes drifting from his brother to stare off at nothing as his mind went back to that wonderful moment.

     “What? An angel?! Do you think I’m going to believe that?”

     Vincent blinked, coming out of his daze. He frowned at his brother and crossed his arms. “’Tis the truth!”

     Tam raised eyebrows suspiciously. “What did it sound like then?”

     “It sounded like… waves breaking on the shore. Like the wind when it howls through the trees…” Vincent trailed off with a blush, for he suddenly realized he sounded incredibly silly.

     Tam chuckled and turned away as if he didn’t want to waste any more time listening to such a far-fetched tale.

     But Vincent wasn’t about to let him go without convincing him. The younger boy scrunched up his face into his fiercest scowl. “I’m na lying! I really did hear it! You have to believe me!”

     Tam glanced back at him with a sneer. “Why should I? Yer always making up stories like this.”

[1] Devil.

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