A/N: I've noticed a couple of people writing ongoing stories of Denny and Chelsea with Chelsea being or turning into a mermaid. I've always liked mythical creatures but I didn't want to repeat the mermaid idea. And so, I decided to use some folklore from my local area. Enjoy x
"When angels fell, some fell on the land, some on the sea. The former are the faeries and the latter were often said to be the seals." - Anonymous Orcadian
Her toes touched the water as the waves paddled up the beach, coming into contact with her skin before swimming back again. The sun was dying now, the moon taking it's place and setting light across the vast ocean. It was as if the ripples were knitted together with strands of silver thread, sparking in the light, like a quilt of blue.
Her hand held the soft, grey skin, feeling its silky texture. How she'd missed it, and now it was hers once again. Her blue eyes gazed out towards the ocean, her heart beating, excited to return home, and into the dancing sea.
She slipped her bare foot ever so slightly into the water, feeling its coolness and freshness. Finally, what she had been waiting for. And it was here!
Sliding off her earthly clothes – an uncomfortable, yellow fitted t-shirt that stuck to her humanly skin, and tight shorts that dug into her thighs – she breathed in the salty air, ready to slide into the soft, grey skin in her hand. She was ready to go home.
"No!" A male voice pleaded behind her and caught her breath. "Don't go!"
And she whipped her head round, looking for the owner of that voice. He stood behind her, watching with wide eyes. Waiting for her answer.
She didn't give it.
The land felt unwelcoming under Chelsea's bare feet, as if it was made from pieces of burnt coal all sown together to make hard rock bedding. The blackness of soot would soon be tattooed on the soles of her feet as the stones dug into her skin. The humans expected her to sleep inside the house they'd given her, and curl up in those warm, suffocating blankets. No doubt, it was more comfortable then the outside but Chelsea missed the outside world. That was the reason she slept outside. She missed the air, the breeze. The sea.
Chelsea. She'd chosen that name because it reminded her of her home. True, whenever someone called her by that name, her eyes would well up with these trickles of water from her eyes – apparently they were called tears. A result of a human emotion – but, in the end, it would make her smile. Just that little bit.
There it was again, the call of the memories, tugging at her eyes again.
Chelsea turned around from ploughing her field and smiled brightly, a cover up, at the old man hobbling up the road to her house. Taro, that was his name. He and his family had been the ones to tell her she had been shipwrecked. At least, that's what they believed. It wasn't like she could tell them any different.
Resting her hand on the handle of her hoe, she nodded at the man puffing as if he'd run a marathon, his old, wrinkly fingers stabbing into the wood of his rattling walking stick.
"Well, don't just stand there!" he barked at her, his eyes hard as nails. "Help me!"
Chelsea shook her shoulders in a silent laugh before sprinting towards the old man, helping him to regain his balance and his breath. At first, she hadn't been used to her legs. They felt strange and unsettling, as if they were uprooted trees blowing in the wind. But she'd learned to use them as the humans did and eventually felt like a pro. They didn't make her feel like she belonged, though. Nothing ever did.
"Chelsea," Taro eventually grinned before patting her back. "We have a new resident in the islands!"
Her eyes perked up as she listened to his words. A new resident. Well, that would be exciting. Of course, this new person would hear of the story of the young farmer who was shipwrecked and they would become interested in her, poking and prodding for more information on that made up story.
They wouldn't get much of a conversation out of her, though. Just a few nods and smiles. That's all Chelsea could give to the humans, even if they insisted on prying into her life. But she was kind enough and let them talk to her. Another person wouldn't hurt.
"He's a fisherman," Taro sounded excited as he waved his hand behind him as if indicating for another person to join them.
A fisherman? Well, that was something new. Those were the kind of humans that her kind was most interested in. After all, they were seen more than any other human. However, Chelsea felt a sense a fear crawl up her throat at the idea of this new resident coming to the island. Fishermen were a hostile kind and didn't exactly get along well with Chelsea's past.
Still, she was curious as Taro hobbled back down the path a little, dragging along some company.
"Here he is!" He cried, grinning as Chelsea turned around to see the new resident the old man had brought. He had dark skin and floppy, curly brown hair that was tied under a purple bandana. His body fitted into a black tank top and faded, blue jeans, a purple jumper tied around his waist. He had a smile on his lips, welcoming and happy, although it seemed to disappear when he caught sight of her. And those eyes; so brown, as if they were dancing in dark memories.
There was something so familiar about him. So haunting, so rattling. She'd become stiff, not able to move as if she'd been turned into a statue. Her fingers shook, curling into two fists. And her breath had caught in her throat, sticking to the top of her mouth, her heartbeat bursting from her ribs. Staring at that face, she couldn't even blink.
Because, after all, it was the face of the man who had ruined her life.