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We are all Just Salt Water and Air


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Branna Odubhuir

Salt spray clung to pale skin, sticking to cracked and smiling lips. Brisk air whipped at dark tresses, wild as unbound as the sensation in her heart. Every wave that crashed against bare legs buried her feet further and further beneath the sea soaked sand. Briney breeze caused her naked flesh to rise in small bumps over every inch of her sleek form.

Brilliant blue eyes, wide with wonder and glee, watch the sun as it comes up over the horizon, prying it’s sleepy gaze open to paint the surface of the water with pinks and purples and blues. This...this is joy. She laughed, the sound pure and unfettered. She is alone, after all, with nobody to hear her but the squawking gulls circling lazily overhead.

Laughter turns to singing. Arms lifted up in accolade as sweet notes pass through her lips. Suddenly she felt as if every ballad, every story, were meant for her. This moment, she was the Siren, the sultry seductress whose voice would call ships to crash on rocky shores. She was a creature of the sea after all. Not a Siren but for these moments when she let herself feel the wind and the waves, the sea air, the smell of it permeating every breath she took.

But the sun rose over the horizon more quickly than she cared to admit. For now, the sea would call her back into it’s cold depths. These moments were fleeting, feeling sensations on human flesh. In human brain. With human heart. But for now it was time to go home, time to return.

Time to put on her skin.

She pulled her feet from their sandy prison, the suctioning sound following making her giggle. Running over the beach, not seeming to notice the small rocks and shells that bit into her skin with every quick gait. Black hair, now wet with sea spray, clung to her back and shoulders and face as she jogged towards the rocky outcrop she had found hours before.

The perfect hiding place.

Or at least that’s what she had thought.

Smile still playing heavily on her lips. Those blue eyes, their color so close to that of the sea that one might expect to see waves crashing in their depths, searched out the rocks she had so carefully placed.

But she couldn’t.

The stones that had been covering her hiding hole were gone. No, not gone, but moved. A face so filled with happiness a moment before now fell. Tears brimmed large orbs and threatened to fall over her youthful face. Laughter turned to anger and disbelief. “No. No!” She fell to her knees, the sharp edges of the rocks cutting small abrasions into her pale flesh. Petite hands grabbed at the stones, moving and tossing them as tears continued to fall down her cheeks. “Where is it. Where is it!?” The anger she felt, the rage, was aimed towards herself. How could she have been so careless. In all the years she had lived, she had never lost this precious piece of herself. The cries to turn fearsome screams. She threw the rocks now, no longer looking for her skin but needing to release some of the rage that was built up in her small form.

She can feel it then.

The sensation of eyes staring at her.

Then there is the tug, like a leash has been wrapped around her heart and it called to her, forcing her towards it. Towards...him. She can see him now, dark hair popped up over the crest of a hill, watching her. Waiting for her. Calling her as he cradled part of her in his hands. No matter how she struggled, how she tried, she could not say no.

Moments ago, there had been such love in her heart, such joy. All she felt now was hatred and anger, her stormy blue eyes raging as she took one step after another towards the man. She was his. For now. But a Selkie never stopped fighting, never stopped trying.

She would fight for her freedom or die trying.
December 30, 2018 09:39 pm
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