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Dead Men Tell no Tales

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Captain Jack Sparrow a pirate legend was dead, taken body and soul to the crushing black depths of the sea inside the Kraken. He had to admit however, as he lay staring up at a cloudless blue sky, he didn’t feel very dead. He stood up and looked around at the barren landscape, sand as far as the eye could see and not a drop of rum anywhere.

“For all the talk I was expecting more.”

“Terribly sorry to not meet your expectations.”

Jack whirled around to come face to face with a man, obviously another pirate judging by the long un-kept hair and well worn clothes.

“Ah! You’d be the welcoming committee.”

“Oh, no, no just a humble cook.”

Jack stepped back warily looking the man up and down noticing a long crutch and an ominous missing limb.

“And how does a humble cook, as you say, come about such a loss?”

The man laughed. “A very observant man you are and I might be persuaded to reveal that if you have a name to ensure your trust.”

“I’m Captain Jack Sparrow.”

“Long John Silver at your service. Allow me to give you the grand tour of your new abode.”

Both men began walking aimlessly and continued to talk.

“So what brings you to these haunted shores? Swordfight? A hurricane perhaps?”

“I got eaten by a giant squid.”

“Oh, shame that.”

“And I suppose you had a grander departure.”

“I was beaten by a frog and a leaky lifeboat.”

“Pity.”

“Still what an adventure it was. Had myself the best shipmate a man could ask for on that final voyage. Smart, honest, not bad in a fight, had a lovely singing voice too.”

“Eunuch?”

“Most likely.”

“Knew a man like that named William Turner, excellent swordsman not bad on a ship really, might make a fine captain someday. Got himself a girl too, a real feisty strumpet she was. She’s the reason I’m here, chained me to the mast so the others could escape. True pirates both of them.”

They walked in silence for a while and Jack listened to the sound of the crutch dragging along the sand.

“I suppose now that we’ve got the idle chit-chat out of the way you’d be wondering when the pain and torture begin wouldn’t you?”

“The torture has already begun, mate, I know because there’s no rum here.”

“I do have some fine brandy.”

Jack stopped and stared as Silver pulled out long bottle from his pocket and offered it to him.

“It’ll do.”

He grabbed it and tipped the bottle to his lips.

“Now, Mr. Sliver, it occurs to me, you be talking about punishment and all that, that here you have your body in working condition, sort of, a bottle of decent spirits, and the intellectually refined company of myself. To my eyes that doesn’t seem to be much of a punishment.”

“Oh, you’d be dead wrong there, matey. Look around you, do you see any water? Ships? Crew? We are pirates, Jack, gentlemen of fortune. We seek adventure tis in our blood and here we are stuck in a place that has none of that and we have no way to even begin to seek it out again.”

Jack’s eyes widened at the realization and he took another long swig of liquor.

“Starting to understand now aren’t ya? We are stuck on this god-forsaken piece of land for all eternity!”

Long John picked up a rock and threw it hard. It sailed over a sand dune and clattered against something on the other side. The sound though was of an object hitting not sand or more rocks, but wood. Both men looked at each other before quickly scrambling up the dune. On the other side they came to find a ship beached on the sand, a ship with black sails.

Jack grinned like a lunatic. “Well you might be stuck here, but it appears I am a man of better fortune than you. Now if you’ll excuse me I must see to my ship.”

He shoved the now empty bottle back into Long John’s hands and took off to his precious Pearl. Long John watched him go with knowing eyes.

“Good luck, Jack. For we all have to face our punishments here and your ship can’t help you this time.”

He turned away, and looked back the way they had come, towards the horizon. A horizon where the sun would never set and give way to a blanket of stars. Nor would the land give way to the sea that had been his home in his days among the living. Jack didn’t know it yet, but Long John did that they were forever damned to this desert to dwell on their sins and dream of the freedom they had once known.

The End