SIREN SUICIDES excerpt, Draft 5

by Ksenia Anske


Once again, trembling inside and out, yet listening to my boyfriend who says I need to do it, to get feedback from people and get myself out there, I'm posting an excerpt from Draft 5, the very beginning. You can compare it to the excerpt from Draft 4 and let me know which one is better. Hopefully Draft 5 is. With that, on 1, 2, 3... 

Photo by Mr. Naizz

SIREN SUICIDES

A novel by Ksenia Anske, Draft 5

Chapter 1. Bright's Bathroom.

I chose to die in the bathroom because it’s the only room in the house that can be locked. Besides, water calms me, and I have to be calm to pull the plug on my life. Nothing would irritate my father more than finding the fully clothed corpse of his sixteen-year-old daughter on the morning of her birthday, floating in his beloved antique carved-marble tub. The ridiculous Bright’s family relic, each of its corners held up by one of four sirens, their mouths open in lethal song, their hands upturned in worship of the Siren of Canosa, a bronze faucet figurine. How fitting. Ailen Bright, the deceased, to be guided into the afterlife by a tap. Do you hear me, Papa? This is my morbid joke.  

Six years ago today, on a rainy September morning, my mother jumped off the Aurora Bridge. Something terrible must have happened, because she was afraid of heights. I heard Papa scream at her, heard her run out of their bedroom and slam the front door. I haven’t seen much of mom throughout my childhood, but after that day I’ve lost her forever. For this, and for all the pain he caused me, I want to hurt my father the only way I can, by sending him a message as twisted as his soul. Ending my life in the very place he delivered me, sixteen years ago, on a rainy September morning of 1993.

In some perverted sense as far back as I can remember, four marble sirens and a bronze one gave me more comfort than my parents. Five sisters I never had. While normal girls spent their free time playing outside, I was locked up in the bathroom for punishment, talking to inanimate creatures for hours, having memorized entire passages from Homer’s The Odyssey, calling each siren by her proper name.

Pisinoe, the one with the persuading mind, the youngest of the five. We both want a pet, I like her best for that. Teles, the perfect one, her face cute yet slightly chubby, which makes me like mine better, thank you. Raidne, the one symbolizing improvement, her hair long and curly, envy of my life, because my hair resembles a spaghetti factory explosion on best days, on worst days it’s dubbed “chicken-feathers” by kids at school. Ligeia, the shrill one, perhaps due to her voice. Her perfect breasts were the source of my secret admiration until the day I understood that being called flat-chested is my fate. Yeah.

These are my four marble sisters, their bare bodies protruding from four corners of the tub, their knees on the floor, their arms spread wide as if wings of birds getting ready to fly.

At the head of the tub, long hair covering her body, legs dangling from the rim, sits Siren of Canosa, or Canosa for short. My big bronze sister, the boss. Her left hand holds the faucet, her right arm is raised over her head in a mourning gesture. She’s the main funerary siren who’s supposed to act as a psychopomp, a fancy word for mythological creature whose job is to lead souls of dead people into afterlife, heaven, or hell. Three very nice destinations. Pick your favorite while you hold her hand. Right. But I’m forgetting to count.

Eight. Nine. Ten.

Ten seconds since I took the plunge, stepping into bathtub full of water, wearing my favorite faded jeans and my blue High School hoodie. Blue is my favorite color. Three is my favorite number. It takes three minutes for an average person to drown. Only two minutes and fifty seconds left. I hold my breath.

My clothes balloon in a funny way before getting soaked completely and feel oddly warm and clingy. I close my eyes because the chlorine in the water burns them. Now my nose starts burning too, water making its way up my nostrils as if wanting to drive a nail through my head. I press hands into the sides of the tub to keep myself from floating up. I can’t do this, I can’t. I’m scared. I sit up and gasp, grab my head with both hands to prevent it from spinning. No, to prevent the bathroom around me from spinning. Ok, I can’t tell what’s spinning against what anymore. Water rushes down my face. Wet cotton sticks to my skin in thick soggy layers. Smoking a joint wasn’t enough. Did I absolutely have to drop a tab of acid on top of it? Stupid coward.

The doorknob turns once to the right, then, after a puzzled pause, turns to the right several times again.

Click-click-click.

“Ailen, is that you in there?” Papa’s voice reaches me as if from some future land that I didn’t think would ever happen. Distorted and unreal, it strikes upon my ears like a knife that has a tricky way of cutting all the way to my heart, then across the abdomen, all the way to my toes. My muscles constrict as if freeze-dried, my heart attempts to beat through layers of ribs, jump on an elevator of fear and explode in my head with a pounding migraine. 

Who else? I want to answer, merely as an automatic response. Because another thought pushes it out. Shit, he shouldn’t be up so early. Damn it. And another thought. I should’ve jumped off the bridge like mom. Why the fuck am I so afraid of heights? Is it genetic? What do I do now? The whole bathroom stinks like weed.

He knocks on the door once. I hold on to my knees, watch early morning light stream through the window, hear footsteps. He’s probably checking my room to make sure it’s not some thief who decided to take a bath in the middle of the night because he got tired of robbing our house.

A few minutes, and he’ll be back.

All at once the impossibility of facing my father, the impossibility of ever getting out of this bathroom in one piece floods me with renewed force. A thousand needles of terror prickle my skin, drive their sharp points deeper, pin my guts until they reach a pool of doom deep inside my soul. Bathroom stops spinning. I reach a place of calm, a moment of soundless emptiness, and decide to try once more. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’ve thought of everything there is to think about while smoking away the night. There is no other way out for me except to die.

***

This seemed like a good stopping point. What do you guys think, better than Draft 4?

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BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Chapter 10.

by Ksenia Anske


This is it! Last Chapter of our chain story by 10 different writers. Read about how it started here.

Please welcome our 10th author, Danielle Tauscher (aka @writer_danielle). Danielle says that she is: "Writer. Coffee drinker. Master of the shin-kick. I write about dead things & kissing, but not kissing dead things." Danielle wrote a collection of short stories PEOPLE LIKE ME & Other Stories.

Photo by Steven Depolo

BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Chapter 10 by Danielle Tauscher

“Santa? How are you alive?” Edwin asked, not believing his own eyes. Santa shouldn’t have survived the sirens. No one could. Not even the red goblin.

This ruined everything.

Well, except for the part where he saved Edwin’s life, that is.

The red goblin chuckled. “You think I couldn’t handle a few horny women? Please. I’m Santa Claus.”

Santa dropped Edwin in the snow. It might’ve hurt had he not already been in pain due to the nasty gash in his Achilles heal.

“Now for you, Edwin The Original,” Santa scoffed, “You’ve been very naughty. What should I do with you?”

Edwin didn’t like the look in Santa’s black eyes or how the flesh fell from his bones.

“I know the Sirens’ secrets, sir. I will be useful in defeating them, my Lord,” Edwin said, trying to sound calm and strong, but failing miserably.

Why would he want to defeat the sirens? Santa had always been into the kinkier side of things; a little flesh eating made him vulnerable yet powerful. With Liara and her girls he needn’t hide himself. He quite enjoyed relinquishing his authority for a few moments in Liara’s grip and mouth. Despite her frosty exterior, Santa knew her inner warmth. He didn’t need this little elf’s secrets.

“’Sir’. ‘My Lord’—pulling out the big guns, aren’t you, now? It won’t help you. Not this time,” Santa said.

“Santa—“

Santa held up his hand to quiet the elf.  He squatted next to Edwin. His face, mere inches from Edwin’s, so that when he spoke Edwin felt his spit on his cheek. “Tell me why you did it? Why did you kill her?” Santa whispered.

“I didn’t. You saved me,” Edwin said, confused. Surely those sirens ate part of Santa’s brain, Edwin thought. 

Santa abruptly stood up and with his boot kicked the elf in the stomach. “Not that siren bitch. Why did you kill Mrs. Claus?” Santa asked. For good measure, he kicked Edwin twice more in his stomach. “No lying, Edwin. I know when you’ve been naughty,” Santa said, winking.

“I don’t—“ Edwin started. What could he say?

Edwin’s body screamed at him to run, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t stand, let alone run away from Santa. And where would he run if he could? Santa knew the truth. And this Santa—this disgusting human—was more powerful than all the Santas that came before him. Something wasn’t right.

Edwin took a chance and went with the truth. Either way, he was dead. “I needed you to destroy the other originals.”

“Why?”

“To gain their power,” Edwin said. It was the only way he would have been able to eventually kill Santa and take over the kingdom.

“But I could have killed you, too,” Santa said. “How did you know I wouldn’t?”

“I was your favorite,” Edwin said.

Santa was quiet for a moment. When he spoke it was a whisper, “indeed.”

Edwin choked on his words. “Am I… are you going… kill me now?”

“Not I. I can’t possibly kill my favorite original elf.” Santa wickedly smiled. “But them,” he motioned to the tribe of sirens slinking up behind him, “they can.”

Santa turned toward the women and spoke. “Ladies. Dinner is served.”

The sirens circled Edwin. His eyes darted from one to another and back at Santa.

“But I don’t understand,” Edwin said.

“Of course not, you ungrateful fool. You dare think you, a pathetic little elf, could destroy the king? What a fool, you are, Edwin. This is what happens to those who cross me,” Santa said. “I’m bored with you.”

“Please, don’t do this,” Edwin begged.

“Already done. Ladies. Eat,” Santa said. He turned from Edwin as the sirens began to pull his flesh from his bones. Santa heard Edwin’s bones snap and the slurping of his blood. He smiled. This was his favorite part.

Santa stopped next to Liara who stood away from the vile scene. Her eyes gleamed in the grayness of the night.  Santa wrapped his arm around her waist. “It’s time to come home, Mrs. Claus, you’ve had your fun.”

P.S.: This is the last and 10th Chapter of BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Here are links to previous Chapters: Chapter 1,Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7, Chapter 8, and Chapter 9.

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BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Chapter 9.

by Ksenia Anske


One last Chapter left to publish!!! Our chain story ends tomorrow. Read about how it started here.

Please welcome our 9th author, Corey Seeley (aka @coreyalex), a young writer, a proud vegetarian, also a grumpy jerk without having three cups of coffee daily.

Photo by Ulf Rasmussen

BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Chapter 9 by Corey Seeley

“I’m, I’m an original… you can’t kill me.”

Liara walked over to him, slowly, seductively. She thought to herself, how is an elf from the original crew still living? She knew just how odd this very situation was, and it made her all the more hungry for him.

“What makes you think I’m not going to devour you this very second?” She said to him as her eyes gazed at his mutilated corpse.

“Because, you don’t remember me, do you, my dear?”

The corpse is gone. Liara is startled; she looks behind her, all around her, but there is nothing. She hears whispers; wind blows softly around her.

“I’m an original elf, the only one left… I’m special…”

Laughter suddenly fills her heart. A laughter that annoys her in a way she never thought was possible.

Liara storms out of her lair, looking everywhere, but can’t seem to get a grasp at what's happening. She quickly becomes very angry.

“WHAT ARE YOU?!”

The whispers begin again.

“Don’t you remember the classic tale, oh Liara? Old Saint Nick used to be a jolly good man, with magic and happiness, until my crew accidently pushed Mrs. Claus out of that three-story window. Oops? He lashed out and killed my entire crew. Except for me, he left me to die on this god-forsaken island. But, what Santa doesn’t know, is I took an entire case of his magic with me. I’m untouchable, you stupid whore!”

“Come out from where you’re hiding, Edwin. Why don’t we finish this, right now? You and me.”

Liara was not scared, not in the least bit. She knows how strong and powerful she is. She actually craved his meat more than ever now that Edwin has put up a good fight. Most of the elves she had eaten were poor, weak, clueless little men who satisfied her hunger needs, but wearied her with how easy they were to kill.

Edwin wasn’t even close by; he was on his way back to the cave to spook the rest of the flesh-eating creatures that Liara had left to finish Santa. He knows Santa was done with, but he wanted to witness the end for himself. He has plans to take over his throne, to be the new leader of his entire kingdom, but first, he had to find a way to get rid of all of these sirens that craved elven flesh so much.

As he reached the cave, he steps inside, quietly. He hears that bloody tone again. He knows it’s the Yuletide song. They’re trying to seduce him, lure him into their trap. It will not work, not again. He continues to tip toe deeper into the darkness, and the song continues. It gets louder, and more controlling. He knows he must step away. He must prepare for the worst to come. It’s so tempting…

“Come here, Edwin…”

“Come closer, you’re the one we’ve been yearning for...”

Edwin is about to step away, when Liara comes from behind him. She throws herself at his short, weak little legs. She bites at his Achilles heal. Blood splatters to the snow.

“Nooooo...”

Edwin moans in agony.

He squirms away from her bite. He can barley walk. Suddenly, someone grabs him and darts from the cave. Edwin looks up to see who’s carrying him away.

“Santa?”

P.S.: This is 9th Chapter of BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Here are links to previous Chapters: Chapter 1,Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Chapter 8.

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BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Chapter 8.

by Ksenia Anske


2 Chapters left to publish! Our chain story is coming to an end. Read about how it started here.

Please welcome our 8th author, Sarah Broadley (aka @sarahpbroadley), a slightly mad Scottish woman who is fiercely loyal and almost always silly. In her words: "I'm a writer who is crazy about her family and all things chocolate. I like listening to the rain at night and watching the world through my wee boys eyes. I currently write rhyming stories for children and have dabbled in the world of crime too, not to mention flesh eating zombies and bad Santas! I hate slush piles and really hope I am not in any.  I'm a sucker for cuddles and anything remotely fluffy and I can't take penicillin as I turn blue and stop breathing...just so you know!" 

Photo by Annalise Nicole

BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Chapter 8 by Sarah Broadley

Laira took a step back and watched her ladies at work. Apparently she had a 'present' awaiting her in her chamber so she meandered slowly to the tower after her appreciation of the carnage had waned in her mind.

Santa was long gone now and the rest of his obedient dwarfs would soon be snared through the power of enchanting Yuletide song. Direct access for all of her ladies to unimaginable elf treasures of the flesh would soon be theirs.

Her stomach lurched in appreciation as it craved more sustenance.

She reached her lair within a few minutes.

She entered the dark void and walked calmly to its centre. With her remaining hand on her left hip and her right foot, so putrid and decayed - to a human the stench would have been atrocious, she firmly placed all her weight on the heaving chest of her latest catch. 

"Now. Where was I?" She said out loud to no one in particular.

She bent over the small trembling body beneath her foot and let the slavers from her mouth gather in a pointed globule directly above her prey's eyes.  She smirked and watched as the horror began to unfold in its pathetic eyes. 

Why did he keep struggling? He was older than the others that had crossed her path today, presents from her ever dutiful girls.

There was something different about this elf, though, she couldn't put her finger on it. She was vaguely impressed that he was still trying to get away from her as she flaunted her decaying body in his line of vision and danced for him. 

Mocking her prized elf, she sang to him one last time and watched with glee as he slowly relaxed and angled his body to meet hers, tears streaming down his once petrified face. She knew the euphoric sound of her voice was in his head and as she watched the saltwater flow down what was left of his face, she instigated the final encore.

The haunting music filled the small cave for a while longer. Once she stopped singing, it wasn't long before his mind came back to him with a judder and he was reminded of his present predicament. She welcomed his child-like scream with open arms as he shrieked violently and his mangled body succumbed to the inevitable blackness that was about to envelope him like the night sky.

The smell of urine that had escaped from her guest was threatening her desire to complete her 'meal'. She couldn't wait to devour the rest of the bright red flesh that sat so tantalisingly angelic around his dwarf-sized bones. The elf passed out for one last time.

Charming, Laira thought to herself, the undead get no respect.

The elf's limp body was of no use to her now, she secretly preferred it when they fought back. That prick Santa should have had this one all to himself if he hadn't succumbed earlier. He could maybe  have used him for one of those abhorrent reindeer games he insisted on playing with his out-of favour workers. She knew that the 'Red Goblin' had finally been brought to his knees. Now it was time for his fucking elves to feel the wrath.

The sharp sound of metal clanging on the floor halted the thoughts flying through her head.  Among the carnage of bodily fluids beneath her feet she saw a small golden circle linked to a chain. Picking up the necklace, she swept her broken fingers across the initials that appeared before her: 'S.L.H' engraved on one side and Edwin - 1 on the other side.

Quickly she deciphered what the letters meant: Santa's Little Helper. Not any more. you're not, Edwin – 1, she thought to herself.

A disturbing thought crossed her mind – why had Santa not cloned this elf? Her thoughts were interrupted as she heard a groan coming from the mutilated elf at the far side of the room.

P.S.: This is 8th Chapter of BLOODY SANTA vs ZOMBIE SIREN. Here are links to previous Chapters: Chapter 1,Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Chapter 7.

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