Skip to main content

The Selkie Wife: A Short Story Inspired by Celtic Folklore - Chapter 5

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


The Selkie Wife - Chapter 5

Conall fell in love with Moira almost instantly. Perhaps it was because she was so much like his wife, or perhaps it was because he didn't want to be alone and he needed someone to be there for him. Maybe it was simply the way that her eyes almost seemed to cast a spell on him. He was the happiest that he had been since Mairenn was taken from him. With Moira, he felt as though the missing piece of his heart had been returned.

Conall no longer spent his days at the tavern, and no longer spent hours staring off into the sea. He no longer felt such intense pain over the loss of Mairenn. It was as though she had returned to him through Moira.

After several months of pure bliss, Conall took Moira as his new wife and they lived together happily in his shanty by the sea. The more time he spent with Moira, the more she reminded him of Mairenn. Her eyes, her voice, even her mannerisms where almost identical. But, where Mairenn had been so full of life and happiness, there was something different about Moira. There was a certain sadness about her, as though she was constantly longing for something that she had lost. Conall knew that feeling all too well, but he was too happy right now to worry about it. If there was something troubling Moira, she would tell him eventually, when she is ready, but Conall couldn't think of a single reason for her to be unhappy.

One evening, Conall decided to take Moira out for a nice evening near the shore. They would have a picnic in the sand and look out over the sea, where they had first met when Moira had rescued him, even though Conall had been unconscious at the time. When Conall mentioned the sea to his new wife, her eyes seemed to light up as though she was about to be reunited with something she had lost long ago.

It was a pleasant evening, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Conall took his new wife out on his boat, though he didn’t dare stray too far from the shallow waters near the shore. The sea seemed calm, though Moira had an anxious look upon her face as she stared out across the water.

"What's wrong, my love," Conall asked Moira. "You look uneasy."

"Nothing, I was just admiring the sea," replied Moira with a dreamy tone in her voice. "It looks so peaceful out there."

"Don't let the sea fool you," Conall replied darkly. "But don't worry. I will protect you from its fury if a storm should brew." Conall almost said "again," but quickly realized his mistake before allowing the word to slip from his lips. Had he completely forgotten that Moira was not Mairenn? “What do you say we head back to dry land for that picnic I promised?” Conall added. The memories of the storm that had taken Mairenn urged him to row back to the shore as quickly as possible. Moira didn’t respond but continued to look out across the sea.


After they finished dinner, Conall and Moira walked down the beach. There were several seals resting near the boulder that Conall had visited so many times before. He started to turn away, as there was no need to bring Moira to that spot, but she started walking toward the seals. The seals did not move as she approached, which was odd, as they usually scurried back into the sea whenever Conall was near. The seals simply stared at Moira as she knelt down next to them, almost as though they accepted her as one of their own.

Conall moved closer to his wife and the seals. As he knelt down next to Moira, the seals turned away and disappeared into the sea. Conall turned to Moira and looked into her green eyes. There seemed to be some kind of unidentifiable longing hidden somewhere deep inside them.

“Come on," Conall said comfortingly. "Let's go home." Moira averted her gaze to the sea as Conall helped her up. There was something strange about those seals, Conall thought. It was probably best to keep Moira away from them, and perhaps the sea all together. Still, Moira seemed to have some kind of connection to the sea that ran even deeper than the connection Conall and his family shared with it as fishermen. But he had an unexplainable feeling that, if he wasn't careful, he would lose Moira to the sea as well. Though the sea had brought her to him, he had no doubts that it would take her away just as easily, just as it had with Mairenn.

Read from the Beginning

  • 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

Related Articles