“My tale is of the sea. It takes place in the far north, where ice has broken land into jagged rocks, and where fierce tides wash the shores. Hail is flung far on lashing winds, and winters are long and dark. Men haunt the sea, and the sea gives up to them a glittering harvest. And it is said that the people of the sea haunt the land.
My tale is of the daughter of the sea. The best way to hear the tale is to creep into the lee of the rocks when the herring boats have just landed.The gulls will be keening round you. The women hone knives on the stones, and their hands will be brown from the wind and the fish-gut slime. And as they work they talk to each other of things they’ve always known.
That’s when the story’s told
Imagine a woman called Jannet, standing on the weed-wet stones. It would be dark, and the spray would be scraping her cheeks and the wind would be delving into her hair. She would be looking into the damsony dark and seeing nothing. And imagine her husband, Munroe Jaffray, crouching into his boat with the wild waves lumblering around him. And there’s another to think of. Eilean o da Freya. Some say she’s as weak in the head as a stunned herring. Others say she has the wisdom of the ancients. Janet, Munroe, and Eilean they’re the ones who know for sure what happened on the night of the freak storm.
This is the tale.