. . .he sleeps. He sleeps in my darkness and dreams, the colours of star dust and moonlight. There is beauty in him. Such beauty I kneel before it. I kneel and weep, and I cannot stand so much loveliness. I must go to him one day. It has been written as such. I must, and I shall but, Father, I am so afraid. What if his love is transitory? What if he sends me to the depths?
Worse – to Hades or Olympus? I am happy here with you, my Father. I am safe with my feet on dry land. With this lord of the sea, I cannot remain. I must learn to love the wet of endless oceans and diving beneath deep, shuddering waves. Dear Father, I want to; I long for him. I hunger for this lover from the depths of the water and because I desire him so greatly, I am deeply afraid. . .
I am his priestess; I have learned nothing but worship of the sea god since I was three years old. I have drunk nothing but his brine and his beauty, and now I feel the power of his sacred seed inside me. I cannot remain here, tending his temple in isolation and darkness. There is something about this darkness. . .it does not feel benign. It feels angry and I do not understand. I have done nothing but love the lord I serve.
He loved me at the cliffs, Father. At the pinnacle of your earthly kingdom, he took me and loved me, and it was there I loved him back, but I cannot bear it. There is nothing else for me here. He lives lifetimes in moments of my breath and I must leave him to it. There is nothing but life until death, and he will forget. He will forget his mortal lover on the cliff top and I am sure I feel so many years ago for him now.
I will grow old, and he will cease to love me. I will grow frail, and he will not understand me. I cannot bear it. This love I have for him is too vast, too deep, too greatly taking of myself and my soul. I cannot remain his lover, and I cannot stay here any longer.
These were the words she left for her Father, Nereus, lord of Naxos and a protector of the seas in his own right. Written on a scroll that is long since lost, her words are burn’d into my very blood. On the day the sons of treacherous Priam stole the wife of Menelaus, my mortal lover filled her skirts with stones and walked into my waters. She sank and seemed lost, and it was only in the barest, desperate moments that I found her. . .
. . .and then there were storms: storms for days and floods you humans must have believed unending. I am told I sent rains for over forty days and nights and almost lost you all. There was a ship; a single ship that survived to tell of a broken god’s grief, carrying pairs of creatures from across all lands. I do not remember this, but I remember the pain of it.
Immortality is both my gift and my curse. I cannot die, I cannot rest, I cannot stop as you can. I was forced to forget my pain, yet I remember this day. I stood atop a lone mountain below the surface and raised it above the waves. I blasted images into the very stones of this new land and left them there. They are still there today, each stone face tortured by my despair. I raised my arms as the lava flowed down its sides and thunder tore the sky above.
I could not let her die, mortal though she was. I could not let her go. As she disappeared beneath the final wave, as she gasped her last breath beneath my waters, I raised my trident and drew her back. I granted her gills and a tail.
I granted her renewed life and preserved within her my seed. Hades will not have her. Zeus cannot take her. She lives, and she is mine. I will find her and remind her of her love. She is the first Siren.
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