Hi hi! Lol.
I feel like Davy's a little outta character in this chapter... but probably just because he's dealing with a child who's not YET part of the crew. Hehe. I have this completely crazy, wild, random idea that he likes kids. I'm not sure why... he's got to have a soft spot for SOMETHING besides Calypso. Plus because Penrod is so small, he was probably only a kid when he joined too. I dunno, just something I saw in another author's story and it kinda makes sense.
Hope you guys likee!
It was probably close to a week before I met the Flying Dutchman's captain - the infamous Davy Jones. I'd heard the stories, of course, from my father, but I was curious (though not painfully anxious) to discover what the man - if indeed he were a man - was truly like. I wondered if he was any more or less than I'd been told.
Koleniko had washed and bandaged the atrocity on my back, but I was lucky that Jimmy Legs hadn't deemed that I needed extra punishment. (Even if he had, Niko would have barricaded the door and refused to let him near me while I was in that sorry state.) The water stung on the then-fresh wounds, but at least he used the rainwater he'd collected. The storage of drinking water was usually stale and mixed with rum to hide the taste, which would have clawed at my sliced back much worse. He gave me some of that to drink after he washed my back; nothing else was on the ship to drink. It was first time drinking anything with rum, and it wasn't awful. It was cloying and sweet, warming me from the inside.
He put some ointment on it too, but he wouldn't tell me what it was. It burned horribly at first, and I thought I was going to die then, if only from sheer pain. After a moment, however, it calmed down and felt cool and soothing. I got more rum-water after that - I think Koleniko just felt guilty that he made me scream so much, so he gave me a few long sips each time. (And took some himself, of course, though that was likely him trying to get too drunk to remember the whole thing ever occurring. I don't think it took.)
He even managed to find me a playmate from the crew. His name was Hadras, and he was wonderful company. He was childlike, and therefore the perfect companion for a child like me. I couldn't see his one eye, because a conch shell had grown about his head, but that didn't stop me from making a quick friend of him.
He was the one I'd heard crying when Jimmy Legs whipped me; he'd asked Koleniko if he could see me on the second day, presumably because of all the shrieking I'd done as Niko patched me up. Hadras told me he didn't think it right to see a young lass like me being tortured by Jimmy Legs's cat for no reason, and that made me feel good. Someone else cared about me.
When Niko couldn't be with me, he usually trusted Hadras to take care of me. And he was sweet to me too, tending to every detail and giving me anything I asked for. He even washed my hair - which by this time was thick with dry seawater and matted with its salt, entangled with kelp, and knotted.
He was very gentle with me, working slowly through each strand. As he did, he would teach me songs in Japanese, which was his first language. My favorite was "Paper Moon", which was a scary story about witches and fortune-telling and trying not to let the evil ones outdo you. His favorite was "Kesenai Tsumi", which meant "indelible sin", though neither of us truly grasped the meaning of the word indelible. (Hadras thought it meant "unforgivable", but I swore indelible meant something you couldn't eat. Like that raw fish from earlier.)
I liked learning Japanese from Hadras. So far he'd taught me how to say "Konichiwa! Mercy desu. Genki desu ka?" That meant "Hello! I'm Mercy. How are you?" And "ohayou!", which was just "good morning". Sometimes he'd ask me "Daijoubou desu ka?" if he was worried about me, because that's "Are you alright?"
Over the few days that Hadras tended to me, we became best friends. There was no one else on the ship like him; he was so much younger than the others, as was I. He was careful how he treated me, and didn't do anything he knew would hurt me. He knew how bad it hurt to receive a lashing from Jimmy Legs, and was very deliberate if he had to touch my back.
The one day he was with me, braiding my hair, I was in quite a bit of pain from my back. He had me lying on my stomach, so he could reach me and so I didn't have to be on my back. He'd just combed through my hair the same morning, so it didn't hurt much. "D'you know where Niko is?" I mumbled, rubbing at my eyes. "He told me he change the bandages t'day."
Hadras gave me a sympathetic, sad smile. "We fighting strong current t'day," he replied. "Koleniko is good navigator... him 'n' Greens got to keep on course. Dun' t'ink he be doing it an'time soon, Jihi-chan." (Jihi is my name in Japanese! Chan is just tacked on the end because I'm his friend.)
I groaned and let my head fall down, back onto the hammock's netting. "Y're not goin' to do it either, are you, Hadras?"
"Can't," was his simple answer. "I'd hurt ye."
I blew some air out of my mouth, pouting even though he couldn't see it. "I was afraid you'd say that."
Then all of a sudden, the door swung open at the top of the stairs. I couldn't see very well, but someone was there - someone with a rather large build. A voice called out, "Hadras!" From what I knew the accent was Scottish. And the speaker was male. And he clearly liked to enunciate his words. "Ye're needed tae fix up the shrouds. Go on, I gotta talk ta the lass."
Hadras quickly laid my nearly-done hair down on the side of the hammock so it hung over. "Yes, Captain!" He got up and touched my face lovingly. "See you soon, Jihi-chan." He waved as he hurried up the steps and past the shadowy figure.
"Captain"? Oh. So this meant I was finally going to meet the legendary Davy Jones.
The man took a few steps down the stairs, the sound echoing loudly with each one. "Mercy?" It was a bit funny - when he said my name, it sounded like "Mare-see". But it wasn't something that grated on my nerves; it was rather endearing, actually.
I blinked, not sure of what I was going to see. "Captain? Oh, it's good I get to meet you, sir."
"Aye, I've been waitin' till Koleniko said ye were well enough." He stepped into the relative light, and I got my first glimpse of him. For one thing, his beard was made of tentacles and was constantly moving. It was a bit unnerving, but for the most part I was fine with it. I'd seen scarier fish than an octopus, even if said octopus was part of a man's face. His one leg looked like a peg leg, but it was crimson like a crab's, and his one hand was a claw.
He came closer, and I could tell he was waiting for me to do something, say something, so he could gauge my reaction to his appearance. "Lass? Ye feelin' righ'?"
I blinked again. "Yes, sir. I been waitin' to meet my captain."
He nodded, probably not sure what to think of me yet. "Mind if I have a sit?"
I moved my legs swiftly as I could, so there was a place for Davy on the hammock. "No mind at all, Captain."
He carefully sat down, causing my makeshift bed to rock and sway till he steadied himself. He looked ahead out the small porthole, which was infested with barnacles, before speaking to me. "I hear' the bo'sun gave ye some lashin's the very second me first mate pulled ye from the sea." He glanced down at me, then continued. "I dinnae doubt it, but seein' the results fer meself... it be a bit shockin' on firs' look."
I managed to shoot him a smile. While I wasn't exactly livid with Jimmy Legs anymore, his cat o' nines was something I'd like to avoid in the future. "Oh, I think I deserved it, Captain Jones. After all, if I'm to be in the crew, I need to know what a proper lashing feels like - so I know to behave myself an' do as I'm told. So, anyway, Captain... you're a bit different than I expected, what with you being Davy Jones an' all."
He let out a noise that sounded like a snort, and his tentacles moved ever so slightly. "I had no though' tha' ye would say otherwise. Wha' did ye expect, lass?"
I looked at him for a minute, really studying him. Then I shrugged, reaching to fiddle with the loose bandage on my chest. At last I replied with, "You're taller than I imagined you'd be."
A somewhat bitter laugh escaped his mouth. "Oh? Am I now?"
"Yes sir," was my nearly immediate response.
He shook his head after this. "Ah, lass..." He pulled out a pipe, but he didn't light it. Instead he just slipped it between his lips, teeth clenching around it thoughtfully. "Ye know, lass... we haven't had a child like ye on the crew before. O' course, Maccus 'n' Koleniko and certainly Hadras... they'd all love ta have ye stay. But some o' the others... the bo'sun, Quittance, even Ratlin... they ain't exac'ly too trustin' of ye." He sighed and looked at me again. "Lass, I'd never throw ye over - ye're jus' a child. I'm heartless, but I ain't wit'out decency. So I'm givin' ye a choice. Ye can either work in the galley wit' Old Haddy, er ye can work wit' Bill, swabbin' the deck. Which would ye rather do?"
I thought about it for a minute, really thought about it. If I was belowdecks in the galley, I'd get close company with one person, Old Haddy - but maybe too close. Working up on the deck, I'd probably get to know more of the crew - and I'd get to see Niko and Hadras more. (And Maccus, and Palifico.) "I can swab the deck, sir."
"Good. Ye can start as soon as ye feel up to i'. Should be tomorrow er day after?"
I shrugged, shifting in my hammock. "If that's when you want me to start working, sir."
"Aye, tha' should be fine then. So..." He glanced down at me yet again, looking as if he weren't sure what to say now. He used a tentacle to lift up his tricorn and scratch his head before he finally decided what to say. "Eh... anythin' else ye be needin'?"
I pursed my lips. "Well... Jimmy Legs, he won't flog me if I do my duties, will he? I mean, he's done it already when I didn't do anything wrong..."
He shook his head. "Cannae promise ye much, lass. The bo'sun has high standar's, 'n' if ye dinnae live up tae 'em, ye be gettin' a bit o' a lashin'. How many di' he give ye the firs' dae?"
"Aye, tha' be his usual fer small things. Jus' tread ligh'ly round him. Dinnae worry, lass - if he pulls somethin' like wha' I see he's done tae ye here, ever does i' again fer not'in, he'll be th' one gettin' lashed."
I frowned just a little bit at that. Jimmy Legs certainly wasn't as lovable as, say, Hadras - but I didn't want anyone to go through the pain I was enduring. Not even Jimmy Legs; and it seemed as though Davy would crack the whip much harder. "Oh, no, Captain Jones - please don't whip him. I do think a nice, stern talking-to would get it in his head."
Davy just stared at me for a moment, then chuckled lowly. "Ye really dinnae know how things run on me ship, do ye, lass? Well, we'll be fixin' tha' soon anyhow." One of his tentacles patted me on the head, then he stood up. "I'll be sendin' Hadras back down then."
As he turned, I thought I saw something glint silver beneath his beard. And being a curious little cabin girl, I had to ask. "Wait, Captain! Are you wearin' a necklace? Can I see it?"
He sighed, but faced me again. One tentacle reached in among the others, and after a few seconds procured a small but very elegant locket. It was cast in silver, in the shape of a heart with various little details that I never would have been creative enough to think of. "'S a music box as well," he muttered, lowering it down just enough so I could see it.
"It's right beautiful," I breathed, though I was in too awkward of a position (and too tired) to reach for it. "Who gave it to you? Your mum or your dad?"
He sook his head, and brought the locket to his own eyes. "Nae. This was given tae me long ago, lass, before ye were even a pup in yer mama's belly. Her name was Calypso. She's the mos' lovely lass in the worl', but dinnae let that fool ye. She has quite th' temper, 'n' she be changin' her mind so fas' 'n' so oft it'll make ye dizzy. Plays a song she made up, i' does. I's fer both of us... she got one looks exac'ly like this one."
"How long's it been since you seen her, Captain?"
"Years, lass. Been years."
I blinked a few times. "If you love her, why don't you see her more? Every day, I mean?"
He hid the locket again, back in his beard, and turned away from me. "Ye be gettin' yer sleep now, lass. Day after t'morrow, ye'll be workin' wit' Mister Turner. G'nigh' now."
And he was gone. I didn't even see him walk up the stairs; he was just gone.
I wondered, if he loved this Calypso girl so much, why was he pretending like he didn't?
Well, I learned early that my captain was a very confusing man, anyway.
Mwahaha! About the Japanese songs - yep, they're modern ones, but we can pretend. We can pretend, right? LOL. Cuz even when you translate them, it sounds like something that COULD be in that era... just close yer eyes 'n' pretend, me beauties...
Ah, Captain Jones. He really IS confusing, isn't he? Hehe!
Thanks for reading! ^^