I looked out into the swamp, searching for any sign of life. Mamma said that they would be arriving soon. Whatever came out of her mouth, I believed.
She was an oracle, the goddess of the sea, and I was a nymph under her. My mother was Calypso, daughter of Atlas and love of Davey Jones. I was unfortunate enough to be their child.
I took after her with my tanned skin. I had my father's icy blue-grey eyes and brown hair. My mother was a goddess, immortal and I wasn't an exception. For the past two hundred years, I had stayed the same size of a young twenty year old, taking care of her mother who just happened to look ten years older than me. Immortality does that to one, I suppose.
A number of torch lights appear through the trees. I jumped down from the barrel I was sitting on and ran back into the house.
Mamma was tossing fortune sticks when I entered. She didn't look up, telling me instantly that she already knew what was going on. Then again, she always did. I sat in the chair across from her, waiting for whatever was going to start. No one came to my mother for just a reading.
The sound of boots went on the front porch along with voices. I recognized Jack Sparrow and Gibbs but the rest was unknown. They must have acquired a new crew since their last visit. My mother was quiet, listening in.
"No worries, mates." I heard Jack say. "Tia Dalma and I go way back. Thick as thieves. Nigh inseparable we are...were...have been...before..." I stifled a giggle at that before Mamma pressed a finger to her lips, signaling me to be quiet.
"I'll watch your back." Gibbs told him confidently.
"It's me front that I'm worried about." He told him as they entered. My mother stood up to greet them but I stayed in my seat. My mother always had a thing for Jack…and men in general. She placed a hand flirtatiously on his shoulder but his eyes were glued to mine. Jack and I had run ins of our own, but not romantically like my mother.
"Jack Sparrow!" She all but cooed. He smiled at her.
" Tia Dalma." He tipped his hat in my direction. "Mala Jones." I smiled in return.
"I always knew the wind was going to blow our back to us one day." She told him before turning to a young man in his early twenties with brown hair and eyes. He had the faint starting of a mustache. Mamma smiled at him as well.
"You, you have a touch of destiny about you, William Turner."
" You know me?" He aske, surprised. I rolled my eyes. She's a oracle, you ee-jit! I longed to tell him. My mother smiled, hearing me. She never read my thoughts and that worried me a lot. The last time she did, my father had left us. She moved closer to him.
" You want to know me?"
"There'll be no knowing here." Jack stepped in. "We came for help and we're not leaving without it. I thought I knew you."
'Men are jealous creatures, my pet.' I heard my mother tell me telepathically. I smiled broadly at her while hers in return was sly and hidden.
"Not so well as she'd hoped." I mused. He ignored me as my mother gestured to the table and sat down across from me. I got up from my seat to give it to Jack or Will. Will won.
"Come." Jack repeated.
"So what service may I do you? You know, we demand payment." My mother gestured between the two of us. I turned my expression to a sly grin that I had inherited from my father. Jack saw it and shuddered.
" I brought payment." He told us quickly, motioning to a squat, balding man with greasy thin locks. He handed Jack a covered cage. He revealed it to see Jack, Barbossa's old monkey. "Look!" He shoot him, for nothing to happen. "An undead monkey! Top that."
Mamma let him out of the cage. He screeched and ran off into the back room. Gibbs looked tempted to run after him but didn't. Instead, like all men do, he just yelled.
" No! You've no idea how long it took us to catch that!" He told her.
I whistled. Jack came back out, and climbed nimbly up my breeches, my arm and onto my shoulder. He cooed and licked my ear. I grinned evilly at Gibb's shocked face before replying simply. " The payment is fair."
The one known as Will reached into his pocket for a small item. "We're looking for this." He laid down a tiny piece of cloth. "And what it goes to."
I looked and almost gasped before my mother used her power to stop me. On the cloth was a key that I'd recognize anywhere! My father's blasted chest! I looked to Jack who had been watching me like a hawk. I then feined indifference.
"The compass you stole from me, it cannot lead you to this?"
" Maybe, why?"
" Ah, Jack Sparrow does not know what he wants! Or do you know, but are loathe to claim it as your own? Your key go to a chest. And it's what lay inside the chest you seek. Don't it?" My mother stated. She was working her magic on these men. They all were leaning forward expectantly.
" What is inside?" Gibbs asked.
The one called Pintel asked, "Gold? Jewels? Unclaimed properties of a valuable nature?"
His skinny friend with one eye looked to a jar of eyes on the shelf. "Nothing bad, I hope."
I gave a snort. If only he knew, Mamma.
Be patient, my child. Good things come to those who wait.
"You know of Davy Jones, yes? A man of the sea, a great sailor. Till he run afoul of that which vex all men." She gave me a look of sorrow. Only the two of us knew the story.
"What vexes all men?" Will asked.
My mother moved closer to him. "What indeed?"
" Well, the sea." Said Pintel.
"The dichotomy of good and evil?" We all gave him a look. "Wat?"
"A woman." Jack snapped, still glaring at me.
"A woman. He fell in love." My mother gushed, looking to me. I gave her a small smile in return. She would tell this story to me as a child when I asked of my father. That was before I knew that truth.
" No, no, no, no, I heard it was the sea he fell in love with." Gibbs argued before I shushed him.
"Same story, different versions, and all are true." I told him. "It was a woman as changing, harsh, and untamable as the sea. 'E never stop loving her. But the pain it cause him was too much to live with, but not enough to cause him to die." I said, trying not to think about the truth in the story.
It's just a story, child. Let them think what they want.
" What exactly did he put into the chest?" Will asked me. He then looked to Mamma.
"Him heart." She replied simply.
" Literally, or figuratively?" The skinny one-eyed man asked. He seemed nicer than his friend, nice even for a pirate. I couldn't help but like him.
"He couldn't literally put his heart in a chest. Could he?"
My mother shook her head sadly. "It was not worth feeling what small, fleeting joy life brings, and so him carve out him heart, lock it away in a chest, and hide the chest from the world. The key, he keep with him at all times."