Disclaimer: Insert standard Pirates of the Carribbean Disclaimer here.

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Of Starry Nights and Snow Beasts

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The first mate of the Black Pearl peered through the bleak night and stamped her tired feet against the cold. The water, almost mockingly, lazily swirled about his lonely ship, and Anamaria's narrowed eyes caught suddenly on Thomas' empty post, and she was plagued by a stab of painful emotion.

The slim pirate woman stiffened in response to the painful memories that flooded her heart. The frigid gusts of wind, or perhaps it was tears, stung her clear, dark eyes.

Thomas Jones was dead; only a few hours had passed since he had been claimed by the furious churning ocean in a violent storm that had blown the ship into unfamiliar unknown territory.

To all those aboard, a numb eternity seemed to have already passed.

From where she rested against the bow at her watch, a deep voice wafted down to reach Anamaria's keen ears.

"Anamaria, love, do ye see anything familiar? Anythin' at all?" the voice demanded.

The first mate scratched her puckered blow and uselessly surveyed the bleakness once more before making her reply. "No, Jack," she answered the captain truthfully, her voice tight with suppressed emotion and unease.

Captain Jack Sparrow grandly climbed out from behind a tattered sail caught in the splintered mast, swearing loudly in frustration in such a way that would put most seafarers to shame. Nimbly he scrambled around the mast to survey the damage to his beloved ship. The sails…they had extra canvas for emergencies, but the damage to the mast and hull was unnerving.

"Not one familiar landmark," he mused skyward angrily, his hoarse voice ringing through the frigid night.  "We could be traveling off-course to who knows where an' all end up like Thomas beneath this desolate ocean!"

"Let's hope not," Anamaria remarked quickly to herself, feeling the silence of the night begin to engulf her once more. Never had she felt so alone, despite the company of the other disconsolate crewmembers.

Suddenly, she remembered vividly one time as a small child sitting on her father's knee and gazing up at the stars in rapture; her father used to tell him that the stars could guide a man home. Squinting at the sky, Henry Higgins sincerely hoped so.

As she gazed tranquilly, abruptly the first mate realized something rather odd.

The stars were falling!

Anamaria let out a shout of alarm as the captain leapt down to the deck to stand beside her.  "Snow," Jack growled in disgust, shoving his frozen fingers through his tangled black locks. He shook his fist at the sky in annoyance. "They've decided to send us another hindrance, I see."

At Anamaria's cry, several mourning crewmen clambered to their feet to peer into the inky sea. One of them, whom she recognized as young Will Turner, let out a surprised cry.

"Jack," Will yelled in shock, pointed desperately below them. "Jack, the devil's beasts are coming to eat us!"

Anamaria hurdled herself at the rail to see the sight for herself, heart pounding in sudden fright. Staring down, her eyes made out the shapes of several large, shaggy beasts slowly moving to surround the ship amidst the large chunks of crystalline ice.

As she watched the creatures, Anamaria suddenly realized they did not seem sinister, but curious as they stared inquisitively at the large, storm-battered ship moving almost imperceptivity through the ice. She felt some strange compassion towards them, reminded of her own fondness long ago for such beasts usually common to foreign myths.

"Bears, gentlemen," Jack sighed in almost amused voice, resting his weary head on his gloved hands as he watched them. He smiled wryly at Ana. "It is said by some to be a good omen if one pays them proper respect."

"White," Ana mused to herself, the beginnings of a childlike smile tracing across her cold-stung face. "Like our snow guardians."

A sudden wail pierced the night, as haunting as a ghost's mournful cry. The crew froze in terror.

Jack Sparrows eyes snapped open, staring in wonder through his exhausted state. "It's the bears," he exclaimed, face lighting up. "The bears are singing!"

In his excitement, he grabbed Anamaria's stiff hands and began to pull her across the deck in some kind of makeshift, twirling dance while the crew either watched them in amusement or continued to smile at the bears.

Anamaria giggled as he spun her rapidly around the Pearl's deck, clinging to him the white-glazed world tilted crazily around them. "Stop," she finally begged breathlessly.

Jack grinned wickedly, but halted and pulled her close against him as he observed the surroundings, his expression shifting to one of quiet reverence. He seemed to have forgotten the danger the crew was in.

If he could, then she could, Anamaria tried to convince herself. At least for a little while.  She nestled into his chest and smiled as the snowflakes stuck on his eyelashes and nose. Jack wrinkled his nose and wiggled his eyebrows, trying to dislodge the white specks.

Anamaria laughed at his antics, finally relieving him by brushing away the snowflakes with gentle fingers. Jack swayed once more for good measure, dipping the squirming first mate for good measure. He held her easily in the position, beaming down at her. "They're singing!" he explained for emphasis, clearly not seeing why she wasn't as ecstatic as he.

"So they are," Anamaria said softly as he thankfully pulled her into a standing position, her eyes staring through him, through the snowy sheets and into the unfathomable distance.  "Let's only hope they can be the ones to guide us home."

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Just something I tweaked after writing for English class. Continue? Yes? No? I've been having so much writer's block with "Find Your Way Back," I really don't know what to do. *sighs* Oh well, I suppose inspiration will come eventually. Not that I actually have time to sit down and brainstorm. Roar.  Life is crazy, oui?

Bye everyone! Hope to be posting again soon.

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