To alexseanchai‘s prompt
When the war came, she went, not to ground, as so many of her friends and cousins did, but to water, to the sea.
The bombs were falling all around, but she slipped on her seal skin and slid under the water, down where the Leviathan still remembered her, down where her other family, her seal family, still lived. She found the little place she had built, so long ago, where those like her – and those like dolphins and true seals, merfolk and otters – could breathe safe air, deep under the ocean and yet dry and homey. The humans were clever, but none smart enough to find this place.
It was not the first time she had gone to see, and it would likely not be her last. She was, if not eternal, near unto it, and she did not like war at all.
There she stayed, with otters and selkies, seals and merfolk, under the water, while above the rockets fell and the cities burned. They were clever folk, humans, clever at destruction, clever at building it all up to destroy it again. But she was more clever, and she had her refuge from all their brilliant ideas.
The years past, under the sea. Otters and seals, dolphins and merfolk kept her company. The true animals grew old, and died, no matter the magic she used, but the merfolk and the selkies, the naiads and the kelp-dryads, they stayed the same, as she did. Above the sea, the war raged on, and stopped, raged again, and stopped. The humans were clever, and eventually they found peace. Still she waited.
It was safe, under the sea, never too cold and never too warm. It was peaceful under the sea, no war and no armistice, no fighting and no treaties. But the humans were clever and the merfolk and selkies were eternal – but they were not, as things went, so clever.
The humans were clever. And no matter how long she was gone, there was always someone waiting, when she slipped onto the beach. There was always someone who remembered how to steal her skin.
As she pretended to fight against the farmer who had “captured” her, the selkie found herself smiling. It was safe, under the sea. But on the ground things were interesting.
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So, did she pick him?
Mayyybe. Maybe she just wanted someone clever enough.
If they’re not smart enough to hold her, they’re not smart enough to bother with? 🙂