I'm getting to the fun part in writing Sirens. I love how sometimes the characters suddenly take over the story almost like they are talking to you and telling you what to write. It's a little different than what I've done in the past and will be what I would consider New Adult category rather than Young Adult. I touch on a few things that might not be appropriate for young readers of the YA spectrum. But really, it isn't any worse than what's on T.V. If I had to put an age it would be 16& up. As far as writing it, I feel that it has been almost like a slow train ride uphill in the winter time, but now I'm at the crest of the mountain and soon I'll be rocketing down! In the meantime while I race to the finish line of Sirens, enjoy a sample of chapter 7!
It was quite by accident,” Sophie blurted out. “We didn’t mean to, and we’ll be gladly on our way if you please release our friend.”
I glared at Sophie. What was she doing?! Did she really expect that saying I’m sorry didn’t mean to intrude in her accented voice would get us out of here? We didn’t know who this woman named Maggie was except that she counseled guardians and had a hidden portal in a hidden room. If we wanted out of here, we would have to fight our way out.
Maggie smiled at Sophie. She had let her guard down, and I wasn’t going to let the opportunity go to waste. I grasped the wand from her hand pointing it at her.
“Let—” Ringing filled my ears, and I was forced to my knees. The wand slipped from my hand as I sat nearly paralyzed by the sudden surge of what felt like electricity.
“Here,” Maggie knelt beside me. “As you can see, my wand wasn’t meant for anyone beside me to handle.” She picked up the wand, flashed it at Beannca releasing her bonds. With a smile towards me, she slipped it into a leather holster that hung delicately around her waist. “Help me get her up, Sophie. The paralysis will only last a couple of minutes, but I think she’d more comfortable on the couch.”
Maggie and Sophie put me on the couch. I tried to push myself up, but I couldn’t coordinate my muscles. I was frustrated for letting myself get into this position. What if Maggie called the guardianship? I tried to speak, but my voice was gone. I looked at Sophie and Beannca. They sat like two obedient cats gazing at Maggie. Was I the only one here with any sense? We had to get out of here.
“Hannah the paralyzing sensation will go away on its own, but will take longer if you struggle with it.” Maggie gazed down at me and then lifted my head tucking a pillow underneath it. “There,” she said and then walked over to the corner of her desk.
“As I’m sure you overheard in my counseling session, my name is Maggie. I’m not a librarian and I’m not a guardian, though I did train in the medical fields of the librarianship. I help the enchanted community providing services not only to them, but the librarianship as well. I am from Avalon and of the Fae race. I hope that we have come to a peaceful existence in our meeting of one another. I do not like violence, but I’m not afraid to use any means of containment to protect myself.” She walked over to her desk and picked up a small crystal bowl. “Even touching any of my implements delivers a dose of their own protection as Hannah here experienced.” She smiled with a nod of her head. “Mixed nuts?” She asked casually. “They are really good—not too salty.”
What were we, at a party?
“Oh, I will,” Beannca said pinching a large cashew between her painted fingertips.
Maggie offered some to Sophie. She took a tiny peanut out frightened respect, and held it in her palm with a smile.
“Those are good,” Beannca said as Maggie offered her another one.
I wanted to yell at her to stop eating them. What if they were poisoned?
“You’re Fae?” Sophie asked.
“Yes,” Maggie replied. “I’ve lived in Deadwood here for a few years finding it a pleasant home. The rural setting is really charming, and the slower pace of life a relief.”
I began to wonder where this conversation was headed. “What are you going to do with us?” I asked feeling the circulation return to my fingers.
“Feeling better, Hannah?”
I pushed myself up with my eyes steady on Maggie. I shook my head. She gave me a reassuring smile as she offered me some nuts. I turned them down as I squirmed trying to move my legs. They were still tingly, and I wasn’t sure if I could even stand yet.
“By any law in the librarianship, I’m supposed to turn you in. But I am also Fae, and live by another set of rules. Each situation is unique requiring a specific set of rules. What happens to you depends on your actions. I know you’re sirens. I feel you no threat to me so far or Deadwood. But what I’d like to know is how you got in my office.” She casually ate another nut.
“We came through your portal in the hidden room,” Sophie said pointing behind her. This girl was way too helpful.
“And why were you traveling by portal unattended by the guardianship with a calling shell?” She held the shell in her palm in front of us. “These are rare to come by much less have one that is functional.”
Strength returned to my legs. I glanced over at Sophie and Beannca who gazed at Maggie like school children caught doing something they shouldn’t.
“You said you’re not with the guardianship or librarianship. So, what are you? A collector or something,” I said trying to turn the tables on Maggie. I could just do an enchantment on her. I knew I had enough siren power in me, but would it work on her?
Maggie tilted her head and sat the shell on her desk. “I’m sure you noticed everything in my relic’s room. And yes, you can sort of call me a collector, but that title doesn’t exactly fit me. I like to think myself as a preserver of lost or illegal implements keeper.” I felt a sense of ease with Maggie now. She wasn’t a tattletale to the librarianship; she was what I would call a collector. And most of them were wanted with a hefty reward if brought to the librarianship. “You see,” Maggie continued. “I hate to see things of our past destroyed just because the librarianship deems it so. Our history must always be preserved and protected. I guess you could call me an archeologist rather than a collector because most collectors sell their implements to the highest bidder. They don’t care what happens to the relics, only how much they can earn from their sale. I keep mine safe in hopes one day they can be in a museum where they will be remembered, not destroyed or sold.”
“That’s amazing, and very noble of you.” Sophie complimented.
Maggie smiled and then picked up the calling shell again. “Which brings me to this,” she looked at each of us. “How did three sirens end up portaling through a decommissioned portal with a calling shell in hand and end up in Deadwood, Kansas?”
Sophie, Beannca and I exchanged looks. Maggie didn’t emit a threatening vibe to me, and I felt she was one who could be dealt with, but we had to be honest with her.
“We are trying to get to Atlantis or actually, to Murk Island. We were given the shell by a friend willing to help us. We need a fourth siren to work the portal to get us there.”
“Yeah, Sophie and I are the connections, Hannah is the navigator, and we need another siren to communicate with the portal.” Beannca spouted off almost like she was trying to impress Maggie. “And it was…”
“The calling shell lead us here,” I said cutting off the all-too-informative Beannca. “I believe the woman that was here, Mae was it, is a siren.”
“Yes, she is, and is married to an ex-guardian,” Maggie said even toned. “They are trying to start a family, and like I said before, I help those of the enchanted community who need help.” Maggie sat back in her chair examining the shell. “I would love to help you, but I also like to be reimbursed when I can.”
She smiled at me as she held the calling shell up to the light. It glowed and sparkled like it was made of diamonds. Maggie wanted our calling shell as compensation for helping us.
“You want our shell, but how are we to get to Murk Island without it?”
Maggie twirled her chair back around. “You can use it to get to Murk Island, but I am going with you. Once there, I will take the shell and you will get safe passage to Atlantis. Everyone wins.”
“What about this fourth siren, Mae? Will she be willing to come? The shell chose her as communications.” I asked.
Maggie handed the shell back to me. “She has been troubled by her past since I knew her. The shell chose her for a reason, now it’s up to you three to convince her to go with you.”
The storm had passed, but it still raged inside of me. I tossed and turned all night with dreams of violent waves crashing against black rocks. Voices called my name, but I couldn’t answer them. I felt such a strong connection to the scenes that filled my dreams that they almost were like distant memories. I began to wonder if they were.
“Mae,” Nolan came in from outside. He was sweaty and dirty from cleaning up our nearly destroyed barn. “I have to run into town to get some supplies.”
“Are you going to be back for lunch?” I asked. “I’m making chicken salad.”
I got into the fridge to find the mayonnaise, but then caught the peppery smell of Nolan’s summer sausage that he likes to eat with Ritz crackers. I pulled it out and sat it on the counter.
Nolan stood there smiling at me. “What?” I asked.
“Nothing, it’s just that you look really pretty.” He sounded like an awkward boy talking to a girl he had a crush on rather than the man I’d fallen in love with.
“Well thank you Nolan Gorick.” I smiled, and then he smiled. I knew I couldn’t possibly look anywhere near pretty. Our electricity had been knocked out due to the storm making our house hot and humid from lack of air conditioning. Everything was covered in moisture.
For convenience sake, I had pulled my hair up which was now in a sticky sweaty mess with tiny strands that fanned out like peacock feathers around my face. It probably looked like I had been electrocuted enough to power the house.
We both stood there gazing at one another. I held the jar of mayonnaise in my hands and twisted the lid open until it popped. I didn’t feel like lunch right now. I locked my eyes with Nolan as he took the jar from my hands with a smile. Was he going to go to town and was I going to make chicken salad? The odds didn’t look very good.
I had never felt such a rush of energy run through me. I pulled Nolan close. His skin was as sweaty as mine only it had tiny bits of grit stuck to it. I felt the coarseness of the dirt, the slick sweat that covered our bodies, and the thick scent of our musk that mingled as one. I had never been so spontaneous, passionate or destructive to our kitchen table before.
Nolan and I laid on the floor with the rhythmic sound of the ceiling fan that twirled over our heads. The air cooled my skin as Nolan laced his fingers with mine. I rested my head in the crook of his shoulder as I watched the fan blades cut through the humid air.
“That was…” Nolan’s voice trailed off, and I smiled.
I propped myself up, and looked at the old wood table that now had a broken leaf that sat on the floor. “Destructive,” I said with a giggle.
“You know that was an antique.” Nolan raised his eyebrows.
“I know,” I said standing up. “We probably shouldn’t have given it such a work out.” I put back on my bra and tank top. “It was your grandmother’s.” I picked up the leaf and placed it on top of the table.
“I can fix it, and maybe reinforce it…for next time.” He raised his eyebrows leaning across the counter as I washed my hands.
I smiled flicking water in his face. “Hey,” he said wiping the droplets away.
I gave him a mischievous smile. Then with a playful giggle and flashing eyes, I dared him to follow me into the garden. I darted for the hose first thing, and turned on the hydrant. Cool water blasted from the end covering both of us in what looked like a rainstorm. We ran around like misbehaving children, but I didn’t care.
We laughed, yelled, and sprayed each other with the refreshing coolness of the water. I stood there letting Nolan douse me. Tiny rainbows arched around me framed in the blue sky overhead. The air blew cooling off my already cold skin. The sun’s rays filter down in yellow and white crystals. I never felt this way before. It was like something had sprouted inside of me that felt so alive. I could had flown away so easily in the breeze.
Nolan dropped the hose and the final drops of water smacked to the ground. He gazed steadily at me, and before he reached me, I ran towards the pumpkin patch.
He yelled my name, and I replied with girlish giggles until I let him catch me between the pumpkin vines. Our bodies hit the ground. Dirt clung to us like flour to chicken ready to be fried. The prickly leaves of the pumpkins barely concealed our love making act as dark clouds rolled overhead, and thunder growled with pleasure in the distance.