Surf pulled at mother and daughter holding tight a last goodbye. “Take care of your brother. And your father.”
“Yes, mam. You’ll be back?”
“Your grandmam’s recipes, they’re yours.”
The girl held her mother’s hand. “Tell my ocean folk grandmam, ‘Happy Birthday.’ ”
Her mam nodded, winced as the tight skin she’d found in the attic fused land legs into a powerful swimming fin. “I will, love.”
“Your eyes are the same.” The girl touched the selkie’s soft fur. “You’ll be gone a day?”
The mother strained for breath. “Days linger undersea.” She wanted to stay. But she had to go.