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Re-Horakhty01 t1_j6ch42f wrote

We sat across from each other in the living room, the awkward tension thick in the air. I was sat with my girlfriend, Caitlin, on the sofa her hand in mine. My grandmother was sat in her usual seat near to the fire, glaring daggers directly at me and muttering darkly under her breath in Gàidhlig. My mother was fussing, trying to calm her down and my father had resolutely decided that discretion was the better part of valour and fled to the kitchen to 'make tea'. He'd been gone for fifteen minutes, and I was starting to suspect that the kettle wasn't going to finish boiling any time soon.

The word that my grandmother had uttered upon laying eyes on Caitlin still echoed under it all, and I squirmed in my seat nervously. Caitlin squeezed my hand and I glanced to her, taking some small comfort in her sympathetic smile. Unfortunately, that smallest of movements seemed enough to undo whatever truce my mother had managed to scramble together and my grandmother pushed her away, "See now girl, I'm not senile yet!" She snapped, her accent thicker with her upset its flavour of the northern shores of Scotland barely penetrable, "Nor am I blind. I know what I see, and I see what I know. Now I want answers out of my grandson and I'll have them now!"

She turned on me, then, and my mother wrung her hands helplessly, giving me a worried, apologetic look. I quailed inside at the ferocity of my grandmother's glare, "It's not what you-" I attempted.

"Don't you start!" She cut me off, hand chopping down in a vicious silencing motion, "The truth out of you, boy, or I'll have you over my knee see that I won't!" She jabbed a finger towards Caitlin, "Well? What have you done with this poor girl then? Out with it!"

I froze, eyes widening, the protestations on my lips dying instantly. It was like my mind had stuttered like one of those old vinyl record players juddering over a damaged groove. "I uh.. w-what? Wait, no that's not-" I started, but the words failed, my mouth went dry, and a sick feeling coiled in my stomach as I realised just what my grandmother thought!

"It's not what?" My grandmother growled, "That you think you can get this past me? I thought we raised you better than this. I know what she is, written plain as day. She's a Maighdeann-mhara. A Selkie, if I've not missed my guess, and I know full-well how a land-born man gets himself a selkie lover. Out with it, then, boy. Where's her seal-coat, eh? Where've you hidden it? Give it up and give the thing back to her or I'll get myself a switch and make her a fresh one out of your hide instead!"

I paled, and that sick feeling in my stomach only got worse. My mother put her head in her hands, and looked like she'd rather be anywhere else. Caitlin's eyes widened as she realised at last just what my grandmother was so angry about. It wasn't her, not really. It was the old stories, and the implication! I flushed hot, something in me angry that my own grandmother would think I could ever, ever do something so awful but more than that I was angry that this sort of thing must have happened often enough that the stories still persisted even after all this time.

Before I could try to stammer out a weak response, that surely my grandmother would have dismissed out of hand - she was always so difficult when she got like this, and stubborn in her anger too - Caitlin got to her feet and went over to my grandmother and knelt down by the side of the chair and grasped her hand, "It's not what you think, ma'am," she said, shaking her head, "Please believe me. I chose this willingly. Your grandson and I have been friends for a long time, and I chose to do this. To give up my seal-coat and leave the sea. I know that it'll be difficult. That I'll always pine for the sea in my heart; but I couldn't stay there, and pine for him instead. He didn't take my seal-coat, I gave it to him. It's folded up in a box at the bottom of our wardrobe back home. When you come visit, I can show it to you. I'm here by choice, not by force."

My grandmother frowned, stared down at her, eyes searching, suspicious, but the sincerity shining in Caitlin's eyes seemed to convince her and she relented, "Hmf... I'll want to see it," she grumbled at last, "But... I believe you girl." she looked at me, shaking her head, "I'm sorry for doubting you. When I saw her... well, it's no excuse. I should have known better that you wouldn't force yourself on a girl."

I shook my head, "no it's.. it's okay. I'm glad that... that you were looking out for her. It's good to do that if you... if you have reason to ever think something like that. I'm grateful grandmother, really." I smiled weakly at her, my stomach slowly settling. I was still flushing hot and cold. Where was dad with that tea? I really needed one now to calm down.

The awkwardness descended again, of a different timbre this time, but luckily my father managed to make his belated re-entry with a tray with full mugs of tea and a plate of biscuits. Conversation was stilted, at first, but Caitlin seemed to decide that ignoring the whole ordeal was probably best and soon enough her warm and enthusiastic responses had my mother laughing and my father smiling and the atmosphere lightened. Later, as we were leaving my mother took Caitlin aside to thank her for "humouring" her mother, and apologised for her behaviour. she was getting on, and she'd always believed in the old stories, and it seemed that her advancing age was finally catching up to her. Caitlin, of course brushed it off and reassured my mother she wasn't offended.

It wasn't until we were alone in the car on the drive back to our house, that she looked at me with a sly smile, "that went pretty well. so, when are you going to tell them that you've got a boyfriend of the daoine sìth too?"

I choked at that and blushed hot, "At this point I think they might take the news I've got both a boyfriend and a girlfriend worse than that they're both mythological beings. Bisexuality? They came around on. you being a selkie? Well only my grandmother actually believes that. Polyamory, though, might be a step too far."

She laughed about that the entire way home.


Tenpers3nt t1_j6ckxr3 wrote

While I like the story, Daoine sith isn't a singular thing. Saying their boyfriend is a daoine sith leaves it up to being anything from a Cat Sith to a Brownie to a Goblin.


Re-Horakhty01 t1_j6cl2ah wrote

Yeah I am aware, wasn't sure what I wanted to go with so I left it a bit open. It's why I said he was "of the daione sith" not he "was a daione sith".


Taolan13 t1_j6cyb2y wrote

I think it played well.

And I agree. Bisexuality sure, but polyamory is an absolute abomination and you should strike the word from consideration in your mind.

Polyerosy, or multiamory. I swear. You writers and mixing up your greek and your latin.


Re-Horakhty01 t1_j6cyj91 wrote

Hahaha I'd gladly use the right terminology of it were not for the fact that regrettable admixture had entered the common parlance.


Taolan13 t1_j6cz3do wrote

Its a fight long lost, but a fun hill to meet people on!


TheCreatorCrew t1_j6debr5 wrote

Now I’m interested, what’s the difference?


SirKaid t1_j6dxxxd wrote

It's a linguistics joke. "Polyamory" is an English word constructed out of a Greek prefix ("Poly", meaning "many") and a Latin suffix ("Amor", meaning "love"). They're saying it's a hideous Frankenstein word and should be replaced with "Polyerosy" (all Greek) or "Multiamory" (all Latin) instead.

This is, of course, ridiculous, hence why it's funny.


Chi_Cazzo_Sei t1_j6gserm wrote

>This is, of course, ridiculous, hence why it's funny.

Legit question: is it the above quote? or is it "This, of course, is ridiculous, hence why it's funny"?

Appreciate any help


SirKaid t1_j6h16g0 wrote

I genuinely don't know what you're asking.


Chi_Cazzo_Sei t1_j6iabo3 wrote

Check the placement of "is":)


SirKaid t1_j6k8dy5 wrote

The "of course" is an interjection modifying the first clause of the sentence. I can put it more or less wherever I want. The base sentence is "This is ridiculous, hence why it's funny", with "of course" being inserted as flavour - "Of course, this is ridiculous" and "This is ridiculous, of course" are equally valid.

Anyone who tells you that there is exactly one correct right way to write English is a filthy liar and not to be trusted. English exists to play with.


Tenpers3nt t1_j6d3i1c wrote

Ah, sorry I misread it!


Re-Horakhty01 t1_j6d48pl wrote

No worries, it probably wasn't the clearest phrasing but I wasn't sure how else to word it without breaking flow.


stealthcake20 t1_j6dyfva wrote

This is a great take on the old stories. I love the idea of someone standing up for the selkie bride.