Siren Song

He swallowed hard. “They said it was easier for me to believe nonsense than the truth. But in here, in my heart, I never really believed I could have gouged his eyes out and gutted him. Eddie was my best friend since primary school. I had no reason to kill him. They made up that stuff about arguing over a girl. I never minded Eddie going out with Shona.”

“Ewan, if you still think like this, perhaps you’re not as ready as you think to...”

“I kept on and on at Granddad until he let me take the boat out,” Ewan ignored me. “Ed and me had a good time fishing, a few beers and we were chilling out, watching the sunset when we heard that noise. I’ll never forget it. I’d never want to hear anything like that again. Ed called it the most beautiful singing he’d ever heard but to me it was an awful screeching racket like a nest of ravenous seagulls. He said I was tone deaf, just like Granddad. We saw some flashes like when someone points a mirror at the sun only it was way up in the sky. Then I saw them, gigantic black wings, swooping and circling, getting nearer. I said something like ‘What the fuck?’ but Ed didn’t answer. I looked at him and he was crying, real tears rolling down his cheeks! When I asked him what was wrong, he shook his head and told me to listen. That’s when I remembered the stories about becoming paralysed if you ever hear a siren singing. I didn’t believe it, not even then, but I was frightened at the way Ed was acting and these flying monsters were getting nearer and nearer. So I dropped everything, screamed at Ed that we’ve got to get back to shore but he still didn’t move. Then I heard their wings and knew it was too late. They were too fast; the boat could never outrun them. It shook when they landed.”

“Ewan, I don’t need to hear this...”

“Please. Please hear me out.”

“Everyone knows the story, Ewan. No one believes it. It’s too...” I stopped myself. After all, he needed to tell it and, with my memory going the way of mum’s, it would do me no harm to have it refreshed from a different point of view.

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