Title: Absolution
Fandom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Word Count: 450
Rating: G
Summary: The night before his execution, Captain Jack Sparrow ponders his fate.

Prompted by this icon: Jack Sparrow

A man cannot escape his fate—but Captain Jack Sparrow had never thought his fate would bring him here, to an ignomious death by hanging in Port Royale.

He paces his cell. A man should not spend his last night on earth sleeping. He should, if fate is kind, spend it with amiable company and a never-ending tankard of rum—but Jack is not so lucky. He has been served a last meal and offered the services of a priest, but the meal has gone untouched and he sent the priest away.

“Don’t ye want absolution, my son?” the man had said, and Jack had laughed at the thought.

Absolution comes with a life well-lived, not a life lived well. Redemption comes in the unfurling of a sail.

In truth, the only visitor Jack wants is his old friend’s son, to tell Will something his father. Or pretty Miss Swann, as close to amiable company as fate will afford him.

His cell goes unvisited. Not even Commodore Norrington to gloat: only those absurd guards making their rounds, looking in on him as if they expect him to flit away on a moonbeam.

Jack stops before the barred window and looks at the dark and placid sea. He will be dead when the sun rises—not even living dead as the cave, but real-dead, completely-dead, lain-low-until-the-trump-shall-sound dead. And Lord Jesus, though He was friends with fishermen, will have little use for a pirate.

Though perhaps for a clown, thinks Jack.

He wonders as he watches the waves crash, if actual death will be as the curse in the cave. Truly he did not experience living death the same as the crew of the Pearl had, but he’d felt—or not felt—enough during the duel with Barbossa to have empathy for them. When he’d stood in the moonlight there’d been no need to breathe. He hadn’t felt his heart beating. The familiarity of his own skin was gone. Even his hair had moved differently, stiff as a horsehair wig.

Jack has a horrible moment, wondering if in true death he’ll feel himself rotting as in false-death he’d felt his flesh fall away. If the priest were still here Jack would ask him what the dead feel, but he suspects all he’ll get is a homily and a psalm.

Jack holds his hand in a beam of moonlight. The flesh remains, covering sinew and bone. His nails are pink, if slightly dirty. His rings sparkle. His muscles flex.

“It’s been a good life,” he says aloud. He would rather die tomorrow a living man than live forever as a dead one.

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