They were louder than the waves crashing, the wind howling, and the thunder crackling. Unlike them, I couldn’t ignore the fact I was different, different in many ways. Not only did I look different, I couldn’t sing as well as them, and my hair, it different.
I looked away as three of them huddled, their beautiful tails flowing behind them as they snickered. I swam, just like I used to far away from them. I could see the light from the thunder strikes as I swam up to the air. The pinching sea salt hit me in the face as I broke out of the water and my eyes went blurry before adjusting to the new view.
You could see it, it was close, but yet far away, a place no one would dare to even swim by. The lightning was beautiful as it struck down, the noise thundering by as I swam to a near by cliff perching myself watching the waves crash around me.
I caught sight of my green colour tail swishing in the water ans stared at it. I was different, every part of me showed that. My darker skin, they had flawless cream skin while mine was slightly darker a more tan based.
Mother would cheer me up by saying it was all those days I spent in the sun, but even then, we get sun-fried or whatever the land dwellers called it. My tail was one colour, not a million like the others. They had at least three four colours and mine was one colour just different gradients. It was a rich green, like the stone you find deep in the see, Malachite a stone no one wanted to go near because of it’s bad luck.
So having that colour wasn’t lucky either.
My hair, their hair. Their sand coloured hair flower in a silky motion as they swam while mine was dark as the sky right now, ebony, always needed to be held back my seashells to make sure it wouldn’t clog my view as I swan. I didn’t understand why it didn’t move like the waves, that’s what our hair was meant to do.
But instead it was like land-dwellers hair in the water, it strayed in all directions and that’s what they laughed at. I wasn’t even a siren properly.
Their voice lead boats in from far and wide and mine, well mine just brings a bird. My eyes are not the colour of the ocean, my tail is not the colour of the corals, and my hair is not the colour of the sand, and I may not sing as well but my mother told me to wait.
Wait till the 6775th day I breath both air and water. Which is in human age, I think, 967 weeks and 6 days, which is 18 years and 200 days, which is not too long away I hope, it is my 6755 day today and in another 20 days my mother will tell me.
I watched as the waves started to calm down making me realize how long I was up here, not many Sirens stayed in the air for too long. The water was our home but for me, something else called. A noise I couldn’t quite figure.
I didn’t realize I had started singing till a bird landed on the stones near me, it’s crimson eyes wide as it squawked at me.
“You’re going to kill that bird Thelea,”
I turned around my sea shell holding my hair back falling releasing all the messy tumbling waves of my hair.
“Mother,” I said as my mother swam towards me, her red lips twisted into a smile. Her beauty was rare, she was the gem of the Sirens, and everyone respected her. Her eyes were darker than the ocean’s, her tail the beautiful colour of the sky when the sun was setting and her hair the most perfect art you would ever see. But her voice, her voice would put any land dweller to sleep and any ship to drop their anchor in our land. It called all the creatures far and wide.
But after I was born, everyone seemed to call her the wounded Siren, I never knew why. The respect was there, but something else was different. It was almost like they feared her even more.
She smiled running a hand over my cheek, “What are you doing up here to late, you know now to spend so long out here,”
“It’s dark mother, no one would see me,” she said.
“It’s not good for your skin either,” she said and then shaking her head, “I’m not sure how your withstands the brutal winds and sea salt in the air,”
“You have been thinking again,” she said her eyes narrowing. Anger was something you didn’t want to bring up in my mother, it was worst than a lightning storm if you were a sailor.
“I told you before Thelea, pay no mind to what the others say,”
I held my head down letting my hair shield me from my mother closing my eyes, but it was so hard. Their whispers were forever there, echoing in the caves, swimming with the water, soaring with the wind.
“You’re beautiful, anyone can see that,”
But I wasn’t as beautiful as them, and I was not as beautiful as my mother.
“They say-” I started, this as on my mind for a long time, ever since I heard it when i was a child but I had kept if hidden for 4575 days afraid I would hurt my mother, “They say I had no father,”
“They don’t either” she said, laughing, but the laugh was not melodic.
“Yes but, they say he was different,” I say looking at my mother. The smile on her face was still there but her eyes were narrowed so much I was afraid I was angering her. Siren’s fathers never lived longer than the job. They used to be sailors the woman would draw in, or mer-men but they were killed right after the woman used them. No man they have can be touched with another, they would let them drown to the bottom where they were nothing but bones mixed with sand.
“What are you trying to say Thelea?”
There was no point hiding bits from her, “They say you never killed him after mother,” her eyes closed and I watched as she refrained from saying something, her forehead crumpled deep in thought.
“That he was human, not a sailor, not a merman, an-”
“It’s a lie,” she said opening her eyes. Her eyes looked like the storm about to come, “Your father...was different,” A smile lit up her face as she thought about it, “I didn’t kill him, I couldn’t.” she said.
It was in our nature to kill the man, we had to and he would fall but when my mother said she couldn’t I didn’t understand how she couldn’t. The urge to kill him would be too strong. Sirens were protective of their men, no one else could lay eyes upon him. It was like their private secret.
“What do you mean mother?”
What she was telling me I knew not to tell anyone else, and the other sirens probably didn’t know either.
“Thelea, your father, I trusted him. He wouldn’t be like other men, he would never look at another female the way he looked at me,” she said her eyes becoming the shade of the sky on a beautiful day.
“Ho-how do you know?” I asked.
“I just knew, one day you will understand,” she said clasping my hand.
“Now come on, you have an early rise tomorrow,” she said and I groaned letting the water claim my whole body.
“You need your sleep,” she said with her head turned back as she swam ahead of me.
I kept up with her with much difficulty, my hair had fallen down hindering my view. The sun was claimed and the moon was shining so there was little light in the water, our vision would suffice but with my hair that wasn’t helping it was a good time before I reached out home.
My mother had slowed down like she always did letting me keep up with her, I was always slower than everyone, maybe it was because my tail wasn’t as sleek as theirs. Our tails weren’t like a fish’s they flowed behind us, they weren’t perfectly angular, but had seaweed like fragments flowing behind. They were beautiful, but if only mine wasn’t so...plain.
“Now sleep and stop thinking too much,” mother said as she stopped. Her delicate hand swept the long coral aside revealing our home inside. It was the entrance to a beautiful cave that was always light up by the stones inside. It was big and more spacious than all the other Siren’s place and it was also closer to the land. I swam past her towards my area. There was sand forming a beautiful elevated area where I could sleep in.
Mother had gather plenty of seaweed placing it at the base of the elevation, just when the waters got too cold. No one else had that problem, but in the thrill of the dark season when the wind became freezing cold and parts of the world became ice, I would shiver at night. The seaweed, I would wrap around to keep me warm.
It made the other Siren’s laugh at me.
I looked up and smiled as my mother shook her head leaving to her spot. I sighed lying down on the sand closing my eyes. I was dreading tomorrow. I really didn’t want to hear another story about our duties, or another legend.
I hated the sun time of the day, I had to talk to other Sirens.