I look over the side of the boat, looking for the scales that keep making that awful music. I have listened to this fish sing for what seems like hours now. Her voice is so shrill that it's almost like she's screaming right into my ear drum.
"Will you shut up?"
I have a feeling that some of the crew will not make it past the other side of the rocks. We have lost some men on our voyage, and I'm sure we can't afford to lose any more. My crew are the best shipmates I have traveled with thus far, but some of them are definitely not the brightest. These sea witches will have them singing along in a moment, and it will be rough waters from there.
The ship plunges forward into the water. The waves lap at the sides, and that fish-woman is still shrieking in the distance. I look over towards land. No sign of the cliff yet, but my headache tells me we are very close.
"We sail on through here."
"Keep your eyes straight on the horizon!"
We turn around the corner and there it is the tail shaped piece of land we were looking for. The Siren's cliff.
I look to my left and see one bathing in the sun. I didn't even know that they could come out of the water. She is as beautiful as I imagined, but that is all part of her draw. Red hair falls over her shoulders. Her tail flicks some water up on her torso. She must see me looking at her, because she dives face first into the water, and starts swimming towards the stern of my ship. I run up to the helm, and swiftly turn it towards the right.
" Not today, princess!"
I figure if I turn it fast enough that it will send waves her way, and get her off of our path for a second. It doesn't work. She jumps out of the water like a dolphin and lands on the railing inches from me.
She smells of salt.
"Hi, handsome. How are you?"
"Doing fine, thanks. Now if you would kindly move your fins back into the water, we must be on our way."
She reaches a scale-covered hand towards me and turns the wheel so abruptly that we are whisked off of our feet and onto the deck. I look up and she is gone. Jumped back into the water, I suppose. Scared little fishy. Huh? I look up and realize where she pointed my ship. Right towards the rocks! I lunge towards the wheel and try to turn it. It doesn't budge! What did she do to my ship? From below I hear my men start to sing the enchantress' song. La-La-La-La. La-La-La-La.
"Men! Stop your singing and grab the oars off the side!"
They all shake like my voice just broke some sort of spell. They grab the long oars and try to row the ship back towards the open water. I look over the side and I see scales swarming underneath, they are pulling my ship towards land! I run down the stairs onto the deck and grab one of the shorter oars. I pick it up with all my strength and push the end over the side. It connects with one of the scales below. Suddenly a head pops up and hisses at me. The face has changed underwater. The fish women went from being beautiful to something totally sinister. She flashes me a smile of razor-sharp teeth.
"Give up, silly man! Me and my sisters have you now!!"
I turn back towards my men and see them dancing on deck. Singing along with the women on shore. I glance toward them. They are beckoning the men towards them. The scales on their hands glistening in the sun as they wave them closer and closer to the edge.
I run and grab two before they topple over the side. I bang their heads together, and they wake up.
"What in blazes are you guys doing? Grab an oar and put some cotton in your ears. I need my men alert!"
"Help me rally in the others, and keep swatting at those sea bitches!"
"Come on, men. We are going to make it out of here alive!"
I look around and see more men snapping out of the haze. Excellent! I run below deck in search of something to plug our ears. All I find is an old flag from the first owner of my ship. " This will work." I take the steps back up two at a time. I start ripping the tattered flag in pieces and hand it off to the first member of my crew that I see.
"Here pass this around! Tell them to rip it up and shove it in their ears! We are not going to be fish food today, boys!"
I rip up my piece and jam them in my earholes, just for good measure. I look up at the helm. Maybe I'll try her again. I go back up the stair and kick the wheel with the side of my boot. To my amazement, it moves. I grab hold with both hands and steer towards the left.
"Steady as she goes!"
"Keep at it, men. We will not be defeated by some slimy fish!"
The bow turns to the left and we creep away from the jagged rocks. Down below I can hear some serious splashing followed by hisses. Up pops another head. This one not as scary as the others. She stares up at me with lavender eyes. With a quick flick of her tail, she soars out of the water, and lands on the same rail as her sister before her. She looks left and right, as if afraid of being caught up here.
"PSST! Man, come here!"
I point at myself. Me? No way! This is a trap if I've ever seen one.
"Come here; we don't have time for this. They are rallying below. They are going to sink your ship."
I perk up and take a step closer. I cannot risk the lives of my men.
"Why are you helping us?"
She looks up at me with those purple eyes.
"I am not like my sisters. I have never wanted to hurt humans. It is our nature. On the contrary, I find you quite fascinating. I believe that if I help you and counteract my ways that I will have the chance to change, and eventually become human."
She looks over the edge at the scales below. "They are arguing over who gets to sink the ship, we don't have much time. If you and your men want to escape alive then you must do as I say."
"Turn the boat to the right. I know it seems off because the jagged rocks are there, but no one has ever made it over to them. We sink them before they reach. If you and your men can get to the rocks, we cannot swim near there. It is protected."
I listen carefully to her plan, and I agree. We must do as she says. Anything to save the lives of my men. They have families to go back to.
"Okay, I'll do it." I turn the boat towards the rocks. The crew look at me in surprise/
"Captain, what are you doing??"
"TRUST ME, BOYS! I AM SAVING OUR ASSES!"
I look over and the siren is gone. She must have jumped back in.We start getting closer and closer to the rocks. I start to get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something doesn't seem right. She said we would stop here. We don't the waves crash at the sides and we are pulled in closer and closer to the current. What?" This was not supposed to happen. She tricked me!
I slam my hand against my face. Now what? There is no way out. We can't abandon the ship we will drown either way. I look over and see scales climbing up the sides. Their hands wrap around my crew member faces. LA-LA-LA-LA. With a swift pull, one man is gone, then the next. Pulled overboard into the hungry water. I panic. What do I do? I cannot save them. I turn and I am greeted with those lavender eyes.
"Captain, I could not save everyone. I told you before."
CRASH! The bow hits the rocks and starts to shred. Water pours in from all directions. Hair and tails swim up to greet my final crew member. They scream as they are being dragged down into the salt water. I look away. I can't watch.
"Captain, you can still survive. You just have to get on the rocks, like I told you. We cannot go to the top of them. It is protected"
"I don't believe you! You lied!"
"If I had told you that they would not all survive, would you have done it?"
"Of course not!"
I look down at the sinking ship. The stern is full of water now too. I feel it sinking down into my boots. I can see into the water from here. Thousand of eyes stare up from under the waves, waiting for me to come to them.
"You have a choice. Jump now or go down with your ship."
Without thinking I run to the edge and leap. I miss the rock completely as if they aren't even there. I hit the water with a loud splash. My head bobs up for a second and I catch my breath. I catch a glimpse of where the rocks were before. There is nothing there. Vanished into thin air. I look down and see the purple eyes coming up from below. Her lips spread apart and reveal the razor-sharp teeth. The last shade of color I see is lavender.