“Another word, and you’ll go in the drink!” The man’s thick, Irish accent rasped between chapped, spittling lips. Red-faced, he continued shouting, “C’mon, then, lass! Just try me! Give me the emerald,” he demanded, “and I’ll let you live.”
“Think I’ll keep it,” I smirked, backing up the edge of the boat. I tossed the shining gem in the air above the water, catching it just before it fell to the crashing waves below. I laughed. “It looks like I’m the one with all the power here, Murphy.”
“Lass, I’ll dive the depths, myself, to retrieve the Chalk Emerald.” Murphy continued advancing, drawing his pistol from its sheath. “Now,” he said, pointing the gun at me, “Hand it over.”
“C’mon, Murph!” I chuckled, “You really gonna shoot me?”
“You really gonna rob me?” he retorted.
“Rob you?!” I asked, incredulous, “Murph, you were gonna turn this over for a measly few thousand after splitting it with me and your crew. I… have other plans.”
“Oh, yeah? And what’re those, then? You were gonna sell it for more and keep the whole profit then, ey?”
“That’s for me to know, and you to wish you knew,” I said with a wink. With one, swift kick, I knocked him backward, then turned and dove into the sea, clutching the Chalk Emerald.
I heard his agonized scream, “Nooo! I’ll get you for this, Shania!” Murph gave the air a punch, “Mark my words, lass! I will find you! You will pay!”
His words trailed off as the ship sailed on, heading toward the horizon. The setting sun let little light, but the emerald… it shined with an ethereal glow. Smiling, I knew I’d made the right choice. The infamous Chalk Emerald was highly valued for its fine cut and quality. However, it held a little-known secret. This gem was a part of the original four precious stones given by God to King Solomon, and, other circles, was called the Emerald of Creation. Whether the legends were true or not, it was obvious to me the emerald was imbued with some sort of magical properties.
The setting sun left me in near darkness, still wading in the water, holding the glowing rock. When I’d jumped, we were still fairly close to the island where we’d ported the night before, so I wasn’t overly concerned about surviving. Swimming in the direction of the darkened mass of land, my lungs burned by the time I finally crawled out of the tide, collapsing on the sandy beach. I still held the emerald in one hand, knuckles white from the effort I’d exerted to hold onto it.
Slowly, I rose, brushing the sand from my tattered, wet clothes, and looked around. I could see the dock, protruding from the bay in the distance like a long, black serpent. Grasping the stone, I began the solitary march back to what accounted for civilization here – a small tribal community who’d welcomed us before. They were maybe two hundred in number, and filled with stories about the local ruin where we’d finally found the “Chalk” Emerald.
Their Shaman shared an oral history of their people, and I knew, without a doubt, the emerald was the one of biblical legend. The one I’d been searching for, for so long. And now, it was mine. If I was any other person, I’d probably use it to become some kind of tribal queen, worshiped by the people of this island. But I knew there were far more worthwhile ways to use the gem. I could turn vast deserts into rich, fertile farmlands. I could ensure the survival of all endangered species. With the power in the Emerald of Creation, the limits on what I could accomplish were virtually nil.