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The Siren Code

By @Me-the-Rookie

It was your duty, yet you hated it. Hated luring the humans to their untimely deaths while they were out at sea. You didn’t necessarily like humans, but you held a respect for them that none of your people quite understood. You admired their free spirit, the way they seemed to conquer the waves, even though they are not theirs to conquer. The waves are the result of the magic of your people, an ancient magic that is passed down from generation to generation. From your position below the surface you could see the small waves disturb the surface of the water, distorting the image of the stars far above.

You smiled, swimming around absentmindedly just below the waves, always watching the stars. That was perhaps another reason you admired the humans, they were always that much closer to the stars than you, and they would remain that way until the end of time.

You felt the current shift and hesitantly looked away from the stars only to find the barge of a large ship coming towards you. You sighed as you swam out of the way of the massive ship leaving small bubbles in your wake. You took a deep breath before breaking the surface and readying yourself to start your siren’s song.

Placing your hands over your heart you began to hum, low and sweet, your song traveling through the night air like a petal drifting down a stream. Soon a young man made an appearance high above you on the deck of the ship, leaning over the railing towards you and the dark waves below.

You smiled up at him, continuing to hum, swishing your tail from side to side under the water, making your scales sparkle in the moonlight. Even you could admit the sight was beautiful, your scales, a rare colour for a siren, gave the impression that the water around you was glowing, illuminated by the moonlight above.

And that was all it took for the man to happily fall completely under the spell of your song and dive into the dark waters around you. You watched the spot of water into which the sailor had dived, and weren’t surprised to see the surface bubble and become agitated. You knew what that meant, and you hated this part. It was time for the poor man to meet his watery fate. A warm tear slipped down your face and you dove underwater. You had turned away from the boat, thinking you were just going to leave him to drown on his own, like you did with the rest of your victims. You could never bear to watch them drown even though it had been you who caused it.

As you slowly swam away hands still covering your heart, you could hear the water behind you swirl and bubble as the drowning sailor tried to save himself. You closed your eyes and tried to ignore it. Suddenly though you heard a voice, a voice muffled by the waters current cry for help. That was when you stopped, eyes widening. You quickly turned around in time to see the drowning sailor reaching out to you as he struggled to swim to the surface. Oh my god, you thought to yourself, staring at the terrified sailor.

You wanted to leave, to swim away from him as fast as you could, instead you found yourself swimming towards him. You knew you couldn’t save him, his body was broken from the fall and it was against your code. Instead you took his hand in yours and brought your forehead to his. You stared into his eyes for a moment before starting your hum again. The sound was louder beneath the waves than above them, and they seemed to engulf the two of you as you continued to hum. The sailor could only watch and listen as you pressed your foreheads together and held his hand.

As you felt his strength lessen you swished your tail back and forth, allowing it to catch the moonlight shining through the waves, once again causing the water around you to glow. That was when you felt a hand on your cheek and you opened your eyes in surprise only to find the sailor staring back at you, a hand resting on your cheek and a smile on his face.

That was the moment you noticed them. The stars in his eyes, shining against the dark brown of his irises. Soon the stars in his eyes began to fade and he slowly went limp, a few final bubbles escaping his lips. You continued to hum as you let him go watching him as he sank, an arm still outstretched reaching up to you as he was finally swallowed by the darkness of the sea.

You let your tail go limp continuing to stare at the darkness below you, where the sailor had just been. Your eyes hurt, and you knew if you were on the surface you would have been crying. Even as you stopped your humming and turned to leave, the current of the sea seemed to carry your empty song along with it, haunting you as you left.

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