Son of the Selkie (413 Words)
The Seal Queen found him while exploring the depths one day with her companions. He was a little thing, not quite newborn. The human half of his mer skin was almost blue with weakness, and his scales were dull. The selkie were afraid to go near him because of the diseases spread so easily among merfolk and fish skins, but Spreih couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him to die.
She examined the young one herself and found him fragile, starved, but in good health. Whether he had been abandoned or simply forgotten, it was impossible to tell. Merfolk were capricious and careless, a violent and passionate race. But Spreih carried the young one on her back to the Choral, where the seals made their home.
Her husband, Werral, was startled to see the two. While his wife made the young one as comfortable as she could and fed him nourishing plants and manatee milk, the king listened to his courtiers’ explanation and warning.
“You cannot keep a mer here,” they said, “not in the sacred Weigh of Seals. He is a scale skin. He is mer.”
“He is a child.” Spreih’s voice was sharp. “There is a life that beats in him as much as it beats in you. I am Queen. If I say the child lives, he lives. If I say he is mine, he is mine.”
Her eyes burned with anger. Unwilling to test her again, the courtiers left her and the Seal King to themselves.
Werral joined her at the sponge bed where the child rested. The mer was awake; he could see the dark shine of the young one’s eyes, unthinking, occupied with the business of simply living. That they had rescued the child from death was certain.
The Seal King glanced at his wife. She was bent over the young one as well, humming to him in her great, broad throat. The two of them had no children of their own, though both desired pups. Her possessiveness and fondness as she fawned over the mer moved him.
“What will you call him?” asked Werral.
His selkie wife was surprised. She had not expected the Seal King to accept the child so willingly. The division between their kinds, the selkie and the mer, was deep.
“Dulan,” she said. “That is his name.”
The Seal King bent over the child. His whiskers brushed the young one’s cheek.
“Rest, Dulan,” he said. “You are safe with us, little fish.”
Wallie and I are swimming strange waters. Thank you for reading!