Selkie (Man) Chapter 2

Selkie (Man) Chapter 2

A Story by RoughWaterJohn
"

The final chapter of Alban and Bran.

"

 Bran still knew his name, although he could not speak the words, nor could those around him know it was his. Even after all these years, of fear, of anger and eventually… submission and acceptance, he thought of himself as Bran.  Darting and spinning around the mountains and canyons of these dark waters, his mind roiled with a thick stew of dark thoughts. He was afraid, he was angry, and he didn’t know why. He was alone in deep waters, in life and soul, and he could not drown in either, though he often wished he could.


 There were no hours or weeks or months in this life, though he remembered there once were. There was waking and sleeping, no more. There wasn’t even the comfort of another soul to share his life, though that was not the case many <years?> ago. The people would not have him, and fought to keep him away. He learned early on, by pain of sharp teeth and powerful heads rammed against his body, that he was not one of the people, and would never be.  He tried to talk with them several times, but the bulls would quickly block him, forcing bubbles out of their sharpened maws as a gesture of threat and anger. He could do nothing but turn and swim away.


 He found himself deep and alone, hidden in a rocky cavern, where light never banished dark thoughts and his salt tears were nothing more than the sea he swam in, and remembered. His name…  his life…, what he had done. It came then, when sorrow was a bird that sung in darkened room and he, outside the door, lay prone and wept for its words of loss and pain, and though he knew them for his own, he could not set it free. He felt it, a longing deep in this creature’s heart. He knew, he was that creature, and knew it called to him. He responded, although he did not know why, nor did he care.


 He felt a need he didn’t know he had, a desire to move, to go and see what called, and a fear….  a fear of pain and dying, or worse, a fear of not. A flex of body and quick flick of tail, and he was out of the cavern and heading towards the call. He was deep, and would have needed to swim up soon for air anyway, now though, he had a direction and a purpose. There was a scent in the water, he tasted it and though he quailed inside, he followed its trail, for the blood running in warm rivers through the landscape of this body knew it for kin, knew it was red and hot, and it called him through cold waters.


 He swam near the surface as he neared shore, his round head making a smooth mound of water flowing to shore, inches above him, visible to anyone looking out to sea. Fear returned and made him stop. His mottled head broke the surface, round black eyes staring, but not comprehending. There was a small child, sitting on a <chair?> in the water, facing a <table?>. The child turned towards him, and his doom settled dark over the fire that had been his life. He smelled fresh water near, and felt a longing he could not control. He smelled the blood then, fresh and strong, and felt fear, crushing bones about his heart.


 Alban knew he was close, could sense his movement before she turned her eyes to see. Surprisingly, her anger left her when she saw the Selkie, and knew him for who he was, but not her determination. The crabs, sensing their work was done, dissolved back into the sea, leaving the goblets to sink slowly to the bottom as they burrowed once again into the sand. Alban stood when she sensed their departure, turning towards the creature, for that was how she thought of him.


“Come creature, we have business to attend and a wrong to right”. She had concealed the knife when she felt his approach, unsure how she would get him close enough to use it. The sea pushed and tugged at her small limbs, but her conviction anchored her in the shifting sands, and she did not move.  He swam to her, standing up in the shallows, part man and part seal, neither sure which had dominance. Alban held the knife behind her, raising her other hand to grasp and hold this creature, then stopped. He could not speak in this form, but his black eyes took his pain and suffering, and laid them at the threshold of her green ones. That act, opened a door in her heart she had kept closed, against this deed that she knew she must do. Alban wept, and saw that tears had formed below his eyes, although the hurt part of her mind said it was just the sea returning to its source.


 She was about to drop the knife from her hand, when she saw the pleading in his eyes. Those wells of darkness held more than mere pleading though. Down the twisted caverns of his life, they held awareness….  awareness of the pain, solitude, and the perversion of what he had done and what he had tried to be. Alban saw that awareness, and knew she must proceed. Holding the knife before her, blade still stained with her blood, she pressed it against the creature’s breast, pierced the skin, and holding the back of his neck, drew the blade down, unwrapping him from the life he had lead these past years.


 The blood on the blade, her blood, recognized the blood under the skin, her mother’s blood. She choked and stifled a sob, tears flowing freely into the sea that swirled around her legs. The skin fell from the man as he dropped to his knees, the turbid waters swirling around his shaking body. Alban tossed the knife from her and turned towards shore. She looked at the broken man at her feet, then at the land she was leaving. She wrapped her mother’s skin around her, feeling the mother she never knew, wrap her arms around the child she never saw grow up. Looking towards land, she said… “Father”.  Again she spoke…  “Father”. This time, a little softer and not quite as clear, for she was no longer human.


 Bran saw her swim out, away from shore. She leapt with the joy he had never been able to find. He watched a long time, until he knew she had gone down to join her family, her community. He saw where she had tossed the knife, and on his hands and knees in the surf, he groped until he found it, its blade piercing his hand as if hungry for what was to come, knowing there would be a closure, and it would be the tool.


 Bran stood up as blood welled from his hand, drops of blood splashing and making red circles in emerald waters. He thought of tiny red crabs in this same emerald sea, but knew not why. Turning back to sea, ‘he had never asked her name’ he thought, then brought her face to mind again. Placing the tip sharp against his breast, no skin but his own to feel the pain, he said “Thank you”, then plunged it deep within his heart. He was a long time, washing back and forth in the surf, before the crabs came up to claim him for their own.

© 2012 RoughWaterJohn


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Added on October 21, 2012
Last Updated on October 21, 2012
Tags: selkie, girl, man, seal, love, sorrow, sea, legends

Author

RoughWaterJohn
RoughWaterJohn

San Diego, CA



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Simply saying I’m a native of San Diego conjures up, at least for most people, an image of a transplant from some far flung state that has lived here over 10 years. To many, that ‘is&rsquo.. more..

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