The old first mate took a long swig of his ale before leaning over to tell his tale to the young seamen.
The straits were a crap shoot. A good captain could cut weeks off his journey by going through them, but the weather was treacherous, the channels narrow and inclined to shift, and then, of course, there were the Sirens. No one knew where the magic had come from to create the first siren, but these beautiful fishy mermaids would appear near a ship, their soulful eyes, luscious lips and soft breasts distracting sailors until their ships dashed upon the submerged rocks. Yet, if the captain had a woman aboard, their magic would change, and they would focus upon luring her instead to join their seductive cabal and let the ship pass through. It was for this reason that this passage became known as the Strait of Whores, as ship's captains fearful of losing a wife or daughter would bring prostitutes on the voyage to throw to the fishy sirens instead.
Shera woke to the smells of a stew burbling in an old iron pot, the muted screech of seagulls and waves pounding the shores, and the gentle babble of women talking quietly. A heavy cotton coverlet failed to keep her warm, even though it should have, and she felt weird, her limbs aching and feverish.Her legs especially felt odd, trapped together in the blanket, yet when she turned to pull herself up, she found they moved in a way they shouldn't have. She sat up, realizing that she was both naked and her boobs were swollen well beyond what they had been. She pulled the blanked aside ... then screamed.
More to come