"Oye, Alejandro, what's that one tune you were humming on the docks? It's stuck in my head and I'd like to get it out." One of the deckhands-Alejandro- lifted his head away from the task of polishing his shoes. The tune he was humming--the apparently contagious one-- died in his throat. "It's a really old one, I'm not sure I know the actual title. My Grandpa used to sing it to me when we'd go out on the lakes back home." The other deckhand gave him a pointed look. "Well, stop humming it and sing properly, so I can follow along, yeah?" Alejandro shrugged and turned his face to the open sea. The weather was fine, a warm August day. The ship- the Magia Negra- had sailed out of Spain a few days ago, on yet another pirating campaign. It was easier being a Spanish pirate ship. Your people never expected you to be the one robbing them, not in the midst of the English pirate plague. "You have to face the sea while you do it, for tradition or something like that," Alejandro explained to the fellow deckhand. When he followed, he cleared his throat and opened his mouth. "Once again, we're out to sea, but all my love will stay with thee. I'll be bold, I'll sail true, and soon I'll come back home to you. Truth be told, it's getting old, and I'm growing weary of leaving. Eventually, I'll be back to stay with thee. But for now, I must sail, and I must go into the veil of the night and the stars as I sail farther and farther away. But don't worry my love, I will stay true to you. I'll come home soon, swear by my name, Alejandro."
The air fell into a pregnant silence, and the deckhand looked back to Alejandro with an air of awe and disbelief. "That can't be it, can it? Old songs are never that short, especially seafarer's songs." Alejandro smiled, still letting his eyes roam over the water. "You're right, but I stopped because I thought you'd start laughing. It is kinda girly." The men chuckled. "I'll keep going then, the tune is really simple, it's just the words that get more ...complicated the further you go." Thoroughly interested, the deckhand leaned closer, resting his arms on the ridge. "I vow to know no other woman, be she of the ocean, or natural flesh. I vow to know only your face and your bosom, the precious chest, which I encase my heart within. My love, my darling love, all this I vow, and ever more. I swear by my name, my only name: Alejandro.
But I plead you please, pray for me, because while I'm out at sea, there are many dangers waiting for me. I loath to think of the beasts and the creatures, but most especially the mistress of the deep. Her name is poison to the heart, her voice a tonic to wandering minds, her face a rose, full of shine, hiding thorns ever dark. She poses a danger to every man that dares to leave his homeland, but I'll be safe as long as you pray for me."
Finished with his singing, the last note carried on a cloud of invisible wind, dancing and then diving deep into the sea. Alejandro looked at his friend, who could only stare off into the horizon, eyes narrowed, curious. "There's a dolphin trailing us, I think." Alejandro frowned and looked back towards the lit end of the water, squinting. "I don't see a dolphin-" He stopped short, though, upon seeing a small intrusion on the water's surface. A roundish dot that bobbed with the waves yet seemed still. The light deviated from its natural purpose, darkening the object. Alejandro and the deckhand just stared at it, wondering what'd happen, but then the dot dropped beneath the waves, the only proof it'd been there was the searing of the image in the minds of the men. "No way that was a dolphin, amigo. Maybe the capitán would know better." Alejandro looked at his friend, who continued to stare until Alejandro nudged him gently at his belly. "Off you go." The deckhand obeyed, and once left alone, Alejandro continued to watch the waters for any odd object. Minutes passed slowly, heavily pregnant with apprehension. More minutes, then a slow humming.
Alejandro nearly jumped out of his skin, looking just over the edge of the boat, where the humming was loudest, not knowing the doom that was sealing itself on his life. He peered over the edge, and there was the dot, only, no longer a dot. A face, tentative and unblemished in any way. Most definitely a woman's face: her olive skin smooth and loved by the sun, dark inky hair curling and waving down a graceful neck and shoulders. Her eyes were a glittering green, curious and deep-set and fantastical. Her lips, bow-shaped and perfect. She stared at Alejandro, unblinking. Alejandro could do nothing but stare back in an entranced state. "Are you Alejandro?" Her voice was even more lovely than her face, carrying at a perfect volume and melody. Alejandro stuttered at first, then settled for a simple nod. The woman smiled and came closer, head staying above the water in a way that seemed natural and unnatural.
The captain and other crew members came out onto the deck, finding Alejandro leaning precariously over the edge, speaking in hushed tones. Curious, a few men followed suit and all were caught in the same trance of the beautiful woman. "Alejandro, your song carried to me and has warmed my heart. Please, won't you be with me, so you may sing to me ever more?" Alejandro couldn't think rationally, caught in the woman's gaze. To him, her words were sugary sweet and enticed his very soul. The choice was easy to make, he fell into the water and into her arms. That was the end of Alejandro. He hugged her body- her soft breasts and warm skin, unaware that the warmth he felt was his life seeping away from deep claws cutting his neck. The other sailors saw nothing of the carnage beneath the waters, only her face. The woman continued to smile, humming the tune she'd heard to others, enticing them to also fall.
Even the captain was momentarily caught by the lovely humming, but regained his senses soon from the distance and will power. Instantly taking to his role, he gathered up a few men and gave them orders to fetch and net and a spear. While sailors fully entranced continued to fall and die, the others had managed to give the captain his tools. Carefully inching up to the edge of the boat, the captain prayed to any God he could think of that he would be able to accomplish his goal.