The deep gash across his leg was exploding with sharp, searing pain, but with the current feelings of intent hatred towards him felt all over the island, stopping to treat his ailments was simply not a viable option for the long-suffering Ralph. So he limped along, walking on the edge of the beach, considering the choices that he had to make. He could, of course, hide in a cave until the tribe hunted him out and killed him, but that would have shown plain cowardice, and was certainly not the way a leader, a chief, would have been expected to act. He should do something bold, courageous and possibly a little vulgar, in order to win back the respect and trust of the other boys. But then his mind returned to Jack, who would always challenge him for leadership. Nothing would convince the other boys whilst he was there, able to sabotage any take over attempt.
Ralph began working on a plan of action, sat in a cold, damp inset of the cliff. He was shivering, and found it impossible to concentrate on one idea for more than a few seconds. What would Piggy have said? No doubt suggested a rational solution that suited everybody, but Ralph was not able to do that. So eventually, he decided to launch an assault on Jack, and Jack alone when night fell, leaving the rest of the boys to sleep peacefully whilst their leader suffered his demise.
The evening sun slowly descended, until there was marginally enough light to see where one was about to step, and Ralph began to creep, ever cautiously, out of his hiding place, fearful that he would be seen. Gradually, he gained confidence, and began to walk around the edge of Castle Rock, making nought but the sound of his breathing. Over an hour passed, before Ralph saw a place to can access to the tribe without being seen; almost vertically up the steepest side of the cliff.
Using his spear as a leverage tool, Ralph silently eased himself up the edge of the cliff. He was making annoyingly slow progress, and his arms were screaming at him to stop, rest and let go. Alas, Ralph continued on, knowing that if he did as his arms were desperate for him to he would fall to an untimely death, and located another foothold in the cliff face. It was raining now, and although only lightly, the water made his task more difficult, as the rock became slippery.
Eventually, just two feet away from a flat surface, Ralph made a final, surprisingly elegant leap onto his knees, but landed hard, and in immense pain. Stifling the desire to shout out in pain, he hurried to his feet. His sharpened spear still clasped firmly in his left hand, Ralph began to worm his way through the dense foliage that surrounded the edge of the plateau, conscious that one false step could lead him down the sheer drop onto the jagged rocks below.
Finally, alongside feelings of almost utter despair, Ralph reached what must have been Jack’s shelter. It was guarded by armed members of the tribe at the entrance whilst Jack slept. It was a dark night, and although Jack thought he was making no noise at all, one of the guards flew around on his feet, and stared almost directly towards Ralph. Ralph could just make out a face, and the guard appeared to be Eric, or Sam, and Ralph could have sworn that the face mouthed some words of encouragement; At least Ralph had one supporter.
Ralph found a small gap in the woodwork towards the rear of the enclosure, and entered it. Through the pitch blackness of the cold night air, he saw Jack, lying on a bed of twigs, coated with green leaves for some comfort, and approached him, his heart pounding violently, as it had never done before. For Ralph, even a near miss could lead to his discovery, and ultimately his death, so he knew that his accuracy must be absolutely perfect. After a long time spent aligning the spear, Ralph threw it, directly towards Jack’s torso, and scurried quickly out of the shelter. Seconds later, he was escaping, down the side of the mountain.
Ralph ran, faster than ever before, down the edge of the mountainside, where the bushes and trees were barely traversable. About halfway down, he came to a halt, and looked back towards the top of the mountain. The tribe’s camp was teaming with life, and Ralph watched in silence as one by one, each of the boys learned of the attack from the rank outsider. The boys in the tribe called a meeting, Roger had appointed himself acting leader, and after what seemed like a lifetime, stood up. The conference was over. Three of the boys went into the enclosure where Jack’s body lay, coated with drying blood, his face for evermore stuck in an expression of mild surprise. The boys soon emerged from the shelter, carrying the body of Jack. Were they satisfied that their leader had been killed, or would they take revenge upon the savage who had destroyed their only hop of survival on the island?
With a final farewell, the boys tossed the lifeless body over the cliff side, in a way very reminiscent of Piggy’s downfall.
Finally, the real beast on the island was no more.
That night, Ralph claimed his triumphant return to power, in front of all the boys, including a significantly disgruntled Roger, and the tribe returned to normal island life, where priorities included the fire, shelter, and food. After a week, a large vessel appeared on the horizon. In the most organised manner, green leaves were loaded onto the fire to make smoke, just like times of old. The ship changed course, heading directly towards the island, and the boys rejoiced. The ordeal, that regardless of how hard they tried, none of the boys would ever forget, would soon be over. Life could return to a state of normality, with values of structured leadership, and civilisation.