Chapter 1 - Unnatural
Other than a refreshing
breeze the morn broke to calm weather that day. The
sun had baked the decks of the ship, drying the
dilapidated woodwork, teasing the cracks to widen
ever further. Luckily it was to be her last cruise,
one final jaunt to the Indies and back carrying
supplies of spices and rum, before returning to
Blighty. We were already on our return journey, the
ship's hull packed full to the brim, with the laden
slowing us down, but there was only to be another few
day's sailing at the most so we all felt excitement
at receiving our fair dues for our loyal service.
"Land ahoy!" Called
out one of the petty sailors from the crow's nest
atop the main mast.
Placing my palm above my eyes,
shielding them from the sun, I looked at the boy with
confusion before glancing my eyes toward the horizon.
The gentle breeze blew against my face causing me to
lick my lips to aid its cooling effect then look a
Footsteps could be heard from
behind as the captain hurried out of his cabin in a
panic. There was momentary silence as though he too
was taking a quick glance out to sea. He swore under
his breath then looked up at Bernie who remained
motionless pointing to port. It was obvious to all
that Bernie wasn't up to the job of lookout and
should return to mopping the dry decks as I was.
"How can..." The
captain said before interrupting himself and speaking
louder toward Bernie atop of the mast, "How can
you call land? We're hundreds of miles from anywhere.
You woke me from my nap. Now get down here at once
Bernie stared down from the
crow's nest with a stern defiant look upon his face
furious at not being believed. I hoped for his sake
that he was right because the captain didn't take
insubordination likely. Bernie continued to stare at
"Land ahoy!" He
Placing my wet mop down I
hurried over to the port side of the ship and stared
out to sea. Some of the other sailors joined me along
with the captain himself.
A salty waft of sea air
filled my nose while the sound of the gentle waves
lapped the side of the ship but there was still no
land in sight, neither near or far. I guessed Bernie
must have been daydreaming or distracted by a sea
mirage, I then wondered if he had gotten his hands on
some of that rum we had stowed in the hull.
"Lower sail!" The
captain ordered causing the sailors around me to
hurry over to the rigging and begin the process of
lowering the sails.
The captain must have noticed
something I hadn't and there wasn't time to check so
I quickly ran across deck and started to untie the
sail rope of the main mast. My hands were shaking
causing me to panic, it was essential to loosen the
rope before the main sail could be lowered, and the
sailors already atop the rigging were waiting. I
still had yet to discover why we were lowering the
sails let alone why we had to hurry.
"Drop anchor!" The
captain boomed at some of the other sailors while he
ran in his thick leather boots towards the bridge.
I rushed over to the next
mast and began untying more ropes as the sailors atop
the rigging folded the main sail. It was at times
like those that I wished we had a larger crew while I
awaited their assistance. It was then that I glanced
my eyes again toward the sea. Something looked
different. The water was no longer clear, reflecting
the blue sky, but dull and brown. It was mud. Whilst
technically it wasn't land we had sailed into shallow
waters. We were still out at sea, but sunken islands
weren't uncommon, with the possibility of rocks
beneath the ship all too real.
Something unexpected then
happened that I had never witnessed in all my
experiences as a sailor. It started to rain yet there
was not a cloud in sight.
"This is a bad omen, a
bad omen, mark my words you'll see,"
mumbled another sailor and he traversed down the
"Remain focused," I
responded under the guise of calming his nerves but
really to calm my own, "I have full confidence
in our captain, he'll know what to do."
There was then an eerie
silence, other than the sound of raindrops, as the
ship creaked against the thick mud within the sea. It
took mere moments for our forward momentum to cease
before the ship started to list on the port side. We
were turning. Bernie, still atop the main mast,
called out the alarm ringing the brass bell in a
panic. Within moments the sky grew dark with thick
cloud causing the rain to pour with evermore force.
"A bad omen!" One
of the sailors called out yet again.
Something was amiss. I wasn't
of a superstitious nature but I agreed with my fellow
sailor. Whatever it was that was happening to our
crew and vessel clearly wasn't natural. The ship was
raised then lowered in a violent jolt as the sea
beneath us shook. An undersea volcano, an earthquake
perhaps, thoughts rushed through my mind while I
tried my best to rationalise what was happening to us
but to no avail. Looking toward the captain for
guidance all I saw was his pale face as he shook his
head with disbelief.
There was still another sail
to lower so I hurried over to the mast rope while my
fellow sailors made an attempt to scramble up the
rigging. Ice cold water splashed over the side of the
ship. My hands were raw and stung irritated by the
salty water while the spray of each wave forced me to
keep my eyes firmly closed. It was an impossible task
and it wasn't long before the captain realised.
"Leave it!" He
yelled while his voice sounded quiet against the
sound of the violent storm, "Abandon ship.
Release the lifeboat!"
There was no lifeboat per se,
just a small wooden rowing boat that we used for
getting ashore. In fact I wasn't even certain if our
crew of eight would fit inside.
The moment I opened my eyes
the salty sea water along with the rain spurt into my
face and mouth causing me to cough violently as I
tried to regain breath. Luckily one of my shipmates
grabbed my arm and practically manhandled me over to
the side of the ship. I was surprised to see so many
of our crew already inside the rowing boat, on top of
one another, trying their best not to over balance
and subside the small vessel.
"Head away from the ship
and avoid the rocks, let the tide carry us up the
beach!" Our captain boomed.
The moment I was about to
utter, "What beach?" I noticed the small
island ahead of us. The violent waves forced the tide
to carry our rowing boat towards it at a fair speed
without the need of ores.
There was then an
unmistakable sound that caused us to freeze in terror,
the sound that all sailors dread, and the proof that
the storm was not caused by natural forces. It was a
high pitched song that instantly warmed our hearts
with a blissful feeling of happiness. The song of the
siren. Luckily as of that moment we were still fairly
out of range and still in control of our faculties,
but we all knew it wouldn't be too long before that
I turned my head looking back
in the direction of our ship that we had just
abandoned. It appeared to be still, calmly afloat
upon the sea, yet all around us was a violent torrent
carrying our rowing boat ever closer to the island.
"You have your orders!"
The captain boomed grabbing the boat's ores in an
attempt to row the overcrowded vessel, "Continue
with our heading. Hurry now!"
I concentrated on the sound
of the storm in the hope it could somehow cover the
beautiful melody of the sirens' song, but I knew none
of us could avoid the inevitable.
Chapter 2 -
Mesmerised By Song
We were still clambered on
top of one another as we tried to navigate the small
rowing boat. Everyone began splashing the water with
their hands trying to aid the captain rowing the boat
to manoeuvre around the rocks, but the sounds of the
sirens echoed through our heads. For a reason I
couldn't fathom it felt as though we were moving in
the wrong direction but then it dawned on me that
some of the sailors were paddling with their hands
the wrong way. Some of us had already succumbed
including the captain who rowed with a strong steady
forceful action, eager to reach the island. There was
no way I was going to let an evil siren get its
hungry teeth into my body so I immediately leapt
overboard and began swimming back towards our ship.
The sea was excruciatingly
cold, like I had dived into ice water, but it was
imperative to get out of there. The browm muddy water
lapped around my face. I struggled to keep afloat.
"He's got the right idea!"
I heard one of the sailors yell over the sounds of my
own panicked swim.
"No. We have to press
ahead!" Shouted another.
"Keep focus, you have
your orders!" The captain boomed.
The violent storm began to
ease as the songs of the sirens grew louder only to
soon be replaced by the sound of sailors' screams. I
tried my best to ignore them and continued my
struggled swim towards the ship. However the tide was
still turbulent and it wasn't too long before I
realised I wasn't going to make it. The more I swam
the more distant the ship felt and I found myself on
the very island of which I was trying to avoid.
Closing my eyes tightly I
forced all my will to think of something else and not
listen to the song that filled my head, the beautiful
melody that compelled me to approach the sirens. I
wondered if I truly had made an attempt to swim back
to the ship or if I had intentionally swam to the
island. The sea appeared calm in the distance and the
ship so inviting and safe, yet it took all my will
just to move my feet in an attempt to leave the
A figure caught my eye in the
distance. Someone was still aboard ship, still within
the crow's next atop of the main mast. It was Bernie.
In our haste we had left him behind yet ironically he
was the only one left that was safe. He caught my eye
and began waving his arm.
I glanced my eyes to my left
and found our empty rowing boat perched on the small
rocks just a short distance away from me. But there
was also something else I could see in the corner of
my eye that I dared not look at.
Chapter 3 - The Siren's
About a dozen or so beautiful
mermaids could be seen a short distance away from me
as they sang a sweet gentle melody. They were
practically naked, with long dark hair coving their
seashell cupped breasts, and had shapely hourglass
figures as they sat upon the rocks some distance
ahead of me. They had yet to see me and continued
with their song dragging the half dead sailors onto
Mermaids? I thought to myself.
Mermaids don't sing. Mermaids lure sailors to their
deaths with their beauty but it's sirens that use
song. I began to wonder if the mermaids and sirens
had made a pact together as to aid getting their
hands on their prey.
I wanted to crouch down,
desperate to hide in case any of them saw me, but
their song hypnotised my very soul and I wished only
to approach. I tried with all my might to remain
where I was but the sirens' spell was overpowering. I
willingly started clambering across the rocks, taking
care not to slip, heading in their direction. I knew
they were monsters and I knew exactly what they
intended to do with me but just as with the other
sailors I had succumbed to their song. It was
beautiful. For the first time in my life I felt
absolute bliss. My heart pounded with joy.
Gritting my teeth and
covering my ears I forced all my will fighting
against the power of the hypnotic song. Suddenly
there was silence. My head began to throb causing my
eyes to blink rapidly as the sounds of the sea
lapping at the rocks replaced the spellbinding melody.
Within an instant I crouched down out of sight taking
large deeps breaths while a relief filled my body at
having my faculties back.
As I continued to peer over a
large rock at the mermaids I could no longer see
beautiful women but deformed sea creatures looking
somewhat human in appearance but with skull-like
faces and fins for limbs. There was also a ghastly
smell about them too reminding me of rotten flesh. I
turned away with disgust not willing to witness what
they did next as they began tucking into their human
meal of what remained of my sailor friends. I only
hoped most of them were fully succumbed by the sirens'
hypnotic songs so they didn't feel the pain of being
Chapter 4 -
My eyes were closed tightly
while I pressed my hands over my ears. I couldn't
even attempt at making my escape until the creatures
had finished consuming the sailors but the sounds of
bones being crushed between their teeth filled my
mind with anguish. My stomach felt uneasy and I
wanted to vomit but had to stay as quiet as possible.
I took steady slow breaths trying to remain calm,
however all of that changed when I sensed movement.
As I opened my eyes I saw one
of the ghastly monsters crouched directly in front of
me, staring with its dead black eyes within the
sockets of its skull-like face. One of its fin shaped
limbs was held at my side preventing my escape. My
heart raced in a panic and I felt tempted to attack
the creature and try to make a run for it but knew
full well the others would soon catch up with me.
I closed my eyes and
whispered a small prayer while awaiting the
inevitable, but after a few moments I realised the
creature was making no attempt to eat me. It just
continued to stare. There were droplets of blood
around its mouth so clearly it was no longer hungry.
"What do you want with
me?" I whispered.
Its response was to continue
to stare at me. I wondered if it didn't realise that
the hypnotic effect of their song had worn off and I
could recognise its true features. Maybe it was
waiting for me to do something first.
My head was spinning and I
couldn't tell how long I had been sitting on those
rocks while the creature continued to stare at me.
There were no sounds around, other than from the
relatively calm sea, and it was clear the other
monsters had finished their meal and returned to
whatever God forsaken place they came from.
"What do you want with
me? I repeated as the creature continued to
Its disgusting stench wafted
up my nose and I couldn't believe how such a horrid
and evil creature ever came into being. It couldnt
help what it was, but if I had been born a siren or
mermaid I would have soon ended my life as quickly as
It opened its mouth ready to
sing yet instead cocked its head to one side as
though changing its mind. Its fishy breath along with
the smell of the sailors it had eaten wafted out of
its mouth as it leant closer. What little flesh it
had on its skull face and around its lips pert
forward and I was sure it was trying to kiss me. My
response was to lurch back.
"Get away from me you
horrid beast!" I snapped, "I can see you
exactly for what you really are. You're a sea monster.
A devil incarnate. Your very existence is a blasphemy!"
It quickly lowered its head,
whimpering like a puppy, cradling its face with its
fin as its body trembled. There were tears within it
black eyes causing them to glisten before over
spilling down its pale thin cheeks.
"I'm sorry," I said
softly, "I know you can't help what you are, it's
the cruelness of nature that created you, but I can't
accept you the way you want me to. With the aid of
the rest of your kind you have murdered my crew. You'll
always be a monster no matter what form you choose to
I wasn't sure why I had
uttered those words but I somehow sensed the creature's
distress, it was deeply lonely and sought comfort.
Something I wasn't able to give. My mind began to
spin once more and I was sure it was reading my
thoughts. I then sensed a strong emotion within my
head as the siren's thoughts entered and combined
with my own. It had fallen in love with me, just as I
had with it.
It was madness. For a sailor
to fall under the hypnotic spell of a siren in the
form of a beautiful woman was one thing, but for me
to fall whilst it was revealing its true monstrous
self was another. It was manipulating my mind, I was
certain of it, yet I couldn't help myself while
knowing full well what its intentions were.
The creature leant closer to
me once more pursing its lips.
"This better not hurt,
if you truly have feelings for me please do this
painlessly," I whispered into its ear before
pressing my lips against its own and passionately
My find was filled with joy
as I received the most wonderful and loving kiss I
had ever had in my entire life. I knew in the deep
recesses of my mind that the monster was eating my
face but I chose to ignore that and accept its gift
of love, her gift of love.
Maybe I was simply too
intelligent to fall for the sexual whims of a
beautiful woman, or mermaid for that matter, so the
siren had no choice but to try another method, or
maybe it truly felt something for me, either way I
felt nothing but bliss as I drifted away.
Chapter 5 - Back
I awoke to see Bernie's
scruffy masculine face staring back at me. Had the
creature changed form yet again?
"Are you a siren or
mermaid?" I muttered in a daze, "Are you
neither or both?"
I was back on ship with just
the two of us left aboard. Raising my hands I felt
bandages around my face which throbbed with pain. The
creature had spared my life after all. Maybe it truly
had felt something for me.
"You're going to have to
be captain now," Bernie said, "I don't know
how to navigate this thing."
Heaving myself to my feet I
could see we were in the open sea in calm weather
with no island in sight.