Sam's Selkie

Sam's Selkie

A Story by The Violent Wolf

skeleton story


Sam O’Connor knew the folklore stories by heart; he’d grown up hearing them his whole life. Living on the beach, the stories took on an eerily true quality.

When he was 21, Sam began walking along the beach during full moons, which was supposedly when the Selkies shed their skins and danced in the moonlight to the beat of the waves crashing on the sand. After a year he took to searching rock outcroppings, where Selkies might be warming themselves up in the summer sun. When that failed, he began asking the old folks in the village, hoping to glean more information about the fabled creatures.

The townspeople noticed his strange behavior, the way he walked like a man haunted, and when he did talk, Sam was unfocused, as if his mind were elsewhere.

The whispering started and the old wise woman of the village stated that Sam O’Connor was obsessed with finding a Selkie wife. Such a thing was not unheard of before, but finding a happy ending with her was.

During one warm evening in June, Sam was wandering the shore like he usually did during the full moon, his gaze towards to sea, hoping to catch a glimpse of a curious seal swimming to shore. Strains of a melody reached his ear, a haunting song that was full of pleasure and delight. Sidling around the edge of a rock he came upon a sight that made his heart soar. A dozen young girls were dancing in the light of the full moon, their bare bodies undulating to the melody they were singing. They all looked fairly the same, with large eyes, narrow chins and long, graceful limbs. The only thing that varied was their long hair, which ranged from the lightest blonde that glowed in the moonlight, to a reddish bronze, to a black so dark it was almost blue. A quick scan of the area revealed that the Selkies, in their rush to revel in their human forms, had hurriedly tossed their skins on a pile of rocks near him. Perhaps if he were quiet, he could sneak over under the shadows and snatch the one closest to him. Crouching down, he scuttled over and slowly picked up the silky skin and put it over his shoulder, then quickly dashed back to his hiding place. Sam peeked around the corner to see if any of them had noticed. But they were still dancing, still singing. He needed to make them flee back to their ocean, Sam was dying to see his catch, to see which of these beauties was now his. Sitting out of view behind the rocks, he began to whistle loudly along to the Selkies melody, until he heard their song falter, then stop altogether. Nervously, the Selkies gathered up their skins, drew them around themselves, and slipped back into the sea. All of them, except one. Peeking out to the recently vacated beach he saw a single Selkie frantically scanning the rocks and sand for her misplaced seal skin. She was gorgeous. Her thin lithe body moving gracefully as she searched the beach, her long thick, bronze-red hair falling in her face with each turn of her head. Sam was awestruck, his Selkie was even more beautiful than he had imagined. The Selkies' bottomless eyes began to tear up and her mouth turned down in her frustration. Sam decided to step. The Selkie cowered and turned to run at the sight of him, but then stopped, and her face hardened, eyes turning to obsidian, when she noticed what was slung over his shoulder.

“Hello,” Sam said awkwardly. The Selkie flinched at the sound of his voice. “Do you have a name?” he asked. No reply. “You’re stubborn, huh? Fine, I’ll give you a name. I’ll call you Lilyanna. That okay?” Still no reply. Sam sighed, then shrugged out of his sweater and handed it to the silent creature. “It might create some problems if I went walking back to my house with a naked girl with me.” Lilyanna remained mute as she slowly drew the sweater over her head, pulling it down till it came halfway down her thighs. Sam turned to head home and started walking, then glanced over his shoulder. The look of such despair and longing on Lilyanna’s face nearly broke Sam’s heart. But he swallowed his emotions and tightened his grip on the skin, he’d finally caught a Selkie, she wasn’t going to get away that easily.

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Turning the Selkie into his wife was a slow process. Lilyanna was very stubborn with a  streak of mischievousness. She would cook the oatmeal too long and the meat not long enough. She would mix colors and whites in the laundry so he ended up with a handful of pink boxers. She would sweep the room, but leave it all under the carpet. And she did all this while remaining stubbornly silent. Lilyanna would not speak a word to Sam, not a sound, no matter what they were doing.

Some nights Sam would wake up alone in bed, with the moonlight streaming in his window and outside he would hear Lilyanna singing a mournful melody in a foreign tongue. Sam would fall back asleep to the sound of her voice.

Gradually Lilyanna warmed up to Sam. She began to do her chores properly and even looked at Sam with a soft look in her large brown eyes. But she still wouldn’t talk. Through the years Lilyanna gave birth to two girls and a boy. Both Clara and Sophia inherited her thick bronze-red hair, but Jacob was the only one with Lilyanna’s large brown eyes. Lilyanna adored her children and loved them to the fullest, but still she yearned to return to the sea. Her children often noticed the way she stared out the window towards the beach, a mournful look in her eyes, and occasionally a tear or two. They asked her what was wrong, but she just smiled and shook her head.

One day Sam took the girls to the library, and left Jacob with Lilyanna. Jacob approached his mother while she was staring out the window.

“Dad told me what you are,” Jacob said softly, “You want to go back, don’t you?” Lillyanna looked at her son with wide eyes, full of hope. “Your seal skin, he keeps it in the trunk of the car, under the paneling. He took the truck today,” Jacob said, then looked at her. Lilyanna flew down the stairs and to the garage, yanked the trunk open and peeled back the paneling. There it was, her beloved seal skin, wrapped in a plastic bag. Lilyanna pulled it out lovingly and caressed the silky skin. She noticed Jacob standing in the doorway of the garage. With tears in her eyes she walked over, kissed him on the forehead, and spoke her first words in 16 years, "Jacob, darling, thank you so much for the gift you have given me. Please remember that I will always love you." Lilyanna left the garage then ran down the road to the beach, stripping her clothes off then drawing the skin around her body Lilyanna dove into the waves.

No one in her family on land ever saw the beautiful Selkie girl again, but on some nights, when the moon is high and bright, Jacob swears he can hear the haunting melody his mother sang to him as a child.

© 2014 The Violent Wolf

Author's Note

The Violent Wolf
thanks for reading guys! CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is very welcome :)

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Awesome story! I loved it.

Posted 7 Years Ago

The Violent Wolf

7 Years Ago

thank you! anything you see that i should change, or ways i can make it better?

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Added on February 13, 2014
Last Updated on February 13, 2014
Tags: Selkie, folklore, melody, moonlight, seal


The Violent Wolf
The Violent Wolf

Pascoag, RI

I can't write well upon demand. I have to wait until a picture, theme or whatever hits me. I use real world experiences in my writing. Music is an inspiration. Some of my poems or whatever are random,.. more..