I lowered my fingers from my ears, cringing to think I might hear that frightful song once more. But the sea, the ships, the sky were silent.
“Are the men gone?” Toci asked me as she took the cloth from her ears, her voice a whisper so as not to crack the stillness.
“I think so. They all went into the water; it didn’t look like any of them knew to plug their ears.”
“I thought you would not do so either.”
“True.” I would not have done so if Toci had not forced me to do it, saving my life.
“How did you know to plug your ears?”
“My mother once told me about the sea and the women-monsters in it. She told me to be careful when I heard sweet singing out on the sea. I remembered that. She knew I would be out here one day.”
“The Ladies! Did you see them?” Ina rushed up to ask us.
So these were the Ladies the Twins had told us about while we were in the slavers’ camp. Had they watched the dreadful act?
“Yes, yes, we saw them,” Toci responded, holding each girl’s hand in her own, “how did you know about the Ladies?”
“We were told of course, like always,” Ina said.
“Told? By whom?” I asked. The Twins shrugged.
Nkiri joined us, “thank Yemaya, we are...