Feb 03
fiction challenge: Love
MadsPads.3411's picture

When Coira came ashore

Coira tasted of salt. Not just salt, but the smoky kind- almost like a bonfire on the beach. Siobhan loved tasting Coira’s seaside lips, even the sad goodbye kisses at the end of cosy evenings together in front of the fireplace in her living room. 
They had met a few months before; Siobhan was working late in the town bookshop when Coira first tumbled into her life. The disgruntled woman with the dripping wet cloak pulled loosely around her shoulders immediately caught Siobhan’s attention, especially when she strode up to her with a furrowed brow and asked for several books. When Siobhan had asked about it, the answer Coira had given was vague: her friend had given her the first books from several series and said he would give her the next in return for a promise that she couldn’t keep. While Siobhan was intrigued, she had decided not to push any more in fear of scaring away the beautiful stranger. Instead, she asked Coira to have dinner with her, and one evening together turned into many. Siobhan would never forget that first night spent together- talking to Coira felt like walking into an unfamiliar place, but one that she already seemed to know all the hallways and furniture of- it felt safe and comfortable, and made complete sense.
A few months became a year, and one year became two. After weeks of gentle persuasion, Siobhan finally convinced Coira to move in with her. On their first night under the same roof, Siobhan brought up the day they had met and how curiosity had been plaguing her for the two years they had known each other. Coira smiled, knowing the woman she loved was trustworthy, and began to tell the story.
“A long time ago, the first time I ever came ashore, I met a young fisherman. He had heard many stories about selkies, and instantly recognising me as one, he stole and hid my cloak, making me his wife. I was happy for a while, and he loved me dearly, but I always longed to return to the sea. He often had to leave for weeks at a time, and he would give me books to read in return for promising I would calm the seas for him to come home safe. He would only ever give me the first book in a series, so when he returned, he could give me the rest. On one of his longer journeys, he gave me books, and like I always did I promised I would make his journey safe. That night a storm was brewing, and I couldn’t keep my promise. I found my cloak in his wardrobe and returned to the sea but longing to read the last books brought me to you.” 
Siobhan held her lover and stroked her hair, as she shivered with emotion. “I’m sorry.” 
Coira’s lips turned up in a small smile. “Don’t be. I have you now, and yes, I still yearn to return to the sea, and we both have to accept that that will never change, but I have found joy in life here too, and you make staying ashore worth missing my old home."