The Sun's Tear

"Do you think rabbits carry their skin around?"
"I don't think so. Have you ever seen a rabbit walk around with its skin over its shoulder?"
"No."
"Then they probably don't."

In an age where drakaina are going extinct and selkies are eaten as a delicacy, two selkie siblings find their childhood washed away when they find a locket that can raise a person from the dead.
What created the locket — and who wants their fingers on it?

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3. Chapter 3

 

"Arthur." The boy said as he held out his hand  as if his turn to return the favor. Although he looked disheveled from kicking in the dirt, his amber eyes housed a roaring fire.

Sil took hold of Arthur's hand and smiled, "Sil, and this is Aff – my little sister." He glanced back at her, only to find her gone.

"Oh, fish guts! Where's she gone?" Sil yelled as he turned his head.

Arthur pointed at the market, "Let's start searching there!" 

Sil nodded and ran off with him, they were already panting by the time they reached the first row of shops. There was a small head of blonde hair floundering about. 

She stopped at a jewelry shop. Red, blue and orange gemstones lined the display, her small hands grabbing at the necklaces. When Sil and Arthur reached her she'd already tried a dozen of them, her eyes gleaming like the gems she wore around her neck.

"Can I get some, pleaseee?" She dragged out, her hands clenched around the necklaces.

"I don't have any more coin, I told you when we were buying crab." Sil sighed, his forehead wrinkled at the thought of hearing about her bitterness for the next five years.

Arthur searched through his pouch, "I have enough for one," he declared as he held out a bundle of silver coins.

"Thank you so much!" She yelled in glee, hopping on her two feet as Arthur walked up to the lady behind the display.

"Which one do you want the most?" Arthur asked, pointing to the numerous necklaces around her neck.

Aff went silent, clearly struck by a wall at the thought. After a minute or so of her kicking at the rocks by the shop, she walked up to the lady and held out a locket with a silver chain. The gemstone on the front was a brilliant amber, small specks of golden seemed to bubble in the center.

"Ah, this one..." The lady said with a smile, "This one is an heirloom that's been passed through my family for generations, no one knows who owned it before us."

Aff looked star-struck as she held the gem in her palm, lost in its brilliance.

 

 

The three walked around town, hues of orange and red making the sea glow as the clock got closer to dusk. Aff's feet splashed in the still water by the dock, a smile on her round face.

She turned her head to Sil, "I'm hungry, when are we having crab?"

He looked up from the wooden boards in the pier and adjusted the leather bag hanging over his shoulder.

"When you decide to go back to the forest with me," Sil said. If she didn't say yes, he couldn't do anything to get her to leave.

"Can I come with you?" Arthur asked, his body jumping at the thought of adventuring in the forest.

"Sure!" Aff beamed, her eyes candle lights – she'd never had a person other than her brother play with her in the forest.

"Let's get going then, we don't have much sunlight left," Sil said, standing up from his spot on the pier. The wood was warm to the touch, they'd been staring at the ocean for a while.

"Where are we headed next?" Aff asked, her brow raised.

"Let's head to Erast! It's not far, and I go there to visit my grandma this time of month anyhow." Arthur already looked ready to leave, and he shared his excitement with Aff within moments – but Sil was furrowing his brows.

"Erast is much larger than Jaris, isn't it a bad idea if someone finds out we're selkies in such a town?" Sil asked, chewing on his lip. He was worrying more than he needed to, if they were carrying their skin no one would know unless they saw what was in the bag.

"That's true... but think about how fun it'd be! I've been working for so long, and now I can finally go out on an adventure!" Arthur said.

"Did you work for that lady?" Sil asked, not knowing if what they'd done would be bad for him in the end.

"Uh, yes," Arthur said, veering his eyes and swallowing a lump, "I work there because grandma's sick, she needs herbs that cost a lot."

"I'm sorry about that," Sil mumbled. He didn't know what he'd do if his parents got sick. Who'd take care of Aff? He was the only one who had time to care for her, his parents were out most of the time.

"What about... your parents?" Sil asked. There was an eerie silence as he asked that question.

"They died back in Harth, where we lived," He said in monotone, "Harth always fought with another city about borders, it ended in a four-year war." Arthur turned away and walked along the pier just behind Aff.

Arthur didn't speak another word until they reached the edge of town. The townsfolk who'd been to work until now were returning to their homes, all carrying their bags of coin.

"Which direction is Erast?" Sil asked, watching the forest peeking out from the top of the hill.

"It's to the south-east, we need to cross the marsh and find the traders path." Arthur frequently followed the path Jaris traders took to Erast, it was faster than any other path.

"Traders path?" Aff asked.

"Traders are folk who sell things to others," Sil said with a smile, ruffling Aff's hair.

"Stop, you'll ruin it!" Aff said, her hands trying to cover her head. Sil laughed, knowing she hated that. He retracted his hand, watching Arthur as he looked out across the marsh. He raised his hand to adjust the bag over his shoulder.

It was gone. 

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