You ponder your next step; Moirine has been a bit vague with what else you as a selkie can do (you wonder if she’s being vague on purpose to excite your interest, or because she’s just trying to play with you… or maybe she doesn’t know enough of what you individually can do?). You admit to yourself that, yes, you ARE pretty curious, but…
‘I think I’d like to see about becoming a human again first,’ you say.
Moirine nods. ‘A fair response, pup.’ Her eyes sparkle. ‘To be quite honest, I was intent on you choosing that, because it would be greatly beneficial for you in the long run.’
You cock your head to the side. ‘And why is that?’
‘You’ll be happier, for starters,’ Moirine replies, completely sincere in her tone and her expression. ‘There’s a genuine sense of relief that those like you feel when you learn how to switch between your natural human state,’ she uses a flipper to gesture to you,
‘and this new form you’ve been “given,” as it were. And, if this makes sense…’ She pauses here for a beat. ‘It’ll make any future lessons you go through easier, too.’
She nods again. ‘All of the abilities we selkie possess are mental in their essence, pup – and this includes how we’re able to communicate telepathically, which you’ve been doing for quite some time now. Some abilities are easier to use, and to understand, without much explanation. However, there are certain things a true selkie is capable of that aren’t as simple to explain. These are centered around… sensations that I cannot just describe to you in human terms. Rather, it goes much, much deeper than this.’
You blink a few times, and you try to wrap your head around her explanation.
Moirine pauses and seems to mull over her response. ‘Imagine if you, in human form, were trying to teach someone how to do something you find easy, but you couldn’t vocally communicate with them. You can’t show them pictures or words, or use the internet for a video guide, and you can’t emote to teach them, either. Understand?’
‘Oh… actually, I think so, yeah,’ you say.
‘That is the problem we face,’ Moirine adds. ‘While yes, I can speak to you in a way you understand, when it comes to this subject, I can’t. It requires a deeper level of mental comprehension that I simply cannot get across. However,’ she raises one flipper, ‘by teaching you how to become human and then selkie again, that changes things.’
‘How does it change things, though?’ you ask.
You’re trying to do your best at rationalizing all of this – you don’t see yourself as “dumb,” at least not like some people. But at the same time, the vagueness and the way she’s speaking make it sound as if there’s some hard to grasp thinking you’ll need to somehow tap into, and as it stands, you don’t know if you have what it takes to do that.
‘Why don’t I teach you?’ Moirine says, and she grins. ‘Showing is better than telling.’
You give the best shrug you can in your current body. ‘Sure.’
‘Right then.’ Moirine holds your gaze for a moment. ‘To become human again, you must first visualize what you look like as a human in your mind. It doesn’t need to be perfect, pup. You don’t need photographic memory for this, since the mind itself is never perfect, but do the best you can. Envision your hair and eyes, your skin, your physique. But then, what I want you to do is also visualize how it FEELS to be a human.’
‘How it feels, meaning…’ You frown inwardly. ‘Having two legs and two arms…?’
‘Yes, but, I mean deeper than that,’ Moirine says. ‘Remember how it feels to have a human’s ears, a human’s nose, a human’s lips. Remember the way you blink, the way you make expressions using your mouth and brow, how you stare or squint, how you use your tongue to taste. Remember the way your limbs move, how it feels to hold things or step on things… visualize yourself as a human, in every way possible, pup.’
Her words sink into you, and you look down as you absorb them.
You suppose you can understand what she means. It’s a bit fancy, sure (or maybe not “fancy,” but, definitely a wordy way of getting across her point. Even so… you get it.
You close your eyes, and, you do what Moirine has told you: you visualize yourself as you were before being turned into a selkie. You remember your hair, your eye color, and how you looked in the mirror this morning, and yesterday, and so on. And you also…
You try to FEEL the things Moirine told you to feel as if you had somehow forgotten these sensations. You recall how you had hands that could touch things and hold things, how you had legs that would move with feet that preferred to be in socks and comfy shoes. You remember how to blink and stare, how to smell things or hold your breath, and how to eat, how to breathe through your nose and your mouth on land.
You remember the sensations of running a hand through your hair, of biting your lip by accident, of clenching and unclenching your jaw, and feeling the way your chest moved with every breath. You remember hearing your heartbeat when it raced, and you also…
But your thought trails off, because you suddenly feel something. Something… odd.
It’s a sudden sensation, almost like a surge of electricity that pulses through your body from your head to your toes; it’s not painful or unpleasant at all, yet you definitely know you’re not imagining it. Except, when it’s over, you suddenly realize… your toes?
Your eyes reopen. And you find yourself looking back at Moirine, but, everything feels different now. You blink. At once, your body and brain are hit by a myriad of sensations; the feeling of moisture, the way the wind brushes against your skin, and how you aren’t lying on your belly the way a seal does, the way Moirine currently is as she watches on.
You gasp, and, the sound comes out normal. Then, you look down.
You’re a human again. Your flippers have become hands and feet. Your round, squishy body has transformed back into the shape it was before you were turned into a selkie. You’re even wearing the same clothes you had on previously; the shoes and socks, the pants, the shirt. True, they’re wet now because you’re on wet rocks, but… all the same.
“I… I…” You speak through your mouth, instead of through your head – you briefly feel strange talking again, yet this doesn’t last for long at all. “It worked. It worked!”
You clench and unclench your hands, then wiggle your toes in your shoes. You bend your arms and crouch down, and you look around. You breathe in, slow and deep, and the smells of the sea and the sea breeze flow into your nostrils, into your stomach.
When you finish being astounded by the fact you’ve returned to being a human (and so easily, too), your attention returns to Moirine, who has yet to move. Along with the realization you’re human, you also realize you can’t communicate with her telepathically anymore. Or, at least… you think that at first, only to wonder if maybe that’s incorrect.
‘Moirine?’ you think, like you had before.
‘Yes, pup,’ she replies, and she beams at you. ‘Nicely done. You have returned to your natural form, and you’ve figured out we can continue to communicate telepathically.’
You let out a quiet breath of relief. ‘Yeah… thanks for telling me how.’ You glance down at your hands again. ‘It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, honestly. If anything, it seemed to go by pretty fast. But, you were right. It feels… nice to be human again.’
She chuckles aloud. ‘I am not at all surprised.’
‘So…’ You blink several times, and, you wonder if you ought to sit down or something to continue this conversation since she’s on the ground still. ‘What do we do now?’
Her beaming smile grows even broader. ‘Now, pup… now, we begin in full. But first…’
Before you have a chance to comment or question what she means, Moirine’s body begins to vibrate and emanate a rather bright-blue glow that envelops every inch of her body – you stare with wide eyes as she suddenly starts to change. Her flippers extend out and turn into arms with hands, her back flippers morph into legs, and within moments, her shape goes from being that of a seal into that of a human just like you.
In a single, fluid motion, Moirine stands upright as her body stretches out, and her features all shift about; and then, you blink, and the gleam is gone. And Moirine is now standing in front of you, looking like a human woman, with bright eyes and a broad grin.
“There,” Moirine says, and she speaks with the same voice. “What do you think, pup?”
You stare in amazement.
Written by Hollowpages on 28 March 2021
The end (for now)