"That's alright. Read it again, Rose," her mother murmured gently.
Rose cleared her throat and looked at her mother's perfect handwriting on the piece of parchment that sat in her lap.
"Thine sea of beauty, is without l-limit,
Stre-strea-streaching forth eternally.
'Till darkness raises from the deaths,
'Tis shimmering for thee."
Her mother gracefully cocked her head to one side, casting an imaginative look upwards."What is death?" she asked calmly.
Rose hesitated. Does she mean for me to answer? Isn't it obvious what death is? Oh no… is this a lecture? She finally responded, "Death is… when something loses life and spirit forever and cannot live."
"'Till darkness raises from the deaths… wasn't that what you read?"
Confused, Rose took another look at the parchment.
"Argghhh," she growled, adjusting the green bandana tied around the top of her head. "It's DEPTHS, not DEATHS! I'm awful! I hate reading!"
"You did just fine," her mother said reassuringly. "Just next time do better!" Laughing, she stood up from the grass they sat upon and turned towards the sun.
Suddenly, her eyes widened. "Rose!" she exclaimed. "Quick! Stand up and look!"
Leaping to her feet, Rose followed her gaze.
"What? All I see is the sunset!" she said.
"Exactly!" her mother whispered, voice growing with rising intensity. "Seldom times, one can spot a green flash along the horizon. You remember when I told you that there are those who can travel between the worlds?"
"Well, the flash of green indicates when a soul enters the Land of the Living from the Land of the Dead!"
Rose beamed. "Do you think we'll see it tonight, Maman?"
Anna squeezed her daughter's shoulders. "Let's wait and see…"
They both fell silent and stared ahead into the sky. As the final speck of the sun sank below the waves, Rose took in a shallow breath, her pulse increasing. She blinked when a spectacle of green light briefly glowed over the water.
Beaming, she looked up at her mother. Her beautiful face smiled down at her daughter, her raven hair playing with the wind. "Let's catch up with the others!" she said faintly.
Please, Rose begged as they walked together, If you're listening, if you can hear me at all, you will not wake me. Please. This was when I was happy. This was before. Don't wake me. Please don't wake me!
As if in cruel response, her dreams fired a single gunshot. Her mother's warm figure slowly disappeared, and Rose was faced with brutal memories flashing past her. Tears ran down her cheeks at an alarmingly fast rate. As she broke into a frightened sob, she awoke.
Rose sat straight up to find herself covered in sweat from head to toe, shaking and sobbing on a hard, wooden floor. She had woken up from the dream that began so carefree and jubilant, then turned so drastically morbid and horrible. Placing one hand on her forehead, she continued to cry, though the shackles that confined her clanked against the ground with every shake of her shoulders. What had happened to her wasn't fair. What was to become of her would never be fair.
But suddenly, her tears ceased. She sat straight upwards once more, this time more steadily. She could not show weakness here. She had to be strong…for her mother.
It had been a whole year since her mother's death, and no one, no matter how mystical or powerful, could reverse time to change that fact.
A voice stirred her from her thoughts. "'Allo?"
Rose gasped. She should have known her commotion in the middle of the night would wake the other prisoners. She held her breath and begged for the voice to forget about her and go back to sleep.
The voice was closer. "Was that you crying?"
Go away, Rose prayed. Just go away and leave me be...
The person was right next to her now, his shackles pulled across the length of the room. "It's alright," he said. "You don't have to be afraid. My name's Jack."
The lead character of this account is named Rose Hexfury. An eccentric name, and not her birth name, but it's what she goes by.
You have never heard of her.
Her name is but a footnote in the lives of others, and she prefers to keep it that way. Her story is unknown up to now, but her involvement with piracy during the middle eighteenth century is not. As of yet, these stories have developed into legends that are known only to you if you are reading this written ledger. This is the story of the pirates that sailed the Caribbean. In many ways, it was a rewarding life. Dangerous, volatile, adventurous, daring, and promising. Rose Hexfury merely stood at the helm, watching it unfold and trying to keep the ones she loved safe. You all know the story I am about to tell, just perhaps you never saw her there. Perhaps you never saw the girl in the shadows.
Now you might be curious as to who I am, and what credibility I have to tell this overlooked saga. My story comes into play at the end of this detailed account, and the end of this miraculous life. My voice in this matter is unimportant; I merely strive to tell Rose's.
Life as a woman during this time was a difficult one. Not much awaited them on the deck of a pirate ship but misery and maltreatment. Many sailors considered women a curse to have onboard, and onshore they were only used as barmaids or for the purposes of keeping lonesome sailors company in the night. Occasionally, a good girl and an honest sailor could build a family, but under the colors of a pirate flag, but no one ever stayed "good" for long. Pirates sailed the seas the world over, and not only just in the Caribbean. They sacked villages, wallowed in a rum-induced stupor, plundered merchant vessels, stole, hid treasure, stole someone else's hidden treasure, drank in taverns, brawled in taverns, and were above all else, the greatest destructors of their time. They controlled the sea. I have heard many times that all men desire to control the sea, so, by this logic, what was there to lose? A pirate could live his dream on the open ocean, live for some minor work, and gain all the glories of sacking a town or a ship or a merchant. The only things at risk at the time Rose was born were getting caught, getting robbed, or getting killed. Even the sins associated with piracy were of no merit, because these men were living in heaven each day they awoke in the morning. There were jolly pirates, cutthroat pirates, cunning pirates, drunkard pirates, and then there was Rose's father, who seemed an entity of his own.
But I digress from my original point of the role of women in this piratical society. As you know from perhaps, the revered pirate lord Captain Elizabeth Swann or the cunning Angelica Teach, in order to get even a shilling of what you wanted from the life of a pirate, you needed to be sharp, fierce, intelligent, and tough. I hate to disappoint you readers, but Rose possessed none of these traits en masse like the two aforementioned ladies. Rose had to learn to survive, whilst these other two seemed to be born with the skills necessary to control their own destinies. Perhaps that was why Rose was more suited to the life her mother Anna led—the life of a gypsy.