Oh Captain, My Captain
In Which Two Complete Strangers Meet For The Very First Time
16-year-old Jack Christopher Sparrow looked out to the horizon restlessly. He was growing tired of land. What must it be like to sail the seven seas forever, he constantly wondered. When he'd told his mother that he didn't blame his father for leaving her to be a sailor, she scoffed and cuffed him over the head. 'No sense in bein' sea-sick your whole life through,' she'd say. He paid no mind to his mother. What was a loose woman to know about anything? The whole town thought the same thing.
On Jack's seventeenth birthday, he decided to 'stop wondering so damn much', as his mother put it, and went to find out what sailing the seven seas was like for himself. Drafting himself onto a rusted cargo ship, Jack spent his first two months at sea getting sea-sick and staggering under heavy loads. Soon enough, though, Jack became accustomed to the rolling of the ship, the never-ending workload, the heat. He was becoming a real sailor.
Real sailor or not, Jack had always been a sneak. He was used to getting what he wanted; bargaining, tricking, or stealing to reach his goal. After four months on the ship, he began stealing regularly from is shipmates. Contrary to popular belief, not all sailors are stupid, so it didn't take long for the more intelligent members of the crew to realize that Jack was the only person from which nothing had been stolen. Upon confirming that Jack was the thief, the entire ship's company had unceremoniously and literally dropped young Jack at the next port they came by. One might think that it was an ironic twist of fate that the sailors who so hated thieves dropped Jack off at a place that would inspire him to grow to become one of the worst kinds of thieves in the Caribbean: a pirate. The port that the sailors left him at was none other than the pirate-infested Tortuga.
There was another young whelp in Tortuga that night. Amongst the dancing women in colorful skirts and flying petticoats, there was one ugly duckling: Desireé Morrigan. Actually, she wouldn't be called ugly. She was really fairly pretty. In fact, standing at about 5'6", with almond-shaped green eyes and caramel colored hair that was always in a braid, she was as pretty as the dancers and prostitutes surrounding her. The only real difference was her plain white skirt, lack of make-up, and the fact that she was doing no dancing. Desireé had been a bartender at the Sailor's Fancy for two years. The daughter of a nurse and a privateer (who later on carry into piracy), she spent her early years in Lankfordshire, England. Her mother taught her basic medical skills and her father showed her the ways of a ship and a sword. No other little girl was as fortunate as Desireé, not even the rich ones.
Life was not to be kind to Desireé forever. The day of her 14 birthday, she heard her father yelling and her mother sobbing in the tea room. Her parents burst out of the room just as Desireé had hid herself behind a large and leafy potted plant. The couple were hollering violently at each other, her father with two large bags at his sides and her mother with tears running down her face and down to her bosom. The frightened girl watched as her daddy dearest marched out of the door and out of her life. Unfortunately, without her father's money, she and her mother had no choice but to sell their home. Even more unfortunately, her mother soon developed a new love for rum. Desireé's family had fallen apart.
One day, Desireé's mother hit an all-time low. On a rare shopping trip, she had found a dingy, black carriage to ride to town in. Desireé was given a leg up into it, but her mother did not follow. The carriage door slammed shut, and the confused girl heard a business transaction going on outside. She'd been sold. Sold to an illegal slave driver who was to sell her again in the faraway Caribbean, as she would soon discover.
Luck decided to deal her one good card. Her employer was a somewhat kind one who did not require a dancer, but a bartender. Desireé took the job gratefully and learned to forget her past.
Despite the fact that she was being paid to handle alcohol, she did not have the stomach for it. Just a mug of ale would send her reeling, and a mug of rum would send her sprinting for the privy, or the "heave-ho" as some sailors put it. Still, she loved her job.
Two years later, she was swamped by slurred orders and drunken pick-up lines. It was a busy day at the Sailor's Fancy tavern. There were catfights, barfights, and any other kind of fight you can imagine. At the end of the night, Desireé was all but panting. Two men, a piglet, and a chair were thrown at her with surprising accuracy from a bunch of drunkards. Her head was aching from the noise and multiple hits that it had taken. Whilst cleaning the bar counter, a boy about her age stumbled in. He was tall, dark, and decidedly handsome, but his features were marred by blood, dirt, and a sheen of sweat. He was panting. None-too-astonished by his condition (people looked like this all the time in Tortuga), she went to fetch a glass of rum and a cool cloth. He collapsed onto a chair and laid his head on the bar counter. She set down the glass of rum and placed the cool cloth on the nape of his neck. He didn't react. She shook him slightly, causing him to jerk and sit up.
"Who did this to ya'" said Desireé in her strong Lanky accent (which is kind of like a Cockney accent).
"Me shipmates," the boy answered, looking down at the gritty wooden counter. He took a gulp of rum and grimaced as it burned his throat.
"Wha's that?" he asked.
"S'rum," she replied. She moved the cloth to his forehead and wiped off the blood, sweat, and grime, all the while asking questions.
"How old are you?"
"I'm 16. Why your shipmates beat you up?"
"I stole some things from 'em."
"Ah. You've been sailin' fer long?"
"Nah, less'n a year."
"Watcha gonna do now?"
"You should stay at our inn fer a while," she offered. He nodded. Suddenly he looked up at her and started to ask a few questions of his own.
"Wha's a lass like you doin' 'ere?"
"Me dad left and me mum sold me off," Desireé said honestly.
"Sorry 'bout that."
"Wha's yer name?"
"Well, Desi," she smiled when he said her name like that, "I'm Jack Sparrow, savvy?"
And so they met for the very first time.