The Siren’s Bones (2)
( for those who like stories- and/or I hope you enjoy the pics that inspired it!)
The Siren’s Bones Chapter 2
Fiona, sat down on a log exhausted, her voice hoarse from calling her daughter’s name. Where could the girl be? Her eyes narrowed as she saw a storm coming in from the North. She knew the child loved stormy weather. Even as a toddler she had always found a way to escape the confines of the cottage where they lived close to the loch*. The girl could be as wild as a wave flinging itself against the shore, and as mysterious. Then there were her eyes. Those eyes reflected the deep heart of the ocean and seemed to shine with the light of a submerged moon.
Fiona’s husband, the Captain, named their baby daughter Muireal* which well suited her, and as years went by she had grown into a bright eyed, inquisitive creature. Nevertheless, during those early years they knew something was not quite right with her. In spite of the constant chatter of the two older boys who included her in their games and told her stories, by the age of five, Muireal had still never spoken a word though her hearing and comprehension seemed unimpaired. There were times she would suddenly stop whatever she was doing and intently stare out to sea with her little head cocked as though she was listening to something that was inaudible to everyone but her. In the morning light as Fiona put out the wash she sometimes saw her standing on the dock in quiet attention.
Wind from the South (by the Chieftains, beautiful Celtic piece!)
Yet, there was nothing dull or slow in her affect, and neither the country doctor nor, for that matter, an expert associate from the city were able to find a cause for her silence. Their official diagnosis was that the child was mute possibly due to some shock received, either before or after birth, though what that could have been no one would say and so it remained a mystery. Muireal quickly learned to speak with her hands using a type of sign language but when Fiona looked into her daughter’s beautiful eyes she felt that in them lay the true communication trapped just below the surface of a dark green sea.
The slightly webbed fingers of her delicate little right hand were never a hindrance to Muireal as she picked up stranded star fish, tiny crabs and other gifts from the rocks and tide pools. She hung wind chimes of gannet skulls and seashells at the garden gate. She was a collector of small bird bones and like a spaewife* of old she would often take them out of her little pouch and throw them, examining their fallen positions as though she were scrying. Afterwards in her own private ritual she would stand up and raise her fingers as if in blessing or perhaps it was just to feel the direction of the wind.
One day the Captain brought home an ancient bone flute from his travels. Muireal was infatuated with it and insisted on keeping it in her pocket as she went about her daily chores and explorations. Soon after, on moonlit nights the hollowed bone began to sing unknown melodies from some far shore. Everyone within earshot would stop and listen when she played but the haunting sound gave Fiona a strange unease. Muireal’s future was a worry to her now that she was getting closer to the bloom of womanhood. Some of the villagers and fisher boys were afraid of her and Fiona was also afraid, not of the child, but because she, herself had carried a secret all these years. It was while her husband had been away at sea and before her daughter was born that something very out of the ordinary had occurred.
still more to come!
This may need a bit of revision or editing but here it is in raw form and in time for Monochrome Madness
*Muireal is a Gaelic name meaning bright sea
*A loch is both a sea inlet or a lake, in this case an inlet. In Scotland they are also called Firths which comes from the Viking word Fjord.
*a spaewife was a fortune teller or witch in Scottish folklore