Time to move forward! Kathleen Jennings and I have decided it’s time to start a new storybook. So, we’ll be working on “Skin” next week on our Avid Bookshop work day, which was one of my short stories. Originally published in The Lifted Brow in 2008, it feels like a perfect tale to have a new life. So: selkies and revenge.
I was sixteen when he plucked me from the sea.
Caught in his fisherman’s net, I thought I would drown until he lifted me into the too-small boat and began to hack at the rough fibres to release me. I should have known then how soft his heart was, to see him ruining a net so, but I was terrified. In his haste he cut me, split the skin down by my tail a good eight inches and saw the two fine-boned ankles lying within. He sat back, astonished, and I fought my way free of the pelt until I was naked and shivering in my human skin, huddled at the bottom of that little, little boat.
His family told him to throw me back, to return my other skin and send me home. He refused.