Siren Song

 

by George Dismukes

She is the last surviving siren on earth.
And she is willing to commit mass murder to keep on surviving.

She is the last siren on earth. She has lived for almost two thousand years. But now, she fears for her existence. More and more, sport scuba divers are taking dive trips to The Great Blue Hole of The Caribbean, unaware that “The Hole” is the siren’s lair.

She hatches a plan. In her mind, if she can kill everyone aboard a dive boat at The Great Blue Hole, she will create fear of the location, and visitors will stay away. Will it work? Morphed as a beautiful woman, she joins a dive safari group along the Texas coast that is bound for Lighthouse Reef and The Great Blue Hole. She feels that by working ‘from the inside’ she can easily kill every person on board, one at a time. Will her plan work? The main fly in the ointment is none other than a twelve year old boy. Can he stop her murderous fury? If he can’t, everyone aboard the pleasure craft, SIREN SONG, is doomed.


Excerpt

Chapter One

Scott Carrington, thirty-seven years old, 6’2” with a thick shock of light brown hair and in great physical condition, descended slowly through crystal clear water. The only sounds were the air bubbles which he exhaled through his state of the art SCUBA air regulator. Indeed, all of his scuba equipment is the best that money can buy including his multi-colored blue BC-buoyancy compensator, his mask and especially his ‘octopus,’ the nick-name given to the air regulator and accompanying instruments which connect to his air supply. Scott has access to such luxurious equipment because he is a dive-master and assistant instructor at the Sport Divers of Houston Scuba Center just south of Houston. Scott is also a professional under-water photographer, and an extremely good one.

Something wasn’t right about this dive because under normal circumstances, no diver would undertake a deep dive like this without a dive buddy. Scott looked around, did a 360-degree spin in the water, and confirmed that he was alone. A frightening prospect, even for a seasoned diver.

His descent was along a sheer vertical wall that seemed to plummet straight down forever. This wall was different from most walls found under-water because it was basically barren of plant and animal life. There should be corals and sea fans, and sea anemones, small crabs and cleaner shrimp, small colorful fish darting about. Instead, there was only a thin coat of greenish looking fern-like material. And at this depth, even the green color was fading and looking like a dull blue.

He checked the watch style depth gauge on his wrist and found that he was already at 100 feet beneath the surface, a depth nearing the onset of nitrogen narcosis, aka raptures of the deep. Divers also coin another phrase for the underwater inebriation. They call it, “Martini’s Law.”

Translated, that means, for each fifty feet of depth under water, the nitrogen narcosis factor equals drinking one martini on an empty stomach. A hundred feet down means a two martini zonk, etcetera. And it’s great because when the diver returns to the surface, not only are they instantly sober again, but suffer no hangover. What could be better?

Scott carried with him an expensive, elaborate under-water camera. Sub-sea photography was not only his profession, but also his passion. He was always searching for that once in a lifetime photo. And on a few occasions, his quest had paid off. The results had been published in magazines devoted to diving. And Angie Harmon, his business partner / life partner had published more than one coffee table book of Scott’s rare photographs. They sold very well in stores like Barnes & Noble, as well as on-line booksellers worldwide.

Suddenly, at about 120 feet, the ‘wall’ gave way to a huge cavern-like opening. It was a grotto, replete with mineral formations, stalactites and stalagmites measuring fifteen to twenty feet in length. They filled the grotto and gave it the appearance of being a giant maw, and an eerie looking maw at that, not unlike some sea creature’s wide open mouth, ready to chomp down on a hapless victim.

Scientifically, the mineral formations were evidence that this entire cave-like structure had been above water at one time in history, perhaps millions of years ago. But now, Martini’s Law gave the cavernous opening a frightening, ominous quality that sent chills up Scott Carrington’s spine. Or was it only Martini’s Law?

He halted his descent by gently moving his flippers back and forth a few times, then went horizontal and moved slowly, carefully forward into the opening. Progress was trepidatious, trying to negotiate through the huge mineral formations. Then Scott pulled up short. Something was there, in front of him, only a few feet away. But the light was dim, and he couldn’t make it out. Whatever it was, his instincts said ‘trouble’ and he wanted to quickly back-pedal his way out of the grotto.

‘Backing up’ is difficult for a diver, and whatever it was started moving forward, toward him. He raised his camera, pointed in the general direction of the object and pressed the shutter button. An instant, bright flash went off, illuminating the creature that was closing in on him. It was grotesque. Uglier than anything he had ever seen.

And then, Scott Carrington awoke from his dream, screaming bloody murder. Angie Harmon, sleeping next to him, woke with a start.

“Same dream again?” she said, still groggy, and pushing up into a sitting position.

“Yeah,” he said. “Same damn blasted dream. Exactly the same! Why? What’s causing it? It’s driving me batty.”

Angie thought for a minute. “Maybe what’s causing it isn’t nearly as important as what to do about it to get it stopped.”

Scott turned so he could look at her. “And what do you think that might be?”

“Don’t ask me. It’s not my dream. But if it was, I would want to face what I was seeing in the dream.”

“What? Return to The Great Blue Hole? It’s a practical certainty that I will. But what is that going to solve?”

“Well, for one thing, whatever ‘it’ is, is probably there waiting for you. Confront it. Kick it’s ass, then we’ll have an afternoon delight to celebrate!”

“That simple, huh?”

“No, I didn’t say it would be simple. But from here, it seems necessary ‘if’ you ever plan on getting another good night’s sleep.”

Scott sat on the edge of the bed, looking at the wall, in the dark. “Why is it, you always have to be so frapping right?”

“I don’t know,” Angie said, as she snuggled back down in bed and pulled the covers up to her neck. “It’s a curse!”

“A curse! Well, I know one thing, Missy. You’d better be glad you are so damn cute, or you would never get away with ‘always being right’.”

“Yeah? What would you do?”

“I don’t know. You are cute. So, I don’t have a plan for…whatever!”

“Um. Well, in that case, get back in this bed and cuddle up with me. I’m getting cold.”

"Siren Song"

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Genres

Action/Adventure
Romance

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