Left to Live

By Kayden Eidyak

Bootstrap Bill Turner stood on the railing, gazing down into the inky depths, the shouting and jeering behind him fading into the background as he lapsed into his own thoughts.

How had it come to this?

The once friendly ocean was now transformed into an unfathomable entity, just waiting to welcome him into her suffocating arms.

His mind reeled as he thought of his wife and young son…and Jack.

"I'm so sorry, Jack," he whispered, the wind snatching his voice away. He prayed that wherever Jack was - dead or alive, the breeze would carry the apology to him.

"Any last words?"

Bootstrap glanced back, his mind returning to the present with a shuddering jolt. Barbossa waited expectantly for his answer.

He spat at the man's feet in reply, narrowly missing the heads of the two men trying to keep the cannon tube balanced on the railing beside him, and turned back to stare out at the horizon.

At least Will had the medallion, he thought dejectedly. By the grace of God, Barbossa wouldn't find it.

Pintel and Ragetti were beside him now, tying the cannon to his ankles with several very secure looking knots.

"Off ye go then, Bill. Been nice havin' ye aboard, but I'm afraid ye've worn out yer welcome." Barbossa grinned broadly and the monkey mimicked his master's expression, throwing in his own screeches of contempt for good measure.

They tipped the cannon over the rail, jerking Bootstrap off his perch and sending him plummeting to his doom.

~*~

Bootstrap crashed into the water with bone-shattering force, the cannon dragging him under faster and harder than he could have ever imagined.

He'd taken a breath on impulse before the plunge, but soon realized it had been unnecessary. The cannon hit the bottom, sending up a cloud of sand and debris. When his vision cleared, he looked up and vaguely saw the dark shape of the Pearl glide noiselessly away.

Bill eyed his watery surroundings. The fish and other sea creatures that had darted away with his sudden approach, swam cautiously back to inspect the new addition to the ocean bed.

They'd left him here to die.

No, he thought as sudden realization and horror struck him. It was something far worse.

They'd left him here to live.