In recounting the story of Jack Sparrow and Evangeline Marley, it is important to remember that much of what occurred, for the sake of a great tale, can be easily challenged. To know Jack and Eva, the reader will also know that big things happen to those with even larger spirits, and that two fish grown too large for their own ponds, somewhere came together in the middle of a vast ocean on purpose, not by mistake.
Grace O' Malley's treasure was as true as a legend can come among the trade of pirates, and the adventure that Jack took Eva on was far grander a thing, far more triumphant a motion for love, than even the Pirate Queen's lost intention for hiding the jewels away. Many events occurred in the months and years that followed after their discovery on Clare Island, most of which was learned by me through childhood bedtime stories.
The storyteller on stormy nights was my mother. And on those nights where the seas were calm and the hull of the ship we called home was sturdy, it was my father who delighted my mind into the best dreams.
He told me stories about a man named Jack who had battled sea monsters and ghosts. He was a wily pirate who had taken on thousands of hurricanes, lighting storms, and even a maelstrom. He told me about the mermaids this man Jack had charmed and the sirens on the Grecian coast that had done the same to him in return. But my father always ended his stories by reminding me how much of a fool Jack was, while my mother ended them by usually commanding his foolishness as unusual bravery.
It was years later before I discovered who Jack really was, because all my life he'd merely been Papa.
My parents' were lovers before they loved each other and heroes long before their time. My father will tell you to this day, that he knew he couldn't live without my mother the exact moment he nearly lost her. My mother on the other hand, will say it was the day he finally returned to her. Together they sailed and fought for the treasure of Grace O'Malley, never wavering nor stepping down from one another's side.
And for this, they achieved the grand success.
It took two trips from the shores of Clare Island to the banks of Shipwreck Cove to deliver all of the treasure they'd scoured. Gems the size of fists and gold that shone brighter than even the sun itself were carried back and shared among anyone claiming to be a believer of their tale. Because of it, Shipwreck still flourishes to this day, even without the great cotton of the infamous Mr. Bryant.
In fact it was on their first return journey to Ireland, after the rescue of my mother from London, as the bow of the Pearl took on the raging waves of a snow storm off the coast of Greenland, that my parents' unknowingly conceived their first child. From what I've been told, the not knowing of this, and the lie my mother spilled to salvage the honor of my father before Daniel Bryant's spat of falsity, nearly led to their separation.
At the request of my grandfather Teague and the groveling and making up of Jack to Eva for the whole of three months, they eventually married in a small, coastal ceremony upon their re-arrival in Shipwreck. To which my mother and father both learned to deal with and finally respect the institution of marriage.
My brother, Elijah, was born at Teague's house a mere four months later, on January 25th, 1770. In my mother's account of this eventful night, she always mentions that my father had barely escaped the noose of the British fleet on the banks of Singapore to make it to the Cove in time to see his son born. Here, my father will always add that his jaw, a constant victim to my mother's temper, has never quite healed properly since.
Two years passed by in which Jack and Eva sailed with baby Elijah across free and open waters, taking down merchant ships casually, and rescuing slaves by the thousands to sneak them home on trips all along the African coast. It was on the beach in Mali though, that my mother was taken ill by a mysterious water fever, from which she very nearly died. But in perfect account on both sides, it was my father's tales, the ones she'd heard a million times before, as well as his diligence in remaining by her sick bed for an entire month that healed Evangeline Sparrow. And it was on the night in which her fever finally broke, that a second child was conceived.
I, Zoe Sparrow, was born nine months later in the middle of a Jamaican hurricane. And because Mr. Gibbs had trouble reading his pocket watch with salt-water blurred vision, it still remains a mystery to this day of whether I was born at 11:59 pm on September 15th, or at 12:00 am on September 16th, in the year 1772.
Perhaps though this is a clue to the person I am today, my mother's daughter in so many ways and my father's little girl in so many others. I have difficulty with patience, I jump from one situation to the next without worrying about tying up loose ends, and I constantly challenge anyone worthy of me.
At twenty years old, the same age at which Eva met Jack, I am a fortnight away from my own marriage. With the approval of my father and the insistence of both my mother and Elizabeth Turner, I am going to marry my best friend, the person who has saved my life countless times and shown me what true love was when I hardly believed in it at all. Jack Turner, so named for my father a great many years and adventures ago, has asked me to be his, forever.
Using the knowledge I have gained from both the adventures and misadventures, the beautiful and unfortunate events, as well as the sorrow and passion of every finite detail of my parents love for one another, I know I can fill my heart the same and trace my own path where their ship's hull pauses in the ocean and their footprints end in the sands of this wide world.
We Sparrows have one thing going for us above will power and curiosity. And that's undeniably, love.