Tes and I chat about meeting Morgane

Consider this reminiscence a follow-up to Arthur’s last post, in which he introduced my old roommate Tes and our friend Morgane.

9:10 PM me: I was looking through the journal I kept at that time.
short4tesla:I remember your journal!
9:11 PM me: My first impression of you is rather amusing now.
short4tesla: *grin* You probably thought I came on pretty strong
9:12 PM me: That’s a nice way of putting it.
short4tesla: I didn’t know if you were scared of me or if you were just quiet.
9:13 PM me: It may have been a little of both at first.
short4tesla: Ha!
me: I suppose things really got interesting with the trip to Innsmouth.
9:14 PM short4tesla: FIRST trip
me: Of course. You were looking for a good place to climb.
9:15 PM short4tesla: And found the cave with the weird writing on the wall. When you said “I’ve seen this before” it was like something out of a movie.
9:16 PM me: Yes. Sort of like your idea to wait around past dark to see if anyone would come back.
9:17 PM short4tesla: Hey, it’s not every day you make it to Innsmouth when there’s going to be a full moon. That’s what you thought one of the drawings meant.
9:18 PM me: I couldn’t argue with your logic then and I can’t now. Somehow we were able to occupy our time in Innsmouth until nightfall.
9:19 PM short4tesla: We were lucky in a lot of ways that night.
me: True. And so was Morgane.
9:20 PM short4tesla: Right. We saw those guys in robes with the weird hopping walk dragging her into the cave.
9:21 PM me: And you leapt from our hiding place and demanded that they let her go, since it was obvious they would take demands from 5-foot tall female college student they’d never seen before.
9:22 PM short4tesla: 5 foot 1 and I totally knew what I was doing.
me: Apparently Morgane knew what she was doing too, since she was able to take out one of the people holding her.
9:23 PM short4tesla: And once they saw that we weren’t afraid to swing heavy sticks at their heads, they took off. Wait – you got one of them with a crotch shot, didn’t you?
9:24 PM me: It took a few swings to get my aim right. Anyway, they didn’t put up much of a fight.
9:25 PM short4tesla: So, we ask Morgane if she’s all right and she’s all panicked and says she needs to get to the beach for her skin.
9:26 PM me: Later, of course, we learned what she meant, but it was quite baffling at the time.
9:27 PM short4tesla: So we follow her to the beach and she finds her seal hide or whatever, and then we see something coming from the water.
9:28 PM me: Two or three somethings. For months afterward I wished the moon hadn’t been so bright. I still don’t like thinking about them.
short4tesla: Let’s just use Morgane’s phrase: froggy folk.
9:29 PM me: Associating them with something mundane helps. But even though I was repulsed and scared I was also fascinated, maybe even jubilant.
They were proof that this obscure branch of folklore I was studying was astonishingly real.
9:31 PM short4tesla: That must be why you seemed so dazed when we were trying to tell you we needed to get the hell out of there.
9:32 PM me: Probably. But got the hell out of there we did.
short4tesla: And yet all three of us were crazy enough to go back.
9:33 PM me: Which is, of course, a story for another time.

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Ella’s college buddies

Two Saturdays ago Ted Spindle had a party at his home to commemorate the spring equinox. Among the guests were me, Ingrid, and Ella, and Ella brought her college roommate Tesla. Tes had about the same petite stature as Ella, with light brown hair, and appeared to constantly have an expression that made her look like she was contemplating something mischievous. Ella seemed downright jovial around her.

“Hello,” Tes said cheerily when Ella introduced us. “You’re the blogger Ella saved from an evil spirit, huh?” That was a common greeting during the party. “Oh, you’re the guy the bookstore owner saved after a frog cut off your head.” “Oh, you’re the guy Ingrid and the movie director saved from zombie cows.” I guess it was cool that people there read the blog, though.

Ella and Tes had a friend there they introduced me to, a lithe and elegant woman named Morgane. “Oh, sure, and you’re the fellow who likes to annoy vampires,” she said. She had an Irish accent. I asked how she knew Ella and Tes.

“It was when these girls were at Miskatonic,” she said. “I had a bit of a problem with those froggy folk you ran into at the cabin and they helped me.”

“OK,” I said, “Sort of a paranormal Charlie’s Angels, huh?” I said, striking a kung-fu pose. The three looked at each other in a way that suggested were silently trying to decide which one would try to get rid of me. “So you were a student there?” I asked Morgane

“Oh,” she said, “Well, student of humanity, let’s say.” Ella and Tes seemed amused by that.

“What, like, sociology?” I asked. All three laughed at that.

“You can probably tell him,” Tes said to Morgane

“Well, all right, then” said Morgane, “I’m a selkie.”

There was a pause, during which I failed to remember what a selkie is, assuming I ever knew.

“Is that, like, a part of Ireland?” I asked.

“No, it means I normally take the form of a seal.”

“A seal, really?”

“Oh come on,” said Ella, “Morgane’s hardly the most unusual character you’ve encountered.”

“Well, no, I just wouldn’t have thought a seal. Dolphin, maybe. But…” I turned my palms outward and struck the backs of my hands together. “Ohr ohr – that kind of seal?”

“And what’s wrong with a seal, then?” asked Morgane, a little annoyed.

“Nothing, nothing, I just…you don’t really have a seal…look.”

We got along better after that, once I unequivocally accepted Morgane’s catalog of qualities that made the seal a superior and majestic creature. I also avoided the temptation to make comparisons to Aquaman or to ask about Morgane’s ability to balance a ball on her nose. I wonder if the incident she mentioned is the same one Ella called an “adventure” the night of her unexpected visit. I hope Ella will share the story sometime.