by Ella Blackhart
My Dearest Marcus,
We arrived on the island Sirenum Scopuli three days ago, after a torturous journey across rough seas. Our accommodation, a large 18th-century lighthouse, stands overlooking all three islands. It is cold and forbidding, just like the waves below.
My reason for writing is not just to inform you of my safe arrival, but to tell you of the rather strange happenings of late. Indeed, Marcus, I have the most curious tale to tell.
During the boat journey I was sure I heard beautiful singing, and when I mentioned it to my fellow traveller, Madame Molpe, she said we were in grave danger. I was hearing the song of the sirens, creatures with the head of a female and the body of a bird. With the irresistible charm of their song they lure mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding Sirenum Scopuli.
Of course I live to tell the tale: I am no mariner after all, but somehow a sense of impending doom fills me, as though these evil creatures have lulled me into a false sense of security, and are not finished with me yet. What they want, I do not know.
In my heart I know it is silly to believe such tales of horror, which I am positive amount to nothing but scary stories children tell each other around campfires, yet I hesitate to say why. Fearful you may laugh, or worse, say that I grow madder with age? I am unsure. One thing I do know, however, is that despite the consequences this must be said. For if I do not share this with someone, I may indeed go crazy.
I must admit to having strange dreams of late; beautiful voices have been calling, beckoning me to join them. Such haunting, female songs truly make one’s heart cry with pity and one’s arms reach out in comfort, but the sirens are too far away to help or even to let their faces be seen.
Curiously, their addictive tones are harshly known to the locals as the Death Toll, and on the night of Midsummer’s Eve they are said to reclaim all those who have escaped the perils of the sea, at precisely the stroke of midnight. Only a few hours away, as I write. So, if anything should happen please take this as a warning.
Fear not, I will do my utmost to prevent such a terrible fate and am planning on locking my door tonight. You see, my dearest Marcus, there is more to tell. Worse. For two nights I have found myself on the cliff edge, with no recollection or sane reason why, other than I have taken to sleepwalking in the dead of night since I have come to these shores.
I must end now, for in less than an hour I am meeting with Madame Molpe and I must get ready to dispatch this letter now, as I do not want to miss the last post, which is tomorrow at dawn. The next one is not until another four days’ time. Evidently, the inconvenience of visiting such remote lands is clear. The postal service is abysmal.
Yours with love,
P.S I beg you not to tread that water, for it holds something of much power that appears to have seeped through my pores and into my veins. Never before have I seen the face that goes with the beautiful voice, but I fell asleep whilst waiting for Madame Molpe and when she woke me to take me out, I remembered my dream; I saw the siren face for the first time.
It was mine!
P.P.S. To cap it all, Madame called on me late and as the bells rang out at midnight I began to itch terribly. When I checked what was causing it I was shocked. Several small downy feathers are appearing in the small of my back! Come at once, sweet Marcus, for I fear the worst is yet to come. I will drop this letter on my way to the beach where Madame insists we go for a swim. Pray do come and save me.
Copyright © 2009 by Ella Blackhart