Tribble for the Challenge: Shadow of a Dream

Author: Honorat

Rating: PG-13

Pairing: Jack/Pearl

Disclaimer: Puts a chill in the bones how many honest writers have been claimed by this franchise.

Summary: I discovered these 300 words somewhere on my hard drive, and the Black Pearl Sails prompt for this week, Black Pearl, seemed to be a good use for them. This somewhat fits in with my If Ships Could Speak series. CotBP compatible.

Much thanks to Geekmama for the beta read.

Shadow of a Dream

Sometimes she dreams of sinking, of forever relaxing her seams and hatches and allowing the cool green water to bathe her tormented bulkheads and decks in darkness (she cannot feel the cold), growing heavier and heavier in her holds. She imagines her last sight of the sunlight on the sea—it is always daylight when she drowns. The rippling shimmers slowly become glowing rays of fractured light above her masts, gradually rising high above her as the shadows of the depths close in. She felt her last breath of wind long ago.

Then the weight and denseness will enfold her, embrace her, tighten and begin to crush her. Finally she will arrive drifting in broken pieces to her eternal rest against sand that she can neither see nor feel except as cessation of motion. Then the gold can call until her heart cracks. The pain can blaze through her timbers, her submerged sails can strain futilely, her screams can tremor the earth. But she will be safe. Safe in her self-imposed prison. Unable to kill for those cursed bits of metal ever again.

The images come to her in fragments. Frantic ships unable to outrun her, spitting their ineffectual fire in stinging gouts against her sides, water red with blood and flames. Great fortresses belching iron death through her decks, unaware that she cannot die. Towns echoing with roars and screams and then, worst of all, silence and the crackle of the inferno she always leaves in her wake.

Sometimes she wishes she could go completely mad, push herself beyond a knowledge of what she does, banish memory forever, blot out her awareness of what she has become—the slave of men enslaved by greed.

And yet she is held to the surface of the sea, to those last flickering splinters of sanity, by one fine thread—somewhere, she does not know where, out in the vast loneliness of the night, under the pitiless glare of the sun, her Captain still searches for her with freedom in his hands.