Disclaimer: I own nothing. Nothing, I say! This is a derivative work based off Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.


The Hounds of Hell
Chapter One


June 6th, 1692

Dearest Elizabeth, Will Turner began composing a letter in his head as he fidgeted beneath the dim light of an oil lantern. You'll likely receive me before you receive this letter, but I cannot help but think of you on such a bleak and miserably lonely night as this. My only comfort is to dream of you and envision myself lost in your warming embrac-

No, no! He crumpled the last line in his mind, pitching it out. You'll sound like a lovesick milksop!

God, how he hated times like these. While he was no more than a day's ride from Port Royale, he felt as if he was a world away from his love. It had been nearly two solid weeks since he last gazed upon his darling's face, far too long in his opinion. Ever since the Governor approved and even encouraged of the courting of his daughter, Will hadn't been able to go a day without the pleasure of Elizabeth's company. They had announced their intention to marry nearly eight months ago, and the wedding was fast approaching.

Admittedly, Will had grown a bit tense as the wedding date loomed overhead. While the accommodations had long been arranged and paid for, Will consistently doubted his worth as a husband. He wanted nothing more than to give Elizabeth every last thing she longed for, but a blacksmith's pay could only be stretched so far. She assured him all would be well, particularly with her father in such standing, but Will had never been comfortable relying on someone else's charity. He took pride, perhaps too much, in his long days at the smithy. He gauged the success of a day on the amount of dirt that accumulated under his nails. At times, he felt guilty even brushing such hands across the cheek of his beloved.

Just as Will's tension had begun to rise to a feverish pitch, the unorthodox entrance of a certain infamous pirate captain once again graced Port Royale's harbours. Rather than ride in on the Black Pearl, he had somehow stolen -correction, commandeered- one of the smaller vessels of the Fort Charles fleet. After a semi-successful docking that took out half the pier, the pirate supposedly swaggered out of the ship wearing nothing more than an officer's uniform coat and a strategically placed tricorn hat.

One would think a man with such a price on his head would keep a low profile, but not Captain Jack Sparrow.

After yet another miraculous escape from the Fort Charles brig, Jack and a congratulatory half-empty bottle of rum landed at the doorstep of the Turner residence. Will welcomed him in like a long lost brother, and they had spent that evening trading outlandish stories. As he learned of the boy's forthcoming marriage to the lovely Miss Swann, Jack had convinced Will in a drunken tirade to board his ship and accompany the crew to Cuba as an 'extended bachelor's party' as he put it.

That was nearly two weeks ago.

"Some party this is." He mumbled aloud as he shoved his hands in his pockets. While he wasn't entirely ungracious of the invitation, times like this made him regret his decision. It was nearly half past midnight in the small Cuban town of Baracoa, and yet Will found himself standing -against his will, mind you- in front La Casa del Acuario, the only brothel in town.

A small passing crowd of women forced him to straighten, whether in reverence or alarm, he wasn't sure. His cheeks grew crimson red as one of the girls' stares lingered longer than necessary. Quickly, Will became enamored with his shoes as he shifted uncomfortably beneath the flickering lantern fixed above the doorway to the brothel.

Jack had said he'd only be a few minutes. Will should have known better.

Beads of sweat clung to the frayed edges of his sea-worn bandana as Jack Sparrow collapsed on the bed with a breathless grunt. The mattress groaned in protest as he struggled briefly into a more comfortable position.

He was beyond exhausted. His head swum, on several accounts. A few pints of piss-weak Cuban ale were no doubt still coursing through his veins and it had been a solid day since he last slept. But mostly, he attributed his lightheadedness to his earlier... activities and his intoxicating company.

While it wasn't his purpose or even intent to seek out 'pleasurable company' on this that was to be the whelp's last hurrah, Jack couldn't pass up such an opportunity. A quiet but nonetheless striking girl with hypnotic eyes caught his attention at the tapas bar down by the docks. One thing led to another, and Jack managed to drag Will along, though the boy refused to step even a single foot inside the brothel. Say what you will about the whelp, he was a loyal man.

His upper arms ached from supporting his body upright during his rigorous exercise, but such an annoyance was quickly forgotten as a lithe finger trailed down his exposed back. With his legs tangled up in the thin cotton sheets, Jack shifted around to face the girl.

He was quickly met with a dark entrancing set of eyes and a wicked grin. The same wicked grin that had caught his attention no more than a few hours ago.

"So, love..." He reached out, tangling his slender fingers in her dark hair. As seasoned a pirate and customer as he was, Jack hated the small talk that ensued after such business transactions. "Guess you'll be inquirin' about payment now, aye?"

The girl's languid grin deepened as she rested her head on a threadbare pillow. "No charge."

Though Jack's brow was quick to furrow, he couldn't help but let out a surprised chuckle. He was good, but he had no idea he was that good. "No charge, love? Much obliged, but I hope ya won't be makin' a habit out of that business practice."

"I make my funds by other means." She said as she nestled further into her pillow, not bothering to cover herself up as the sheet shifted.

"And what means be those?" Jack inquired, propping himself up on an arm, his interest well piqued.

"I read fortunes." She reached out and pressed her hand against his well-tanned chest, tapping her long nails against his collarbone.

"Oh, now do ya?" Jack mused. "How much for a reading?"

"Un escudo will do."

Jack reached for his pants that draped on a chair nearby, as dug through the pockets. His face contorted as he rummaged around, searching for that last escudo he could have sworn was there. Aha!

Turning back, he paused just before the coin made contact with her open palm. "What kind of fortunes?" An unmistakably mischievous grin crossed his face as his eyes widened with animation.

"I can tell your future, Mister Sparrow."

"Ah, me future." Wait. Jack was relatively sure he hadn't told her his name at this point. Well, last name, anyway. Perhaps she wasn't simply blowing smoke up his figurative skirt. Could be worth a laugh.

Laying the coin in the hollow of her chest between her bared breasts, Jack's hand more than lingered across her exposed skin. If she was going to make no attempt to cover up, Jack certainly wasn't going to let her state of undress go entirely to waste. "Then tell me about my next great legendary adventure."

She held his gaze, and said throatily. "You have one last great adventure to complete before death hunts you down-"

He grinned, amused. "Love, death's been hunting me from day one. You forget, I'm Captain Jack Sparrow, wanted by every man of war, not to mention woman, in the Caribbean."

"I do not forget." The girl looked less than amused at his interruption. "You have five days."

"Five days?" He lofted a brow, sitting up. "Five days 'til what?"

She countered his question with the shake of her head. "Must you ask?"

"I bet fortune tellers make a killin' nowadays. An escudo for that? That's it?" Jack scoffed, his patience wearing thin at this point. He swung his legs over the edge of the bed and began to search for the rest of his clothes. Naturally, he wasn't paying much attention as to where they landed before; his mind was on other pressing matters at the time.

"They tasted your blood, Mister Sparrow." She pushed herself to a seated position, gathering the bed sheet against her chest. "And the blood of your companion."

"Companion?" Jack tossed her a glance over his shoulder, pausing momentarily as he pulled his knickers up.

"The boy." She nodded, motioning to the window beside her. "You disturbed their place of rest, and only now they seek their revenge."

"Place of rest?" He echoed, shoving his feet into his well-worn boots.

The girl closed her dark eyes, and tilted her face skyward. "Gold... mounds of gold. Caves surrounded by water blacker than coal and colder than ice. Damned by the heathen gods."

"Isla de Muerta?" He inquired, squinting at her and hoping to God he wasn't right. Though he refused to admit it to anyone - particularly Anamaria, who inquired every bloody damn day- Jack had spent every day in the last nine months trying his damnedest to forget that God forsaken island.

"Si." She purred, swaying slightly as she sat. "La Isla de Muerta. It's not the island itself, but what lies beneath it that has you so distressed, is it not?"

Damn her. Jack grumbled silently as a vile taste flooded his mouth. "Aye, something rightfully unholy dwells there. Not that I'm a God-fearin' man, meself." He noted, lifting a finger.

"It's not God you should fear, but the Devil."

Shrugging his shirt on, Jack didn't see any reason to bother with buttoning it up. He merely wanted to be on his way. What had begun as a rightly pleasurable evening quickly dwindled into... this. Jack himself was crazy enough, thank you very much. He didn't need her added assistance. "So the Devil is after me, aye? Suppose it was only a matter of time before the ol' chap sought his revenge." He chuckled inwardly.

"Not the Devil, but the hounds of hell." Her voice was but a faint ominous whisper.

Jack rolled his eyes, sighing as he tightened his belt around his waist. This was playing out like a badly written novel. Had his life been a book, Jack would have seen to it personally that the author was hung, drawn and quartered. Gathering the rest of his effects in his arms, Jack gave the girl a terse nod. "Well, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Me bonny ship awaits."

"Sleep well, Mister Sparrow, for they begin their hunt tomorrow."

Suppressing a groan, Jack flashed her a toothy smile. "It's been a pleasure, love." And with that, he popped out the door and quickly down the narrow staircase.

This was certainly the something Jack Sparrow neither needed, nor wanted to hear. He had only just successfully shrugged off that 'constant feeling of impending doom'. And thanks to the long nights of rum-fueled drunken mischief with Will, Jack had finally been able to drown out the overwhelming smell that had been plaguing him for months. He'd suffered a number of showers and scented bathes before he realized it wasn't him that reeked. For nearly a month, he drove himself insane searching and scavenging the Pearl for the source of such an ungodly scent. The crew thought him mad when he had begun to pry open the floorboard in his room. Only after Gibbs intervened and expressed his concern did Jack make an effort to ignore the phantom scent, which no one else seemed to smell. Rum helped. Ah, blessed be the man who invented rum.

Unlucky for him, Jack was quickly sobering up as he descended down the stairs. Pulling in a lungful of air, he confirmed his fear. The faint, but distinct stench haunted him once again.

Must be what fire and brimstone smells like.

"Jack!" Will cried, a bit startled as the pirate exited through the narrow door. Though he hadn't a pocket watch, Will was quite sure he'd been waiting out there for well over half an hour. "I hope at least you had fun!" He snapped, his well of patience run dry.

"Loads of it." Jack mumbled, grabbing the whelp by his collar. "Let's go."

Author's Note: I plan to incorporate real life historical events into the upcoming chapters. For those history buffs out there, stay tuned for the assured inevitable destruction and resulting chaos. And for anyone who recognized the line "Fortune tellers make a killing nowadays", I was blatantly and shamelessly inspired by a song called "Big News I" by Clutch, and therefore stole the line. Without a doubt, it's the best pirate-related song ever. I'm feeling incredibly iffy about the start of this piece, so reviews will be greatly appreciated. Cheers!