Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Siren

Write at the Merge Week 5

This week, I give you a French phrase (you are not required to use the phrase verbatim, but you can) and a photograph:
La Douleur Exquise (French): The heart-wrenching pain of wanting someone you can’t have.
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Trifecta week Sixty-two

1a : the natural opening through which food passes into the body of an animal and which in vertebrates is typically bounded externally by the lips and internally by the pharynx and encloses the tongue, gums, and teeth
  b : grimace <made a mouth>
  c : an individual requiring food <had too many mouths to feed>
2a : voice, speech <finally gave mouth to her feelings>
  b : mouthpiece
3: something that resembles a mouth especially in affording entrance or exit: as

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.


(I've attempted two prompts in one this week)


He wasn’t immediately aware of the music. It started low, worming its way into his conciousness slowly, until he found himself humming along with the melody. Swaying to the soft beat.

He smiled, an involuntary twitch of lip. He stopped his work and leaned back in his wheeled desk chair to listen more closely. The harder he listened, the farther away the music became.

A frown crossed his brow. He rose and went to the small window of his office. The window wasn’t made to open. The door, however, was.

Soon he found himself on the sidewalk in front of the building. He cocked his head, honing in on the direction of the haunting notes and in a semi-daze, he followed.

The journey through the city went unremarked. He almost noticed the rural land he passed as day became evening, then night. By morning, he’d entered a wooded tract and was following a small, forgotten river.

It was afternoon when he reached the mouth of the river, where it emptied into the sea. The trees still clinging close to the banks, roots reaching out to the water. He didn’t feel the cuts on his arms from pushing through brush. He didn’t care that his shirt was in shreds, or his shoes waterlogged and muddy.

All he knew was the song. Sad and sweet and full of unfulfilled promises.

He found its source. A monstrous gatehouse of stone. Empty windows in its upper reaches, watching his approach.

Without hesitation he climbed ancient, lichen covered steps. Higher, the melody quickening the closer he came. At the top of the stairway, a room. From the fading light of the window he saw the singer. A woman, of sorts. At his gasping entrance, she silenced.

His heart broke at the quiet, his arms reached out, pleading. She turned swiftly to the window and leapt to the sea below, her jeweled scales flashing in the last rays of sunset.

With a cry of pain, he followed.

24 comments:

  1. Mm...Nice mermiaid story...The siren's song...Sort of reminded me of Ulysses in the Odyssey being tied to the mast so he couldn't give in to the sirens' songs...

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    1. Yes. Too bad there was no one to tie him to something.
      Thank you for stopping by.

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  2. What a lovely sense of longing you portray here! I enjoyed the small details like: the windows weren't meant to be open.

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    1. Thank you. I struggled with this one. Trying to convey the pull of the siren song.

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  3. Oooh, interesting! The Siren, indeed.

    I'm curious--was the cry of pain because he didn't want to follow her, or because he couldn't bear to be without her? Was he fighting the siren in any way?

    And was he the only one who heard her?

    Fascinating.

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    1. I felt like it was song he couldn't live without.
      And there was no fight in him. At all.

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  4. This was a neat read - Love the descriptions and can easily see this expanded into something longer.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you like it. I had to stop trying to "fix" it. Still want to.

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  5. Brilliant take on the siren myth (: I love it!

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    1. Thank you, I hope I did justice to the myth.

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  6. The Siren comes to the modern world, no less destructive and compelling for a man of business, I see!

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  7. exquisitely mysterious. almost mystical.

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  8. I was right on his heels! 'his heart broke at the quiet' is gorgeous.

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  9. I enjoyed his surreal journey via your description. Loved how she jumped out the window... he to follow.

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  10. What a tragic end-her siren song became his swan song:-(

    Loved it:-)

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  11. How neat! Guess mermaids have to troll the corporate waters these days. Great story :)

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  12. I love how seamlessly the music just draws him out and across the country and through the day and night -- almost dreamlike. Well done!

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  13. Oh Renee, I just loved this, the sweet tragedy of it, the lyrical telling.

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  14. Those pesky sirens! Can't leave well enough alone, can they? I loved the compulsion aspect of this--that he was powerless in the face of her will. Spooky!

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  15. The ending was fantastic.

    Well done.

    I'm at Trifecta this week, but Write on Edge is a favorite of mine.

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  16. Oh a siren! The ultimate love that can never be and will, actually, kill you. Nice.

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