Black Depths

16 2 0

In the distance, the ocean was black.  A storm was rolling in. Already it was pushing ten foot high waves against the shoreline, though the dark clouds were a ways off yet. I turned my attention from the incoming storm, thinking instead of Meaghan, my girlfriend. She'd be waiting for me by now, and I knew I'd better hurry if I didn't want have to wet down her anger. A redheaded sea-witch and completely irresistible; her temper was just one of the things I liked about her.

I made my way along the narrow path, which skirted the edge of the world - or what felt like it, anyway. The cliff tops were covered in bright green grass, that emerald colour Ireland is known for, ending abruptly at the ocean, which then stretched for as far as the eye could see. No other land in sight.

Meaghan an I had been neighbours all our lives. We'd been dating for a few months now. I'd finally worked up the courage to ask her out during the summer solstice festival. Living on a farm at the end of the world meant spending most of life helping with sheep and fences and repairs. I was glad to be leaving it behind, if only for a few hours. Dad worked me hard, and there was a lot of work to do since Mom had left, and my little sister, Amanda, was too small to do any work yet. I tried not to think about Mom, but as usual, it was impossible to keep her from my head. She'd left us. Left the human world for the sea, permanently adopting her selkie form. It wasn't myself I was sad for, but Amanda, with her bright brown eyes and easy smile, she probably wouldn't even remember Mom.

I shook the sadness away before I became morose. Instead, I thought of Meaghan and her fiery hair and sly smile. She was always planning something. What did she have in store for us today? Hopefully it was something that would keep us warm during the heavy rains that were about to fall. Dad had only let me go because of the storm, so I supposed I should be thankful for it, otherwise I'd be out helping with the sheep or fixing the fence, or maybe out swimming in seal form, trying to catch something fresh for supper.

Meaghan's house, the one she shared with her mother Morgan, was buried down in a cove.  A steep trail led down between broken rocks and grass, which clung to the cliff in desperation.  An ancient rock slide made the cliff passable here, less sheer than those surrounding it. Once I reached the bottom of the path, I double checked I was wearing pants. They were a bit wet, but they'd do, and yes, this was something that a shapeshifter had to be aware of.  Since I usually went without clothes around my own home and in the ocean, it was sometimes stranger to be wearing them than not. But in order to easily transform from human to seal, it was best to be naked.

Pants situation put to rest, I took one last deep breath and knocked on the green wooden door.

"Good, you're here," said a disembodied arm, which reached out, pulling me inside.  Turns out the arm was attached to the very witch I'd come to see. 

"Looking good," I said sincerely. As usual, she was ravishing: long red hair swung loose to her waist. She was wearing a tight fitting, white, lace rimmed tank top and tight pair of jeans. I cringed when Meaghan rolled her eyes. Apparently, that wasn't what she'd wanted to hear.

"Leave it," she said, moving madly about the kitchen I'd stepped into. From the small white stove with black burners, she pulled a kettle that was about to boil and poured water into two travel mugs.  "I'm almost ready to go, just a few more things."

"Go where?" I asked, watching her long red hair move about her like a lion's mane.  "It's about to storm.  I thought it might be best if we," I paused here to clear my throat, "Stayed in?"

Her green eyes flashed with what I hoped was mischievousness.  "I have a better plan.  Remember that old, rich guy who built that isolated cabin on that tiny, near inhospitable island?"

"The cabin?" I echoed, well aware of what my girlfriend was talking about. It would be nice to have some uninterrupted alone time, but there was a storm coming.

Black DepthsWhere stories live. Discover now