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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4. Chapter 4

 

He touched the bent in his shoulder where his bag would usually hang, he couldn't feel anything? Sil looked over his shoulder, watching a tall figure run through the people returning home – holding his bag.

"Thief!" He yelled as he took off after him. He didn't think about anything else other than his and Aff's skin as he ran through the crowd. His heart went faster with every step he took, soon, he was panting as he ran, his ribs creaking, lungs threatening to burst through.

The sea was in front of his eyes, still there, still within reach.

Sil sped up, "Give it back!" he yelled, stopping when he reached the pier, his body emptied of air.

"No! If I did, why would I steal it in the first place?!" It was a boy in his late teens, "You're a selkie, aren't you? Your skin is more valuable than gold!" The boy opened the bag, letting its contents spill out. The crab meat, rope, and their skin. The boys' eyes lit up at the sight. 

Aff jumped out from behind him, "I won't let you!" She roared as she threw herself at the thief, letting them both fall into the sea. She dragged the boy further out, keeping his head underwater. 

"The rope!" Aff yelled from the water. He nodded frantically and threw it at her. She tightened it around the thief, kicking against him in the water. Sil jumped out to help, throwing himself at the blue.

"Aff! Sil!" Arthur yelled from the beach, his sore feet running across seashells and dried up seaweed. He jumped in with them, grabbing at the rope. With three against one, the thief fell limp in the water, his legs weren't kicking and bubbles stopped coming to the surface.

Arthur pushed the thief's body toward land, "Get him to the beach!" The waves they'd created when thrashing around helped them save time. When they could feel the bottom with their toes, they ran. 

Reaching land, they coughed, struggling to calm themselves.

"Thank you, Aff, Arthur." He said between coughs, falling to the sand and turning on his back.

Aff was too exhausted to thank anyone, her eyes closed and hands shaking. Her hair stuck to her cheeks, the clothes they'd brought from back home drenched.

"We need to leave, now." Arthur insisted, scanning the beach for others.

Sil pulled himself to his knees, "He knew I was a selkie..." Water ran from his nose, it felt as if he'd snorted poison, "If the townsfolk have a way of knowing who's a selkie, we have to escape!" He urged as he stood up.

"Aff, can you stand?" He asked, pulling on her arm.

"Of course I can!" Aff yelled and stood up, walking off to the marsh.

Arthur looked at Sil, shrugging his shoulders in response, "I don't know what happened." He admitted, continuing off with Aff.

Sil watched the body of the thief, the thoughts in his head wouldn't let him be. He sat down beside the boy and grabbed his hand to feel around for a pulse.

Ba-dump, Ba-dump.

He was alive. The thoughts stopped. He had to leave before he regained consciousness. Hesitation struck him, his hands hovering over his body. Aff would be in danger without him there – he couldn't.

Leaving the boy at the beach with dusk and cold creeping closer, he still felt plagued by a sharp feeling in his stomach.

 

 

Rain fell on the stone pavement, but Sil didn't mind that as he liked rain, it was the closest he could come to the sea when it wasn't there. Dusk had already fallen when they arrived, the clopping of horses echoing through the streets of Erast.

People were huddled together on the streets, only making room for the horse cart that'd pass every once or twice. Small shops lined the sidewalks, the buildings just as close to one another as the city folk.

Aff was dragging her feet, they'd been walking non-stop for two days straight, only stopping to sleep at a tavern. She raised her head to Arthur, "How long?" she groaned, her lips pouted.

Arthur smiled, "About a thousand yards." He reassured her, giving her shoulder a pat. Amidst the foggy streets, a fiery orange walked amongst the grey, their hair braided down the back and striking eyes observing in silence.

Sil felt his throat closing up. The dragon woman. Celosia. What was she doing in Erast?

"Sil? Are you coming?" Aff asked.

He nodded, flashing her a gentle smile, "Yes, yes, of course." They turned the corner, continuing down a narrow street toward the house Arthur's grandma lived in.

Scales.

Red scales was all he saw.

"Aff!"

Water turned to wine.

He felt himself float. Her eyes were turned on him, a quiver in her lip. She tumbled over her own feet, falling to the street. Thump. The rain drowned most of the red away, the rest spread to his feet. Her honey hair had been stolen by a wasp. She tried speaking, but the hole through her chest wouldn't let her.

Sil felt his back go cold, his heart sinking to the bottom of his body. They'd thrown red at her painting. Aff's legs spasmed from shock, her eyes rolled into the back of her head, veins working without a cause.

He ran. 

"AFF!"

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