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Purple Siren

22 July 2012
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She couldn’t sing in the dark.

You may already know the truth, little songbird.

People had it wrong about the song; it wasn’t a perilous lure or a death curse, though it could act as those things too. It was remembering the notes of a life before ever hearing them and then reminding a person about something they’d rather forget.

That we sing mindlessly and hop from perch to perch to distract ourselves.

In this way, she was only a strange mimic. And the dark was quiet, so she was quiet. But that was usually when she started recalling her own tune, and it frightened her so that she always cut it off with some other task.

From the fear that our fate rests on our own wings, but that those wings are too weak.

She had sharpened a sword from her longest tail feather and chased adventure after adventure. But after so much wear, her sword was split down the middle and she was spent. And again the dark and the quiet sought her out.

Stacks of fallen sparrows and gutters full of dead robins – we dine on their failures. How will you be any different in the end?

With a desperate swing, the flat of the songbird’s split blade struck something solid. At this, a sound shook through the air. Her sword was a tuning fork, and the songbird heard a pure tone that countered the whispers of doubt, separating out her own melody.

And she started to remember how to sing in the darkness because everything around her was singing back, a chorus of souls. She joined them, equal parts whistling wind and sea sounds, with notes that could make fish swim out of the water and call sea-lions away from their hunts.

A Siren Song wasn’t the warped mirror she had feared; she had just never heard her own song in her own voice.

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