It was evening time once again before Maesie rushed Fenella out of the clan and into the open water. “Go on, now! You’ll never have enough time if you wait til nightfall!” Maesie hissed. She would swim in a cloud of sparkling tuna and in and out of the large kelp garden that her family frequented. It would be hard to keep away for too long, for the rest of her family would realize her absence.
Fenella longed to speak to Oliver again, and she hoped he would be waiting for her on the shore. Then they could plan their next visit. More than anything she wanted the power to change into a human by herself. She knew it would take much practice with magic to be experienced enough for shape-shifting, and her magic had only just awoken.
Finally she reached the familiar bend in the shore where Gillespie resided. As soon as she rounded the corner, Fenella’s stomach felt like she’d swallowed a sea urchin whole. She was so nervous Oliver wouldn’t be able to hear her from the village up the hill. Confident still, she slumped ashore and shook the brine from her whiskers.
“Oliver,” she thought. “I’ve snuck away and come ashore. Come and meet me!” She heard silence, save for the waves that crashed on the beach. It seemed as though so much time had gone by, and she felt rushed to return home, but she finally heard something. Raising her snout from the sand, she listened carefully.
“Fen, Fen!” she heard someone hiss at her. Whipping her head around, she caught a glimpse of a figure running toward her, kicking up sand behind it. “Fen,” Oliver said, breathing hard. “My apologies, I couldn’t come sooner.”
“Don’t fret, friend. I would have waited a bit longer,” Fenella said.
“I didn’t know if I should tell you or not, but my parents saw you change into a seal again,” Oliver admitted. He couldn’t hold it to himself any longer.
“Oh no… Have they told anyone?”
“I don’t suppose they have. Mum really doesn’t believe any of it happened.” Fenella snorted. “She’s not sure what to think of the story I told her, but she misses you.”
“I miss her, too. All of you. I hope one day to be strong enough to grow legs again and walk on your land. You could show me more of the human world.”
“That would be quite the time, Fen! I’d love to see the underwater world, as well.”
That gave Fenella an idea. “Perhaps I can make that happen.”
“Could you?! So I wouldn’t drown?” Fenella barked and shook the chill of the night wind from her coat.
“I’ll see what I can learn while I’m away. I promise one day I’ll be practiced enough in my magic to be able to visit more often, and speak real words to you.”
Oliver draped his arm over her neck. “I’d like that.”