Cry to the Sirens
by Mira Domsky
I slam the back door of the club and lean against the brick wall. It’s rough and cold against the exposed skin of my back, and my toes ache inside my high heels. The alley behind the club is dark, with only one orange sodium light fixed to the wall above me.
I’m still furious with Lucas, the cheating bastard, and I need a cigarette. I’m fishing in my purse when I hear the sound, like someone chewing something juicy with their mouth open. I lick my lips and turn toward the sound.
The creature looks up at me with an almost human face. It’s smeared with gore, and its clawed hands scrabble at the bloody mess on the concrete. I catch my breath. It fixes wet black eyes on me, then begins to croon sweetly. Its hair smooths from a matted mane to glossy chestnut locks. Its cadaverous face freshens, plumps into that of a woman with smooth skin, high cheekbones, and large, wet, black eyes. It blinks long lashes at me coquettishly, but there is still blood dripping from its pouting lips.
I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. I almost hope I accidentally dropped some acid back in the club. My stomach churns as I recognize Lucas’s shirt over the blood on the ground. I gasp, even though I should have been prepared for this. I knew what I’d summoned.
Then, a glass bauble explodes on the ground in front of the gory woman-thing, showering it with glittering white powder. The thing screeches and scuttles back into the shadows of the alley on all fours, its arms and legs bending at impossible angles. I can still hear the sound of it running, and the memory of its unnatural movement makes me almost as sick as the chewed corpse it left behind.
I turn to see where the bauble came from, and a man steps into the circle of orange light. He’s dressed all in black, with boots and a utility belt like Batman.
“You alright, Miss?” the man asks.
“Uh-huh,” I manage, my mouth hanging open. Then, afraid I might seem a little too calm, I say, “What was that? I mean, did you see what I just saw?”
“’Fraid so. Siren.” The man steps past me to examine the bloody corpse. I can see now that Lucas’s face is gone. Eaten.
“Siren?” I ask, putting a protective hand over the pendant resting in my cleavage.
“Like in the Greek myths,” the man replies, still examining the body. “They lure men to their deaths so they can eat the corpses. Used to lure sailors onto rocks, but now it’s mostly working stiffs they lure into traffic or jumping off roofs, like this one.”
“Oh. And the white powder?”
“Salt bomb. Won’t kill ’em, but they don’t like it.”
“Do you usually kill them?”
“Usually. Didn’t want to endanger you though, Miss.”
“Oh. Thank you. Can I go back inside?”
“Sure thing, Miss. I got a siren to hunt.”
“Should I call the police?”
“Sure. Won’t do him much good though,” the hunter says, jerking his head at Lucas.
I nod and turn to go, shaking. I grip the door handle and pull it open. The music inside vibrates through me and I sigh with relief as I close the door behind me, safe inside the club. I let my hand slide from the bloodstone pendant. For a moment, I’d been afraid the demon hunter would notice the runes on it. Summoning the siren had weakened me, and I didn’t want to fight the hunter.
I still really want that cigarette. I’m trembling and I need something to calm my nerves. Pushing my way through the club, I head to the front door and step outside. I nod to the bouncer and dig through my purse until I find my last cigarette. Putting it in my mouth, I turn to the bouncer and look at him hopefully. His face is carved in stone, but he pulls out a lighter and lights it up.
“Long night?” the bouncer asks. The clichéd line seems more like habit than anything else, but I answer anyway.
“Yeah. My boyfriend left with another woman,” I say. I finger the bloodstone pendant, rubbing my thumb over the symbols carved into it. My memory flashes to Lucas, as he disappeared into the club with the chestnut-haired girl, and then the sight of his blood dripping from the siren’s lips. My chest tightens with sorrow and rage. I want to go home and cry and scream and miss the cheating bastard. But I need an alibi, so I stand in the cold with the bouncer until my cigarette burns down to the filter and I hear police sirens in the distance.
Copyright © 2015 Mira Domsky