Known to many as the eyesore of the Caribbean, it was a place of wild behavior and unscrupulous characters. Ale and rum flowed like water into mugs of varied sizes in the many taverns situated on the island. Loose women roamed streets and taverns, looking for men who wanted a good time in exchange for a few farthings. Chaos was never in short supply, pistol shots ringing out over the drunken voices singing old sea ditties and arguing over the validity of a story. It was a place that pirates could call a safe haven.
Or most pirates, as the case was. One man sat alone in the room above the tavern, staring down at the scarred wood of the desk. The pen he had been using rested across the piece of paper, only one line scrawled. The candlelight that he wrote by flickered as the breeze kicked up again. He could hear the laughter outside, the voices shouting challenges and calling for more ale and rum mingling with them. No one sounded like they were lost or melancholy.
He picked up the pen again and scooted the chair closer to the desk as he leaned over it. The pen touched the paper again, but he couldn't find the words just quite yet. He looked over the first line again.
My dear son,
That one line was all his weary mind could conjure. Hell had come to earth in the past couple of days and the devil was on his trail, his demons searching for him. He reached into his shirt and pulled the cause of all his troubles out, yanking the chain from around his neck. It lay in his palm, glittering gold in the candlelight, a trinket innocent enough to the unknowing eye. He set it down on the desk with a light clink and picked up the pen again.
By the time you receive this letter, I won't be able to see you again. Things have happened that I am not proud of.
He looked over the lines written, part of him wanting to scratch it out and write something else. To the person who mattered most, his life had been a completely lie. Rough hands ran through dark hair in exasperation. He squeezed his eyes shut as he heard the little boy's laugh, like a jaybird's squawk. His little boy, gazing up at him with his own dark eyes.
So badly did I want to be there to be your father, but I thought that some things had higher priority. How wrong I was, and now I'll never be able to make it up to you.
The next image in his mind's eye was her. She smiled at him; beckoning him coyly with her finger to the room they had shared so many nights of bliss in. Her golden hair falling around her shoulders and piercing blue eyes. There was no one more beautiful than her, and he had told her that many times. He wondered how he had been so lucky to find her, beautiful and gentle, kind at heart. Never did a bad word about anyone cross her lips. She saw the good in everyone. Why else would she marry a pirate?
A pirate. Once upon a time the word made him smile, raise his glass in toast with the others. Now it left him feeling like he had eaten ash. It was because of pirates that his best friend was stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere. It was because of pirates that he would never see his child again. It was because of pirates that he was one himself.
Just know this. I love you dearly and am proud to have been your father. I'm sure that you will grow up to be a fine young man someday and will marry well. Take care of your mother. Learn your lessons well and never take a moment for granted. Live your life the way you want it to be.
A small smile tugged at his lips as he finished writing the last sentence. The advice of a pirate, no doubt. The smile disappeared as he looked to the golden coin lying by his elbow and a thought formed. He was one man against many, yet victory could still be his. That one little coin was a downfall to them all. He touched the pen to the paper again, his handwriting turning to barely legible scrawl. Outside he heard the voices, asking drunken men and tavern wenches if he had be seen. It wouldn't be too long before they found him. It was inevitable.
I thought to send this small trinket to you. It's Aztec gold, pirate treasure as they say. If anyone will enjoy it, I know it will be you my boy.
Yes, that was what he would do. He would send it back to England with the letter and they would never touch it, damned by their own stupidity. He himself was damned on his own, but he gave up caring long ago.
Time has flown by and I must go. Remember what I write to you in this letter. Follow the honest man's path and you won't be lead astray. I love you dearly and tell your mother that I send love for her as well.
He tucked the small coin into the envelope and then signed the letter with a flourish. Folding the paper, he slid it into the envelope and closed it. With wax from the melting candle, he sealed it shut and got to his feet.
The sounds of the tavern grew immensely as he opened the door and started down the stairs. A few looked towards him, almost as if they could feel the dead man walking. He ignored them, heading across the room and approaching a woman. She turned to look at him, holding out her hands.
"Is that it?" She asked softly. He nodded, putting it in her hands. She tucked it into her bodice. "It will reach him safely." She told him. Scarlet had always been trustworthy or so he had found her. He'd asked her to do this one last thing for him, to get the letter to his son.
The cold barrel of a pistol prodded the back of his neck. He didn't need to turn around to see the two pirates standing there, men of the crew he had just betrayed to have his revenge for himself and his best friend. His expression stayed calm as he turned around, not a weapon in sight and prepared to go without a fight.
"I'm ready." He said quietly. "Take me to Barbossa." The thinner pirate pushed him ahead towards the doorway and he gave no resistance. Scarlet watched as he was pushed out the door, the last time any man from that tavern would see the pirate alive. She put a hand to her stomach, feeling the letter resting there. If it were within her power, she would get the letter sent to the proper person.
She would get it sent to William Turner.