Let me fall

The only real equality is in the cemetery

-German Proverb

I.

                  Everything slows.  His heart drums its dull, repetitious song loud in his ears.  The air swooshes by his ears, burning his already ruddy cheeks.  He struggles, pulling at the tight bonds, but feeling as if his limbs are made of lead.  He suddenly desists any movement seeing it is useless.

*Just let me fall…

                  Memories fly past his eyes of his beautiful wife; the child he never saw and Jack.  The man presses his lips together tightly.

*I failed him and my family in my greed.

The roar of his approaching fate is deafening.  He closes his eyes and continues to fall.

II.

                  "Don't think its right."

                  " Course you don't, Bootstrap.  You're a family man.  Ain't a bit of pirate blood in you."

The dark haired, dark eyed pirate bandished a sword, pulling up the unfortunate jester.

                  " Don't have a bit of pirate blood in me, eh?"  I'd slit your puny throat and not think a thing of it tomorrow."

                  " Bootstrap, sit down."

                  Bootstrap threw the man back in his chair, nearly sending the chair toppling over.  He sheathed his sword, turning to the other pirates.

                  " Jack was-"

                  " Oh, so now you call the captain Jack?"  Does he call you Bill?  Or William?"  The gravelly voiced man sitting at the head of the table asked, receiving a few snickers from the other pirates.

The handsome pirate glowered at him.

                  " I've known the captain longer than you, Barbossa; and this mutiny just isn't right.  He deserves a fair share.  I mean, he did give us the coordinates."

                  Barbossa laughed.

                  " He is the joke of the Caribbean.  What captain in his right mind gives away the place the treasure's hidden, lad?"

Bootstrap straightened, infuriated at being called lad like a common cabin boy.

                  " He's a better captain than you."

The cabin was deathly silent.  Barbossa rose menacingly.

                  " How would it do for your wife and boy to hear of your untimely demise, Turner?"  Bootstrap looked away, his fury slowly melting away.  "I thought so.  Now take a seat and shut yer trap."

Bootstrap glared a moment before plopping back into his seat sullenly.

                  " First thing is to kill Jack."  Barbossa began.

                  " Wait just a moment.  That was not part of the plan."  Bootstrap was back on his feet in a second, causing a groan to go around the room.

                  Barbossa sighed.

                  " Fine.  We'll drop him off on one of these islands.  Now-" Barbossa paused.  Bootstrap had risen, leaving the room.  " No doubt he's going to warn Jack.  It doesn't matter.  It's Jack against all of us.  Bootstrap won't dare cross me."

~*~

                  William Turner Sr. strode into the Captain's quarters.  Jack Sparrow sat, his feet up on his desk and a new bottle of rum in his hand.

                  " Mutiny."

Jack glanced at him, swallowing the drink in his mouth.

                  " Aha, that's a good one, William.  Glad to see you in such high spirits.  You've dragged this entire trip.  'Ave some rum?"

William sighed impatiently.

*Curse that concoction he always drinks.

                  " I am not kidding.  They have the coordinates.  They don't need you anymore."

                  Jack's feet fell from his desk and he even put aside his rum, indicating he was serious.  He studied the older man carefully.

                  " Have you been in my rum?"

Bootstrap turned his head slightly, hearing the heavy footsteps.

*They are coming.

He motioned helplessly.

                  " I fought for you, Jack.  They wanted to kill you."

Jack leaned back on two legs of his chair.  He rubbed his beard with a defeated look.

                  " Barbossa?"

Bootstrap nodded.  Jack stood with a sigh.

                  " You stay out of this.  I'll be fine.  You need that treasure."

                  " I tried, Jack."

Jack just patted his shoulder with a sad smile.

                  " I know you did."  He glanced around.  " And I swear I'll die before I leave this ship to Barbossa."

~*~

                  Bootstrap shook his head, glancing about.  He slipped one Aztec coin into an envelope with a piece of paper that read: For Will, on his birthday.  This was all of the treasure he had taken, loath even to take this one coin.  Actually, he hadn't even taken it.  One of the guys had slipped it to him, since Bootstrap didn't dare to touch the cursed money.  He wrote the address as legible as possible before sending it off towards England on a ship.  Bootstrap ambled back to the Pearl, hands stuffed in his pockets as he walked alone under the stars.  The other pirates were no doubt enjoying endless drinks of rum and women.  His eyes flew to the distant horizon.

*What did I do in my greed?  I should have stood beside him.  Better to have died like that than to live like this.

                  A hand fell on his shoulder, causing him to spin around.  He had been so deep in his thoughts, he had not heard the steps.

                  " Bootstrap, the boys and I are headed back for more.  You up for it?"

Bootstrap nodded unenthusiastically.

                  " Aye."

Suddenly the wealth didn't matter anymore.  It all seemed useless when he remembered that its captain had paid in blood for it.  Bootstrap smiled slightly, entertaining the thought that just maybe Jack had gotten off the island.

*He could have.  He is Captain Jack Sparrow.

And then he was lost in the memories.

                  Bootstrap had come eight years ago to Port Thomas looking for any work.  He found himself fixing ships and any other odd job he could pick up.  One night, he was returning to the cheap, measly hole in the wall place he lived in when a man stepped in his way.  This man looked as if he had stepped straight from a storybook.  Black eyeliner lined his eyes, beads hung in dred-locked hair covered firstly by a ratty red long bandana and then a black hat.  The man smiled, showing off gold caps.

                  " Heard you do good work, Mr. Turner."

                  William eyed him cautiously.

                  " Who are you?"

The stranger grinned again, pointing to himself with a weak flop of a wrist and a gaudy bow as he said the next words.

                  " Jack Sparrow, Captain Jack Sparrow at your service."

William took the offered hand.

                  " And what do you want?"

                  " Newly acquired me a ship and its in pieces.  I'd like you to fix it."  Jack grinned raising his eyebrows.  "I pay in gold daily."

William was instantly alert.

                  " You have a deal."

~*~

                  William smiled sadly caressing the wood railing under his hand.

*I fixed this ship to make her seaworthy. 

                  " Eh, Bootstrap?"

He turned, only to be jumped by three pirates.  They bound his wrists and ankles tightly with rope.  Barbossa moved through the crowd towards him a sick smile on his face as he idly petted his newly acquired monkey.

                  " What's going on, Captain?"  Bootstrap asked.

                  " Well, Bootstrap, its like this.  I can't have you on my ship because I hate you, but I can't let you go to a port because you know where the treasure is.  I have no choice but to send you on your way with a nice trinket added to your bootstraps."

                  A titter of laughter went around.  Bootstrap blanched as they attached the two cannonballs to his ankles.

                  " You deserve this, Barbossa, for sentencing Jack to death.  He's a better captain than-"

Barbossa punched him.  Bootstrap shook it off, fully prepared to take more.  His lip bled and it would give him bloody hell tomorrow; that is if he had a tomorrow.

                  " I hate you, Turner.  Hope the fishes eat you alive."

Bootstrap's eyes narrowed.

                  " And I wish that curse upon the lot of you.  I hope it kills every last-"

And he was falling.

III.

                  How he wishes he could escape and beat Barbossa within an inch of his life.  What the hell, beat him until he's dead.  He hits the shark-infested waters and everything goes black for a split second.  Suddenly he is floating.  His hands are free.  He watches the cannonballs continue towards the ocean floor.  He kicks up to the surface, not knowing or caring how he is free.  He gasps in the sweet air.

                  " Shoot 'em!!"  The cry comes.

                  He dives back underwater, swimming as fast as he can.  The surface splatters with bullets that just graze his flesh.  He continues swimming through the true blue waters.  His arms move mechanically as if they are still bound and his feet feel like lead.  His chest aches without avail even though he breathes.  It is as if the breath he needs to survive is never reaching his lungs.  Something is crushing him as he struggles on.

                  He collapses upon the shore breathing heavily.  Black spots begin to dance in front of his eyes from lack of air.  Suddenly her face fills in the spaces.  She smiles at him warmly, caressing his face gently.

                  " Rest, William.  All is well."

William "Bootstrap Bill" Turner lies at the bottom of Davy Jones' Locker drowned by two cannonballs at his ankles and damned to stay there till Judgment day come.

Let me fall

Let me climb

There's a moment

Where fear and dream must collide