Claimed by the sea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

ever wondered how merfolk and sirens came to be? this is the story for you.

Submitted: September 06, 2018

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Submitted: September 06, 2018



Humans believe that we are dangerous creatures from the depths of the ocean. They only know the stories about how us merfolk* ‘drag innocent sailors to their deaths’, but no one has ever stopped to hear our side of the story.

Back when sailors and explorers were still mapping the oceans, they believed that having a woman on board ship would bring bad luck to the travellers and their beloved boats. This superstition resulted in cruel and inhumane acts; forcing women found on board, over the railing and into the cold water. I was one of these women, once. Yes that’s right, I was a normal human girl, I played with dolls, and learned to walk, talk, and, most importantly, I learned to always have a little fun. That’s all I was trying to do when I climbed onto the boat, I didn’t know it was due to leave soon. But it did, so I hid in the cargo hold, until someone came down and found me. There were two other girls who I didn’t know were even there, and we were all dragged onto the deck, crying and apologizing, quite pathetically I must admit, but they – the sailors – wouldn’t hear a word of it. Our arms and legs were bound, and we were tied to weights, which made us sink slowly, down into the darkness of the water. At first I tried to hold my breath, kicking desperately to get back to the surface, but I soon knew it was no use, because no matter how hard I tried, I continued to sink. I knew I was going to drown. I took an enormous breath of salty water, and as it began to fill my lungs I could feel it burning. The pain I will never be able to forget. I could just see one other girl writhing in agony as she took a painful breath of water and I saw the fear in her eyes when she looked at me. After a while, the burning stopped and I felt myself calming down, gradually losing consciousness. But then I woke up, I knew that couldn’t be possible because, well, I should have been dead, but there I was, still at the bottom of the ocean, only I could see clearly, and I was breathing, I could breath underwater. I looked at my legs and realized… they were no longer legs, I had a tail. Then a woman swam up to me, and I saw that she also had a tail instead of legs, “You too?” she asked, and when I looked at her with a confused expression, she said, “you got thrown off that boat that went by a few hours ago, yes?”.

All I could say was “Yes… I think so, what’s happening?” but by then, she was motioning for me to follow her, which I did, still very confused. The woman took me to what looked like a big bubble of air, where there were several ladies standing, standing, on the sand, as we swam inside I could feel my body changing, and suddenly I had legs again.

It was explained to me that when I was thrown off the boat I was transformed, into a siren. I never found out who the other women were, only that they too had been tossed unfairly into the cold and merciless water and that now our job was to take revenge on the people who had thrown us overboard the sailors who dared think of themselves as any more deserving of life than us. We, the never aging sirens of the sea, have lured men to their deaths, singing, with our husky, salty voices, taking back the lives that we have lost, one by one, and will continue to do so until the end of time itself.

We are not here by our choosing, you see, but because of the ruthless and cruel acts of those sailors, hundreds of years ago, who would sacrifice innocent lives in order to save themselves from their own superstition. When really it was their own cold-blooded actions that has come back to haunt, not only them, but their children, and their children’s children, for years and years to come. So now you know, not all the stories you hear are true, but, we are here, and we will never forget the pain we went through. We will always be here to lure grown men into the water, with our soft, hoarse voices, still burning from the salt water we breathed in that first, painful breath. So just know, that if you ever think that anyone’s life is less important than yours, you could be making a big mistake, just like all those sailors who were never seen again.

*mermen and mermaids, otherwise known as sirens.

© Copyright 2019 Alicia Hancock. All rights reserved.

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