Jaws Fanfiction: The Angel of the Sea - 5. Chapter 5
The Angel, the Pact and the Beauty
Ever since Martha had entered the Brody home, everything seemed to slow down. Hooper although he had only known her for 5 hours since waking up at 7 that morning, he could feel himself quickly becoming close to her. Once he got past the constant kissing, she was amazing company.
Brody who had been making calls all morning, trying to contact a good travel company that could provide her with Massachusetts hadn’t stopped bringing her food, specifically chooped up mango fruit, from the cans in the pantry and the boys kept rushing in to talk to her.
“Are you a Real Mermaid?” Sean had asked.
“Of course I am real,” she said lifting her tail, “there is hardly such thing as a fake mermaid. I am no hoax. No tall tale that drunken sailors told.”
The whole day people had been rushing after her.
She had even tried warming up to the dogs.
“She’s certainly feeling better,” Ellen remarked, “I hope she has found some company.”
“Yeah.” was all Brody could say.
Martha stayed upstairs with Hooper. They spoke for a long time, sharing stories about each others lives.
“This-” said Hooper rolling up his arm sleeve, “was from a moray eel.”
“Wow,” she said, then she lifted away some of the skin and fins of her scaley tail, “this was from a claw. Of one of those bigger animals that have sharp end and hooked teeth, that look like fish but aren’t.”
“An Angler Fish?” he suggested.
She looked up at him with wide, serious eyes. “No.”
“Oh. Okay. Yes. Sorry.”
Downstairs, Michael whistled to himself while munching a twinkie. He had taken his boat down to the dock near the house and made a knot to stop it drifting away while he got himself a snack.
Suddenly, there was the sound of hard knuckles banging against wood.
“Could you get that Sweetie?” said Ellen.
Michael went and unlocked and opened the front door. To his surprise and confusion there was a man in a cap and jacket standing there. He had grey hair, stubble on his chin, and a cigar was poised in his mouth.
“You goin’ out son?”
Michael made a face and the man roared with laughter.
Ellen appeared from behind Michael. “Who is it Sweetie? OH! You must be Quint?” She looked apprehensive and rather horrified to see him smoking and standing with his hands in his pockets as though he had just taken Brody’s police chief job. She looked hesitant to allow him into her home.
“That’s me,” he said, taking the brown cigar out from between his teeth.
“My husband called you?”
“Yeah. I heard ’bout your troubles.” Then he walked right into the house much to Ellen’s surprise and Michael’s indigence.
“Nice place ya got here, Brody,” he said loudly expecting the Chief to come running. Unfortunately it worked.
“You know I’d a given anything in this world to ‘ave a place like this. What do ya call this humble abode Brody?”
“My house,” Brody replied coldly,
“You’re house,” Quint clicked his teeth. “Well, it’s nice.” He began taking the picture frames off the mantel place and nodding at the family photos. Ellen turned and gave Brody a look which seem to say: “Are you serious?!”
Brody gave her one back, that seemed to say “just ignore him.”
After Quint was finished rummaging around in old memories, he turned to them. “So, what made ya call me Chief?”
“Well, listen you’re an expert when it comes to-” he didn’t want to say killing things “handling tough situations,”
“Well. If it’s a shoal of little old fish, or a marlin or a school of salmon or a giant octopus I know how to fish it.”
“It’s not any of those things Quint. I told you. It’s a shark.”
“I know what it is. I come face to face with those crazy son of a bitches. They bite’cha, then they keep comin’ back for more. A taste of an old seadog’s blood is what gives them their kicks, their highs. Like being drunk off your ass in New Jersey.”
“Michael, take Sean upstairs,” said Ellen.
“Yeah,” said Quint turning to the young boy as his brother straining, tried to carry him upstairs, “you better go to bed or the big bad fish’ll get ya. With his teeth.” He snapped his jaws viciously, yet jokingly,but Sean winced and buried his head in his brother’s shoulder.
“Don’t give my children nightmares please.” she told Quint firmly and he held his veiny hands up.
“Sorry! Kid’s gotta learn somehow if he’s gonna grow up here!”
“You realise there is a reward don’t ya Quint?”
Quint raised his eyebrows and smirked. “You think that’s why I’m here?”
“Isn’t that why you’re here?”
Quint walked slowly around the space of the living room.
“Well, I don’t know but it seems whenever something happens in Amity, you seem to be the first one to hear of it.”
Quint smiled, “how do you know that Chief? You only been on this island for some weeks. I was born, bred and raised here. I go down to the The Old Oyster every day for a gallon of pure Irish whiskey. That’s a drink for a real man not some fine 1940s port crap.”
Brody and Ellen’s eyes shifted towards each other once again. Quint began helping himself to the liquor cabnit.
“I have been raised by my father’n his father before him,” he poured a small shot of brandy and downed it in one go. “To slay a swordfish by slicing off it’s fins, then gutting out the spine and then, ripping the sonofabitch’s nose clean off using an oyster-shucker.”
Brody and Ellen both breathed silent relief that Sean and Michael were upstairs with Martha unable to hear these gruesome tales of fish slaughter.
Quint was now motioning with his hands about how to cut off the head of a trout while it’s still alive.
“Quick motions. Like this, see? Quick!” he sliced his hand down on the mahogany making Ellen wince.
The fisherman then put his hands into his pockets and wandered round the room again. Admiring the bookshelf.
“Impressive collection, ya got here Chief. Ya read much?”
“Yes,” said Brody.
“Quint pulled a book off the shelf and peered at the title. “The Old Man and the Sea,” he read aloud. “Ahh, I remember this book. Yea, ol’ Hemingway sure knows his nautical terms. I’m not a reader myself if you haven’t already guessed, but I have read a passage or two from this book. Sometimes when I read the final chapters of that story, I felt like I was him. I was Mr Ahab, out on that rough sea, a large boat. Hunting down the white whale they call Moby Dick. Not like the son of a bitch has one.”
Tracing the intricate papers with his grubby fingers he pushed the hardback back into place. “So, Brody? Been readin’ anything good recently?”
“He’s been waist deep in books on sharks since last week’s attack.” Ellen explained.
“Oh, the Kitner boy. I heard ’bout that. So, balls deep in sharks are ya Brody?”
“Waist,” Ellen sighed quietly.
“Yeah, and there’s good reason for that.” Brody responded harshly, “there’s a real threat to community here! The entire town’s going crazy about it and it’s all thanks to the whack-job Larry Vaughan!”
“But I thought he’d closed the beaches,” Ellen said.
“Yeah, and left two open,” Brody sneered back.
Quint shrugged. “Well, looks to me like ya got a problem Chief. An’ you need someone to fix it. Now, my usual payment is just around $3000 but for this beast I’m suggesting-” ?
“Wait, you don’t actually think we’re PAYING you for this?” said Brody.
“Course I do. Big ass fish. Big head to mount on my wall like my grandfather used to do with baby seals.”
“Forget it Quint,” said Brody, “we have bigger fish to fry-literally.
Quint eyes narrowed in dangerous curiosity. “Whaddaya man by that Chief?”
A minute later Brody had lead Quint upstairs to see Hooper and “the new discovery” as Quint kept referring to her, who were both still talking and holding hands over the bath. Hooper’s face relaxed out of disgust and disappointment. Martha stared him down and backed away slowly to the end of the bath. Her straight back arched slowly upwards, her turquoise eyes not leaving the fisherman’s sly smile.
“Well, well, well. What do we have here?” Quint took his cigar out of his mouth. “Where’d ya find this one Chief?”
“I found her,” Hooper said standing up and glaring, “Well-I guess she found me.”
“Bagged yerself a fishwife did ya Hooper?” Quint joked.
“How do you know my name?” Hooper demanded.
“Really? Ye ask me that? A cissy-looking city college boy comes into town on a Kubricken boat and his little woolen hat. You don’t think folks’ll notice?”
Hooper turned sharply toward Brody. “Why’d you have to bring this schmuck Martin?”
“Just relax Mr Hooper, he’s a veteran. He hunts sharks for a living.”
“Yeah. That’s me. I eat sleep and breath hunting those grey finned son’s a bitches. I take my harpoon (he motioned with his arms covered by a thick layer of olive jacket,) and I thrust the sword into that bastard like Lancelot slaying a dragon.”
At this, Martha, backed further up against the wall.
“Martha? Martha! What’s the matter?” asked Hooper, worriedly crouching on his knees beside the bath.
The maiden was shaking, her golden limbs rippling with terror.
She lifted her head, the sun falling over her eyes, the pools ocean glaring at Quint.
“Him-K-Killer!” Martha sobbed, “I know what he does!”
They all stared at her as she began praying hysterically in mumbo-jumbo they couldn’t understand nor decipher.
“What’s that she’s sayin’?” Quint laughed.
“Sounds like a worship chant,” Hooper suggested.
“Whatever it is, she’s going to crack the mirror,” remarked Brody, his hands over his ears.
The sound emanating from the mermaid’s lips was a high-pitched wail, like the sound of metallic echoic noises from the rocks of the underwater abyss, or a pod of whales mourning the loss of a clans member.
“Ssh-Martha, Martha. It’s okay. He won’t hurt you,” Hooper said, then turning to Quint his expression dark, “I’ll make sure of it.”
Martha slowly came away from the wall, and turned to face her foe.
“Well now,” said Quint, “ain’t you a looker. Picked yourself up a fine young trinket didn’t ya Hoop?”
Hooper took off his glasses to clean them and pretended not to hear him.
“You’re a pretty little thing. Remind me of those sirens that lured ol’ Odysseus and his crew to his watery grave. If it hadn’t been for the wax of his ears, you’d have ate him up wouldn’t cha? Yeah, I know you’re type. I seen you sittin’ on the rocks playin’ yer harps an’ lyres an’ brushing yer hair and singin’ songs to drown out our my crew mates went mad, love at firs’ sight, be ‘im married man or bachelor. You lead them into a trance didn’t cha? Bet you didn’t think you were doing it, but godammit you were. I was a sleeper myself, so more women couldn’t’ attract this ol’ seadog.” He laughed heartily.
Martha didn’t take her eyes off him the whole time he spoke. She kept her steady gaze, her calm motions.
“I don’t know what you mean Sir,” she said, almost tauntingly.
Quint sneered. “Sure ya don’t Sweetheart”.
The remaining two men in the room, looked at each other eyebrows raised. Finally, Brody said, “Look, Mr Quint you’re the best shark hunter on the island, maybe even the State, but all we know is you need to help us kill whatever got that girl, and that kid.”
Quint nodded. “Then you came to the right man Chief. I’ll catch this bird for ya but it ain’t gonna be easy.”
“Right,” said Brody, “you said that before.”
“At city hall.”
“Ah, yes. So, Chief; we got ourselves a deal?”” He extended a grubby hand.
Martin stared at the hunter’s hand. Making a deal with Quint to kill off any creature was like making a deal with the devil. He then looked to Hooper who shook his head and told him with his eyes, Don’t do it.
Brody extended his arm, “it’s a deal.”
Hooper face palmed while Martha watched curiously, then copied.
“Alright. See ya soon Chief. College Boy. M’Lady.”
Martha narrowed her eyes which Hooper noticed were turning grey and stormy.
The trio heard the front door slam, and then Ellen’s voice, “Was that Quint going out?”
An hour later, the Brodys along with Hooper, gathered in the sitting room. Boxes were still left in corners from the summer clean-up, and Michael and Sean were playing pirates with wooden swords and homemade eye patches. Chief Brody sat in an arm chair drinking a small shot of Scotch. Hooper sat opposite him, drinking a classier martini.
Ellen had decided that it was time for Martha to get out of the bath, she couldn’t stay there forever, whether she came from the sea or not.
So she had helped her out and lead her through to her and Martin’s room to tailor her some proper attire.
“There’s a lovely blue one of mine that I think would suit you,” she had suggested, “I wore it to my college graduation. I never wear it now, doesn’t really fit me much anymore. I think you’d look a picture in it!”
“Thank you,” Martha said, “I never worn these clothes nor any.”
Despite her word order and grammar mistakes, Ellen found the girl’s gibberish to strangely make perfect sense.
When Ellen had come downstairs again, the two men looked up immediately from their drinks and the boys stopped playing treasure hunt and lifted their patches.
Ellen cleared her throat, “Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to the new Martha.”
Martha emerged from the doorway dressed in a pale ultramarine 50s school dress, with pink lace at the puffy sleeves. Her platinum blonde hair, had been shampooed and brushed, yet it still reached her hips. She wore patent cloud pink shoes, the same Ellen had worn in her younger years and around her neck she wore a necklace with a shimmering silver shell gem on a silver chain.
“Woah,” said Michael.
“You look like a princess,” squeaked Sean.
Hooper’s chest turned to stone and suddenly he forgot how to speak.
Brody noticed this and smirked, so he spoke for him. “Wow, Martha you look stunning! Huh, Matt?”
Hooper gulped. “Yeah she-” There were a thousand ways to describe her yet he found it impossible to pick just one word. Finally he settled on one.
The mermaid glowed.
“What?” Brody chuckled.
“Be-Bellum. It means Beautiful in Latin.”
“You know Latin now?”
“I took a few courses.”
“Gratias tibi ago. Tu es vere mirabilis est.”
Hooper laughed nervously, “Yeah. I know.”
Brody laughed and so did Martha, both knowing Hooper didn’t have a clue what it meant.
“Uh, okay. Since you’re all dressed up, how ’bout I show you the island? Course, I haven’t really had much experience, but from what I can gather, it’s a nice little place.”
“Hooper, you’ve been here two days,” Brody sighed.
“So, in that case this will be a nice exploration outing for the both of us.”
Martha walked to his side, and leading her with a denim-sleeve around her back and shoulders, Hooper opened the door.
“We’ll probably be back around sunset,” he told Ellen.
“Okay, be safe,” she called back, “and try not to go near the docks, there’s a lot of blue-collar sailors marching around.”
“Do you think he’s lost it?” Brody asked her as soon as they were gone.
“No, but you have,” joked Ellen, “why you can’t just be happy for the guy, I don’t know. Some people never find that.”
“We did,” mumbled Brody.
Ellen smiled, “Martin,” she put the shark book down and kissed him, “We still do.”
So, finally finished this chapter! Sorry for the wait.
Oh and by the way, that Latin phrase spoken by Martha actually means, “thank you, you are a wonderful person” or you’re truly wonderful, amazing etc”