#writephoto: walking on air

For Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, a piece pf flash fiction based on the second of my Selkie stories.



From the cliff top, the Fishman would see him when he came out of the sea. He wrapped himself tighter in his clammy black cloak and settled back against a slab of slippery granite. Not that he wanted the Selkie man. He had no use for men. It was the woman he wanted, and the man would lead him to her. For the Selkie did have a woman, a Selkie woman who pretended to be a shore woman. She hid it well, but the Fishman had seen the signs, felt the air tingle around certain cottages along the shore. Her Selkie lover kept her safe hid inside, but the Fishman knew she was there.

He could have entered all the cottages by force, of course, until he found her, looked into the tell tale brown eyes and recognized the magic in them. But he had no great wish to give away his intentions to all and sundry. Though they suspected what he was and shunned him, he would not give them the pleasure of pointing the finger and denouncing him. So he waited for the woman’s lover to come out of the sea and lead him to the right door.

He sat, still as a rock lapped by the ocean, watching the waves rise and fall, watching for a sleek, round head to rise above the swell and for the creature to flop up the strand. His currach was hid close by. He had only to kill the Selkie then race the few yards to the strand with his woman, the prize. He smiled to himself, a thin-lipped smile that didn’t reach to his eyes.

He peered, suddenly restless. The sea was unchanging; only the light shifted and the smell, an intensifying of the salt tang. A shadow fell over his shoulder. He turned and flinched as the club caught him behind the left ear. Eyes, dark and liquid as the sea looked into his, before a red veil filmed them over, and the last sound to roll into his ear was a seal barking in triumph.


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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.

10 thoughts on “#writephoto: walking on air”

    1. Thank you, Michael! I’m glad you like the Selkie stories. The Fishman is one I only came across recently. Sounds like a more recent embellishment. Selkies, of course, are real 🙂

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