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Otter

scienceprincess in collegeofveils

A letter

 This letter was left in a secret pool deep in the hedge . . . 

Dear Seamus,

 

My dear brother, I am leaving this note for you in this strange spot I’ve found here in the hedge.  It reminds me more than I can tell you of that one hidden hollow by the willow roots where we played as cubs.  I am indulging a foolish hope that my heart has led me close enough to you that you will find this.  I know you will probably never will, at least not here, but I am afraid to send a more direct message in case I should put you and the family in danger again.

 

If you should get this, please tell everyone that I miss you all terribly.  It has been 6 long months since I left.  I miss the cozy dens that straddled the worlds, the River Games played in and out of the water, the lazy swims, the fresh fish that tastes of home. 

 

Still, I suppose it is my own fault.  It haunts me, how close we all were to discovery.  I should have been more careful.  I never dreamed that that man (I know that you warned me he was too attracted, but I didn’t want to believe you about the danger.) followed me to the river.  He saw me put on my skin.  And he knew right then.  Because he knew the old tales.  Thank the Water that you saw him and warned me. 

 

I get goosebumps when I think what might have happened if he had found my skin when he broke in.  Because of your warning, I had it with me.  Otherwise, I might have been the Silkie in the old tales trapped by a man who hid her skin away and so had control of her.  Better to have run than that.  Tell me, did the glamour work?  Does he remember?  Grandmother thought it would probably hold if he did not ever see me again, but I worry.  Should I be looking over my shoulder for him, even here?

 

I am more careful now.  None of the ordinary men here seem to be paying me too much attention.  A fanatic is a very good disguise.  They see only the crazy environmentalist, and not the woman, or the silkie.  A pretty woman, but crazy, and not worth tramping near the river for.  Thank the Water.

 

However, I do not want you to think these last months have been nothing but worry and homesickness.  Probably less for me than for you.  I like this school and this place I now call home (You know it’s best if I don’t say too much).  On dry land, the passions and pleasures of the people here keep me fed and healthy.  I have found many swimming companions.  There is a group of otters near here, and I have become fast friends with the leader browncoat and his mate swimfast.  To them, I am wetdryfey.  As you can tell from their name for me, they know I straddle the worlds and thankfully do not care as long as I play and fish and keep the human messes away.

 

More even than swimming companions, I am finding myself a part of a group here.  We might even become a family.  There are many changlings in these parts, and they are all very different from me, but I seem to be drawn to a few of them.  The first is a pookah, a rabbit.  She is foolish and flighty and more loyal than I ever expected.  Then there is a unicorn who loves her horses and believes the best of everyone.  Finally, less often we are joined by a temple fox or a troll.  Of all of these, I am perhaps the least naïve.  That may worry you, Seamus, as you always did think I was too impractical, but don’t.  Together, we have faced some amazing things.  The most impressive by far is that we bested the Hunter and a few of his Hounds before Christmas.  Yes, that Hunter.  With these companions, I am strong and safe.

 

Speaking of strength, I have developed a new power that I wish I could show you.  Remember Grandmother’s tale of her mother in Scotland who could be more than just a regular otter  silkie?  I may have the same gift.  When we bested the Hunt, I acquired the skin of a Hound.  I’ve found that I can wear this the same as my otter skin and take that shape as well.  It runs more slowly on land than I can fly through the water, but the power of a wolf is very tempting.  Especially if I am ever cornered again.  I don’t know yet if I can do this with any creature as great-grandmother Morag could, but the second form makes me wonder . . .

 

In any case, I hope that you find this letter, Seamus.  Tell Mom and Dad, and all the family that I love them.  And if you do find this by some miracle of the Water, please leave a reply here with news of home.

 

                                                                                    Much Love,

                                                                                    Fiona

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January 2008

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