Flash: A Selkie Wife

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“Muireall.” Feargan breathed.

His wife froze leg out at the water’s edge, the other safely tucked inside her seal skin. Fear and longing poured from her.

 “Come back to us.” His voice twisted with the request.

She glanced to the children, their children, playing in the gentle waves as the tide went out. They said they had seen Muireall, but he hadn’t believed them. Why would she come back for them and not him?

He approached cautiously, wishing for the fishing net he originally caught her in, or a spear to keep that horrible skin from stealing her away again.

“No Feargan. No further.” She pushed the other leg inside the fur.

He stopped, dropping to his knees in the shifting sand. Brown eyes to ocean eyes, he said “I love you.”

She bit her lip and looked at the sea again, inserting an arm into her skin.

“I love you.” He repeated.

“Would you give up the sea?”

Feargan pushed his hands into the earth as a wave lapped over his legs and feet, cooling his burning skin. “I…” He pulled the hands out, feeling the water-laden sand pour from them. His tongue darted, licking his lips as he searched for anything to capture her again, tasting the salty sea kiss. Inevitably, his eyes dragged to the foam and infinite horizon. A second hole opened up in his heart, the one which existed whenever he wasn’t on a boat.

“I can’t.” She pulled the hood over her face and instantly she was completely a seal. Two quick thrusts of her tail and she was in the ocean. She circled the children, little better than seals themselves with their innate love of the water, and headed out into the endless blue.

(words 291; first published 1/27/2017)