July 15th, 2012


Installment 14 (Chapter 10: Parting part 2)

"Selkies' Skins" will be a tale told serially, as I have the time to work on it. For now, updates may be spotty, but donations can help speed it up a little. I hope to at least manage an installment a month. I expect it to mostly center around Kirsten (Kirsty) and Etain Makay, two part selkies living in the modern era. The world is influenced by the Harry Potter novels in part, but also by Celtic mythology of Selkies. The main stories told will be Etain's work as a waterwitch, her work as a bridge between the Selkies of her area and Wizarding society, and Kirsty's own quest toward gaining her own seal skin.
Once the full story is down, an ebook version is planned. This story is unassociated with my Dragon Shaman series available in my Lulu outlet and on Amazon, or any of my unpublished manuscripts.
If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note. Story is mirrored also at my LiveJournal, as well as on a dedicated site.
We now continue with Selkies' Skins.
Selkies' Skins
Chapter 10 part 2



Kirsty pushed her cart, laden with trunk and cage, along the platform while watching for her owl, or for David. Her brown owl had arrived ahead of her, having left last night, and was perched on a ledge watching for her. It threw itself into the air and swooped toward her, landing on the cage in a flurry of feathers. With a screech, it opened the door with a claw and flounced in to glare at her, as if accusing her of tardiness.

"We had a detour!"

The brown owl turned its back on her at the answer, and looked back toward the train, fluffing its feathers. She continued to push the cart along, toward the form she could now see, sweeping her eyes over the thin lad with the sandy hair and dark, well cared for, somewhat imposing, clothes. Since he didn't see her yet, she openly admired the sweep of his traveling cloak and his cool manner, while he looked the other way down the platform toward whatever had caught his interest.


She left her cart and flung herself at him, intending to wrap her arms around him and demonstrate exactly how glad she was to see him. He looked toward the voice and smiled, opening his arms.


She thudded against him and he stepped back a bit, but managed to hold firm. His arms closed in as fierce a hug, and her breath puffed a bit when she kissed his cheek.

"I missed you."

"I missed you too." He held tighter for a moment, then let her go, looking to see if anyone had accompanied her. She appeared to be alone, without even Byron to watch. Then again, since she was here it was obvious he had brought her, and when they had first met she had been alone then as well.

Kirsty blushed a bit when she realized exactly how tight she'd been hugging, and how occupied she'd become by his ice blue eyes, and hoped she hadn't bruised him. Together they pushed their carts toward the train, once the doors were finally opened, and eyed a wan and figure that that been napping against a lamppost.

"Think that's our new professor? I hope he's good."

David nodded, and turned his eyes back to his task, conscious of the figure's stiring and the weight of exhausted eyes.

They boarded the train, he helping her with her things and getting them settled securely. They had not been settled long before there was a knock on their cabin door.

Both looked up, and moved away from each other, having previously been comfortably leaning against each other. Kirsty straightened her clothes surrepetitiously, just in case anything had skewed. They saw blue eyes gazing out from a tired face, just as exhausted as he had seemed on the platform. Both of them recognized the look. It echoed David's that came and went with the moon. He was lean, but would be more muscular if he were fleshed out a bit more, not in the stocky way of a body builder, but in the lithe way of some forest creature. Again, much like David's physique, but less well fed. Kirsty noticed what she thought were scars around his hands and wrist, but couldn't look for long without being rude.

"The two of you would be Mr. Valnarius and Miss Makay?"

The voice was soft and gentle, and Kirsty decided already that she liked him, if he were indeed the new professor. Both nodded and rose.

"Professor Hemming Gerwulf." He stooped down a bit to their height, and shook their hands, smiling. "I've heard good things about you both from the Headmaster," he paused and nodded toward Kirsty, "and your aunt. It will be a pleasure to have you in my class this year. Mr. Valnarius, a private word in my cabin if you please?"

David and Kirsty looked at each other. Kirsty then curtsied and sat back down arranging herself again. David bowed slightly to her, then slid the door shut behind himself after stepping out into the all behind the professor, following him to the very back.

Kirsty sighed and settled in her seat, watching out the window while waiting for the professor and David to be done talking about... whatever it was. She could guess it had something to do with David's condition, and if it was one that was shared, like she thought, that was one less nightmare. Imp slipped out from his hiding spot in her clothes, to find another spot in the cabin. She saw familiar faces moving around the platform, such as the blond of Thomas' head, chased after by his parents in blue and green- with a lute?

She looked again. She had been right. Thomas was being pursued by lute weilding parents, and she wondered how he ever found the time to practice the instruments he accompanied the school choir with, on top of his pet projects. The red haired butcher's daughter, Ally, she saw being given bone-crushing hugs by both parents. Kirsty sighed, then yawned. The glass against her forehead was cool, and though she saw the Lilitu family through it as well, she was too tired to give a flying walrus.

"Flying walruses" was exactly the last thought she had before drifting into an open eyed nap of indeterminate time. The sound of the door sliding open startled her awake, and she turned large, deeper blue, blinking eyes toward it. They stayed that way even after they had focused, and she relaxed on seeing it was only David, and not a trident-armed collywobble or whatever else her befuddled brain might have thrown at her.

David paused in the door a moment, and she inclined her head to the side shyly, feeling a tinge start to burn her cheeks. She hadn't been the only one blushing, however slight, and he slipped back into the seat next to her and got comfortable.

Once he was re-seated, she leaned against him comfortably and he put his arm around her.

"All well?"

"Well enough."

"What I think?"

He nodded, and she yawned, snuggling. Her own private talk would probably come later. She found herself hoping the professor was able to grab a decent nap. The silence stretched out, warm and heavy like a winter quilt on a stormy night.

"So, where are your parents?"

"Mum's out to sea again, and Da got called out to deal with an oilspill. Been having some nightmares about mum though, so if they get too bad, I'm supposed to talk to Professor Sevrin."

"I see..."

She yawned again, and curled into him.

He held her a little tighter. "Why don't you take a nap?"

Kirsty didn't fight the suggestion. Before the train whistle blew to sound the final boarding call, she was asleep, and when Ally and Thomas found the cabin, and the moon-faced girl and a couple others, she didn't wake.

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I'm currently a little annoyed with the scholarly community.  It is hard for any new names in research to break out.  When they try, everyone looks to Google Scholar, but what good does that do if they're relatively new on the scene, and have put in years of hard work?  They won't necessarily show up in there.  Granted, it also helps send people away from the hacks, but how does one become well established, known, and respected?  One has to start somewhere.

No, this isn't about me.  Just flailing in general prompted elsewhere.  And when I do get through my degree programs, I will have to worry about it.

The kids and I got to go out to eat today.

Since I was too tired to cook, we decided to use the gift voucher that my daughter won for use at The Lodge for going to a parenting class.  This also gave me an opportunity to mention publicly how pleased I was that at her young age, she had wanted to go to the parenting classes with me.

So, what is my opinion of eating at McCloud's Lodge?

The Lodge has a great country atmosphere, and stepping into the cool interior was a great relief from the hot summer weather.  Even at the dinner hour, it is quite hot here in summers.  The Lodge is spacious, and the booths and tables are set up so that there is plenty of room to move around.  I particularly liked the wood interior.  You could see the mill marks on the ceiling boards, and it's aged pine, which is just one of those details that you don't see often any more, and it had me wondering how old those boards are.

Service was awesome.  We had a lovely lady named Megan taking care of us, and she took us to this lovely quiet corner table with a great view, and which was just perfect for Merlin, as he tends to get overstimulated.  So it really cut down on it.  I could also, from my seat, keep an eye on the bathroom door if my son had to get up to use the Little Boy's Room (which he indeed did, so that came in handy to give him some autonomy and still allow me to have a keen eye on him in case I was needed).  Our server came to check on us often and was very helpful.

The food was excellent, not too salty, and certainly not too greasy.  Yet it was still moist, which is important for steaks and chicken.  Even better, the steamed veggies were not soggy, but instead slightly crisp and highly flavorful.  The Black Forest cake was awesome, and we even managed to get Merlin to try a bite of that and get him to expand his palate.

It's not somewhere that I can afford to eat every day, not at my income level.  However, you definitely get your money's worth (huge plates) so there was plenty to take home for later.  I will certainly take the kids again when I can afford to, as a special treat now and then.