The Legend of Silver Foot
The wind blew Callie’s blonde locks as she snapped away on her camera. Mark, her boyfriend, struck a post against the rocks.
“Hurry up, babe.”
“One second.” Callie moved around so she could get the perfect light for the pic. Once she was satisfied, she clicked the button. “Done.”
Mark breathed a sigh of relief, then stepped off the rocks.
“This place is beautiful.” Callie looked around at the beauty that was Beacon Island. Mark regaled her with stories about his vacations to the beach. Listening to Mark describe the adventures of exploring Cape Amelia lighthouse, visiting the maritime museum, and seeing the wildhorses of the island, made Callie want to visit.
For their first anniversary, Mark surprised her when he booked a one week trip to the island. Their trip was off to a great start, they’d already visited Cape Amelia along with Fort Beacon. Then they went to the Nautical Museum, where they saw the skeleton of what was rumored to be a prehistoric sea dinosaur. Today, they were taking a break from sightseeing to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach.
They strolled in the sand, picking up rocks and shells along the way. Callie continued snapping pics, she wanted to capture every moment of their trip.
“Aren’t you tired of taking photos?” Mark placed his hands on his hips.
“I can’t help it.” Callie tucked the camera away in her backpack. “This place is wonderful, I can see why you love it here.”
“It is awesome.” Mark wrapped his arm around Callie as they walked along. “It’s rich in history. Everything from the fort to Silver Foot…”
“Didn’t I tell you about the legend of Silver Foot?”
“No, you never did.”
“Then let me tell you the story.” Mark motioned for Callie to sit. “Silver Foot was one of the fiercest pirates to roam the east coast.”
“Really? Someone named Silver Foot was a notorious pirate.”
“He got his name because he carried a silver coin in his boot. It was said to bring him good luck. And boy did it ever.”
Intrigued Callie turned to Mark, wanting to hear more of Silver Foot’s story.
“Silver Foot was a scary man. At seven feet tall, he intimated everyone. When they saw his ship with the crossbone flag, people knew trouble was coming.” Mark’s tone was captivating as he dig deeper into the story. “Silver Foot amassed a large wealth during his years on the sea. Some say, all the gold and jewels he stole were worth millions.”
Callie’s eyes widened as she became mesmerized by Silver Foot’s tale.
“With all that wealth, Silver Foot afforded himself nice luxuries. He had a secret home on the island, where he held feasts for his henchmen. They dined on fried octopus, scallops, oysters, and clams.”
Callie let out a whistle, thinking about what the life of a pirate was like back in those times. “You’d think spreading his wealth would cause attention.”
“There were a few times, where he almost got caught. But he was always one step ahead of the authorities. Before they had a chance to arrest him, he’d set sail again.”
“What happened to Silver Foot? Was he ever caught?”
“Well, as you can imagine, money can make a person do crazy things. Silver Foot’s henchmen wanted more in their cut of the treasure. When he refused, the men took matters into their own hands.”
“What did they do?”
“The plotted to kill Silver Foot,” Mark’s voice rose to give the story a more dramatic approach. “One night they poisoned his food.”
“That’s how they killed him?”
“Not exactly.” Mark moved closer to Callie. “Despite the fact that there was enough poison in the fish to kill a man, it had little effect on Silver Foot. He was fine the rest of the night, hardly felt a thing.”
“He must’ve been a strong man to survive a poisoning.”
“Yes, he did survive the poisoning.” Mark paused. “But he didn’t survive the ax to the back of his head.”
Callie covered her mouth upon hearing about the gruesome scene.
“Realizing their original plan wasn’t working, the henchmen took the next step.” Mark jumped from the sand as he got to the climax of the story. “They entered Silver Foot’s room while he was sleeping. Raising the ax high in the air, they…”
“That’s enough,” Callie spoke up.
Mark lowered his hands, which were raised in the ax pose.
“I think I’ve heard enough.”
“But there’s more.”
“How much more could there be?”
“Well, ole Silver Foot got the last laugh.” Mark tapped his finger to his head. “The pirate suspected his henchmen would betray him. So he took his treasure chest and buried it in a secret place.”
“So the henchmen never got Silver Foot’s treasure?”
“Nope.” Mark shook his head. “Rumors are Silver Foot’s treasure chest is still buried on this island. In fact, many believe it’s in this spot.” Mark waved his hands around the area.
“Has anybody ever tried to find his treasure?”
“Oh, yes. A few years ago, a man claimed to have a map leading to Silver Foot’s treasure. He went on an expedition only to come back empty-handed and scared out of his wits.”
“What happened to him?”
“According to the professor, Silver Foot’s ghost threatened him.”
“Silver Foot’s ghost?”
“Yes, the legend is his spirit still roams the area, protecting his treasure chest. Anyone who dears set foot near the spot is met by Silver Foot.”
Callie appeared on edge at the mention of ghosts.
“So be wary when you walk the beach, you never know when you’re going to run into…” Mark peered off into the distance. “What’s that?” He pointed to the woods.
Callie turned towards the forest, trying to determine why Mark was pointing. “I don’t see anything.”
“Don’t you see the man in a long coat and boots.”
Callie arose from her spot and walked a little to the borderline between the beach and the woods. “I’m still not seeing anything.”
Callie jumped as Mark’s hands grasped her shoulders. Mark howled with laughter, so much he almost doubled over.
“That’s not funny.” Callie smacked Mark’s arm.
“I’m sorry, honey.” Mark’s laughter started to calm. “I couldn’t resist.”
“So the whole story about Silve rFoot is made up?”
“No, no.” Mark wiped the tears from his eyes. “Silver Foot was a real person and everything I told you is true.”
“Including, the ghost?” She arched her eyebrows.
“That’s up for debate.” Mark shrugged. “Many believe in ghosts, while others don’t.”
“Do you believe his spirit wanders the island?”
“Who knows?” Mark wrapped his arm around Callie’s shoulders. “But I think it’s a good way to keep his legend alive.”
From the edge of the forest, a man watched as Mark and Callie walked to their Jeep. Flipping a silver coin, he recalled listening to the young man’s story. No matter how many crazy tales were spun, the legend of Silver Foot would live on forever. A smiled pressed on the man’s lips knowing that people still believed in the story.
Tucking the lucky coin in his boot, the man walked back to the bare spot in the forest. This was the place where the elusive treasure was buried. Nobody had ever retrieved it nor would they ever. The tree branches bristled, indicating a storm was near.
As the wind began to pick up speed, the man faded from sight.