Categories > Movies > Pirates of the Caribbean > The Promise of Redemption

Chapter 3: Unwell Met

by Pink_Rapid 2 reviews

In the Caribbean, finding the proper co-ordinates is not always a good thing.

Category: Pirates of the Caribbean - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Norrington, Other - Published: 2006-08-15 - Updated: 2006-08-15 - 1546 words

Somewhere in Tortuga, Jamaica, not far from the infamous pub the Faithful Bride, lay a man in a pig pen. The relentless Caribbean sun rose slowly in the sky, across sea and land alike, berating his eyelids. Refusing to concede, the man groaned, tucking his head beneath the muddy sleeve of his coat and turning his back to the light. He could feel the dull, familiar banging of a migraine in the back of his mind as it slowly rose to his temples, and in the pits of his stomach felt another onset of an inevitably nasty hangover.

Reaching blindly, he grabbed his bottle from the night before. Taking a long sip, he came to the slow realization that it tasted nothing like what it had the previous evening.

This isn't rum, he thought, his hazy, drunken brain slowly placing the puzzle pieces together. It did not take long for his gag reflex to act up, concluding the equation as he spat out dirt and mud.

Tossing the bottle aside, the man grumbled angrily, shoving his head beneath the dark sanctuary of his jacket once more and falling quickly into a restless sleep.


A woman walked away scowling from the Faithful Bride. She had so been hoping the bartender's answer would have been different.

"I don't suppose you've seen the man causing barfights all across Tortuga," she muttered nonchalantly.

"Ma'am, you're goin' t'have t'be more specific n' that," he replied in a rich Scottish accent. She remembered telling her friend the exact same thing the night before.

"You know, the one that sleeps with pigs and is always yelling at the sky?" she muttered it, hoping he wouldn't hear her and she could dismiss the wager entirely. The other half of her hoped he would recognize the man she was talking of, so that she wouldn't come off completely daft.

"Oy, tha' bastard," she heard recognition in his voice and slumped, "'e came in abou' midnigh' last nigh', asking everyone fer a drink. We refused 'im and he tried to steal a customer's bottle o' whiskey, so a few men took 'im outside. I heard 'em sayin' bou' how they left the bottle n' filled it with pigwater. Tha' bloke's gonna 'ave a nasty surprise this mornin', I'll tell ya."

The woman sighed, regretting that she now knew exactly where to look. She promptly asked the bartender which pigpen, ignoring the strange stares of the patrons. "Thank you," she mumbled, heading out the door and down the street.

As she approached the pen behind an old house, she repeated a subtle mantra in her mind. Please don't be there, please don't be there, please don't be there...

Yet as she turned the corner, she could make out the slumping, crumpled form of a person. Approaching the fence keeping the pigs in, and supposedly meant to keep people out, she threw out any delusions she might have had. The roughened mass of blue and brown fabric was most decidedly that of a man. She knew all too well which man it was.

Just walk away. He doesn't know you're here, and you can just tell Penton you never found him. Better yet, tell him you were robbed, and they took the three hundred pounds, a small, selfish voice whispered. Slowly, she contemplated its offering, but her own overwhelming sense of pride decided that walking away was not an option.

I keep my word, she told herself adamantly, before punctuating the thought with, damn to the depths this moral center of mine.

Hiking one leg over the fence, and then the other, the woman found herself ankle deep in mud and Heaven only knew what other manner of waste. She did not feel like staying long enough to find out. Attempting not to rouse the attention of the pigs, she skirted her way over to the man. Leaning down beside him, she wasn't quite sure how to bring his attention to her.

She contemplated rolling him over, saying something softly, yelling in his ear, or even poking and prodding until he had no choice but to acknowledge her. Oh, hang it all. He's not going to remember in a few hours anyway.

Grabbing the muddy sleeve of his jacket, she moved his arm away from his eyes, letting the sun abash them once again. The man stirred, groaning and cursing, shutting his eyes tightly and turning from her. She sighed, yanking his arm away again.

"What d'you want?" he managed to slur, his words barely understandable.

She wasn't quite sure what to say, but decided to be straightforward, uncertain he'd comprehend even that. "I want you to get up and walk out of this pigpen with me without argument."

He opened his eyes, squinting at her, but saw only a shadowy blur. "Who the hell are you?" The woman could place his accent as English.

She rolled her eyes. "You won't remember my name in a few hours time. Now get up." She stood, taking his arm and hauling him into a sitting position. He swayed, trying to steady himself and escaped the inevitable dizziness. Not bothering to wait for his adjustment, she hauled him to his feet and slung his arm over her shoulder, deciding she'd never get the stains out of her dress.

"Where are we going?" he managed to say. She didn't bother responding, but grabbed the rum bottle from his hand and threw it out of the pen. He was too disoriented to notice.

As they reached the fence, she thanked her lucky stars that things were running rather smoothly, considering the situation. It was a most unfortunate thought, for at that moment, without warning, her ward hunched over, grasping the fence desperately, before emptying his stomach.

Charming, she thought, but supposed she ought to become accustomed to it. Muttering frustrated words of encouragement, she once again put his arm over her shoulder and unlocked the gate of the pen, leading them out and locking it behind them.

As they slowly made their way back to the Wind's Sail, where the woman had a free room waiting for her and her new acquaintance, they were forced to make repeated stops. Occasionally the man would simply lose balance and fall rather painfully onto the cobblestone, other times he would bend over sickeningly and repeat the unfortunate process of vomiting on the side of the street. The woman began to wonder how long it would be until he had nothing left in his stomach.

Finally reaching the inn, she withdrew a key from her dress pocket and opened the back door. It took the better part of an hour to finally lead him up the two short flights of stairs before they reached a rather plain hallway. There was one long, tattered ornate rug along the floor, but other than that it was mostly dreary brown paint, the sun peeking through the windows illuminating the dusty air.

Reaching her chamber, she unlocked the door and hurried into the bedroom. She let the man lean against the wall and forced him to stand up straight, feeling an enormous weight been lifted from her shoulders. Deciding she didn't have the time to bask in her relief, she quickly ran to the closet and took out a bucket, hurrying back to the room and placing it beside the bed.

"What's that for?" he inquired, eyes half shut and giving the bucket a rather perplexed look.

"You've got a nasty hangover," she began, stopping him before he fell. She started removing his jacket, which had the majority of the mud on it, before commanding him to sit down as she began to remove his boots. "You may sleep it off here, and if you feel the need to vomit, do so in the pail. Do not get out of bed, do not attempt to leave this room, and do not go looking for alcohol, as I have already taken the liberty of removing every bottle of it."

She motioned to a clock. "At six o'clock I will bring you dinner and water, until then I'd appreciate it if you'd rest." She led him over to the bed. It was bare, an old tattered sheet the only thing on it. "And a precaution: if you piss on my bed, you'll never sleep in it again." She then proceeded to tell him where the bathroom could be found, knowing his befuddled mind wouldn't process the directions in any case.

After cautioning and instructing him on a few more things, she wrote down a note and tacked it to wall before drawing the curtains closed. The room darkened, and she helped the man lean back on the bed, before bidding him a pleasant sleep and leaving the room in a hurry. As his eyes closed and his thoughts obscured, he heard the faint click of a key in the lock.

The woman's charge shifted a few times before settling into the bed. The fabric of the sheet was itchy and had an unsavory stale scent. The straw of the mattress could be felt prominently pressing into his backside, pricking and prodding, but he drifted into lethargic slumber only seconds after closing his eyes. It was the most comfortable sleep he'd had in months.
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