Chapter 1 – On My Way Home

A large merchant ship was pulling away from the shore of Tortuga, the pirate port. The sailors ran around the deck, checking to see that every thing was in order. Little did they know, there was a stowaway aboard the vessel...

Erin, a girl of about fourteen, was hiding behind a large barrel and from the rancid odour coming from it, Erin could guess that it was raw fish. The smell didn't seem to bother her as she was used to this kind of thing, from living in the slums of Tortuga with her mother. Now however, Erin was curled up in the corner, slowly turning a bead bracelet in her hand. It was the only thing Erin owned which could be classed as somewhat valuable. The bracelet was a pretty little thing, with beads of different colours and just one charm. A crocodile tooth with a tiny skull chiselled into it.

The young teen smirked, for she could still remember the day she got that bracelet...

It was a sunny day in Tortuga. Even in the slums, there was a sense of small joy as the inhabitants left their homes for the local pubs to celebrate. Soon, the once busy streets were deserted - for all people went straight to the heart of Tortuga for a decent drink and a fight – and the only one around was a small, skinny seven year old girl. She had a long stick in her hand and was drawing with it in the mud. The drawing was a skull with two swords sticking out of it from either side.

"Hey, you!" she heard.

Little Erin looked up and saw a much older boy, advancing towards her. Grabbing her, he pinned her up against the wall.

"Wha' are you doin' drawing that? Don' you know only the dirties' filthies' traitors draw tha' sign?" his eyes were bulging as he screamed.

"Gerrofme! Gerroff!" yelled Erin and she did something that she knew she would regret .The evil boy screamed in pain as Erin's little foot gave him an almighty kick below the belt.

"You little wretch! You'll pay for that!" he shrieked in pain and punched Erin in the stomach.

Erin, all air knocked out of her, fell to the ground gasping. Even though she knew her eyes were wide open, the whole world was black and she couldn't see a thing... But she could still hear.

"Now I hardly think that was a fair fight, mate" said a third new voice. It had a joke like ring to it and the speaker sounded half asleep or perhaps just drunk. Erin's heart leapt. She knew that voice!

With great satisfaction, she heard the boy gasp and then stammer: "Sh-Sh-she was askin' for it! She was... She was drawing the mark!"

By now, the voice had lost all its dreaminess and had instead become firm and threatening: "Aye. And I, being the great Captain Jack Sparrow pride myself in sailing under it. So, unless you don't enjoy the feeling of your head on your shoulders, you'll leave now... Savvy?"

Jack Sparrow had barely finished before Erin heard the hurrying footsteps. The boy was already running away... Erin had to admit that it was a lucky thing, she had a notorious pirate for an uncle.

Suddenly, she felt big, strong hands grab her by the arms and hoist her up to her feet. Only then did Erin realise that her sight cleared and she was now looking up at a man with long brown dreadlocks, covered by a red bandana and brown three-pointed hat. He had a moustache and his beard was separated into two beaded strands. His black eyes lit up every now and again for some peculiar reason and he wore a black coat despite the heat, along with a big brown pair of boots. His sword hung at his side.

"You alright, luv?" he asked. He didn't look too concerned but it is nearly impossible to read Jack Sparrow's face. Either way, he was grinning. "That was quite a fight you put up. I'm impressed."

But Erin wasn't listening. She jumped up and hugged the man, shrieking joyously: "Uncle Jacky!"

Jack, embarrassed to have a little girl clinging to him put her down. He didn't want his name to become a laughing stock and people saying he'd gone soft. Still, it felt nice knowing someone was glad to see him and though he wouldn't admit it out loud he knew it felt even better that it was his beloved niece.

Calmed down, Erin and her uncle began walking down the streets, down to the house on the edge of Tortuga. On the way Erin was asking Jack so many questions, he found it hard to keep up.

"How's Grandad Sparrow then?" Erin inquired eagerly. Despite having never met him, she was still proud to have The Keeper of the Code as a grandfather and a Pirate Lord of the Caribbean for an uncle.

"What makes you think I've seen Cap'n Teague? Dad's got other things on his mind."

"Then what brings you here?"

"Was around so I dropped in to say hello"

Erin raised her eyebrows. If there was anything anyone should know about her uncle, it was that he didn't just "drop in to say hello" out of the blue. If Jack Sparrow's around, it means he wants something. Jack remained silent.

They reached the home of Erin's mother which was actually a small, dirty shack of a house with peeling paint and a certain dampness in the air. Cassandra Sparrow was Jack Sparrow's twin and they both looked extremely alike. Cassandra had the same long brown hair and black eyes, but they were cold and her lips lacked Jack's witty smirk. Even so, Jack Sparrow hurried in, telling a confused Erin to stay outside. He emerged after what felt like hours carrying a large piece of parchment. Kneeling down in front of Erin, he reached inside his coat and produced a small package no larger than her hand.

"No matter what should happen, luv, just remember you will always find home on the Black Pearl. If anything should happen tell them Jack Sparrow's your uncle... Might save your life," And with another big grin he was off.

Erin was left standing in front of the house, clutching the parcel. As soon as she'd caught up with her thoughts she opened the package and gasped. Inside was a bracelet that matched her uncle's beaded hair with one crocodile tooth for a charm with the same sign engraved on it that she had been drawing...

He left that following day and that was the last she had ever seen of Captain Jack Sparrow since...

Erin smirked once more. Her Uncle Jacky would never let her down. Even if he is known as a deceitful and treacherous man, he had always been a good one to her. He was practically a father to her as far as she can remember. The only problem is that: What if Jack does not recognise her? They look similar enough but Erin didn't know if her heart could take any more grief if her only uncle failed to remember her...

"He WILL remember. He HAS to!" she calmed herself and then smiled once again as she remembered the last words she had heard him say: "You will always find home on the Black Pearl."

"Well, Cap'n Jack," Erin whispered. "Get ready... Because you've got a new addition yer crew! I'm on my way home!"