Disclaimer: I don't own Pirates of the Caribbean
"Hurry, Charlotte! Follow me!" George Crawford yelled to his eight year old daughter. His beloved ship—named after his daughter of course—Charlotte's Secret, was being destroyed. Debris was flying everywhere as the monster that sailors and pirates alike only dreamed of obliterated the ship. George Crawford was only interested in saving his daughter as the rest of his crew were either dead or scrambling to save their own lives.
Charlotte sprinted across the creaking deck of the ship, trying to stay on her father's heels the best she could. Yet every time she got closer to him, wreckage got in her way. As hard as she tried she grew farther and farther away from her father.
"Papa!" she screamed as water rained down on them from above. But storm clouds were nowhere to be found in the vast blue sky. Above them was an enormous tentacle that towered over the ship, it began to fall and men struggled to get out of its path. Screams filled the air.
The tentacle fell, slashing the ship in half and separating George Crawford and Charlotte. Each on a different half of the sinking ship, it was impossible to reach each other now. Charlotte covered her head with her arms, attempting to save herself from any falling debris. She ignored any of the crew's screams and focused on her father.
"I'm alright, darling! Just stay where you are! You'll be fine! Get on one of the longboats and get as far away from here as you can. Find land and find Mama!" George Crawford yelled in a rushed tone over all the screams and the groaning of the ship as the beast tore it apart. Charlotte shook her head at him, her long, dark hair flowing recklessly around her round, freckled face.
"No, Papa! I'm not leaving without you! You have to let me help!" she pleaded desperately, her eyebrows drawing together in worry and terror as one of the monster's tentacles began to snake its way towards George Crawford. He pulled out his sword and began hacking away at the thing even though it just made a bloody mess.
"Go, Charlotte! I'll find you, I promise!" he yelled, trying to mask any fear in his voice as he fought the slimy tentacle. But Charlotte continued to refuse, beginning to search for a way to her father. With the clever eye she had, she spotted part of the ship that had surged upward. If she could climb it, she could manage to jump and land on the opposite deck.
Charlotte moved as fast as she could, nimbly maneuvering her way around the wreckage and up the slippery deck. But she was too late, as if she could've helped her father anyway. The beast had wrapped its tentacle arm around George Crawford and yanked him away. He flew through the air and his screams were silenced as he was dragged to the dark depths of the ocean.
Charlotte screamed, tears flowing rapidly down her face.
"Papa!" she called, desperately searching the water for her father. But he was nowhere to be seen. Charlotte yelled herself hoarse anyway, sniveling and blubbering over her sobs, as the Kraken continued to tear the ship apart.
She began to feel the wood of the deck snap and groan even louder under her feet. The entire ship trembled as it began its descent to the bottom of the sea. Charlotte attempted to grab a hold onto the long plank she had been standing on but the wood was too slippery. Under the pressure of the beast, the plank snapped and Charlotte fell, expecting to fall into the sea. But her hands instinctively reached out to grab something and she did. Unfortunately, she got caught on the jagged wooden boards of the deck.
The wood scraped against her hands and the sharp planks jabbed into her stomach. She screamed in pain as the wood cut her, slicing deep into her skin and making warm liquid slide down her belly. She immediately let go from the pain, plunging into the Caribbean sea. She screamed again, feeling her hat fly off her head but she managed to snatch it back from the air just as she sunk beneath the surface.
Charlotte kept her eyes clenched shut for a moment as she sank and when she opened them, she saw what was only described in horror stories. The giant octopus that she had heard tales about. It would suck your face clean off with a flick of its arm, it was the gateway to Davy Jones' Locker, its breath smelled of ten thousand souls lost at sea, its roar would shake you to your very bones. The Kraken.
Now, even though Charlotte Crawford was a smart girl, she hadn't once considered the idea that Davy Jones and his crew of misfits could be nearby. Fear had overridden her thoughts with the trauma of losing her father. And the only thing that occurred to her was to get away.
She let out a gasp of horror at the humongous beast before kicking her little legs as hard as she could to get away from the wreck, ignoring the piercing pain in her stomach. She didn't get far before she tired out and shock had taken over her mind and body. She doggy-paddled for a bit, blood tainting the water around her, until a piece of deck floated nearby. It was still intact and strong enough to hold her weight.
Charlotte hauled her exhausted self onto the driftwood and just laid there. Seagulls flew overhead and all was silent except for their calls. Charlotte's Secret had long disappeared below and all that remained were the dead and debris. Charlotte had begun to feel woozy and wanted to do nothing but lie there forever. And it wasn't long before her eyelids began to flutter and her mind went at ease.
A calm day for the Flying Dutchman. No trouble, not that they encountered any anyway, and it had been easy sailing all day. Under the water. The crew enjoyed the easy work, lollygagging for as long as they could before they resurfaced.
Jones had sent his pet after a nicely-sized schooner that was sailing nearby. Pirates or not, he had hoped the ship and the men on it had been eliminated. Half of his crew was off watch but the other half was hardly working at all. Jones didn't feel like calling the men on watch to scold their laziness for he too wanted to keep the peace for as long as he could.
The Kraken would do her job and there wouldn't be any survivors that the crew would need to worry about. Jones would check of course, he always made sure but with little care. He was a bit absent-minded anyway. Tomorrow was the day. The day he could go ashore. They were already sailing to Isla de Cruces but slowly, the day wasn't until tomorrow.
And then the day after that was for the crew. One day on land for them, doing whatever they pleased. It was a break from the whip and a break from the constant work. Most did as any pirate would do: barge into a tavern in Tortuga, drink all the rum he could stomach, eat as much food as he could, relieve any carnal needs with numerous women, and perhaps steal a few valuable items for their trouble. Liar's Dice always needed new prize material.
There was always the newer members of the crew who thought their families and loved ones still remained loyal to them. But they were terribly mistaken. Their families always assumed the worse; death. And their loved ones were always found in the bed of another.
But still, it was the crew's choice on where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do on that day. And it did not matter to any of them if one experienced less happiness than the other. And their captain most certainly did not care.
Jones stood on the quarterdeck with one of his navigators, Greenbeard, at the helm and his first mate at his side. His eyes scanned the rest of the ship slowly, watching his sea-infested crew move freely about and doing the minimal. Luckily for them, the boatswain was off his watch under the water and so was his bullwhip.
Something tugged at Jones' mind and he knew, the Kraken had finished her job. The connection he had with his beast was unlike any other and the level of communication was advanced past the greatest scientists.
The captain had opened his mouth to speak to his first mate but became distracted as a small school of minnows passed by him. They circled his claw appendage with interest before lightly picking at the algae and other growths on his claw.
"Cap'n" Maccus proposed, his cautious eye not missing Jones' move to make an order. Jones snapped out of his reverie and shook the minnows away from him like they were vermin.
"Up. We've got a wreck to scavenge," he answered and Maccus nodded. He turned to Greenbeard who nodded as well to show he had heard the captain.
Pressure increased as the Flying Dutchman began to rise until she popped out of the water in a most graceful yet terrifying way. Seawater poured out of the gun deck and filtered off of the main deck as well, leaving the Dutchman glistening with the sea despite her rough appearance.
As the Dutchman readjusted to sailing on top of the water, the wreckage of the schooner became visible. The Kraken nowhere to be seen but the destruction she left behind remained. Bodies littered the beautiful Caribbean and cargo floated with them. Jones smirked, feeling satisfaction for a job well done.
He moved towards the railing of the ship, looking unexpectant as he scanned the water lazily for survivors. Dead bodies and debris were the only things to be found and Jones nodded in approval before turning away. But one his crew, Clanker, appeared, seeming to have something to report.
"Sir, off the starboard bow, there's a young lass. She appears to be wounded, might still be alive," he said, feeling a bit worried but was careful not to show it.
Jones paused, turning to face his crewman and noticing another behind him, Palifico. He thought for a moment before voicing his decision.
"Haul her aboard," he ordered and Clanker nodded, both men turning to fetch the girl.
It didn't take long, Clanker returning to the deck of the ship with the lightweight girl in his arms. He softly set her down and the other crewmen on the deck gathered around in interest. The girl couldn't be older than eight. She was dressed in blood-soaked, boy's clothes but her long hair that had fallen out of a plait said otherwise. Her face gave away her true sex as well. It was soft, her cheeks plump and freckled, her lips femininely shaped.
Her shirt was ripped right across the middle of her abdomen, the source of the blood appearing to be there. Jones assumed that there was a rather large gash there and that it would need to be sewn up before she bled out. If they were even going to save her.
The slow but steady rise and fall of her chest answered everyone's question, she was alive. But the next question was what would Jones do. He couldn't possibly press gang her, she was a tiny thing and not capable of the hard work the crew endured every day. He didn't know if she had a place to go but he certainly wouldn't travel across the ocean just to ensure this little girl's safety. And the last option, death?
It was a viable option. Quick, easy, could be painless. And he didn't have to deal with worrying about her later. Now, Davy Jones is not a compassionate person. He is merciless and cold. But killing a child just did not sit right with him. He could imagine it didn't sit with most of the crew either.
The child's wounds became more apparent as Jones walked closer. Her cheeks and hands were scuffed and small smudges of blood could be found on her skin. The wound on her abdomen did not look unfixable but it could be fatal if not treated correctly. But it was safe to say, she would live.
"What should be done, Captain?" a crew member spoke up and Jones didn't answer him for a moment. The crew looked to him, wondering if he would mercilessly kill this child or show kindness.
"Coxswain!" Jones called, his voice curt. Koleniko was at Jones' side in an instant.
"Charter a course towards the nearest trade route. But do not stray us from our original route," he said but Koleniko lingered.
"And the girl?" he asked. Jones turned back to look at the child.
"We will leave her with whomever we find first," he answered and Koleniko nodded, turning to take to his duty. The crew had begun to disperse, getting back to their work or getting back to slinking around but Jones spoke up again.
"Master Clanker! Ye will be in charge of this young'un," Jones said, gesturing to the unconscious girl at their feet with his claw.
With that, the group dispersed. She was only a child after all and the men did not fancy spending time with children. The idea was foreign to them, something that was reminiscent of an old life. Jones walked back to the quarterdeck, joining his navigator as the Dutchman continued its duties.
Left with the task of watching after the girl, Clanker wasn't quite sure what to do. He was almost afraid to pick up the fragile-looking child. To see someone with such innocence and purity was riveting.
But he had to put those thoughts out of his mind and focus on the need at hand. He figured he would just pull the girl out of the way of his busy mates. She needed medical attention of course but that would happen as soon as he found a place for her.
The lighting in the gun deck was poor but it would suffice if he wanted to keep the child away from the crew and he needed a place to work on her wound. He would check it in the sun to see if it was something he could patch up or if it was something he would need help with.
Clanker was no doctor but he knew his way around medical supplies. Quittance was the one to go to for serious injuries.
Before setting the girl into a more suitable position on her back, he gently lifted the hem of the girl's shirt until the entire wound was exposed. Blood had continued to seep slowly from the gash but it seemed as if the wound was not so deep as it was wide. It branched out like a lightning bolt across her tan abdomen and seemed to have already started to heal.
Clanker knew she was very lucky and all she needed was a few stitches. The gash did not hit any organs or arteries, it was fixable. It would scar though, and she would likely have it for the rest of her life. A sign of luck.
He decided to move her into the hold, he would have more space to clean her up there and if she woke, she wouldn't be frightened by the monstrous faces of his mates. He couldn't prevent her from seeing his face without warning but she would have to get over it.
Clanker had always had a soft spot for children, he had tons of younger brothers when he was a free man and he was often left to take care of them. He hadn't seen them in decades now. Seeing this rare form of life, a child, after so long was refreshing. And he, of course, felt the need to take care of her. Something that most of the crew would never even think to feel. Responsibility of others was a foreign custom to them. But not to Clanker and he intended to ensure this little girl's life until she was to leave. She was too young to die this way and she needed to live her life. It wouldn't be fair to let her die at such an age.
With those thoughts in mind, Clanker carefully picked up the child and carried her below the deck. He found a spot on the floor with the least amount of barnacles and brought a couple lanterns nearby for light. He modestly lifted the girl's shirt again, preparing to clean the wound with salt water. He also had a needle and thread nearby. What was a few stitches to ensure her wound healing properly? And bandages were nearby of course.
Clanker lightly dabbed the wound, wiping away any blood as well as cleaning the gash with the salt water. The girl was still out cold, luckily for her, she wouldn't have to endure the stinging pain. But she would be sore when she woke. Then he set to sewing her up, the wound only needed a few stitches. Everything else would heal by itself.
A bandage was wrapped around the girl's stomach to create an extra layer of protection from any disease and she was done. Clanker was content with his work and he put the child into a more comfortable position. He rested her in one of the crew's hammocks and sat on a small crate to wait for her to wake up.
While he waited, he examined the girl closer. She was rather tiny but had strong muscles and a good build. Her caramel skin proved that she could not have come from England. She had long, dark hair, nearly pitch black. Perhaps a Spaniard… Clanker could not tell her eye color but he assumed brown. Her cheeks were lightly dusted with freckles that only slightly stood out against her skin tone. She looked healthy yet by the looks of where she had come from, life was not too luxurious.
Clanker was pulled from his thoughts when the girl stirred…