Part Three: The storm!
The thief had only been driving for a couple of minutes when the weather abruptly changed. One moment the sky had been filled with sunlight and the scent of flowers. The next, rain rattled down on the windscreen of the van, and a howling wind began battering at its side. By the time the thief got home the sky was filled with massive black clouds, and thunder and lightning blasted all along Galway Bay. The storm grew stronger and angrier, and so determined was the thief to get into the warmth and security of his home that he forgot about the sealskin coat hanging over the passenger seat. He pushed and pushed at the van door – which the wind kept trying to slam back shut on his finger - finally got it open and leapt out.
To his horror the wind grabbed him and wheeched him way up into the tearing, battering, bashing, and lightning flashing storm clouds. Higher and higher he flew. Dazed and terrified the thief shouted out, ‘This is crazy! What happened to the beautiful summer day? Where did this insane thunderstorm appear from?’
In fact the thief himself was responsible for the storm. When he had ran along the beach with the stolen sealskin jacket, all the Selkie men, women and children had chased after him. Selkies, though, are not used to running on dry land, and the Queen of the Selkies tripped and cut her knees and feet very badly. If she had been human the wounds would have eventually healed themselves, but a Selkie can only be healed by the magic of its own sealskin coat.
In shock and fear, the other Selkies had thrown on their coats, picked up their wounded Queen and dove backed into the water. They swam as fast as they could to the Selkie Palace, which – as everybody knows – is found deep beneath the waters half way between the Salthill and Kinvara. There they hoped the Selkie physicians and wizards would be able to help cure the Queen of her awful wounds.
The blood spilling from the Queen’s terrible gashes mixed with the saltwater to create the most ferocious storm ever recorded along the Atlantic coast. It was this very same storm that now threw the thief higher and higher into the air, and then – when he was a good ten miles up – threw him head first down into the wildly tossing, foam flecked waters of Galway Bay.
The waves rose twenty feet above the thief’s head. Freezing spray filled his mouth and nose. The air was filled with lightning that flashed as bright and sudden as dragon sneezes. All around thunder rolled and roared as if enormous giants were using mountains for marbles. Then the sea gulped the thief down. So sure was he that he was about to drown that he gave up a prayer to God asking for all his many sins to be forgiven. Then deeper and deeper the thief sank; down into blackness and silence.
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