A long, long, long time ago it was, when Aidan stood in front of Jenny Greenteeth.
It was a dark and stormy night. The clock was driving Aidan mad.
Once upon a time, there was a boy.
Aidan opened his eyes, as the woman arrived at his window. Brother Sean had come around half an hour ago to check that Aidan was not awake, not getting up to mischief, not putting idle hands to the devil’s work, and if he were, to beat him into the arms of sleep. Beatings were a part of being an orphan; If your own parents didn’t love you enough to keep you, you could be bloody certain that no one else would.
I stood before the great sequoia. I tilted my head back, one hand on the back of my head to keep it from falling off. The great tree towered, nearly three hundred feet tall, more like the pillars holding up heaven than a living creature.
I watched as the rain fell upon the moor, washing down across the heath. Tears of angels, perhaps, weeping for the woman being lowered into her grave. I stood a long way from the mourners, near-hidden by the mist and the rain pouring down around us. Bare from the waist up, my arms crossed, my eyes on the men. Loch MacClain stood at my back, the shore barely containing the lake as the wind whipped the water to stiff peaks, spray filling the air, the sky and the water together seeming to blend. I stared down at the mourners.
“God, not another one.”