The Walrus

Original illustration by Nicola Ashbrook

The lighthouse keeper’s only daughter is gone – thought drowned.

I see him on the headland, as sun blinks peachy first light, seeking, seeking. His tears an ugly ocean.



The Selkies took her. I saw them; wrapped her in blubbery fur. Turned land legs to sea tail. Flattened nose. Molded orb eyes.

My father heart bleeds as his. I must tell him.

Sea-body land slow. And still.

Knock tusk. Dent crumbling door paint.

Wait. Wait.

“Get outta here! Scram!”

Boot bruise, broom sting.

“She’s alive,” I say, “go fetch her.”

But land ear doesn’t hear.

Broken heart, deaf man.

Nicola Ashbrook has been writing for a couple of years, having previously worked in the NHS. Her poetry, micro and flash fiction can be found in a range of journals online and in print, including with Bath, Reflex, Cabinet of Heed, Sidereal, and Truffle. She is querying her first novel. When she isn’t writing, she’s wrangling children and pets. Twitter: @NicolaAWrites. Website: