|Fool's Gold by Jacqueline Brocker|
When Anne Delahaye, captain of the pirate ship the Merriment, is lead to a chest of coins with unusual markings, she assumes that she’s been cheated. But when she learns that the coins may be the key to a strange cave where desires become reality, she goes to find out for herself. What she finds there brings up memories and desires of a life she thought was gone.
Anne reached into the bag for another, holding it close like Old Dog had. One side was a series of letters in no language she could read, and the other depicted something that looked like an octopus, nothing but tentacles and limbs… but fewer limbs than one of those creatures.
“I see nothing but an ill-drawn image and some strange cypher.”
Old Dog shook his head. “It is a most particular kind of image.”
Anne frowned, looked again, this time bring it close to her eye. She now could see some etchings that looked like hair, and even a head… or rather, two heads… and limbs entangled….
Anne slapped the coin on the table, face as bemused as Old Dog’s was lascivious.
“Indeed, highly amusing. But what good will coins with the image of carnal lust do me and my crew? I could have used English pounds, but these will buy us nothing.”
Old Dog scooped up a handful of the coins from the bag, as if weighing them. He swung his hand from side to side as he spoke.
“That all depends on your definition of nothing. Sure, you will not keep yourselves in arms or rum, but it will pay for something for more… tantalising. Or so I’m told.”
“Or so you are told?”
Another grin, and the coins clinked in his hand as he tossed them up. “You know the caves just south of Port Royale? The ones that even the British avoid?”
“What of them?”
“They say that in these caves, there is one special cave. And that this cave under a spell that requires just one of these coins to unlock its secrets.”
Anne remembered the Creole magic of her aunt, from when she was a child, and knew that the sea held some inexplicable secrets that she could only hope would continue to work in her favour. She was no stranger to the mystical. She knew enough to be wary.
“What sort of ‘secrets’?”
Old Dog sniggered, flipped the coin to the picture side, and pointed at it with a long nail.
“You see the very nature of them depicted here.”