Sirens came out yesterday, while I was on my way home from the East Coast. Am I allowed to say an anthology is good if I have a story in it? Because Sirens is good. There is a lot of editor-love and publisher-love in this one, and it shows in the best possible ways.
Here’s an excerpt from “We Are Sirens”:
We take our slurpees and we climb up to the top of the bleachers and sprawl there, our bare legs loose and splayed on the warm metal, the wind ruffling at our skirts. We slurp our slurpees with our pursed red lips and we hum, just loud enough for the wind to hear.
We hum the call of Hades, so he’ll be ready for his new arrivals.
And as always we pause and listen. Sometimes we’ll hear an answering melody, like a shepherd’s pipes, or a farmer suddenly bursting into song, or a radio starting from out of nowhere. But though we strain to hear there is only the rumbling of the crowd and the blaring loudspeaker announcing names.
It’s been a long, long time since we heard an answer.
But we are sirens, and someone has to sing.
We settle in to wait as the game kicks off, scratching the bumps of our wings against the railing of the bleachers, our legs tangling pink and olive and brown as we play footsie with each other. We sing in whispers of other sunny days spent waiting, watching games being played, watching cars and horses passing, watching our meadow-grass bending in the wind or the surf crashing against our rocks.
We have been this way a long time, and some time, and not long at all, for all times are then and now and everything between. We will be and we have been and we always are, and that’s all we need to know.
And damn, but we love us some cherry slurpees. One of us farts and some of us titter and we slurp until our straws are sucking air. The final whistle is like birdsong and we sing in response: it’s time it’s time it’s time.