The Ballad of Jack SparrowBY: Brancher
The sea sways, and the ship sings, the ping of rope against metal,
wooden plank on plank. Jack is only a little drunk, and for him that's
the same thing as stone cold sober.
He's at the prow of the Pearl, looking into the distance, the spray
bejeweling his face and his gypsy hair.
The curse is gone, but something of it lingers, he thinks. The moon
rides full, tangled in the mast and sail.
Jack takes a long drag of the cigarillo between his fingers, holds the
smoke in his lungs, and imagines it curling out through his ribcage,
steaming out of him into the open air.
The thing of it is, he's had his share of buggery, from above and from
below, and he's ridden his share of ladies too; there's not much you
could teach a pirate about the things people do with no clothes on.
Nay, he taught Will a thing or two. Gentle, he was gentle at it,
pulling the swordsmith's cock into his mouth, feeling those hard hands
curl around his ears. Sweet William, he'd said later, stroking the
soft stomach, and he'd hummed a little of that old song: "William,
William, I have gold in store / For my dark-eyed sailor, has proved
And Elizabeth _ that was something else again. Sand in their eyes,
their hair, his backside hot from the bonfire and his shoulders cold
from the island wind, blind with rum and want; and she had met him
inch for inch, the sea-smelling tang of her rising up to him, and then
her hips rocking him like the swell of the sea.
``Ah,'' he says softly to the wind and the waves.
They're in some bed right now, the both of them, this very moment,
some island bed hung about with clean linens and fine mosquito
netting. Curled up like puppies, he imagines, Will's tough fingers in
her long golden hair.
Ah, he thinks. I took something from that bounty, something as was
not mine, and it's a debt I can never pay. If I could give that
treasure back, I would.
For if ever Jack sets foot on land, he longs for the sea; yet now
wherever the Black Pearl sails, her captain is longing for land.
He's longing for land and a bed hung with linen and a snug place
between two warm bodies he knew too briefly and too well.
``Jack Sparrow,'' he tells himself, ``You scaly sea-dog, you cod-fish,
you poor suffering bastard. You've gone and becursed yourself, you
fool. Ye never knew trouble before.''
He nods to the dog star as it rises.
The Black Pearl sails further into night.