[WP] You're a siren who is trying to lure a shipful of sailors to their death. "Please", one of the sailors beg as he swims onto your island, almost too willingly. "Stop. You're so bad at singing."
Errol had been the first and final man to visit her on her rock-pool island in the uncharted sea. He’d been a handsome captain of an exploration vessel, and when her wailing had hit his ship like a vile storm, when mens’ ears bled and they begged for mercy, it had been Errol who’d tied cloth around each of their ears, dampening the terrible sound. It’d been Errol who’d rowed alone in a smaller vessel to find her.
To stop her.
Now, many years later, she watched this new vessel with interest, her mouth — for now — closed.
Although this ship was much larger than Errol’s had been, it wore the same livery and flags as Errol’s ship once had. Bore the same topless goddess carving as its figurehead.
Men and women screamed alike as the sea bubbled up around their ship. Babies wept in their mothers’ arms. The ship moaned, rocked. Lifted.
”Where’s the captain?” yelled Maria, struggling against the rolls of water that rushed through the inside of the ship.
Morgan, the dogsbody, pointed to the stairs, said, ”At the wheel. Not that it’s—“ Salt water sprayed against him, a wave threw him to the floorboards.
”Here, take my hand.” Maria helped the boy to his feet then made her way up the stairs, knuckles red as she gripped the bannister each time a wave battered against her.
”Captain!” she yelled, stumbling towards him like a drunk. “Captain!”
When the captain saw her, he took the rope from off his own waist and tied it around hers. “It’ll keep you from being washed away.”
“I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have brought us this way. It’s where Errol vanished — I knew it as well as anyone. Better, even. This sea is cursed!”
”That was a century ago! It’s a legend, nothing more. And if you—”
Her mouth remained open but no words left.
The creature rose above them.
It blotched out the sun and shadowed the ship. Loomed over it like a tidal wave of scales and teeth.
A tentacle as thick as a tree crashed down on the deck near to them, splintering wood.
”God help us.”
Errol had landed on the pebble beach; she was sure he’d come to kill her. His head was wrapped by shawl and scarf.
Her singing was of no use.
She swiped at Errol with her clawed hands as he tried to clamber out of his boat.
”Please!” he said. “I come unarmed. I come with only peace in my heart.”
So long ago, she thought. She held a piece of cloth that had once covered Errol’s ears and watched as the Kraken rose above the latest ship.
A body lay next to Maria. A man — one of the few soliders on the transport vessel — lay crushed, chest flattened.
She untied the rope from her waist, then uncurled the dead man’s fist and took the spear from his hand.
”Maria, don’t be a fool!” yelled the captain.
She charged towards the tentacle wrapped around the mast, as it slowly cracked the wooden pole like a spine.
She shouted over her shoulder, “You have a better plan?”
He didn’t. He had no plan at all.
She thrust the spear through the scales and into the wet flesh.
The creature didn’t even flinch.
The mast snapped. Fell.
Errol had stayed with her. His ship had sailed on without him, as he had instructed. He wasn’t sure how his plan would pan out — if he’d calm her or only enrage her further.
”Your singing,” he’d said. “It… It repels people. It hurts them.”
She had meant it to. It was the song of her heart. As tar-black as the depths of the sea.
She could not swim and had been stranded here as a child, a freak of gods and demons, on this lonely rock, to live off whatever washed up in the pools. To harbour hatred for all she was jealous of.
Here she had been for centuries.
It was her heart’s song. It was all she could sing.
And yet, she couldn’t bring herself to kill him. Not yet, at least.
She made Errol tell her of life outside of the island.
Eventually, she told him about life on it.
They fished together that night.
Cooked by fire.
Told stories of the stars.
Slowly, over many weeks, they became enchanted with each other’s quiter siren song.
The captain jumped at Maria and they tumbled to the floor as the mast collapsed.
Too slow. His left foot was caught, crushed. He lay trapped.
Maria had his hand, tried to free him as a tentacle rose above them.
”It’s okay,” he said. “We had a good run, didn’t we?”
”It’s not over.”
He smiled against the pain. They both knew it was.
And then came the sound.
A melody that seemed to rise from within each of them and make its way outward. But that wasn’t right; it was on the air, in the breeze and water. A melody so delicate and wondorous that it seemed written by the gods themselves.
The captain thought it was the song of cherubs who must be, even now, taking him beyond.
”The sound,” said Maria. “It’s like a harp being strummed in my heart. It’s beautiful.”
The tentacle, high in the air above them, slowly lowered, gently, back into the sea.
The creature itself rocked slowly as it settled and sank peacefully into the water, lulled into a deep, deep rest.
She watched the ship long after the Kraken slumbered, as the people on board repaired it the best they could.
She sang for them as the worked. All the while she held the precious rags to her chest.
Whether these people visited her after or sailed away, she didn’t mind. She didn’t feel lonely.
She was glad just to have sung the new song that possessed her heart.