The Siren’s Bones (3)

 

ship2

Fiona’s husband was more often away at sea than he was at home. One night during the season of high winds and gales a stranger came to the door. It was a man with the sodden look of someone washed up on a beach after a ship wreck. His great sea coat was tattered and his hair hung down over the collar.  He asked if he might take shelter and so, Fiona’s older son, Hamish* showed him to the  enclosed shed where a few cows and sheep took refuge at night.  Fiona later brought out a wash basin and some clean dry clothes that belonged to her husband. He took them gratefully but did not answer when she asked him how he came to be traveling on such a night.

I see the mist covered hills….  I will soon be welcomed– the Rankin Family -Chi mi na morbheanna

At the house, Fiona reassured herself that her husband’s pistol was within reach in the hutch before sending Hamish to fetch their guest to the kitchen. As they sat down at the table she was surprised to see that he was very handsome in a darkly brooding way.  When asked his name, he hesitated a moment, but then replied “Duff,”*  and looked up expectantly as if awaiting approval of the appellation.  Fiona’s boys, usually so talkative, were quiet during supper. They all seemed spell bound and sensed something both disturbing and strangely fascinating in Duff’s appearance and odd demeanor.  His intense eyes fixed everyone in their gaze and his posture was alert to every sound and movement. Afterward he thanked them and took the bed coverings that were offered. Fiona watched him walk toward the outbuilding and locked the doors before retiring to bed. During the night the wind died down and they heard singing coming from the shed. It was a strangely captivating song full of such longing that it sent an echoing shiver into the intimate depths of her.

The next day she saw he had let the sheep out to graze. He later came to the back door with peat for the fire and some shellfish to prepare. In that moment Fiona realized how much she missed her husband.

Fiona's dream2

By nightfall the weather had worsened again.  The storm howled through Fiona’s emptiness and somehow it came to be that she found herself delirious and in the arms of the mysterious Duff. His skin tasted like the salt sea and she felt as though she had been caught in a fierce undertow while the surf filled her hollow bones with wild song.  The sound of a rushing wind inside her ears drowned out everything but the distant cries of a lone gull, or perhaps it was her own voice that she heard.

In the morning the storm had broken.  The sun came up and the stranger was gone. Her husband’s clothes and the bed coverings were all neatly folded in the wardrobe. Everything now seemed hazy and elusive, and Fiona wondered if indeed any of it had happened at all.

She inquired in the village if there had been news of any vessel that might have run aground in the bad weather but none had been reported. Two weeks later the captain returned at last and within the month she knew she was with child.  Fiona and the boys never mentioned the visitor who had not been seen again since that time. It was as if they all had dreamed the same dream but Fiona knew that the baby growing inside her was very real.

PS: I am behind again and scrambling to catch up!

Scottish names: Hamish is anglicized for Seamus in Gaelic meaning James  and Duff comes from Dubh meaning dark

duff lights
they mysterious Duff

Chapter Four

chapters one and two

 

 

69 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh my, Cybele, this is all beautiful, just beautiful a real true nod to this world and an evocation of it. I have bookmarked chap four to come back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I’m so happy you are reading it. Bear in mind it probably needs some revising. But I kind of do things in fits and starts and often don’t finish!! The ending needs work. I wish I was more like you! but ADHD and/or not enough discipline lol as you can see, 4 years later.

      Like

  2. milliethom says:

    I love the wild, stormy night and the appearance of this mysterious and handsome stranger. The characters in the scene are nicely portrayed through fascinating detail. I’m now wondering whether Fiona’s secret emerges sometime in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so pleased you are enjoying it!! Take your time, I know you are busy writing too!

      Like

  3. Norma says:

    A wonderful selection of names. I liked the name “Duff” and what it signifies. You are a great storyteller Moon. 🙂 The song was also beautiful and just adds to the whole atmosphere of the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I love those Gaelic names!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Norma says:

        It has high levels of symbolism, I guess – very toxic, especially for people who love mystery and all… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. DG MARYOGA says:

    Engaging story from the first lines,fantasies that take shape and fascinating characters,Cybele.The weather conditions made everything wilder and more mysterious,You keep your readers in suspence,it’s a story that you want to come back and continue reading.The Scottish song echoed above the Highlands and became one with your powerful words that resonate with mystery and beauty.I’ll come back,my friend,I will … You’ll never disengage me …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy you like the story- and of course the music!! Thank you for such a wonderful comment Doda!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DG MARYOGA says:

        My pleasure sweet friend Cybele.I wll read all chapters,I think they are 7,but gradually.I want to post something new and I postpone it again and again …

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Any time my friend. Looking forward to your next post too! I always post my chapters fearfully, hoping they will meet the standard of the last one and it’s so wonderful to get comments from people like you!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. DG MARYOGA says:

        🙂 ☀️☀️☀️

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oooo, I love the way you describe that night of passion. …Now I must dash over to the next chapter to see what happens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aha, so glad you like the passion Sarah! thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! Your word choice paints a beautiful melody

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh I am thrilled you came by to read the story which of course is not finished yet! lol. Did you manage all the chapters?! Thanks so much and do come by again!!

      Like

  7. Ali Isaac says:

    Beautiful evocative story, Cybele.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you are enjoying it Ali! I appreciate your feedback!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. sixpixx says:

    Such a great sense of place and character in so few words. Love it – and such evocative imagery. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so honoured by your comment! Thank you!

      Like

      1. sixpixx says:

        No. The honour was mine to have read your words 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🙂 it’s very encouraging!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful and haunting Cybele.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I was hoping you would read it Andrea! Thank you!! – and more coming!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am enjoying the story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. very pleased Sherry!! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Anxiously awaiting more! 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks Linda!! More coming!

      Like

  12. I’m looking forward to the next chapter, Hannah! Your story is captivating 😊. And your images fit the story so perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Pam! Your comment is encouraging and much appreciated!!

      Like

  13. Great chapter! Looking forward to reading more. Will Duff return I wonder? 🙂 The images are wonderful. That ship really does look as if it in a howling storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so glad you are enjoying it!! Duff may return!! Poor Fiona! 😀 Thank you so much for the encouragement Deb!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Peter Nena says:

    “The storm howled through Fiona’s emptiness and somehow it came to be that she found herself delirious and in the arms of the mysterious Duff. His skin tasted like the salt sea and she felt as though she had been caught in a fierce undertow while the surf filled her hollow bones with wild song. The sound of a rushing wind inside her ears drowned out everything but the distant cries of a lone gull, or perhaps it was her own voice that she heard.”

    That’s a paragraph to surely memorise! It’s a fine description.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thrilled by your endorsement. It did resonate for me too. Sometimes I’m not sure how these descriptions materialize! 😀 But if anyone knows, you do! Thanks so much! Good to hear from you Peter and hope all is well!

      Like

  15. Kerena says:

    I’m so glad I’ve met you and am able to enjoy your incredible art and writings. The photos with this story are absolutely stunning, the words of the story absolutely enthralling. I’ll eagerly await the “more to come!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many many thanks Kerena!! Your enthusiasm makes it all worthwhile!

      Like

  16. Adrian Lewis says:

    The top image here really blows me away, my friend >>> no pun intended!!! A

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 nice one! thank you Adrian!!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. What a story Cybele, fantastic photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much Della!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. katieprior says:

    Love this mysterious tale, truly captivating, looking forward to the next chapter 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you are liking it! Thanks so much Katie!

      Like

  19. Maverick ~ says:

    Wonderful Cybele.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Maverick!!

      Like

  20. Deliciously dark and mysterious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and a lovely comment! thank you David!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Maria F. says:

    So entertaining with the illustrations Cybele.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. many thanks Maria!

      Like

  22. Enjoyed the story and the images were hauntingly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Sharon! More to come! Did you manage the first two chapters too?
      PS: and thanks for coming by!

      Like

      1. Oh I just saw this one

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a little series lol! Only a few more chapters to come. The first two chapters will (hopefully!) help make more sense of the tale. Hope you might get a chance to read them! Thanks for the read of this chapter!

        Liked by 1 person

  23. sheldonk2014 says:

    What a story
    You had me from beginning to end
    Great post
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks for your lovely comment and support Sheldon! More coming!

      Like

  24. lauramacky says:

    Gorgeous as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura!! where have you been lol!! My email follow thing is always so late with everything as well. That’s my excuse for being so behind myself!! (and still house hunting!) thanks so much for stopping by! How are you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lauramacky says:

        Hi there! Well I’ve been here but I don’t look at the reader every day anymore. (I don’t do the email follow thing.) I’ve noticed that some I never see in the reader. I’m doing well thank you! I hope you’re doing well too!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. no worries – we do what we can!! yes I am well too!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lauramacky says:

        Good to hear. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Rajiv says:

    Wow… I like this one

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sue says:

    Ooh, I’m liking this tale, Hannah 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. so very pleased Sue!! It’s been a struggle keeping up these days- and writing to boot. Still more to come!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue says:

        Yippee! Looking forward to the next instalment 😀

        Liked by 1 person

Come on , don't be afraid to squeak up!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.