We watched in horror as huge tentacles began to inch up the side of the ship, each with hundreds of suction cups that expanded once they hit the open air. It was terrifying, as I stood behind a cannon manned by Pintel and Ragetti, watching a tentacle block the viewing window, its suctions expanding into the narrow space between the cannon and the edge of the window.
"Will?" I yelled, the worry evident in my voice.
"Just… a bit… more….!" He answered back, then, a second later, "FIRE!!!"
"NOW!!" I screamed to the men at the cannons, who immediately shot the first cannonball into the Kraken's tentacles. "RELOAD!" I yelled, and ran up the stairs to see how the men on deck were faring. The tentacles that had risen now had spears sticking out of them, and the men were hacking away with axes and swords. The ship shuddered again as the cannons refired, and the tentacles recoiled, than fell into the water.
"Everyone to the deck!" I shouted down the stairs, and watched as the men abandoned their posts, grabbed their weapons, and ran up the stairs, going to the other port side of the ship, ready for the next bout.
This is where the tentacles would start to come aboard, wrapping themselves around unfortunate victims and dragging them to the sea. This is where we would hit the majority of the Kraken with the rum explosion, so I looked over Elizabeth's way, as our eyes met and she nodded slowly, releasing the catch on the gun and preparing to shoot.
I looked toward the netting, filled with caskets of rum, and was horrified to see that, in their haste, someone had set it so that it kept rising and rising, and an explosion that was too high wouldn't help anyone. I started to make my way across the deck, when I felt something slimy wrap around my ankle, then pulled back with a jerk.
"NO!" I screamed, and tried to grab anything, anything I could hold on to and pull against the tentacle's dragging. My fingers scratched uselessly across the deck – I was nearing the edge of the ship – and suddenly I lay still. I looked up and saw Ragetti standing over me, a bloodied axe in his hands. I let out a great shuddering sigh, and grabbed Ragetti's hand, which he had offered to help me get up.
"Ragetti – you saved my life."
"Aw, it was nuthin'." He grinned, and ran off to attack another tentacle that was crawling on the across the ship's deck.
I reached down to my foot and removed the end of the tentacle with carefully, not wanting to touch it too much, and then resumed my path to the rigged and rising rum.
I caught the bottom of its netting, and began to climb up around the side, drawing my sword with difficulty and beginning to cut through the many ropes that held the netting together.
"Elizabeth!" I yelled over my shoulder. "Shoot when I say!"
The net was almost free, and tentacles were swarming below me. I lost a few precious seconds when another tentacle made its way around my ankle, and I chopped myself free again.
"TAKE COVER!" I screamed to the sailors, who hit the deck and covered their heads. I saw Will at the starboard side of the ship. He had seen me there, waving precariously, but reluctantly covered himself as my sword began to cut through the last thread.
My sword now had made it all the way through, and I held on to the top half of the rope while the rum was sent tumbling to the ground. "NOW!!!"
The boom of a shotgun rang through the air, followed by the louder noise of the rum caskets exploding in unison. I continued to climb the rope quickly, as I felt the heat rise beneath me.
I looked down, and watched as the flames quickly abated, till there were just a few flickering pieces of fire on the deck. I couldn't hold on to the rope any longer; my hands burned as they slid down the length of it until I was grasping nothing, and falling toward the deck.
It seemed as if Will had made it across the deck with lightning speed, he caught me, but the force of the impact from such a high fall made him collapse beneath me, and I ended up on top of him, face to face.
His eyes were closed, and I quickly straddled him across his stomach, and leaned down to put my cheek against his mouth, to see if I could feel his breath.
I felt something better, though, as Will kissed me there, and I turned to him fully and framed his face in my hands. "You're so stupid!" I cried.
"Talk about stupidity!" But he raised himself up so we were both kneeling on the deck, and threw his arms around me, as I did the same, then he leaned back a little and began to kiss me all around the face. "You're alive! You're alive!" he said between kisses.
I held my hand up to his lips. "So are you…" and brought my lips to his.
After we parted, something caught my gaze over his shoulder, and I gasped.
"What is it?" Will said, worried, but I just stood up, taking him up with me, and pointed to the helm of the ship.
Jack Sparrow had not abandoned his ship after all – nor had he abandoned Elizabeth. The two of them were standing there, entwined in each others' arms, the shotgun hanging from Jack's right forefinger. We turned to give them some privacy, and watched the crew slowly raise up from their crouching positions. Some, however, did not rise at all. I quickly removed my cap to the sailors that had helped us fight bravely against the Kraken, and had lost their lives so that a few of us might live.
Mr. Gibbs, looking incredibly beaten and weary, walked up to me. "D'you think we killed it?"
I heard Jack's voice from behind call, "No. We just made it really, really angry. You have all got to get off this ship," he pointed to the longboat which he had initially escaped in. "
There was a murmuring assent, and everyone began to gather supplies- blankets, lanterns, food, and stock the longboat. We all began to climb into it, exhausted, till Jack and Elizabeth were the only ones remaining on "The Black Pearl's" deck.
"He's the one with the black spot…" I thought, and stood up again to see what was happening on deck, my head poking over the edge.
Jack was handing Elizabeth a pair of handcuffs, then moved his lips to words I couldn't hear. Elizabeth looked at him in shock, but then nodded briskly after a couple of seconds. The two kissed suddenly, held together for ten seconds, and then Jack held out his arm.
Elizabeth slowly latched one of the cuffs onto it, and, as tears spilled down her face, latched the other to the metal ring around the mast of "The Black Pearl."
"Oh my God," I whispered, and slowly sat back down.
Moments later, Elizabeth swung her leg around the edge of the boat, and I mad some room for her on the longboat's seat.
"Where's Jack?" Mr. Gibbs asked, his gruff tone suddenly had a shade of worry.
"He… decided to remain behind. To save us all." She ducked her head, trying to hide her red and swollen eyes from the rest of us on the boat. Will looked at her strangely, and then leaned forward slightly to look at me, his eyes filled with confusion. I shook my head slightly, and took Elizabeth's hand, squeezing slightly to comfort her. She continued to look straight ahead, as Pintel and Ragetti took the oars up, and began to row fiercely toward the nearest shore, which we could see the edge of.
As we neared the bank, I could tell we were on familiar ground – a small channel opened up, surrounded on both sides by towering trees. We entered the channel, I jumped a bit as I realized that there seemed to be people standing in the water, holding candles aloft, and singing gloomily.
We reached Tia Dalma's house soon after, and Pintel slowly edged the boat up to her platform, then tied the rope to a post there. We all filed out of the boat, those of us who were left from the Kraken's attack: Will, Elizabeth, Mr. Cotton, Marty, Pintel, Ragetti, Mr. Gibbs, and I. I thought quickly of the many souls lost to the Kraken's wrath, not only from "The Black Pearl," but from every boat I had seen sunk, from every ship that the Kraken's deadly tentacles crushed. I added Jack Sparrow to my mental list, and climbed the latter to the "porch" of Tia Dalma's house.
We all entered the shack, in single file. Tia Dalma didn't speak a word, until Mr. Gibbs roughly spoke, "'The Black Pearl' is gone… and Captain Jack Sparrow with her."
I think that's when it all hit us. Everyone sank into a chair, or leaned against a wall for support, both physically and mentally exhausted from the day.
Mr. Gibbs' gruff voice spoke out again, "God's blood, it's never going to be the same, the sea without Jack Sparrow. You don't come across his type very often."
I silently agreed, thinking of only my contact with the man, from my kidnapping at 11, to my rescue at 21.
"I'd do anything to have him be alive and sailing the seas again…" Mr. Gibbs finished. His voice choked with the effort of talking around tears.
"Anything?" Tia Dalma broke the silence. "You would do anyt'ing for him, you say. Would you sail d t'rough weird waters and stranger winds? Would you encounter the strangest t'ings in de world? Would you sail to de ends of de eart' to get back de wicked Jack?" It was clear that she was quite serious, that she wasn't just speaking hypothetically.
"Aye!" Mr. Gibbs' voice spoke first.
"Aye!" Pintel and Ragetti said in chorus.
"Aye!" Marty shouted, his tone rising above his small stature.
Glancing at each other, Will and I made an unspoken agreement. "Aye." We spoke together, the harmony of our voices ringing through the small room.
"Aye…" Elizabeth whispered softly, as Mr. Cotton's parrot squawked out, "When do we sail? When do we sail?"
Tia Dalma nodded grimly, "Den you'll need a captain who can sail such waters." She rose her arm and rapped twice on the low ceiling.
We heard footsteps, and then a door opened above our heads, and the footsteps came closer, going down the set of steps in Tia's small house.
Everyone turned around eagerly, ready to see who would be leading us now.
A tall man, wearing a large black hat, and dressed in full pirate regalia, cockily took the last step. His eyes were tinged yellow, his skin was pockmarked. He raised a fresh apple up to his lips, and took a large bite as a small monkey sat on his shoulder.
After swallowing, he spoke, his words accented with a pirate's drawl. "So. What's become of my ship?"