How the mortal men adored her when she sang her song of poison into their ears, their senses blinded by lust and wanton need. One note of her voice, one glance from her molten gold eyes, and they were submissive servants to her will, bestowing her with anything she desired and forgetting their families. One flash of a smile from her red lips and they flittered away money until their pockets had only mothballs and their banks had only dust.
They adorned her neck with mother of pearl, laced her hands with the finest Chantilly, bejewelled her fingers with gold and rubies, swathed her snow body in her signature red, and furnished her rooms with interior befitting an empress.
To the mortal men it was not quite love but a need to please, a way of begging to hear her sensual soprano that was verbal opium their hearing. They were addicted to her voice, to the sweetness of her skin on their lips that she only awarded them with when they were craving physicality, to the honey and lily scent of her hair.
They built her castles, gave her cottages and manors, had sculptures carved in her honour. She was their queen, and they were her subjects. In return for their wide-eyed supplication, she controlled their bodies with hers for her own pleasure and savoured the mouthing bites onto her flesh.
When she grew tedious of them, as she often did, she placed her kiss, the kiss of death, on their dried lips and drank in their life essence, soul and all. It was as delicious as wine. And, oh, how they thrashed out in pain but their screams were latched into their throats. Soon enough their eyes rocked backwards and their skin turned into a grey husk. Their life coursed through her veins, the only blood she truly needed.
Because the men might adore her, but to her the men were objects for her power and desires. She meant everything to them but they meant nothing to her.
And it had been that way for four-hundred years, since her sisters had banished her from the sea onto the miserable land of the mortals. Why she’d been banished was not something she deigned to speak about, and luckily the mortal men never asked. In fact, they never asked anything—they only did what they knew would please her, and to please her would mean purchasing or crafting items.
Over the four centuries she’d acquired many names for herself: whore, commoner, bawd, mistress, and lover. She did not see herself as any of those titles; she was simply a woman who turned men’s feeble hearts like a turncoat who changes their banner.
They became her puppets, tangled in the strings she’d threaded their limbs through. They cherished her, completely unaware that it was her call that dashed away their free wills and had them grovelling on their knees for her to take them as hers.
Ophelia, they’d murmur as they bowed their backs to the floor as if in prayer, let me be yours. Let me belong to you.
They were her humble pets.
So she sang her song of poison to kings and lords, merchants and captains and enjoyed the lavish life she received.
And she carried on that way, with her string of amours and cackled as she led men to their deaths. She may have been exiled from the water but nothing could change a siren’s nature.