He shot forward, burst the thicket, was in the open, screaming, snarling and bloody. He swung the stake and the savage tumbled over; but there were others coming toward him, crying out. He swerved as a spear flew past and then was silent, running. Then Ralph doubled back, not sure if he was coming or going. Ululations behind him became unbearable, as spears flew by his head. Ralph getting a second wind, not feeling his own pain, dashed through the forest; at last the cries died down a bit. Tired he staggered into the clearing by Castle Rock. He frowned and looked down at the stick in his hands. A stick sharpened at both ends. What did it mean?
Presently a new wave of ululations were starting up, and savages streaked in clay began to appear from the forest. Some of them threw their spears at Ralph, and he backed up to the cliff. Behind him was a forty-foot fall, and Death Rock. He frowned again seeing no way out. More savages were emerging from the jungle. A stick sharpened at both ends. What could the savages do to him? Do their dance and kill him, like they did Simon? Drop a huge boulder on him, like Piggy? What? Or did they have something worse in mind, like torturing him somehow with the stick sharpened at both ends? Any way he looked at it, it was bad.
Ralph swung fiercely at any savages that advanced too close. They cried out in pain and backed away a little, while others continued to ululate. Finally Jack and Roger, the two fiercest savages of all emerged from the jungle. Ralph knew he couldn't prolong his life much longer.
"What are you waiting for? Kill him!"
The group of boys began to chant wildly as they advanced on Ralph. "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!"
Ralph backed up to the to edge of cliff. If he didn't do something fast they were going to kill him with a stick sharpened at both ends. Would they cut off his head and leave it on the stick, just like the pig's? He glanced over his shoulder and stared at the vast sea, then he turned his gaze to the burning island. Finally it hit him, he could jump and deny the savages of their kill. "Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!" Anything was better than dying at the hands of Jack and his lot.
Ralph turned his back to the savages and stared at the endless sea again. From behind he felt spears hit, and he almost toppled over. He could feel hands reaching out to grab him, but he wouldn't give them the chance. He broke free, and without another thought he jumped. He felt his breath leave, and he seemed to hang in midair forever, but then came crashing down on Death Rock with a sickening crunch. His last thoughts were of Simon, Piggy and the painted fools, who had no future.
The savages' silence was complete until Jack broke it. He ran out to the edge of the cliff, screamed once in fury and rage then hurled his spear at the stained rock. The tribe had no idea what do now.
"What do we do now?"
Finally the tribe of savages began to head back to Castle Rock. But there would be no feast. The island was on fire, and the flames burned and ate everything they touched.
"What is it Roger?"
"It's been nearly a week, what do we eat?"
"We'll go hunting."
"There aren't pigs left, they died in the fire-"
"We'll eat fruit-"
"All of it burned up-"
Finally the tribe decided to spread out and search for things to eat. They slowly picked their way through the forest, which had almost been completely cleared by the fire. Everywhere death and decay was visible, animals that didn't escape the fire lay dead, burned, and decomposing. Fruit trees lie scorched and turned over. And it was impossible to make a fire, for all of the wood had been burned up and was now unsuitable for use.
Another chaotic week passed by, the tribe began to break, and everyone argued over what do. Even though Jack and Roger frequently beat and tore at and disobedient members, more surfaced everyday. Soon the two "terrors" found themselves arguing over what to do.
"No I tell you we should fish!"
"That's not hunting!"
"Sucks to the hunting! We need food!"
"Fish don't swim close enough to the shore- besides, what about-"
The subject was left untouched, unspoken, for no one wanted to have a run in with what might have remained of civilized society; floating on the ocean floor, slowly decaying.
"All of you shut up! I'm chief and no one says or does anything without my permission!" Jack bellowed.
"Bullocks to being chief! We had one, a good one, now he's dead. We have you, now we're all dead!"
All of the painted boys picked up spears and began to charge Jack. A fight broke out and everyone found themselves swept up in it. The boys bit, tore and stuck as they struggled on, confused; on an dead island that had no more life to give, and knew death would soon claim the boys. If not now, then sometime later...
*Note: As quick reminder, all characters, places, and events belong to William Golding. *
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