This piece is featured in Issue No. 9 Flirt

Short Fiction

A Siren’s Blade

“Only if you swear to give me your eternal soul.” I hold their eyes heavy, watch their face flicker as they take in the absurdity of what I’ve just said. 

“What do you want it for?” 

These are the ones that I like. They don’t laugh at my request. No. They lean in because they have chaos laced into their soul. They are the unloved and unknown. Wanderwhisps, rootless, the ones who still dance at the edge of their daydreams and sometimes forget if they are breathing. They always find me.

I let smoke curl from my mouth and slowly take in the length of their body. Slicked curls whisper against their sun licked shoulders in the humidity of a wet summer in Toronto. An open shirt, cut jeans. Their being buzzing with the unfulfilled promise of excitement that snorting snow in June can bring. This one wants to be known, it will not take much. 

“I want you to be safe, to be seen - I can give that to you.” 

They open their mouth to speak but no clever words come. Used to being the hunter, their lion's mane calling in people who wish to spin gold around their fingers. This darkness I am offering is unknown, and does anyone but the devil come asking for a soul? But still, their heart believes in magic. Haven't we been waiting to be called?

“Give me your hand.” And they do. I trace the long lines of their head, life, heart. “Here, this tells me you decide quickly, feel it in your body when yes is the answer. This line here,” my finger slides across their palm from the base of the thumb to their index finger, “tells me you’re more creative than rational - what do you do?”

“I work in film, I do special effects makeup.”

I notice now how perfect the sharp line of their eyeliner has been cut, applied with a blade, the golden haze that highlights the angle of their cheek and jaw. 

“But you do something else as well, don’t you?”

“I mean…I paint faces sometimes, onto old photographs, but they’re just…”

“Do you think a piece of work can be considered art if you never show it to anyone? Or does it need to be seen in order to become real?”

“Does a tree make a sound as it falls if there’s no one to hear it?”

I smile “Very good. So then can the same be said of a soul? Let me have yours and I’ll make you immortal. A Mona Lisa.”

“Okay,” they say, “I’ll bite.”

A golden apple in Eden flashes across my memory as the serpent within my ribs shifts excitedly. Her heart shaped head sewn pretty and red to my tongue. 

I place their hand on my neck, where my pulse betrays my beating heart and lay my fingers against theirs. Meet their eyes, see they are afraid and breathless. The hair on the back of their neck raises, their ancient animal body remembering a threat their postmodern brain doesn't understand. I hold their gaze until the tattoo of our heartbeats sync, like an orchestra when they’re caught up together in a symphony. 

“Say to me ‘I promise you my eternal soul.’” 

“I promise you my eternal soul” they whisper.

I dig my nails into their neck just a little and they shiver “Again.”

“I promise you my eternal soul.” 

I move into them so our lips are only a moment apart “Once more.” 

“I promise you my eternal soul.”

“Kiss me.” 

They lean in, I taste the spice of whatever fancy cocktail they were drinking mixed with the dead smoke of their last cigarette. These kisses, when I know there will be only one, are the sweetest. Like flowers that bloom at midnight and die before the sun rises.

“One day I’ll call on you.” I say as I turn and disappear back inside the party, losing myself in the crush of hot bodies sliding against one another. I didn’t ask for their name. The empty space in them was too heavy. They want to fall in love and I dont have the time for that this evening, on the shortest night of the year. It is the summer solstice. There is a reason why Pride happens at the same time as the ancient rituals of eros. 

I see my love where she is most at home, up on top of something, dancing as the crowd around her throws their hands up in admiration. A thousand shades of purple lace escape into the air as she spins. 

She sees me. We hunt differently. Her the center of attention, in the eye of the storm, under the bright lights of a false sun while I dance with shadows, slipping out of the dark to play the role of temptress, siren. 

She comes over to me, sweat sweet and glittered across her skin. Reaches out and dances me into her arms so she can press her lips against my ear. 

“This crowd is wild. I missed this chaos energy so much!” She yells over the din. 

“You’re the bar star tonight girl.” I respond. She turns and presses against me, reaches her arms behind her to wrap my neck and drops to ground with the beat of the music. Slowly comes back up - begging with her body for all my attention, all of everyone's attention. Then her lips are back at my ear. 

“Where have you been?”


“You did the ‘let me steal your soul’ thing didn't you?” I lean my head back and look into her eyes. I love that only to her, I’m not a mystery.

“Are we bringing them home?” she asks genuinely. 


She kisses me.

“Back into the fray then.”  She dances away. Off to find something or someone to get back on top of. The trust between us is sacred, the unboundless love it cradles, free. 

A shiver trips along my spine, masc eyes on me. I flow deep into the music carrying my body like water through energy. Let the heavy vibration of the bass carve my shape into the curve of a blade I will beg him to cut his hand against. I turn perfectly toward his face and shift. 

I know the fates are smiling as they twist together our two lives for the first time in eternity, now forever bound. Quantum entanglement theory. I slip through sound toward him. There are stars cut into the brim of his hat, so that light falls across his shoulders in their shape. I fall forward into the midnight sky of his being. Violent, violet and velvet blue. Blue like the marrow of a flame. I feel my body tune itself to his and know, this one is also made from darkness. This time I will be the one to give away my soul.