On the shores of the bay of Naples lived a Siren who forever basked on her favourite rock. Her scales glinted in the sunlight and speckled the sea surface with brilliant flashes and her songs danced on the air and echoed from cave to coves afar. The winds carried them into the distance, as far away as Africa.
Captains of passing fleets stuffed wool into their ears and tied their crews to ship’s masts so no sailor was tempted to steer off course into the bay, for many who had been lured by the siren faced a horrible end.
Perilous was this bay for Vesuvius raged. He over saw all, spewing poisonous ash clouds and bubbling lava. The only creatures who thrived were cave dwelling monsters and one-eyed giants. Enormous lemons and figs grew at the foot of the volcano and ripe blood red tomatoes with their juicy perfume. The creatures were only hungry for flesh and bones.
When the Mediterranean gave birth to a tempest, Vesuvius grew jealous. As they engaged in battle, the siren hid deep in a crevasse of her rock.
No matter how much lava and ash the volcano threw, the tempest’s rains were no match for the bombardment. She threw bolts of lightning, collapsing caves and destroying lairs. The monsters and giants who didn’t perish fled the land and the poisonous gasses were blown upwards and outwards, forever banished.
A lone fishing boat drifted into the bay from eastern waters. A fisherman clung to the helm of his boat as it was tossed high on enraged waves; its ripped sails useless rags applauding the storm in pale flashes against the blackened sky. The forces of nature decided his course.
When his boat hit the Siren’s rock smashing into hundreds of wooden shards, he was flung into the foamy sea. The Siren awoke and pulled him deep into the crevasse and out of harm’s way, lulling him to sleep with her sweet song. Illuminated softly by the blaze of fury outside she took him under her wing until the tempest left the bay victorious.
Night gave way to an untroubled morning. The Siren woke and found him to be gone. There was no sign of him as far as her eyes could see. She lay on her rock and lamented, slipping mournfully into the sea from which she never was to return.
Alas, the fisherman returned bringing with him giant figs and oranges which he’d gathered from the slopes of Vesuvius defeated, but the Siren was no more.
In her place, lay a golden egg. In the egg was held the fate of Naples itself.
He built a great castle to honour his siren and a fort to protect the precious egg.
Despite his great kingdom, he awaited her return for the rest of his days by listening to winds in case they should carry her sweet song. But they never did.
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