Welcome back to another installment of Selkies' Skins. I'm still going to do this bi weekly, unless extra episodes get funded (find out how you can speed up the installments at the bottom). The book's sections will likely be a bit different from the website's since too many chapters in a section starts to look really confusing in the nav bar on the site. Or they might not. This is one of the issues that the editor and I will discuss. If you don't wish to use the Selkies' Skin tag to find the entries, check the ToC on the Sticky Note at Dreamwidth. Story is mirrored to my LiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. If you would like a heads up on when the serial novel is updated before it goes to the main site (usually) or for news as to when the full novel will be available you can subscribe to my Twitter (@AmehanaArashi) or go on Facebook and like either THG StarDragon Publishing or Selkies' Skins. As always, the main tag for the story is selkies' skins, and the table of contents is in the sticky note.
Selkies' Skins Section Two
Finnol's Hunt (part 3)
~~~~*~~~~Finnol collapsed into the booth, his vaguely Victorian era ship's captain attire blending in perfectly now with the pirate air of the favored reenactor's hangout. In the pocket of his doublet lurked the letter from Kirsty's school on her progress, mundane, magical, and "merstudies." It had joined the small notebook crammed impossibly full of the notes from his recent adventures and the tales that had been... brought to his attention otherwise.The rotund and sandy Marc slipped into the booth on the other side, the largest flagon of ale he could get in each hand. One he slid in front of the man that looked rather like a piece of wilted seaweed. Marc drank from the other himself, then kept his voice carefully jovial.
"This is unusual. What's going on that you're calling me? On a phone no less, instead of by carrier pigeon."
He normally would have finished with "Who died?" but did not, given the usual sadness in Finnol's eyes being more pronounced than usual.
"Needed a friendly face outside the Office."
"Etain's still out then? I've not seen you looking so out of sorts since that fight you had-"
Finnol waved his hand and took a drink from his own flagon. Marc let the observation go, waiting companionably. After a long pull, he continued.
"How's your girl then?"
"Well enough, though Aunt Belara is rather concerned about her nightmares getting worse. She's a Sensitive you know."
"Aye, crack shot with knowing where a pipe's leaking. I remember her finding that without a set of dowsing rods and saving me a thousand pounds since I didn't have to have all the plumbing redone."
"Well, she's got other gifts than waterwitching. She's got the Sight too, now and then."
"Ghosts? Or you mean like clairvoyance and such."
"Foresight. So those nightmares bother me."
Marc took a pull from his flagon, not disturbed in the least about the thought of "little Kirsty" being able to do more than point out leaky pipes, though he himself had no special powers. He'd always wanted them, and always loved the mage characters in the fantasy books... particularly Gandalf and Harry Potter. This was probably part of why he loved helping gather modern, supposedly true, sea and ghost stories for Finnol's book... and often found many other odd happenings for him.
"She loves her Mum, hopefully it's just worry dreams."
"Maybe, maybe not. She gets involved with quite a lot."
"Where are you headed, Sailor?"
Finnol quirked his lips a bit in a smile at that, while a large bead of condensation coursed down the side of his flagon. "Crazy with longing most like."
Marc watched him a while longer, pulling slowly at his ale. "You got some bad news somewhere. Out with it boy. What's eating at you really? Other than no Etain."
"Do you believe in the gods?"
"In what way? Metaphor, literal?" Finnol gave no further indication of what he was meaning. "I do I guess, plenty of strange things to point that they might exist. Probably not as all powerful as they say in the old myths, probably quite a few of them too. Maybe I just need more ale though." He took another drink, disconcerted about his friend's unusual turn to the world of religion.
"And psychic powers I know you believe in."
"Everyone's got 'em." Marc agreed amicably, far more comfortable with that thought. "Whew, thought he was going to go looney and say the gods are going to destroy mankind or something."
"So... what about some of these mythological beings you bring me stories about, in your professional opinion?"
"I believe in them. And I think they've got as much right to exist, if they're real, as you and I do. In a proper habitat for them too, not some lab. How great would it be to be friends with a mermaid and hear about what it's like on the seafloor where we can't go?"
"And if you saw one, or found some proof, would you keep it quiet?"
"Are you nuts? Of course! Well, maybe not a boat eating kraken... but if it talks, definitely."
"Fancy a little cloak and dagger?"
Marc leaned forward, forgetting what was left of his ale. There was a spark in Finnol's eye that he'd seen now and then, usually when catching the very end of a broken off conversation between he and his wife. He'd seen it in the eyes of people at the Fisheries Office too, when even those who were paper jockeys seemed to have the determined step of someone set on changing the world.
"You've got my interest."