The Sea Wife

Sea snow bridge

Image : Pixabay

 

‘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.

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24 thoughts on “The Sea Wife

      1. My pleasure Lynn, I’m always up for a good read, and a warm blanket during winter is ideal. I must switch to hot chocolate as coffee is not a favourite amongst I. Lol

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  1. Great story! Glad mermaids are making ripples. 🙂 Enjoyed reading it, seems like you absorbed the vocabulary seamlessly, to give the imagery and setting specificity. That havsra is a wrathful creature. ~ P ~

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    1. Ah, I’m so glad you read and liked it, as the whole idea sprang from our mermaid chats! The Havsra surely is a force to be reckoned with and of course, usually she wins back her offspring. But then, she’s never met Ebba before 🙂 Thanks for the great feedback too

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  2. This is yet another tour de force, Lynn: you’ve clearly done your homework and yet you wear that learning lightly on your sleeve, so much so that I could well believe this was a genuine folktale only lightly embellished by one of the great folklore collectors of the past. Both impressive and involving — superb.

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    1. Thank you so much Chris – what wonderful feedback. Yes, I did some homework, you’re right, the Havsra is a real Scandinavian myth – though usually she gets to take her children back after getting humans to raise them. But that was before she met Ebba of course. Thank you so much for your kind, supportive comments, Chris and I’m so glad you liked it

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  3. Did Dag bring his wife a baby seal? Like a pet? Or are they going to raise it to eat? You mention how she has grown soyhin a lot. But it is a nice gift Iyhink. Hopefully, he becomes a beloved pet?

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