(A/N – Wow, I think this is the epilogue. It's kind of cool, too. I hope you all like it while I scramble to get ready. I have to go see a show in Norwin today! They did Wizard of Oz for their musical, too, so I must go spy, lol. But while I'm on duty, enjoy the chapter. I love you all! You have done so much for my writing and my morale. I thank you a thousand times over. And don't you dare forget about my Ronie and Val series and that I'll be making little short stories based on this whole series, lol. I think I'm gonna call it The Little Chronicles. Do you think it suits? Well, I have to get cracking now. Thanks!)
My most humble and benevolent Reviewers…
x) Sentinel Sparrow - I'm sorry I ruined you life, lol. Just kidding... I do hope that this cute little epilogue makes a nice ending for you, because I love it. Enjoy it! Thank you for all the time and encouragement; it's all been appreciated a hundred times over. I know I have a totally devoted fan in you which I can not thank you for enough. Love you! Thanks and enjoy the final update! I'll see you in my other stories!
x) Norma Jean - Last chapter for you! I hope you like it as you have everything else, and thank you so much for your patronage to my works. What would I do with out you? Haha... Thanks again and I hope to see you in my other stories!
x) Kenny - Sorry, no MySpace, lol. And I'm sorry I almost made you cry, but Lindsay and Stewie are like my sisters and I had to remind them of that, haha. Right now, they are sort of at it, and I blame the absence of my wooden tooth which has somehow mysteriously disappeared three days ago... The hunt will continue after this, lol. I'll find it! I promise! I'm so thankful that you and Kitty supported me and that I have found great friends in you two. Update your story soon, and look for my LotR to be up tomorrow! I know you'll be there! Thanks for everything, and enjoy the epilogue.
.: Don't be sad,get Glad! LoL... At least this whole adventure happened. What would your lives be like if you never read this story? Maybe not a lot would have changed, but I bet something did! I'm so glad that you all supported me in writing this. I had so much fun. I not only wrote this for Lindsay, Jessica, and me, but you guys, too. You compelled me to write when I'd be going through difficulties in life, so I commend you. Thanks for everything. I know in writing, you can't really read a person's emotion, but that's because you can't put it into words. And that's what I love a bout it. It's just something you have to feel. Do you feel me? :.
CLE – "Moving On" by Good Charlotte
My last disclaimer for this…
My last claimer for this…
BUT NOT THE END OF THEM, I'M SURE.
EPILOGUE: "They're back?"
- 11:00 PM -
"Did you want to maybe get some rest now?" I asked.
"Sure," Lindsay said, dropping her last bag on the pile of stuff inside her doorway. "I'm tired."
So we went out to the living room and sat on the air mattress. Lindsay got up quickly to turn off the light next to the armchair when she paused a moment, looking at the floor. I watched her a moment as one hand was on the lamp knob and the other slowly began to creep around the chair and down between it and the wall. She winced with some difficulty of retrieving whatever it was, and she about had it out when a crash came from the kitchen.
Yes, a crash.
Both of our heads spun faster than probably was healthy for them, but it was a big shock. We looked at each other, blood rushing.
'They're back?' I could almost hear Lindsay thinking.
My mind reeled as I looked at the kitchen doorway. I didn't want to go in there. I wanted them to come out. I wanted to see them and tell us that everything was okay. I wanted reassured. But more than anything, I wanted to see them again.
More little crashes came as Lindsay and I sat (or stood) frozen with eyes fixed on the doorway of the kitchen. I was about to stand up when the footsteps got closer. Instead of standing, I leaned back a bit in fear of some ugly surprise or trick. 'This could still be a dream,' I remembered thinking. Not a breath passed through either of our lips or noses as the final footsteps reached the doorway. I leaned back, but instead of three pirates walking into the room, in stumbled Stewie.
Wonderful Stewie! With no black on either! And her little pigtail bobs were still on top of her head. And her hair was a faded reddish color again instead of jet black. She looked at Lindsay and me with a small smile and held out her little sun pendant for us to see even with her feet stuck in pots and a fork in her hair.
I smiled gratefully with tears coming to my eyes as I leapt from the air mattress and ran to her. Lindsay was coming full speed, too, and at the same time, we collided with her in a fit of happy and mournful cry.
"Oh, gosh, Stewie, it's you again!" I said. "It's you!"
"How did you get here?" Lindsay asked as we separated a little. "You were in-"
"I made my mom bring me out right away," she said with a smeary face and huge smile. "I had to see if it was true! And it is… we're back. This isn't a dream."
"No it's not, Stewart," I said with a grim smile. "But it sure was one heck of a trip."
"Not over yet," Lindsay said as she walked back over to the armchair. He hand slid down between it and the wall again, and with one tug, she revealed an old, aged glass bottle. It was corked and gross looking, but upon squinting at it for two seconds, I saw a piece of old paper in it. A piece of parchment.
We stared at each other.
"Was that… ever there before?" I asked breathlessly.
Lindsay shook her head so slightly I had to rethink it over to see if she really had. "No."
Immediately we sat on the air mattress as Lindsay ripped the cork out and tried to get the message into her hand by shaking the bottle upside down. Some sand poured out at that point, and she stopped, and we stared some more. What had we discovered?
She continued shaking until the end of a very old piece of paper appeared in the palm of her hand in a roll. We were getting hot from all the excitement and possibilities that lay inside that little roll of paper. We leaned in as she took it out, setting the bottle on the mattress gently. Then she slowly began to unroll it until she began too impatient and increased her speed to the point that she almost ripped it. We sat with our faces touching cheek to cheek as small faded words became visible on the parchment. We laughed in disbelief.
Especially when we saw it was address to us.
"Read it, Lindsay," I barely managed to saw. She nodded quickly and cleared her throat before beginning.
'Dearest Littles Sparrow, Turner, and Swann,
I hope ye get to read this before ye're too old to remember what has happened. It's Jack, lassies, it's me. Remember me?'
Lindsay stopped and laughed before she continued.
'I am fine now. A few years older you might say since our departure. Will and Elizabeth have aged themselves as well, but little Arielle and Charlotte have grown into fine young women to help around the smithy shop.'
"Charlotte?" Stewie asked.
"They must've had another daughter," I said. "It's sounds like Jack's a lot older when he wrote this. Maybe in his… last few years," I dared to say. An uncomfortable feeling came over us until Lindsay continued.
'Me own have been helpin' round deck, too. Daniel, Robert, and Anne have been quite the model of crew workmanship. They do everything ten times better than the others, even in their early twenties and at nineteen.'
"Dang," I said. "He was getting older."
"You think his oldest was twenty-some, maybe twenty-two, twenty-three, Arielle was at least a year ad a half older," Lindsay said. "But that's only if Ana and him had Daniel right after they were married."
"How do you know Daniel's the oldest?" Stewie asked.
"We don't," I said. "But that's usually how names are listed of children in a family – oldest to youngest."
"Oooh… so that's why my name was always the last on every Christmas card Mom mailed out."
"Probably," I said.
"Shh! Let me finish!" Lindsay said.
'I wish you could see them now. They are really wonderful. Arielle and Charlotte have even joined crew for a few months at a time when Will and Elizabeth have been feeling up to a journey. Paige and Thomas still remain loyal to me crew as well as they begin to climb in their years, not to mention to each other. They were betrothed and wed about seven years after we departed. And they even have a little one now who likes to run ramped and drive me up a wall. Ten year olds are like that, though, I guess.'
"Oh, come on, Lindsay," I said. "You were never gonna marry Thomas anyway."
"Yeah, whatever…" she said with a little jealousy. "He's still my man."
"But they're perfect together!" Stewie said.
"Yeah, I'll give 'em that," Lindsay said.
"Did he say whether it was a boy or girl?" I asked.
"Nope," Lindsay replied. "Maybe if we read on."
'Aye, I think we have our next generation of the Pearl is finally set, but I plan not to go anywhere for a while, mind ye. But the Governor did pass a few years ago on Charlotte's seventeenth year, which was sad for us all.'
We all frowned and sat there a brief moment before continuing. That was a little depressing…
'The new governor isn't too bad – he lets Will and Elizabeth stay in the house they had built up the coast, and he sort of likes me thanks to something Norrington might have said. I still don't like the man whole-heartedly, but he's not that bad I suppose. We joined forces on the Rebecca thing, but I still refuse to get a Letter of Marquee. But I think the only reason the new governor lets me do whatever I want is because Norrington told him to consider me a privateer or something. I'm still investigating that, however.'
We giggled. Good ol' Jack…
'By the way, we've learned a few things about the ruby, including that after its final use, its keepers get put back to where they came from before they were associated with it.'
"We know," Lindsay, said loudly as if Jack were on the piece of paper and could hear us clearly. Stewie and I smiled and continued to listen to Lindsay read with a little annoyance after that.
'We found out a while later after we came across a previous owner of another one.'
We stopped again.
"So there are more," I said slowly.
'Aye, there are others,' Lindsay laughed as she read the next line in Jack's letter. 'But not all rubies, mind ye. Maybe sapphires or other precious gems of some sort. They were bewitched somehow long ago, but that doesn't matter now. If I had found another, I would've come and see ye in a heartbeat.'
'Some may still exist, some may not. But they were low in numbers, so I wouldn't get yer hopes up in finding one. I've searched and searched these past twenty-two years to no avail –'
"Twenty-two years!" I shouted. "Dang! He was getting old!"
' - so don't waste yer time, lassies. I know it's tempting, but please; just stay away. Ye'll find much better things to do, I have faith in ye.'
Smiles and a glint and Stewie's eye…
"No, Stewart," I said.
"But we could find one!"
"No," Lindsay and I said firmly. She crossed her arms and pouted as Lindsay read on.
'We'd all love te see ye again, especially Paige and Thomas. They would like ye to meet their boy sometime, and if ye'd ever happen to come back in yer late thirties by chance sometime, bring yer own children to meet 'im.'
"They're that old?" I asked.
"Twenty-two years," Lindsay said. "They'd be what… forty and thirty-nine when he wrote this? Thirty-eight? Something like that… Anyways…"
'That's another thing we learned 'bout that little ruby. Ye can actually go visit any ol' time in the person's life ye associated with. So if ye wanted to visit me as a kid, get a picture in yer heads of me as yer countin'… it's not to give ye ideas, but just a picture… a 'for instance.' Don't go loopy on me now.'
"Aye aye, cap'n," Stewie said, saluting the sheet of paper that was practically falling apart in Lindsay's hands from its age.
'Let's see, what else shall I tell you about? Well, there are the effects of aforementioned ruby. Will, Elizabeth, and I remembered what had happened, and even Paige and Thomas did. Paige found me sooner thanks to that little perk, and we teamed up and beat Miss Rebecca Barbossa about six months earlier than when ye were all here. She seemed to be as twisted in the head as before, thinkin' she could beat us. Oh, and I didn't get shot, Jane. I thought ye'd might like to hear that."
Lindsay stopped and beamed as her eyes began to tear up. I sighed patiently until she wiped her eye and kept on reading.
'But it's awful peculiar I still have scars from it… Check yerselves. Ye might have a few yerself. I know ye have a nice long one on yer leg, Grace. From the cave? Right leg, if I'm not mistaken.'
My eyes widened, and I brought my right knee up to me. I lifted my pant leg, and there, from my ankle almost to the bottom of me knee, was the ever so faintest white line; it was a scar that looked like it had been there healing forever. Lindsay and Jessica gaped at it with me. I blinked a few times to make sure it wasn't the light playing tricks on me, but it was there. Almost invisible, but it was there.
"That…" Lindsay said breathlessly, "is nuts."
"That is," Stewie said, nodding her head slowly.
I lifted my head and half-laughed in disbelief. "The scars are real," I said just to hear it out loud. "They're really there."
"It really happened," Lindsay said. "Why wouldn't they be there?" She pulled her shirt down a little, and Stewie and I saw a few white circles dotted together on her chest. We both gawked; they were the gunshots from being in the Caribbean.
Immediately, Stewie and I began to look ourselves over entirely. Little white dotted scars from being shot when we were immortal were on us, too, along with sword slashes and such.
"It looks like we've had them for ages," I said. "They look so old."
"Yeah," Stewie said, looking up from her arm slowly. "Four centuries old."
Lindsay and I stared at her.
"That should not make sense, but somehow it does," Lindsay said with some discomfort in her voice. She quit examining herself, and picked up the letter again. Stewie and I leaned in.
'The scars are there, even though things have changed. I'm not exactly sure how to place that one, considering if ye still have scars from Rebecca and we killed her in a different way, how's that possible? I suppose that's a boundary we aren't supposed to cross then, eh? Well, so much for that. We've got scars from alternate realities… how about that?'
'It's amazing; the things ye learn everyday. And the things ye see. The miracles, I mean. Even the commonplace things such as the ocean and the smell of salty air are great happenin's. Little miracles, if ye will. But meetin' you three and yer crew of misfits from a world I think I have nightmares about now is beyond a miracle.
'The parallels scare us to this day. Ye're like barbarians or something, but with kind, loving hearts. Ye put yer trust in yerselves as ye should rather than a Code, which is, by all means, the most respectable and honorable thing anyone could ever do. Ye taught us a lot that we can never forget, especially another alternative way to have a good time. Ye did that numerous times, though…'
We laughed through the tears.
'And I admit that I was terrified when we first met. Thought ye had placed some sort of hex or somethin' on us to bring us to yer nightmarish world. It is still a strange place to me. Whenever I just think about it here and there I get that look on me face Will likes to imitate all the time. And he does it openly now when the crew's around which has earned him a few nasty glares…'
We busted out laughing, all of us together thinking of the part in the movie where Will does that imitation of Jack. It was a good laugh, too. How can that not be funny just to picture?
'And it's not funny," Lindsay read, which made us laugh more. "Well, it may be funny to you, but to us who have to suffer the humiliation of a whelp, well…'
More laughter from Lindsay. She started to choke she was laughing so much.
"Breathe," Stewie said, slamming her back.
"Yeah, don't die," I said.
She gave a few more giggled before clearing her throat and continuing.
'Anyways, not important. What is important is that ye remember all that has happened, because if ye don't, our very meeting would have been in vain. So if ye have amneedsya or whatever it's called," – we laughed again –"please try to remember anything ye can about a handsome pirate, a whiny blacksmith, and a lovely governor's daughter. I doubt it highly, but ye might have yer pendants still: the tooth, the locket, and the sun. If ye can't remember how they came to ye, just believe that it was us and do whatever it takes to remember that. It's crucial, darlings. Ye've got the power to change the world now with what ye know, from yer own personal lives to the ones all the way in Singapore (I doubt ye live anywhere near there, but I never really asked ye, come to think about it).
'We've changed a lot around this shabby little sea in that year we relived. Norrington married after we defeated Rebecca, Tortuga got a whole new tavern put in thanks to yours truly from all that gold in Isle de Muerta, and also with that gold, I got me a few renovations on the Pearl from me own damned crew firin' at it during that one sea battle when I was in the hold. Also, Letter of Marques became the new thing, and I was asked to show the men some antics and such even though I never got a Letter meself. Didn't want one, anyhow. No fun in that!
'But our time together was fun, I guess. More weird and strange and that than fun, but still, a great little adventure. A nice odd pirate story to share amongst the seven seas. Oh, and did I mention ye're all a great big legend now?'
We looked at each other.
'Remember how famous ye were in the Caribbean when ye first showed up? Well, our story's been circulated all over the Caribbean for these past years as a feared myth and a favorite bedtime story. How does that make ye feel?'
I sat there with words ready to come out of my mouth, and the first one that popped out hesitantly was, "Special?" I shrugged, and Lindsay read on.
'I don't know about you, but it makes me feel old.'
We laughed, picturing Jack saying this with disgust.
'I mean, that was over twenty years ago in my speakin'. In yer terms of years it was probably ages ago, even before your time. That's why it's important ye believe me if this is actually you at all I am speakin' to. I'm just gonna finish this up and toss it over the rail in a bottle. I know that sounds foolish, but somehow it feels like ye'll get hold of this before the sharks and sand swallow it. I just have this feelin'. Hard to explain, but I'd imagine ye understand. Ye're smart and know a lot about the world around ye and how it works. And if ye don't, ye find out or make somethin' up which is just fine.'
"Yes!" I laughed. "Jack approves! It's official!"
'It's very different from the way things are here, but change is nice every once in a while. Change isn't always bad, Grace. Don't forget that.'
Those words jumped off of the page in 3-D and smacked me right across the face. I was speechless. He remembered that. Then I smiled. If he could remember us after twenty-some-odd years, we could sure as heck remember him and the others.
"Erica? What?' Lindsay asked.
"Oh. It's just… something that Jack said to me before the wedding," I said. "A little talk he gave me."
"Oh. Well… here. We're almost done," she said a little sadly.
'And don't forget who ye are if ye haven't already. We may never be able to see or speak to each other again, but that bond ye mentioned during the ceremony held onto us all. And it will stay there. I haven't much more room to write, but just remember that ye're the Littles with big hearts and ideas that will get ye anywhere ye want te go, even if it is back here. I have faith in ye, and absolute trust from the night we first arrived. And ye have it for the four hundred years that separate us, too.
'Stay together forever, and never let yer relationship become any less than it is. Because if ye do, ye can't be Littles on yer own. Ye're mates, the best ones around that need each other. And you shall have each other because of what we have done. Always keep close to one another, or the whole year and a half we shared will dissipate and be gone forever. We're bound by the memories, remember? So stay together. Ye'll need each other before it's all said and done.
'Take care, lassies. We'll miss ye.
'Captain Jack Sparrow of The Black Pearl.
'P.S. – Check yer jewelry for magic gems… ye know, just in case…'
Lindsay lowered the letter and all three of us looked at each other with tears in our eyes, but with thoughtful smiles.
"So now what?" she asked, wiping her eyes.
"Um, hello?" Stewie said, grabbing the letter and pointing to the bottom of it. "The P.S.?"
Lindsay and I exchanged looks before the three of us jumped up and ran for Lindsay's room. We immediately attacked the jewelry box on her dresser like savage beasts. But then, halfway through ripping it apart, he heard the sliding glass door open again. We turned in shock with wide eyes, but our hopes were crushed once again when we saw Lindsay's grandma come back in.
"Quick, Stewie! Hide!" Lindsay said, shoving her onto the floor behind the side of the bed.
"Lindsay, did you-" Her grandma stopped in the doorway when she saw me holding the old letter. "What is that?" she asked.
"Well um… Grandma?" Lindsay asked sweetly. "Where did you get that bottle with the paper in it?" She waited for yelling, but her grandma laughed.
"Oh, I found that in the Caribbean when my mother took me years ago," she said. Lindsay and I stared at each other. "I forgot where I had it, but I never opened it. What does it say?"
"Oh, nothing," I said. "The ink must've washed off," I said, showing her the back of the long scroll. She bought it and shrugged.
"Oh well. Lindsay, I just wanted to remind you to pick up your new contacts at the eye doctor's on the sixteenth of next month."
"Okay," she said. "Bye."
Her grandma left again, and Stewie sat up slowly, looking at us with big eyes and then back down at the bottle she had carried in with her.
"What is it?" I asked.
She stared at the wall and smiled. "Huh…"
"What?" Lindsay asked.
"I like it."
"What Jack called our story," she said, looking up at us.
Lindsay and I exchanged clueless looks. Jess rolled her eyes and sighed as if it were plain as day.
"He called it an odd pirate story," she said. "I like that."
"Yeah," Lindsay said. "Just an odd pirate story. I bet that what everyone in the Caribbean referred to it like that," she laughed.
I smiled curiously.
"I do, too," I said. "And I think I have an idea…"
"What?" Stewie asked. I looked at them evenly.
"We put it to paper."
And that is how the whole series came to be.
Well, I have to thank you all from the bottom of my hearts for the support you give me. I'm going to be starting The Little Chronicles here anytime soon, and I'll let you know when on my Author's Page. Thank you so much again. I cannot stress enough how important you all are to me. You inspire me, you make me laugh, and you read my works with great patience and enthusiasm, which is the greatest thing I could ask for at this point. Thanks so much. And look at your calendars – Today is the two-year anniversary of the first post of the first story in the series. I posted Buried Treasure two years ago today. It's been amazing. I feel so blessed by the experience, and for you. Thanks for making me the luckiest person alive.
And by the way, Norwin's show SUCKED compared to ours, lol.
Love you guys! Please, please review!
So ends another chapter in my life...
And check out Invisible Scars (Lord of the Rings)tomorrow! LoL...