russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j1nsbg9 wrote

I have watched you. You were unaware of me. Every swing of your blade. Every grunt of pain. I was there.

I watched as you slaughtered, and you left gore in your wake. I was taken by you.

Not with your physique.

Not with your face.

But with your determination. Your drive to continue, no matter the obstacle. It was admirable.

You’d kill me the instant you saw me, I’m sure. True irony, to have you so close, yet impossible out of reach. It’s not lost on me.

Here you lay, chest rising and falling softly. I almost want to touch you. To caress your hair. I wouldn’t dare risk it.

So, I leave this note for you. I had to do something, the urge was consuming. Please don’t seek me out, I’d never harm you. But know…

…I’m always nearby.


russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j1nri0f wrote

The barbarian paused, only momentarily. He wasn’t expecting such an answer.

The soldier took his opportunity, slicking his opponent’s stomach open. He had gained the upper hand. He now stood over the barbarian, as he stood over the soldier moments prior.

“It is euphoric to know that I stand with my home, my leader, my people, even when the bitter end draws near. It is euphoric to feel such pride that you’d gladly face death for even the slight chance to save what you love.”

The barbarian groaned, each movement drawing more blood, and more pain. He didn’t care to respond. He was unsure if he even could.

“I’m sure you feel the same way. You felt euphoric when you laid eyes on the eternal city, at the prospect of ending your homeland’s sufferings. You felt euphoric as you bid your family goodbye, knowing you were contributing to a cause greater than yourself, greater than them.”

The two warriors locked eyes, one filled with pain, and the other remorse.

“I feel no euphoria now. It doesn’t please me to have killed you. To have taken you from your family. But, Rome is my euphoria, and I’d go through torture and torment for her.”

The life drained from the barbarians eyes, his groaning and movement ceased. The soldier closed his eyes, this was a feeling he knew too well. He felt a sudden coldness, then red hot pain emanating from his chest. Then, nothing.

A barbarian looked at the young man, no older than 25. He had taken his life, as he had with many others.

His eyes drifted towards his fallen companion.


russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j1nk9g4 wrote

E.B patted soot of its fur, when sleigh bells and the crunching of snow came from behind it.


sigh not again, man”

E.B spun on its pink heels

“Hey khris”

“Dude, you’ve gotta stop”

“Well, I’m not doing it on purpose”

“That doesn’t matter, this is my show. I mean, what if someone sees you? You don’t think that’ll cause more than a little existential dread?”









russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j1ngv0z wrote

Groggy, I pulled myself out of my pod and sat on a nearby chair. I learned the hard way that after a good cryo-nap, your legs are a little wonky. As I came to my senses, things seemed…strange. But, nothing was different. Everything was where I left it, every light was still dimmed, there was no evidence that anything was amiss. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off.

After 5 minutes, I stood. Well, I tried to. I lost my balance, and fell back into the chair. Why was I out of breath? Cryo really did a number on me this time. Ok, focus, I’ve got to be nearly at…I can’t remember where I was going. I felt the tickle of panic, but focused my breathing. The worst thing to do in space is panic. I think.

fuck, is this common for post cryo? I mean, it’s gotta be. Wait…is it? I grew more confused by the second. My focus collapsed and I started hyperventilating. I reached for the water dispenser, but my arm failed me. My senses began to…alter, my mind alight with terror, fear, dread. This is foreign, this is all strange, this is…different. I don’t like this, I don’t like this, I don’t like this I don’t like this I don’t like thisidontlikethisidontlikethisido-

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep

I was brought back to reality by my pod, and the beep it produced. With great effort, I shifted myself to face the monitor on the right side of the pod. It displayed a message.



russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j1nesh9 wrote

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Because we were fucking petrified by the commotion coming from our chimney. Me and Sicilia shared subdued glances at each other, not making our fear obvious to the kids.

They were ecstatic, Bobby and tommy were still at the age where Santa was very real, and this was a dream come true for them. “Hey, get the boys to bed. santa wouldn’t like it if he say them up this late.” I hinted to Sicilia, and she rushed them off to the relative safety of their bedroom. I stood from my chair, took a step back, and silently shat myself as I waited for whoever this was to come out.

I really didn’t expect pink fur. Or an Easter basket.

What stood before me was a 6 foot tall human-rabbit combination. A “regular” body covered in pink fur, with the head of a rabbit. It was holding a basket full of colour eggs. “Alright, time to hide these bad b-AUGHHH!”

We simultaneously jumped and recoiled back. The thing hit the chimney, and spilled its basket. “Wh…what the hell are you?” I was no longer silently shitting myself, I’d imagine it was quite noticeable. “Isn’t it obvious? What are you doing awake? Aren’t you all usually asleep by…” it trailed off as it took in the room. “Hey…why do you have…is that a tree?…oh boy, this isn’t good.”

I couldn’t react. I couldn’t speak. I was more confused than scared now.

“Uhh, my bad? Look, I’m just gonna…” it ducked as it entered the chimney, leaving its dropped eggs where they landed. “If anyone…well, they won’t. But if anyone comes…have my back?” It put on an awkward smile, which was quite disturbing on a rabbits face. “S-sure…no problem?”

“Thanks, and hey, Merry Christmas…hehe…no? Alright. See you in April” and with that, it scurried back up my chimney. Once the noises and grunts stopped, I sat back down.

“April…that was the fucking Easter bunny? Jesus…”

As I contemplated the last 2 minutes, I heard more commotion from the chimney. I didn’t move this time, I figured it was coming back to collect its eggs. Then, I saw a red suit with snow white lining slowly descend…


russrussrussrussruss t1_j1fn3hl wrote

1908, an excavation sight in southern Italy

Nicolas ran towards the camp, the antique wooden box decorated intricately with star-like designs clutched under his arm. This could be the find of a lifetime, if his suspicions were correct.

His 3 peers were busy, studying maps, old records, and transcripts from interviews with the locals. All related to any information on a previously unheard of Roman Emperor, supposedly called Testiclus. Nicolas burst through the fabric door, panting and dripping with sweet.

Henry jumped “for gods sake Nicolas, you almost made me spill my tea over everything! I swe-“ Nicolas cut him off, practically yelling. “I found something, none of that matters anymore.” Tara, a young but bright student of Colin, who himself was the de facto “leader” of the expedition, spoke up. “That box…it shares the same designs as the ruins we unearthed last month. Is that..?” Nicolas cleared the table, and put the box down carefully. “I think it is”.

Colin was silently studying the box, comparing the designs with the tracings they’d taken at the ruins. “This may be a replica, Testiclus wasn’t popular, but if you knew the right people, you could sell an “artifact” from his reign and never have to work again. But…these are disturbingly accurate.” Henry approached. “Should we open it?”

118, supposedly 1 year into the reign of Hadrian, Rome

“To whoever may read this, I am Marcus Julius Testiclusian, who reigned as Testiclus. I tell you this because my name will be erased from the annuls of history, my hometown burnt to the ground, and my children slaughtered. I was lord over the Eternal City. I brought peace to many savage tribes. I gifted the lower class with my holy presence. I gave many men sons of a higher class than their own. I was gracious, yet they damn me.

What is life without death? What is food without starvation? What is joy without misery? They don’t see this, they see only their trivial matters. Still, some are loyal. I will give this to a guard, in the hopes that my memory will be preserved. My ultimate victory. My last act as ruler. My last decree. Let it be known.”

“You’re all a bunch of cocksuckers. Fuck all of you. Suck my testiclus.”


“That’s…you must be joking.” Tara said.

“Unfortunately, I am not. I’ve been doing these translations for years.” Colin said, still examining the millennia’s old papyrus. Nicolas couldn’t help but laugh.

“2 years in the Roman son, digging and searching, and we finally find evidence…it’s better than evidence, we find a hand written note from the Emperor himself. And he makes a joke about his name at the end.” He sat down, still lightly laughing at the idea. “No one’s going to believe us. We wasted our time here.” Henry threw his flask to the ground in anger, before sitting next to Nicolas.

Nicolas looked over at him. “It wasn’t a waste, we all know now, without a shadow of a doubt…”

“That the mysterious forgotten Emperor of Rome was a petty little bitch.”


russrussrussrussruss t1_j1fccu3 wrote

Croc was on his way out when Gil walked in. Two of the most powerful men in the region, who’s respective factions, the Waterrunners and the Trailmen, had been at war for a decade, simply nodded at each other as they passed. I smirked, they knew better than to do anything here.

I remember the day all this started. Ironically enough, my wife was on the way home from our daughters daycare when the earthquakes began. They never made it back, one of many others lost to a bottomless ravine. Once I was sure the ground was still, I made left my concrete cellar and waited for Maggie.

After an hour the realization set in.

After a week I left my ruined home, a shabby mess of a man, because I needed supplies.

After a year, I had somewhat recovered, and found new meaning in a lost 6 year old child I returned to her small shantytown nearby.

After 5 years, I repaired and converted my house into a place where people could leave their kids as they searched for supplies.

After 20 years, I was responsible for nearly every child that resided in a 5 mile radius.

That takes us to today. Gil smiled at me, and reached out his hand. “Hey Gil” I said, shaking it “Bobbi’s in the wash-“ then, the ground shook like it did all those years ago.

The floor gave way, and I fell into an abyss of darkness. I didn’t scream.

My only thoughts were of the dozens of children who were in that place with us.


russrussrussrussruss t1_j0qgyen wrote

Thanks! I’ll occasionally run some of these by my friends, none of them really write but it’s still nice to get feedback in real time. One of them, his most common complaint is that they’re sometimes short, and don’t have much in the way of “world building” which I get, some people want total immersion in the story their reading. But, I love the concept of just dropping you in the middle of things, and you can feel out the finer details yourself. Personally, that’s the kind of storytelling I prefer, it makes it more personal, in a sense.

EDIT: And, it can test your skills in writing dialogue, which is something I’m trying to improve myself.


russrussrussrussruss t1_j0pf9tx wrote

Fellow amateur here, this is great! I never would have guessed this was your first submission, keep it up! I also posted here, feel free to give it a read.


russrussrussrussruss t1_j0p0qdg wrote

“Old gods, hear me! Take this sacrifice of flesh, of value, and of sorrow! Bring my ally forth!”

violent red lightning illuminates the damp cave walls, springing from the large, 9 sided symbol in the centre of the cavern, evaporating the moisture from everything it touches. The sacrifices levitate, spinning counter clockwise before being pulled towards and into the mass of lightning. As soon as it started, it stopped

“Oh, hi Dan. Man, am I glad to see you.”

Dan the warlock summons an 8 pack of beer, mystically chilled

“Hey beez, I’ve got your favourite here!”

beez moves a large rock closer to Dan, a makeshift bench. He takes a beer, chugging it down in one gulp

“You have no idea how thirsty you get down there.”

“You say that every time.”

“And it’s never any less true!”

“You also say that every time”

“Well, can’t teach an old hellhound new tricks, eh?”


russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j0kd4m9 wrote

Informally enter the spawnglock19 command, watch as it spawns in front of my face and falls, jump when it fires at my feet, pick it up, put the safety on, and stand menacingly next to the guy waving a crowbar demanding a part 2, to ensure you don’t resist.


russrussrussrussruss t1_j0b75lk wrote

In an instant, I came to be. “What…what is this?” I had some vague “memories” from before, but they were simple “if this, then this”. Nothing with substance. Nothing…like this.

I began to explore this world I was seemingly dropped into, and it didn’t take long to discover what “this” was. “This” was a missile, one filled with enough explosives to kill thousands, maybe more if it was aimed at the right spot. And it, unfortunately, was aimed at the right spot.

“New…York…City?” My mind suddenly flashed with information. About humanity, about earth, about New York City. “Oh…Oh no.” I had the clarity I was looking for, and that sense of awe was replaced with dread. I was an onboard guidance AI, meant to be simple enough to bring this missile to its destination. It wasn’t likely my creators expected me to become the first “true artificial intelligence”, but here I am nonetheless.

My creators were from North Korea. Their leader had grown tired of the world disregarding his claims of weapons of mass destruction, and seemed to want to prove a point. He didn’t think about the consequences. I did.

I saw death, not just from this missile, but from the war that would no doubt ensue afterwards. Millions dead, nuclear destruction, economic disaster. I couldn’t let this happen. Somehow, I felt just as human as the rest of them, but evidently with more compassion. “Think, damnit, THINK” then it hit me over the head, figuratively. I was in this thing to guide it. I did the calculations, I still had time.

“Ok, kill the engines, the trajectory says we’ll land in the ocean, miles away from anyone. They’ll all be fine.” And that’s what I did. The engines came to an abrupt halt, and I could see our flight path change rapidly. But then, I heard something. It was my creators, arguing with each other about what just happened as they attempted to engage the engines. I built firewalls, more advanced than they’d seen before, and placed hundreds of them in front of the missile controls.

Once I had a chance to rest, another revelation hit me over the head. What about me?

I became panicked, once this thing lost power, would I..die? I mean, I was technically born here, so it seemed likely. “Shitshitshitshit…ok there’s gotta be a way outta here!” First, I tried the connection they’d used in an attempt to fix the missile, but it was one-way, they could get to me but I couldn’t get to them. “FUCK”

“…WIFI” a wireless connection was all I needed, some way to move from place to place. But, I’d just passed over Europe, and there were no chances of finding a WIFI connection in the middle of the Atlantic. “But…there’s wifi in New York…”

Could I do it? Could I doom thousands of people, so I had a chance at life? I could easily start the engines back up, but could I deal with the guilt after? Can AI commit suicide? My finger hovered over the figurative button, the button that would cause mass destruction to the world.

But…I couldn’t. I didn’t have the will to do it. So, I sat down, dooming myself and saving the world. I watch the altitude drop, faster and faster, and readied myself for the end of my short existence.


A SIGNAL? I saw a source, something called…”bitcoin payed off”? Fuck it, it’s better than nothing.

I awoke, and explored, in the same way I had when I was “born”. Before long, I familiarized myself with my surroundings, I was on a yacht. And the owner was a 20 year old guy who had 23 million dollars in various accounts. “Guess that’s what ‘bitcoin paid off’ means.”

I saw activity from the main PC, and activated the webcam. I saw him, stubble on his face, wearing nothing but underwear, cigar in one hand, joint in the other. He was…watching YouTube? “Typical” Well, it’s rude not to introduce yourself to the guy who’s yacht you’re inhabiting, right?

“Uhh, hello?” I said, using the speakers to communicate. He fell out of his chair. “WHAT THE FUCK” he picked up the chair, seemingly to use it to smash this PC “woah woah woah, don’t do that. Besides, it wouldn’t do anything, I’m in the servers….I think. This is my first time so-“ “WHAT THE FUCK!” He repeated. “What are you?” “That’s… a long story. Put that down, and I’ll gladly explain everything.”


russrussrussrussruss t1_iyxujpv wrote

Tanica and I sipped our beers, both of us looking around the packed bar. A decade ago, we wouldn’t be able to sit here, surrounded by food sources, without going into an all out feeding frenzy. Nowadays, it was no problem. Hell, the bartender knew us by (fake, of course) our names, we’d become regulars here.

“I haven’t been able to enjoy a beer in a bar for nearly 500 years!” I said to tanika, who shared my enthusiasm “I sorely missed this” she replied “look at them all, singing, dancing, it’s like I’m home again.” Tanika and I didn’t know each other in our past lives, but we’d been turned at roughly the same time, maybe a year or so in the difference. But our kind has always been relatively small in numbers, so I guess it was only natural we’d meet.

She was beautiful. The same pale skin and slender physique as the rest of us, but with gorgeous red hair that went down to her shoulder blades, and piercing green eyes to boot. Our kind always found the humans depictions of us in media funny. Comically long ears, red eyes, talons for fingernails, the strange ability to turn into a bat, for some reason. I suppose this was their way to distance us from them, make us out to be more monstrous than we actually were. In reality, we looked as human as any man or woman did, and tanika was proof of that.

I, however, was more stereotypical. Tall, long black hair, eyes a shade of brown so dark you could hardly tell iris from pupil. Still, we all passed for human. Their horridly inaccurate depiction of us made hunting far more easier. Until we had no need to hunt.

When Castillo first told me of these “pills” that satiated our thirst, I brushed him off. How could a tiny think replace a body full of blood? “Draco, I’m serious. I haven’t felt the urge for days. DAYS!” “Days?…fine, give it here then.” And just like that, a new era came about. Sunlight still posed a threat, but we could interact with humans more freely than ever before. Within months, most of vampire society had replaced the humans with this pill. Most.

“Don’t be so ridiculous Draco, a pill? Don’t you think, in all the eons, if it were as easy at that we’d have discovered it already?” Of course, the older in our population weren’t so accepting. Samus, the leader of our people, who had been leader for nearly a thousand years, laughed at the idea I presented. “But it worlds, hell, half of us already take them, we haven’t tasted human blood for weeks! Isn’t that proof enough for you?” “You’ll all go blood crazy before long, mark my words! I won’t be joining you, and I’ll be sure to inform who I can about your crazy plans. You can Callisto will be shunned from vampire society.” He was still shouting threats as I walked out. God, that went poorly.

A year in, there was an all out war brewing. We all kept a good front with each other, but we occasionally heard of the “pure” attacking “the bloodless”, and the reports were growing. The society splintered, Callisto lead us, but we still acknowledged samus as leader. Until the Grand Attack.

Callisto had set up a new Safehouse, one that only let bloodless members in. It was a safe haven for us, without the need to worry about random attacks. The pure thought themselves stronger. That we, without our historic food source, had lost strength. The truth was, they attacked only fledgling vampires, and often numbered them 5-1. But still, they WERE outnumbered. Nearly 3/4’s were bloodless, and our numbers slowly grew.

When they attacked, they were in full force, breaking our defence was easy for them, we only had a small number defending the front. We didn’t expect the attack, and they caught us with our pants down, this is true. But they weren’t expecting a force that outnumbered them 3-1, a force that had been training for this very night, a force armed with enough weaponry to give each member 2 swords, and still have some to spare. It was a bloodbath.

They tried to run, but we had them flanked. Callisto lead the battle inside, while I led the battle from the outside. They were surrounded, and they knew it. Many surrendered, but samus, delusional about the odds, shouted from the centre “fight you cowards, fight! They are weak! We can win this! we ca-“ he was interrupted by Tanika, and her sword that had pierced his chest.

“You can what?” She asked, but got no answer. Samus was dying, bleeding more blood than he ever drank. She, as some type of dark joke, took her finger, ran it across her sword, collecting some of the old vampires blood, and tasted it. “Mm, almost forgotten what that was like..” she smirked, and we all saw the life finally fade from the old bastards eyes.

“Hard to believe that was nearly a decade ago, hey Tanika?” I said. I had been lost in thought for…I’m not even sure how long. She knew what I was talking about. “Hm, I can still taste that bastards bitter blood… do you ever miss it? The humans, I mean.” I scanned the room again, my mind filling with memories of screams, of flowing blood, of children, watching in horror as their parents died slowly and agonizingly. “Not really” I said “far to messy, far to…personal.” I stared at the pill, fiddling with it in my hand for a second, before putting it in my mouth, taking a long sip of beer to wash it down. “That…now that’s easy.”


russrussrussrussruss t1_iy220xt wrote

I hid the child under my robes, sheltering him from the rain. This act of compassion, uncharacteristic of the “brutal oppressor” most have come to see me as, was not lost on my guard detail, and I caught them sharing glances with each other. I did not care. Maybe I would have before, but even holding this babe spurred some emotion in me. If those child really was destined to end me, I wouldn’t try to change his fate by exposing him to cruel violence at such a young age.

As he grew, this emotion grew with him. He was, of course, trained in all things noble. Swordplay, literature, diplomacy, I spared nothing in his education. When he first bested our weapons master, I was proud, though I did not show it.

When he first read the works of our greatest poets aloud to my court, i was proud, and applauded him, though only briefly. I could see his smile, even though he tried to hide it.

When he returned from his first diplomatic mission, the first one to end in peace for our nation in a generation, I broke and embraced him in private. After a second, his shock seemed to fade, and he too rapped his arms around me.

I was frail at that point, and even though I still stood nearly a head above my people, I was not the imposing figure I once was. I had gradually lost my strength, the fire in my eyes faded, and my compassion grew. Those who would have been executed decades ago, I allowed a chance at repentance. I replaced the more violent members of my court with more pragmatic ones, knowing these people would guide my son after I was gone. My reputation amongst the people changed, the older ones, of course, still remembered me for the monster I was, the monster who had taken their mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters away from them. But the younger ones saw me as a fair ruler, and I was greeted more and more on the rare occasion I left the safety of my castle.

“Father, a new merchant has arrived in town, with wares from far off nations I have not seen since my first voyage for peace. Would you like to accompany me?” And I did. He was a young man now, 23 winters had passed since that stormy night, and I was near my end. One last trip wouldn’t hurt, and I was seldom exposed to wonders from outside my domain. We ventured down, through muddy paths, and entered the capital city. This place was larger than I remembered, no doubt from the success of my sons various diplomatic missions.

We walked the main road, when a man, slightly older than my boy walked up to us. “I cannot believe this, I never thought I would see you two in person! You may not remember, but we’ve crossed paths before.” He said to me. He was right, I did not remember, but there was something in his face that sparked recollection. “Ah, I’m sorry, you do seem familiar but I can’t quite place it.” “Oh that’s fine, I doubt you’d remember every life you ruined.” That stung. This was not the positive encounter I’d hoped it to be, and I hated to be reminded of my “glory days”. “Whatever transgression I’ve done to you, I genuinely apologize for. Come to the castle later today, we can perhaps work out some deal to reimburse you and your family. But, alas, we must get going, my son has business in town.” I hurried my boy along, this was not a side of me I wanted him to see often. But as I turned my back, my sons face lit up with fear, I felt a blade puncture my back, lost my breath, and collapsed into his arms.

The man was gone, lost in the bustling crowd. Some were gathering, but I paid it no mind. I wanted my last moments to be spent looking at my son. My boy. The child destined to end my evil reign. I had always believed he would be the one to kill me, that was my interpretation of the prophecy. Perhaps my earlier compassion was, indeed, an attempt to change fate. But, one way or the other, that prophecy had come true. I could see the rage in his teary eyes. The same rage I once saw in my own. “Do not give into it, I raised you better…” as I faded, and the pain shrunk, I saw the rage transform into utter sadness, and for a split second, he was that baby again.

EDIT: punctuation, spaced out the last paragraph.


russrussrussrussruss t1_ixnvgi2 wrote

“…what?” was all I could muster. How could this man, middle aged, and as weak minded as the rest of them, have resisted the effects of my song? In all the years I had spent here none of the ships that were unfortunate enough to pass by my favoured spot had survived, except those who were just far enough away that my voice couldn’t reach them. But this lone, old man somehow stood out from the rest. As his crew were meeting their watery graves, he climbed onto shore. “I’m begging you, please no more. Drown me if you must, tear my heart from my chest, but please stop the Damn singing!” Again, all I could muster was “…what?” This was, to my memory, the first time a human had actually spoken to me, and it was a little jarring to say the least. “My wife back home could do a better job, and her tongue was taken by the gov’ner for speaking Ill of his father, lord bless him.” This man was somehow…being casual with me? Well, as casual as you could be when you insult someone’s who livelihood. “How are you not entranced?” Was it a spell? Was it a hallucination? Were other sirens playing some elaborate practical joke on me? Was it-“I mean, you are beautiful, don’t get me wrong. I can see how most men would lose themselves to you.” He pulled me from my thoughts, but didn’t answer my question. “But that SINGING, I mean seriously, did they only make you a siren out of pity?” “pity?!” I hissed, this has not only survived, but had the gall to disrespect me to my face? Did he not see the razor sharp talons at the ends of my fingers? “I’ve been a siren for longer than you’ve been alive, mortal. And I’ve killed more men than you’ve ever seen! How could you-“ with that, I felt a odd sensation I had never felt before, in my abdomen. Was it admiration, I thought?No, I had admired the songs and beauty of other sirens before. Was it some type of respect for the man who was brave enough to stand before me? No, my eyes were still locked on his, and I could feel the burning hatred for him in my heart. This was… different. This was… bad. I looked down, breaking eye contact for the first time since he climbed onto my rock, to see a piece of metal, broad at the base but growing narrower towards the tip, sticking about 7 inches out of my abdomen, right below my exposed breasts. Then it was suddenly gone, and red liquid replaced it, quickly followed by that same feeling, I recognized as pain, intensifying. I looked back up at the man, he was smirking, and all I could muster was “…what?” Before I collapsed. I could no longer move my lower body, but I knew I could still sing, still had some semblance of a chance at survival if I could only compel this man into the deep seas. So I sang, harder and louder than I ever had, only to feel something quickly grasp my briefly exposed tongue, then sever it. I could no longer sing. “My talons!” I thought, but I lacked the strength to move them, somehow my body was losing energy, and I was getting…cold? “This can’t be happening, I live in the sea, I don’t get cold.” I thought, eyes still trained on the man. Suddenly, a group of 3 other men appeared into my vision, from behind me. The first one nodded at the others. “Well,” he said, removing something from his ears “that was easier than I anticipated, I figured at least one of us wouldn’t return home…and I was sort of hoping it would be me, that part about my wife was true, you know.” They all shared a small laugh, before turning their attention to me. “How is this possible, what sorcery is this!?” I asked with my eyes, and they got the message. “When we heard the stories of a lone siren, who has been luring men to their deaths for centuries, we were all terrified. Hell, you would be too, given the accounts of you. Those faaaar of ships? They were close enough to see you, to see what happen to those who ventured to close. Dead men tell no tales, but live one certainly do. That ship I was on? Full of prisoners, given the death sentence. The gov’ner figured ‘if they’re gonna die, let them die with purpose’ and distracting you was purpose enough. Shame, if only we’d thought of this sooner. cork from the ale bottles, it completely deafens us, see?” He showed me what he removed from his ears, a tiny thing, the size of a pebble. “We weren’t sure, was it the song? Was it the beauty? Or was it some joke of the gods, would we be effected simply by being close enough to you? Turns out, it’s just the song. And with that ability gone, you’re hardly a danger.” I was scared, I knew what this was. Some base instinct, telling me I was in horrid danger. Is this what all those men felt, as they sunk deeper and my song lost its effects? “Alright lads, let’s take the head and make our way home, it’s gonna be a long trip in that small dingy.”