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As the night wore on, Cathal himself tried to get some sleep. He realized that the weariness he was feeling that was normally ended by his standing in flames was his need to sleep. Cathal didn’t believe in witches, most were frauds or knew the hallucinogenic property of some plants or toads. He hated to think that the witch of the island was a rumor started by someone who wanted people to stay away from the island or even worse, a woman who had survived a shipwreck and never been picked up.

There was a rolling, bubbly sound from the water. Cathal sat up, he wasn’t sure how long he’d been asleep but he knew he wanted more. A glow was coming closer from under the waves. Two giant seahorse heads broke the water and snorted much like real horses. They wore harnesses of kelp and were pulling the biggest seashell Cathal had ever seen. Holding the reins to the seahorses was a creature who, although gray skinned, was human from the waist up. From the waist down, her body looked rather dolphin like, including the tail fluke. Hair of indeterminable color hung around her bare shoulders and chastely covered her breasts. Wrapped and woven into the hair were ropes of smaller seashells and various bits of shiny things, rings, bracelets, gems of every color, bits of mirror.

“Tis the witch!” Shouted one of the sailors who’d survived the octopus attack. Even Iard who seemed more level headed than his men was agape. The woman waved her hand and the man who’d spoken was now a scuttling crab.

“That wasn’t very nice, Thalassa,” Cathal said flatly.

“Brother?” Thalassa asked and as she slithered onto the sand rather snake-like, her lower body became as legs and the tone of her skin became as flesh. She was now naked walking towards him. “You look like Cathal, but you…” She cocked her head. “…seem human.”

“Nix did this to me and I am mortal.”