Flash fiction: Not drowning part II


She must have dozed because the last stars were fading, and a pale grey light had fallen on the water.

Is this morning?

She shivered, hoping dawn was about to break and make something happen. The sand was no longer soft and comfortable. She felt as though she had been lying in damp cement that had moulded to the shape of her body. Stiff and cold, she struggled into a seated position, her back against a rock, and watched.

The light grew stronger. Not bright sunshine. No golden disc emerged from the rim of the horizon as she imagined dawn breaking. But not having seen many of them, she was prepared to accept this was normal. She yawned, her eyes closed for a second and she slipped back into the darkness of sleep. But it was too cold and morning was too near. The rock jabbed into her back and her eyes opened again reluctantly.

The sea was no longer empty. In that second of oblivion, he had emerged, a dark figure silhouetted against the sky, striding though the gently heaving waves towards the little cove. She shrank back, suddenly afraid to be caught watching, searching wildly for an excuse.

The silhouette became a firm body, dripping water, a towel or blanket or something over one arm. Striding. White skin, dark hair, dripping and black. Striding through the shallows, up the shiny smooth sand. Folding the dripping towel/blanket, placing it carefully behind a rock out of her line of vision.


She swallowed hard and licked her lips. Her arms wrapped tight around her knees, making herself as small as possible.

Striding. Towering.

He stopped before her. Tall, white, dripping black hair. Muscles sculpted, heaving chest, white skin, dark eyes. The light grew. The line of gold, not yet a disc, filtered over the edge of sight, over the sea, reaching towards her, pointing out her guilt.

“What did you see?”

She shook her head violently.

“Nothing! Just you, coming out of the water.”

“How long have you been waiting?”

“Not…long. Not really. I…fell asleep.”

He dripped. Motionless. She felt the heat from his body, smelt the salt and the sea on him, and something else. Animal.


The truth suddenly exploded like fireworks in her head.

“Because I wanted to know. Next time, will you…will you take me with you?”


“Wherever you go. However far. Will you?”

He turned and looked back over the waves. The sun was a bright curve now and she could see puffs of cloud. Puffs and pink strands. The sky was almost blue. She watched the profile of his face, the curve of his jaw and how it clenched, the Adam’s apple and how it moved up and down. Like the waves.

Say, yes.

He shook his head.

“Two worlds join here, in this place, in this cove. Mine and yours. Only here.”

She stood and placed herself in front of him. Close. So close, she felt the heat that curled and steamed from the sea-flecked skin. So close she could look into the eyes that the growing light showed her were deep, deep blue.

“Then let’s join what can be joined, and go wherever our separate worlds will let us go.”

He smiled then, and the dawn finally broke. The sun poured itself over the ocean and into the tiny waves that frothed around their feet. He put his hands on her shoulders and she slid into his arms.

“This cove, by this ocean, is all we can ever have,” he whispered.

“It’s enough,” she murmured back, her lips stopping the flow of his words, her tongue tasting the salt of his ocean. “We’ll make it enough.”

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

4 thoughts on “Flash fiction: Not drowning part II”

  1. Absolutely gorgeous and lush, Jane! You should write books! I have a feeling though that this is not the end, and that in the good old Irish tradition, love stories end in tragedy not happiness. So what’s going on here? Way too much happiness. 😁 When I read part one, I didn’t know there would be a part two. I’m sure there must be a part three.

    1. I thought it was reasonably tragic. They can’t be together because he’s a Selkie and she isn’t. You’ve lived in Ireland too long if that’s your idea of a happy ending! I’ll see if I can think of something to make it more tragic. How about if she drowns herself and he goes mad?

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