Author:  CeilidhO

Title: The Dirtiest Thing

Summary:  A voice from Simon's past echoes words of the future. 

Disclaimer:  I did not write "The Lord of the Flies", and I do not own Simon.  Many lines in the story are directly from the book, and I make no claim to them whatsoever.

*                   *                   *

The church hall echoed with the sound of beautiful music as the boys began their descant.  Simon felt his heart flutter with the sheer power of its beauty, and his gaze found the happy middle distance until the end of the hymn.  His eyes were still far away when a heavy hand fell on his shoulder as he filed dreamily out of the booth.  Simon could hear the man's voice, as if from very high up, from very far away.  It beckoned him to come, come and he'd get a special treat.

The schoolmaster led Simon away from the main room of the church, into a small chapel at the end of a cold stone hallway.  He let his hands rest on the coarse black hair for just a moment too long, and all of the boy's natural instincts were suddenly on the alert.  Something was wrong about this.

He was right.  Even as it happened, the humiliation began to stain his cheeks with red, sick shame rising in his throat like bile. 

The man was silent for a long time afterward, his eyes bright and gleaming.  Simon hurt, inside and out, and his face was slick with sweat from the effort of keeping silent.  His lips were swelling from where the iron hand had clamped over his mouth to quiet him.  It had been unnecessary; Simon was always quiet.

After a shivering eternity, the school master spoke.

Now, Simon.  That was something new for you, but I-

"It's not right.  Why did you do that?  It hurt…"

It hurt?  Well, that must be because of you.  None of the others ever said it hurt.  The hurting was your fault.

"No it wasn't.  You hurt me.  I'll tell."  A hiss of indrawn breath.

You are a silly little boy, just an ignorant, silly little boy.

Simon shook his head.  The hand clamped down on his jaw, yanking his face up to face the light and the looming, towering shadow that blocked it out.  Simon couldn't look it in the eye.

Don't you agree?  Aren't you just a silly little boy?

It was too bright and too dark all at once.  The shame was seeping through him like black ink, embedding into him, sinking in its claws.  What if he was… 

"I am.  I am ignorant.  I'm sorry.  It was my fault." 

Disgust shook him like a seizure. 

What's the dirtiest thing there is?

The boys all said that… touching… was dirty.  Simon certainly felt dirty.  And weren't the grown up always right?

"I am."  I am the dirtiest thing there is.  We all are.  "I won't tell."

Well then, you'd better go back and play with the others.  If you tell…

"I won't tell."  The shame was too deep already.

They'll think you're batty.  You don't want Jack to think you're batty do you?  You like Jack a lot, don't you?  And Maurice, and Bill?

"Yes.  I won't tell."  Not batty…

After he left the chapel, Simon shook so hard that he found bile on his shirt, and a crust in the corners of his mouth.  But it didn't matter.  He wasn't really there.  He wasn't batty…

"I won't tell."  Never.  Never ever.  No one could know.  He was certain that his shame must radiate from him like a stench, that his dirtiness must ooze from his every pore.  Is that why everyone looked at him sideways, why there was a broad ring of vacuum around him in choir?  He couldn't see it in the mirror, but that didn't mean it wasn't there.  You can't much trust mirrors.  If they show everything backward, what else are they getting wrong?

The night air bit Simon as he crossed from the dorm to the church.  Without knowing why, his feet carried him through the small wooden door and down the cold stone hall.  He stood shaking from cold and fear and hate and rage and shame…  He stood shaking for any reason his mind could invent for the violent contractions of his muscles. 

The world stopped as footsteps echoed behind him.  Simon felt the acid creep up his throat again.

What are you doing out here all alone?  Aren't you afraid of me?

Simon shook.

There isn't anyone to help you.  Only me.

Simon's mouth laboured, brought forth audible words.  "Don't want…"  Oh god, he was scared.

You knew it, didn't you?  I'm part of you.  Close, close, close!

The laughter shivered again.  The iron hand was touching again, and the shame was staining him like ink, like blood.

Come now, get back to the others and we'll forget the whole thing.

Simon shook his head.  The air vibrated with rage, and Simon turned and ran, his heart pounding like a drum, his breath coming in gasps.  The shadow was behind him.

This is ridiculous.  You know perfectly well you'll only meet me down there- so don't try to escape!

Simon was swept against him with a roping arm, rough and twisted, arched and straining.

This has gone quite far enough.  My poor, misguided child, do you think you know better than I do?

Simon knew with wrenching finality that he didn't know better, no one new better, and they never would.  It was better just to accept it.  Everything is bad business.

I'm warning you.  I'm going to get… waxy.  Do you see?  I know the way things are, and I'm going to have fun.  We're all going to have fun in this school.  Understand?  So don't try it on, my poor misguided boy, or else-

The iron hand began to press on his throat, the other hand roaming freely down his body.  Simon squirmed, an unexpected last ditch attempt at the salvation of his own innocence.  The iron hand was crushing the air out of him.  Black spots danced in front of him like tiny savage warriors, gold edged but black and rotting at their heart, in their soul.  Just the same as everyone.  And Simon knew, he realised. 

Our destiny is to slowly rot away from our cores, beginning the moment we first know life.  Everything is dirty, everything is bad business, and yet we carry on, a heroic struggle against the sick, filthy nature that grows every time we draw breath to live.

-Or else, I shall do you.  See?  Do you…. 

As the iron hand maintained its grip on his life, Simon could feel his own sickness multiplying like a cancer in his soul.  He was just the same as anyone.  Knowing didn't help; it only meant that you shoulder a cross few have to bear.

The light of fanaticism entered his eyes, eerily bright and dancing. 


Breath, hot and scalding on his neck and ear.  A sibilant whisper straight from a heart of darkness.

What's the dirtiest thing there is?

I am.

An eternity later, in a different life, sinking in the oppresive, violent heat of a brewing jungle storm, the pulse beat on Simon's brain with the tattoo of a ritual dance.  His body was arched and stiff.

And the Lord of the Flies spoke in the voice of  a schoolmaster.

-                    -                    -                    -                    -                    -                    -

A/N:  Please REVIEW!  I thought that the way the Lord of the Flies spoke to Simon sounded too deliberate, so I made up this scenario to explain that and (some) of Simon's attitude towards the world.  Tell me what you think…