The officer led the boys to the ship, one by one in a line, they trudged behind him. Jack trailed a few feet behind the group, staring closely at his bare and dirty feet. Each boy, when their turn came, hopped on to the ship and there they were greeted by more navel officers. You could see the smiles appearing across the faces of the boys as they were surrounded by adults. For the first time in a while they felt safe again.
The last child scurried onto the ship hoping not to get left behind. A tall officer with broad shoulders, and a thin brown moustache asked this child whether there were any adults on the island with him.
‘No sir,’ Ralph answered for him.
The officer shook his head when he heard the answer to confirm Ralph’s response.
‘Well then,’ said the tall officer once he examined the group counting a total number of twenty two boys.
‘We better get you boys cleaned up, you like a mess.’
Another officer, slightly shorter than the last one with dark curly hair, gestured for the boys to follow him. All at once they dashed behind him except for Ralph. The tall officer kneeled down until his eyes were the same level as Ralph’s eyes.
‘Is something the matter, kiddo?’
Ralph ignored the officer’s question as he was staring out at the island in deep concentration. He was wondering to himself, what if? What if Simon and Piggy were not killed and were sitting next to him today on this ship. What if the ship came a few weeks earlier? What would have happened if the ship arrived a few minutes later? Ralph trembled at the thought of the final scenario. He shook himself out of the trance.
Suddenly Ralph wakened from his concentration and found himself face to face with the tall officer.
‘Hey kid you okay?’ The officer asked for a second time, more concerned this time.
Ralph nodded quickly then got up in a flash and joined the other boys to get cleaned up. As Ralph was rushing he accidentally bumped into a bizarre boy with fiery red hair, piercing blue eyes, and a face full off freckles. He could not recognize him.
‘Hey! Watch it!’ the boy scowled.
Then it came to Ralph who that boy was. His voice was familiar. Ah of course he thought it was Jack. Jack seemed like a whole different person without his face paint to hide behind Ralph chuckled to himself when he saw Jack’s transformation. He had turned from a savage beast into a young British schoolboy. He plastered both of his hands across his mouth in order to stifle the sound.
Jack moved closer to Ralph, tugged at what was left of Ralph’s shirt, the colour of his cheeks almost identical to his hair.
‘I almost had you.’
Jack intentionally jerked Ralph as he walked past. Ralph forcefully pushed back on to the ground, sat there stationary while the colour was drained from his face. Jack’s appearance might have changed bout his personality will never. As soon as Ralph got the feeling back into his limbs he sprinted ahead to find a place to clean himself up.
Ralph was now clean for the first time in months. He did not realize until today that he had taken advantage of all the things back home like clean clothes and food. He wandered through the corridors of the ship curious to know what was behind each door. He saw Sam and Eric trying to seize upon on a rat probably for food. Ralph told them they did not have to catch their own food anymore but they just gave him a puzzled look and then began to giggle. They then chased each other down the corridor. Ralph shook his head. It was going to take more than a freshly cleaned face and a new set of clothes to remind the boys of civilised behaviour.
Ralph followed the direction the twins were heading and found himself surrounded by a scent of well cooked food. He wiped the drool from the side of his mouth, with the back of his hand. He had not eaten a good meal in a long time. As he moved the smell got stronger. He finally arrived at the food filled room. It was full of children. He rushed over to the table and piled as much food as he could fit onto his plate. He ate and ate. The food was not as good as he expected but he did not care about that he was hungry. After Ralph had devoured in as much food as his stomach had room for, he stood up sluggishly and dragged his feet over to the doorway. The curly haired officer had just returned after showing the littluns to the sleeping quarters.
‘You look like you have had a good dinner. Well, have you?’ The officer asked Ralph.
Ralph nodded and smiled at the officer.
‘How long more is the journey going to take?’ Ralph asked the officer.
‘We just started little man, probably a few weeks if we are lucky. Don’t worry we will reach safe and sound. ‘The officer replied.
Again Ralph nodded.
The officer chuckled, ‘You look tired. How about I show you where the cabins are. Follow me.’
Ralph dragged his feet behind the officer for what seemed like hours. At last the officer halted in front of a large door. He opened it and the room was packed full of mainly sleeping littluns. Ralph tip toed in searching for an empty bed. He curled up under the warm sheets and rested his head against the fluffy pillow. Ralph closed his eyes for just a second and instantly he was in a deep slumber.
A soft sound woke Ralph up. It was coming from his stomach. He sat up in bed and realized he was hungry again, even after devouring himself in the huge dinner he had the night before. He creped out of bed and strolled down the hallways of the ship. The sky was gloomy. He followed the smell of the food with his nose and reached the dining room. Without realizing Ralph’s pace had quickened.
Two familiar voices were coming from a nearby room. Ralph forgetting his hunger for the moment paused outside the door. He recognized the voices. They were Jack and Roger of course. He heard his name mentioned so he sneaked a little closer.
‘We can not kill Ralph now! Not with all these adults around!’ Roger moaned.
‘We have to do it now, there is no other time. Besides if Ralph tells them what we did to Piggy and Simon and what we tried to do to him, we will be in trouble anyway!’ Jack answered.
‘How are we going to manage to do it without the adults finding out?’ Roger asked.
‘The plan is to catch Ralph when he is alone. We will kill him then run away. There will be no proof that we committed it.’ Jack said.
Ralph began to fell weak. He was alone now. His friends were no longer with him. Ralph quickly left his position and went straight to the dining room. He took a seat and thought about what he had just heard.
It was the third day after Ralph heard what Jack and Roger were planning to do and he had not been harmed in anyway. He was rather surprised but at the same time worried. Whenever they passed each other in the ship or made contact with each others faces Jack would always give him dirty looks. This made Ralph fell uneasy and anxious. Because of this feeling Ralph made sure he was never alone on the ship, so he always stayed near or with someone.
Ralph sat on the ship’s deck and watched the sun rising. He could see all the different colours, oranges, soft pastels, yellows. As he watched he thought about when the ship reaches the shoreline. The look on his parents faces, filled with joy of their child returning after so long. He imagined a plump woman with tears flowing from her eyes because she had lost a dear nephew. Also a man trying to hold up his wife who has just collapsed after hearing her son would never return home.
Suddenly a loud clamour disturbed Ralph’s dreamy state of mind. The clamour was followed by many footsteps running in the same direction. It was on the other side of the ship. The first thing he noticed was that the two littluns he was with had gone probably while he was daydreaming.
‘Ralph! Ralph! Come quickly! You will not believe what I just saw!’ Jack screamed as he ran into the room.
‘What is going on?’ Ralph asked puzzled.
‘Just follow me!’ Jack shouted as he headed off in what Ralph was sure was the wrong direction.
‘I do not think so!’ Ralph mumbled as he went in the other direction.
Ralph heard a soft rustling sound behind him. He spun round but did not have enough time to react as Jack tried to thrust the dagger into Ralph’s flesh. Instinctively Ralph’s hands went up to protect himself as he grabbed jack’s hands. Now both the boys had their hands firmly gripped to the dagger. Both determined not to let go. If ether let go their life was in danger.
Jack stood up taking Ralph with him. Jack pushed Ralph towards the edge of the ship but Ralph turned driving Jack over the railing so that he was dangling over the edge. Ralph felt more relaxed as his life was less at risk. However he still had one hand held on to Jack’s one hand. But Ralph knew Jack was still strong-minded to kill him. With an infuriated look in his eyes, Jack raised his knife with his free hand and with all his strength stabbed it into Ralph’s hand.
Ralph howled bringing his wounded hand close to his body. This forcefully caused Ralph to let go of Jack’s hand, Ralph watched Jack tumble down into the rough, blue waves.
Ralph’s heart was pounding, he sprinted over to the other side of the ship. There he saw a large group of boys in a circle surrounding Roger who was faking an injury by clutching to his leg and crying. Ralph barged through. Two officers were trying to calm him down. When Roger saw Ralph live and well his crying came to an end. Everyone turned their heads and began to wonder why Ralph was in such a hurry as he barged through.
‘Jack…overboard! I…. tried…. to… save him! But! Help! This way! Follow… me!’ Ralph said gasping for breath.
Ralph with all his energy dashed back to where he came from. The officers followed behind and some boys curious to know also trailed behind. Ralph reached the spot where Jack had fallen but, to his disappointment he was nowhere to be seen. Jack had drowned by the waves.