Surrounded by her family, Donna was guided away to their home. It had been the first one to be rebuilt; the villagers were determined to support the little family in their time of need.
Sylvia was loathe to be separated from her daughter, even for a second. But she wiped her tears and gently squeezed Donna’s hands. With a silent exchange with John, she nodded. “You have much to discuss,” she said, a waiver in her voice. “We’ll be here when you are ready.” She clutched Donna close again before finally convinced that her daughter was home safe.
John opened the flap for Donna to enter. Their new home smelled fresh and clean. She hoped it was a good sign that things could move on. But how?
Their journey had been slow. Donna wasn’t sure if physical fatigue or the ever-growing apprehension was slowing her steps. John had been quiet and understanding. She’d catch him looking at her with pure devotion. It made her tremble beneath the security of his skin. She avoided any questions about what had happened after she lost consciousness. Part of her never wanted to know.
But she also knew it would be inevitable. She was returning to her home but was she truly still one of them? What was a Selkie without her skin? How could she function, exist, without it? To never swim again. To watch others splash in the waves as she was confined to the dry land. How could she bear it, to have that part of her dead forever?
Thank you for saying it wasn’t too easy. I kind of liked how it worked.
All John could manage was a nod; a small sob broke out of his chest.
Donna pulled forward and reached out. “John…” she cried and fell into the safest place in the world, John’s arms.
She didn’t know how long they’d stayed like that, whose tears were warming their clothes. She had no idea how she’d gotten to that human village. How John could have let her wander off. How long she’d been away.
But that didn’t matter. He was there. He’d found her. And he could take her home.
Donna stepped back, horrified. “No, that can’t be,” she said. “I…I don’t have a husband. I’m nothing. I’m nobody.”
Shaun wrapped his arm around her. “No, you’re not.”
“Donna,” the man said again, stepping toward her. She shrank into Shaun’s embrace.
“Sir, maybe you should leave,” Shaun said. His tone was even but clear. “You’re scaring her.”
Part 4 (“Present”)
Donna stood quietly, her gaze blank as she stared out at the sea. The wool shawl draped around her was scratchy and smelled funny. The clothes she wore were stifling and irritated her rather sensitive skin. But when she thought of the goodness with which they were given, of the gentle Lady Moon and the kind-hearted Shaun, she could not be more thankful.
Donna’s arm pinched firmly in one hand and her and John’s skins held in the other, Lance dragged her through the charred remains of their village.
“What have you done?!” she cried, trying to make him stop.
He only yanked her harder. “Come on, Donna,” he snarled. “Your family is waiting.”
“Where are Alec and the-“
He rounded on her. “Those cowards are too weak to rule this clan!” he said. “We’ve taken care of that.”
“What have you done?” she whispered.
His smile did not reach his eyes. “Taken over.”
This part is super short.
Part 2 interlude
Resting in a bed, Donna felt as if she was enveloped in warm liquid; submerged in thick and soothing water, she somehow was safe and protected. And healing. The terrible aching started to subside. The raw stiffness was ebbing away, making her nearly weep with relief. She risked moving her finger, just her finger, but a heavy, invisible weight kept her immobile.
Part 1 (one week earlier)
The waves broke around her feet as she changed, her bare human feet getting used to the solid ground below her. Well, as solid as sand massaged by the ocean could be. She breathed in deeply, the scents of home wrapping around her with the same comfort and security as being in her husband’s arms.
I really cannot thank Bee and Georgie enough for their endless patience in listening to me whine about this, go over things again and again and changing my ideas, and offering me invaluable support. You’re the best, ladies!!!
She stumbled toward the small village. A peculiar looking place with tall stone walls and funny scents. She had been walking since the dawn hours. Her destination was unknown. As was her place of origin. In a daze, she had wandered over the meadows, her mind a swirling distortion of images.
Every part of her body hurt. Her legs were weak and getting more feeble with every step. Her skin felt brittle and raw. Lack of food and the rising sun made her head swim. She nearly tripped over the divots in the ground.
Somehow, she knew she’d find something in this strange place. She wasn’t sure what, but the location pulled her, as if by an invisible force. A floating memory she could not catch.