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The Selkie Wife: A Short Story Inspired by Celtic Folklore - Chapter 4

Jennifer Wilber is an author and freelance writer from Ohio. She holds a B.A. in creative writing and English.


The Selkie Wife - Chapter 4

Conall awoke some time later, though he could not be sure of the time. He was laying on the floor in his own shanty by the sea, wrapped in a seal fur next to the fireplace that had somehow been lit, though he was sure that he had put the fire out before leaving for the tavern. But how did he get here? The last thing he remembered was being pulled out to sea by the waves. The image of the sea flashed through his head, but this image meant nothing. Conall looked around the room. He saw the silhouette of another person standing in the doorway.

"Who are you?" Conall asked. Fear stained his voice. "And how did I get here." The figure turned toward him. Conall could see now that it was a woman. She seemed to be illuminated by the light from the full moon in the night sky. Something about her seemed so familiar to Conall.

Conall watched as her red hair moved in the moonlight. Her green eyes seemed to pierce right through him. She looked just like his Mairenn and he was overcome with joy. But this joy was short lived, for while the resemblance was staggering, this woman was much younger than Mairenn had been at the time she was lost at sea. But, oh, she looked just like his wife when they had first met.


"My name is Moira," the woman replied hauntingly. "I rescued you from the sea and brought you back here. You were unconscious."

"But how did you know where I live?" Conall asked bewildered. "And what were you doing in the water?" The woman did not answer either question and instead knelt down next to the fire. Conall watched as she stared into the fireplace. She seemed to be looking past the flames.

"Well, where are you from?" Conall asked the woman. She turned her head to look at him.

"I cannot tell you," Moira replied. "But I am here for you now. I will stay with you as long as you need me."

"But why?" Conall asked. This didn't make any sense. Who was this woman, and where did she come from? Why was she taking care of him? And why was she in the sea to begin with? Perhaps he was still unconscious, and this was all but a dream.

Conall looked into her eyes and lost himself. For a moment he thought he was back with Mairenn, but he quickly snapped back to reality. Mairenn was gone, and no matter how much Moira looked like her, Mairenn was never coming back.

"Just get some rest," Moira said. "Don't worry; I'll still be here when you awaken." Even her voice sounded like Mairenn's, Conall thought. How could the Gods have been so cruel as to send him a living reminder of everything he had lost?

Moira laid down next to Conall by the fireplace. Conall closed his eyes as she caressed his cheek. With Moira by his side, he drifted off to sleep again. Her touch was like a soothing wave that calmed his entire body. He hadn't had a decent night's sleep in a year without Mairenn by his side, but somehow, he felt completely at ease as he drifted off to dreams.

Continue Reading Chapter 5

  • The Selkie Wife: Chapter 5
    Moira helps Conall move on after his wife was lost at sea and Conall and Moira settle in to their new life together. Still, Conall is apprehensive of the sea that seems to captivate Moira.

If You Missed the First Chapter

  • The Selkie Wife: Chapter 1
    Tragedy strikes when an Irish fisherman and his wife run into a bit of bad weather on the sea in the first chapter of this short story based on Celtic folklore.

© 2018 Jennifer Wilber

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