*Seashell, Lightning, Mermaid
This was written mostly by Michaela Sky, a girl with Cerebral Palsy who I’ve worked with for over 10 years, with some contribution and editing by me, and submitted by me as co-writer and scribe with her permission.
The Storm faded into the distance, flickers of lightning and soft rumbles of thunder illuminating the dim light, leaving grey skies and calm waters, but in my heart, the storm lingered.
An emotional storm, that was.
It was always risky, for my love and I to meet on the shoreline, but that was the only place we could be together, Selkie and Human. She would not risk giving up her sealskin cloak to anyone, even me, and I could not join her in the deep waters that she called home.
Her family had made a pact with a very rich mer-nation, a pact to have nothing to do with humans, especially fisher-folk, like my kin and I.
Understandable, of course, but very inconvenient for our romance. Especially when I was already the village outcast.
I had always loved the ocean, but the Fates had bound me into Human form, so I could never leave the land for long.
All the fishing villages know who I am. The fool who wanders the shoreline, the one who can't leave well enough alone. The one with the near-magical fortune when it comes to hauling in nets.
We may not be able to be together openly, but my selkie love ensures that I do not suffer for her absence. In each catch I haul in is a beautiful seashell or an oyster filled with pearls.
Her dowery, she once called it, paid in installments toward the day we could marry. If that day ever came.
Soon, I will have enough for a ship of my own. Small enough to be managed by one or two, to allow me to sail the ocean all of my days, for her to said with me or swim in the waters alongside.
If nature does not allow either of us to fully join the other, we will find a middle ground.
In time, I hope to get a good enough catch to let me leave this village behind.
But each storm kept me sheltered away from the shore, and until I had a craft that could weather the gale, we were separated until the skies cleared and the seas calmed once more
I know that she'll wait for me, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to be apart. Soon, my boat will be ready, and then nothing will part us again.
The village elders say that I'm a demon, or cursed, for loving another woman, and a selkie at that. They say that I should leave fishing to the men, settle down and put away all thoughts of magic and dreams.
I say that they are welcome to mind their own business.
Except for my sister, I have nothing to bind me here, and she is already married, and does not need me as she once did, when we were all the other had.
One day. Soon.
Soon I'll be forced into marriage by the Elders, but more fool them. My love and I will be far away by the time they come for me.
I can see the sky clearing, and a dark shape speeding through the waves.
My love, it is her! But wait, there is another boat, with harpoons and skinning knives! She is trapped!
I dive into the waters from my position halfway up the cliff, barely missing the rocks that have doomed more than one sailor, splashing as loudly as possible to warn her.
My clothes are heavy with seawater, dragging me down, and she changes direction, away from the seal hunters.
She will not reach me in time, but as I sink, something happens.
A tingling spready through my body, my legs fusing together into a long mermaid's tail. The water stops choking me, and I breathe it as easily as air.
A seal bumps my shoulder, concern in my love's liquid eyes. I can only shrug; I didn't know it was possible, either.
At least now there is nothing to keep us apart. We dive deeper, away from the harpoons and the shouting, and toward our future.
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Easy to read and follow
Well-structured & engaging content
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions