From: A Good Hanging by Ian Rankin, 1992.
Taking a scenic route home from school, three girls see a man with long hair and a beard, dressed in white, with a glow about him, and a wound in his side. The girls' account spreads until a crowd of believers gathers around the tree where the man was seen.
Rankin riffs well on the topics of religious division and the common desire to believe in miracles, delivering a story wherein, as the title implies, things aren't as they seem. What appears otherworldly is really a complex puzzle that his Inspector Rebus has just the perspective to solve.