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underwater official cover

Brave ventures yield great rewards, Kjell reasons, so long as one survives them. Perhaps the same is true for sheep.

His foot digs deeper, and he steps back. The stories of places like this are known well, the haunts of wights and elves who will demand tribute for passing near their homes. Children’s stories, no doubt, to keep them from toppling down onto the rocks. Myths and fables from more superstitious times.

Surely, then, the strains of music are only his imagination.

Surely, the lilting of fiddle strings must be carrying on the wind across the fell.

Surely, Kjell must have just spent too much time afield alone, and his mind has wandered far as his stubborn sheep.

Curiosity pulls him towards the edge once more. With mistrust towards the stability of the soft soil and misgivings towards his own mind, Kjell slips closer to the falls. Dulcet tones rise in a familiar old song from Kjell’s childhood but whose words he can’t recall. The cascade of water is twice his height but no more than that, and when Kjell leans, only the edge of the shadowy pool beneath shows, foaming white beneath the spray. The bend of strings echoes louder from below, a sound so warm that Kjell forgets how wet his clothes have become in seeking the music’s source.

“Hello?”

Kjell’s voice rings back at him after a pause, too long to be his own echo, and yet, it sounds much the same. His brow furrows at the strange delay. He draws a breath to call again and holds it when a voice responds:

“Hello.”

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