Title: The Untold Story of Captain Hook
Author: Digimon Empress Yaten (de yaten)
Notes: I entered this story in a contest by the Detroit Newspaper (and won) 4 free tickets to see Wicked at the Masonic Temple, as well as a backstage tour and some cool free swag. It was put online at but since it's been taken off (or hidden? the link isn't there anymore) I figured it was okay to finally put it on here. The contest was to write an "untold story" of a famous character. I'm not completely happy with this story, but considering I wrote it in two days (just in time to enter lol) I think it turned out pretty good. Poor Hook. : (
Disclaimer: Don't own Peter Pan or any of its characters.
The moonless night always brought back memories of home, and the comfortable two bedroom house, second one to the right from the old marketplace. For a moment, I could almost hear myself laughing - not the raspy, cruel laugh of a bitter man, but the hearty laugh of a father. I could see myself, smoking on my pipe, brushing away locks of black hair, and playing with my boy, Erik. How happy we all were - a family. Broken, without a mother, but a family nonetheless. How happy - until the accident.
The thick sea air thankfully pulled me away from my thoughts. That man was dead, buried by thoughtless killing and years of pseudo-hate towards an eternal boy.
I didn't bother to look, for I knew the sight already: Smee, sniveling and wiping his sweaty palms against his ragged shirt. A trembling, useless coward. The Smee I knew was as cutthroat as any pirate to roam Neverland - this was a cheap replica, a homeless sap who looked enough like my old friend to fool a ragtag band of boys - most importantly, Peter Pan.
"Cap'n?" His voice quivered. How irritating.
"What is it now, Smee?" The name forced itself from my tongue, feeling unnatural with this (as with every) imposter.
Smee gulped, kneading a moth-eaten knit cap in his hands. "Peter Pan's been spotted rowin' toward our ship, Cap'n. I saw him myself, he were rowin' awful fast!"
I grinned, no doubt showing off seventy years of a dentist-free mouth. "See to it that Pan has a ... warm welcome."
Smee nodded, and stumbled up to the ship deck, leaving me in silence.
The grin vanished into a frown. I stood in front of my mirror which, by pirate's standards, was a true beauty. The reflection was not. Curly black hair didn't suit my aged face, but what choice did I have? Pan needed his villain, and while he was naive, he wasn't stupid. I slid the hair off gently, careful not to ruin my only good wig, and winced at the change. A few wisps of white hair covered brown age spots, and the makeup was much more obvious against the white of my scalp.
I laughed at the thought. I, the ruthless Captain James Hook, wore more makeup than those revival Indian tribes on the mainland. At least it hid the wrinkles. I set the wig firmly on my head once more, and headed to the ship deck.
Before I even saw Peter, I knew that he was there. The familiar crow of his rang in my ears. So young. How silly it would be for a young man - a teenaged boy, even - to crow like that. But, of course, he was just a boy. And I, to him, was still a thirty-something year old pirate.
"Ahoy, Hook!" Ah, our regular taunting.
"How cheerful, Pan."
"You ready to meet Davy Jones, old man?" Clever, a pirate joke.
"I am not so old that I cannot defeat you, boy." But I am.
"Hah! Youth always wins!"
"Let us test your theory then, Pan!"
He leaped across the deck nimbly, twirling his small blade at me. They said he could fly, that boy, but it was only the overworked imagination of abandoned orphans. He lunged suddenly, and I narrowly avoided the knife.
"What's the matter, Hook?" He laughed. "Too old?"
I managed a scowl. I wanted to ask him how he could be so cruel as to torment an old man with memories of a dead son. Instead, I spat, "Just a boy's luck!" But Peter's eyes gleamed with a fire that I still remembered, still felt every time my thoughts drifted to that life. But that life was gone, along with James Hook, the father.
The boy smiled broadly, his youthful face lighting up with pride. "It's no ordinary boy that can beat a savage pirate, Hook!"
His words stung my ears. Would he be proud if he knew that he was fighting an old man, ever so much more than thirty? Would the magic that kept him a youth disappear along with my facade? Perhaps Pan was like Smee, easily replaced when he grew too old, or died. I doubted it. This boy had the same fire as he did when I first sailed into Neverland, that same passionate hate for aging. He was like Erik in so many ways - both had told me they would never grow old, and both had succeeded. At least Peter got to enjoy his youth.
A sudden jolt shook me, and I felt warmth spreading across my stomach. I looked down. Blood seeped from an open wound on my chest. Pan had struck me while I thought of him. How clever, to kill me in my weakness. My legs trembled, but I held my ground. I looked at Peter, who was grinning smugly in his triumph. I felt oddly reflective.
"... Why kill me, Pan?"
He looked confused. Finally, he set his hands on his sides and declared, "It's always been my duty to kill pirates!" He showed off his stained blade with satisfaction.
My legs gave way, and I fell to my knees. Blood pounded in my ears, and I was unable to think. I wanted to look at the boy - my last sight should be the ignorant child who killed me - but found myself incapable of facing him.
"... Hook?" he asked, taking a cautious step forward.
I struggled to catch my breath, my head swimming from the blood loss. "Yes, Peter?" I could only manage to glance at him.
Peter chewed on his lip for a moment. "What's the matter with you?"
How green. Does he know nothing of death?
"I'm dying, boy. You've seen to that quite nicely."
"Oh," he said. I heard his light footsteps approach me, and I closed my eyes, braced for death. I muttered a prayer to gods I never believed in, hoping they would let Erik visit me in Hell.
I felt a light touch on my shoulder. I felt my throat tighten, and I wanted to cry. Strange, that his touch should urge me to cry.
His warmth pulled me back in front of an old fireplace, and to a man stretched out with a boy on a rug. The boy wanted to be a pirate, or a prince, or perhaps a Pharaoh. He hadn't decided yet. The man was a sailor, content to embellish his work stories of a rogue pirate captain into adventures with Indians, mermaids, and boy-fairies.
"Erik," the man said. "You're getting older, and soon you'll have to grow up."
"Grow up?" the boy asked.
"Yes, grow up."
Erik gave his father a stubborn look, screwing up his nose in a boyish way. "Father, you know I'm never going to grow up!"
James Hook smiled at his son patiently. "I know you think that - or hope for that, rather - but every boy must grow up into a man. Look at me. I used to be your age, you know. But I grew up, as boys must do, and--"
"NO!" Erik shoved his father to the side, and ran from the home. Childhood tears ran down his cheeks, blinding him as he rushed into the street. The tears stopped when a speeding carriage threw his small body across the street, leaving a trail of blood in his wake. No one stopped to bother with the child. The father threw himself over the limp body, but didn't cry.
The next day, my heart still raging, I murdered my shipmates and became the captain of the Jolly Roger. I left James Hook crumpled next to his dead son, still unable to cry.
A huge wave rocked the Jolly Roger, and I was jolted back to his ship, my bleeding wound, and my killer. Pan now had both his arms around my neck, but he said nothing. He was looking at me with something akin to pity.
I coughed, bits of blood coating my lips. I swallowed, unsure of what to do about the boy holding me. He looked sad. Could Peter feel sadness? I thought fairies were unable to feel. Was Peter a real boy, after all? A real, solid boy, with desires, and hate, and love -- like Erik.
I wrapped an arm around Peter, hugging him close. Erik hadn't died. No, he had simply come here to escape from me and my demands. Erik was a boy, as he was meant to be, and he would live here happily with me at his side. I stared at Pan's face - Erik's face. I smiled, a kind smile I hadn't used in many years, and I cried. Finally.
Peter's eyes suddenly looked cold.
"I'm not your son," he whispered.
I feigned deafness, and slumped, lifeless, against my son's body.