That same night, Elizabeth tossed and turned in her sleep. Strange images passed before her eyes, never staying long enough for her to make sense of. Then she was back on the dock, running for her life. Her breath was ragged, her legs sore and tired, and her heartbeat was like a drum roll. She became aware of another sound, a second heartbeat, slow and strong, and far away. But it began to grow louder, as if it was coming closer. Soon it was louder then her own heart, her breathing, her feet pounding on the wooden planks beneath her. It grew louder and louder, eclipsing all other sound. Terrified, she screamed.
Jack was climbing up the ladder that from the rum storeroom, when he heard the bloodcurdling scream. Without thinking, he dropped the fresh bottle and bolted up the ladder before he could even hear the glass shatter. He knew that scream, and he knew it meant Elizabeth would need him. When he got to her door, he burst in without knocking. He found her tossing violently in her sleep, calling out and whimpering. Her face was scrunched up as if she were in pain, and he could see tears in her eyes.
He sat down on the side of the bed and tried to wake her. Her eyes flashed open, and she looked around confused.
"Shh, Lizzie, it's ok, I'm here," he said soothingly. She looked up at him, tears still streaming down her face. Jack couldn't help it when he reached over to wipe them away with his thumb.
"Oh, Jack, it was horrible," she said shakily, sitting up. Jack scooted over to give her more room.
"Tell me what happened, love," he said, resisting the urge to pull her over and hold her close.
"It was the same dream I had last night," she said, "I was running down a dock, terrified, and there was fog everywhere. It hurt so much. I couldn't breath, or see, all I could do is hear. Last night, it was just my heart and breathing, and my feet on the wood, but tonight," she stopped, tears running down her face again. This time Jack did wrap his arm around her and she leaned into him, her head on his shoulder.
"What did you here, love?" he asked quietly
"His heart, Jack. I couldn't see it, but it sounded
like it was chasing me, and it
was getting closer and closer and it was so loud I screamed." Jack could feel her shaking, so he rubbed her back gently. His arms felt good around her, strong and safe. She felt her heartbeat slowing back down and and her breathing even out.
"Your safe, Lizzie. Nothing is chasing you, the heart is safely locked up," he said. Now that she was quieting down, he could hear the steady thump thump, thump thump of the heart. Looking around, he saw the chest at the head of the bed, next to her pillow. No wonder she was having bad dreams.
"Love, maybe you shouldn't have the chest in here. We don't want a repeat of last time," he said. She winced.
Last time. As in when they were taking the chest to be hidden. She had refused to let it out of her sight for a second, and eventually the constant, rhythmic thump thump, thump thump began driving her mad. She refused to sleep for fear that something would happen to it, and the sleep deprivation started making her act odd. She became super suspicious of everyone, once even accusing Cotton's parrot of trying to get it when he landed on top of the chest. That's when Jack finally stepped in and suggested an alternative. They had stored it in the most secure location on the ship- The Rum Hold. With it hidden in a barrel behind two locked doors that only Jack had the key's to, Elizabeth relaxed and returned to normal.
"Your probably right," she said, reluctantly pulling away. As good as his arms had felt, she was now starting to feel guilty for enjoying it. What was wrong with her?
As they were taking the chest to its hiding place, Elizabeth found the smashed bottle of rum at the foot of the ladder. She looked at Jack in surprise.
"Love, that scream of your's could wake the dead. Do you blame me for dropping it?" he said.
"So what your saying, is that it was scared out of your hands," Elizabeth said with a smirk.
"Nonsense, it was merely in the way when me hand flew up to protect me poor ears. You've got quite a set of lungs on you, Lizzie," he said. He didn't see a reason to let her know that he really had been scared. Elizabeth clearly didn't believe his cover up, but let it go anyway.
Once the chest was hidden, Jack made to leave Elizabeth at her cabin door, but the nightmare was still fresh enough in her mind to make her dread attempting sleep.
"Jack," she called as he walked down the passageway. He turned and looked at her expectantly. "What's going to happen when we get to the island?" she asked. Jack appraised her for a moment, then spoke.
"Come with me, I'll show you," he said. Elizabeth followed him into his cabin, which was bright with lamplight after the dark passageways below deck. She watched as he rummaged through a pile of parchment on his desk, and pulled out a large rectangular piece and laid it out on the table. He beckoned Elizabeth over to look at it.
"It's exquisite," she said. She was looking at the same map Jack had shown Gibbs earlier of the Isle of Devils. "Where did you find such a detailed map?
"I drew it me self," he said rather proudly.
"Where did you learn how to do this?" Elizabeth asked, obviously impressed.
"I was apprenticed to a cartographer when I was a lad. Learned quite a few useful tricks there. Your actually very lucky I even have this map. No one lives on the Isle, and most avoid it as much as they can. I only drew this a few years ago, and it's probably the only one in existence," Jack said, again with a hint of pride. Elizabeth was still staring at the map, her fingers tracing the lines of the tiny ink church.
"Why did you make a map of the place? Why were you there?" she asked, looking up at him.
"It was when I was trying to get the Pearl back from Barbossa, the theivin', slimy, no good bilge rat," Jack said.
"Oh, that's right! You promised you'd tell me," she added.
"Indeed I did. Have a seat," he said, sitting down and pushing the other chair out from under the desk with his foot. She sat down and waited for him to begin.
"Alright, so it was about a week after we got to Tortuga after hiding the Chest, and the whole crew was off enjoying their shore leave. Since I couldn't just leave the Pearl by her lonesome, Gibbs and me took shifts standing watch. I had promised Scarlet and Giselle a ride on the Pearl- What?" Jack asked, interrupted by the frown that crossed Elizabeth's face with out her realizing it. She quickly changed her expression back to one of interest. Why should it bother her that Jack had been spending time with whores? He was a pirate, she knew that. Then why did she feel so...jealous? No, surely not jealous. That was preposterous.
"Nothing, continue," she said. Jack, not being an idiot, guessed what had happened, but held his tongue because of their agreement.
"So, as I was saying, I was taking the girls for a ride, but when I got to the docks, the Pearl was gone, and Gibbs was curled up with a teddy bear between some barrels. After cursing him to the locker and back, I went in search of a temporary vessel. Unfortunately, the only thing I could find was the little dingy Barbossa had left behind where the Pearl had been. It was called the Jolly Mon, and apparently it was me new vessel. Of course, Barbossa thought he'd gotten the better of me. He thought he had taken not only me ship but the Singaporean Charts as well. What he didn't know was that I had taken the charts when he wasn't looking, and left him with a useless roll of reeds."
"I bet he wasn't too happy about that," Elizabeth said, imagining the look on his face when he realized Jack had outsmarted him again.
"No, he wasn't. I was planning on that though. You see, we were looking for the same thing- The Fountain of Life," he said.
"The fountain of life? It's real?" Elizabeth asked, fascinated.
"Aye, it's real, but just like every other grand treasure I've gone after, it comes with a curse. Sure, you'll never die, but you'll still get old. When I found it, there was Ponce de Leon 'imself watchin' over it. Looked like hell he did, his skin all papery thin and gray, and bald as a doorknob. Not to mention his bones was so frail from age his skull cracked when I said 'hello'."
"Oh, that's horrible!" Elizabeth said, feeling bad for the man.
"He said not to worry about it, it happens all the time apparently. He warned us about the...side effects. I don't know about you, but that was not my idea of a immortality," Jack said with a shutter.
"Did Barbossa ever find the fountain?"
"Don't know, I'd gotten me Pearl back by then and- well, I can't tell you yet 'cause it'd ruin the story," he said, mock serious.
"Yes, back to the story," Elizabeth said eagerly.
"Right, where was I? Oh, so I had the charts, and Barbossa knew it. So what I did was lay a trap. Now I knew Ole Hector wasn't above havin' someone else do the work for him, so I started askin' around Tortuga and a few other places for a boat and a crew. I made it well known that we were headed for Isle of Devils for a treasure beyond their wildest dreams. When I thought I'd spread my heading around enough, I lit out on my little dingy by myself, cause I didn't need another mutinous crew to deal with, and went to the Isle to wait. I waited there a full month before Barbossa got his slow hide to the island. He took a small party with him into the jungle looking for the fountain. A few hours later, I marched aboard me ship, bold as brass, and told the men on deck that Barbossa and the others had died, mistakenly haven drunk from the Fountain of Death, conveniently located next to the Fountain of Life. 'I tried to warn them,' I said, 'But Barbossa thought I was lyin' to 'im, the untrustin' devil, may his soul rest in peace, and they drank from the wrong fountain.' They believed me, and welcomed me back with open arms. Turns out, not all of them had like leavin' me behind in Tortuga after all. Apparently I'm more fun the Barbossa," he said haughtily.
"So that's it?" Elizabeth asked in mild disbelief. "You just waltzed on up to them, lied through your teeth, and sailed off into the sunset?"
"It was much more difficult then that, love. For one thing, we sailed at first light, so it wasn't a sunset. And another, I had to rot on that hellish island for a month! You'll soon see how pleasant a trip that was."
"So is that when you made these charts?" she asked, changing the subject.
"Aye, I had nothing else to keep me occupied, so when I found some parchment in one of the old buildings, I though, why not, what else are you going to do besides talk to yourself," he said.
"So what happened to Barbossa? And the others?" Elizabeth asked.
"Well, I returned Barbossa's dingy to him. Left her tied up right where the Pearl had been, and I renamed her The Grand Eunuch. I'd like to see him sail into port on that," he said with a smirk. Elizabeth couldn't help but laugh at the image in her mind, an overcrowded dingy, captained by a very vexed Barbossa.
"But why Isle of Devils? What is so special about that island?" she asked.
"Well, it's uninhabited, and mostly unexplored. You
see, it's an odd place. Most think it's haunted, cause of its
unnatural fog and the eerie cries you can hear, day and night. It's
the last place most people would search for something," he
Elizabeth looked grave. Jack mentally kicked himself. Here you are tellin' her 'ow horrible the place is, and now you've got her worryin' about the kid again. Stupid!
"But it's not really haunted, love. It's just the monkeys. They make weird noises, and that's what people think are ghosts," he said trying to reassure her. "Trust me, I was there long enough to find out." She looked a little less grim, but still unhappy.
"So what are we going to do when we reach the island in three days?"
"You and I will take the Chest inland to the church. Then me genius plan goes into effect, and shortly after we will be sailing off with you son and a very un-stabbed heart, savvy?" he said.
"You are sure this plan will work?"
"Absolutely," he said confidently. "Everything will work out perfectly." At least, it would work out perfectly for him.
yay, more sparrabethy goodness :)Well, Next chapter includes the daring rescue attempt! which means, of course, if they succeed, Jack and Lizzie\'s agreement is over and he can go back to his usual charming self. :) Look out Lizzie!
So, tune in next time for some action, adventure, and mimes!
ok, so im kidding about the mimes.