Day 328: Latter-day Sirens

In her immortal lifetime, Terpsichore had not seen their island change. High crags on all sides, sharp stone that split open every ship that ran into it. Her two sisters stood on each side of her, the wind blowing their shawls in the winds.

“Sisters, we must face the truth that the world has grown beyond our wiles,” said Melpemene.

“We are too pure, and the maidens too willing,” said Chthon.

“Forsooth, their is nothing we offer, except the beauty they all left behind,” said Terpsichore.

Melpemene stretched her arms forward, her shawl dropping from her shoulders. “We must reconcile to this world or perish.”

Terpsichore looked away, up into the endless constellations. “I will not prostitute myself to this modern dance.”

“Oh, Terpsichore, not all is corrupted. There is beauty therein.”

“There is beauty in every whore, and I shall not aspire to be among them.”

“Then cast thee into the sea of oblivion and never again let thy relevance be known.”

“Be not so cruel, Melpemene.” Chthon raised a hand to the horizon. “Here comes a ship. Let us ply our wiles to bring it crashing to our shore.”

The sirens hummed softly, then opened their mouths to a glorious chorus, taming the birds and seals. It grew louder but remained pure, carrying across Poseidon’s waves. Terpsichore swayed and stepped with muted sensuality, then twirled in the wind.

The ship grew near, straight for the unforgiving cliffs, but it changed course to make a pass without collision.

Terpsichore’s sisters did the unthinkable. Chthon’s voice turned to a rough growl, scraping out a rhythm, and Melpemene sang with brutish tones. This music was not worthy of ancient myth, and Terpsichore ceased her part in it.

The ship slowed as if curious, but sailed by, the sailors neither covering their ears nor lashing each other to the masts.

As it continued away, the ship made its own music, primitive percussion joined with rhythmic but unmusical voices, louder than the sirens, yet Terpsichore could not see the musicians. She could not fathom the music that often came from nothing on these new ships. The voice repeated words she could not discern except for the repeated phrase ‘…none of yo’ business….’

The sound dwindled until the sound of wave and wind consumed it.

“We are but a passing curiosity now,” lamented Melpemene.

“What torment from beyond the Styx have you brought to us,” said Terpsichore.

Melpemene threw here chest forward, her chin high. “It is one of the new ways, and we must learn it.”

“You have lost your immortal wits and reverted to childhood.” Terpsichore turned to Chthon. “You share her dedication?”

“I must say, for sooth, it gives me discomfort. Yet, what can we do if we are to remain eminent in the world.”

Another ship appeared on the horizon, and when it neared enough for their voices to carry, they trilled into soulful crooning, but the sound was so puerile, Terpsichore could not elevate it.

“What are you doing?” she said.

“Joining them where they dwell.”

“I knew not that they lived in an oubliette.”

The ship did not even slow when her sisters audibly changed to even more immature voices. Terpsichore again withdrew.

“We should try the hard music for the next one,” said Chthon. Terpsichore refused, but she could see Chthon’s excitement.

Melpemene joined with her. They went from melodic to wild, almost yelling, not so flattering even from a siren.

The ship didn’t come near.

“We are lost,” said Melpemine.

“We are not lost,” said Terpsichore. “Our spirits merely linger in a world that is lost.”

“Then that is who we will bring in,” said Chthon. “Those who’s spirits still live in the long lost world.”

“There must be someone,” said Melpemine.

“There will be.” Terpsichore straightened her shawl. “And he will have a most glorious death.”

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