watched the horizon. There it was. The speck off in the distance.
Barbossa, that mutinous scoundrel, had sailed away with his Pearl.
A bit of throat-clearing, directly behind him, gave Jack a start. Whirling,
he drew his sword, dropping the useless, damp pistol into the sand to do so.
Whirled and struck a defensive stance against... a cat? In a hat?
The cat stepped back a pace, and casually laid one paw on his wicked-looking
epée. "Let's not be hasty, my good sir; I'll wager any sum you care to name,
that I can take you in a fair fight."
Jack glanced at the sun blazing above them, and drew breath to say that it
was rather early yet for the hallucinations to begin, and could Mr. Cat
please come back later...but before he could speak, the cat spoke again.
"But then, I'm not well known for fighting fair." The tip of the little foil
tickled at Jack's adam's apple.
Jack grinned, but not so broadly as to display his gold. "Neither am I, my
good...sir." A brief glance downwards, to check for obvious sign of gender,
yielded not much visible through the thick pelt. "You're not a eunuch are
The cat laughed, and lowered his blade. "And why might that be any concern
of yours? Do you like what you see?" His whiskers wiggled with mirth, as he
sheathed his sword, and held out a paw. "They call me Puss... in Boots."
"They call me many things," replied Jack, giving the orange-furred limb a
brisk handshake, "but apparently they didn't mean it when they called me
Captain Jack Sparrow."
Puss shook his head sadly. "Mutiny? That's what it appeared, from what I
could see from this shore. My condolences."
Jack merely sighed. "And you? How came you to this desolate little atoll?"
"Ah, lover's quarrel." Puss shrugged. "I should have known it would never
last; we were just far too different. But come! I forget my manners. We must
toast your arrival, and enjoy a welcoming repast."
"You have food?" Jack's eyes lit. If one was going to leap into the
talking-cat hallucinations straight away, one might as well enjoy as much as
"Better," Puss purred. Literally. "I have rum."
The sun had long-set, and they lay by the small fire, picking at the last
bits of roasted crab and swilling down far more rum than was strictly wise,
perhaps, but honestly, if you can't get stinking foxed on the night your
crew mutinies on you...
"So tell me about this lover's quarrel of yours. Was she pretty?" Jack
"Well, I wouldn't say pretty, no. Wouldn't say 'she', either." Puss quirked
a lip, flashed a fang, and took Jack's temper on the subject. Jack's slight
shrug said it mattered not much to him, one way or the other, which
direction his hallucinations hung in the breeze. "Perhaps the thing that
attracted me was the danger; he was very fierce, very wild, you see."
"Fierce and wild? What was he, a tiger?" Over Jack's head, the stars whirled
in the heavens, a bit more speedily than usual. It was good rum.
"An Owl." Puss' eyes took on a far-away cast. "We went to sea in this
beautiful pea-green boat. I brought some honey..."
"And plenty of money, wrapped up in a five pound note." Jack finished.
"I'm telling the story, here!" Puss growled. "Now, let me tell you, there
are some very interesting uses for honey..."
Jack interrupted again, "I'm not sure this is the sort of tale I'd care to
hear just now. Tell me instead about your chapeau. It really is a very nice
Puss chuckled. "I'm getting to that part."