by Jordan J Hall
They always looked like they were hiding something, the swamp grasses behind the house. Their long slender stalks swaying in the breeze, so thick in patches, could provide cover for a great many things. It took years before I admitted to myself the whispers were coming from somewhere in there. My life got loads better when I decided to listen to them. They said it was a bog, precious territories for ducks or some shit. What those grasses really hid was something far greater, far more important than wildlife.
The more I listened the more she sang. Hypnotic, soothing arias of such eloquence, but there was a brooding underneath. I knew from the start her intent was to consume, you could feel it in her wail. It started with the rats. At one time they overran the basement, but now they wander into the grass entranced, eager to meet their waiting doom. Thrilling as it was to see them march, I knew it would not be enough to sate her.
I do my best to keep her happy. There is always a hitchhiker that needs a ride. A conversation leads to food, those scamps are always hungry, desperate for a companion. We have a sandwich on the porch, I tell them about my deceased husband, I try to ease them down with a pot brownie or a hit from the vape. Free loaders will take it where they can get it. We walk in the garden and the song from the reeds begins to take them.
I don’t blame them; I was the same the first time I heard her song. I drank it up, I ate it. I needed more. Quickly I found how empty I was without her sound inside me. She promised to sing to me if I brought her something young, something fresh. Cindy was the best I had, so it was Cindy she got. Abigail couldn’t be spared, but the Siren asked for her by name, she went too. Now Amos, I couldn’t let go of little Amos. Until I had to. It spread from there.
I stole from truancy wards, those were hard to manage(so much rage). The spit & vinegar in those kids sours the flesh, I say, but Songstress says we all taste the same. So, it’s those wide-eyed strangers that fit the bill month after month. If I get lucky, I’ll put an extra in the freezer. That’s only in a pinch, like I said, she likes it fresh. That’s part of the deal. The big ones will settle her for a whole month or so, gives me plenty of time to hear her sing.
So, if you hear, ‘Hi, welcome to Fox Hollow. Wanna hear some music?’ know that it will be the song of your life.