When it came down, the hammer missed the steel disk entirely and landed squarely on my thumb. The shriek I let out was as my body was possessed by some harpy who squeezed my innards with a psychic Heimlich maneuver.  The dull thud of hammer hitting bone and by proxy anvil, mingled with my shriek which left a sickening reverberation through the silent workshop as I dropped all and grabbed my thumb in my left hand.
“Crap, not again,” I could feel my thumb swell in my tightened fist. Without looking I knew that it was now twice it’s diameter and would double in size within an hour without doing something about it. I walked through the breezeway between workshop and house and pulled a handful of ice cube out from the freezer and laid them on the counter.  I covered them with a hand towel and smashed them into tiny chips with the same hammer that I had used moments before.  Before too long I had my thumb wrapped in a cold compress which made my hand look like some misshapen claw that only a lobster could love. It was all so familiar. I had been in this situation many times before, and would probably be here again and the throbbing pain I felt now would eventually dissipate. That’s when the chimes would return.
I stepped out behind the workshop with a glass of lemonade in one hand and sipped the sweetness as my ears opened up and let the chimes soothe the pain away.  The first chime was over 6 feet tall, with a hundred long, thin strands of spring steel arching over head and ending in hollow tubes with holes pockmarking it’s surface.  The whole structure looked like a giant bouquet of cat’s tails. Here in the early morning, the breeze was soft and low, but I could hear her voice. So low, like a lovers whisper, across a noisy room. The tails bobbed and touched, and when they did pure notes as if Apollo himself had plucked the note from his golden lyre.  Complimenting the pure Olympian notes were the whispers of the Sirens as if they were playing flutes – calling me. Calling me to greater things. I called this sculpture Penelope’s children.

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