we are slaves to the sirens of the salty sea
She was never a child—not really. It had been ripped from her as soon as she had taken her first breath. It had been a moment of a true childhood and, sometimes, it feels like a dream. She lifts her head, tips it back, and there is nothing but the sight of the two towering over her. She can feel them still—that woman of ice and the mulberry stallion with the galaxies in his eyes. She had been given the chance to suck in that cold air but never expel it before the magic had seeped into her skin, rushing through her.
It had been colder than the air around her.
She felt her body shift instantly, felt the aging process rush through her until she had opened her eyes as a mare and not a filly. He had gifted her enough knowledge to make the transition a more seamless one, but no magic could ever replace the foundation of a true childhood. No magic could have given her the true experience of growing up amongst her peers—of learning how to socialize, the natural laws of society.
None of that could be replaced and she was, instead, forever without.
She had been young when she had found Ivar (when he had found her?) and all of her early explorations had been cut short. Instead of continuing to wander the sea, to slip in and out of the rivers and streams, she had found herself making a home on the nooks of the islands. She found herself raising children that she could never truly understand because she was still just a child herself, trapped in this older body.
Today though—today she leaves. She makes her way down to the water’s edge and slips into it. Her scales nearly sigh with relief as the ocean washes over them and she quickly dives into the water, her equine line churning against the tide as the water swallows her, cradles her, pulls her in close.
There are children back on the island. There is Ivar and the rest of the brood that surrounds him. But today she needs something more. So she continues swimming, her body feeling exhilarated instead of exhausted as she pushes it to the brink. She marvels at the fish that surround her, at the wild sea creatures who dazzle and spiral. She wonders as she continues going, until the salt begins to fade and she is left instead with that echo of a memory—the fresh water that instead begins to clear around her.
She continues until the water grows more and more shallow.
Until her legs finally find purchase and she stands, only slightly wobbling. The water pours off of her in rivulets and the flowers bloom, slightly damp, as she tilts her fine head back. It’s night and she blinks against the wash of moonlight across the riverbank. This place so looks different and yet, the very same.