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Title: Sirensong
Author: lovewithapathy (pi_no_kodomo @
Original Story: Sea Horn by Rosemending
Pairing: Elijah/Orlando
Rating: R
Summary: The man who fell in love with a voice. A folk tale.
Notes: A remix of "Sea Horn" by Rosemending. Some gender-bending content. Thanks to tsurara, alice_unbound and alex for their beta help.

DISCLAIMER: The author makes no claims or inferences to reality or truthfulness. Moreover, this story is based upon the work of another author and recognises their creation.

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I see you, traveler. You're new here, aren't you? I can tell. New visitors are easy to spot in this town.

It was how you stopped at the door, before stepping into the inn, as if you heard someone calling you. It was how you looked up and out at the sky, searching for the source of the sound. You heard it when you came here, didn't you? The wind.

It makes everyone who comes here stop for a moment and wonder. Well, to every strange moment, there is a stranger tale. Come, my new friend. Sit down and have a drink. Listen to my story, if only to keep me company, and pass the cold hours until you are ready to sleep.

I promise you, it shall be a tale worth hearing.

Long ago, in this town, there lived a young man named Elijah. He was a fine craftsman, whose detailed carvings and ingenious toys made him well loved and his creations much in demand. He owned a small store in the heart of town, and did quite well with his business. But though he was happy with his work, he was still missing something from his life. He had yet to meet a proper woman to wed. Though he had no lack of willing offers, he had not found someone whom he would want as a wife. Then, one day, he met her.

Most men would treasure beauty over all else in a lady, but this man first fell in love with a voice. When he heard it, it was soft and light, like the trickling of a clear brook. It was so quiet, that he thought perhaps his ears were deceiving him. He followed the song until it lead him to an old well. And there she stood: his future wife.

Her hair was like fine strands of woven gold. Her figure was slender and she moved like a gentle breeze was lifting her limbs. Her tanned face was set with dark eyes which seemed to swirl with the gentle waves of an ocean. She was washing her face and her skirts turned dark where the water had spilled. As she stood up, she adjusted her skirts and kept her hands before her, as if to hide the stains on her clothes. She was a rare, modest creature.

When Elijah asked for her name, she said it was "Orlando." The girl's voice was soft and gentle, just like the way she sung.

Orlando. The name flowed over his tongue like a clear drop of water.

Orlando made to leave, and Elijah reached out towards her, begging her to stay, telling her that her voice was enchanting. She seemed surprised at his plea, as if he was the first to say such words. Still, she smiled sweetly at him, took his outstretched hand, and let him take her home.

Elijah brought her to his house and she wandered through the halls, touching her fingertips to the walls, as if testing their texture. In the baths, she ran her hands down the inside of the empty tub. She hummed, as if pleased with how it felt. Stepping into the tub, she wrapped her arms around her knees, sighing contently. Elijah watched as she curled up in the bath, and crawled in to join her when she reached out her arms. He wrapped himself around Orlando, and embraced her smooth, soft body.

She never left his house after that day, and within the year, they were married.

The entire town was seduced by Orlando. When she walked through the streets, men and women would stare and marvel at even a glimpse of her beautiful figure. She loved to perform onstage, and whenever she was in a play, crowds of people swarmed the theater to see her. People called her the town treasure, and looked at Elijah as if he were her guardian. It was a name he was happy to accept, for he cherished her more dearly than anyone could imagine.

So dear was Elijah's love for her, that he granted her every wish. What made her the happiest were the baths he prepared for her. He would buy rare scented oils, special soaps mixed with powdered lavender, sea salts that fogged the water pale green, beads that filled the bath with foam when they dissolved. Orlando spent hours in the baths and always took this pleasure alone, making Elijah swear to never watch her. She considered her baths to be her last touch with purity and the carpenter reluctantly relented to her request.

Their lives were happy those first few years. Elijah's shop was more popular than ever before. He began building jewelry boxes that played music when opened. The melody he chose for the boxes was Orlando's song, the one she sung on the day they met. Even in the tinkling notes of his creation, the beauty of her song could be heard. Women all over town wanted one of Elijah's music boxes and he sold more of these than anything else. He crafted one as a gift for Orlando, painted with black lacquer and inlaid with thin leaves of gold. When she lifted the lid, she heard her song trapped within, and smiled. However, she never put anything in the box, and left Elijah's gift on her dresser, empty and silent.

Elijah loved making his music boxes, and he would plead with Orlando to sing to him for inspiration. Alas, Orlando had become silent as a ghost after their marriage. Though she still spoke occasionally in her timid sweet voice, never again did she offer her husband a song. It was the one thing he always desired, a few notes from that warm-water voice of hers.

Despite this regret, Elijah still adored his wife and was never more joyful than in those blissful years. He became a made man about town. She became the gentle keeper of their home. It was perfect.

But sadly, all that changed when they had their first child

When Orlando gave birth to a baby girl, Elijah held their daughter in his arms, and gazed lovingly at her beautiful face. She was a wonder to behold, with ice-blue eyes and a face like his own reflection sharpened. But when he waved his hands before her giggling face, her eyes stared up as if nothing had passed before her. He examined her closer, and saw that her eyes, though deep in color, were dull as fogged glass. She was blind.

A year later, Orlando gave him twin boys, and he did not have to look closely to know that these were worse than his first child. These were not merely damaged children. These were monsters. One had the scales and the other had the horns to prove it. Elijah turned ill upon seeing them, and had to hide from his wife so she would not see the sickly look upon his face.

Orlando was braver than her husband, and embraced their three children with all the love a mother could offer. Even Elijah had to confess that while God had damned them in one way, He had blessed them as well. What his sons lacked in looks, they made up for with speed and strength. His eldest daughter was graced with a voice like her mother's. When she sang, she made everyone all weep for hours. She was the only one of his children whose company he could bear and he turned her songs into new music boxes. But it was not the same. Whenever he looked at her empty eyes, Elijah wished that it was not her but his wife who sung. He would close his eyes, listen to his daughter, and imagine it was Orlando.

Orlando stayed home and tended to the children. Elijah refused to let them be seen by others, and she kept them inside and taught them herself. Elijah spent more of his days away in his workshop. He made his family rich, but he couldn't bear to stay with them. They shamed him, and he pretended to ignore his friends who asked about his children.

Elijah began sleeping in one of the guest rooms. He could not be so cruel as to abandon Orlando, but no more would he look upon her slim body and be tempted to risk another abomination. Once, when he missed her terribly, he crept into her room to watch her sleep. He saw Orlando, her children curled up around her and clinging to her body and nightdress. Their marriage bed had become a tangle of limbs and strange flesh. As they shifted in their sleep to hold onto her tighter, they pushed their faces into her soft belly and breasts, as if trying to feed upon her in their dreams. Elijah saw his children in place of where he once lay, and never stepped into her bedroom again.

A month after he first distanced himself from her bed, she confessed to him that she was with child again. She had kept it a secret until the bulge of her belly could no longer be hidden. He prayed for something natural, and threatened to leave her to her monsters if her child turned out otherwise. She wept and nodded her head, but the way her hands clutched at her belly made him fear for the worst.

When the child was born, it was covered in sticky matted hair, with an oily tail and quick-beating wings that lashed about as it shrieked and squealed. Its cries quickly melted into bubbling gurgles as the creature died soon after. Orlando cried, and held the dead baby in her arms, as if trying to will it back to life. Elijah could barely look at the creature, more horrible than anything she had given him before. He took the baby from my wife's desperate grip and had the midwife incinerate it. Orlando hid her face in her hands and wailed until the ashes were carried away and scattered to the wind.

Elijah tried hard to forgive his precious wife for the monsters she sired. But how long, he thought, was he to suffer this curse? How long before another child squirmed into her belly, to tear her open and emerge like hellish spawn? He feared that before long, she would sire monsters without him bedding her, and that soon these creatures would ravage the whole town. Yet, he could not bear the thought of abandoning her, his sweet and gentle lady, whose liquid song still floated in his ears after all these years.

After the birth, Orlando asked for a bath. She still smelled of rotten seaweed and Elijah poured rose oil into the foamy water to help wash away the scent of her last child. When he finished, he made to leave her to her baths.

But sadly, he did not. For nothing of her life was a secret, except this one pleasure. Elijah couldn't help but wonder why she spent all those hours sunk into the water, when it took only a short time to cleanse one's body. His curiosity could wait no longer, and he betrayed her.

He stayed by the door to the changing room, where she undressed and left her clothes. He waited until her heard the slide and click shut of the bath doors. He pressed his ear to the walls, listening to her splash about in the water. And then, he heard it.

The voice was faint but it pierced through him like a fine needle. She was singing. She was singing the song he'd heard the day he met her. The song danced through the air, perfuming it and making the room around him feel light. His promise to her was entirely forgotten in the face of that gorgeous music.

Elijah only wanted to hear her sing. He wanted to remember her as she was when he first fell in love with her. He followed the sweet voice into the changing room, where her clothes were folded neatly upon the floor before the door to the baths. Looking down, he also noticed a glimmer of gold tucked within. Pulling apart the clothes, he saw the golden strands of her hair bundled up and tied neatly, as if made to be like a little hat. A set of comb-like teeth were set into the hair, to hold it to one's scalp.

His heart seized up in my chest, and he could barely breath. Trembling, he pushed open the door to the baths and made his way into the foggy air.

There she was, still beautiful after all these years. Her flesh was still taught like the body of a young girl, and her figure had not lost any of its slender shape. But her hair was not what Elijah remembered. It was dark and short, tangled into curls that hung wild about her face. As she sung, her face looked as passionate as it did when they were in bed together.

As she sung, she ran her soapy hands over her body, caressing her small breasts and rubbing down her belly. She stopped singing for a moment, when her hands fell between her legs. She grasped something between her legs, something that emerged large and pink between her fingers. As she started singing again, she moved her hands and her voice grew stronger with each stroke. She rubbed her hands along the penis, and continued to sing.

Elijah only could stare for a few moments before he cried out and ran from the baths. Behind him, he could hear nothing, her song shattered by his cry. He ran and ran, far from the house, far from his monstrous wife and her terrible secret.

When he returned, the house was dark and flooded with water. The neighbors asked what was wrong, for they had heard a great wail come from the house, a cry so loud that it had shattered all the windows. Elijah staggered over broken glass, to search the house for his wife. But she was gone. Orlando had vanished and had taken with her their three children.

Although Orlando had disappeared, she did not fade away from this town. For soon after, an icy wind began to blow, a wind as cold as the one tonight. Every time it blew, a voice could be heard. It was her. That dark liquid voice now carried upon the wind, drained dry and croaking hoarse. The whole town could hear her mourning song in the air. For Orlando gave Elijah exactly what he'd yearned for all those years, even when it now broke the man's heart.

Oh, how I miss her so.

Yes, I think this is where my story should end. The hour is late and there's no need to listen to me lament for my lost family. But you see now why the wind is like it is. You see now why there's a music box resting upon the mantle of the fireplace. There's one in every building here, and we play them when the wind outside gets too shrill.

We're all living in memories here, especially me.

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