|Laura Bell and the Commodore's Intended
Author: lydia the eleventh PM
Laura Bell, the childhood friend of Commodore Norrington, must face down hords of MarySues and GaryStus, a crazy authoress, gaping plotholes and outrageous occurances to finally win Norrington's heart. Need I say NorringtonOC?Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Chapters: 14 - Words: 26,884 - Reviews: 74 - Favs: 18 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 10-06-06 - Published: 07-18-06 - id: 3050916
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
(Author's Notes – A prompt update from Brokenspar! Wow! I'm terrible, I know. Anyhow, thank you, thank you, thank you to all of my lovely reviewers!
I really don't have too much to say, unfortunately, only that I have NO free time anymore … still, I really want to finish. So, without further ado, Brokenspar presents Chapter 14: In which Laura sells something dear in exchange for something even dearer)
Captain Sparrow swaggered in the door to the fogbound island shack as if he owned it, and perhaps he did, for all Laura knew of the place.
Lit by the light of hundreds of candles, the hut was alive with an eerie, flickering glow that only half-revealed the terrible contents of the shack. Herbs and plants hung from the ceiling, along with bottles filled with oozing liquids – some of which she was quite certain was human blood – sand and, disgustingly enough, eyeballs.
Laura though Abigail was indeed lucky for that blindfold.
"Jack … Sparrow."
From the shadows stepped a dark woman, hair braided in dreadlocks with trinkets not unlike those of Captain Sparrow. As she came into the light Laura saw she dressed in the rags of what was once a fine dress, though Laura, clad as she was within the shreds of her blue morning gown and whatever else she could find, was in not position to criticize her on that score. But the woman's mouth was a deep, sickly blue hue; her teeth stained with the same dye, and her very manner so omniscient and obscure that Laura found herself quite afraid of the mistress of this island shack.
"Wha' 'ave ye brought me today, Jack?"
To Laura's horror, she found herself and Abigail being sized up by the woman she assumed to be Tia Dalma.
"Not them. I lose 'er," Captain Sparrow gestured here to Laura, "An' when the Scourge catches me there innit anythin' in 'Eaven or Earth that'll save me from bein' 'ung, drawn an' quartered. An' if I lose 'er," he pointed to Abigail, "There innit anythin' in 'Eaven or Earth that'll save me from the other girl's wrath-"
"An' it is de wrat' o' de Scourge ye fear in bot' cases," Tia Dalma finished.
Captain Sparrow pulled from his pocket a small, weather-beaten, book, bound in blotchy human skin.
"Supposedly belonged to some great dead native shaman. A book o' spells, in exchange for what I want to know."
"De price is fair."
Tia Dalma swept the volume into a pocket of her skirt.
"Dat cross de Scourge's girl wears is de Cross o' St. John, de symbol o' de curse on de family o' St. John. De Captin o' de Black 'Orizon seeks de necklace to lif' de curse, de curse o' immortality. 'E will no' be stoppin' chasin' ye until he gets dat girl an' de necklace."
Laura watched Captain Sparrow pale as Tia Dalma pronounced his sentence, and herself felt the blood drain from her face.
Swiftly Tia Dalma turned to face her.
"An' ye, chil', what is it dat you want? A potion for de babe? Or sometin else?"
The inhabitants of the hut all turned to stare at Laura, now revealed to be with the child of their deadliest enemy. She felt pinned under their gazes like a butterfly in her father's collection, an oddity and out of place.
"I want to see James again," she whispered, only the hint of defiance buried under the weight of wistfulness and fear.
"De girl knows wha' she wants. But what will ye pay, Laura Bell? De necklace o' redemption? De bracelet o' your dead fat'er? Or de ring o' your beloved?"
Laura watched in horror as Tia Dalma slid James's signet ring from her finger, examining the thick gold band and sinuous signature.
"Dat is me price, Laura."
She nodded, slowly, her reluctant assent.
Tia Dalma took her roughly by the arm, and led her to the center of the hut, being the only clear space. Humming and singing, she pulled several vials from the ceiling rafters, giving one to Laura.
"Don' drink dat jes' yet."
Laura looked at the oozing black liquid and wondered if she would ever.
On the floor, Tia Dalma drew a pentacle around Laura with white chalk and then traced it over again with the substance of another bottle, humming and chanting. Throwing down a vial which spread a red powder all over Laura and the pentacle, she shouted.
"Drink de vial, girl!"
Laura, giving the odd room and its denizens a final look, squeezed her eyes shut, and brought the bottle to her lips.
Barely had the thick, slimy substance passed to the back of her throat than she collapsed, limply unconscious, to the floor.
Laura blinked – once, twice – and found herself standing in the great-cabin of the Dauntless, peering over the blue-clad shoulder of James, himself slumped over the desk.
In an instant he had risen to his feet and tried to embrace her, only to have her pass straight through him, like a ghost.
Shocked and frightened, he stared at Laura, shadowy and insubstantial in the moonlight.
"I'm in trouble, James," she whispered, "I sold your ring to see you again. I thought I'd have something to say, but all I can tell is I'm in trouble."
"What happened? God, Laura, you're not dead! Tell me you're not dead!"
"I am not. Though I may well be very soon."
"How is this possible?"
"I don't know. It's witchcraft, but I don't care. You've got to save me, James, if you don't intervene they'll get me and I don't know what they'll do to me."
"No, not Captain Sparrow. The Captain of the Black Horizon, Alexander St. John – he wants Charity's cross, and he wants me because I wear it! I don't know what they'll do to me if they catch me – they'll kill me and they'll kill … oh, God, James. I'm with child. I'm with your child. I'm almost two months gone. You do remember, don't you? I'm sorry, I'm so sorry to do this to you but James, I love you and I don't know if I'll ever see you again. I don't know. Oh, God, James, I'm so frightened."
Wiping a solitary tear from her eye with the raggy hem of a filthy dress, Laura tried to pull herself together, focusing on his eyes.
"What's Captain Sparrow's bearing?"
"We headed west for a long time to find this island, but when he is done here I think he's going to double back east, to Heavens knows where. Before we came here he said something about meeting a friend in Tortuga … but I can't say."
"Laura," he stepped toward her, only inches from her shadowy figure, "I give you my word I'm going to find you. I'm not going to let anything happen to you. I swear to you, on my honor, I'm going to save you and when we get back to Port Royal we'll be married, like I promised. You and the child will be safe."
"What about Miss St.Croix?"
Laura looked on the verge of tears, and yet James had to struggle to suppress a grin.
"I threw her overboard, Laura."
She looked up at him with the most beatific smile he had ever seen, thus far in his life.
"She's gone, Laura."
"You make me the happiest of women even in the midst of my despair," she whispered finally, "I believe you and in you, James. I love you."
Even as Laura spoke, she seemed to be fading into the shadows, and she knew it.
"I can't stay long."
She leaned closer, spectral breath brushing his lapels.
He leaned down, caught in the grey of her eyes.
"I can't. This is all out of my control now."
She tilted her head to regard him better.
"Neither is it in mine."
His face was bare centimeters from her own, and then their lips brushed as she faded altogether.