Kids on Fire: A Free Excerpt From Whale Song

We’re happy to share this post from our sister site, Kids Corner @ Kindle Nation Daily, where you can find all things Kindle for kids, every day!

Last week we announced that Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s International Bestseller Whale Song is our Kids Corner Book of the Week and the sponsor of our student reviews and of thousands of great bargains in the Kids Book category: over 300 free titles, over 500 quality 99-centers, and hundreds more that you can read for free through the Kindle Lending Library if you have Amazon Prime!

Now we’re back to offer a free Kids Corner excerpt, and if you aren’t among those who have downloaded this one already, you’re in for a treat!

Whale Song

by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

4.7 stars – 108 Reviews
Kindle Price: $2.99
Or currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members Via the Kindle Lending Library
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.

Here’s the set-up:
Thirteen years ago, Sarah Richardson’s life was shattered after the tragic death of her mother. The shocking event left a grief-stricken teen-aged Sarah with partial amnesia.

Some things are easier to forget.

But now a familiar voice from her childhood sends Sarah, a talented mid-twenties ad exec, back to her past. A past that she had thought was long buried.

Some things are meant to be buried.

Torn by nightmares and visions of a yellow-eyed wolf and aided by creatures of the Earth and killer whales that call to her in the night, Sarah must face her fears and recover her memories―even if it destroys her.

Some things are meant to be remembered―at all cost.

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:

 

Excerpt from WHALE SONG by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

prologue

 

I once feared death.

It is said that death begins with the absence of life. And life begins when death is no longer feared. I have stared death in the face and survived. A survivor who has learned about unfailing love and forgiveness. I realize now that I am but a tiny fragment in an endless ocean of life, just as a killer whale is a speck in her immense underwater domain.

It’s been years since I’ve experienced the freedom of the ocean. And years since that one horrifying tragedy took away everything and everyone that I loved. I have spent my life fighting my fragmented memories, imprisoned by guilt and betrayal. I had stopped hoping, dreaming or loving.

I was barely alive.

Locked away in darkness, I struggled―until I learned the lessons from Seagull, Whale and Wolf.

Now I am free.

I finally remember my youth. I recall the happy times, the excursions in the schooner and the sunlight reflecting off deep blue water. I can still visualize the mist of water spouting from the surface and a ripple opening to release the dorsal fin of a killer whale.

But what I remember most is the eerie, plaintive song of the whale, caught on the electronic sound equipment of the research schooner. Her song still lingers in my mind.

A long-forgotten memory…


PART ONE

Village of the Whales

one

 

In the summer of 1977, my parents and I moved from our rambling ranch home in Wyoming to Vancouver Island, Canada. My father had been offered a position with Sea Corp, a company devoted to studying marine life. He would no longer be a marine biology professor at the university. Instead, he’d be studying killer whales and recording their vocalization.

My mother was ecstatic about the move. She couldn’t wait to return to Canada where her parents were living. She chatted nonstop about all the new things we would see and do.

But I was miserable. I didn’t want to move.

“You’ll make new friends, Sarah,” my parents told me.

But I―like most eleven-year-old girls―hated them for making me leave the friends I already had.

Since our new home was fully furnished, we were leaving almost everything behind. A few personal belongings, my mother’s art supplies and some household items would follow in a small moving van.

My father told us he had rented out our ranch to a nice elderly couple. I was quite happy that no children were going to be living in my bedroom, but I was miserable about leaving behind my prized possessions. I reluctantly said goodbye to my little bed, my Bay City Rollers wall posters, my bookshelf of Nancy Drew mysteries, my mismatched dresser and my swimming trophies. Then I sulked on the edge of the bed and watched my mother sift through my things.

“I know it’s hard,” she said, catching my sullen mood. “Think of this as an adventure.”

I let out an angry huff and flopped onto my back.

“I don’t want an adventure.”

 

The following morning, we left Wyoming with my three-speed bike strapped to the roof of the car and our suitcases and my mother’s easel piled in the trunk. That night, I watched TV in a motel room while my parents talked about our new home in Canada.

“Time for bed, Sarah,” my father said after a while. “We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow.”

Unable to sleep, I tossed restlessly in the bed and stared at the ceiling, wondering what life would be like stuck on a tiny island.

How boring it’s going to be.

I thought of Amber-Lynn MacDonald, my best friend back in Wyoming. She was probably crying her eyes out, missing me. Who was I going to tell all my secrets to now?

I swallowed hard, fighting back the tears.

Life is so unfair.

Little did I know just how unfair life could be.

 

It felt like days later when we finally arrived in Vancouver. We drove to the ferry terminal and waited in a long lineup of vehicles. We boarded the ferry and I rushed to the upper deck where I stood against the rails and watched the mainland disappear. The water was choppy and the ferry swayed side-to-side. When we saw Vancouver Island approaching, dismal gray clouds greeted us and I instantly missed the scorching dry heat of Wyoming.

The drive from the ferry terminal to our new house took hours and seemed relentlessly slow. After a while, we veered off the highway and headed along the main road to Bamfield. The narrow unpaved road was bumpy and pitted. It was swallowed up by massive, intimidating logging trucks that blasted their horns at us.

I watched them roll precariously close while my father steered our car until it hugged the side of the road. I held my breath, waiting for the huge bands that secured the logs to snap and release the lumber onto our car. And I was sure that we’d topple over into the ditch or onto the rocks below.

I released a long impatient breath.            “Where’s the ocean?”

“You just saw it,” my father chuckled. “From the ferry.”

“No, I mean the ocean ocean,” I muttered. “That was just like a big lake. I want to see the real ocean, where it stretches out for miles and you can’t see the end of it.”

My mother turned and smiled. “You just wait. You’ll see it soon enough.”

I settled into the back seat with my latest Nancy Drew book and tried to read. But my eyes kept wandering to the window. When we hit a huge pothole, my book dropped to the car floor. It stayed there for the remainder of the trip.

I pushed my face against the window and watched the scenery streak past. The forest that surrounded us was enormous and forbidding. Moss hung eerily from damp branches and a fog danced around the tree trunks.

Then the sun broke out from behind a cloud―free at last from its dark imprisonment.     It quickly heated up the interior of the car. Unfortunately, the gravel road kicked up so much dust that I wasn’t allowed to roll down the window. And since we didn’t have air conditioning, my hair―or my Italian mane as my mother called it―hung limply to my waist and my bangs stuck to my forehead.

I scowled.  We’d been driving for days and I was tired of being cooped up in the car.

“Close your eyes, Sarah,” my father said, interrupting my thoughts. “And don’t open them ’til I say.”

I obeyed and held my breath in anticipation.

I’m finally going to see the ocean.

Minutes ticked by and I grew restless. Being a typical eleven-year-old, I had to sneak a peek.

“Okay, now you can look,” my father said.

He chuckled when he caught me with my eyes already open.

Pushing my damp bangs aside, I scrunched my face up close to the window. The ocean was spread out before me, interrupted only by a tiny island here and there. The water’s surface was choppy with whitecaps and it looked dark and mysterious.

I smiled, satisfied.

Back in Wyoming, we saw endless stretches of green hills and grass with mountains rising in the distance. That was all I’d ever known. I could go horseback riding and never see water bigger than our duck pond. Now before me, the ocean seemed to go on endlessly.

I couldn’t resist rolling down the window. As soon as I did, I heard waves crashing along the shoreline.

“Well, what do you think?” my father asked. “This road winds all along the shore. Every now and then, you’ll be able to see the ocean. And once we reach Bamfield, our house is just east of town, right on the water.”

He reached over and tugged at a piece of my mother’s long auburn hair. I laughed when she swatted his hand.

“The house will be ours for the next three years,” my mother said over her shoulder. “It belongs to an older couple, so we’ll have to take very good care of it.”

Twenty minutes later, we passed a sign. Welcome to Bamfield.

I breathed a sigh of relief. We were almost there.

As we drove unnoticed through the modest town, I realized that it was much smaller than Buffalo, the town nearest our ranch in Wyoming. After stopping at Myrtle’s Restaurant & Grill for a delicious supper of deep-fried halibut and greasy home-style French fries, we clambered back into the car and headed for our new home.

“The house is just up ahead,” my father said. “I know you’re going to love it, Dani.”

He gave my mother a long, tender look.

 

My mother, Daniella Andria Rossetti, was born and raised in San Diego, California. Her parents were immigrants from Italy who had moved to the United States after World War II.

When she was eighteen, her parents moved again―this time to Vancouver, Canada. My mother took advantage of the move, left home and struck out for Hollywood with hopes of becoming a famous actress. After numerous rejections and insulting offers from sleazy directors, she gave up her stalled acting career and studied art and oil painting instead. Within a few months, her work was shown at Visions, a popular art gallery in San Francisco.

It was there that she met my father.

Jack Richardson was a Canadian marine biology student who had wandered in off the street after being caught in a tempestuous downpour of rain. Six months later, my mother moved in with him―much to her parents’ disapproval. Four months went by and they were married in a small church with a few friends and family present.

During the next three years, my parents tried to have a child. They had almost given up hope when they discovered that my mother was pregnant. Six months into a perfect pregnancy, she miscarried. My parents were devastated.

Eight months later, my father’s stepfather and mother were killed in a car accident. During the reading of the will, my father discovered that he had inherited the family ranch in Wyoming.

But my mother was upset. She didn’t want to leave the bustling city of San Francisco for the wide-open plains near Buffalo. When the curator of Visions, Simon McAllister, promised that she could courier her paintings to the gallery, my mother agreed to the move.

After a year on the ranch, she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Her work thrived, reflecting images of country living, meadows and mountains. Then she was rewarded with unbelievable news. She was pregnant again.

Nine months plus a week later Sarah Maria Richardson weighed in at eight pounds, four ounces. At three months old, I had thick black hair and dark brown eyes. My parents doted on me.

When I was about six, my mother told me how handsome my father had looked the moment she first saw him in the art gallery. Even though he was shivering and drenched, he had stared at one of her paintings for the longest time.

My mother had fallen in love with him that instant.

It sounded like a fairytale to me, but I believed that my parents loved each other and that they would be together.

Forever.

 

Now years later, we were driving along the rustic coast of Vancouver Island, anticipating the first glance of our new home. I felt restless and uneasy. I somehow knew that my life would change the second we drove into those trees.

Destiny…or fate?

As the sun began to set overhead, we reached a small, barely legible sign that read 231 Bayview Lane. A gravel driveway curved and disappeared into the trees. When the car followed it, we were plunged into darkness. Branches reached out to the car roof, caressing it like a thousand hungry fingers.

The tall cedar trees that surrounded the car opened to reveal a lush lawn carefully landscaped with small shrubs. At the end of the gravel driveway, a two-story cedar house stood just beyond the lawn. The shingles of the roof gleamed in the reddening sunlight. The main door into the house was solid wood with no window. In fact, there were only three small windows on that entire side of the house.

Our new home seemed forlorn―empty.

“Well, not much to look at from here,” my mother mumbled. “But I’m sure it’s much nicer inside. We could always punch out a window…or two.”

My father grinned. “Dani, my love, looks can be deceiving. Just wait until you see inside.”

When he pulled the car onto a cement pad, my mother smirked. “The garage?” she asked sarcastically.

“You’re so funny,” he said, unfolding himself from the driver’s seat.

I clambered out, impatient to get inside and explore. Reaching for his hand, I tugged on it and pulled him toward the house while my mother followed behind.

At the door, we turned back and caught sight of her pale face.

“Are you okay?” my father asked.

“I’m just a bit carsick,” she said with a wry smile. “You two go in first, let me get some fresh air. I’ll be in shortly.”

“If you’re―”

She laughed. “Go inside, Jack. I’m okay.”

With a shrug, my father unlocked the door and gave it a gentle nudge. Then he turned to me, his mouth widening into the biggest smile I had ever seen.

“Welcome to your new home, Sarah,” he said.

I let go of his hand and eagerly stepped inside, a thrill of excitement racing through me. “I want to see my roo―”

I froze, dead in my tracks.


two

 

It was the dazzling light that hit us first.

Large picture windows wrapped the entire front of the house and faced the ocean. The flaming sunset outside made the interior glow like the embers of a fire.

“Wow,” I murmured.

My eyes swept across the open main floor. There was a living room to my left. It was decorated in bronze and copper tones, and two beige plaid couches framed a chocolate-brown area rug. To my right, a dining room table and four chairs claimed the area in front of one of the windows.

I ran to it, almost knocking over a potted plant. I looked out the window and stared, mesmerized, as the setting sun sparkled on the bay.

“I can hear the ocean, Dad.”

The door behind us opened and my mother joined us, her face instantly lighting up. “It’s beautiful, Jack.”

“It’s private too,” my father said. “The nearest neighbor is about a fifteen-minute walk down the beach.” He teasingly ruffled my hair. “Hey, do you want to check out the rest of the house?”

“Do I ever,” I said, my eyes wide with anticipation.

He led me to a large closet by the back door. “This is the closet.” His voice was serious, as if he were a realtor showing me a potential property.

I laughed. “No kidding, Dad.”

I took off my jacket and hung it in the empty space. That was my first claim on my new home.

“Over here is the living room,” my father said with a sweep of one hand.

I pointed to a large black monstrosity. “What is that thing?”

My mother stifled a gasp. “A wood-burning stove. How charming. I love it, Jack.” She spun on her heel slowly and surveyed the room. “You were right about this house. It’s perfect for us.”

I agreed. The house was far better than I had expected.

I walked closer to the stove.

Over it, a cedar shelf was mounted to the peach-colored wall. On it was a peculiar collection of oddities―an eagle’s feather, a fisherman’s glass ball wrapped with twine, a skull from a small animal and a crab shell.

I looked up and gasped. “Mom! That’s your painting.”

The large watercolor that hung above the shelf was the one my mother had painted while she was pregnant with me. It was of a mountain waterfall and was her very favorite. Mine too.

“I sent it on ahead so it would be here when we arrived,” my father explained. “I asked the caretaker to hang it. He also made sure we have lots of firewood. And he turned the electricity back on too.”

“Let’s check out the kitchen,” my mother said, rubbing her hands gleefully.

A spacious country kitchen with a wooden island was tucked around the corner, barely visible. The walls were painted the palest sage green and along the ceiling edge ran a soft leafy border. A small round table and two chairs sat in one corner.

My mother busied herself by checking out the fully stocked cupboards and making a pot of tea while I continued my exploration of the lower level of the house. Between the kitchen and dining room area, a wrought iron staircase led to the upper floor. Behind the stairs, a sliding glass door opened onto a cedar deck.

“Can I go out there?” I asked my father.

He smiled. “Of course. It’s your house now.”

We stepped outside and the humid night air enveloped us.

“Hey,” I shouted. “A swinging chair.”

The deck held a padded swing, big enough for three people. There was also a barbecue and a picnic table with two benches. A protective wooden rail ran around the entire deck, with an opening for the stairs that led to the ground below.

I leaned over the rail.

A well-trodden rocky path led from the bottom of the stairs, through the grass and down to the beach. From the deck, I saw waves crashing on the fiery shore. Better yet, I heard them. I breathed in the salty air, thrilled with my new home.

Then I turned and darted inside, urging my father to follow.

“Come on, Dad,” I yelled. “I want to see my room.”

He smiled and remained where he was. “You two go ahead.”

Grabbing my mother’s hand, I raced up the spiral staircase to the upper floor. Under my pounding feet, the stairs groaned with a dull clang. I turned down the hall and entered the first room on the right.

The room was tiny―like a baby’s nursery. But there was no crib. There wasn’t even a bed. The walls were painted off-white, but looked like they had definitely seen better days. Small tables, old toys and cardboard boxes littered the floor. A rocking chair sat motionless near a large window and an antique bookshelf took up one wall. Dusty encyclopedias and ancient books inhabited the shelves.

I drew a heart in the dust.

“This room needs a good cleaning,” my mother muttered.

I yanked back my hand and eyed her suspiciously. I was positive that she had plans for me―plans that included a dust rag in one hand and lemon furniture polish in the other.

“This’ll be my studio,” she said, eying the room.

I barged past her out into the hall. “I want to see my room.”

The next room I entered boasted a large brass bed with down-filled pillows and a flowered quilt. Along the side walls stood two white colonial dressers, one with a large oval mirror. The other wall had a cedar bench seat built into a bay window that faced the ocean.

I fell in love with that room immediately.

I turned, fingers crossed behind my back. “Is this your room?”

I fervently hoped it was not.

My mother looked around the room and pointed to the boxes stacked to one side. On the bottom box, the letter S had been scribbled in red marker.

“Looks like it’s yours, Honey-Bunny.”

I rolled my eyes at her.

My parents had been calling me that ridiculous nickname since I was a baby, but I didn’t have the heart to ask them to stop.

Looking around my new room, I was elated. It was twice the size of the one back home, the bed was huge and I could see the ocean from my window.

“I love it, Mom,” I said stifling a yawn.

After I took a peek at my parents’ room and the large upstairs bathroom, I followed my mother down to the kitchen where I devoured a piece of toast with peanut butter and maple syrup. All through my snack, I wrestled with exhaustion, afraid that I would miss something wonderful. My mother noticed and sent me to bed early.

That was the first time I didn’t argue.

In my beautiful ocean room, I sat in the window seat and cranked open the side panel. I heard waves lapping softly against the shore. In the distance, a water bird cried out, searching for his home.

I didn’t know it then, but I had found mine.

Everything in the new house was perfect. But I missed Amber-Lynn. I had promised her that I would call and write to her every week. After all, best friends were hard to find. We’d been inseparable since we were two years old. Her parents and mine had often played cards together while the two of us stayed up past midnight watching movies until we fell asleep.

Now I was hundreds of miles away from my friend, but I pledged my undying devotion to her. My only consolation was that in three years I’d be returning to Wyoming, to my ranch and to Amber-Lynn.

Three years.

To a child my age, three years was a lifetime.

As the moon dipped lower behind the trees, I climbed into my new bed and sniffed the spring-fresh sheets.

Then I sank into a dreamless sleep.

 

“Can I go outside?” I asked my father the next morning.

We were eating breakfast while my mother slept in.

“Sure. Let’s go for a walk.”

I followed him onto the deck, down the stairs and across the rocky trail to the beach. The sun gleamed off his blond hair, highlighting a few gray ones. At forty-one, my father was the most handsome man I knew. And I loved him more than I loved anyone in the world. He was my idol. He always made my mother and I laugh. He’d pretend he understood the creatures of the sea and he’d tell us what they thought of his fellow professors. Apparently, some of the whales didn’t have too many nice things to say about them.

I studied my father as he leaned forward and picked up a rock. He examined it with what my mother and I called his scientific mind. Then he skipped it across the water.

When I tried to mimic him, my rock sank with a thud.

“Like this,” he said.

He showed me how to select a flat stone and fling it toward the water’s surface like a Frisbee.

“You have to throw it hard, but keep it flat.”

I practiced skipping stones until my arm ached.

“Last one,” I said, frustrated.

I flung a smaller stone and to my amazement, it skipped.

One…two…three times.

“You did it!” my father cheered.

We followed the beach a few yards from our house. The shoreline of multi-colored rocks disappeared and a sandy beach curved toward the water.

I squealed with delight and pointed to a floating raft anchored maybe fifteen yards out into the water. “Is that ours?”

My father’s eyes turned serious and dark. “This is all part of our property. It’s safe to swim out to the raft, just don’t go any farther.”

I looked out over the water and noticed an island not too far away. My father stared at it too and I wondered what he was thinking. It wasn’t until after supper that I found out.

That was when he told me the story of Fallen Island.

“Last year, the son of one of our neighbors tried to swim out to Fallen Island,” he began. “The story I heard was that the boy challenged his younger sister to swim from the raft to the island. When she refused, he went anyway. They say he made it most of the way across.” He paused and I clung to my chair, waiting.

“No one knows if he got caught in an old fishing net or if he just got too tired,” he continued. “His sister tried swimming out to him, but I guess she panicked and went back to the raft. Her parents found her an hour later, sitting on it, staring at the island.”

“Did they find the boy?” I asked.

My father shook his head. “Search teams dragged the bay, but they never found his body. I heard that his sister went to the beach every day for months, hoping to catch sight of her brother. She believed he was still alive. He was only fourteen.”

“That’s an awful story,” my mother moaned. She turned and patted my back. “Your dad never should have told you.”

“There’s a reason I did,” my father argued, looking at me. “I want you to promise, Sarah, that you’ll never swim farther than that raft.”

There were times when he scared me. And that was one of those times. The intensity of his words combined with his piercing blue eyes made me swallow hard.

“Promise me,” he repeated firmly.

As I made that solemn vow, I reminded myself that promises were sacred, not to be broken. I knew that he loved me and that he was only protecting me―or trying to.

My father would always be my protector.

 

The first week went by swiftly. Our days were spent exploring the beach. My mother was happy because my father didn’t have to go to work for two weeks. I watched them take off their shoes and run along the water’s edge, laughing like children and holding hands. If Amber-Lynn had been there, I would have felt mortified by my parents’ display. Since I was the only witness, I just smiled and watched.

During the second week, my father often went into town to get supplies. I’m sure he just wanted to escape all the cleaning my mother had planned. While he was gone, I helped her clean her new studio. We emptied one side of it and made room for her painting supplies. I dusted the numerous books while she washed the floor and stored the owners’ boxes in the basement.

By mid-afternoon, the room sparkled and a faint lemony fragrance lingered in the air. As a finishing touch, we placed some candles and an oil lamp on the round table beside the rocking chair.

“There,” I said, setting a blank canvas on the easel. “Now you’re ready to paint.”

My mother shook her head. “Not quite. At least, not that kind of painting.”

To my dismay, she pulled out two cans and two large paint rollers. It appeared that the walls were going to get a new coat. Resigned to my fate, I grabbed a roller and started painting. She started on one side and I started on the other―until we met in the middle. By the time we were finished, we were covered in paint and giggling like children.

It’s one of my most favorite memories.

“Good job,” my mother said, shaking my hand as we admired the finished result. She leaned against the hallway wall. “I’m exhausted. And thirsty. How about some ice tea?”

I laughed and raced down the stairs ahead of her.

By the time she reached the deck, I had already set two tall glasses, complete with lemon slices, and a pitcher of ice tea on the picnic table.

I crossed my fingers behind my back. “Can I go swimming?”

My mother stared out at the bay. “I’m really tired, Sarah. I need to lie down for a bit.”

“You don’t have to come with me,” I assured her. “I promise I’ll only swim out to the raft. You know I’m a good swimmer.”

I knew she was thinking of all the swimming lessons I’d taken at the Buffalo Recreation Center. I was an advanced swimmer, ahead of most kids my age. Not many eleven-year-olds could swim as fast or as far as I could. In fact, the last class I’d taken before we moved was with kids two years older than me. I’d even earned a badge for Intermediate Lifesaving.

“Just for two hours,” she said with a sigh. “Don’t be gone longer than that.”

I gulped down my ice tea and checked my watch. Darn! It was already two o’clock.

Charging upstairs, I changed into a one-piece bathing suit. When I caught my reflection in the dresser mirror, I stuck out my barely formed chest and scowled. “One day they’ll grow.”

Pulling my thick dark hair into a quick ponytail, I secured it with an elastic band. Then I grabbed a towel and sprinted downstairs.

My mother was still outside. “Be back by four,” she warned.

When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I heard her yell after me. “No farther than the raft!”

“Mothers,” I muttered beneath my breath.

I made a beeline for the beach across from the raft. Flinging my towel over a log, I quickly removed my sandals and stepped into the warm water. A few pieces of seaweed and something that looked like a bloated onion swirled around my legs. Other than that, the water was clear.

I laughed and plunged in, shocked by the salty taste in my mouth. Swimming toward the raft, I glanced at the forbidden island across the bay. It didn’t look so far.

With the cockiness of youth, I grinned. “I could make that.”

I floated on my back and stared at the clouds. After a few minutes, I decided to see if I could swim underwater, holding my breath all the way to the raft. I dove under.

When I reached the raft, I pulled myself up the metal stepladder and stretched out on my stomach, smiling. The raft sizzled under the summer sun and I lazily examined its surface. A few swear words had been scratched out with black marker, but I could still read them. I giggled.

As I shifted my gaze, my eyes were drawn to some initials that were carved into the weathered wood. I traced them with one finger. RD+MC FOREVER!

I glanced back at the shore, wondering about the owners of the initials. Who were they and where did they live? There were no houses visible, but the beach disappeared around a tree-lined corner.

Maybe there are houses around the bend.

I glanced at my watch. I had lots of time.

Propping my chin on my hands, I admired the view. It was so peaceful―so soothing that it lulled me. I yawned loudly. Cleaning, painting the studio and swimming had made me more tired than I realized. I rested my head on my arms and dozed under the warm rays of the sun. The water lapped against the raft, like a whisper.

“Amber-Lynn…I wish you were―”

Something splashed nearby.

I thought that maybe I was dreaming―until I heard it again and looked up.

I blinked.

Something was sticking out of the water. Seawater sprayed and foamed off a solid black mass as it rose from the depths. Then it sank underwater, out of sight.

I was captivated by the strange spectacle and waited for it to reappear. But I didn’t see a thing.

I admit I was a bit nervous about going in the water.

What if it’s a shark?

I didn’t even know if there were any sharks in the bay. My father had never said anything. But I knew one thing. I couldn’t stay on the raft all day.

I pushed myself up on my elbows and strained my neck for a better view.

The bay seemed quiet and demure―until I sensed something moving in the water behind me.

“That was my brother,” a voice said.

 

Click here to buy the book: Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s Whale Song>>>

 

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