It had begun as a typical night. There was a light howl in the wind, whispering desires through the air; a flutter to the crisp leaves that hung from the branches above, plotting their descent; a flap of wings, eager to dance to the sirens’ song.
Percie had just completed a tiresome novel by the fire. The sun had just begun to set and she decided to ease her eyes by letting the night pour in. She smothered the fire and breathed deeply, allowing the scent of char to wash through her. In the kitchen, Percie prepared herself a cup of warm milk on the gas stove. The crickets had begun their annoying symphony, but she knew her songstress’ would put an end to it soon. Anything that bothered Percie was considered a threat in the eyes of her winged protectors.
As she sipped her milk, Percie gazed at the blackness outside of her back window. It was not unusual for her to do this; it calmed her to affix her sights on something non-specific. Otherwise, they grew weary, and she became utterly aware of her aching body. But tonight, something felt different. There was an eeriness about the night that seemed to be staring right back at her. Believing it to mean her subconscious was warning her that she had forgotten to tend to her garden, Percie placed her cup down and reluctantly walked over to the sink. The crickets had hushed and a low rhythmic humming was in the air now. Her songstress’ had fed, but only a little.
Outside, she flitted about the garden, swiping her dainty fingertips against petals to check for dampness. It did seem as though all of her plants had been watered, which all the more confused her. Something was making her uneasy. As her heart rate sped up, the humming grew louder. Her songstress’ could sense her distress and were growing anxious by it. She was happy to have their protection, but also needed to assure them that, for the moment, everything seemed alright. If she did not, they may become undisciplined. Temperamental as they were, she loved them. She offered a reassuring whistle, lacing it with a familiar cadence that they returned before falling back to their quiet, watchful, humming.
Back inside, Percie let the rest of her milk flow down the drain. She watched it spiral away, tickled by the image of disappearance, until she was jarred back to reality by a squawk so violently intrusive that she had to bring both hands to her ears. Losing her balance, she fell over and cried out gently.
It was her songstress’; their worry and tension had suddenly turned to erratic vexation.
Percie scrabbled about until she was on all fours, simultaneously basking in the pain and trying to detach herself from it. That was the thing about sirens, their pain was inviting. Even Percie, a keeper and beloved friend, was not immune.
The squawking continued to rise. The pitch seemed impossible, and yet, there it was forcing its way into her. The songstress’ had found a real threat. Something terrible was out there. Against her better instincts, Percie began the tedious task of crawling out to the garden. For this, she had to rely upon her forearms and fingertips, for, her legs were incapacitated by the invasive song. Her hair was in her eyes now, and she grunted in a high pitch, almost matching her songstress’ emphatic levels.
When she finally made it to the back door the squawking had begun to lull. Sensation tingled a return up Percie’s legs, making their throb more apparent. Every muscle in her body screamed. It was always like this when they fed – always. Percie staggered through the gardens and around to the back of their tree. She knew she would find them there, and she did.
As she came upon her protectors she squinted impotently through the dark, but their shadows were immediately apparent. Three heads bobbed up and down excitedly. Their song was now reduced to a croon, backed by a ruffle as their wings flapped with appeasement.
Although he made no sound, Percie could see their slender arms pulling and tugging at their victim. A man who thought he could creep about, unnoticed – watching, lurking. A man who thought he was a predator when in fact he was merely prey.
One feeder sensed Percie’s presence and rose from the earth, elongating her crouched legs. Percie caught a glimpse of her bouncing breasts in the moonlight as she turned to face her. She smiled graciously, knowing the songstress could see her well. The other two continued to feast, though there could not have been much of the man left. The thrilling obscenity of the picture caused Percie’s heart to pound against her chest.
The standing songstress soon curled herself back to a perched position, guarding the others. She let her wide bronze wings fold over one another so that only one eye would remain exposed. Percie could not see this exactly, but knew the posture well enough to imagine it distinctly. Drained from the ordeal, she let herself drop to the cold ground, and then lied flat against it. All she felt now was an exhaustive satisfaction.
When the songstress’ had had their fill, they took flight over Percie’s amative body, offering a resuscitating breeze. It was as welcomed as the bright moon. Their eyes twinkled until they disappeared again into the treetops, while Percie slept deeply, and fully.
© Shyla Fairfax-Owen