DISCLAIMER: The DVD's at the top of my mom's Netflix queue. Surely that counts for something? No...?
I'd always thought I had only one family. Turns out I've been lucky enough to have three.
It was a silly thing to write, Charles thought. Silly and true.
He was in the hold of the Pirate Ship, using his free time to do a bit of journaling. Several piles of rope lay next to him, the knots in them having been soundly defeated - the things gave him no trouble now.
As they had traveled back to Blood Island, things had begun to change. Sailing the seas became more natural with each passing day. He hadn't been seasick in weeks, and his lessons from the Pirate Captain were finally proving effective. Realizing this, the captain was keeping him busy most of the time, just like the rest of the crew. He was slowly but surely finding a place in this group and learning every nail, knothole and splinter of the boat which he now called home.
There was a scuffling noise from above, and the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate dropped into the hold with an apple in his hand. "Evening, Charlie. You're a liar, you know that?" he said, taking a bite out of it and then playfully tossing it to Charles.
He caught it without even looking up from his book, for this had become a habit of theirs. "What did I do now?" he asked with a smile.
"You're not a coward."
Charles raised an eyebrow inquisitively. "Meaning?"
"You know what I mean."
He did, although he rarely thought of it. By an unspoken agreement, the crew refrained from discussing in detail what he had gone through that night. He had told them his story afterwards, but that was it. "It was something I said to get the better of him. What of it?"
"A real coward would've just killed him. I would've just killed him!"
"Now who's the liar?" He took a bite from the apple himself before tossing it back. "He was right about one thing, though."
"...And what would that be?"
He closed the journal and turned to face his friend. "He said I didn't deserve to survive."
"Don't tell yourself that - "
"Will you let me finish?
"My parents saved my life because they thought I was worth it. But what have I done with my life?"
The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate didn't answer.
"Exactly. Suppose I'd died fighting the Quartermaster. Why should anyone remember me? I never gave them reason to. They would have died in vain. They...they deserve better than what I've been." He reopened his journal. "So that's what I'm going to give them."
With a flourish, he wrote another sentence in the book; Someday, I will do something great.
The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate grinned. "Good plan."
"I hope so. But I'd like to keep it to myself for now, if you don't mind. We've already got plenty of excitement."
"Best secret keeper on the ship, that's me!"
Charles smirked. "What makes you so good at that, anyway?" he asked offhandedly.
To his surprise, the pirate fell silent. His voice quivered and seemed to get a little higher when he spoke again. "...Well..."
"And he's brought ham!"
The strange occurrence was quickly forgotten as the two joined their companions on deck. Sure enough, the Pirate Captain was strutting down the wharf with a nice large ham under his arm. "Don't just stand there, lads! I declare this evening to be Ham Night!"
"Alright, everyone settle down!" the captain told his crew once everything had been prepared. They were even happier than usual; the Pirate With A Scarf had even gone so far as to pull Charles into the seat next to him.
"Where have you been all day, Captain?" the Albino Pirate asked.
"Didn't I tell you? I've been to see the Pirate King!"
While they all sat patiently, the Pirate Captain spun his tale. According to the king, no trace of the Illuminati had been seen by his scouts. Although he had worried that some of them had survived to carry on their dark work, it was no apparent that they had been destroyed forever. The long war with them over, he had declared the day of their defeat a pirate holiday. The whole island had been taking this to heart, celebrating incessantly and heaping endless amounts of praise on the hero of the battle - a certain Black Bellamy.
"What?" everyone shouted.
"Yes, that's what I thought at first. But I must admit, he did save our skins back there. And anyway, I'm not done yet."
They leaned closer, anxious to hear more.
"You know that old book Bellamy gave me? Well, the king asked for it. He's going to write a history of the war and has asked me to assist him!"
He watched as excited gasps and chatter filled the hold. "Not that I took him up on the offer, if that's what you're thinking."
They fell silent once more. Mr. Bobo held up a card: ?!
"I said I was already occupied. A crew needs a captain, after all."
He was answered with smiles of approval. "And besides," he added, "we've already got our reward. We're alive, and the crew's gotten one man bigger! I'd say that's good enough for us, don't you?"
In that moment, all that mattered to Charles was the bright, happy faces of his friends and the exhilarating happiness inside him which he'd gone so long without. The past, the world outside, even the future briefly faded from his mind. There would be time for them later.
But for now, everything was perfect.
|~| The End |~|