Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Disney, I do not own POTC in any way, although I do own lots of POTC goodies. My OC is mine, all mine. Some names have been changed to protect guilt or innocence.

Author's Note: Pirates in next chapter.

By the Hand of Jack Sparrow

In the Tongue of the Ocean

(Present day)

I had dreamed about it for years and now I was finally here. A vacation cruise in the Caribbean! Some friends and I had chartered a boat to travel from island to island. We were more interested in sampling the local culture and mingling with the local people than in visiting the tourist destinations. So far, it was just glorious! We'd sailed from Miami, visited Nassau, and were now on our way south through the Bahamas.

The sun was warm and the breeze was moving us along at a leisurely pace. Our hired captain had been keeping us entertained with stories about the Bermuda Triangle, in which we were currently sailing. He told us of many interesting accounts of spinning compasses, electronic failures, and the mysterious disappearances of many boats and planes. I smiled as I remembered being fascinated by those stories as a child.

Suddenly, the captain called to us, "It's happening! The compass is spinning!" My friends and I gathered around and, sure enough, the compass needle spun in a clockwise direction. Suddenly, the boat lurched. A gust of wind had caught us off guard and we had to adjust the sails to compensate. I glanced in the direction of the wind and saw a line of clouds building on the horizon. I alerted our captain who, upon observing the squall, directed us to help "batten down the hatches." Our concerned looks prompted him to reassure us, "No worries. It's common for these to spring up out of nowhere…We'll be able to ride it out if it catches us."

The strength of the wind was increasing and the ocean was becoming much more choppy. There was no doubt that the squall was rapidly gaining on us.

"Get below and make sure any loose items are stowed away!" the captain ordered. The sense of urgency in his voice was a little unnerving. I calmed myself by thinking that it's simply common sense, a safety precaution. I was glad that we had decided to hire a local captain and not take our chances by sailing ourselves.

I gathered up our belongings and stashed them in the cabinets that lined the walls of the cabin below. It was a bit challenging since the boat was rocking unpredictably and I kept losing my balance. No "sea legs" on this girl, I thought. I stood up, holding onto the wall to regain my balance and was struck by the unmistakable sensation of seasickness looming in my belly. Must get up top quickly, I thought. If I can see the horizon and have some perspective, the feeling usually passes. I climbed the steep, ladder-like wood stairs and opened the door to the deck.

I was unprepared for the force of the wind. It propelled the door out of my hand and slammed it back against the outside wall of the cabin. My hair whipped around, slapping me in the face. Quickly, I slipped my hair into a ponytail and closed the door securely. Each gust of wind felt like it sucked the breath out of my lungs. The air was oppressively humid, thick, and warm.

As I made my way over to the captain, I noticed the sky. It was a sickly purple-green color. I wondered if this was what the sky would look like in the Midwest, just before a tornado. There was no noticeable rotation of the clouds…thankfully we weren't in for a waterspout. The cloud was a billowing, boiling, angry mass.

I heard the captain's voice shouting, but I couldn't make out his words. As I edged toward him, he shouted again, "I want all of you to stay below!" I shouted back to him, "If I stay below, I'll vomit! I need to see the horizon!" The look on his face conveyed that he understood. "Make sure you hang on to something!"

I walked slowly toward the front of the boat and sat down, looping my arm through a railing. A flash overhead illuminated the dark sky, turning the boiling clouds a shocking green color. It was the strangest thing I'd ever seen. I waited for the thunder…it never came. The sea looked like ink, angry and black.

As I turned to look back at the captain, I gasped. The boat was gone! The captain and the rear portion of the boat were no longer there. It couldn't have broken in half – there was no sound of wood splintering. The only sound was the wind howling. The air was becoming even thicker and more oppressive. And I was not regaining my equilibrium. A wave of intense nausea gripped me and I started to crawl slowly across the deck, toward the side of the boat. My mouth began to flood with saliva and I knew I would be facing seasickness. Another hideous green flash of light. Almost there…

Almost.

I reached the edge of the boat and peered into the inky black water…waiting. I could feel the nausea building inside me and I spat into the water. Another blast of wind felt like it would suffocate me. I leaned over the edge of the boat, feeling my stomach heave. It was the last thing I would remember from the squall.