Selkies' Skins Section 2
The night passed in tracking the scent of gamefish, searching for the particular breed that the village was low on for the children. Oddly, she discovered that she enjoyed these lessons, felt things stirring within her breast she'd not expected, and for once a quietening of her mind. At last, they found an appropriate food to bring the cooks.
The fish needed by the cooks to fill their current lack were large, unlike the smaller schooling breeds that were usually netted. These bore blue scales that flashed randomly with their own light where they gathered near to the underwater sea passage, though she only dimly registered where they were. Kirsty waited till she was sure of their demeanor, staying behind the rocks and weeds, picking out which were the most likely to be felled. The fish remained unaware of them while they skulked the edges, and Nightfish made no move to take one, instead seeing how much of her hunt she would be able to take by instinct. Despite the welcome stillness of her mind, unnoticed, she had a prayer filling her being and burning for fulfillment.
"I've never been after something this big with just a sharp stick." The prayer flowed through her blood far below and behind her mind. “Please let me succeed, for the pups and fry if not myself."
Unnoticed, she had more watching than Nightfish.
A smaller one, though still fully half her size and with sharp teeth jutting out from blunt jaws, separated itself as the loose herd came in range. She erupted then, before they could separate too much or pass out of range again, chasing after the closest. At first, some scattered while others ran with the main. When she was close enough, she brought her spear to bear, taking her mark in the side and fully a foot behind where she had intended. The fish continued to swim, dragging her with it, her spear embedded in its size and the wound widening with each flick of its tail and beating of Kirsty's tail against him as she tried to drive it far enough in to hit something vital.
Then the scent of the fish's blood brought the others back around to bear.
Her eyes widened when they turned and charged past her, enough of them to churn the water and hurt her ears, much the same effect as when Byron's sheep herd would stampede. These snapped and gnashed on their way, and the injured one she clung to tried to wheel and join its compatriots in getting at her. Terrified at the thought of being taken back into that snapping pack, some of which were fully as large as herself, she tried biting behind the neck and her hair released an electric charge and wrenching her spear back out.
A warcry came from Nightfish's direction, and he was out among the fish himself. Things were happening too quickly for her to keep track of time or order. She only knew there was cacophony around her, and released a cry herself after releasing her prey. This threw the fish off a bit, but she could still feel them coming. Her spear gave way with a sickening squelch, and once it was released her prey floated downward with dim eyes.
She whirled round to protect her back in time to find Nightfish driving and striking, and the spearhead suspended around his neck sparked with a cloud of darkness misting, but unheeded and uncalled on. Then others were on her as well, and there was no further time to take note of anything. Her world narrowed once more to fending off the fishes' group mind, striking and blocking with the blade, the thrust of her tail to propel her force or change the angle, and employing her shield spell when she could manage.
Eventually, their cries stunned the fish enough to produce a good haul, and the others disengaged, outmatched. With heaving breath Kirsty made sure that the fishes they had brought down truly were dead, and not just stunned. Of the herd they'd attacked, three were brought down, hers naturally the least clean. She sucked her lip and scraped at it with her teeth while surveying her own kill, and its raggedness, comparing it to the neatness Nightfish had managed during her defense.
“Not as bad as some first times have gone with this quarry.” His hand fell on her shoulder.
“Still, I think I have a long way to go. I really am better with a net.”
“And nets take time to weave. A spear is a quick make in tight spots. You'll get better.”
She smiled a bit, ruefully. “I hope so. So... how are we getting these back?”
“A net...” He smiled innocently and pulled one from the pouch at his waist. “We'll suspend it between us and pull them home.”
Her jaw dropped, before she closed it and glowered.