Disclaimer: I do not own anything; all characters are property of L.A. Meyer, and so is the loose idea of the plot.
A/N: Just so eveyone knows, this was origonally a peice written for my english class, and we were doing a unit on the theatre of the absurd, so it quite possible could get a little out there, and a little over dramatic in the philisophical questions; that was part of the requirment. I, however, still liked the final out come, so I put it on here. I hope you enjoy.
Jacky, Jacky, Jacky
The name ran through my head becoming my only focus. My actions, the world around me, were all just background to that name.
Jacky – she was my life and now she was gone.
She was gone and I think I may have been slowly losing my mind.
I had always looked down upon the people and behaviors my parents had called unseemly, but now I got it; in fact I envy those people who are so lost in their own minds that reality – everyone else's reality – did not exist anymore.
"Jacky," the name slipped out of my mouth unannounced and startled me; it startled me in the way it sounded the same to my ears. It did not sound different; it did not sound as if the monumental loss to my life had actually happened.
Life, for everyone else, had just moved on. Sure it was sad, but the world kept on going.
I sagged against the trunk of a palm tree, abandoning the work I had only been pretending to do. The energy seeped out of me; the small will I had been retaining vanished like a cloud of smoke.
What was I doing? Why am I here? If Jacky could leave without the slightest ripple remaining than surely no one could mind if I did the same. At that moment quitting, giving up, seemed so much easier, more possible, than continuing on in that state.
I closed my eyes, blocking out all sense I had of the world and bringing back the last moment I saw her – the moments before she floated away out of my grasp.
I could see her floating further and further away on that godforsaken death trap Tilly called the future.
I never should have let her get in that thing – I knew she didn't want to go in the first place – I should have been a man and put my foot down. I should have been brave and protected her.
Although who would have listened to a ships boy – or a midshipman, though a ships boy was all I was at the time – whose own parents had paid to get rid of him.
Who am I to anyone? I am no one lost in a sea of no ones that make up the world.
What's the point? Is there a point? Was there ever a point to all this?
I shouldn't have let go of the string tethering the kite and her to the ground. That's what someone brave would have done, hold on to that string until he brings his girl down or drowns with her.
As I sat, captivated by the images my memory brought, I started calling back sound and feelings.
She went up seemingly without a hitch; the kite went so high she became nothing but a tiny dot.
The whole time, of course, my heart was in my throat. Tilly was a damn fool if he thought he could defy the laws of nature and not be punished for it. Man was not meant to be in the air; otherwise we would have been born with wings.
The kite just wasn't natural, and that whole thing was going to end badly.
For a few moments, the kite and Jacky drifted at the end of the string, and for a few brief, blissful moments my panic subsided.
Then a gust of wind started to up root the tree that was holding her to the ground and all hell broke loose.
Panic ensued as all present grabbed onto the rope, and then one by one all fell off as the pull became too much for them.
My hands burned as the rope got pulled through them and my feet refused to plant themselves into the fine slippery sand. I was slowly being pulled forward and there was nothing I could do to stop it; there was nothing I wanted to do to stop it.
For that small fraction of time, I was going to be brave; I was either going to save my girl or die trying.
The captain's orders put a stop to that, "Get that boy off the line! I will not lose two men to that damn contraption!"
I was pulled off the rope then, my arms to weak to stop them.
I flopped down on to the beach, and admitted defeat as my Jacky floated away and my heart shattered.
I pulled away from that painful memory and back into my equally bleak present.
I lived more in that memory than in the present; that may have been the root cause of my insanity, or the only thing keeping me tethered to reality.
I was too far gone to know the difference.
I was too far gone to care if there was one.
I covered my face with my hands and groaned. I just wanted this all to stop, "Oh Jacky."
It was faint, nothing more than a whisper in the wind, but I heard it none the less, and I could have been sure…
"Jacky?" I looked around frantically. It was impossible; she had drowned over a day ago. Yet… I'd know that voice anywhere I am sure of that.
Again the wind came floating through the leaves and that soft voice surrounded me, "Jaimy."
I half dragged myself up and looked through the straggly trees and palms I was hiding amongst. I couldn't see anything but trees and a hint at the rest of the crew off in the distance.
"Jack—" the word was half out of my mouth when loud footsteps turned my attention behind me.
"Oi, Fletcher," Davy stomped to me, "What do you think you're doing sulking around back here while everyone is working."
I grimaced and turned away, "Sod off, Davy."
"That is no way for a Midshipman to talk," Davy quipped ignoring my request, "You know, Captain is going to be none to please to hear his new Middy is out in the back woods feeling sorry for himself."
I snapped and told Davy exactly where I felt he should go.
He was silent after that, but refused to take the hint I wanted him to go.
"Look, sorry mate, the last one was out of line, but honestly, you can't just sit around and not do work – people are starting to notice and not in a good way," he said after a long moment had past.
I stared bleakly ahead of me, "I don't care."
"I get it, I do – I lost her too," he sat down beside me, "but everyone lost someone in one of those battles – it's the life of the navy. They don't know the truth and the sure as heck are not going to let you get away with just sitting here."
Ignoring him and hoping he would go away had been my plan until something he said sparked something in me.
I finally looked at him. I mean I really looked at him; I let all my emotions out to play on my face.
"No, you don't get it. I. Don't. Care. About anything. Nothing matters to me anymore," my voice was coloured with a bleak defeated pain, "Without Jacky nothing seems to be worth the effort – not even living."
Davy stared at me for a very long time; as if he couldn't think of a response or didn't want to.
Then after a slight shake of his head, "You really loved her didn't you?"
"What is love really? A word, a concept?" I replied airily looking away again, "but I guess for lack of a better word, yeah I do…did."
Silence engulfed us again.
My world lately had been nothing but silence; that may have been another factor in my failing sanity. I didn't have to be anything for the silence. It allowed me to fall back into a world that didn't exist… anymore; maybe it never did.
Talking forced me to remain in the present, remain sane.
So maybe Davy was good for me; although I didn't really want anything good for me at the moment. I was happy – or as close to that emotion as I was ever going to get – in my present shattered state.
"You know," Davy hedged slowly after a long moment, "she isn't the only girl in the world… the only one on the ship, yes, but the world no."
I stiffened suddenly, "and your point is?"
"Well… my point is you can get over this and get yourself another girl – I mean Jacky was special and all… though she wasn't really that pretty – OW! What was that for?"
I had snapped and hit Davy over the head, "for saying Jacky wasn't pretty."
"Well, it's true," Davy continued defensively, " I mean, come on Jaimy, she got away with being a boy for well over a year… though now that I know it was pretty obvious – and her face was always sort of pointy… like a mouse, and that scar from Bliffil – Ow! Will you stop doing that?"
"Only if you stop talking like that," I knew my face was murderous.
Davy conceded holding his wound, "Sorry, she was very uniquely pretty in her annoying Jacky way."
I nodded curtly as a response.
The silence that followed was broken only by Davy's muttered curses and insistence that violence hadn't been necessary.
"Davy, what do you think happens to us when we die?" the question was out of my mouth before I even thought about it.
"Well… it's like the preacher and everyone says – if your good you go to heaven, if your not you go to hell," Davy said after only a slight hesitation.
I nodded slowly. It was the answer I expected; it was the answer I would have given only a few days ago, but now…
"Yes… but what if you don't? What if they are wrong" I asked him the questions that had been plaguing me for the better part of two days. Once I started it was like I couldn't stop, "How do they know this big secret that no one else is told; everyone has to just take them on faith, but what if faith is wrong? What proof do they have? What person has been coming back from the dead and whispering all this in their ears? … How do we know?"
Davy looked stunned, but continued on gamely, "well… when you put it that way… I guess you don't; you just believe or you don't… and in the end you're right or you're wrong."
I was quite surprised at how quickly my friend was picking up my sporadic, unstable thoughts.
Who questioned God? He had his ways and we were supposed to follow. I, however, couldn't follow. I was not only questioning his reasons but his very existence.
That had to be a one-way ticket to Hell… if there even was one.
"That leads us back to my original question then – What does happen if we're all wrong?" I asked my voice slipping into a grave almost desperate tone.
Davy shrugged, "Then we're wrong – then I guess we're just… gone."
I stared unseeingly ahead for a long time. His words left a cold pit in my stomach and yet at the moment they felt truer than what everyone else had been telling me.
It didn't feel like Jacky was watching over me, waiting for me to live my life then join her. Instead I just felt like she was gone – full stop. There's a small hole where Jacky Faber once was.
"Well then what's the point?" I finally turned to Davy and asked.
Davy shrugged, "Right now the point is to go back to the ship before the bo'sun and his cat come looking for us."
Nighttime was the worst. There was nothing to distract my brain from the dark thoughts that floated in there.
At night there was no avoiding the truth.
In the day time I could just pretend that Jacky was some where else, doing something else; at night it was impossible. There had never been a time when I couldn't see where Jacky was at night.
Even changing sleeping areas didn't help. I still couldn't runaway from what I knew. She was dead and gone.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I got up and snuck back onto the ship. The tilt kept everyone on the mainland. I was alone.
I crept down to our old sleeping area and stared at the hammock that we shared; we had forgotten to take down the day she … left.
Suddenly, bitter rage filled my mouth and pulsed through my veins. I tore down the hammock and flung it away from me across the lower decks; I then proceeded to do the same with several other items that got in my way.
Chest heaving, rage still running through me, I realized I wasn't mad at these random objects, I was angry at Tilly. It was his blasted kite that took her away.
I wanted to do damage to Tilly's belongings, and maybe to Tilly himself. I took a step forward planning to do just that.
The only thing that stopped me was the soft whisper that surrounded me and sent my spin tingling.
I spun around.
This time I defiantly heard it. I was alone, deep in the ship; there was absolutely nothing else to mask the sound.
It was her; it had to be.
"Jacky? Where are you?"
I lost all reserve and tore down the length of the lower deck.
Each step I took was followed by that strange whisper that sounded so much like the girl I loved, and yet logic told me it couldn't be.
I climbed up to the main deck, the voice still going yet no face or source to be seen.
"Jacky," my voice broke; I wouldn't be able to take much more of this, "Please."
Then suddenly, just like that, there she was, "Allo Jay-mee."
She was floating in front of the entrance to the Captain's cabin and dressed in the thin dress she had purchased in Kingston.
I staggered to a halt.
She was here, but she wasn't. Her image was flickering in and out as if she couldn't completely be in this world anymore.
"Jacky… are you real?" I breathed; I couldn't believe this was actually happening. It couldn't be real, and yet I so wanted it to be.
She floated a little higher before sinking back down, "I don't know. What is real, Jay-mee?"
Her voice kept slipping back into the accent she had adopted back in Kingston to fool Davy and Tink.
"I can't believe this…" I said more to myself, "Are you actually here?"
"I don't know Jay-mee; I could be," suddenly mid-sentence she disappeared. I spun around, panic rising in my chest at the idea of losing her again. Where did she go? Her voice continued from the rigging, "Then again, I might also not be – that's for you to decide Jaimy."
I peered through the darkness to see her again in the ratlines above my head; she was now back in her ships boy outfit, and any trace of the Kingston accent had melted away.
I slowly walked towards the ratlines, "Are you a ghost?"
A believer of spirits, I never really had been, but lately I had come to find my thoughts countering all my old beliefs.
"That I could be Jaimy – anything's possible my love – but that also means it is possible that I am not," she replied starting to climb up the rigging towards the mitzentop.
Jumping on to the ratlines I followed; I was not going to let her disappear on me again.
A few feet up, however, the chase proved pointless as she just vanished from mid-air.
"Jacky! Jacky!" I called franticly before sinking into the ropes dejectedly, "This is hopeless. It's more likely a dream than not anyways."
"True Mr. Fletcher, but that doesn't mean it isn't real," she called up to me, appearing below in the blue and white dress I had only ever saw her sew, never wore.
My breath caught a little.
Even translucent she was beautiful.
"I love you Jacky Faber," I said, finally letting the questions go.
"And I you, Jay-mee," she said smiling.
I watched as she slowly faded away.
The voice reduced back to what it had always been – a mystic whisper surrounding me, the wind blowing through the leaves.
"Good-Bye Jacky," I whispered once I was sure she was gone for good.
I felt oddly calm as I snuck back to my tent.
She was gone, but maybe that was just the way things were meant to be.
Maybe that was the point.
"Jaimy, Jaimy! She's alive! She's alive," Davy ran across the beach making me drop what I had been working on.
I had forced myself to care that morning.
"What? What are you talking about?" I asked trying to hold down the hope that was sparking in my chest, "whose alive?"
Davy broke into a crazy grin, "Jacky she's—I mean he's alive."
Davy looked around sharply, checking to see if anyone had noticed his slip up as I processed what he was telling me.
I froze, "What are you—are you sure – you better not be … but how?"
"The Brotherhood – the look out noticed smoke off that-a-way – it was going off and on again – a smoke signal – in threes, threes, that's our number, that's our signal, it has to be Jacky!" Davy's energy was catching.
Three, that couldn't be a coincidence, it had to be her. Besides, how many people really are there out there looking for help?
She's alive! She had to be!
I took off to find the Captain; I had to help; I had to know what we were doing.
It was only hours later, once things had settled into a rhythm, that I remembered the night before.
It had felt so real… and yet if she was alive than it couldn't have been – could it?
"What is real, Jay-mee?" That was what she had asked me, and now I had an answer.
I had no idea.
I had no idea what was real.
I had not idea what the point was.
Maybe there just wasn't one.