The Perfect Wife
Disclaimer: The characters are not mine. They belong to Disney.
Scrum was deliriously happy, happier than he had ever been. Nothing good had ever happened to him before – except that one foggy day he had found a mandola forgotten in an alley and claimed it as his own but he didn't count that – until the day he met Tamara.
It had been love at first sight. He had never really believed in that sappy old idea, as it seemed the thing fools believed in, but then it had happened to him without warning. He had turned in the longboat that fateful night and saw her clinging peacefully to the side of their boat, her bare arms folded just so. The soft manmade light fell on her with a gentle glow, making her appear like an angel from Heaven. Her skin was sheer perfection, smooth and soft and wet from the sea. And her eyes! He had never seen such eyes before in his entire life. They were the most amazing shade of blue and totally mesmerizing. Even now he could stare into them for hours. Her hair was great, too, but he hadn't really been sure what color it had been that fateful night, as the lighthouse's light seemed to be a tad on the reddish side. Sometimes it seemed reddish or maybe brown, other times blonde…now he knew she was a lovely brunette.
They had almost kissed that first night, until he had seen those teeth of hers. He had pulled back then, horrified, but had forgiven her later. So she had a few bad habits? So did he. Being a pirate and robbing others, well, he couldn't claim he was perfect. And so in his mind they were well-matched indeed, the perfect couple – if only he could convince her of that.
She was more likely to try to eat him than to marry him.
Did mermaids even get married? He had no idea and didn't care. By God, he would drag that siren from the water and make her his bride somehow! Then he would show everyone what a successful pirate he really was and not some idiot to be laughed at behind his back. He would be famous, maybe even more famous than Captain Jack Sparrow! Why, even Sparrow didn't have his very own mermaid! And since he knew they could get legs on land – thank you Blackbeard – he wouldn't need to cart a bloody tank of water everywhere.
But first he needed to catch her.
And catch her he did.
It was a right awful fight, with her trying to drag him into the sea and he trying to haul her out onto land. But he had possessed the foresight to use a stout rope in the battle. He had secured the rope around his person and the other end to a strong coconut palm. And when she had tried to bite him, he had been ready and jammed a ripe mango into her open jaws, skin and all. She had been shocked then, her blue eyes widening as the fruit got stuck on her pointed teeth and then there had been the taste issue as well. She had never eaten any fruit in her life and so the partly ripe fruit had been a great shock to her taste buds. He manacled her hands then with a pair of irons at the opportune moment, hooking her to the side of his boat like a proper fish. Then he had waved to his pirate buddies on shore and they had been hauled in right fast.
Yes, he had his mermaid bride then!
After days of fierce hissing, spitting and God awful screeching coming from his cabin (the new captain had given him his own cabin very quickly for unknown reasons – what luck) he had finally learned her name was Tamara.
What a perfect name!
Things had improved then and had continued to improve.
And so Scrum found himself standing outside his parent's rundown shack near London, lovely Tamara in his arms. She was wearing a nice blue dress that almost matched the shade of her eyes. It had been a real bargain, as he had borrowed it off someone's clothesline. Luckily, it had been just the right size. She balanced a large basket on her bent lap, the top nestled with a white cloth.
"You'll love my Mum and Pop, Tamara. I just know you will." He reassured her as he carried her up to the front door covered in peeling paint.
"But I'm not human…" She pointed out as she clung to his strong shoulder. "Humans don't like mermaids…"
"Nonsense! I'm human and I love you!"
"Will there be a bath so I can relax?"
"'course! Mum gots a big wooden tub. You can soak in that all ye want!"
Tamara frowned, wondering exactly how big the tub would be.
Scrum knocked on the door and soon they were let in. His parents were thrilled to see him and the sack of loot he generously offered them. "This be me wife, Tamara."
"Scrum, how in the world did ye get such a beautiful wife?" His mother asked, truly amazed as she took in the young woman's appearance. "She looks like a noblewoman of exceptional breeding! How did you manage that?"
"I fished her out of the sea…" Scrum said proudly as he deposited Tamara on a hard wooden chair in the kitchen. He stood straight then, sticking his chest out and smiling broadly. "Found her right off White Cap Bay I did. Me luck is finally changing fer the good! Why, Captain Barbossa thinks me so important to de crew he even gave me my own cabin!"
His parents grinned at that and his father thumped him on the back.
"So, is she a good cook?" His mother asked, clearly hoping to share some recipes and maybe get some new ones in exchange.
"No, she doesn't know how really…" Scrum admitted.
His mother's face fell at first but then she brightened up. "Well, I could teach her all of your favorite childhood recipes…"
Scrum's expression tightened, taking on a worried appearance then. "Mum, that may not be, umm, possible. See, she can't stand or walk…"
"What do ye mean she can't walk?" His father demanded as his eyes flickered over the pretty girl sitting in his kitchen. "Is she ill? She don't have no disease, do she?"
"No, no!" Scrum waved his hands in the air frantically. "She's not sick, honest Pop! She just never learned how to walk! I've been trying to teach her, but the Captain keeps me busy on deck and stuff. And the ship keeps moving, not the best place to be a practicing."
"Well, why on Earth did she never learn how?" His mother asked, looking truly confused. "Did her parents keep her a prisoner or something?"
"I'm a mermaid." Tamara informed them in her beautiful voice. "Now do you have that wooden tub Scrum mentioned? I would like to relax in the water and soak my tail instead of sitting on this hard chair. And a little salt would be nice."
Scrum raced to get the tub ready, hauling it out of the corner he recalled it being in and he even had a packet of salt in his pocket. He ran up and back, fetching water and soon deposited his wife in the tub. "Are you all right, my dear?"
Tamara sighed in pleasure as her brilliant orange tail unfolded, the majority of it resting on the kitchen floor.
Upon seeing an honest to God mermaid in their kitchen, his parents practically fainted from shock. His mother fell backward and only the wall behind her saved her from a nasty tumble. And his dear Pop ended up clutching his chest with one hand, his eyes locked on the fish part that took up most of his floor.
"It's a … it's a … it's a …" His Pop stuttered, pointing a shaking finger at Tamara.
"A mermaid." Scrum finished as he led his dear Pop to a wooden chair and pushed him into it. "Yes, I know she's a mermaid. I tell you, she's perfect! Utterly, beyond anything else perfect! Every man should marry a mermaid!"
"But she's half fish!" His father exclaimed with bug eyes wider than dinner plates.
"So? No one's exactly the same as everyone else…" Scrum shrugged the comment off as not important.
"But why is she perfect?" His mother asked as she pushed herself off of the wall and took a trembling step closer to the mermaid. Cautiously, she bent and poked at a wet fin with one finger. "It feels real, like a fish!"
"Because she is!" Scrum insisted as he banged a fist on the table. "My Tamara is perfect and no one will say otherwise!"
"But you said she can't walk or cook…"
Scrum waved a hand, dismissing that as not important. "She loves me and that's all I need. Oh, I wanted ye to see something else!"
Hurrying to the basket that had been forgotten on the table, Scrum reached inside and pulled out his daughter. He held her nestled against his chest, one arm cradling her little head. And just like the mermaid mother, she had the most amazing blue eyes. "This be me daughter!"
"Oh, she's lovely!" Scrum's mother exclaimed upon seeing the baby and reached out for it. "Let me hold her."
Upon seeing the eager hands, Scrum balanced the baby in one arm and dug in his pocket with his other. He pulled out a thick pair of padded gloves, holding them out to his mother. "Ye better wear these. She likes to bite people and I do mean bite! Last time she took a finger off a poor fellow and gulped it right down!"
His parents stared at him horrified.
"You better get me the rum…" His father finally said after a long silence.
Things went somewhat sourly after that.
Apparently his parents didn't care for Tamara devouring a live chicken at their dinner table during a meal, with feathers flying everywhere and blood squirting onto the walls. And the baby's fish-like screeches were sharp enough to shatter a few pieces of glassware that his pop had managed to steal from someone.
"Do you know the trouble I go through to keep her fed?" Scrum asked as he scrubbed with a wet rag on the blood-splattered wall, managing to smear it over a wider area. "She eats a ton of them, chickens I mean. I gotta keep stealing them to keep her fed. But I'm proud, very proud indeed, that I weeded her off eating people!"
At those words his poor Mum did faint and his poor Pop almost choked on the piece of bread he had been chewing. Scrum ran to pound on his dad's back until the offending bit of bakery flew out of his mouth.
"Ooooh, I don't feel too good…" His father moaned as he pushed himself up from the table and started to trod towards the other room. "I think I'm going to retire early."
"Sure, Pop!" Scrum smiled at his father's back as the older man disappeared from sight. He then turned to his wife. "He has some awful arthritis, you know. It must be bothering him again. See, he loves eating them tomatoes but they make him feel very poorly…"
Tamara looked uncertain, biting her bottom lip. "I thought they were upset over the fact that I'm a mermaid?"
"Nah!" Scrum waved the worry off. Dropping the bloody rag onto the table, he quickly forgot about it as he bent down to pick up his wife. "Come on, I'll show you my old room!"