These stories are dedicated to all of my close friends in the Caribbean. I’ll miss you guys.
Well, our beloved seas have been sealed off, to be populated by only the blasted Navy I suppose. As I sit here in my last days as a Pirate, I think back on all the memories I’ve made. The life I’ve lead in our little world. So, here is my story, listen well and you may just understand.
When I was just a child, My family was torn apart. I remember it seeming like a normal day. Once my mother had left to work at the Tavern, I was off to the beach. Of course, I never actually went onto the beach. Too many shady men there-Pirates, my mother called them. It was no place for a child. Then again, Tortuga seldom was. I simply watched from the trees beyond the beach. A man walked past me with a crate, probably filled with supplies for one of the Pirates’ next voyages. He didn’t see me. Nobody ever saw me, and the few that knew me called me the Shadow Child-there one moment, gone the next. I just sat and watched with the simple curiosity of a child. Where did these “Pirates” go when they left? They almost always came back with rarities. Silk, spices, even jewels. And then there were those who didn’t come back. Who never came back. My father came back. I considered it a joy back then, but to this day I resent him for it. When I finally went back to our little shack in the swamp, he was there. I wasn’t sure how he passed me without me seeing him, but decided it was best to not ask. I walked over to my little bed in the corner and sat down. He was talking to my mom about two new additions to his crew.
“Picked ‘em up from cuba. They were willing to work cheap, so I figured we could use some cheap labor. After losing James to the...” He glanced up at me and said “nevermind.”
My mother gave him a knowing look; Then, turning to me, she said, “Emily, why don’t you go outside and... do whatever it is you do.”
I nodded and slipped out the door. They always tried to protect me from things. I had to at least give them props for that. They didn’t seem to care much for me, but they really did when it came down to it. I looked up at the swamp trees. There was one big willow I always climbed when I was left to myself. I waded over to it in my father’s old boots, mud and dirty water sloshing around them. I slipped out of the boots and sat them behind a rock under the tree. I quickly found my foothold and started climbing. When I got to the top of my Great Willow, I took a small doll out of a crevice between the branches. I had found it in the swamp years before, just lying there, begging to be taken. It had always had an eerie feel about it, like it was more than a simple doll. Sometimes it felt like it was living, breathing. But that was impossible. Or so I thought. I stayed up in my tree until the moon had risen over the trees, casting an eerie light on the water below. It sparkled, reflecting the sky perfectly. Looking up, there were stars; looking down, there were stars. It was my favorite thing about the swamp. But then, I heard something. Voices. I focused my eyes toward the red light. Two men, with torches. I saw one kick open the door of our shack. I heard a shriek and two gunshots. Then, my Sea of Stars was destroyed by the jumping flames as the men set my home ablaze.
“NO!” I felt like screaming, “No, you can’t!” I couldn’t scream though. I couldn’t move, other than to angrily hit my doll on the branch in silent protest. I heard a groan and a splash. One of the men had fallen. As I watched my life burning away before my eyes, I heard one more word from the men below. “Voodoo.”