You would think this would be be obvious from the start.

He had a general idea of that old Celtic magic - how you capture a selkie. But he forgot that seals are mammals - basically warm blooded, similar enough to a human being that there is some compatibility. Stealing my serpent skin when I was in mermaid form was just really not a smart idea.

I'm a lizard. A dragon, if you want to be fancy. Cold. Blooded. Cold hearted. Although I can shape change, and look human, my motivations are nowhere near you mammals. I'm cold blooded... I belong in the water. My home is the entire Georgian Bay. You bipedals are so limited in your two dimensional walking world.

So how desperate does a man have to be to try and capture not a mermaid, but a merpent as a wife? Really. What you do for dangerous sex. You'd think they'd have more sense. and I realize that with these pinkish-white explorers just coming in from the east that they will mostly be men, but couldn't you at least kidnap one of the local human women? They are round and "willing". Plump. Warm. Unpleasant. And the smell.

It's about magic, and it's idiocy. Why men want to constantly steal women's magic, or my own sea magic, is beyond me. It is not useful to human men, at any rate. Even their women, they bleed, they bear children, some of the time they don't die. The men don't seem to get this. And then they come in, and think they can control women's magic, or my own wild magic. Not wise.

The trouble really began when the girls were born. Six of them, all alike. He was, not to put it too gently, horrified. SIX?

I wanted to say, "I'm a lizard, you idiot, what did you expect?"

They are all more or less similar, but each got some pretty odd twists on the combination of sea magic and human traits. All can look human, but none has the heart of a monkey. They will be trouble throughout the great lakes before long, and more power to them. I mean to send them off to their Aunt Nessie for training.

And the looks. White hair, greenish hair, a strange, slightly green cast to the skin. I think they are gorgeous, but perhaps I'm biased. In this area, where brown skin, eyes and black hair are the norm, and the incomers are orangeheads with blue eyes, these girls look - unearthly. Terrifying and electric.

And with six of them, how long do you think it took for us to find where he'd hidden my skin? Please. I hadn't been in the lake for more than two years, and he literally could not imagine how terrible the longing for my three dimensional home was. Why any creature would choose to live in that hot, dry, air space is unknown to me.

He stole my skin. Now I've stolen his.

For horrorquest 2010, and for all the lurvely Horrogodor medical whatsis I get to go through in the next few weeks. Fucking quicksand. Fucking jungle.

For Joop for the sextuplets, wertperch for taking off the caretaking hat, Halspal for his Mary, who is still helping.