"It must be terrible for you," she said, "Being trapped on this island."


Freedom, that's what we talked about that night. The Pearl, that's what freedom is, I told her. And yet, somehow...I didn't feel my soul in those words. They felt empty. But you don't think about those things when you're drunk. I always considered myself quite a good drinker. But after the fourth bottle, even I start to get a bit tipsy.

I'm a bloody good liar. It's a fact. How d'you think people got to know about the Famous Jack Sparrow and his Illustrious Exploits, hmm? Sometimes, word has to start big to stay big. So telling her the Pearl is freedom came as easy as anything. Maybe I used to think like that once. Heaven on the open seas, my whole life ahead of me and whatnot. Ever such a young captain, I was. Nothing to tie me down; parents dead, and no significant other to speak of.

But there were some things I couldn't tell her, even in my rather inebriated state. I couldn't say that dear Will Turner had been searching the seven seas to save her. Nor could I say that he shared something so rare and pure with her, that all those weeks with not a trace of the Pearl and her captors could not deter him. True love, some people call it.


Here she was, not nearly doing enough to push off my advances, while he was probably away on the Pearl, scared to death that I'd hurt her or rape her or some such nonsense. Will doesn't trust me nearly enough, and I'll admit, my faith in him has wavered after he thwacked me round the head with a bloody oar. He's done all he can to save her, and she's lying on a beach drinking rum (as she accused me, damn charlatan) wondering whether or not she should wait for her knight in shining armour, or just fuck me and be done with it. Either she's had more to drink than she thinks, or she's just a fickle bitch.

Some girls. So impatient. I had a lass once, of course. Emotional farewell when I went on my first raid, tears and kissing and the like. Came back a few months later to sweep her off in my arms and propose, and she'd buggered off with some rich bastard from France! Broke my heart, it did. Gave up on women after that. I'm sure there's plenty of perfectly nice lasses in the Caribbean, but I was unlucky, I suppose.

And so I drift back to dear William. Such a fool. Oh, I've no doubts that he'll marry her someday soon and they'll have twelve kids and live happily ever after, blah blah blah. But really, he's just a boy and she's just a girl, and what do they know about loyalty and true love and all these important aspects of the perfect lives they dream of? Now, me helping out the spawn of Bill Turner, that's loyalty, and I'll tell you why. I knew full well when I set out on this damn quest of his that he had Bill's eyes, and he was brash and stupid and young, just like Bill, and that he could be as much of a little brat as he wanted and I'd just grin at him. And deep down, I was hoping it'd turn out the same as it did with Bill. I was hoping one day, he'd get fed up and wipe that smirk off my face with an angry kiss and push me so hard against the wall of the ship that the nails and wood left marks in my back and rips in my clothes.

But things don't always turn out the way you want, do they? Maybe I loved Bill. Maybe I love Will. And one of them's dead and rotting in Davey fucking Jones' locker, and the other one'll leave me for a pretty face and an empty head. I could show him the world, but he won't even give me the chance, and I knew it all along.

I digress, as usual.

So here I am now, thinking of Will and the Pearl and freedom, standing on the deck of the Dauntless, two heavy hands on my shoulders, firmly telling me not even to think of jumping off the side of the ship unless I want to be riddled with bullet holes. Heading back to the island of death to save HER beloved so SHE can live a long and prosperous life with him and be happily, stupidly in love. And where does that leave me?

Alone. Always alone, always and forever. And it makes me think, what in God's holy name did I do wrong? I've raided, I've burnt, I've even killed. I've never raped. People have done more and worse than me, I'm sure. And yet they'll always have some face to go home to and kiss and whisper to and make sweet love to. I can always close my eyes and imagine it's Will's hands on my shoulders, and that any minute now he'll turn me around snog me and we can laugh about what a silly thing it was to come all the way out here when we've clean forgotten why (she's not here in my daydream world obviously).

Except when I open them again, all I can see is fucking purgatory.

And it's blue.

Return to Archive