Fractures - a series of 'What ifs'
The future is as fragile as spun glass. A look one way or another, the lift of hand or eyebrow, the emphasis on this word or that one, all of these may send one future crashing to the floor and raise another one up from the shards.
Often the one shattered and the one risen are so similar as to be indistinguishable to the blinkered eye of man, and most would say nothing changed; but there are times where the shattering is potent, when whole worlds may hang in the balance of a moment and the pattern of fractures upon the glass.
1. The Blow
The blow sent Jack Sparrow reeling, pitching his mind into dizzying darkness and igniting fireworks of pain through head and body.
Even as he was falling to the depths he struggled to re-orientate himself towards the light, pushing up against the crushing weight of water, feeling it resist his rise. Seeing the shadow of the creature in the gloom he felt the tentacle tighten to hold him fast as the darkness closed against his eyes, and for a moment he thought himself lost again.
A roar cut through the horror and an insistent and familiar voice whispered that he could not fall this time; that he must rouse himself, fight back. So he sought the surface again, struggled upwards, kicking out against the shadow. It held him a moment longer then the cold retreated allowing light and feeling to come flooding back.
The world returned. A wet deck beneath his cheek, the rain beating down upon his out flung hand, then finally bleak day pushing the grey mist from before his eyes. Around him he could hear the sounds of battle, the rage of a man in bitter pain, the splintering of wood, and as he opened his eyes he saw the tentacle moving across the deck its precious load clutched to it. Unnoticed he reached out with an unsteady hand to pluck the key for himself then looked around to find the chest.
Jones saw him as he straightened and Jack tightened his grip on his broken sword as Bootstrap was thrown aside one last time and Jones came towards him his clawed leg slipping slightly on the bloody decks. Jack looked past him to the pair of rag dolls tossed so carelessly in a corner, all striving and suffering finally ended on the point of a sword. Love's bond now just a ribbon of life blood smudged by the rain.
He looked up again and met the eyes of Davy Jones, felt the pieces of his past come together, and ended the life that he held in the palm of his hand without a word