A siren went off in the distance, a rich contralto. The notes of her song flowed and danced through the night air promising purest love and darkest passion. A passing pelican uttered a heartfelt squawk, wheeled and arrowed towards his new found love on the other side of the island.
Amara snapped awake at the sound and looked out of the window. “Damn,” she muttered. She fumbled for the telephone and called the chief security officer. “Bena, did you hear that?”
“We did. Erica is on her way over now to check the dormitories.”
“Track the pelican that’s on his way over.”
Bena sighed. “Just the one?”
“As far as I can see.”
“The usual approach?”
“I think so. I’ll be over there at 08:00 to deliver the lecture. That gives her,” Amara looked at her watch, “five hours to realise the error of her ways.”
Amara arrived at the bunker at eight o’clock sharp. Bena stood at the doorway waiting. “Ready?”
Amara made a face. “Ready.”
Bena opened the soundproof door and walked into Solitary Confinement. Amara followed her in and closed the door behind her.
The girl in the cell looked dishevelled and miserable. Her blonde hair stood up in tufts all over her head and her white dress was shredded and filthy. The reason fluttered around her clapping his bill and swinging it from side to side to get her attention.
“Get him off me,” she wailed. “He keeps trying to mount me.”
“Of course he does,” Amara said. “You called him. He forgot about everything else and came straight to you. You’ve sat through the lectures. What did you think was going to happen?”
“But it was the middle of the night!”
Bena shrugged. “Nobody sings outside the bunker at any time. You know that. This is exactly why; you never know what’s out there in hearing range.”
The pelican made another pass at the girl and attempted to trample her. She squealed and ducked, trying to cover her hair.
“How much longer am I stuck in here with him?” she yelled over the clattering of wings.
“Oh, until your song wears off. Birds aren’t that bright. I give him another five or six hours until he prefers lady pelicans again.”
“That’s not fair!”
“Fair?” Amara leaned forward. “I’ll tell you what’s not fair. Singing outside on a dare despite the risks. Calling an innocent animal that doesn’t know how to protect itself and potentially destroying its life. The chance of giving away our position before we are ready and risking the lives of everybody on this island. You, young lady, are getting away lightly.”
Bena grinned at the girl through the bars of the cell. “By the way, if you let him consummate the relationship he’ll forget you faster. Just a thought.”
Amara and Bena walked away. As she opened the door, Amara called over her shoulder, “It could be worse. The last girl to do what you did called a whale. Think about it.”
Stephanie King is an environmental consultant who lurks in a corner of south east England. She has an eight year old son whom she feels is destined to be emperor of the universe and a husband who’s a lot more trouble than the son. They live with two male dogs, and since she caught the writing bug her house could politely be described as “Dog Hair Central”. She feels that cleaning has no purpose in life if you live with a bunch of men whose mission in life is to make more mess immediately. She has previously been published at 365 Tomorrows, Golden Visions, Static Movement and Science in my Fiction.