calm sea during golden hour



SIREN SONG IS FINISHED!! I'm so grateful for this journey with my readers and I've loved it all the way, but unfortunately there will be no more Siren Song uploads as the book is finished. I will be editing it now and it shall be published later this year. I'd love if y'all checked it out then! Thank you!


Dihaan Khan.

4/22/20245 min read

Vienna awkwardly shuffled her feet, raising her hand to pat Eveline’s head as the girl first sniffled and then ceased crying. Elswyth and Dimitri flashed her a look of consideration as they approached to take over the Department of Comforting™, a look that was both appreciating and which asked, Are you going to cry too?

She didn’t think she minded.

Commotion at the gate. A scuffle, a narrowing of the soldiers’ formations. Everyone and their mothers looked up. A flash of blonde hair and a masked solider, tugging Elliot out by his collar, hands bound, regal clothes dirtied and crumpled. He seemed to be unconscious, eyes only barely open, fixated on the ground, his grey eyes barely imperceptible. As if instantly, there were uncountable rifles and weapons pointed at the masked soldier who held their Prince up. The soldier seemed almost unfazed, his stance relaxed, one hand tugging Elliot and the other on a pale orb which spun in his hand by itself.

“You think we can be threatened by a few pieces of metal and triggers?” the soldier’s voice was amused, the accent almost French. “Your Prince, your golden, precious Prince is in our hands. If you shoot me, he goes down like the dirty dog he is. What a shame, betraying your country for the sake of getting one over on your sister. Patriotism must be dead, eh?”

His words had a ripple throughout the grounds. Elswyth’s eyes were frozen on the soldier, watching his every move. Eveline and Dimitri were fixated on Elliot’s bloodied state. Vienna didn’t know where to look.

“It’s been fun, beautés, staying in this pretty, Seleneforsaken place, but I must get going home now. Your Prince will be taken good care of… if he can get used to the dungeons.”

He barked a short laugh, and before any of their Crimson Badges could do so much as shoot, he threw the orb to the ground and shoved Elliot into it, clicking off a salute before he vanished himself, leaving only emptiness where they’d been.

“Hel.” Elswyth muttered, running her hands through her hair, messing it up. The Crimson Badges all looked to her and then away- perhaps they were embarrassed to see their Queen so ruffled. “Acacius, try to dampen the fire, perhaps we can-”

“Doyenne, we have tried- the nature of the fire is against us.” Acacius appeared, his cloak singed. Decima appeared beside him, her long hair burned. Dimitri wilted at the look Decima gave him- it was disappointed in a way, but in it, Vienna saw relief too, relief that her brother was alive and thriving instead of bloody and kidnapped like the Queen’s was.

“Doyenne, we will get the Prince back.” Decima started, but was quickly silenced- and shocked- when Elswyth shook her hand slowly, cool blue eyes filled with pain.

“Thank you. For keeping my sister safe.” Elswyth said. “I see how you treat your brother although he’s born from a different mother, I see the kindness you show him, which I’ve never done for Elliot.”

Eveline shifted her feet as Elswyth went on, eyebrows furrowed.

“I’ve never paid attention to my siblings.” Elswyth admitted, her eyes downcast. The persona and behavior she displayed right now was completely a polar opposite from the Elswyth Vienna’d seen all these weeks. The Elswyth she’d known was abrupt, unfeeling, almost detached from normal human emotions. This Elswyth was full of them.

“I…can’t begin to explain myself.” Elswyth said quietly, letting go of Decima’s hand finally. “I can’t even look anyone in the eye. Especially not you, Decima, when you’re everything I’ve never been, and not Eveline either, because she’s never received anything from me, when she should have gotten the world. We’ve had parents that weren’t meant to be parents at all, and that rubbed off on me somehow.”

“But I’m not trying to defend myself.” The woman added, “Hel knows I can’t do that when I don’t deserve a single piece of it. All I can hope for is Elliot’s safe return. He might forgive me, he might not. I don’t deserve that either, not from him or from Eveline. But Hel knows I’ll try.”

She turned to Acacius. “Prepare Vienna’s portal to Terra. She’s had enough of us.”

“I haven’t.” she turned to Eveline, who was staring at Elswyth like she’d never seen her before, and Dimitri, who seemed fazed by the turn of events. “I’ll miss you. I’ll think of you every waking moment. I’ll remember every single thing about you guys, and um…”

Now she was crying a little, not that she liked it. It was stupid for her to just break down in front of these people, even if she trusted them with her life.

“Maybe don’t remember the embarrassing things, Vy.” Dimitri said, smiling softly, and then she was laughing in a twisted way.

“We love you Vy, with all our hearts.” Evelyn enveloped Vienna in a hug. She returned it wholeheartedly, not uncomfortable as she usually was during hugs with anybody else. Physical contact was something she squirmed away from, not being accustomed to skin-against-skin. She supposed that made her like her favourite gang leader, Kaz Brekker.

Dimitri ruffled her hair, eyes more pigmented than they’d been. “We’ll visit you every once in a while…f Decima and the Doyenne let us.” He spared a glance towards his and Eveline’s sisters, who both nodded.

He edged in towards Vienna and Eveline, a sweet smirk painted across his pale face. “Or me and Eveline could just sneak out and visit you, too.” He whispered, drawing a laugh out of Eveline and a tentative smile out of Vienna.

“We’ll miss you, Golden Girl.” said Decima, ruffling her hair as her (step???) brother had done, white eyes glistening. Eveline sniffled again and stepped back, gazing at her fondly.

“I’ll miss you, Vy.” Eveline echoed.

“I’ll miss you more than I’ve ever missed anything else.” Dimitri followed.

“It was our honor, Vienna Alcestis, to host you as one of our own.” Acacius stepped forward and bowed deeply, his cloak grazing the grass.

“It will be our honor to host you again, Vienna.” Elswyth finally chimed in. She herself bent and bowed, and Vienna’s jaw dropped. She had a Queen bowing down to her. That made her feel somewhat better about herself, even if it was the Queen of a land she hadn’t known existed until a few weeks ago.

A few weeks was all it’d taken for her life to turn completely upside down, too.

“I thank everyone for the kindness they have shown me here.” She finally spoke, feeling that her words were superficial even as they came out. Words couldn’t begin to express the emotions she felt. Her hand swiped across her eyes, she straightened her posture. “I feel as though I deserve none of it, and even though our time has come to an end, albeit unpleasantly, I have enjoyed every bit of it and will reminisce about it fondly when I am back in Terra.”

“Nonetheless,” Elswyth said, looking pleased, “we will call you back when Elliot is retrieved. Your portal waits.”

Acacius shifted, his cloak swaying, to reveal a circulating blur, a portal like the ones she had come in, awaiting her. She exchanged another round of goodbyes, charmed them with a smile, and jumped in.

No look-backs. No glances. No last goodbyes.

She disappeared from Niflheim just as quickly as she had arrived.

She came, she saw, and she conquered. And then she severed her last ties and she left, regardless of what she felt.


It was dim, the room only lit by the golden light penetrating through the blinds drawn down over the fiberglass window. She was in bed, a maelstrom of blankets and bedsheets twisted around her. The clock hung on the wall was frozen, the track of time utterly up to contemplation.

She was home.

She glanced down at her hand, the clock ring gleaming as bright as ever on her finger. She held the necklaces up, both of them were still there.

But she wouldn’t press the buttons, oh no. She couldn’t do that even if she tried, because she was home and out of danger, and the sun was still setting. She would rethink the last few weeks, which now seemed to have never occurred, when night fell.

But for now, she was home. And that was what mattered.