AUTHOR’S NOTE:  A post-AWE one-shot. Set on the Flying Dutchman a few years after Will began his 10-year tour of duty as captain. Also posted at FanFiction.Net.***


”Ahoy there, sailor!”  Will called to the man in the tiny boat.

The sailor looked up at the Dutchman in recognition and shook his head.  “So it’s you, is it?  I’m dead then?”

“I’m afraid so, sailor.  Do you wish passage to the next world, or would you serve aboard my ship until you’re ready to move on?”

“I’ll gladly trade this little boat for a sturdy ship.  And if you truly can get me to the next world, I’d be grateful.”

“Indeed we can.”  Will said gently as the crew lowered the ladder to the lost soul.

“Welcome aboard the Flying Dutchman, sailor.  I’m Captain Will Turner.”  Will said, trying not to let the monotony of his life creep into his speech.  “We have a cabin available, and you’ll be welcome to join the crew for entertainment this evening.  I hope we can make your journey as easy as possible.”

“Captain Turner, eh?  I’ve heard tales that the Dutchman was under new management and had changed for the better.”  The sailor said in amazement.  “I never woulda believed it, but that I see it with my own eyes.  Too bad I can’t tell me mates, what a tale that would be!”

“Indeed it would, but unfortunately, our reputation has to trickle back to the world of the living by way of rumors and drabs of truth.”  Will said with a sigh.

“What a shame, for you lads seem like decent folks and probably deserve a bit of recognition now and then.”

“Well, we don’t do the job for glory or adulation, that’s for sure.”  Will said with a wry grin.

The sailor looked at Will slyly.  “The way I’ve heard it told, you do it for something of a more personal nature.”

Will shifted uneasily.  “Ah, well, I’m sure there are rumors upon rumors about that.”

“I don’t claim to know if all the rumors I’ve heard be true, but since I joined the crew of the Empress of Singapore, I’ve heard some good’uns.”

Will’s eyes widened and he strode to the railing to cover his surprise.  “The Empress?  The ship of the Pirate King?”

“Aye, Captain Turner.  Rumor has it that she’s got a special connection to the captain of the Flying Dutchman.”

“Is that so…”  Will said casually, gazing out to sea.  “How fares the King these days?”

“She’s a right good captain, though she don’t sail but a few months every year.  She brings the little boy with her too.  And he’s quite a little spitfire.”

“Is he?”  Will swallowed hard.

“Aye.  A good little sailor, and right handy with his little sword.  He’s challenged nearly every crewman to a duel at one time or another.  Nearly took my finger off, he did.”  With that, the sailor displayed a white scar on his right index finger.  Will almost allowed himself a smile, thinking of himself at a young age, battling imaginary pirates with a wooden stick.  How lucky would a boy be to have the real thing at his disposal?  A real sword and real pirates.  But no real father…

“At least he’s learning to take care of himself.”  Will said sadly, turning back to the sea.  “The world’s a difficult place for a boy with no father.”

“Aye, but he don’t seem to be sufferin’ terribly.”  The sailor paused.  “Not that he don’t miss his pop, though.  Sometimes I seen him starin’ out to sea just as the sun’s settin’, lookin’ and lookin’.”

“Really?”  Will’s voice was strained.  “What is he looking for?”

“I couldn’t tell ya.  But when he’s starin’ out there, lookin’ all melancholy and such, I’ll be damned if he don’t look just like you.”

With that, the dead sailor walked off to join the crew below deck.  And Will Turner gazed out to sea with a faint smile on his lips, imagining his son gazing back from somewhere out there.


Related articles