I was under in an instant – my body slack, my mind alert. I could still hear their song. Even submerged under water, I did. My heart responded to the quality it harbored, overwhelming the rest of my senses to a numbing degree. I had but no resistance, though I wanted nothing more. The salty water stung my eyes, but on the contrary, perfected my vision. The ocean seemed carefully dissected as overlapping rays of murky gray sunlight reflected down through the ocean surface, illuminating everything to some degree of visibility. I saw pieces of my ship silhouetted against the gray glare, floating down ever so slowly, like feathers in a light breeze. The chamber of gold we carried had spread all over the watery expanse; chests of coins reflected against the sunlight only in a half-light manner, their glimmer unattractive yet beautifully so. It realized that the triumph of my hardships would now lay at the bottom of this here crevice, never to be chanced upon again.
The Siren song changed pitch as my crew’s similar but visibly permanent slack bodies began to glide into view, surrounded by the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen. They seemed excited in their song. It almost looked as if the maidens consoled with the men’s untimely death, as well, brushing their hair away from their expressionless faces, placing webbed hands softly, so fondly on their broad shoulders. Pushing them down. Yet, all I could do was watch. They had this strange, fluid movement about them as they made their way around, their lips barely moving as they sang, rendering me paralyzed. Except for webbed hands and feet, two thin slits as a nose, dark, round orifices for eyes, bald heads, and gills on either side of their chests, they almost seemed human. Naked for the most part, they were covered in all kinds of jewels. Pearly brooches and rings hung from gold and silver necklaces studded with what seemed like diamonds. Stringy brooches with gold faces hung from pearly bracelets. Rings from all shapes and sizes adorned their long, slender fingers. They glittered beautifully as opposed to the murkiness of their shine. Their bodies were tanned, which seemed odd. Voluptuous and unique in shape, full and feminine. I could not help but feel anything but a burning desire – a new kind of hunger only sustained by its instant feeding.
My world only got darker as my body floated ever so deeper, up until I reached the foot of the crevice that held sacred the Sirens who laid claim to my men, my ship and me. My back nestled on something hard, yet responsive to my touch. The Sirens had faded from view and their song almost lost its connection. Not quite, but almost. I did not even know how I managed to still be alive. It deemed unnecessary to breathe, yet mandatory not to try. I allowed my body to figure that one out while I pondered about my predicament here at the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by mounds and mounds of gold and jewelery and gems, without the means to touch it with my hands. There were more treasure than ten ships could carry. These women were busy. Just how many men died here, like this? Just how many more would there be?
From above, a feminine silhouette enshrouded in what seemed a see-through dress floated down towards me, its arms extended. I remained unafraid and stayed curious. Her face became clearer as she came within easy reach. Emotion welled up inside me. If I had been able to see her above water, in daylight, she certainly would have had tears running down her face. She looked sad and scared. She was the only one with a thick head of hair, the only one who looked more human than the rest of her clan. She brushed her fingers through my hair, brought my face up towards her, and kissed me on the mouth. Soft and salty. My desire threatened to burn me alive. She took me.
Afterwards, she vanished in a swirl of fine bubbles that burst against my face, like a caress. Gone.
As soon as she vanished, I lifted from the ocean floor and the gold became nothing but a distant memory. So did the sad eyed girl. I floated upwards, the Siren song becoming stronger once again, captivating me in more ways than none. Serenity took hold and quieted the song, however, and I could bear to withdraw myself from whatever held me captive. Everything looked as if going backwards in time, reversing its course as I first saw it, baffling me all the same. My body became unhinged from its paralyzed state and I swam upwards. Towards freedom. The Sirens looked at me as I went, the baffled looks on their faces something to remember. I burst through the surface and my lungs filled with sweet, sweet air. My ship loosened from its rocky perch, pieces of it flying back in place and mending itself. My men burst from the water, lively as ever, and flew back on deck, my ship now intact. I drifted on the surface and observed as wind caught the sails, pushing it out of the narrow crevice that had initially seemed easy enough to pass through. My crew threw me a line, and I grabbed its end. They hoisted me out of the water.
I looked back as my ship entered vaster oceans, caught by strong crosswind, pushing her forward and away. Heads bobbed on the surface around the rock we had slammed into after the Sirens began their song. I thought of the fair-haired maiden into whom I let my desire flow, instantly knowing what she might have been. In that regard, instantly knowing that the ship would be empty of all else other than my men and me.
“Captain? We’ve lost the gold.”
I smiled, and shrugged. “Onward, mighty men, for I have restored the balance that threatened to take our lives. Onward we go.”