Some Men Have Died
By Kiki Smith
The dock was already fairly crowded as Margaret Turner made her way between other curious people, keeping her eyes fixed on the sea and its waves. The gentle breeze of the afterworld ruffled her dark brown hair, which she vainly tried to push behind her ears. Sighing, she gathered her skirts instead, stepped down wooden stairs and entered the crowd of souls gathered on the docks of World's End.
It was a memorable day for the dead. At sunset the Flying Dutchman was to arrive in a flash of green light, bearing the souls of those who died at sea – for the first time in many, many long years. They've all heard the rumours of course. The heart of Davy Jones had been stabbed and the curse lifted off the Dutchman and her crew. No one knew the next Captain's name, though, and many had come here just to find out and catch a glimpse of him.
Margaret, however, couldn't have cared less. She was here for one sole purpose – to find her husband.
She gritted her teeth and held back her tears, focusing on finding a comfortable place to wait. She soon spotted a hole in the crowd, a little quayside situated just above the others, from where she could easily see the arrival of the Flying Dutchman and her Captain's customary introducing speech.
It seemed that someone else had gotten the same idea and the quayside was already occupied by a strange-looking couple. The man was tall and elderly, wearing an elaborate grey wig and having an appearance of wealth and authority about him. The woman, much younger and clothed as finely as her companion, was a beautiful fair-haired creature with a lovely smile that she bestowed upon the man at her side.
'I am sorry, Sir, Madame' said Margaret humbly when she reached them. The lines between the rich and the poor had remained true, even in death. 'Is it all right for me to stand here?'
The couple's eyes snapped to her, quite startled. The woman was the first to recover. 'Ah, by all means' she said sweetly. 'There is enough place for the three of us.'
'Thank you, Madame. I was worried that I would disturb you.'
'Oh, not at all! Not at all. And do call me Marianne. I think a sense of propriety is quite redundant here in the afterworld, dont you think...?' here she paused, looking at her with an expectant smile.
'Margaret Turner' she introduced herself, giving Marianne a more honest smile and warming up to her. 'And yes, I agree.'
'It's so very nice to meet you, Margaret!' chirped Marianne. 'This is my dear husband, Weatherby Swann.'
The man bowed to her respectfully and she curtseyed back.
'As you can see he took a wee bit more time to die than I did' continued Marianne, pointing to their difference in ages. 'But we have just been recently reunited, and I am happy.'
Margaret smiled, wondering at the woman's forwardness.
'Forgive me if I seem too untoward' said Marianne, echoing Margaret's thoughts. 'But I have lived all my life restricted by the rules of propriety and I no longer wish to abide by them...'
'Quite understandable' muttered Margaret.
'Then I hope you won't mind holding a conversation with me while we wait for the new Captain?'
'Of course not.'
'Splendid!' Marianne grinned. 'I wish he would arrive sooner. Weatherby told me dreadful stories about the previous one and I am quite curious as to the person who has sent that monster where he belongs.'
'I think Jack Sparrow is a safe bet' said Weatherby, speaking for the first time. 'I must tell you, Ms. Turner, that I have been somewhat involved in recent happenings. I have seen the dead man's chest myself... Although I am worried about my daughter...'
'That's why we are here' interrupted Marianne, gripping her husband's elbow. 'Weatherby thinks she might have perished at sea, so if that's the case the Dutchman might bring her soul...'
Margaret furrowed her brow. 'Why was your daughter at sea?'
Weatherby grimaced. 'I fear her fiance and Jack Sparrow had something to do that... They involved her in some bad business once again.'
Margaret still didn't understand, but decided to leave it be, as it sounded like a very long story. She had all the time in the world, but right now the sun was setting and the Flying Dutchman was near. New hope entered her heart as she thought of her husband. Many years past they had quarrelled over some insignificant detail and he left, never to return again. They had loved each other deeply, but Bill's dreams were stronger than their bond. She had told their son that his father was a merchant sailor, but she knew very well that he had been a pirate.
It had been many years since he left and she was quite certain that he had already died. Yet she couldn't find his soul anywhere. The failure of her search could only be explained by the fact that Davy Jones did not do his duty as commanded and that Bill's soul was still out there, at the sea.
The change of the Dutchman's Captain gave her hope that he might finally reach his peace.
'The sun is setting' said Marianne quietly, watching the horizon. Margaret followed her gaze and saw the fiery orb disappear behind the wall of water. A pillar of green light flashed up into the sky and a ship appeared out of thin air, sailing at great speed towards port.
'Here she comes' said Marianne excitedly.
Margaret fixed her eyes on the ship, holding her breath. The Dutchman arrived at its destination in seemingly no time at all. It was a magnificent ship with pristine white sails, high masts and gleaming wooden surface. Quite unlike the cursed vessel spoken of in the stories.
'Is that... the same ship?' asked Weatherby in wonder.
Margaret nodded to herself. 'The curse must have really been lifted.'
The gathered people watched as the Dutchman moored at the farthest quayside and rolled up her sails. A gangway was prepared for those in need of stepping off the ship.
And there were a lot of people in need of that. The line of dead men and women didn't seem to end, but Margaret still couldn't find her husband.
'She's not among them' whispered Weatherby with obvious relief. 'That means she has survived! She's probably married to that boy by now, but at least she is alive!'
Margaret almost didn't hear him, she was so engrossed in her own thoughts. Was it possible that Bill was still alive? After all those years? Had Will found him after her death?
She felt tears threaten to fall, tears she couldn't afford. She'd always been a strong woman, independent, left alone to raise her son. It was against the nature to cry in public.
Unfortunately, Marianne seemed to have noticed her sudden distress. 'Margaret? Is something the matter?'
She shook her head mutely, looking away and trying to hide her burning eyes.
'Margaret... Please, I can see that something is wrong...'
She was saved from answering by Weatherby, whose sudden intake of breath preceded his startled exclamation.
'By my word! It's William Turner!'
Margaret's head snapped back towards the Dutchman in hope of seeing her husband, but she was disappointed. The man, on whom the entire dock's attention was focused at the moment, was not her Bill. Although quite similar in appearance, he was nonetheless much younger. Clad in a black coat, with a bandana over his curly dark hair and a red diagonal scar seen from behind his purple shirt, he looked just like a pirate should. He was, undoubtedly, the new Captain of the Flying Dutchman and Davy Jones' slayer.
It took a couple of seconds more for it to dawn.
'William Turner?' she asked, breathless. Could it be...? He was definitely the right age... And he looked... But this name wasn't rare, there could be another William Turner...
She was brought from her thoughts by Weatherby, who suddenly broke into a run and started making his way through the crowd, his wife in tow.
Margaret, not knowing what she was doing, followed.
A/N: This is just something that came to me after I saw AWE for the second time... It'll be a very short story, probably only two or three parts... It just worked better this way rather than as a one-shot.