Too dark. Too warm. Yet too wet. Somehow, he felt he was living through d ja vu of the nightmare of his whole existence. He shrugged the thought off and shook his head, not wanting to believe his thoughts. Then suddenly smiled within himself. How absurd he was acting. He was now laughing out loud, not even realising himself, amazed. How can anyone go through what he and the others had been through? A quick flash of their ‘adventures’ passed his mind, and he quietly prayed and wished, that never, ever, again, would any boy have to go through those ordeals. For the third time, he laughed, of his thought of actually believing, for however short that second had been, that he could have possibly have gone through all that for a second time, no, he was acting crazy, he assured himself, and yet again laughed. But this time he got a very unexpected reply
“You ok cuz, not worried are ya?”
He replied the question with a silent smile, yet he knew it was powerful enough to answer without words. They continued to walk quietly through the rain.
A small burning bright light hit in the distance of the darkness. The only light that could be seen for a good 100 km. He wondered if any other place was still illuminated or had their destination all been like the ones of all houses and streetlights in the area. What was it to him anyway? Nothing was as scary as his ‘nightmare reality had been. Not one day would pass with those dreadful days not being remembered, flashbacked, quickly, under seconds. He wondered if the others ever remembered? Of course the did, after all it wasn’t a fairytale, was it?
The lampposts had gone off as soon as the storm had started and the city was left under the evilness of a blanket of darkness. Every family must have been huddled in their basements scared of what was coming. What was coming? Another atrocious storm? More nailing rain? More striking lighting? More deafening thunder? Nothing more harmful than these things could hit the city right now, he told himself. It was known for sure. Yet these people where still scared and the streets where dead empty. That is, except him, and the bright light in the distance, the one he was heading for. For a second he decided to turn back, and go back home and sit by the warm burning fire. Instead, his feet walking him onwards towards the bright radiance.
He paused before entering the large old grey building. He felt his arm being nudged to walk on, and followed the order. The large hall was lit with gas lamps and candles, and standing on the podium, a familiar figure. This was like a fight, a war, to get the place in which he had been dreaming of for the past months. Deputy Under Eighteen Mayor. He had been chosen candidate six months ago, and knew he was against another chosen candidate. He was egger as never before to get the place. It would mean…mean…mean some happiness in life for a long time, some freedom, and some respect being given to him. After…after the nightmare, he came back home fatherless, motherless, lost, alone, orphanated after the terrible war. He started falling into a black whole of thought, who was he against, a typical English boy? A typical schoolboy? A typical teenage? For some reason, he got that feeling of d ja vu again, something wasn’t right about this voting pole. He felt a past dark wind pass his cold neck. He shrugged the thought off, and started examining the faces in the large hall.
Stuffy, hard to breathe, difficulty moving in the large area, which had been scaled down small with the number of, people there. He saw twins, more twins and more twins, except, one pair of twins stood out. He had seen them before, he was sure of that, but the question was, where? It was like walking through a kingdom of ants, everyone was huddled in their own friendship groups. He was playing a mini-game of lost and found, on his way to approach these so ever familiar twins. Now he was face to face with one, and this only increased his gut feeling of knowing them to definitely knowing them…but where??
‘Whoops sorry’ explained the twin as they collided towards each other, he smiled at him, in a way in which said sorry back and a no problem to the sorry he had been given. Whoops sorry, explained the twin as they collided towards each other, he smiled at him, in a way in which said sorry back and a no problem to the sorry he has been given. He asked them, the two large pairs of eyes looking at him, asked them if they remembered, if they knew who he was, if he remembered what had happened? He got the reply of two blank blushing faces; to break the silent they were creating, he asked for their names, and got a simultaneous answer, SAM ERIC ERIC SAM. Bingo! He was right, he did know them, and they to knew him, but why couldn’t remember. He started hinting words, ISLAND, FOREST, MOUNTAIN, PIG, but with no luck, he again, got the reply of a pair of blank faces, a pair of blank identical faces. He bid them farewell, as they where giving no signs of progress, and made his way across the hall to see if any of his college peers were present at this ceremony.
A skinny boy, red hair, freckled face. He had seen a look-alike of this boy standing with a crowd of other boys surrounding him listening to what he was saying, somewhere, before, no long ago, but again, where, he asked himself. For some reason, the evening was giving himself a lot of repeats, he was repeating his thoughts numerous times, why, was there even an answer to his question. He smiled, his mother had said to him once “always remember, the answer to a question is always drifting by before the question even eases to exists, and that too, goes the same with your problems, the solutions are created before the problems themselves, my young son, never forget my words ok?” He would always answer his mother question with a big smile and a yes mummy, he wished for those days again, he wished he could say those words again and let his mothers ears hear them, but, that was now impossible. He was shaken out of his own little world, by a swift movement of someone’s cold hand on his forehead.
‘What’s wrong with you today, you feeling ill, sick?’ he replied the ever so familiar face with a simple ‘I’m fine, don’t worry.’
He let himself be pulled along to the every so growing crowed of the red headed boy; they stood and listened to his piercing words.
He felt his head swell, and his temperature slowly rise from head to toe, he felt dizzy and sensed falling onto the hard wooden floor; he graded the arm beside him quickly and with pressure. He transformed into another world, a world of shapes and colours, of world of unexplainable dizziness. He slowly opened his eyes, and saw his cousin’s face in front of him, worried, scared, he smiled and told her he was fine. Still, the crowd was talking; he was trying to remember what had given him such a shock…umm…at that moment in time, he could only remember his name…Ra…or was it that? He sat on the nearest wooden chair with his head in his hands trying to ease the powerful pain his head was grieving him.
What felt like 3 hours was only 5 minutes, he lifted his head and remembered everything that had made him collapse like that. He had not only realised the red-headed boy was Jack, but he always thought he had seen Roger as he thumped the hard woken Town Hall cold tasteless floor. Now, he could clearly see, and recognise the young boy with his so well known black shaggy hair, even when cut, it still appeared shaggy and untidy. He was sitting on one of the halls typical wooden hard chairs, ones that were not so pleasant on the back. A back was turned in front of him, and he could not see anything that was occurring in front of that person, o, he knew who that was, they has blond hair, like his, it was his cousin, she had helped him greatly after, after, everything that had happened, she stood by him, and with pride. He slowly got up, touched her arm to let her own he was up and well, and walked through the crowd, to this ever so wonderful Jack, now how could he let his rival get all the pleasure and win the place so easily, it all made sense now, Jack was his rival, Jack wanted that place, but he would never want it as much as he himself did, he had to make his audience know he was there, and then, he had to remind Jack, and Roger, and the so forgetful twins, and maybe, just maybe, then the twins would remember.
A hand was placed in front of him. A hand, a cold hand, a hand that for some reason, he felt held his destination. He greeted the hand, and then looked up at the face, he was presented with a built up boy, a blond boy, a boy he somehow recognised, so that was way he got that unusual feeling he thought to himself.
‘Hello, do I know you, I feel your face is familiar to me, please do correct me if I am wrong?’
‘WHAT! Do not speak my name in such an open place’ he said with anger yet passion hanged at the end of each word. ‘After all’ smiling ‘I only want my audience to know of who I am when the mayor himself presents me, and how did you know of my name may I ask?’ he looked back up at the blond boy waiting for a reply, none in which he got.
He walked off and turned his back on, who he now knew for sure, was Jack, just as his first reaction had told him, he smiled, his instincts hardly ever failed him, especially since his life was broken into a million and one pieces. He approached the identical look-alikes, and actioned with no words, only with a drag on one of their hands and motioned them to follow him, he took them back to where he had left Jack open mouthed and lost. Talking the say walk again, he approached the youngest of them, black, shaggy, untidy hair, was standing talking to a group of boy’s about family. But this time, he would have to talk, as it would be impossible to motion with actions, after all, this young boy had not seen him for a good six long years, he must have been sixteen by now he wondered.
‘Hi, you are…?’ he waved a hand towards Roger in hoping he would get a reply, in which he did. The young boy went red seeing he was being put on the stop, the centre of attention, now that, he knew was not a first.
The three boys where talking together, about what else but Jacks placement, typical Jack all right, he had not changed there had he, he pulled a hand through his golden blond hair and introduced Roger to the other three. The twins had relaxed from before, he had noticed, they where more talkative and moving. He looked Jack straight in the eye, he had changed, he had remembered the meaning of civilisation, and he had realised that English boys are not savages, but could he remember what they had all went though all those years back, he just had to find out.
‘Anyone know anyone else within us?’ he looked from one to another across the small circle of four boys, Roger and the Samneric held blank faces in the palms of there hands, but Jack, well Jack could never let anyone get the best of him could he now, soon, any second now, he knew he would get a harsh response from him, any second…NOW!
‘What are you talking about, are you not the young chap who collapsed half an hour ago, you poor lass, you still must be in shock, now then why don’t one of you head him along to the First Aid centre across the street. O no, it must be closed after that terrible storm, I’ll tell you what, you can sit on ma candidates comfy seat!’ he said his speech with such pride and dignity he hated to remember what he had made him go through.
‘I am NOT crazy, you all know each other, why can’t you STUPID boys remember, I have never forgotten, I have never passed a day with it all passing my head so rapidly, hurting sooooo much, I just cannot believe you are all lying to yourselves, can’t you remember Simons death, and Piggy’s, now common Roger, you can have forgotten that! Samneric, enjoy giving away ma hiding place is it, just for that’ he motioned towards Jack ‘that damn selfish boy who has the guts to call himself English, NO, its impossible you could have forgotten, IMPOSSIBLE you hear me!’ he was raiding red now, but he felt so good, better than ever before, for a long time, but the question now was, did they remember? Was it possible to forget something that big?
The so joyful mayor, in his late fifties and enormously fat, stood up on the podium and held in his hands a trophy as well as holding an ever so open hearted smile in his spirit. The whole town loved him, because of his joyful ways even in old age, now who said old people where moaners? He had instantly liked the not getting any younger mayor when he had met him via his college a few months back. Although he did seem nervous, he glanced over to Jack, and saw he was bright and breezy face illuminating red light of shyness and embarrassment, he knew just like Jack did, that their names would be called name second now.
‘Now to introduce to us our two marvellous candidates, Jack Merridew, please a round of a plause for our first candidate’ his face switched around to Jacks direction, and after the clapping was done with, he climbed the few stairs up to the podium and stood beside the Mayor, his blond head was paining him, he was waiting for this, he was dreading it, yet looking forward to it as well, he just had to have a better speech than Jack, he could never let him get away with achieving the placement, after all the tough time he had given him six hard years ago.
‘Thank you Mister Mayor, I appreciate your thanks with great honour’ he turned towards his eyeful audience and greeted them with the redness face he had ever seen before, poor guy, he never grew out of that did he? Hahaha, he laughed to himself, and assured him this battle would be easy as making toast to win!
‘I…my…I…sorry!, My name is Mr Merridew, I am a student at High Field College. I am sure you have all heard of it before, noting its high standards and grades’ he smiled with pride and bragging. ‘I wish for this place of Student Mayor, in which is I had the great opportunity for having the chance to compete against my component, but I will assure you, anything with have to offer, I will offer better, better money coming in, better colleges that will be available for all young men out who’s knowledge has been fading away with all the rich folk, now what more would you what, I ask you, now that what I thought nothing! I thank you for letting me talk to you, and good voting to all of you!’
the crowd looked at him, half with superiority and others with ignorance, unaware that he said anything in favour for them. He smiled, and awaiting his calling from the ever so joyful Mayor.
‘And now, for our other second candidate, please welcome Ralph’ By the time the sweet cubby name had announced his name he was by his side. ‘O haha, he is here our man, I present to you Ralph, umm I apologise, but we have no surname down for you sir?’
‘yes I know Mister Mayor, I like to be called Ralph, I am no mister among these people, they are who I am’ he replied with a bright smile. The mayor did not argue but beamed and walked to his seat on the high podium.
‘I am who you are. I am no different you who you are. And neither is anyone else. We are all young men, wanting a future, wanting to live our lives to the fullest it can get us. Rich, poor, educated, worked, we are all one family!’ Ralph grinned with happiness and caught his dear cousins eye, which rose his confident yet even more, he had caught his audience’s attention straight off!
‘I intend to fight for our cases, not yours, but ours, we should get a fair trial or bus fares, and education costs, without us, there will be not next generation, I believe our dear mayor should help us with his generous self, and I will do everything in ma power to help us achieve this, if I am lucky enough to get this wonderful place of Student Mayor, I will be giving out a form in which every under nineteen will fill out, no names, just answers to what your problems and what you would like to see changed within our beautiful community, we are NOT savages, we ARE Englishmen, we ARE civilized, and we will talk our way to our goal. I appreciate and thank your attention and hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.’ He ended his little speech with a small rapid nod and walked relaxed towards the mayor and shook his hands and made his way towards his cousin.
Ralph and his cousin stood and talked as the odd few came up to him and showed there favour in him, he could see Merridew in the distance trying to catch peoples attention, he was right for this job, he knew he was, Merridew would ruin it, that he would let happen, yet his problems were not over. The boy’s still did not realise who he was, or didn’t they? True to his thought, Samneric approached him with young Roger, he felt a drip of sweat slide down his neck with a cold breeze following.
Ahhhhh, such a sly man Jack was, never changes did he. Roger had changed, and definitely for the better, he had explained things since there returning of their trip. His father had been killed in the war, such as Ralph’s had been, and his mother had moved in with his grandparents, he had remembered who he really was with his returning, and regretted his savagery of the past ‘I have never touched face paint since then’. He had returned to school, and was still studying, hoping to become a lawyer, Ralph knew he could and would, and promised himself he would keep in touch with young Roger, just to make sure he did not fall off track EVER again. But how the twin’s story had been different from his and Rogers, they had lost both parents in the war, and as soon as the government found out, they had got sent to Australia to live with there great Aunt Ann, and had just recently been allowed to return home. But one thing Ralph still did not understand, was how these three remembered and come to him, he could not leave such a lucky chance in seeing them without asking, could he now?
‘but, I don’t understand, why when I asked you if you remembered, none of you replied, you when I dropped you my hints indirectly, he gave me blank faces? And how did you remember? What got you to come up to me? I don’t understand?’ he looked at each boy with somehow, grief.
Eric explained how he and his brother where scared, scared of how they thought he’d try and get his revenge on them giving away there hiding place, but did not know he was still as mature as before, well compared to them he was the mature one. When Sam made this point, all the boys laughed together, something they could not remember even doing while at the island. Although, there laughter was cut off quite absurdly by a so known freckled face.
‘You little rat…you think by getting half the town on your side you will break me, afraid not you little dumb blonde’ although he was cut off his words by a small voice.
‘Who are you to talk like that when you are the leading advocate of anarchy and always have been, do not let me bring you out Merridew, you are nothing but a bag of trouble’
the boys looked around each other, who’s voice was it, because it had definitely not come out of any of their mouths…Jack had turned red, and they all knew what each one was thinking…who had said that???