I didn’t especially like sitting in such close quarters with her. But she seemed pleasant enough and she sat quietly sipping her drink. You’re not supposed to bring food or drink on the train, of course, but at night the rules aren’t strictly enforced. If only that had been the worst of it.
The trouble started soon enough. She kept glancing over to a group of boys and they, of course, had been eyeing her ever since we got on the train. I shifted to my left, leaving her barely enough room to stay perched between me and the big guy — I wish I could remember his name, dammit — who seemed oblivious to it all. Maybe if the boys thought we were together they would leave us alone. Or maybe she would feel uncomfortable by my closeness and move to another part of the train. For the moment though, she was as fixated on those boys as they were on her.
The boys got up and gravitated towards us. I stared at them as menacingly as I could but they took no notice of me. The biggest one grabbed the rail and stood right in front of the girl. The others formed a rank behind him. She looked up at their faces and I could feel the heat of their blood rushing like the tide. She batted her eyelashes and their hearts struggled to pump some of the blood up to their brains.
To his oxygen-deprived mind I’m sure the boy thought he was chatting her up smoothly. What really came out was more along the lines of monosyllabic grunts. “Hi, babe.” “I’m Jack.” “Your name?” What he lacked in charm he made up in volume. She answered in a voice that I recognized from stories I had learned at my mother’s knee. A siren, not a human girl as I — and those poor boys — had supposed.
I watched helplessly, and a little in awe, as she drew them in and then with a giggle dashed their hopes. The object of their desire still in sight, but now totally out of reach, they crumbled like so much flotsam and drifted back to their seats. I eased back in the seat to give her more room, thankful that I am not human. Still, just to be safe, I got off at the next stop and walked the rest of the way home.
The Night Train image is by Ryan Mauskopf, known as Rye Bread on Deviant Art. It was used as a prompt on io9 and you can read several other stories there. It was the first time I played with any of the photo prompts there. I did a little editing for this version.
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