‘I have a gift for you, wife.’ Dag is soaked to the bone, water dripping from eyebrows thick as thatch. He smells of the sea, salt and fish and days sleeping and living on the deck of a fishing boat.
Ebba curls her lip against the smell. ‘I want none of your gifts.’ Winter is coming and the cold presses through her furs, pinching the tip of her nose, shrinking her skin tight to the bone. ‘Did you bring food?’
He kneels before the fire, wreathed in smoke, steam soon rising from his wet clothes. From under his furs he brings a bundle of seal skin. He lays it on the ashy ground where it twitches then lies still.
‘What is it?’ She wants to see, but holds back, trying to hide her curiosity. Her breath hangs in the air. The package begins to writhe, wriggling as if full of eels.
Ebba is no newlywed bride, easy won by golden slivers of smoked herring. Two decades of marriage have pared her body down, made it taut as a drum skin, her back stiff, her heart nigh impossible to melt. She waits and watches …
Last week I linked to Sammi Cox’s announcement of her Winter Magic anthology going live on Wattpad. Today, I thought I’d post a snippet of my own contribution, The Sea Wife. See here to read the rest of the story.