rainstardragon: (Default)

Welcome back to the story! 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 myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, 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 full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

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. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He has finished "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes Selkies' Skins: Castle and Well which will be available in full audiobook format soon. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)

This installment took a little more work. Justin and Raechel needed to be released together, so this is technically two but I will count it as one.

Interested in helping support the free version of this book and other projects? Visit http://www.patreon.com/Amehana



Selkies' Skins 2
Section 2: Temple's Light
Installment 31
Chapter 13 part 1
Skinned

 

Justin lay on his back where he’d beached and passed out earlier, looking up at the roof of the cave. His body ached from fighting the currents and where he had been slammed into jagged rocks. His skin oozed green in places where it had been broken. Nothing made sense right now.

 

He’d been below the waves trying to find a way into where he knew his prey had gone and attempting to avoid the very irate selkie guard that had found him. He’d wondered if the Dark Priestess had alerted the guard, or if it was just his luck and the fact that it made sense someone would be guarding one of the Ancient Relics and Rifted Paths. Then the storm came and reached much farther than storms had ever reached in his life. Something tangled around him like an invisible net and he had been pulled through what felt like invisible fabric, released again to the full fury of the storm.

 

It had felt like it had awareness though, and purpose. Who or what had taken him? Was it Astereth reaching out his hand, or was it the blessing of the dragoness, or something else entirely?

 

The guard had no longer been present, the water tasted different, and preserving his life had taken precedence to figuring out what had happened.

 

Justin groaned and rubbed his hip, amazed he wasn’t broken. Every time a rock threatened him runes had flared green around him and shielded him. Gifu had surrounded him. Marks on his wrist caught his eye and he discovered gifu etched in blue and green over and over again, fully encasing his wrist. The tattoo was faded though as if it had been placed years ago and exposed to the sun too often.

 

He watched as the blue lines and the green lines seemed to war with each other, the colors flipflopping and writhing. “I am way too old for this stuff.” Justin grumbled and attempted to sit.

 

In the back of the cave he could hear stealthy rustling, and the sound of a mother shushing a babe. By the scent, this could only be a selkie cave. He was hungry, but he wasn’t that hungry that he would steal a child, especially in this state. He only wanted warmth, and to dry out, though not too much. Where there was a selkie cow though there was usually not a selkie bull too far away, and those meant spears.

 

Justin grimaced at the thought and made his way to the entrance, frowning at the water. “I’m leaving, mother. My apologies for intruding on you. Thank you for your hospitality.”

 

He picked his way along the rocks, hoping that somewhere ahead the beach gentled. The selkie’s eyes followed him, he could feel her confused and frightened gaze until he went around the bend, the last tendril of her scent fading from his nose.

 

Where did I wash up?” He thought, trying to find some indication. He could feel the ping of one of the lighthouses connected to the navigation grid, but the signals prodding him confused him even more. “Nothing feels right.”

 

Justin sat and pulled his coral flute out of his pouch, relieved and surprised that it had not been broken. A small part of him mourned still being caught, still being alive like this. The rest was just glad he was alive and still had a chance. He settled on a rock near a pool and let the song within have its way. A rumble escaped his belly, caused it to quake, cramp, and claw. Every thought and need he had poured through his flute and called for fulfillment. He had to hunt.

 

Please, just some fish. Nothing bigger.”

 

 

While Justin gathered himself and attempted to take care of his needs Raechel had likewise found herself pulled through tide and time. She knew that so long as Kirsty was within the bounds of Mara’s Maze it would take the knowledge flowing through her blood and bone and use this to create tasks. Problems found in the blood would have their energetic roots addressed and possibly corrected, or perhaps made worse. The dark priestess took stock of her surroundings.

 

Over the crashing pulse danced a flute far in the distance. It held no pull for her even though she recognized the most likely origins being a finman hunting his prey. She was no child, and today she did not hunt that quarry. Where she served was not here, and so no need to defend the Temple. No, he could court and eat any foolish maid answering or any child drawn to dance. It was not her concern, and she somewhat relished the thought.

 

Far south she saw the prick of a lighthouse, and a smear that might possibly be a ship. Or it might not. It would just be another of the rocks.

 

Her prey was nowhere in sight. A mysterious misty coastline glowered and sipped brine from jagged rocks which then smoothed and gentled further along the shore. Between two outstretched arms of rock sheltered a surprisingly sandy beach that would be afforded magnificent views of the full moon, and certainly flat enough for the practices of the land visiting folk of her breed. A dark bastille brooded and overlooked the views from atop a crag bedecked by wind and water worn caves. Some of those showed signs of life routinely turned out. One of those had the feel of wards placed on the entrance. Swimming nearer, the magic here tasted curiously of cinnamon and licorice.

 

Testing the boundary Raechel discovered that she could cross without harm, and without triggering anything. Cross in she did, and the cavern stretched and lumbered above, yielding at last worn rock to pull herself onto. A mooring waited nearby for absent boats and a passageway gave dark promises.

 

Pirates, probably.” Raechel thought. “Magical ones and not Cowans.”

 

Raechel explored a bit after shifting to human form, testing the magic further. She frowned at the strange twining of selkie and human spells. Older ones warred with each other for claim of the space, but a set of newer ones welcomed each other, even embraced. Following that thread she worked a spell of her own trying to reveal as much information as she could, to see if there were anything of use to her own cause.

 

Impressions came with fleeting steps across the dark canvas. Stealthy meetings, whispered promises, a stolen skin. Raechel scowled as the story unfurled and then fizzled out in sputtering sparks. She had a face for each of the recent casters, and one that was far too much like her prey for her taste.

 

Her eyes fell on some still glowing letters superimposed over each other meant nothing. SMM and BCL. Placing her hand over it she called on a mostly forgotten aspect of her goddess. Confirmation came. It was indeed a pairing. Her blood activated and the wall dissolved, revealing a different passage. The scents here were old, though she knew what they meant. No reason to explore.

 

If I poison that, perhaps I’ll kill the girl before she even exists.” A dark smile wove and danced over her lips. “That would be quite a blood healing indeed.”

 

The scent of the other passage was fresher, and as she stepped away the vanishing wall returned. Raechel turned toward the darkness and smiled.

 

 

Raechel stole into the passage to explore. Perhaps the other face was at home. Twisting a human, she hoped, would be an easy thing. With luck maybe she could even liberate that stolen skin. Then she’d burn it since the owner was now so obviously impure to willingly embrace during secret trysts.

 

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal

Or you can become a monthly patron through Patreon!

As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)

Welcome back to the story! 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 myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, 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 full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

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. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He is currently working on "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes' Skins: Castle and Well. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)

So... this chapter went much differently than I originally expected it to. Sorry Vadkun, that is part of what took so long. You know how Justin are Kirsty are though... And it didn't help the story wanted to write itself out of order and everything else that was happening/not happening.


Selkies' Skins 2
Section 1: Descent
Installment 16
Chapter 7 part 3
Soul Pipe

 

 “I didn’t do a thing to you and didn’t lay any geas on you! I was a little busy, Finman.” Kirsty spat it out at him.

“Then why does it matter to me that things aren’t right? Why does it matter that I don’t want to haul you off like the others would, hm? You’re wanted by Astereth, that should be enough to keep me following the wishes of my Jarl.” The binding magic in Justin burned and he could feel it trying to command his muscles. He gritted his teeth.

“How should I know? Maybe you’re just a lousy Finman. Every race has those one that just are terrible at being what they’re supposed to be. Maybe you were really meant to be just an ordinary fish.”

“Maybe you aren’t a seal. Maybe you’re a troglodyte.”

“Clever, for a lad with seaweed growing from his scales. Maybe a fish was an overestimation.”

Both the selkie and the Finman paused in confusion, looking at each other warily. “Whatever,” Justin said after a moment. “Enough insults. We sound like siblings and that is ridiculous. I’m not going to help you in your quest, but I do feel honor bound to say that maybe next time our meeting will play out differently.”

“Good. I don’t want or need help from the likes of you.” As soon as she said it she felt the energies around them shift. “I have to do this on my own anyway.” The energies shifted once more, and she wasn’t sure that she actually liked either shift or of what the fluxes meant.

“I’d be disappointed if you did need my help.” Just wasn’t sure what the feeling was that welled up in him. He tensed, his stomach churned, he flashed hot and cold, and the desire to stuff a foot up the annoying female’s backside conflicted with an even more confusing urge. The confusion on his quarry’s face deepened and they blinked at each other.

They both felt the weight of unseen eyes watching and peering into their souls. Then the moment passed. Energies shifted again, this time not only around the pair but within the pair. The gaze of various deities withdrew, leaving both with the sense that their lives were merely stories for the entertainment of larger beings, and that they had somehow done something that rippled into other oddly related stories to change their courses.

Justin’s hand went to his pouch then slipped within the depths. His fingers brushed the coral pipe that held his soul. It was warmer than he could ever remember it being. Slowly, with his eyes on Kirsty’s, he pulled it out. Only when he’d made it obvious he had no intentions of playing it did he turn his gaze to it. It glowed blue and purple briefly. Kirsty’s eyes widened, then narrowed.

“It’s never done this before...” He observed. “What does it mean?”

“I don’t know. But those are the colors that the magic of my Ladies take. I don’t know why it would show up on something of yours though.”

“Hmm...” He slipped his flute back into his pouch. “I will think on the matter. Maybe I’ve done something correctly. You should go. You’re not getting any further on your quest standing here, I think. Maybe.”

 

“Maybe.” Kirsty nodded, her own tone thoughtful, though she hesitated. “Maybe.”

 

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal
As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)

Welcome back to the story! 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 myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, 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 full story is selkies' skins and the tag for "Temple and Skinquest" is selkies' skins 2.

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. An audio edition of the first book in the series narrated by Illya Leonov and now available on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible, with other venues pending. He is currently working on "Book of Seals: Pearls of Sea and Stone" which accompanies and precedes' Skins: Castle and Well. (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects)

So... this chapter went much differently than I originally expected it to. Sorry Vadkun, that is part of what took so long. You know how Justin are Kirsty are though...


Selkies' Skins 2
Section 1: Descent
Installment 15
Chapter 7 part 2
Soul Pipe

 

Raechel moved when she saw her curse deflected. How could the Finman dare interfere in her affairs as he did? She fought against the strains of magic in the music trying to pacify her. What purpose would he want the initiate for? Did he want her power for himself? Is that why Seaswimmer so suddenly pulled rune weapons from the music? How was it even possible?

Music.” Yes, the strength would also be a weakness. Now if she could get at the lad’s pipe she would have his power. She would not break it though. No, she would play the pipe instead and have others under her thrall. She knew how they hunted the shores. If the pipe was anything like her skin then not only would she be able to claim its magic but she would also gain a minion.

Her course changed and carried her for the finman now. Starting first for Kirsty surely would have set both off guard for such a move.

Justin tried to move out of the way as the dark priestess began to move his way, the notes of the song breaking off. One hand moved to stow his pipe in his pouch, the other raised to defend himself. His spear moved itself from the crook of his elbow where it had rested while he played into his hand, reacting to his need. The wood sparked, there was a dark gleam on his spear's tip.

Kirsty frowned, trying to make sense of the situation. What looked to be a Mara priestess had just tried to curse her, presumably to death by how hot the shield was. It growled still at her arm. It would have made more sense if the attack had been against the finman like seemed to be happening now. So why was it hurled instead at her? She hadn't startled the elder priestess, as far as she could tell, she'd been here first. The dark on had come on her and possibly saved her life.

Why had the abomination given her exactly what she needed to defend herself? Was this one of the tests? Perhaps a test of character?

Worst. Test. Ever.” She thought.

Kirsty let the other selkie and the finman collide and stood ready to deal with whatever the outcome was going to be. She watched as they tangled and wrestled and the magics that they wielded discharged. Alternating waves of rage and guilt washed through her as her muscles tensed, and then loosened, only to tense again. The vials of the Ladies’ Waters roiled inside her sporran and the wand tucked away crackled and screeled in protest to the vortex forming as the energies tangled in the water that had only been partially healed due to the interruption of her process.

Somehow in all this Justin managed to put his soulpipe back in his pouch securely. Who knew what force guided it, but the force was strong. Spear deflected spear and got forced away and his world was a whirl of muscle and determination centered on the darkly clouded eyes locked on his own. Her will pressed into him just as much as his instinctual struggles. The runes etched into his arms and body by the Jarl’s poisons burned, and within those eyes he saw clouds of the Will of Astereth, and this too reached for him.

The clouds connected with something in his mind and he heard the whispers of the Dark One pulling at all the hard work that he and Amehana had done on his soul. The song tempted him... Wait, songs was more accurate as the Tainted Priestess was using her voice magic in addition to what Astereth’s Influence was doing. It would be so easy to give in, and the song Astereth wove promised him either release or a wife. The Tainted Priestess, what he’d seen of her, had been attractive. Did Astereth mean the temporary vessel he was touching?

No. It was never so easy. He also remembered the old dragoness showing him in a past dream part of some of her travails, showing him that his predicament would not carry forever if he had faith and held onto himself. He could nearly hear the hissed words before the mirror she’d showed him in. Justin even had the strange sense that his dream mentor was watching from whatever place her home really was in. Justin couldn’t let her down, even if she sometimes had more faith in him than he had in himself, possibly because of that.

Such thoughts passed quickly as a spark, igniting his will once more. He dared to fight back, to press back. He felt somehow, he wasn’t certain how, for a weakness in the magical force bearing down on him, just as he twisted to try to let past the physical. A shape flashed in his mind. Before he could even fully see what rune he had managed to invoke it was gone, but there was an exploding force between she and he, and the water tasted of a summer storm’s acrid electric burn.

A shriek of rage and Raechel was gone, swift as tailfin would drive her. Justin was on his back, and he could taste blood on the water. When had the Spear of Mara, such that blade had to have been with a burn as bad as that of poison-treated Finsper spears, managed to taste his flesh? Justin’s eyes, once he had collected wits enough, turned toward where he remembered his quarry to have been.

Kirsty, Seaswimmer, still held the spear of Laguz and shield of Gifu. Storm-sea eyes regarded him as warily as he did her, turning again in the direction Raechel had gone, and then back to him. Slowly, the half-breed abomination approached him. The spear he had unwittingly given her lowered to his heart, and her face was as impassive as the Cailleach. Indeed, his senses prickled at the feeling of many unseen eyes watching.

I have failed then.” The thought flitted swiftly, unvoiced, through his mind.

Kirsty merely gazed into the finman’s eyes as the cold settled over her. She too felt the eyes, and she pressed firmer. The words of the song-spell that came were not fully her own. “Talk, finman. Tell me no lies.
If you do, I’ll give you to the skies
Strung on the nearest tree I can get
To dry, become fodder, lest ye forget.”

Justin pressed his lips together. “What do you want to know, Flotsam?”

Kirsty didn’t flinch at the insult. “What did you come for? Not that I am not grateful for a weapon and a shield. It came in handy, even though I don’t know why what is supposed to be a sister hurls a curse at me.”

“To catch you, same thing as the last we met.” There was an insistent pulling, and he could feel his flute squirm as the spell the seawench had cast on him brought the answer out. “Astereth and the Jarl want you. Something about you.”

“Like I’m something special.” Kirsty snorted at him. “What do you know about the other one?”

“Not much other than she’s one scary feeling völvr, and that she’s rather obviously Tainted. I’ve never known a priestess to attack an initiate, I’m pretty certain they don’t do things at that level of dedication. Any clue why I’m the one apparently saving you?” Justin retorted, his nose wrinkling and teeth baring.

“I’m the one asking the questions, in case you’ve not noticed the pointy stick you so helpfully gave me.” Kirsty growled. She wanted to press it harder, but couldn’t quite bring herself to for some reason. So she twisted instead and grinned a little at the brief flickers in the finman’s eyes. “Your guess is as good as mine though, Piper.”

“Name’s ‘Tin, not Piper. Piper is a girl’s name.” Justin glared into her eyes. “I am certainly not female.” He involuntarily flexed and puffed, then deflated a bit when the puffing resulted in more pressure from the spear.

“Charming. I put up with enough of that nonsense at school.” Kirsty wrinkled her nose, being reminded by that simple move about how she liked that David didn’t act that way. “Nice to know it extends under the sea too.”

Justin glared up at Kirsty. “I could say that right now you’re making the meanest of our women look pretty welcoming right now. Oh, but I just did. Skinless selkies are so well known for their aggression that rivals our own.” The urge to say increasingly stupid things boiled in his brain, confusing him even more. She was prey, but hadn’t he been concerned for her just a moment ago? Maybe he could at least use the stupid things to distract her enough that he could get the spear away from her and salvage the operation.

Kirsty’s eyes widened, then narrowed. “Oh, you almost got me. Nice try. Morvan uses this tactic on me whenever he can. So why does your Jarl want me, and Astereth?” The face that looked down on him now showed Mara’s heritage, but also that of another deity now. “Tell me all you know... then... try piping it for me.” Kirsty blinked at her own requested, dazed and confused as she removed the speartip from the finman’s chest.

Justin blinked both sets of eyelids and carefully sat up when the point’s pressure was removed, touching his chest where Lagu had cut him. He rubbed that blood between his fingers and then applied it to the wound he’d gotten from Mara’s spear. He stared when the initiate sat beside him.

“What? I’m not cruel. I admittedly hate all finmen and wish you all dead and all your Finsperian child eating ways along with you for all that your kind has done for generations, but you’re under a geas. I think I am too right now, actually. So we talk.” Kirsty made sure that Gifu was between them to further impair his ability to try getting the spear.

Justin sighed. “Right then. I don’t really know much. I have to steal what knowledge I can get because the Jarls are all so convinced that if everyone had magic they wouldn’t be able to control us. That’s fairly well known stuff.” He watched Kirsty nodding, taking that as a sign that even she knew it despite her lowly land-dwelling position. He pulled his pipe out of his pouch thoughtfully, looking down at its luster while turning it in his fingers. “I’m pretty certain our Jarl has some sort of deal with Astereth, thus why he wants you so much. I’m supposed to either break you, or bring you back. Definitely adamant about spoiling you for Mara.”

“Some part of you doesn’t want to?” Kirsty watched his body language as carefully as she tasted the waters around them, annoyed that she couldn’t catch his eye.

“Well, it seems rather strange to me. One family? Hunt them to extinction if possible? What’s the use in that? Sure we hunt others too, we have to eat. But this rivalry between deities?” Justin looked at her finally. It burbled before he could stop it, pulled by some unseen questioning force. “Not all of us follow the Dark One. One of our Seidhermen prefers Mara.”

Kirsty could feel as her myriad thoughtlines all crashed painfully into a stone wall, even though she wasn’t sure exactly where that figurative all would be. It took a moment to pick up the pieces. “That seems odd considering the targeting on any that have been associated with her and/or her sister. I remember reading that it was because of Astereth that the Well deity back home lost her name and Self.”

“Could have been any reason that happened. Astereth wants to return. That much I know, and it likely requires certain things and, I’m willing to bet, blood.” Justin’s fingers played over the flute, then his eyes narrowed. “Could be either yours or mine now, though I’m not sure where this thought is coming from. When we last met I supposedly took a part of what you were to become. That was your Lady of the Waters you’d been to see. That links me then to you and to your deities you serve.” He raised the flute to his lips and picked a halting tune while trying to sharpen the image he had seen.

Kirsty snarled at the idea of being linked. “That could be reason enough that one of the others would come out and attack me. She may be Tainted, but in the eyes of some because I’m not full selkie by birth I’m already unclean. Toss in magical meddling from an enemy and that means that if you took something you left something with me and makes me even more mixed.” She balled her fist and attempted to aim a strong punch at his head over the shield, fueled by the flare of anger and sorrow, certain that even though she never really wanted it, what she had been meant to be would never be truly available to her.

Justin felt the movement, saw the movement, and ducked. Her blow grazed the back of his head but as it was likely would not have been enough to knock him out. Certainly, though, it was enough to hurt. The shield and spear vanished with an audible pop leaving both to stare at each other, anger still in Kirsty’s eyes while Justin found himself filled with a strange melancholic calm. It must have radiated from his eyes somehow, because the selkie-to-be lowered her fist slowly.

“Why do I see my goddess in your eyes, finman? I can’t kill you in the future, seeing the Lady’s eyes in your face.”

“Why do I see my eyes in your face, little firefang?” He sighed. “And I don’t know. I don’t think I can kill you either, if I had to. We’re in a strange mess.” As the tension flowed from her, the pipe found his lips again and he found himself playing a soothing melody. Then it was gone. “I do know that your anger seems to have just disarmed you of weapons I didn’t even know I could make, and that the Tainted one will be back. She wants you to fail. I’m sure of it.”

“What? Now you’re suddenly volunteering to help me in my quest? I don’t think it’s allowed.”

 

“Astereth meddling in an affair set up by your deities probably isn’t allowed either. As for helping you... I don’t know. I might not be able to kill you, but I certainly would like to smack you around some right now. What else did you do to me when you laid this geas, wench?”

 

Thank you for reading along with the webnovel version of this book. This has gone up on the Web Fiction Guide, so reviews of the current story developing are welcome, as are votes.

Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book (or even the whole series, as it becomes available). The donations help pay costs such as editing, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal
As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. I repeat that this is the webnovel version of the book and may differ somewhat from the print and ebook versions when the text is completed and through processing. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story.


rainstardragon: (Default)

Welcome back to the story! 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 myLiveJournal, from my Dreamwidth, as well as on a dedicated site. For story news and more, 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. 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 depiciting Kirsty and the storm, and an audio edition is currently being narrated by Illya Leonov, currently working with Chapter 22 (click to hear what he sounds like in past recordings of other projects).
Continuing from last post, we start with Justin (because the last paragraph of his view got dropped and forgotten on accident. Then we switch.

Selkies' Skins
Installment 67
Chapter 35 (part two)
Tampered

A piercing scream wrapped around him, even as hands roughly pushed his spear to the side. The tactic he had expected, she’s seemed oddly good at that the last they had met. What he wasn’t braced for were the welts and stings forming as hair tendrils wrapped around him. Some he had expected. To lose vision was not expected.

As she assailed the membrane the scent and feel of danger intensified. A sharp object was brought to it from the other side, and a black aura surrounded the blade that threatened her. The form she now knew to be male, and it bore down on her with all its weight and fury as it tore into her world from his.

Kirsty moved as fast as she could while also casting her shield spell, pressing the blade down enough that she could grasp the spearshaft and hoped to use that to springboard herself over the Finman.

He brought his head up into her own as hard as possible and she let go. Kirsty tried to hit him with her tail as she passed over. The membrane, ripped by his passage, let her through and she landed roughly on a rock before bouncing to the ground.

The water drained, leaving the passage half air and half water. Kirsty bounced from the ledge she’d landed on back into the water. Stars filled her vision and the ringing in her ears dulled the sound of his movements. She drew a breath, flopping and trying to move despite how each move further made it difficult to keep her breath.

Justin turned as swiftly as he was able after her powerful tail, and likely more than a little magic, drove him into the floor of the passage. His skin tingled and he could feel his blood moving in ways he’d not felt before. When his eyes fell on her she seemed to shine for a moment, but it was only momentary.

He grinned and advanced on her as she fought to move. Seaswimmer hissed at him and raised her hands. Her pupils were wide and didn’t seem to focus on him as he moved, and he grinned wider.

She flopped her tail and moved another body length. Kirsty pulled what energy she could from the water to replenish what she’d used and prepared to channel it toward him. She operated more on feel than sight, the stars refusing to leave her vision.

He was on her as she felt the water leave her hands. The kiss of stone never came, only the power that radiated off his own hands and tried to control the flow of her blood. Her heart slowed, and more black crept across what little vision she had, leaving only the infuriatingly familiar eyes locked on hers while wills battled. Their energies tangled, snarled, and pushed even as hands tried to grapple or press away.

The unused wand in its sling crackled to life, transmuting some of the energies that passed between the pair. The selkie hair within screamed in protest. Another consciousness flowed through their blood and attempted to press both youths down, to drag them apart. In the backs of their minds a half-remembered face formed, marred by a deep frown and dark hair gaining another streak of silver. Pearl teeth glinted in these recesses the longer she stayed between them. The scent of tears went unnoticed while each fought to be the victor.

Again what saved Kirsty was more feeling-based than sight-based. She found a gap in the webbing his energy was casting, mercifully kept slightly away from herself by Marsali’s hair. The knot was loose, as if he was not used to manipulating energy and only doing so on instinct. Kirsty focused her own energy through that point, visualizing a blade as she did to further widen the hole. She was already disengaging as fast as she could, and so did not notice when the same energy that gave her space placed itself between her strike and target enough to slightly deflect it. The electricity from her hair released again at the same time, only ripping away due to his movement.

The netting fell away even as the focused rush pressed him back. Unaware of the contortions of her face Kirsty managed to get over to her belly again and moved as swiftly as she could along the stream, using her arms more than her tail. Just above her back was beginning to go between fire and ice, and she tried to use the water’s flow to further move herself along.

Behind her Justin landed against one of the stones, his own head contacting as hard as her own, temporarily taking his sight and breath. Electricity continued to dance over him for a moment, and where her nails had scratched were beginning to already swell and spread red roots.

This was an extra post in the schedule (bi-weekly normal posting). Next week will be the regular post. If you'd like to have another episode in the update schedule (April 20th), feel free to use the Paypal button below. Otherwise the next post for the story will be on April 13th.  A total of $10 earns everyone an extra episode. We are actually close enough that I probably will get to post an extra time. One more ought to bump us over. Alternatively you can buy an ebook, print book, or audiobook from me through Amazon, B&N, or Smashwords, then comment here (or pop me an email) with the amount of what you spent on the title and I will credit that to the pool. If the ten dollars is not met, then the amount rolls over toward the next early episode.

Like the story? Vote here at Top Web Fiction (just remember, we're a long way from finishing the story here and there is a lot of ground to cover. If you're on Goodreads, the first ebook is already listed there with my other books. Got a question? Ask it and maybe the answer will be revealed in the story, or in a comment if not part of the story. Want to do a review? Visit the listing, or feel free to post one in your own blog, and don't forget to have a look at the other stories on the web fiction guide and of course you can now put one on the Goodreads page as well. Please do consider making a donation, or buying the complete book once it's available. The donations accelerate postings, but also help put food on the table. Rather make an offline tip? Write me for a mailing address.
Donate Here via Paypal
As always, if you see any typos, please let me know so I can fix those, they don't always save when applied. Thank you for being part of the story behind the story. >.>


July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234567 8
91011 121314 15
16171819202122
232425 26272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Aug. 23rd, 2017 09:18 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios