“Aground, Upon the Sand” by Jennifer R. Donohue

January 11, 2018

Aground, Upon the Sand, by Jennifer R. Donohue is a short piece that took first place in Syntax & Salt Magazine’s Fall Flash Contest.

If this were a longer piece I’d consider this a spoiler, but it’s pretty short so you’ll get there soon… and if you’re a big oceanic mythology person you’ll figure it out a few sentences in. The narrator of the story is a Selkie, who lost her skin during a storm. She was cast ashore among strangers with no way home, even though losing her skin wasn’t her fault.

Of course, it could be worse. Her skin could be stolen instead of simply lost.

“Aground, Upon the Sand” is a melancholy piece about loss and loneliness and not fitting in and working as waitstaff at a tourist spot, and the kindness of strangers who become friends. But it’s primarily about loss and loneliness and about family.

I love the concept, but then I’m a huge sucker for Selkie stories. The writing feels a little rough but the concept is excellent and I’d be interested in reading more. There’s a lot that’s left unsaid– a Selkie exploring the human world isn’t exactly unexplored terrain, but it’s still interesting enough to leave me wanting more, especially the way Donohue writes it.

Do check this out if you want a fast little story about a person who’s lost and finding herself.

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