My Sister the Siren – Part III

She was surprisingly fast in the high heels and I caught up with her at the end of the street.

“There’s a river through the town centre,” I said. “Or the sea’s not far. We could get a train out there if you wait til morning. Should I request an Uber to the station?”

“What’s an Uber?” Faith asked. But I didn’t answer. I was desperately rummaging in my pockets.

“If you’re looking for your phone I stole it,” she said over her shoulder. “I threw it away.”

Why?” I asked.

“You won’t need it when we get home, and besides haven’t you ever heard of adventure? What’s the fun in getting an Uber when you can explore?”

“I thought you didn’t know what Uber was,” I grumbled falling into step with her.

We walked for what seemed like hours: out of the suburban huddle of houses where I lived and into wide, open fields, interspersed with country lanes. I had long since lost track of where we were and simply followed Faith as she seemed to follow her instincts. Eventually though, I had to ask.

“How do you know which way to go?”

“I’m drawn to water,” she answered, “I can sense which direction it’s in, feel its flow towards the sea.”

Her words sparked a memory of a family photo album. Dozens of pictures of me in my swimming costume, with armbands and rubber rings and all sorts of other inflatables. Me splashing in the pool, in the sea, in a stream, looking for critters in rock pools… ‘You always were a water baby,’ I heard my mother’s voice in my head, ‘a real natural.’

I gulped and turned to Faith, finding her already looking at me with a warm smile on her face. “We’re all drawn to it. Try it, tell me where the river is.”

I paused and was about to ask how but then I felt it. It was like a gentle breeze against my conscience, soothing, quietly beckoning. I raised a hand and pointed in the direction it told me. Faith beamed.

She kicked off her heels and scooped them up in her arms. She was a few inches shorter than me without them. “Race you!” she shouted, bounding off across the field in the direction I’d pointed. I laughed and shook my head, then struck by a sudden, urgent need to be near to water, I ran after her.

I was panting by the time I found her, paddling her bare feet in the shallow river’s edge, staring out at the beginnings of the sunrise.

“Let’s take a break here,” Faith said, sitting down on the river bank, feet still in the water. “We can rest and I can try and contact someone.”

I nodded and began taking off my shoes and socks. I dumped them on the grass, along with my jacket, and sat next to her, splashing my own feet in the stream.

Faith took out the seashell again and filled it with water from the river. She put it to her ear again but shook her head sadly.

“I don’t understand,” she said. “I’ve never been cut off from everyone before.”

“Who’s everyone?” I asked.

“Our sisters, our father. Every creature of the sea… Keep up.”

“What are you?” I asked quietly. She looked at me expectantly. “Fine, what are we?”

Faith sighed. “I suppose I have time to explain now, don’t I?”

I watched the sun paint the sky pink and gold as it dawned over the lush green countryside and listened to my would-be sister.

“We’re Sirens. Not mermaids, I don’t want anyone thinking I’m one of those fishtailed freaks. We’re water guardians. It’s our duty to keep the sea safe.”

“I feel like the sea can take care of itself, I mean, it’s pretty big.”

“It’s not the sea so much as the things in it. We protect them from predators, pollution… and man.”

“Man?”

Her face suddenly turned solemn. “Human ships don’t belong in the sea. They’re too big and they’re full of oil which pollutes and hurts our creatures.” Then she smiled and chuckled a little. “It’s why we have a reputation for luring sailors to their doom.”

“What are your powers then?” I asked her. “If you protect the whole sea, how do you do it?”

“Well, like I showed you we can manipulate water, summon light – basic arcane stuff. But mostly we use our voices. Up here, in the air, there’s not much we can do with them. But down there, under the water, they’re the most powerful weapon we have.”

She looked wistful for a moment, smiling and gazing out at the lightening sky. She was even more beautiful now, bathed in the golden light of sunrise – truly otherworldly.

And apparently we were related.

I shook my head. I was delusional: it was impossible.

“I’m sorry,” I gulped. She cocked her head at me. “I’m sorry, I just – I can’t believe all this. You’ve got the wrong person.”

She gently put a hand on my arm, staring at me with those turquoise eyes full of concern. “Why would you say that?”

I felt shame moisten my eyes and tighten my throat. “How can I be related to you? You’re so beautiful and I’m so… not. And how could I be a Siren? I’m quiet and I’m shy, I’m the furthest thing possible from a Siren! I’m… I’m nobody, I’m nothing. I’m not important enough for some crazy destiny like this.”

Faith didn’t reply straight away. Her face turned dark, her eyes simmered with anger and her mouth tightened, as if she were holding something back.

Quietly, almost menacingly, she said: “is that what they’ve made you believe?”

She swung her legs around to sit cross-legged on the ground, splashing us both as her feet breached the water’s surface, and faced me fully. Gripping both my shoulders she stared long and hard into my eyes. Fury danced in them. Fury… and sadness.

“You will never say those things about yourself ever again,” she growled. “Don’t you ever think you’re anything less than perfect.”

Tears were trickling down my cheeks by now. Tears for all the times the bullies had called me weird. Tears for all the times I’d doubted myself. Tears for all the times I’d held myself back from life, because I didn’t think I was good enough.

“I don’t want to wake up from this dream.” My voice cracked. For I could not remember ever feeling as right as I did in that moment. The flow of the river soothed my mind, while the presence of this beautiful, golden woman soothed my soul. I felt a connection to her. I felt it. I could almost see it, like a hot, burning rope of light binding us together at the waist.

“It’s not a dream,” Faith whispered, pressing her forehead against mine. Tears fell from her eyes now too, hot and wet on my arms. “You’re coming home, Serenity, you’re coming home. And nobody will ever make you feel worthless again. If they do, they’ll have me to deal with.”

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My Sister the Siren – Part II

Part I here.

I had plaited my wet hair in a long braid down my back and pulled on my usual uniform of skinny jeans, Converse and my worn leather jacket. The woman who had broken into my bedroom had told me her name was Faith and then turned her nose up at my outfit.

“We’re going to need to go shopping.”

“You’re wearing leather trousers and a silver halter top, you look like a 90s prostitute,” I had bitten back. She had huffed at that and told me she would wait outside as she stalked out of my room.

I found her sat on the squat brick wall in front of our mid-sized semi-detached and something tugged at my sleep-deprived mind.

“I need to say goodbye to my parents.” I made to turn back but Faith grabbed my arm. Silver bangles and shell bracelets jangled as she moved.

“You can’t,” she said. Her face dropped and some of the glow seemed to fade from her. I didn’t know if I’d ever seen someone look so sad. “They’re under a sleeping charm until the morning; it would be too dangerous to wake them and…” She looked at her feet, the silver glitter heels she wore and sniffed. “They won’t remember you when they wake up.”

“What?!” I roared, snatching my arms back from her grip.

“Shhhh, will you please shush! I mean it, if you wake them you could seriously hurt them.”

I stared at her, mouth hanging open in disbelief. What was I doing going along with this?

“So you’ve already tried to tell me I’m not human, those are not my parents, I have a secret sister who has come to smuggle me away in the dead of night for God knows what reason and now, now, you’re trying to tell me that you’ve cast some wacky memory altering spell on my parents?”

“Actually you have three secret sisters, but I’m the best one. Aren’t you glad I was the one who wanted to come and get you? You’re welcome, by the way.”

“I can’t believe you’re still expecting me to be okay with all this!” My throat tightened just thinking about it. They’d forget about me. They’d be left childless, alone…

“Hey,” she stamped her feet indignantly. “A few minutes ago you’d decided this was all a dream, remember? So you have nothing to lose? You’re more fun when you stop whining.”

I shook my head, “at least tell me where we’re going?”

Faith didn’t answer and was instead rooting around in her sequined shoulder bag. She pulled out a seashell and smiled at me.

“Why tell you when I can show you?” She put her hand over the shell and summoned water to fill it then she… put her ear to it.

Like it was a phone.

I took a few steps back towards the house, deciding that this wasn’t a dream and there was in fact a crazy person who had broken into my bedroom and was now trying to lure me away using a seashell as a telephone. I briefly wondered what the 999 responder would make of it.

But then her eyebrows furrowed in concern. “This is wrong, it’s not working. It’s not working!”

“Well duh, it’s a seashell.” Faith scowled at me, a flash of anger in those turquoise eyes.

“I know it’s a seashell, dumbass. For God’s sake you just saw me summon water from thin air, at least believe that I don’t need a freaking signal to use this thing.”

She shook it and put her ear to it again before frowning again and throwing it to the ground. “Ugh, this wasn’t meant to happen! Why can’t I get through to them?”

“Again I’m going to go with it’s a seashell.

“Shut up! This is serious.” Faith picked up the seashell and shook it at me. “Without this I’m not getting us home. Understand? We’re going to have to walk, like bloody peasants!”

I snorted. “So you’re a princess or something?”

“Yeah or something…” she muttered staring at the seashell and gently running her fingers over it. “Something has severed the connection. I can’t tell what but it can’t be good news. If we can get to a river – not some poxy stream, I need a connection to the sea – then I might be able to make contact with someone and find out what’s going on.”

She tottered away, heels clacking on the pavement. “Come on then!”

I sighed. “Nothing to lose,” I told myself under my breath as I followed her.

My Sister the Siren – Part I

“Get up.”

My eyes fluttered. It was dark. Something had woken me up.

“Serenity, get up.”

“Nobody calls me that,” I mumbled semi-automatically.

“Oh of course, you prefer Sarah I hear. Is that your middle name? Boring if you ask me. Fading into the background, the eternal wallflower…”

“S’not boring. I like it.” I rubbed my eyes with my fists. My senses were sluggish after being dragged forcibly out of a deep slumber, so it took my brain a moment to fire those danger signals.

I screamed. Someone was in my bedroom!

Adrenaline kicked my senses into gear and I scrambled upright, leaning into the headboard, away from the figure standing over my bed. I pulled the duvet to my chin – a feeble sort of protection. Continue reading “My Sister the Siren – Part I”

New Serial: My Sister the Siren

Hey, it’s been a while. My 30-day challenge kind of bombed – life happens. It didn’t help that I was also doing a 30-day fitness challenge, sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Anyway, I’m back and I’ve decided to kick off September with a brand new series. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that My Sister the Siren is the short story I wrote for Book Loot but I think it’s about time I shared it here.

It’s still one of my absolute favourites that I’ve written and I’m so excited to share it with you 🙂

It’ll be a 5 parter, and Part 1 will be up later today.

Road trip

Lysanne let her left hand dangle outside as the car sped along the highway. The window was all the way down, fresh, salty beach air tousling her hair and filling her lungs.

They’d always wanted to go to the beach and finally here they were; sea on one side, LA on the other, rock and roll blasting from her beat up caddy’s tinny radio.

Lysanne took a long drag on her joint, “I told you we’d get here one day, baby.”

Robbie didn’t answer. He might have been asleep; it was hard to tell behind his dark shades.  Continue reading “Road trip”