A young woman swam in the sea, suddenly stopping and looking back. Her skin was almost a pure white, and she was watching a deadly scene unfold. She watched the sun sink into the rosy haze of sun setting into the deep blue, clashing with the bright bursting fire not a mile away. If you looked closely, those daunting hazel eyes were brimming with golden tears, spilling over, and increasing by the second, ‘till the pool of water around her was also a shimmering gold, and the angry fire in her eyes was clear, but the overwhelming guilt was even clearer.
As the sun was almost out of view, she called out a deep and mystic call, older than the sea itself. It was a call of utter sorrow, from the aching from the pits of the soul. It was all she could do. There was nothing left.
Less than a week earlier, the young woman, or rather, the young siren, ‘Eha, was in her favorite fishing cove, where she was humming a sweet tune to herself, plucking the tiny bones from the meat of a small coelacanth fish.
GLUB! ‘Eha turned around and saw a bewildered young, human, woman, looking at her in awe. ‘Eha was in shock. She had never seen a human woman before, only stupid sailor men or her sister sirens.
Overcoming her earlier bewilderment, ‘Eha grabbed the woman by the shoulders, and swam her up to the surface, where she could talk.
“Who are you and what are you doing in my cove?” ‘Eha asked once they were above water, shaking the woman fiercely.
“I- I- was observing the reef, I’m a marine biologist,” the woman said in response.
‘Eha cocked her head at the new word, to which the woman responded,
“It’s a job, where you observe life underwater, and learn new things that wa-”
‘Eha interrupted her with a snarl. “No! Why are you here in MY cove, looking at ME? Am I being observed?” ‘Eha snapped her jaws menacingly.
“ N-n-no! I was looking at the coral reef around your… cove, and then I saw you… I have never seen one like you… above the water we thought creatures such as you extinct, it’s like… a miracle!” The woman was over her fear now, and in awe. ‘Eha loved it, the attention-loving siren she was. You could see her thinking, and she made a decision in her head.
“I am ‘Eha the siren, and I would not leave you to drown, but you must tell me what man thinks of sirens, and more of this… marine biology. In exchange, I will spare your life, yes?”
‘Eha’s declaration was more of an announcement and less of a question, but nevertheless, the woman said yes.
“Also… my name is Sophie, just so you know,” the woman said shyly. “Now, where to begin…” Sophie’s voice faded into the distance, telling all sorts of tales, most all of them good to sirens, to please ‘Eha.
The next couple of days, in between these story sessions, ‘Eha would swim back to her home cove, where the sirens slept, and had feasts, as well as hunting sessions together.
“…And then, it was said that the Sirens were fated to die if any mortal should hear them sing and live to tell the story. So, once Odysseus passed them unharmed, disheartened by their humbling defeat, the Sirens hurled themselves into the sea and bothered no man ever again!” ‘Eha was telling tales she had heard from Sophie to her sisters in their cove, now explaining the story of Odysseus to them.
“That is untrue and outrageous, that one lowly man might escape us in the first place, and that we might leave for no one ever again! Why do you tell us such foul tales, sister?” Ayca, another siren, complained.
“I-” ‘Eha was shouted over,
“Now! Tell us another, a good one ‘Eha.” Ayca again interrupted, longing for more of her sister’s tales. ‘Eha’s words spun webs around the sirens, trapping them all in stories of delight, and fear, and the sea. It was as if ‘Eha had placed a spell on them.
Yet, all seemed to be happy and wonderful, but one fateful day, with the oncoming storm darkening the sky with a blanket made of storm clouds, and fog so thick one could barely see through it. But sirens’ eyes were made to see through the deepest ocean depths, so this was a slightly cloudy day to their eyes.
So, ‘Eha waited hours after Sophie would usually come, but her impatient qualities got the best of her. She swam off, in search of Sophie’s ship. She found a huge, lumbering ship, made of some material, harder than wood, unknown to her. The ship had Sophie’s scent on it. She could tell, as a natural born hunter of man.
Finally, swimming around the sides of the ship, ‘Eha heard Sophie’s voice, and peeked through a porthole.
There was a sailor, and Sophie sitting in the cabin. The sailor had a heavy beard and was noticeably short next to Sophie. The two seemed to be relaxed in the cabin, drinking ale while the rest of the crew scurried up to the deck to help with the oncoming storm. Now, ‘Eha could hear voices clearly, her ears adjusted to the muffled talking.
“BWAHAHAHA, ahh, Sophie, that’s a good one, phew. By the way, how’s your siren friend coming along? I don’t mean to pry, but…” A deep sailor’s voice reached ‘Eha’s ear, with his sentence left unfinished for Sophie to continue.
“Well, I’m so glad you asked.” Sophie said with a smirk.
“It’s going great. The stupid little fish girl is oblivious, and full of herself, leading me right to it. All part of my plan…” Sophie continued talking, but what was said is unknown, for ‘Eha had heard enough. She swam away in a fury, astounded that Sophie could call her stupid, and full of herself! And, ‘Eha thought, she was most definitely not a ‘fish girl!’
Yet, even being the self-absorbed fish girl ‘Eha was, she forgot about everything else Sophie had said to the sailor man. She spent the rest of the day fuming, as if she had been set on fire.
Coming back to the main cove, ‘Eha told no stories, much to the dismay of her sisters, until Ayca finally convinced her to. After telling a couple of tales, ‘Eha took a break, but was content, and had forgotten about Sophie for a while.
When dusk had settled, all the sirens swam to the lowest depths of the cove to sleep on the soft sand at the bottom. ‘Eha had laid awake for quite some time, thinking and thinking, until her mind suddenly became clear, seeing a beautifully destructive path of revenge.
She would plant a chøktå in the ship, and watch it all burn.
See, ‘Eha was a fish girl, and very full of herself, but there was one thing Sophie was wrong about. ‘Eha was not stupid.
‘Eha hatched a plan to set the ship ablaze.
A chøktå was a sort of bomb made by sirens. It was made of shell, with a whisper of the magic of a siren entwined with it. The shell would be placed on a ship, and no matter how far away the siren was who cast the spell on the chøktå, if they said the spell again, the chøktå would burst into siren song, causing all men aboard the ship to jump off, and drown.
Now, this would not work on Sophie, for she was a woman, and a song meant to ensnare men would not do the same for any woman. So ‘Eha decided fire would have to do. ‘Eha would go up the ship one night, and steal a spark from a lantern hanging on the railing of the ship. That same spark would be placed into a beautiful shell in ‘Eha’s cove, and magic would be whispered into its soul.
Soon, ‘Eha had it all figured out. It had been two days, and Sophie didn’t show, so a confrontation upon her next visit was unlikely.
Coming upon the now moving ship, ‘Eha knew it was now or never. The ship had been stationary the last few days, so now it was most likely going somewhere back wherever it came from.
With the water lapping at the sides of the boat, ‘Eha wriggled up the side, tugging herself up by the crook between the ship and the portholes. Finally, she put her head over the railing, looking out for incoming people. No one was there, so scrambling off and over the railing, ‘Eha placed the shell in a coil of rope, hidden and entangled.
She heard a voice, and as fast as she could, heaved over the railing, and took the dive back down.
Now in water again, she could feel her tail aching with the relief of touching water again, her scales quickly feeling good as knew, she zipped off to the main cove.
Feeling much better about herself, she smugly shouted, “Gather, sisters. I have another story for you.” The other sirens chirped up, and gathered around.
This time, ‘Eha began to tell a story of her own design, about a princess of sirens, who longed to explore the world of man, but her sisters forbade it. Determined to go through with her plan, she sought out a lone siren, who had been banished years ago for misusing her magic. The story went on, the siren princess fell in love with a sailor man, but he had betrayed her. He pretended to love her, but he lied and married another woman, shunning the siren princess. The siren princess then, for revenge purposes, set fire to the kingdom, while she watched from the water and went back to her sisters, the only ones she could trust.
Done with the story at last, ‘Eha’s sisters looked at her in awe, for this story was more powerful and wonderful than the last ones. ‘Eha truly was a master of words. She assumed they were silent because her story was so great, so she took a deep bow, and her sisters swarmed her.
That night, she decided, with her confidence built up, she would repeat the spell, and light it up. Sneakily swimming out of the main cove, ‘Eha swam up and about a mile away from the cove and the ship, an equal distance where she could stay unseen by others, but see everything herself. Once there, she took a deep breath, and called out to the shell, starting the countdown.
Little did ‘Eha know, Sophie had also hatched a plan of revenge. Sophie’s real name was Ashley, and Ashley had come leading sailor men to investigate the mysterious disappearance of men in this area. Ashley’s husband, Mark, was a sailor on a ship in the area a couple months ago, where all the men on the ship were found drowned without any signs of struggle.
Ashley had come back for revenge, and thanks to ‘Eha, she was able to track ‘Eha back to her cove. Ashley was planning an ambush on the sirens.
Just as ‘Eha was currently starting the countdown for the fire, Sophie had all her men put earplugs on to protect themselves from the siren songs. Because of the boat above their cove, the sirens next move would be to sing, and kill the potential threats, but since the ship was aware of that, they sprung nets when the sirens swam up, trapping them and tugging them up onto the deck.
Just as the countdown hit four, ‘Eha heard her sister Ayca call out to her for help, and ‘Eha realized that ship had come just over the main cove. Panicking, she swam as fast as she could, as if she was going at the speed of light, but sadly, there was nothing she could do.
“Help, ‘Eha!” called Ayca.
Eha was nearing the ship.
The chøktå exploded into flames, propelling ‘Eha backwards. The fire quickly expanded across the ship, and it started sinking slowly, the sirens on the deck shrieking.
‘Eha tried to push herself over to the boat, but since the explosion slammed ‘Eha back, she was pushed against a rock. Her scales were bloody, and she couldn’t swim, no matter how hard she tried.
And so we return where we started, with ‘Eha bobbing in the sea, watching it all burn, and responding with her call of great sorrow.