The Song of the Siren
Not too long ago in a land by the sea lived a peaceful village. The village relied highly on trade and fishing to supply the needs of the people that inhabited its rocky cliffs and shores.
In this village lived a strange little girl. No one really knew who her parents were or where she came from but she roamed the streets of the village singing; her voice angelic and inspiring. All who heard her sing could not help but stand where they were and listen. Her voice was so beautiful that she would sing for rent and food never being turned down.
As the girl grew her singing became more powerful and mysterious. Often she would notice that when she began to sing a large crowd would surround her. Men, woman and children would drop what they were doing and flock to her as if controlled by her song. When she stopped the people would awaken as if in a trance confused as to how they got to where they stood.
Seeing how her voice affected those around her, the girl became frightened and promised never to sing again if there were dangers of her being heard again.
As the years went by the girl became a woman. Repressed by her passion to sing she bought a cottage high on the cliffs of the village so that she might live alone and as she pleased. She sold milk from her cows and flowers from her garden during the day and at night she would sing, her doors and windows closed so as not to let any note escape.
For years the woman lived in peace humming while she worked during the day and singing behind closed doors at night. Her milk was the creamiest and her flowers the most beautiful and her life the most mysterious.
Then one night after a very hot day, the woman forgot to shut one of the windows to her cottage and as she cooked her meal for the night she sang a sweet, melancholy song. The music flowed and swelled from her bosom as she moved about her cottage.
The cool night’s breeze that flowed in and out of her house carried her song with it on the wind making is dance upon the waves below. And nearby, coming to the village to unload, was a fishermen’s ship that had been out to sea for weeks on end full of weary fishermen longing to see their loved ones. The fishing vessel was a seasoned one knowing the cliffs and rocky shores of the village very well, but as the captain and crew looked out into the night for a safe harbor they heard the song of the woman.
Her voice drifted down from the cliff where she lived striking upon the hearts of the men and then all was forgotten. The captain no longer steered the ship and the crew members no longer pulled on the sails. Wives and children were all but forgotten as the men of the ship plunged into the powerful currents of the dark waters below.
The woman woke the next morning and walked to the edge of the cliff to take in the ocean breeze. At first it felt like an ordinary day but as her eyes upon the bodies of the fishermen and their crashed ship at the bottom of the cliff her body filled with terror.
Her screams awakened the villagers who rushed to the scene and saw the horror before them. The whole thing was considered a strange accident, but upon returning to her cottage and seeing the open window, the woman knew that it was her doing.
Overcome with grief and guilt the woman shut herself even more away. She stopped selling milk and flowers during the day and she struggled to stop singing at night. She went on for days carrying the guilt of the fishermen’s demises with her promising to never sing again. But her passion controlled her and even when she was not conscious of it she would sing.
At night she would wake up singing and in the morning she would wake up singing unable to avoid the pull inside of her. Eventually the woman was driven mad by her guilt and whatever force compelled her to sing.
One night, tormented by her madness, the woman sat on a rock by her cottage and sang. She sang more beautifully than she had ever sang before and as her voice drifted down her hill it fell upon the ears of the villagers who, in a trance, followed the voice to its source. As the people of the village appeared at the base of her hill the woman stood and began walking slowly to the cliff continuing to sing. The villagers followed her swayed by the power of her voice as the woman drew ever closer to the edge of the cliff.
And just as she reached the ledge and looked down to see the churning waters and the dark rocks what was left of her humanity compelled her to stop singing. She turned just as surprised to see the villagers as they were to be standing before her and in one last effort to stop her curse she smiled sadly upon them as she fell backwards onto the rocks below.
The cottage where the woman once lived changed hands many years until it was finally destroyed by the people of the village who deemed it cursed as all of the people who rent or bought it all met their end by jumping from the cliff to the sea below. And even now the cliff where the woman sacrificed her life is still a place of wonder as many ships, fishermen, and others have lost their lives there.
The people of the village no longer go out at night or leave their windows open, scared of their own superstitions because sometimes, when the night is clear and the gentle breeze falls upon your ear you might hear the most beautiful and saddest song you ever heard. And that will be the last thing you ever hear as you fall from the cliffs to the dark rocks below.