Selkie Wisdom III
You mull over all the possible topics you could ask in the moment, since you are before a large, clearly ancient being that knows way more then you could ever hope to learn in a lifetime. You just KNOW that’s the case, because it’s not every day you meet a whale-sized magical seal creature that can speak.
Then, you decide.
‘I’d like to ask a lot of things,’ you say. ‘But I’ll start, if that’s okay, with asking… you said that I wasn’t the first to become a selkie because of a genie. Is that normal? Or, um, are there other creatures out there that can do the same?’ You blink. ‘Moirine did mention it before, though I’m still curious…’
Voadia gives another deep chuckle. ‘The djinn, as you would know them, are one of many species that possess a deep understanding of… you would call it magic, no doubt. To me, such a term is limiting, for it does not speak to the fullest of what is and what can be - but for the sake of simplicity, I will keep it as such, to ensure you are able to understand.’
Her eyes start to glow as she smiles. ‘This world, this planet, has long housed within it beings like djinn and others whose names you’ve never heard of - they were born not from flesh and blood like you or I, but rather, were birthed by nature and its energies. These entities possess power beyond your scope of understanding, power that allows them to alter the very fabric of reality and creation in small ways. And that includes changing the nature and body of a human being into something like a selkie.’
You stare. ‘Oh. I… I think I understand.’
‘Many mortals have become selkie,’ Voadia says. ‘Many more have become something else. Often, it is the whims of creatures like djinn that are responsible for it, either because they are decidedly being cruel, or because they wish to amuse themselves, or, on some occasions, because the mortal wishes it. Regardless, I am droning on, and you want to know more.’
She chuckles again, another loud, vibrating chuckle.
‘No, you are not the first,’ Voadia says. ‘You will find a great many selkie were humans that have been blessed with this power, this state. They live in harmony with the azure alongside us who were born selkie, and when they wish to return to their other home on land, they do so freely. As you may.’
‘So I’m not stuck in a selkie body forever,’ you say. They’ve both mentioned this by now, though you haven’t inquired further on how that works yet.
‘No,’ Voadia says. ‘Such a state would go against the foundation of nature, of that which makes us all what we are. I realize my vague terms don’t give much in lieu of an explanation, but know that you are not trapped in this body.’
You nod slowly, wrapping your head around her words.
‘You are more than welcome to speak with similar selkie,’ Voadia remarks with a grin. ‘They will be of greater help to answering any questions you have about how they came to be, and how they have learned to live in two separate realms.’ Her eyes glimmer. ‘You wish to know more about our history, though, correct? About how we came to be, about what we are able to do, yes?’
‘Yes,’ you say. You shelf the part about being able to turn into a human again for later on.
‘Then I shall speak it,’ the large selkie replies. ‘Feel free to stop me should I drone for too long… I have a fondness for monologuing, I am told.’
Moirine snickers internally at this. You smile a little and nod again.
‘This world,’ Voadia says, ‘this planet, has long been a place of many, many entities existing at the same time. Most humans, however, do not know this - many of your kin live their lives without truly comprehending the scope of which they are not alone in this life. Certainly, some believe in the presence of spirits, others in higher powers, and others still in there being sentient life in the stars.’
She points one giant flipper past you. ‘We, and countless others like us, are right here, beneath their noses. But humans do not see us, nor hear us, nor feel our presence. I cannot say why that is, pup.’ She gives you an earnest look of uncertainty. ‘I only know that to be the case. However, we have been here for as long as humans, from the era when humans first began to evolve and adapt into the species you are today. And we will remain as long, too.’
‘How, though?’ you ask.
You’ve never seen yourself as the smartest person around, not at all, but you have enough of a grasp to recognize the basics about biology and evolution - and the idea that magical entities could’ve existed alongside humans, yet no one ever really saw or realized this… it’s a bit befuddling to you, in truth.
Voadia grins, an amused gleam in her eyes. ‘You may have the answer to that already, pup. Think of your media… of your television shows, your movies, your books. Think of tales where the “supernatural” exists separately from the natural, whether because they fear human reaction, or dislike human existence. It is not unlike those, only in most cases, it’s far simpler at its core.’
Your eyes go wide. ‘You know about those things?’
Again, the massive selkie laughs heartily. ‘My dear child, I know many, many things. I have walked among men countless times in the past, and both seen and experienced a great deal.’ She winks. ‘Frankly, I find the reality of WHY you humans don’t recognize that we exist has to do with the, we will say, wavelength in which your minds function.’
You furrow your brow. ‘Wavelength?’
‘Your minds do not comprehend us normally. And by “us,” I mean anything and everything that lives outside the average human scope,’ Voadia says. She cocks her head to one side, appraising you. ‘You may sense a presence, or hear voices that seem to come from nowhere. You may see what you believe to be a spirit or an illusion in the corner of your eyes. But, such things are rare, and it is rarer still for a human to go past those little flickers.’ She pauses here. ‘Am I making sense, pup? Or am I losing you more?’
You try to soak in all this information, and it’s a lot coming at you at once.
You take a moment to breathe, and despite the fact you are underwater, you don’t think about it that way - you find you can breathe in and out as though you were on land, and the water doesn’t flow into your nose. Or maybe it does, and you simply don’t feel any discomfort from it.
‘Do you mean that, like…’ You try to work through it while you speak - at least until a notion you hadn’t thought of before pops into your head, because you try to think in terms you yourself can understand. ‘Is it because we have, like, a different brain frequency? Is that what you mean?’
‘Yes, yes, good!’ Voadia says. ‘Think of it as if the minds of all sentient beings on this planet were on a radio station. You still have those above, don’t you?’
‘Yes,’ you say.
Her grin grows. ‘Then that is the image I shall use. Your species’ minds exist on a radio channel that is vastly separate from a selkie’s, from a djinn’s, from any other being that exists. It is not common for a human to be born with a frequency that can pick up on ours, but most of the time, even those who are blessed with such are never able to listen fully. Only if we make the effort to reach toward you can the severed connections become more whole.’
Now you feel you understand a bit better.
‘Now then… what more do you want to know?’ the Seamother asks.
You pause to think this over - what’s next?
Written by Hollowpages on 22 December 2020
Selkie Wisdom IV