Author: Cheese Girl PM
The night of the pirate attack on Port Royal from the point of view of Elizabeth's maid, Estrella, who becomes an unexpected hero.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 2,086 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-10-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4065972
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I don't own Pirates or any of the characters, but I did make up Estrella's personality traits, though the maid obviously exists in the movie.
Special thanks to mon Andre for giving me the idea for this story one night when I couldn't think of what to write for a paper.
Estrella was a maid in the governor's house. For an orphan, it had been a very fine position to obtain so soon after making the crossing from England. Or at least that's what Mary, the head cook had always told her. She thought this was a bit off. Estrella would have much preferred something more exciting where she wasn't at someone's beck and call night and day. Not that her mistress demanded much of her; Miss Swann seemed the type to always want to do things herself.
Musing to herself about the other possible jobs she would like to have, Estrella gathered up the freshly folded laundry in her arms and began to walk up to her mistress's room to stow them away. She decided that an interesting trade, such as that of a blacksmith, where you could actually see the product of your labor at the end of the day, would suit her nicely. Of course that was no work for a woman—Estrella didn't have the strength, even if she would have been permitted. Spying Mr. Turner coming up the drive, she changed her mind: she would much rather be a blacksmith's wife, she thought, giggling.
"What's got you so happy?" asked Sarah, coming up beside her with the bed linens.
"Oh, nothing," replied Estrella. "Just daydreaming."
"Well there are more important things to be worrying about than silly dreams—we need to shop for a new gown for Miss Swann for the..." Sarah trailed off as she realized Estrella was back to her daydreaming, and this time she saw why. The handsome town blacksmith had just walked in the door, and with his entrance Estrella's mind always made a quick exit. While it wasn't uncommon for a maid and a blacksmith to be matched, with this fine a catch Sarah knew that Estrella was pushing her luck. Tradesmen with especially high skill, as Mr. Turner had, could conceivably marry higher than themselves, and the fact that he was so handsome didn't hurt his chances. Having noticed how often he came to the Governor's Mansion when often times it was unnecessary, Sarah knew who he truly had his heart set on.
Each morning when Estrella awoke, several maids came to her room to help her dress. She never needed to lift a finger for household work unless she wanted to, and then she was always surrounded by protests of "No, Miss, allow me, Miss." While most days involved no more than attending decadent functions, today she had been kidnapped by a pirate! And proposed to by the newly promoted commodore to boot! Estrella sat by her window, gazing at the moon, and pondered that request. Surely the commodore would make a fine husband but...then what about Will?
As soon as his name came to mind, a loud noise sounded from the other window in the room. It sounded like someone had thrown a rock at the window. "Will" she breathed, and hurried over. While crossing the room, however, the noise sounded again, but louder, a booming noise that didn't sound at all like a rock. Estrella ignored this, passing it off as the beating of her pounding heart. Reaching the window, she threw it open—only to find a cannon pointed straight at her face.
Estrella woke up and sat straight up with a jolt. As the knowledge hit her that it had just been a dream, she let herself fall back into bed, disappointed and relieved at the same time. Then she heard the cannon fire again. Leaping back out of bed, she rushed to Mary's room. "Who is it?" she heard Mary's panicked voice cry out.
"It's me," she said. "What's going on?"
Mary peeked her head out from under her bed. "Port Royal's under attack!" she said rather shrilly. "Word is it's pirates!" Mary gave a frightened squeak and went back under her bed. The same episode was repeated when she rushed to Sarah's room. It occurred to Estrella that the house would be caught totally undefended. What didn't occur to her though was to question her instinct that they would head here. Obviously if they wanted to gain the settlement the governor's house would be second only to the fort as a source of power. And if that failed, the pirates would inevitably try to kidnap Miss Swann.
Estrella started running from room to room, warning the household staff of what had happened and trying to get them to rally to protect the house. They would have none of this though—several climbed out a back window and tried to flee to the fort, while others followed Mary's lead in hiding everywhere from under their beds to in closets. She didn't make it to the butler in time though. For some reason the stupid git (Estrella had always thought him a bit dim) opened the door when the bell rang, letting several pirates in without the slightest resistance. Of course being shot might have had something to do with not trying to stop them once he realized who it was.
Having finally reached Miss Swann's room to warn her, she realized that the miss was already out of bed. She didn't have to wait long to discover where she was though. A shriek sounded from the entrance hall, quickly followed by Miss Swann running into the chamber, straight into Estrella. Although Estrella was scared out of her mind, she could hardly contain her excitement that something this out of the ordinary was happening. "Miss Swann, they've come to kidnap you!" she yelled, barely able to stop from jumping up and down.
"What?" replied the confused young lady.
"You're the Governor's daughter," Estrella explained, with a touch of awe.
While Elizabeth realized this was quite possible, she had more important things to worry about at the moment than her silly maid's theories. "They haven't seen you. Hide, and the first chance you get, run to the fort." Elizabeth distracted the pirates and Estrella managed to escape. As she ran away from the pirates to find something to protect herself, she hoped that the girl would be okay, but quickly dismissed her from her thoughts and focused on more pressing matters—like how to stay alive.
As Estrella gained the street, she suddenly regretted the decision to leave the relative safety of the mansion. It was complete chaos outside: pirates running every which way, townspeople trying to get as far away as possible, soldiers trying to protect their people. Trying to pick her way to the fort to warn the Commodore and the Governor that Elizabeth needed help, Estrella came upon a group of several children. There were maybe a dozen, ranging in age from the eldest, a girl of about twelve, who was carrying the youngest, a small boy with curly blond hair, maybe two.
"Trella!" cried a four year old boy, Thomas, seeing the maid and running to her. Estrella scooped him into her arms and realized that these were the kids from the orphanage. "Can we go play with the pirates, Trella?" Thomas asked, giggling.
"No, dear, we mustn't. What are you doing out here all alone?" This question was directed at Catherine, the girl holding little Albert.
"W-we were trying to get to the, to the mansion. We thought it would be a good place to hide."
"It's overrun, that would be sui--" she caught herself as she remembered how small the children were. "That would be a very bad idea," she finished. "I just left there for the fort."
"That's where we wanted to go, but we don't know how to get there," said Catherine, looking pleadingly at Estrella. The girl hadn't been so frightened since the night she woke up to find her house ablaze (the fire that had killed both her parents), and she was starting to lose hold on her ability to hide it for the sake of the younger kids, who she at least had to keep from panicking.
"I'll take you there," said Estrella resolutely, making up her mind. She had to do something besides save her own skin, and these kids needed her. She set Thomas down and picked up the much smaller Anna instead. "I want everyone to pair up, okay? If you're older than six, take one of the little kids by the hand. John, carry Susan." As the ten year old John picked up the crippled five year old, Estrella looked around to make sure everyone was paired up. "Okay, let's go. You have to be very, very quiet, like hide and seek," she instructed, looking particularly at the little ones; they at least seemed to be enjoying this and thought it a grand game. "Catherine, you go last and make sure no one gets separated. Here we go."
With that, Estrella took them down a side street, where she rightly guessed that there would be much less fighting than on the main road. Picking their way along side streets, they started to reach the battlements. However, here was the most dangerous part. The fighting here was even heavier than in the town itself. Albert had started to cry, but it didn't matter, the pirates were everywhere; there was no use in trying to mask their position now. Estrella felt hopeless, trying to keep the kids together as they ran from pirate to pirate.
They got to the shadows. Catherine had stopped Albert from crying by giving him a sweet. The only sound to be heard other than the fighting was some of the younger children sniffling while all trying to cling to Estrella's skirt and the occasional soft, "Trella, what are we going to do?" Looking down at the children, she was dismayed. How did she ever think they'd be better off with her than on their own?
Just then, she saw the two most handsome soldiers in the colony's guard, Smith and Kramer, standing on the fort wall a few feet away. "Wait!" Estrella cried, running over to them with all the children in tow.
"Estrella, what are you doing here?" asked Smith, taken aback.
"It doesn't matter right now, I need to get these kids to safety. Here." She handed up Anna. "Just help me get them up there then you can go fight." John and Catherine helped her hoist the rest of the little ones up. It seemed like the fighting was calming down, at least in their near vicinity. John and Estrella lifted Catherine, then John clambered up himself. "Thank you. Thank you so much," Estrella said to Kramer as he hopped down to help her up.
"Of course. Now I need to head to the mansion, but Smith you take her and the kids deeper into the fort, out of cannon range." Only then did Estrella realize that the fort was still being rocked by cannon fire.
"This way," said Smith, ushering the children ahead of him and lifting Susan himself. Estrella picked Anna up and walked along side him. "That was very brave, bringing them here all by yourself," Smith breathed softly in Estrella's ear. She thought she noticed a touch of—tenderness in his voice. She looked at him, a little puzzled, but nodded her thanks.
After getting the kids into the inner rooms, Smith went out to talk to Estrella again. He put a hand to her face. "I've always known you were beautiful, but only now do I know of your bravery." She was speechless, but only for a moment. Then the kiss he gave her prevented her from speaking even if she had wanted to. This had been the scariest yet most exciting night in her life. Even so, even after spending the night wrapped in Smith's arms, she couldn't help but feel a little jealous the next morning when she found out Miss Swann had actually been taken by the pirates.