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The Selkie's Daughter

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Cyan Dag leaves and then Sel leaves, by no road that Melanthos knows, and at some point between the stranger Sidera disappears as silently as she arrived. Stony Wood holds its breath.

One night passes, then the next. On the third night the ocean gathers itself into a towering wave and crashes over the town, greedy fingers dragging everyone into the sea until only Melanthos is left, wandering the empty, untouched buildings looking for her family.

She wakes with a gasp, tasting ocean salt on her lips. The pounding of her heart doesn't slow until one flailing hand finds Anyon's dry, solid warmth beside her, and she sits for a long time watching the familiar movements of his restless sleep.

Dim, pre-dawn light is beginning to creep across the room, so Melanthos washes her face and walks down to the bakery. She half expects it to be deserted. Instead she finds Gentian yawning, trying to tend the ovens and quiet the fussing baby at the same time. Melanthos takes the baby and jogs her gingerly up and down. It doesn't seem to help much. The baby has ocean eyes, green and blue and gray, light glimmering over depth. She hadn't thought much of it before- stranger things happen in Skye than a baby with inexplicable eyes, and if anyone doubted her parentage there were Gentian's curls and Rawl's sharp nose to point to, clear as day.

The meaning of everything seems changed now, though, the baby's ocean eyes not least. Melanthos paces over to the window with her, hoping that something outside might distract her from whatever small discomfort she is trying to make known. The baby quiets the moment the harbor comes into view, reflecting the waves back at themselves in her wide eyes. Melanthos looks over and sees Gentian watching them, her mouth a thin line; she's noticed too.

Neither of them says anything about it, just get on with the bakery's endless morning tasks. Melanthos thinks of slipping out to the tower after the first rush of fishermen have gone, then remembers that there isn't a tower anymore, just a ruin of stone tumbling down to the hungry sea. She feels unmoored, like she's turned a page to find the rest of the book blank and white, like a storyteller has quietly left the room between one word and the next.

Sel comes back to Stony Wood on the fourth night.

Her face is lined with weariness and effort but there is a light in her eyes that makes Melanthos remember dancing shells and glittering shadows, and the excitement of her father's footstep at the door. Sel has strange half-explanations, towers and dragons and kings, and she only stays a week before disappearing back to Gloinmere.

There's a lot of work in the bakery without her. Melanthos blearily watches her own fingers pulling familiar shapes out of dough one morning, wondering how many little cakes and pastries she's made in her life- thousands, thousands upon thousands, surely, and she's a young woman yet.

"Why these shapes, do you think?" she says. "She would hardly even look at the ocean, and yet."

Gentian looks down at the rows of starfish and shells and seahorses in front of her like she's noticing them for the first time. "Maybe it's just what everyone expects," she offers.

"What, because she always cares so much for other people's expectations?"

Gentian quirks a half-smile. "No, I guess not. I suppose she just couldn't leave it entirely behind."

"I used to think she hated the ocean," says Melanthos. "Now I don't know what I think."

"I don't think she ever hated it," says Gentian slowly. "I always thought she just…wished she'd gone with him."

Instead of being stuck here with us, Melanthos thinks.

"Maybe so," is all she says. In looks Gentian clearly favors Joed's side of the family, but it occurs to Melanthos suddenly that there's a lot of Sel in her, too. Melanthos might have inherited the wild hair and dark eyes, but Gentian has Sel's solidity, and Gentian is the one watching from the bakery window as the ocean bears her husband out of sight every morning.

The ocean is the heart of Stony Wood. There are those who love it, the fishermen who speak of it like another wife, and there are those who are angry all their days for the husbands and sons that it rips from them. Children play by the shore; elders tell stories of mermaids and legendary storms and sea monsters. Everyone knows the ocean's sights and sounds and moods in every season.

Melanthos wonders if anyone else has ever been frightened of it, has looked out at that one constant of all their lives and suddenly found it unknown, unknowable, has dreamed about the sound of waves that cover an entire impossible, inhuman world.

 

Sel comes back to visit twice more that year, staying a month here, a few weeks there. She's back in Stony Wood to hold the baby on her first birthday when Gentian and Rawl decide to call her Linna, after Rawl's mother. The sun turns her changeable eyes to opaque silver, like light dazzling off the surf on a summer's day. She doesn't cry or fuss at all during the ceremony, which is regarded as a good omen, but Melanthos watches her playing with the little shell necklace her cousins made for her naming day and holds Anyon's hand too tightly, swallowing worry down deep into her heart.

 

Once a year has passed Melanthos no longer thinks about the tower very much. She does still dream about tidal waves, but less often, and the feeling of being left in the middle of a story subsides. Life in Stony Wood goes on. Melanthos bakes, and gets used to storing everything important out of Linna's increasingly mobile reach, and leaves Gentian alone more than she means to when she gets caught up with Anyon. Sometimes when she finds him absorbed in his colors she stays anyway and talks to his father. He and Anyon have never had much in common other than their trade, but the old weaver finds it in himself to love this half-witch girl just because she makes his strange, fey son happy, and that makes Melanthos love him in turn.

"Do you remember our father?" she asks Gentian one day, halfheartedly wiping down counters during the mid-afternoon lull.

"Yes, a bit. I remember sitting on his shoulders, and the way he used to swing us around- it was your favorite game. And the way he was always singing. That's my favorite memory, I think, begging for just one more song before bed, or hearing him come humming up the path from the harbor."

"I don't remember that," says Melanthos, frowning. "I don't really remember him at all. He had big hands, I think."

"But you remember the magic," says Gentian. "I don't. I had no idea about any of it until she told us."

"Does Rawl mind? You being half…whatever we are?"

Gentian gives a rueful shrug. "I don't think he'd mind even if I'd woken up a mermaid the next morning, but there isn't anything to mind anyhow. I've never felt anything but human. I was more worried that you'd get it into your head to go dive under the water and reclaim our lost heritage."

"No, whatever's in our blood must have passed me by too," says Melanthos. The worry rises up into her throat and she tries to cough it free, carefully not looking over at where Linna is happily mashing extra dough into the floorboards.

"I like living things better anyway. When we were little I remember going down to the harbor and always wanting to watch the seals instead of playing in the water with the rest of you."

"Could you call them? The way you call the wild horses?" asks Gentian.

"No, I don't think so," says Melanthos, looking out to sea and remembering a raft of sleek brown bodies carrying a half-drowned knight to shore. "The horses know me, that's all. Even if the magic helps, it's nothing to do with the ocean."

Gentian nods. "Do you want to see what I can do?" she asks, and without waiting for an answer reaches to pick up one of the loaves left on display from the morning's baking. She holds it out but doesn't let go, so they're holding it between them as it warms steadily under Melanthos's hands, the crust crackling a little and sending out a scent of fresh-baked wheat and rosemary.

"I never knew why," she says, and then the chime clatters against the door, Sel's heavy tread instantly recognizable even after months away. They spring apart like they're children again, caught filching sweets from the shelves instead of doing their chores.

"Grandma!" shouts Linna. Sel sweeps her up and swings her around, making her shriek with laughter, and Melanthos tries to pick enough colors out of the past to repaint the scene with her own childhood. There might be something there, just the edge of a memory, but she loses hold of it when the woman from the mirror follows her mother through the bakery door.

The Lady Gwynne of Skye- the Queen Gwynne of Yves- turns out to be a friend of Sel's. She is expecting her first child and determined to visit her father before pregnancy and then motherhood make the long journey impossible. Not quite as long a journey as it might be, if one is travelling with Sel on the roads Melanthos doesn't see, but even so Skye is a remote place and not always inclined to fit its paths neatly to maps or memories.

Gwynne stays for a week. By all accounts she seems delighted with Stony Wood, and Stony Wood with her, but Melanthos mostly talks Anyon into long rides in the hills or sits knotting and unpicking her own aimless embroidery while he weaves. The Lady of Skye unnerves her. Gwynne isn't the woman in the tower, never was, but it's Gwynne's face that the woman wore, Gwynne's long hair and slender fingers and strange eyes turned away from the world, a mockery of a story that will never have an ending. It's Gwynne's fish's profile that makes Melanthos wonder uneasily if they're related, somewhere under hundreds of years and fathoms of ocean, or if- worse, stranger, even less comprehensible- she's related to whatever mystery was pretending to be Gwynne.

Stony Wood isn't so large, though, and in the end she finds herself face to face with the Queen of Yves standing outside the bakery just before supper.

"Melanthos," says Gwynne, warm and a little nervous, "I've been hoping to speak with you."

"You have?" she says, a little taken aback. There is just enough awkwardness in Gwynne's beauty to make Melanthos inclined to like her, even against her will.

"Well, I've heard so much about you from Sel," says Gwynne. While Melanthos is still processing this she continues, "but mostly I wanted to say thank you for the role you played in assisting Cyan Dag. My cousins see patterns and futures more than individual people; I know that they rarely ask if someone wishes to be involved in their makings."

"No, no, they didn't," says Melanthos.

"And they never say thank you. So here at least is my gratitude, and the gratitude of all the people of Yves and Ysse who have magic and peace and honor because of you."

"You're welcome," says Melanthos, off-balance, not knowing how else to respond. Gwynne gives her a lovely smile and turns back toward the bakery.

It's not gratitude I've been missing, Melanthos doesn't say, watching her go. She had a mirror that poured images into her heart, an unfinished tale that was nothing more than a trap in the end, and not even a trap for her. Now that it is over there is magic in Yves and peace in Ysse and Melanthos is left with a broken cliff and a heritage she doesn't understand. Anyon has colors in his mind, but without the mirror the only visions Melanthos has left are the waves that come when she closes her eyes.

In the third year Linna is suddenly old enough to be a very small person rather than an attention-demanding object. Melanthos, never comfortable with babies, finds that she loves her niece with unexpected fierceness. It helps that Linna clearly adores her too. They escape the bakery more and more often in the afternoons, wandering by the harbor and distracting Anyon from his work. Gentian, pregnant again, waves off Melanthos's apologies for the baking she shirks.

"I'd rather have Linna out of my hair than another pair of hands in here," she says. "Just make sure she doesn't fall in the ocean and we'll call it even."

The look in Gentian's eyes belies her idle tone; as Linna grows it's more and more obvious that Sel's blood runs truer in her than in either Gentian or Melanthos. Melanthos gets used to the taste of worry, the occasional sour spot in a bright day when Linna says or does something strange, something different.

"I don't know what to do," she confesses to Anyon one afternoon, watching their clasped fingers. His hands are rust-orange from the wool he was dying earlier. Autumn is his favorite season, colors everywhere and the last taste of freedom before winter shuts him in. They spend a lot of time roaming the hills, ostensibly tending the sheep, but mostly just looking at everything and each other.

"The other day I was telling her the silly names I used to make up for the harbor seals," she tells him, "and she corrected me. She told me their real names. I can't even make the sounds, but she didn't think it was strange at all. I think she talks to them. I think they talk to her."

"So why do you have to do something? She seems happy," he says.

"Happy, yes. But I worry that one day she'll be curious enough to just walk into the ocean and never come back. Maybe my grandfather will keep her." She looks up at him, not knowing if that sounds ridiculous, but he's watching her solemnly.

"She wouldn't leave her family like that," he says.

"Anyon, she's three years old. She wouldn't think of it like that, she'd just go wander out into the waves. She loves the ocean so much, I don't know how to make her stop."

"You can't make her stop," he says. "And she'd probably hate you for it if you tried."

"I know," she says, sighing. "I wouldn't have the heart, anyway."

"No. You don't have to make her stop loving the ocean, though. You just have to teach her to love other things as well."

"How do I do that?"

"Well, she already loves you. It can't be that hard." He tugs at their joined hands with a smile and she finds herself thinking that someday, someday far in the future, he might raise a child with her, and that it might not turn out so badly.

 

That spring Anyon teaches her to shear sheep. He tries, at least; she can barely wrestle them into the positions he demonstrates without a horrible tangle of her legs and theirs, let alone get any wool off. The third time he has to catch an escaping sheep and bring it back he can't contain his laughter anymore, and she finds herself laughing with him, leaning over to brace her hands on her knees. She watches him tuck it neatly down, shouldering one leg out of the way and starting in on its fleecy stomach.

"I give up," she says. "Why do I need to shear a sheep, anyway?"

"Well, if you're going to be a weaver's wife you should know at least a little about wool," he says, and she stares at him.

"Wife?"

"Oh," he says, going still, and looks up at her with wide eyes while the sheep takes advantage of its opportunity and wriggles free. "I didn't…I didn't mean-"

"Didn't you?" she asks, breathless. Somehow the idea that his imagined future has her in it, that there's no plan and no intent, just the knowledge of them together, is more wonderful than any proposal could be.

"I didn't- well, yes, I-"

"Yes," she interrupts him, and then they're standing there on a hillside staring wildly at each other with what they've just done, and neither of them can look away.

They have to go track down the half-sheared sheep hours later. Melanthos has grass in her hair, and the world looks beautiful in the gathering dusk.

 

She hasn't had the nightmare in weeks when the storm comes up, late in the season, one last impossible gasp of winter after the rest of Skye has thawed and softened into spring. Linna has befriended the wild horses with Melanthos's encouragement and now asks to see them almost as often as she wants to go down to the harbor; they're handing out stolen sugar cubes near the edge of the forest when in minutes the wind whips the overcast sky into a seething, sickly green. They barely make it to Anyon's house before the rain slams down. He's pacing by the door, driven back to winter's four-walled confinement that he so recently and joyfully escaped.

They build a fire and heat water for tea while rain pounds on the roof. Linna is happy enough to sort a large basket of yarn into colored piles on the floor- Anyon always mixes it up again when she leaves, which she either hasn't realized or doesn't care about- and Melanthos drinks her tea and goes to the window again and again and again.

The storm rages on. The world outside is twilight-dim even though it's only just past midday, and the surf crashes out of sight below in a terrible, wild rhythm that seems to be pulling Melanthos's heart with it. The fishing fleet is barely visible in glimpses, fragile smudges on the horizon that flicker in the sheeting rain.

Half the village is out there, says Anyon's white-knuckled grip on his mug, the tread of his feet in front of the window.

Rawl is out there,, Melanthos lets herself say with a glance toward the sleepy child in front of the fire, the girl with Gentian's curls and ocean eyes who is the same age that Melanthos was on the day her father's fishing boat didn't return.

He won't make it back, says Anyon with his own look, his pale face. Melanthos sets her tea down.

"Look after her," she says to Anyon's wide, startled eyes, and runs out into the storm.

The ruin of tumbled stone scares her like the tower never did. She stumbles as she near it under the terrible weight of dread, the force of the storm snatching air form her lungs. Unable to take another step, she sits on the farthest stone, caught for a moment in regret that she once made Anyon face this fear without knowing what she asked. He'd tried, for her. Even in the midst of the storm she's distracted for a moment, overwhelmed with love for him.

It is very, very cold, though. Her clothes are soaked through; her hair is a sodden, stinging mass that threatens to strangle her in the wind. She takes a breath and the storm steals it. She takes another, guards it carefully, warms it inside her lungs.

"You owe me a debt," she says to Skye, to the rain-lashed air, to whoever might be watching this place. "I climbed your tower, I watched your mirror, I made your pictures. We told your story for you and you got what you wanted and I almost lost my mother. You owe us."

"What is the repayment you seek?" asks Sidera. Her brown face and dark hair melt and blur in the deluge and Melanthos squints, trying to shape her out of stone and rain. She finds herself wishing she had a needle and thread to pick out Sidera's image and fix her to the world.

"Bring a message to my mother in Gloinmere," she says. "Tell her we need her now."

"Very well," says Sidera. A gust of wind makes Melanthos's eyes water and when she scrubs them clear there is nothing to see but rain and stone. She sits and shivers for an uncountable eternity of minutes. In the end Sel walks smoothly out of the air, mid-stride but with the beginning of her step far beyond sight.

"Well?" she says, exasperated, like she hasn't even noticed the storm. "What was so important that it couldn't wait?"

Melanthos surges up with a shriek of pain from her frozen muscles and shoves her mother around by the shoulders to face the sea, the doomed fishing fleet. She is suddenly angry.

"If Rawl doesn't survive Gentian will kill you," she yells over the noise of the wind and crashing waves, and no, not suddenly, she's been angry, she's been angry for years and never knew it until now. "Gentian will kill you and I will teach Linna and her brother that it was your fault their father died and they will grow up hating you."

She turns and stumbles away from the ruined tower without waiting to see what Sel will say or do. Her bones feel brittle, hollow spaces where the anger lay before she let it out, and the wind threatens to snap her into pieces and carry her away. The storm rages on forever and she puts one foot in front of the other, in front of the other, the rain blinding and the ground sloping ever downward.

Somehow she reaches Anyon's house and lets him tug her in front of the fire, wrap her in blankets and chafe her cold hands and give her cup after cup of tea with brandy in it to see if it will fill the hollow places. She comes back to herself leaning against him, tethered by the gentle tug of him quietly untangling the mess of her hair. He is, she realizes, the only person who's ever been able to handle it without hurting her. His weaver's fingers never catch, never pull, just patiently tease the snarls apart. She feels a swell of love again, and that is enough to fill her bones a little, make her solid. She turns her head into Anyon's chest and closes her eyes.

She wakes to sunlight. It's late morning; her clothes are stiff in some places and damp in others, and Linna is sitting at the edge of the bed, looking solemnly down at her.

"Can we go home now?" she asks, and Melanthos says,

"Yes, of course," and throws off the blankets. The fire has burned to embers, she sees upon standing, and the remains of breakfast are on the table with a note that tells her Anyon has gone to gather the wind-scattered sheep. She grabs a roll- day old, made by her hand or Gentian's, she can't tell- and lets Linna skip ahead of her into town.

Some things are broken or fallen in the wake of the storm, but mostly Stony Wood looks clean and new. It's warm again, the bright sun in the blue sky striking shimmering silver off every wet surface. Waves lap gently on the rocks where the harbor seals are sunning themselves. Melanthos feels scoured, raw and open in the light, like the storm passed through her and not all around.

It is impossible to walk through the town without hearing the story, which lifts Melanthos's heart; she had feared to see their neighbors turn away from Linna’s innocent face, unwilling to break the terrible news. It seems that not a life was lost, although the fishermen are battered and exhausted with cold and toil and loss of hope. Few are on their feet this morning, but all will be with time. Everyone tells the story with wonder.

Melanthos opens the door of the bakery to find Sel floured up to her wrists and down her front, shaping buns and absently rocking the new baby's basket with her elbow. She looks up at Melanthos and then down again, expression unchanging.

"Where's Gentian?" Melanthos asks into the stretching silence.

"Tending to Rawl. He has a fever from being half-drowned. You should go in," she adds to Linna, "I'm sure he'll be happy to see you."

Linna skitters off and the bakery is quiet again. Sel sets the buns in neat rows, like she's waiting for Melanthos to start making sense again before she speaks. Melanthos remembers watching her walk back out of the sea, tangled in her selkie skin, bewildered at finding her daughters in tears on the shore.

"Leave us a way to call you when we need you," she says finally. Sel looks up at her and she remembers also how her mother had been so sure that they were long past needing her for anything. "People will start to be angry if the sea witch of Stony Wood is always away in Gloinmere when we have storms, or ice, or flooding."

"I'm only the baker," says Sel.

"No, you aren't, Gentian is," Melanthos tells her. She puts the baking stone in the oven and helps lay out the next batch, her hands bumping Sel's in the bowl of dough. Into the quiet comes the sound of someone starting to repair a boat down in the harbor. Other boats knock hollowly against the dock; waves brush stone in a quiet rhythm as familiar to Melanthos as salt air, as her own hands.

"Why do you stay in Gloinmere?" she asks after a long minute. Sel sighs, her hands stilling.

"We're bringing magic back into the land," she says. "It's not like Skye. Yves has long forgotten all its mysteries, the things it once could do. It's just starting to dream again." She looks at Melanthos, then starts shaping buns again. She says to the dough, "Bringing that back, it's the other half of my heart. I couldn't leave it, just like—Rawl couldn't leave the sea, even if he wanted to."

The hesitation isn't long, but Melanthos hears her father's name unspoken anyway.

She weighs the question in her mind for a moment, but it's just that, a question, not a demand, anger washed clean in the storm or drained away in sleep.

"Why didn't you save him?" she asks.

Sel snorts. "I did. Maybe he's not in the best shape, but I don't know what else you expected, dragging me here when the whole fleet was already three-quarters underwater."

They're interrupted by the chime on the bakery door. Brenna's oldest boy comes in with coins for a loaf of bread and lingers, staring at the little almond cakes on display. Sel gazes dispassionately back at him. Melanthos ducks her head to hide a smile; Sel has always been exasperated with Gentian's tendency to give out treats to the village children, but she hasn't been in Stony Wood to enforce her own rules for a long time. The boy wilts a little under her eyes and leaves.

"I didn't mean Rawl," says Melanthos once the door swings shut. "I meant my father."

Sel leaves the rolls to her and goes to fetch a bowl of dough that's been rising under a cloth all night. She dumps it on the counter and begins to knead, push-pull, push-pull, a steady wave-rhythm.

"I'd mostly stopped using it by then," she says eventually. "Probably forgotten too much already. But I didn't know. There was no big storm, he just didn't come back that day. An accident. I didn't know until it was too late."

"I'm sorry," says Melanthos, awkwardly. Her father has never been much more than a story to her. She never really felt his absence growing up, though looking back now she can grasp a little of the shape of it, think about how things might be different for all of them if he had survived.

"Mm," says Sel. She goes on kneading the dough. Melanthos doesn't say anything about how it's almost certainly ready, just puts the next batch of rolls in the oven.

"Those horses you like so much," says Sel abruptly while her back is turned. "They could probably pass a message along to Gloinmere. I'll see what I can figure out."

"All right. You should stay for a while. I'm getting married next month."

That finally brings out Sel's old seal bark.

"You're what?"

"I'm marrying Anyon. Next month."

"And you didn't think to tell your mother that?"

"Of course I thought it! What could I have done, sent a message with the next knight who travelled through? Just because you can walk back and forth with a thought doesn't mean the rest of us can."

"Oh," says Sel, like after everything the lack of a wedding invitation is actually what makes her understand. "I'm sorry."

"Yes, well," says Melanthos. No more words come after that- she isn't ready to forgive Sel, exactly- so she goes and starts washing out the mixing bowls instead.

After a while, Sel clears her throat and says,

"So. Have you picked a girl to be cupbearer yet?"

 

The wedding is on the loveliest spring day that Melanthos could have asked for, Stony Wood bright and green and a slight breeze frothing the wave-tips white. Anyon's father weaves their wedding clothes in deep rose and cream, despite his arthritic hands, and Sel, who hasn't put needle to cloth since mending Cyan Dag's towers, embroiders them with copper and bronze and gold so that they gleam in the sun. Gentian puts flowers in her hair and shells around her neck and then it's almost time. Melanthos finds herself unexpectedly nervous.

She's chosen Linna as her cupbearer, of course, and the sight of her little niece processing solemnly toward her with the cup clutched in both hands brings a smile to her face, at least. Gentian probably gave her a lecture about not dropping it.

Linna stops before her and Melanthos reaches out halfway before she realizes the cup is empty.

"Linna has something to show you," says Sel, startling her. Melanthos hadn't noticed her walking away from the little chattering crowd that's waiting for the ceremony to start. Linna takes a deep breath and frowns at the cup. After a moment little wisps of mist appear above it, coalescing into a tiny cloud that rains water down into the cup- and all over Linna's hands and sleeves- until it's full.

"What do you think?" she asks nervously, and Melanthos makes herself move through the shock to kneel and sweep her into a hug. She spares a hand to steady the cup between them; it's rather ugly, but it belonged to Joed's grandmother, and Gentian won't be any more pleased if Melanthos breaks it than if Linna does.

"It's wonderful," she says.

"Grandma says that when I grow up I can do all of Stony Wood," Linna tells her proudly.

"That will take a lot of practice," Sel says, and the words are for Linna but the promise is for Melanthos, offering amends. "You'd better drink up," she continues briskly. "Your husband-to-be is arriving."

So Melanthos drinks, and gives the empty cup back to Linna, and turns, and there is Anyon.

He'd carefully put his dyes away several weeks before, but it seems that he dreamed last night of color to vivid to ignore, for his arms are a dark, forest green all the way up to the elbow. His black hair is loose and his mouth still wet from his own cup; he looks wild and proud as one of the horses and a little embarrassed about his green hands and all the breath goes out of Melanthos at the sight of him. It seems impossible that one person could ever love anything so much.

The ceremony is short, and if they stumble on the words here and there they're no less heartfelt for it. Afterward he kisses her twice, three times, and she throws her arms around his neck and laughs and he buries his face in her flower-strewn hair. Gentian cries, which surprises no one, and Sel cries, which is so entirely unexpected that Melanthos almost looks away from Anyon for a moment.

 

That night Melanthos dreams that Anyon puts his hands into the ocean and weaves her a selkie cloak of streaming water and tidal foam. She puts it on and pulls the hood over her head, and when she looks out at Stony Wood through the eyeholes she sees color everywhere.