AN (1/20): Well...this is the magic chapter that ties in my creepy prologue to the rest of the story. I can't believe that this is over...but, it is. I'm going to leave Jack's past alone for a bit. I need a break from writing...got to find my muse again.
References in last chapter:
"Is this a ship which I see before me, sails toward me location?"-Macbeth (sorta).
"pink seashell"- This is the cereal reference. There's pink marshmallow shells in Marshmallow Maties.
"asses... island"- Pinocchio. They get turned into donkeys on an island
"Tiger, tiger burning bright in the forests of the night; what immortal hand or eye dare frame yer fearful symmetry?"- William Blake. Reference to Dead Man, where Nobody mistakes Jack as William Blake. I'd be surprised if you got that one...
"one of the captain's crew members with lazy brown hair spilling into his face"- Sam from Benny and Joon or Cry-Baby from Cry-Baby or J. M. Barrie from Finding Neverland. Basically any Johnny Depp character will work here...
"a man with blonde hair with dark roots and a green shirt"- Morton Rainey, Secret Window.
"Cap'n Swarthy"- Captain Swarthy, aka J. M. Barrie from Finding Neverland.
"Klaus"-Klaus Badelt, composer of the Pirates of the Caribbean; The Curse of the Black Pearl soundtrack.
"You find a glimmer o' happiness in this world, there's always someone who wants t' destroy it."- J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland said this to his good friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, played by the man who is Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Considering the fact I don't often do things intentionally like that...that's quite a bit of references. Kudos to anyone who spotted any of 'em. Poor Jack...he was found by different variations of himself...
A trembling squat man entered a room full of cobwebs, cockroaches, broken chairs, and decrepit dreams of some artist by the name of Caspar. There were numerous gruesome paintings covered in cobwebs that were randomly placed around the walls, almost like someone had splattered a large paintbrush on a clean piece of paper and had filled in the white spaces with couches and love seats that had definitely seen better days. The cockroaches vanished as soon as the candlelight neared them. The candlelight was from a strip of wax with a wick the man was holding with shaking hands as he worked his way across the rather creepy and eerie room. This room didn't see enough people, and he could almost feel the presence of Caspar's rumored lover who killed herself after seeing his "portrait" of her. Disturbed minds are often the most brilliant out there. Caspar's work truly was one of a master painter. Pity he was now dead.
Of course, the man walking in the room really didn't care who painted the numerous things on the wall. This room was almost as stuffy and overbearing as it had been several years ago when it had last been visited by the squat man and his bad temperament. Of course, in the course of those years, not much had really happened. Only one or two other people with odd characteristics had meandered their way through here to meet a terrible death in a secret room...which was why he was trembling so bad. What if his fate was the same as all those men before him?
Wait a moment. The squat man suddenly stopped walking towards the hidden door on the opposite side of the room. Why was he so scared of dying? He couldn't 't even feel the candle wax that splattered all over his fingers now that he wasn't moving any longer. There was no reason for him to be afraid of what waited him down below. Laughing softly (for he was still a terrified wretch, though loathe to admit it even to himself), he resumed his hunched over walk to the wall that apparently had no opening. He knocked loudly on it three times and waited for a door to almost magically appear and open. When it had wearily done so, the man stepped underneath a great stone arch and started his way almost noisily down the spiral stair case, as if announcing his presence to all the spiders laying in wait of insects, rodents, and other oddities that managed to find their squirmy way in here.
He walked over to a large door that looked as though it hadn't been opened since the building was last occupied by the artist Caspar. Frowning slightly, he knocked a specific pattern into the dusty wood. It sounded similar to an opening measure to a popular sea shanty, but it is always hard to tell exactly what a musician is merely tapping into wood, after all. All thoughts as to what he'd been tapping into the wood abruptly disappeared as a horrible screech bounced its way up the staircase. It sounded worse than fifty teachers running long nails across chalkboards as the narrow confines of the hallway amplified it.
Shuddering, the man stepped inside a curiously shaped room with exactly five sides. The red draperies seemed to be staring back at his green eyes with an intensity only matched by the eyes of a centaur statue in the middle of the pentagon, resting on top of a pillar of white marble. The centaur itself was made from obsidian, and seemed to be glowing in the firelight from the torches that adorned the wall. It's emerald eyes were glaring malevolently towards the man. He was instantly worried. This hadn't been here before...what exactly was going on? There was still a picture hanging on the pillar...but it had a white centaur with those same creepy emerald eyes. The obsidian statue was much larger than the man remembered from before. Of course, he wasn't exactly positive there had been a statue here before.
"You reek of curse," a man in dark robes said harshly as he sniffed at the perfumed air. Though his face couldn't be seen, one could tell he was glaring reprovingly at the man.
"Sorry," the man muttered in response, his rotten teeth that'd tried to be repaired with gold glinting as he tried to close his mouth from the overwhelming sense of dread and awe enveloping his body like a pool of liquid lava in the core of a volcano. He couldn't feel anything physically...but he was in the presence of pure evil and could definitely feel that.
"Excuses don't mean a thing," the voice responded with a high laugh smelling of nightmares and rubbish bins. He seemed to still be glaring at the squat man, even though the robed figure was now turned to face the centaur statue framed in place with five gigantic marble pillars next to the walls. "Do you like my new addition?"
"Uh..." the squat man was certainly at a loss for words as he glanced towards that malevolent statue again. It filled him with even more dread, and he started trembling once more. Those cold stone eyes seemed to be watching him...
"Of course, you probably don't realize what it means." The voice seemed less harsh as the robed figure turned back to face the squat man once more. "Do you, Sam?"
The man called Sam slowly shook his head. "Sorry, sir...I don' see wha' this means. Tis a bi' of an improvement from jus' the etchin', though."
"Fool. This is the etching." His hand waved towards the statue, his robe trailing after like some exotic dancer's almost invisible sleeve teasing her potential customer's face.
Sam blinked a few times, clearly not all that sure what to make of the statue. "How can it be the etchin', eh? It isn't flat?" he finally asked a few moments later, cowering slightly as he awaited possible anger and a response. Sam knew he shouldn't ask stupid questions around this hooded figure who enjoyed having others do his busywork for him and ate those who didn't do as he asked.
The man probably rolled his eyes underneath the dark hood. "You really live up to your nickname, you porcine swine. Stout Sam the stalwart...you really should be called Stupid Sam the sycophant." He sighed and shook his head. The hood fell off, revealing a remarkably handsome man with curly blonde hair and a very strong chin. His eyes were a brilliant shade of emerald as well, but he had no pupils. As Stout Sam inhaled sharply out of fright, the man quickly put the hood back on his head. "It was done by magic, insolent fool," he said, clearly a little agitated himself now that someone had actually seen what he looked like.
"Ah." Stout Sam nodded slightly and looked down at his weather-worn hands. What was a man as handsome (well, the eyes were hideous) as that doing hiding down here? Was it any of his business?
"No." The man's smile was faintly visible. "Now, did he take it?"
Stout Sam frowned the man read his thoughts? Probably. But he'd still feel better saying it out loud. "I slipped the paper in'o his pockets on tha' island." Stout Sam bit his lower lip.
"You let that man actually commit mutiny! You imbecile!" The hooded figure was apparently angry, for his chest was heaving in and out, revealing a dark blue shirt underneath all those robes. He could read Stout Sam's thoughts, which was probably for the best. If Stout Sam had to tell everything...well, he would've just lied.
"There wasn' much I could really do!" Stout Sam defended, his feet taking a defensive stance on the stone floor as he tried to ignore the eyes of the centaur statue. They seemed to be watching him much like a cat watches a hole it saw a mouse go into just moments before; never blinking and constantly moving just in case something happens really fast.
"Well, you could've tried something," the man spit out venomously. His hand was raised and he looked just about ready to slap Stout Sam when he calmed himself. "No matter...I can fix this."
"You can?" Stout Sam asked, cowering slightly out of fear. When he cowered down to get closer to the ground, he gave the appearance of being wider than he was tall. It was just an illusion, for while he was a portly fellow, he certainly wasn't a corpulent man unable to move around. You couldn't be all that fat on a pirate ship, after all.
"Of course I can. Now be quiet. And leave, before I decide to lock you up for your ineptitude." The man's voice wasn't as harsh as it had been before. Now it was almost a silky thing, as soft as the red silks from the Orient draping the walls.
"Right, sir," Stout Sam mumbled. He was only too glad to get out of the room and nearly tripped on his own feet as he scurried towards the door. There was an odd grinding noise in the curiously shaped room as he neared the ancient squeaky door in desperate need of some oil or animal fat for its hinges. He glanced around for just a moment, absolutely stunned to see the robed figure disappearing into the floor. Curious...what exactly was going on? Stout Sam asked no questions of those who could kill him, and now was no exception, even though he was cursed. Sure, he couldn't die...but who would want to live forever with a man like that watching your every moment until whatever evil plans he was hatching could come to fruit and blossom, spreading evil around the world?
As he opened the squeaky door, there was one prominent question on his mind: Why had he been told to slip that piece of paper in Jack Sparrow's pocket, anyway?
Jack: I swear I typed up a response to your last review...must've gotten lost between Word and Dreamweaver. And I will eventually update Death of a Blacksmith...but it puts me in a very bad mood and I'm already in a bad mood...
Thanks for the compliments...I'm not really sure how he got off that island, but I think Swarthy felt sorry for him. And his subconscious probably is trying to get him to drown himself, but Jack obviously can't die before the movie. Wouldn't work that way, really.
CrazyPirateGirl: Aye, that's how you spell epilogue. Funny word, really. As for Bootstrap getting to land before the curse is removed...well, that's really up for debate until Pirates of the Caribbean 2 comes out, isn't it? Thank you for your compliments and constant support!
Aliana Archer: You got the cereal reference! -banners stream down- The Albatross is a short story, I believe, but I didn't intentionally make a reference to it...never read it, ya see. Jack was never the same after he was marooned...it isn't the explanation because of all the odd motions, remember, but he did go "mad with the heat". And Bootstrap very well could be alive... Thank you for the review! Since you were the first to leave your sentiments, you walk away with a lovely pair of fake black pearl earrings!