As I said a few weeks ago, the continuation of the tale of Maeve and Richard Laverty was a story for another day...and that day is today! Yes, O readers, today is a first for Fiction Friday, as I look back to an earlier post and go on with the story of the courtship of Richard and Maeve. Only this time, the lady gets to speak for herself.
Will there be more of this same story after today's posting? Well, why don't you read to the end of what Maeve has to say, and then you tell me what you think. And if you're wondering what's got my brain back into Glenscar-mode, I think we can safely blame the CD of the musical group the Plunder Doggs I bought at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival last week. It's been playing on repeat in the car for days.
Does this mean we will be seeing Playing with Fire soon? If I knew that, I'd tell you, O readers. All I know for the moment is that I'm feeling better than I did yesterday, that I have every hope of finishing Chapter 65 of Surpassing Danger tonight, and that I got to meet a new friend last night and will be seeing my family on the weekend. In other words, life isn't quite so bad as it was.
Please enjoy, drop me a line or two, and thanks as always for reading!
My turn to tell a piece of our tale, now, is it? And a good thing too. It's not that I don't trust my man, you understand, but he's a tendency to see life only through his own eyes. But then, it's a common failing enough, not only among men but among humankind altogether, even those of us who have other forms as well.
As you may have guessed, my name is Maeve. Maeve Laverty, as you land-folk would reckon it, since to Richard Laverty I'm wed, and that's all well and good, for my second name in the language of my birth translates badly. A rough rendering might be "daughter of the hidden green land beyond the waves of the narrow strait", which as you can see is quite a mouthful in your English, though it's not so long in our tongue.
In any case, my Richard has told you the tale of our first meeting, and a rare moment that was for me. You see, my sisters had long teased me about someday having to wed a loutish land-boy, who would treat me more as his servant than his wife, unless I cowed him into better behavior. To find my intended neither loutish nor cowardly, but with spirit equal to my own and even (after a bit of prompting) well-mannered, gave me new heart about the whole business, and from that day we made it a point to seek each other's company as often as could be managed.
I'll make it no secret that I was fascinated by Richard's tales of land-life, but they weren't as unfamiliar to me as you might be thinking, for as my second name may have hinted to you, my folk have a land of their own, not beneath or across the waves but truly beyond them. "On another plane", as some of your modern thinkers might say, but we care nothing for such distinctions. To us, it is merely home, and we think no more of entering into it than you do of crossing the road to get to your own front door.
Still, we do spend a great deal of our time flippered and furred, and so it was the stories of sea-life I told when my turn came, of chasing down fish and batting them nose to nose before swallowing them whole, of playing hide-and-go-seek with my sisters among the ocean's forests, of lying out on a spit of rock to feel the sun soak into my hide. Richard listened with great interest to all I had to say, until one day, when we must have been about fifteen years of age, he asked me a question I'd never thought to hear.
"Could I," said he, "gain a sealskin of my own somehow, and see all these wonders for myself?"
I was just about to say, regretfully, that he couldn't when I stopped and thought it over. For what I'd been taught since I was small was that only one with selkie blood might expect to use our skins for their true purpose, and my Richard had selkie blood in his veins. Faint it might run, being from no closer ancestor than a great-grandmother, but his power of water sculpting ought to make up for some of that, and if it did...
"Perhaps," I said with caution. "I'll ask, when I go home again."
"I wish you would." Richard sighed. "The truth of it is, Alexander's begun to court his Ellen in earnest, and love in his case must be not only blind but deaf. Though I admit her tongue's less rough with him than any other, and she's kinder to us all since they've started walking out. Still, it's to our cottage they'll come when they marry, for there's neither money nor time to build them a house of their own, and live day in and day out with Ellen O'Grady I will not, nor would I ask it of you." He looked at me from beneath his eyelashes. "I'm already counted near as good as a man on the sea, as is Alexander. Soon our father will be letting us take the boat out alone—and who's to say I have to spend my every hour on the sea, and not in it?"
And so I went home to ask that question of my mother, who has both knowledge and power, and the end of all my asking was—
But that, too, is a story for another day.