The Sirens by Jack Leist

I promise knowledge. I promise songs bewitching and clear- I promise everything foolish men
will fall to, so I may taste the sweet victory of their flesh decaying in the air.
Men are all the same. Guileless, pathetic, oh-so-weak. They fall to our song, as they always
must. They are nothing; more bones in our nest, more skin to shrivel under the weather of time.
But we are perfect, my sister and I. Nothing like the humans. Beautiful. Limbs birdlike and
strong. Our nest is a work of art, arranged with care and love, and we need only each other. We
live on, while they do not.
Odysseus shall be no exception. He is mortal. Vulnerable. The gods may favour him, but he is
nothing more than human. I will savour his bones. Fate has brought him here, and so we shall
take what is ours.
And so we sing.
We sing of Troy. Of what we know. The wisdom we hold, what we stand to give. Odysseus, we
call. Odysseus.
(You shall not return to Ithaca.)
(You will die here, on the rocks of our home. Fight no longer. We will take your suffering from
you. Come.)
But his comrades hold him fast. He is tied to the ship, and the mortals have come with rolled wax
in their ears; our song falls upon those who cannot hear. My sister and I cry out to him, again and
again, but he struggles helplessly on his ship. On it sails. And the mist takes him from our eyes.
Our tears are of frustration. I bend under the harshness of the anger I carry- deprived of our
rightful prey. We call out to nothing.
With time, we quiet once more. We know that more will come in his place. They always do.

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