by Niko Silvester
Published by White Raven Press
Copyright 2011 Niko Silvester
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There was a storm coming up when Lir Skavinson and the Selkie slipped into Clew Harbour under sail. Most fishermen wouldn’t have dared to hoist sail in such a wind, but Lir could read a storm the way a shark reads currents. And, except for the time when he could fly, Lir had always been most comfortable on a boat. The Selkie was only a small fishing boat, but Lir handled her like her boards and mast and lines were his own limbs.
When he neared the docks, Lir took down the sail and fitted oars into the rowlocks. Clew Harbour’s fisherfolk didn’t stop their work preparing for the coming storm, but they all watched him arrive just the same. Strangers in upshore-style fish boats weren’t common in Clew Harbour. Dressed in his knit fisherman’s sweater—like all fisherfolk, the pattern of the knit was unique to his home village so his body could be returned if it washed ashore—Lir looked much like the local men. But he didn’t move like the other men. He worked his boat like a golden hawk works its wings, and his too-long-to-be-fashionable hair shone gold like a hawk’s plumage, too.