-August 5, 1776-
“She’s asleep,” he whispered, the sight of her auburn hair spilling across the pillow giving him an odd feeling in his belly. Her beauty did nothing to stop the fact that she would get them all killed if she stayed here. The steady rise and fall of her chest told him all he needed to know; they could finally put their plan into action.
“And that feller that’s always a’followin her ’round?” Bernie, the ship’s chef, asked.
“At the captain’s quarters, no doubt. Complainin’ about us yet again,” said the scout. A bitter look was set in his wrinkly old face. “Are we goin’ to get this done, or not?”
One by one, all except the chef crept into the she-demon’s room. For a second, they could only stare. For an evil lady, she was definitely gorgeous. She had smooth milk-white skin, and dainty little hands. Perfect cupid’s bow lips, a long nose dusted with cinnamon colored freckles, high cheekbones, and thick black lashes that fluttered slightly in her dreams. They knew from experience that stormy green color of her eyes, a shade that would haunt their memories for the rest of their lives.
One of the younger boys let out a low whistle . “A real southern belle, this one is.”
“I oughta pop you for makin’ a noise. Now come on, we’ve got work to do.”
Carefully so as to not wake her up, the men quickly began to prepare. They tied her ankles together with a long piece of rope and set their best man to tying the intricate knots. A few others brought her wrists together at her waistline and bound those with a quick and tight knot as well. They placed a long white strip of cloth as a gag into her mouth. About this time, those startling eyes began to open sleepily. In an instant, she knew what was happening.
“Damn it all,” the scout growled as she began to screech and throw herself about. “Guess we’re a’goin’ to have to pick this up a little, boys.”
They hefted her light frame onto their shoulders and marched her through the corridors, keeping a firm grip on her. She continued to flop like a fish out of water, the blood vessels in her eyes beginning to pop as she shrieked into her gag. Guilt was beginning to flood the men, but self-preservation was encoded deep in their bones. Women were bad luck to have at sea, and every good sailor worth his salt knew what had to be done if the crew wanted to survive.
The seas were rolling, the rain coming down in buckets as the storm brewed around them. They weren’t worried, though; they knew that it would stop once she was gone. They brought the squirming bad luck charm to the bow of the ship, where they lifted her over the edge.
The old man brought his face close to hers. “I do apologize for this, darlin’, but what else is a man t’do? You were goin’ to kill us all. Do the right thing,” he encouraged, grinning to show her all three of his yellow teeth.
And with that, they dropped her into the hungry waves of the Atlantic ocean.
As the salty wind rushed passed her face, she knew she was going to die. The desperateness of her husband’s voice over the loud crashing of the sea around her told her that. The billows of her favorite nightgown around her whispered that ugly truth. The eyes of the wooden maiden figurehead seemed sympathetic as she reached down as if to catch her. However, as the icy water rushed up around her, she found she was no longer afraid.
Eleanor Elizabeth James was not afraid of drowning.
Even as the ocean forced itself into her lungs, she had no fear. As the life leaked out of her, her body was changing. The rope fell away from her limbs, but her legs still bonded together. Bone melded to bone, a tough scaly armor came to cover the delicate skin, and her toes webbed. Her feet elongated, the bones nearly disappeared. Soon, where she once had legs, a tail the same jade as her eyes appeared. Her lungs became nearly obsolete, shrinking in size to make room for the gill like system instead. Her teeth sharpened into razors, her facial features angled themselves into a creature of supernatural beauty.
The sea had sucked the life out of an imperfect body, and breathed a new one into a hunting machine of its own design. A legend called by many names, but commonly known as siren.
Her eyes reopened, and with that re-awakening came a hunger she had never known before.
A hunger for the flesh of the sailors who had made her into this monster.