Blood on the Water

There she was, blood soaked through her dark green hair and poured out on to the rock as her dark blue eyes stared blankly into the blue sky. Seagulls circled the carcass waiting for it to be abandoned.

Morgan looked down at her blood soaked hands and cringed. Niamh was dead. Worse, Morgan had killed Niamh…and for what? Because Niamh caught her with Muirin. That hardly warranted bashing her head in against the rocks until blood poured out her ears.

Morgan stared at her sister’s blood smeared over her arms creating rivers of scarlet on her pearly flesh. Muirin would never forgive her for this…nor would Mother Cordeilia. She would have her head for this. Morgan lost her temper her sisters and her lover all in one fowl swoop. Why couldn’t Niamh just stay quiet. Muirin and Morgan weren’t the first sisters in the clan to have a tryst, and nor would they be the last. The Seven Clans convened once a year at the Gathering on the breeding grounds to discuss Mannan’s Law, celebrate and mate. However, the Gathering once a year was too scarce for many of their tastes and sisters of the same clan were known to mate. This was forbidden.

This would mean exile. Mannan’s Laws forbade the killing of another Mermaid, but once Cordeilia disowned her, Morgan would be fair game as many of the other sea creatures. A clanless mermaid in exile had two options. Morgan didn’t much care for her chances with either one.

“Get out!” she cried scrubbing the blood off her trembling hands, salt water stinging the cuts she had made in her fervent scrubbing. Would her hands never be clean. She did not know how long she washed Niamh’s blood off her hands weeping hysterically, but the moon replaced the sun’s place in the sky long before she had been done.

Morgan stared at her sister’s corpse and shuddered again at the vacant stare. With a strangled cry Morgan kissed Niamh’s brow and dumped her into the ocean watching her body desolve into pale green seafoam. Morgan watched singing the Parting Songs mournfully as Niamh became one with the sea once again. Niamh’s delicate face was the last to vanish, her dark blue eyes staring at her, fear and betrayal still palpable in her dead gaze. Mother Cordelia was connected to the sea in ways Morgan and her sisters could never be, and would be altered to Niamh’s life force returning to the sea and then it was only a matter of time before Niamh’s memories came to her. Mother Mermaids were the daughters of Mannan himself, and the memories of all life lost at sea flowed through them. Morgan’s only advantage was that it took time for it to be interpreted.

She imagined Muirin’s lovely face, her dark eyes widened and horrified as she waded in court, as Morgan was tried and disowned by the clan. Muirin was delicate and a healer, she could never take knowing that her lover had betrayed their sister and ended her life. Morgan couldn’t do that to her, nor could she face what she had done. Rather than face her sisters and the Mother, she decided to flee in a self imposed exile. The moon was full, so if she got to dry land she could give herself legs. At least for three days until she reached another body of water. All she had to do was leave the sea and channel between the the two islands and continent and she would be free. The Seven Clans would never track her if she got far enough away. Taking a deep breath, Morgan dived into the water and swam to the western island knowing that she could never return.