Book one (Castle and Well) of Selkies' Skins is available in entirety in ebook format as of March 16th, beginning at Smashwords. The print edition is now available on Amazon and Lulu with Samantha Buckley's stunning cover depicting Kirsty and the storm, and an audio edition is currently being narrated by Illya Leonov, currently working with the Glossary and has finished Chapter 39 (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects).
And now to begin the webserial for "Selkies' Skins: Temple and Skinquest."
Selkies' Skins 2
Section 1: DescentInstallment 3Chapter 2 part 1
Section 1: Descent
Merrison clung to the rock and pulled himself up. His dark eyes narrowed as he looked out over the sea, which broke on the rocks in the middle of nowhere. These same rocks under another view of reality were at the edge of the world, where worlds collided and overlapped like tectonic plates. The rock's song was muted now, sated by his blood and the flotsam he was still searching through.
Time always meant little at the edges, so he was not certain how long it had been since the wreck. He only knew that he could not leave it yet.
“Etain! Brinetreader! Sea Witch, where are ye?” His voice boomed over the waves again.
As every other time there was no answer besides the circling terns crying for fish and swooping down hoping for something to pick over. He slipped off the rock again and plunged back below, canvassing the area again.
Still there was no selkie, living nor dead. The current had changed once he had passed through the gate, and he could only hope that she hadn't been caught between the realms. The current pushed away from the rocks in any direction he swam, when on the other side he, Etain, the Sea Witch, and that strange sea through seal pup had been pulled into the rocks.
Down and down he dove, to where the water began to press in on him firmly. Further down he let gravity make him fall, allowing the waters to press in on his ribcage and drive more of the air from his lungs. Merrison controlled his direction with careful positioning of his powerful green scaled tail, allowing his trident to glow so that he could see further for any forms caught in the rocks or in the kelps.
After an eternity of eternities and making his way through still slowly sinking boat bits his eye was caught by a bit of shining black the size of both of his very large hands. How it shone he couldn't guess, but shine it did, an ebony-hued tiny dolphin figurehead floating ever so slowly into the hungry shadows of this darkest area of the sea. Merrison made for that and stretched out his hand to catch it.
“I'm positive the Sea Witch didn't have a figurehead... Where is this from and where was she hiding it? And why?” Merisson pondered, turning it over and over in his fingers.
The carving was smooth, far smoother than it had even looked to him, and despite the frigid water it was as warm as a living thing. It even had a subtle pulse.
“You wouldn't have seen me and Etain was unaware there was already a figurehead hidden on the prow.” The voice came into his mind, as heavily accented as Etain's, a somber mixture of salt, rum, and port.
“Sea Witch?” He nearly dropped the carving.
“The oldest and most important part of what was once the Sea Witch, at any rate.” The figurehead answered. “I don't currently have a name now since my last body just got fed to the Rock that Drowns. I can't feel my mistress either. She's not here.”
“What do you mean she's not here?” He grimaced and his frothy white hair and beard broke into waves to rival a storm.
“She's not here.” The Sea Witch spoke slowly from the figurehead. “She didnae make it all the way through when we rammed that rock that just up and popped up in the middle of the portal.”
“So she's between somewhere.” He sighed deeply, his heart panging. “I failed, I said I'd find her the safest path back.”
“She might have come out into some other plane. She might not be in between on the rocks. We can only hope that Lady Mara can reach her now.”
“So then what do I do?” He clenched a fist, longing to drive it into one of the rocks and force them to let Mara's priestess go.
“Take me home. I have to get back to Seal Point, or to the Order of Fisheries and Water Conservation offices currently in Southend-on-the-Sea, north of Herne Bay.” The voice answered him, showing him maps and visuals to get to where she needed to be.
Merisson sighed, swimming back toward the surface toward the light, finding the sweet spot for underwater travel, and then turning in the direction the little carving wanted him to go.
The further away from the Rock that Drowns he swam, the more he could feel time and space regaining a hold on him. Time became relevant, and the ticks were as real finally as a dolphin's radar.
Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. After three installments have been posted I will be able to open an entry at Top Web Fiction for this particular book in the series.