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The Selkie Wife: A Short Story Inspired by Celtic Folklore - Chapter 6

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


The Selkie Wife - Chapter 6

It had been almost seven years now, to the day, that Moira had entered his life. Everything seemed perfect. This was the life that Conall had always envisioned with Mairenn and he couldn't be happier. But as time went on, Conall noticed that Moira seemed somewhat unhappy.

While Conall had never had the chance to start a family with Mairenn before she disappeared, Moira had blessed him with two beautiful children. Ronan, their son, had just celebrated his sixth birthday. Their daughter Niamh was almost five. Both children had beautiful red hair and green eyes. Though only four years old, Niamh was the spitting image of Moira, and of Mairenn, Conall thought, though he would never tell this to Moira. Conall and Moira had the perfect life and the perfect family. But still, this perfect life didn't seem to make Moira as happy as Conall thought it should.

Moira seemed restless at times, as though she longed for something that was just out of reach. Conall didn't know what to do to make her more at ease, and tried to comfort her, though he could never figure out just what it was she needed. Though she insisted that she was happy, something in her eyes told Conall otherwise, and he was beginning to worry about her. He wanted more than anything to make her as happy as she had made him when she came into his life seven years ago.


Conall sat by the fireplace with Moira, as they did every evening, watching the children run around, playing in the one-room shanty they called home. Conall couldn’t provide much for his children, but he knew they were happy. Though Conall knew she tried to be happy and to be a dutiful wife to him and a loving mother to their children, Moira seemed somehow distant these days. Conall feared that perhaps this wasn’t the life she was meant to live, and that perhaps he was the cause of her unhappiness. But surely, she must be happy here with him. They had two beautiful children and a wonderful life together. What more could she possibly want or need? This was the life he had always longed for. And he knew that they must share the same dreams.

Conall watched as their young son, Ronan, open the trunk near the fireplace. He had completely forgotten about the trunk, as it hadn’t been opened in years. Seven years, to be exact. The last time he had used the trunk was the night that Moira had appeared in his life. Ronan pulled out the seal furs that Moira had wrapped Conall in the night that they had met. Moira had wrapped Conall in these furs for warmth after she rescued him. He had stored them in the trunk for safe-keeping but had somehow forgotten about them over the years.

“Bring that fur here, son,” Conall instructed the boy. “I want to tell you and your sister the story of how your mother and I first met.” Conall looked lovingly to his wife and then to his two children. The memories of that night warmed Conall’s heart, and all doubts about his wife’s happiness with him melted away. She had given him back in life in more ways than one. He was certain they would live out the remainder of their long and joyous lives together. The two young children sat on the floor near Conall’s feet and looked up to their father in anticipation.

“Well… I had fallen asleep near the sea…” Conall began his story. He didn’t notice the look of longing in Moira’s eyes as she stared at the seal pelt while he recounted the story of the night she had rescued him from the sea.

Stay tuned for the final chapter

In Case You Missed 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

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