Heart in the Sea (Part 1) | Teen Ink

Heart in the Sea (Part 1)

January 25, 2010
By Anne Powdris SILVER, --, New Jersey
Anne Powdris SILVER, --, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 35 comments

I jumped up out of the water and did a triple dive back in. I was so happy! Being a Selkie was easy most of the time when you were carefree. But once a month, at the full moon, all the Selkie women would go to the surface and party. It was a dangerous thing because the non-finned ones could steal your skin and you could become the life slave of one. If you have been living for 18 mortal years, then you can go. They only allow the good ones to go and dance. The younger ones wouldn’t make it to the sea if the non-finned ones started attacking. I was only 16 mortal years old, but I was an excellent Selkie. There was a test that every Selkie must pass if they want to be old enough to have all the rights that the parents have. You could swim as fast as you wanted and go where ever you wanted for how ever long and as long as you weren’t dead, they would allow you to come back. And the lunar dance! You have to be 18 mortal years old. I didn’t want to wait two years, and that dance is what being a Selkie is being about. You show everyone how much you love being a Selkie that can change from the non-finned ones back to the finned. Nobody cares much for the non-finned ones, but it means you can do things that the finned ones can’t. If you are about to be killed for stealing fish, you can turn into a non-finned one and all the men go crazy over you. It doesn’t matter that you took some fish. They all want to marry you. They don’t care if you are non-finned or Selkie. They want you to be their life slave.

As I was saying, I had just taken the test that said if you were a woman Selkie or not. If you failed the test, you have to swim into the unknown ocean. Many are upset, even if it means they have more time to swim. I understand they don’t want to get eaten, but all they have to do is stay out of attacker territory. I wouldn’t care if I passed or not. The test they give you is mostly on how you swim. Your form for a jump, your depth on a dive, your accuracy for changing into a non-finned one. The accuracy one is very important. Even though you don’t actually change shape, it is hard to take it off. The young ones don’t take off their skin ever before they are 10 mortal years old, which is when they first try it. If they can’t do it, then no problem. They can work on it over the next six years. If you haven’t been able to take your skin off by the time you are 16 mortal years, then you better work on it if you want to go to the lunar dance. You have a test when you are 18 mortal years to make sure you can still do it then, and then that night you are allowed access into the lunar dance! I’m only 16 mortal years, but I am going!

I swam home as fast as I could. My sisters were waiting inside.

“Hey, look who is back!” cried my oldest sister, Diamond. Yes, I have a sister. In fact, I have three. My others sisters, Pearl and Ruby swam over. My father had named us after jems, so people called us the Jems of the Sea. I was included, for my name was Sapphire. He named us because of our eyes. Mine were blue, Pearl’s were pink, Ruby’s were red and Diamond’s were light purple. They shone like jewels. That is why our father named us that. Pearl was swimming upside-down and doing loop-de-loop and was acting crazy.

“Did you pass? Did you? Please? Come on! Tell me!” She usually is half this hyper, but she is smart. She must have realized that if I was able to get it this young, she would probably get the same thing. And it was a great honor to be chosen early. Sometimes, the young ruler would choose his wife to be one of these. Seals like this had a great life. But I didn’t care about becoming a ruless. I wanted to see what my two sisters would do every month during full Luna. I swam to my friend’s cave. Star was my best friend and we had been like that ever since we met 6 mortal years ago. I could tell it was her because not only were her eyes bright yellow, and shone like a star, but she had a marking on her side from an ink-legged fish. It had been attacking her because she had stumbled across some of its food and didn’t know it was the ink-legged fish’s dinner. Luckily it was small, or else it could have done everlasting damage. This was when she had just learned to search for food. Now her mom must do it for her, but slowly but surely she is learning to hunt on her own.

I got ready. In less then a week, I would be allowed to go up to the surface. Well, we are allowed to go up to the surface every day. We breathe air too. A rare few can turn water into air, but I am not one and my siblings aren’t ones either. I don’t think any one I know is one, but how should I know. Since they are different, water breathers usually were looked down upon. Some said they must have been slower swimmers because they had more organs. They must have a different body part then us if they can breath underwater. Otherwise, we could all do it. So as I was saying, we all have to go up to the surface every hour to breathe. But we are not allowed on land. The land’s edge is off limits. If we go on it, we will be tried as a Selkie.

Nobody on land has ever heard of a male Selkie. There are some, but they can be rare. The non-finned ones don’t see the men because only the women are allowed on the beach. The men don’t really get the hang of dancing, so they fall down and topple other Selkies over. I don’t know why they are so clumsy, but they are. But that doesn’t mean they can’t go on land. The ones that pass the test hunt for land food, like shells washed up against beaches. Some of them are clams. But they mostly are in charge of the things that don’t go into the sea. They are better at running, surprisingly. They can’t really stand well but they can run. I think it has something to do with less staying on the ground and more balance by tilting forward. It’s weird how the men can’t stand but they can run. I guess I don’t really know why, but too bad.

The author's comments:
Greek mythology.

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This article has 2 comments.

on Jan. 27 2010 at 3:20 pm
Anne Powdris SILVER, --, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 35 comments
anybody? comments?

on Jan. 27 2010 at 2:02 pm
Anne Powdris SILVER, --, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 35 comments
I apologize for any incorrect grammar or confusion. I had not the time to edit it, but pasted it so I could have criticism from the public. Please think of the theme/plot/overall story and not the grammar!