Untitled flash fiction challenge prompt
The young selkie princess closed her deep, blue-green eyes listening to the sound of the wind through the palm trees and the waves crashing against the beach, ever since losing her skin, she longed to return home. Damn the local lord, with his amber eyes and short, red hair, for entrapping her and damn herself for letting herself get lost in promises that turned into ash. Sariah didn’t know where Lucan kept her skin but she knew that it was in whatever chest the key around his neck unlocks, he had a few around the room. Most were for his gold or other possessions.
It was late at night, but the moon was full; she had always felt restless, however, the fuller the moon got, the more she felt the call of the sea in her blood, her heart and her very soul.
“Come to bed, Sariah…” Lucan entreats her, softly.
“Give me just a little more time, Milord.” Sariah turns her head to respond to Lucan before turning back to stare out the window. She waits until he is deeply asleep, then like a ghost, takes the key from around his neck and looks around the room as Lucan rolls over in his sleep. She finds the chest and unlocks it, only to freeze as the rusted, iron hinges of the old, warped chest creak loudly.
Lucan’s eyes open and he smiles sadly. “So, it has come to this, has it? I thought I could keep you, but you can’t truly keep a being of the sea, can’t you?” He asks himself, softly. “Go, take your skin back, I’ve seen how unhappy you have been these past few months and I thought showing you what I, no the human world, could offer you would be enough. I was wrong, so very wrong…”
“Take your skin back, my beauty, but never forget I loved you…” He swings out of bed and stands, moving towards her, before hugging her from behind.
Sariah twists in his arms before pulling away gently to take the seal skin out of the oak chest. “I won’t, but my home is the oceans and you, as a man, will never understand that. Perhaps we shall meet again, if the fates allow.” She kisses him softly, a final goodbye. With that, she slips out the window, taking the ladder she had hidden in a shadowy alcove and climbs down it slowly, her skin tucked tightly under one arm, before stepping onto the beach below, a lone palm tree sways in the wind. Her hair blows around her as she strips off her nightgown and steps into the water. It swirls around her ankles, and she shivers in cold and delight from finally being able to be free, before covering herself with her seal skin. She looks back at Lucan’s mansion and briefly wonders what might have happened if she let herself stay before mentally shaking her head to clear it and starting the long journey back to her home.
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