give me that sweet sweet john silver headcanons i want to know how far do you think his terribleness goes because like i know he was so cute in the beginning he was so cute that for a while i forgot that the first thing he did was literally murder a man
oh boy anon i’m not sure you’re gonna like my answer.
because i don’t have one.
i have several.
you see, i’m in what may be a small camp of people who LOVED the non-reveal of silver’s backstory. because i’ve written a ton of fics by this point, and each silver i’ve given a different backstory. sometimes i’m more explicit about it, sometimes i’ll allude with one line or two, but i have so many and i love them all. my headcanons for john silver are many, and they are all true, and also, none of them are true. john silver contains multitudes.
this is some of who john silver is:
– Johnny was eleven when he decided he didn’t like the water, a fact which upset the mistresses of the Totttenham Home for Orphan Children something awful. They’d whip him whenever they found him hiding in a closet, avoiding his weekly bath, but he preferred the slice of a switch on his skin over running water over his face. The orphanage ran right beside the River Lea, a wide ugly stream. Sometimes they’d hang criminals over it from the willow trees, let them sway there until their bloated bodies dropped from the branches like fruit and were swept away by the current. He’d lay awake at night, hearing the brush of bodies, the rustle of their clothes against the leaves, and the babbling of the water over rocks, and then suddenly, he’d hear – the splash.
– Anthony is in Seminary School when he falls in love with Marcus, another student with thoughtful gray eyes and freckles all over his hands and nose. It’s Hell, until he learns Marcus loves him too, or at least wants him the same way, and then, oh, then it is Heaven. Father Grey walks in on them together, and they insist they were just scraping. They can’t tell if Father Grey believes them, but any touch, any act not in the service of the Lord must be punished. Father Grey sticks Anthony under the floorboards, below the pulpit’s crucifix. He is still small for his age, but the wood touches the tip of his nose. He feels spiders and beetles crawling in his clothes, but he can’t see them because it is so, so dark under the floor. It isn’t long before he’s screaming, but that’s not what Father Grey wants to hear. It’s only when he begins to pray does Father Grey let him out.
– Philip was closing down his practice for the night when a man stumbled through the doors, bleeding from the neck. Philip’s expertise was in childbirth and women’s health, but he helped the man as best he could. The man survived the night, but died the next morning, when the Royal Guards found him in Philip’s parlor and shot him in the head. No one listened when Philip said he was just doing his job, and it didn’t make him a traitor to the crown because he saved the life of a traitor to the crown. They still slapped the shackles on and sent him south. Hell, he knew, was truly in the Caribbean. No where else could be this hot, no where else could his hands – hands that had brought life into this world – be beaten by rock, by sun, but work. But Philip was a good man, and felt no qualms with escaping before his sentence was up, after being so wrongfully imprisoned. And when he killed the guard standing between him and his freedom, he felt so guilty – for a little bit. He felt the guilt slip from him as swiftly as he slipped into the night. God didn’t care if he saved anyone’s life or took it, so why should he?
– Jonathan’s father is an accountant in Philadelphia. His mother loves to knit. He is unremarkable in school, and has no friends. He graduates college with no prospects for the future, no goals, no dreams. No anything. One day he goes down to the docks. He likes to skip rocks. A man mistakes him for someone else and offers him a job on a merchant ship. He leaves without saying goodbye to his parents, and never thinks about them again.
– The Prince stood beside his father, the King, once a year since he was old enough to stand, and watched while his father executed prisoners. At first, they were clean deaths – hangings or beheadings with little ceremony. But the King’s mind was not what it used to be. It was going, and all that was left behind was madness, and cruelty, and loathing for all his subjects. The Prince is twenty when the courtyard was awashed with blood, the torsos of his country’s enemies fitting onto spikes throughout the Square, and that’s when the Prince realizes he needs to go. He tells his mother, the Queen, that he wants to take a pilgrimage for a year and see the world before taking over for his father. Like Jesus, he says, he wants to walk among them and understand them, so he might lead them. The Queen is tight-lipped, but agreeing, as long as he promises not to walk among them here, in his own land. His face is too well-known. He has the same eyes as a Mad King. The Prince says he’s always wanted to try sailing on a ship.
– Gregor’s brother Theophilus is much more handsome than Gregor, even though they are twins. All the girls in Naxos only ever want to go with him, even though Theo is a brute and a drunk. But it just the two of them left of their family, and Gregor is helpless without his brother. Theo is the smart one, the gifted one, the strong one. Theo gets him jobs because he can’t find his own. Theo is Loved by God. Theo reminds Gregor of this when he hurts him, and then he reminds Gregor again when he touches him afterwards, too soft to ever be soothing. Gregor likes to look out on the sea when he gets to be alone. The Aegean is a different kind of blue from his eyes, from Theo’s eyes, and it calms him to see how dark it can be. He often thinks one day about jumping in and seeing how far he could go until he got tired, and could finally rest. He’s there, one evening, when Theo arrives, drunk and angry. Gregor lost another job, a job he couldn’t do because Gregor had trouble walking that day. Because Theo. His brother had stormed up the empty beach in a rage, the sky pink, the water dark, and Gregor had bashed his brother’s head in with a stone, and pushed his body out into the sea.
– José enlisted in the Army once Charles II was dead and his wife had died in childbirth, along with his newborn daughter, and he had no desire to live anymore. Or so he thought. But as soon as he’d been handed a musket, taught to clean it, taught to load it, taught to aim it, taught to fire it — and he thought that maybe just because he didn’t want to live anymore didn’t mean he wanted to fucking die either. His superior officers told him never aim for the legs because a man survive that, could still hold and aim and fire their own weapon. You want to stop them, not slow them down. José deserted his infantry two months into his service, with nothing but the remains of his lousy pay, his shitty uniform, his musket, and no clear idea where he was. Somewhere in Gibraltar. He left in the night and he was spotted by another soldier, a friend of his. But his friend ran to alert an officer, and without thinking too hard about it, José aimed his gun, and he did not aim for the legs.
– Silver is a ship’s cook, and a bad one, but the men he serves are pirates, and so he tries his best to keep them fed. Silver is a cook on a pirate ship, when he finally finds a God worth loving.