This is the last chapter of The Seal Wife. To make it more confusing, the chapter is actually called 'The Seal Wife'.
The Seal Wife
We roam; we dream the inlet, curl into her pregnant swell and breathe the scent of rotting ribbon weed that drifts into the fresh water. We live among ghosts. The water hums with their history sometimes and other times they are mere memory. Black bream eye us nervously as they bullet by. Time is still and ever moving outwards, a dandelion head blown apart by a winsome child.
Am I a ghost? Ah Kit’s wounds were terrible and the crime against my brother was final and sometimes I feel that I am dead and decomposing; that I died for my sins when she sank me. But I feel vital in my body. A fine pelt of fur and oil grew to keep me warm. We sleep in warm, secret places. I feel the cords of muscle in my arms and oxygen in my breast and I know I am not a ghost.
Come down with me, she said that day. Don’t be afraid. She shackled me with her body, the weight of the ocean brutal on my lungs. I stared into her black eyes and saw my dying self. There prickled a delicious sensation at the base of my skull. The pain in my lungs travelled through all my flesh. Everything stung and hurt and still I felt my desire unresolved when I stared in horror upon her naked breast. Perishing – and all I could see was her magnificence.
I took her nipple into her mouth ... the shock of the warmth under her cool, stippled skin.
Stay with me. Don’t be afraid. No bubbles of words only an essence of voice. The blood of my body flowed towards her, aching for her. She folded her legs around me and I pushed my penis into her. It is like dying. I wonder if she knew the story of her birth, if she knew where she came from. Her feet curled around my buttocks and clamped her body to mine. Where would you hide anyway? She asked me. She knew more than I realised. Even in this land there are too many people. They will find you. Where will you hide? Your body? Your mind? Where will you crawl to escape the noose, the sound of blade against stone? You must slide yourself like a needle into the artery of this place, become part of its blood, never to be seen again.
Tell me your name, was my dying demand other than that of her body as I pushed into her womb. It was a secret, I knew but she told me. She took my head in her hands and worded the bubbles into my ear, bubbles of a name, a name my lungs so craved. Impossibly Gaelic was her name and then the bubbles were gone.
A red flower unfurled at the base of my spine. I surged into her like blood and felt the blackness move over me. The red travelled up my spine and the prickling in my skull exploded into stars. I was finished. Finished. Nothing.
How long? Long enough to lay my eyes on my brother Silas and feel the weight of his hand upon my shoulder. Long enough to look beneath my feet at the murky, clawing depths that reached up dripping appendages, threatening to suck me down.
I was having none of it. I’m sorry, Silas. I am so sorry. He nodded and let me go.