The Seal King (Part 2)
by Jennifer Noelle Welch
Rattle rattle rattle rattle rattle…
Lou’s forehead hurts where it rests, mashed against the keel, and tracing the source of the sound, her brain awakens with a pinch. The coat is wrapped around her shoulders, and somewhere a steel cleat is vibrating. Raising her head, she remembers. The skiff, the size of a tiny teacup, spinning lazily towards the horizon. Are those really the first stars? had been her last thought, before her eyes swam and the darkness swallowed all.
In the stern, the seal king hugs his curled legs, shuddering uncontrollably, his eyes locked on her face.
“You did it,” she whispers. “How did you…”
Forming the words, he seizes, his voice fluttering into her head instead. S-swam. I had t-trouble pulling you back in. I’m s-sorry. He nods at her side, and Lou finds a bleeding scrape above her hip.