Ah, the memories! - by Cunien
This is a little something, work in progress, probably won't turn out to be too long, and will eventually get to the impersonating a clerk of the Church of England thing. I love that part in the film - when they're reading out his list of misdemeanours and general skullduggery - he looks so wistfull when they mention the impersonation bit- which got me thinking.
Disclaimer: This isn't mine - characters later will be mine. I wouldn't want Jack Sparrow to be mine, cos then he wouldn't be Johnny Depp's, and Jack, nay, the whole film, would be nothing withou Mr Depp!
(PS - hasn't been beta-ed - loads of mistakes. But it's not my fault! Don't blame me for Jack's poor grammar and spelling!)
Chapter 1 - Jack's hat
Well, it didn't start with a woman, but women were definitely involved. I'm sure that comes as no surprise to you, eh? Women are always in there somewhere, along with gold. And rum. Rum always has a hand in it too.
Now I used to have a woman in every port in the Spanish Main, before my reputation began to precede me. Sometimes more than one woman in each port. Sometimes they were quality stuff, but most often they were strumpets. There are more strumpets in the Caribbean than there's need for. More than you can shake a stick at....funny expression that. I don't think I've ever shaken a stick at someone. I'd much rather just hit them with it. Some of these women, well, I wouldn't mind giving them a little clout with a stick , after what they done to me. Well, shake a stick at them at least, cos I'm no woman beater.
Doesn't stop them from beating me though.
Poor old Jack. I've always been hard done by when it comes to women, starting with my dear old mum. Silly wench up and left when I was...6? 7? Can't remember. But there we go, and I can thank her for making me the man I am today. Probably would have never taken up the honourable profession of pirating if it hadn't been for her scarpering off when I was a lad. And I'm Captain Jack Sparrow now, aint I? Not that you can be much of one without a ship and crew to captain.
I need some more rum...
So, my story, yes....
For reasons I can't recall, I find myself in Port Royal, which is not a good place to be when you have a large P' branded onto your arm. If I remember rightly this was soon after I had it done to me - still hurt like hell anyway. Us pirates are meant to be barbarians right? Scallywags, ne'er do wells, really bad eggs?
But I can't think of anything more barbaric than burning a P' for Pirate into onto someone's skin. But see, I'm losing my point again, aint I? You'll find I do that quite a lot.
Now, Norrington and Governor whassisname and all them bigwigs of Port Royal would like you to think that all it's citizens are sweetness and light. Unfortunately they'd be mostly right. Makes my skin crawl just to be there, amongst all those boring do-gooders. All the others, the decent common criminals and humble scallywags, like meself, are thrown in prison, deported or hung. Unless they make sure they aren't caught that is.
Well, the reason I can't recall how or why I was in Port Royal that night was because I'd had quite a bit of rum....to dull the pain of the brand you see. It had also been another one of them scorching Caribbean days, and I'd lost me hat somewhere.
I vaguely remember being on some ship that must have been bound for Port Royal (I'd no doubt managed to barter, bully or blackmail my way on board) and you know, standing on deck in the sun all day without a hat is never a good idea, take it from me. I was a bit narked about losing the it though - it's the mark of a Captain aint it? And I was feeling a little fragile already, having been mutinied and marooned not two weeks previous. I remember noticing I had a black eye and a split lip, which was encouraging - meant I hadn't given up the hat without a fight anyway. At least I knew it hadn't just blown off when I was too drunk to notice.
At this point, I'd like to backtrack a bit. Remember I said these stories always began with women, gold or rum? Well in my case this story was all about those things. In fact, those words really encapsulate my whole life. But the thing that set the ball rolling on this occasion was my illusive hat.
I was sitting in some tavern. It was pretty seedy, but not nearly depraved enough for my tastes. The people inside were the few scoundrels still left in the port, and I felt a little more at home in their company. I was deliberating whether to spend my last few coins on more rum, or save it and buy some bread in the morning. I hadn't eaten in quite a while you see. But the drink was filling my stomach so I wasn't that hungry, and rum had always been my vice. I'd really acquired a taste for it after being stuck on that cash island of those smugglers. Luckily I managed to barter my way on board their ship and was lost amongst the teeming mass that was Tortuga before they noticed quite how much rum had mysteriously disappeared since they'd last been on the island. They call it the angels share' - the amount of alcohol that's lost to evaporation - if I'd been caught I could have put it down to that, at a pinch.
Mind you, the words angel' and Jack Sparrow' aren't words often used in the same sentence.
So anyway, I ordered another rum. Or tried to. First I had to pick my head up off the bar, and then managed to mime and mumble until the barmaid caught my drift. Probably gave me more just to shut me up and stop my wild gesticulating , which was knocking glasses and candles and other objects off the bar.
Rum tasted better than bread anyway. My mother raised me on rum she did. And look at me, I turned out alright. In the end.
Besides, if I needed actual food I could pilfer some off the good people of Port Royal.
In the early hours of the morning I remember hearing a ruckus over by the door, so I turns around.
And in walks my hat.
It's just a plain leather thing, warn and battered. But I tell you, I know every scratch and mark on that hat. That hat it a part of me. Saved my life a couple of times, used in ways I'd rather not go into right now thankyou very much.
The man in my hat came over to the bar - him and his mates ended up right beside me. And I can't stop staring at this man, wearing my hat, bold as you please! I mean, a hat is a personal thing! That one had been on my head for so long I'd half believed the sun and the salt had moulded it to fit me and only me.
So the man in my hat notices me staring, turns and says Wotchoo lookin' at?
And me, being a honest fellow really, says You are wearing my hat.
But the man in my hat doesn't take too kindly to this.
Now I'm not a violent person - I won't fight unless there's no other way. But neither am I a coward. Any soul that knows Jack Sparrow will tell you, I don't run away from a fight, I fight fair ( or as fair as a Pirate can be) and I fight damned well. My cutlas' got me out of more than a few unpleasant situations. but there are some times when there's call for a pistol.
And there's the snag.
There is one shot worth of powder in my pistol, and I don't carry any extra. That shot is meant for one man alone. It's been in there for 10 years. Frankly, by the time I get the chance to use it odds are it will have been in there so long the whole bleeding gun'll blow up in my face. But odds like that are Pirate's odds, and ones I'm willing to take.
The thing is, in the Spanish Main, it's nigh on impossible that a man like myself, in 10 years, will never land himself in a position that calls for a pistol.
When a sword or cutlas aint been handy I've had to improvise quite creatively I can tell you. But it's never easy. And all on the off chance that I might meet the man who mutinied and marooned me?
The night in question was the first time I had to find some other weapon, bearing in mind I'd only been marooned, forcing me to make the vow concering my pistol, just 2 weeks previous.
Well, the tavern we're in - I told you it wasn't depraved enough - they made everyone hand in their blades at the door. Governor's rules. they said, We'll be shut down if we don't follow them. Had a big guy on the door to enforce the rule too. So when things get messy, and I reach for my cutlas, of course I'm in for a nasty little surprise.
Before I go any further with my tale, I want you to bear in mind that the man in my hat was twice my size, and his mates more than that. And there were 6 of them, and only one of me.
But never say that Jack Sparrow is a coward! 6 to 1. Pirate's odds again see? And I took em.
Before the man in my hat left the tavern, he leaned down and told me how he'd come by my hat.
I got this here hat from a snivelling, stinking, skulking drunk. Ugly little thing. Curled up asleep on the deck of some ship, dead to the world. Looked a bit like you actually.
To which he laughed, kicked me in the stomach and left.
I contemplated springing up, jumping on the man in my hat, swiping said hat and scarpering off into the sunset.
Instead, a better plan occurred to me : stay where I lay, sprawled on the tavern floor, and sleep for ever and ever.
I woke up 10 minutes late, when the owner of the bar threw a bucket of dubious water over my poor sleeping form. Never mind! The ground outside looked just as inviting, and was probably a good deal more hygienic.
I came too the next morning with a donkey standing over me, a little too close for comfort. Mind you, a hundred miles from one of them stinking animals is too close in my opinion. Never liked donkeys.
So this one's chewing on something and blinking it's stupid big vacant eyes at me. I realised it was trying to eat my hair. I managed to get it out of the dumb beast's mouth, but not without a fight. Stupid animal. Didn't really help it's case with my hatred of donkeys.
Someone had thrown my cutlas out after they'd kicked me through the door - I found it in a bush nearby.
Further in the town, I came across a bakers. I hadn't spent my last coins on rum after all, having been thrown out before I got the chance to pay for my last drink. More's the pity. Unfortunately, someone had picked my pockets that night when I was asleep.
I suspect the donkey.
But luckily, there were some old loaves around the back of the bakery. See, it pays to do a bit of snooping. The bread was stale but otherwise good, probably only put out that morning.
Obviously the donkey hadn't gotten there yet.
I took a couple of loaves and threw the rest in the river so the donkey couldn't get at them. And then there was nothing for it but to start off in search for my hat.
It's a conspiracy! The donkeys are all out to get him!!!