“Unhand me, you scalawag! Who dares enter the captain’s quart..ers..” Captain Will’s voice trailed off as his eyes widened and his body stiffened.

“I’d suggest ye shut your trap. You really don’t want any more visitors at the moment.”

Will neither nodded nor spoke as he examined the creature before him. Its grip was surprisingly strong given that it had no skin or muscles. He looked into its eye sockets, unsure if it were looking back at him. He steeled his confidence. “Who are you? Why are you here?”

“I’m here about your fear.”

“I fear no one!” Will tried unsuccessfully to pull his arm from the creatures grip.

The creature moved its skeletal face near Will’s and let out a breath. Will was unsure where it came from since there was no neck, but the chill caused the hair on his neck to stand erect.

“Everyone has fears, Will. Some just hide them better than others. Fear can take many shapes – death, failure, commitment. What might Kate say about the fearless Captain Will?”

As the creature spoke Will noticed a sword in its other hand. Its clothes were worn and tattered, hanging loosely across bare bones. Its tricorne was weathered and bloody, showing signs of battles past. The creature moved its head around and Will noticed its ribcage expand as if it were drawing in a large breath of air.

“I can smell it, Will. It covers your entire being. Even the rum doesn’t mask its odor.”

“Is it a fight you want?” Will’s voice strengthened as he began to gather his wits about him. “My sword is at hand. Unhand me and ye shall have your fight!”

“Would you rather fight me than face your fear?”

“I told you. I fear no one!”

“Your men are not around now. Who are you trying to fool?”

“Unhand me, I say! I shall take no more of your games.”

Will lept from his bunk as he felt the grip loosen on his arm. The candle that had been illuminating his visitor was now extinguished. He took a few swings in the dark trying to find the creature.

After a few seconds his cabin door swung open showing the creature’s silhouette in the doorway. “I challenge ye to reconsider, Will. Fear does not like to be disrespected. We’ll talk again on the next full moon. Ye should carefully consider your options.”