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Warning: Character deaths
Captain's log, May the 18th, 1760 - pirates Jack Sparrow and William Turner were hanged yesterday, at noon.
The heated bars of the brig left marks on both their hands.
Her left side is burned, and her forearm new-branded, but he curls his sister into his arms. They are newly orphaned and they both needed this.
She raises the eyes her father gave her and looks on the features their papa gave her brother, and pulls him standing.
Lingering in his sister's mind, he knows, was their mother’s face.
She had gotten out and into the gunpowder somehow; and lo' the Dauntless scorched and had sank into a right proper grave, holding their mother in its barren belly.
Go. Her eyes, wild, had commanded.
Live for us.
Then she’d turned to dive into the fire and the fray, full-mad with the memory of two empty bodies, dangling from high crosstrees.
She leaves the cabin now with her brother, to allow the Black Pearl's crew to vote him captain.
There is no doubt as to the outcome of the vote, for though he is young, their papa’s genius was strong in him, and his voice rings with the same tone of command. And knowing so, she squeezes her brother's hand and leaves to scramble up the cordage to her usual perch in the crow’s nest.
Her hands ache, and her eyes ache, and her heart aches, and she tries to ignore all this.
They’ve sailed away from the column of smoke that the pride of Her Majesty’s navy had become and the sea was flat and glittering below her. She imagines her father and her papa jerked and raised to perhaps a similar height, away from the sweaty heat of the deck, to where the air was pure salt, buffeting and deserting them, with all the sea to bear witness.
Better hanged thus, near that which they loved, than on land with all the city out, in their finery, to spit on their corpses.
Cotton’s parrot met her at the top.
A shrill call sounded from below and a roar of approval rose from the decks. Voted in, then.
It asks, Cotton’s parrot, sharp and curious,
“Ready to sail?”
She looks down at her hands and recognizes her mother.
She looks down to the helm, and sees her father in the set of her brother’s shoulders and sees her papa in the lines of his hips.
“Yes,” she replies.
And turns toward the horizon.
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