The dull light seeped through my squinted eyes suddenly. It felt like an electric shock, entering from the base of my spine, and gradually travelling upwards, sending my brain into overdrive. When my vision cleared, the shadows around me morphed into a familiar shape. A burnt cedar forest-emptied of all visible life forms. The surrounding sky stood motionless, mirroring my figure.
I lay there, parallel to the broken branches that formed the ground beneath me. Charred leaves were splayed across me, acting like a blanket against the chill of the night air. My recollection of the last night was again unreachable- as they always are when she took over.
As I staggered to my bare feet, I exposed my natural state to the abandoned location. I tried to gather what precious memories that still existed in my fractured mind; there was a complete barricade against the last seven hours. This life was a curse no matter what my kind told me. No one understands how perfection can be unwanted. I never understood until the night of my blood change.
“Being a siren is not a choice, it is an unchangeable destiny.” My past superior, Savanah, would remind me of this every day one way or another. Since I learnt about my kind, and who I really was, I exiled myself to the south of Odell Great woods. A location where no un- expecting men can be lured into my poisoned grasp.
The atmosphere smelt strongly of fresh smoke, though it was clear that the damage here was anything but. The charred cedars still stood up vertically, though I was clueless as to how. The harm to the forest became clear to me, as I viewed the contrast between my ivory form and the blackened bark. I placed my back firmly against one of the less scorched of trees, as I gathered my bearings. The shadows around me started to sharpen, as I focussed my sight onto my surroundings.
Confusion struck me, heavily. My earlier thought- that this forest was familiar- was shook off, quickly, as I had no recollection of the night before. How I wish that I could keep a whole memory, without any fragments missing. I always had that daze imbedded in the deepest of my head, and that dull stitch that lay in my chest. It never seemed to go away, no matter what state I transformed into, a permanent question that remained unanswered.
Memories rushed back to me, as all of my senses worked together to build a clearer depiction. I started a frantic exploration, basking in the glory of actual thoughts and emotions. The rough browned surface of decomposing leaves, sending a rushing feeling of Deja-vu into my system. I never knew I was able to have this sensation again, as a siren.
My pathway choice was unexplainable. Even the shadows brought back another hint towards the bigger picture. But then, I noticed them. Just he sight of the rounded scorch marks, paralyzed me vertically upwards. I now knew where I was, but still clueless as to why. The sudden recollection cut through me like a titanium bullet, the final hit knocking me to my knees. My emerald eyes fell heavy and sealed shut.
When I had finally gained the strength to force them open, my surroundings were completely parallel to the original debris. Cedar now towered above me, shielding the creatures and life forms that lived below. A bird’s song rung in the distance, warming my normally untouchable heart. The sudden warmth took me off guard, causing me to stagger forwards.
An electric current hit me sharply, causing the image to blur. I could feel the curving surface that held me in, the pain progressing higher every time my curiosity got the better of me. Had someone captured me? All I knew was that I was standing inside an UV force field. I recognised the familiar clouded atmosphere. These were the most popular weapon of choice against our kind. Savanah had known almost everything about weaponry, since she had lived through Most of its development.
I knew not to struggle, the electric current increases every minute. Ultraviolet light weakened every supernatural being, sirens being the most vulnerable- since it’s a close opposite to moonlight. As I stood there, my mind working overtime, trying to search for a possible solution, the surrounding image cleared.
The sound of crushing twigs and debris gained speed towards me. The sound of heavy and deep breathing filled the air. As a reflex I started to hold my breath, but in my head I knew it was not my breathing. Footsteps became louder, with the strides becoming wider. Someone was running. What scared me most, was if this running was to or from. Her scream hit me before I even saw her.
“I accept the fate that binds me.” The words echoed in my ears, draining out everything else. There pulse drummed wildly. The night of my claiming. I was watching a scene of my own life, like a clip out of a movie. My innocent human state, so close, yet I knew I could never reach her again. If I had a heartbeat, it would have been increasing rapidly.
This was all too much. I went from an empty, fractured mind, to a mind with too much information, and little explanation. I felt like my throat was contracting, I was forgetting the most basic of bodily functions. I collapsed to the dirt in confusion and lost consciousness.
When I awoke, I had returned to the original, disintegrating location. Somehow this comforted me. My feet were still attached to the ground, the rounded scorch marks around me once again. I had returned. Or did I even leave?
My instincts told me to run, to leave Odell. Branches started to blur as I passed by. Wildlife bruising my bare body as it hit me. There was a reason that I had left this place. Even though Odell was almost existent to mortal company, there was always the risk of a public viewing. One blank minded morning, I woke up only to view his shadow towering over me. My pheromones are always weakest after sundown, which meant that he must have taken pity on me.
“ma’am. Are you hurt?” the tone of his voice was soft, making me more cautious of my strength. His warmth woke me up. He carried me in his arms, as I lay there helpless. We had this unexplainable connection, since first touch. Every day since that, he came to search for me. Some days, when I was at my strongest, I would stay a safe distance- above him in the protection of the cedars. I could always sense his presence, like a warming summer breeze over my shoulders. He knew what I was, and yet his choice was to continue in his endeavours. Soon, our connection expanded into a relationship. It felt so natural, even if all of my instincts tried to fight against it. He learnt about my species, and in return reunited me with some mortality.
Emotions flooded my skull, vibrating in the speed of my sprint. I was oblivious to my destination; all that I knew was I had to escape Odell. I promised myself that I would never hurt Ethan, and I being here meant that there was a chance I might.
I knew it was too late, though that didn't stop me in my stride. The moon was rising gradually. All of the oxygen in my lungs had evaporated in the night’s atmosphere. I inhaled, but the air seemed to just pass through me, with no results. I had no choice but to wait.
The moon was now level with the tree tops. Its silver gleam seemed to mock me. My spine straightened with my blood pumping faster with every heartbeat. She was taking over. My golden core-one that only a siren possesses- was staring to melt, traveling through my burning veins. The change took all of my strength ,tensing every muscle until the point of agony. She haunted my mind, loading it with her tainted desires.
When the moon was at its highest, I was no longer a part-mortal being. The moon complemented my perfectly sculpted figure, not daring to cause a shadow. My past strawberry blonde hair, burned an unnatural shade of auburn, and what was once my aqua toned eyes- the eyes that Ethan had fell in love with- were now the same gleaming gold as my core. My vision sharpened, as my pupils dilated from natural ovals to a serpent-like slit.
That is when I saw it.
A single shadow, hiding in the corner of my sight. Her elongated in the thought of a human feeding. I fought with all of my might, but she was too powerful. There was no amount of strength that would allow me to break free from her hold.Her wicked cackle of a laugh echoed in between my ears. The mortal in me felt his presence. A warming summer breeze. That alone was all I needed. It released an unknown, hidden strength in me. I felt my vocals starting to ring.