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A Siren’s Call

A siren's call

Estimated reading time — 6 minutes

She often wore red ― the color of blood, love, and lust. She was often quiet, though when she was on stage, she would come alive, her voice a soft echo that carried out through An Angel’s Heart, a bar in the middle of nowhere.

Nobody came here, though I suppose they were missing out. Only a few people had the opportunity to witness such beauty. However, sometimes beauty was shades of red, and many people were color-blind.

Though, I did not mind. It gave me more chances to sit close and watch as the beaut swayed her hips and sang sweet nothings into my ears. Nothing else could quite compare.


However, something seemed different that night; it was as if her wings were clipped, and her voice held a note of sorrow that an average person could not place. It was a melody of heartbreak, of love’s loss.

If I could show her love, perhaps her heart would be mended.

However, a part of me knew I did not stand a chance. With long legs, dark black flowing hair, pale blue eyes, and the voice of a nightingale, I was no match for her. Nobody wanted an undiscovered poet struggling to get by with empty verses when they could have a rich man sweep them off their feet and give them the world.

Though, I could at least wistfully think I had a chance to live in paradise as I write these lines of sorrow with such twisted fabrications.

The room went silent as Charmeine whispered her last note, my eyes growing wide as she lowered her gaze to meet mine.

She smiled.


My heart sank.

What was going on? Never in a million years would I have guessed she would acknowledge me. Though it was nothing but a mere smile, I couldn’t help but want more.

I needed more.

Stepping down from the stage, Charmeine walked over to me and sat down with deft ease. I forgot how to breathe as she looked me in the eyes again, the same sorrow in them but with a hint of mischief dancing in them all the same.

If I could write these lines, I am sure there would be butterflies.

“So, do you come to see my shows often?” Charmeine asked, placing her soft, slender fingers on my hand. They were cold.

“You have a lovely voice,” was all I could muster.

Charmeine smiled as she leaned forward, her breath cool and crisp. “Is that so?”

“Yeah, I think that is the only reason anyone comes to this bar. It’s surely not for the drinks,” I say half-heartedly as I lift the mostly full glass to my lips before taking a drink.

My heart was on fire.

“Mmm,” she coos, inching forward just a bit more. “At least someone respects my talents. My ex sure didn’t. Left me for another woman, that bastard.”

“He’s missing out.”

“I suppose. Though, I guess that doesn’t matter anymore. I have a handsome man in front of me now. I should consider myself lucky.”

“I’m not all that great,” I say softly as she reaches out her cold hand and touches my burning cheek.

“I don’t know about that. You seem just fine to me,” Charmeine laughs, the type of laugh that would send any man running wild in his imagination. Surely, this was a dream.

One that I did not want to wake from.

“So, what are you doing after this?” She asks, her eyes dark and full of meticulous intentions.

“Going home, I suppose. There’s nothing else to do.”

“That’s a shame… why don’t you come home with me instead?” She smiles again, though it’s a bit darker this time, as if she is luring me into a place of such unknown.

A part of me wants to take the bait.

Another part knows I shouldn’t.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“Don’t be silly. There’s nothing to worry about. Everything will be okay,” Charmeine says as she brings her finger to her lips in thought. “Oh, how about this? Why don’t you take me to a movie instead? Can you at least humor me that much?”

Glancing at my watch, I looked at the time. “Didn’t the theater already close?”

“It did? That sucks. Well, how about a walk instead? It would be nice to get some fresh air.”

“Sure, why not?” I say as I stand up, ignoring the fact that she was trying a little too hard to get time alone with me.

“Perfect.” She smiles again, her eyes now full of life. “Follow me.”


The moon shined dully in the sky as we walked down the pier.


Charmeine was humming a soft melody as the waves crashed against the shore. Her voice was beautiful, but something about the dark undertones pierced my spine. It was as if her heart was breaking with every step, her voice calling out to the sea. It was haunting, distorted. However, I couldn’t help but want to continue listening.

Was this what it was like to be in love at first sight?

I let out a laugh at the thought. There was no such thing as love at first sight, let alone love at all. Everything eventually led to sadness and destruction. Love was no different. Everything had to come to an end. It was only a matter of how or when…

Suddenly, Charmeine’s footsteps slowed as we came across a lone lighthouse shrouded in mist, the bitter air digging into my skin as we got closer.

“Is there something the matter?” I asked, looking over at Charmeine, who had her hands behind her back and swayed on the balls of her feet.

She looked back with a solemn smile, her hand grabbing mine as she pulled me towards the lighthouse, enthusiasm falling from her pale lips stained pink.

“I want to show you something.”

“Like what?”

“Well, you’ll know when you find out, silly, this way,” she says as she drags me closer to the edge of the dock.

“So, what am I looking for?”

“Just listen,” she says, bringing her finger to her lips.

Suddenly, I heard singing off in the distance, my body going numb as I gazed at the sea.

The melody was beautiful ― almost as amazing as Charmeine’s performances.

However, something wasn’t right.

Charmeine’s sudden laughter had my skin crawling.

“Do you know why humans are so fascinating?”

“Huh?” I asked, taken aback by the sudden question.

“It’s because they so easily do as others want as if it will reap some marvelous reward. What did you think would happen if you came out here with me? Were you hoping for a kiss, perhaps? Did you want to mend my heart? Did you think it was broken? Did you think I was in pieces and needed to be put back together? I didn’t ask for you to pity me, but you did. You always did. Every time you came and watched me sing. I knew you were watching with pity in your eyes. How do you think that made me feel? How do you think it makes me feel that people only come to watch me sing because of commiseration or my looks or voice? Nobody cares to hear from the heart, and that’s truly a shame. If so, maybe things would not have to be this way.”

“Who said that I thought any of that?” I asked, dumbfounded.


“The look in your eyes says it all. I’m not stupid. I know your deepest desires, Erik.”

“How do you know my name?”

“It’s not hard to read your thoughts, you know. I must say, some of the things you think are truly poetic. However, I have no intention of falling in love with you. I want you to know that. Though, there is a reason I asked you to come here.”

“And why is that?” I asked, stepping back, inverting my gaze to the stores that seemed so far away. I wondered if there was any chance of escape.

Charmeine’s grin was wild, her voice coming out as a whisper. “There’s no escape.”

“How did you―”

“I told you it wasn’t hard to read your mind, silly. Why do you resist so much?”

I started to run, my voice panicked as I screamed for help, my feet tripping over themselves before I came to a sudden halt.

Charmeine was singing, her voice dark. My feet slowly started moving on their own and back to the end of the dock.

My vision was hazy. I could only see Charmeine’s bright red dress fluttering in the breeze as I was dragged back to her against my will. Why wouldn’t my body listen to me?

“Why are you doing this? What did I ever do to you to deserve this? I am sorry if I ever offended you, so please let me go. I’ll do anything as long as you spare my life. I don’t want to die!”

A melody of death played from the waves that crashed against the shore ― my feet at the end of the dock.

Charmeine let out a small laugh. “Didn’t you say that all things come to an end? Your love for me was no different. So, do me a favor. Let it die here.”

And as I took a step forward, the world went dark.

Credit: Robert W. McAfee




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