A/N: I deleted this. I'm a doofus. Thanks, Duchess for alerting me.

Ok, so Hi! Again! Please enjoy. Thanks for all the great reviews.

What You Need To Know: The Boat never came. Original, I know.

Disclaimer: Not mine. There're only here through Mr Golding's genius.

Ralph looked wildly around him. There was no way out. A harsh sob wracked his body and he shook with exhaustion and defeat. They were going to kill him. Already he could hear their braying howls as they closed in for the kill, animalistic, savage, echoing even above the roar of the hungry fire.

Ralph had to fight the strong, choking desire to throw himself on the soft sand and cry bitterly, giving in to his terror, giving in to the savagery, surrendering the pathetic claim he still had on his young life, a claim he was sure he wouldn't have for much longer. Death would make them all go away. Death would make Jack go away.

And if he had been any other boy, he would have done, but he wasn't.

/I was the chief./ He told himself, fiercely. /I still am the chief and just because they have their sticks and their paint…/ His thoughts trailed off. /They can't take that away from me!/ he finished, desperately.

He turned away from the burning island and stared out towards the sea. The huge mass of water looked the same as it always did. Glistening in the sun, the waves pounding soothingly on the shore, unchangeable. It was a strange comfort to Ralph: that even though the island was in total uproar, the sea was unaffected, unconcerned about the murderous turn of events. He was drawn towards its ignorant, unchanging innocence like a moth to the flame. Hesitantly, he stumbled down the beach, his eyes locked on his salvation.

The water would hide him. The water would embrace him, rather than kill him.

A loud, animalistic cry wrenched his attention away from his blue haven and he turned, his heart in his throat.

They were there. They had found him. Slowly, they melted out of the jungle, low to the ground, their spears pointing towards their quarry. Quietly they fanned out, cutting off any escape back into the hot depths of the island, their faces black, painted and terrifying. With the flames and the smoke framing the scene, the hunters looked like something out of the depths of hell

Jack stepped out before his ranks and smiled predatorily at his human prey. Ralph backed up a couple of steps, away from the boy's bolting blue stare.

"You ready to give up yet, Ralph?" the boy yelled over the noise of the hungry flames behind him.

Ralph shook his head numbly and stumbled backwards.

The self-appointed chief smiled and held up a hand to his hunters. "Remember, he's mine!" he growled at them. Then he dropped his hand and, with a series of mindless shrieks and calls, the final stage of the hunt began, the hunters leaping forward towards the wide-eyed, trembling boy.

Ralph spun and ran. He sped clumsily down the beach, sending up showers of dry sand with his bare feet. When he reached the wet sand, the going became easier and he increased the distance between himself and the bristling spears. He didn't stop when he reached the sea, wading desperately out, the water pushing against his exhausted body, taking its toll.

When the hunters reached the water, Jack signalled them to stop. Tightly grasping his spear, he waded out into the shallows.

"Stop, Ralph!" he commanded to the other boy, speaking loudly over the sound of the waves.

Ralph flinched when he heard the voice and he picked up his pace, wading feverishly out, wondering desperately when the water would be deep enough to allow for swimming. Then he could disappear.

Jack clenched his jaw angrily and spoke again. "Stop, Ralph, or I'll put this spear in your back!" he threatened, menacingly.

Ralph slowed, then stopped. His shoulders slumped dejectedly: he was defeated.

Jack smiled triumphantly. "Come back to shore," he ordered.

Ralph turned, but made no effort to follow the command. "Why should I?" he called, his voice breaking. "You'll only kill me. I think I'd prefer to take my chances out here."

Jack laughed harshly. "And where will you go?" He gestured at the horizon. "You're a strong swimmer but there are no other islands in sight. Even you can't get away like that."

Ralph didn't reply.

"Or were you planning on waiting out there, then coming back when we'd got bored?" Jack nodded towards the boys behind him. "I'd post hunters all around the accessible bits of shoreline. You wouldn't be able to get one foot onto the beach without being taken and brought to me. I wouldn't give up on you. " He smiled, slyly. "You're well worth the extra effort. "

Ralph looked uncertainly about him, his hopes deteriorating. A lump formed in his throat and water began gathering in his eyes. He had no way out. He swallowed, forcefully, unwilling to allow Jack or any of the other boys see him cry like a girl.

Jack watched him, consideringly. "I won't kill you, Ralph," he said, steadily.

Ralph looked up, surprised. "But what was the point of…" He gestured weakly at the hunters. "I thought you… But…" he trailed off. "You want me dead!"

Jack clenched his jaw. "Wrong, Ralph! You shouldn't make so many assumptions. I wanted Piggy dead, yes. The fat lump had it coming to him. Him and his 'assmar'! I was sick of the sight of him," he spat.

Ralph looked at him, hatred shining brightly in his eyes. "You and Roger had no right to kill him!" he said, fiercely. "He had just as much right to be on this island as you do! You should be ashamed, Jack Merridew!" Ralph turned his heated gaze to the others. "And all the rest of you!"

Jack shook his head, slowly, his hands clenched to fists at his side. "Well I'm not ashamed!" he said, defiantly. "Do you hear me Ralph?" He turned and yelled into the sky, "I AM NOT ASHAMED!" He turned back to Ralph. "And there's nothing you can do about it," he said, quietly. "Who are you to lecture me? I'm chief!"

Ralph turned and resumed his wading through the salt water, away from the red-haired boy.

Jack watched him in annoyance. "Stop, you idiot. I told you I'm not going to kill you!"

"Yeah. And I don't believe murderers," came the cool reply.

Jack almost yelled in anger and frustration. "If you don't come back right now, Ralph, I swear I'll come in and get you," he said, forcefully.

Ralph stopped again, but didn't turn to face him.

Jack left the horrific implications of his words hanging for a second, then added, "There are sharks in the sea, too."

That was the deciding factor. Ralph couldn't deal with sharks on top of everything else. He turned and took a small step forward, the waves buffeting him, almost as if they were encouraging his return to the island. "You swear you won't kill me?" he asked in a small voice.

Jack's eyes glinted as he placed a hand over his heart, "I swear."

Ralph's eyes swept over the assorted savages on the beach, finally resting on Roger. "And you promise than none of the others will kill me?"

Jack smiled. "They won't lay a hand on you without my permission."

Ralph ran his tongue over his dry lips and swallowed, convulsively. He didn't trust the red-haired boy but out of the three choices he had - go willingly, get captured, die - he knew that this would be the easiest one. And he was so tired.

The boy nodded curtly at Jack. "Alright," he agreed.

The chief's eyes lit up.

Slowly, Ralph began making his way back to shore, back towards the people who, only a few minutes ago, he thought had been trying to kill him. His heart was heavy and his feet were dragging along the seabed. As he got nearer and nearer the other boys, close enough to make out their wide grins, he got more and more nervous, sure that he was making a huge mistake in giving himself up willingly. He glanced up at Jack and the predatory glint in the boy's eyes did nothing to dispel his fears. He stopped, his heart thumping in his ribcage, at a loss of what to do.

Jack saw his hesitation and growled angrily. He pushed quickly through the waves and took a crushing hold on the other boy's wrist before the boy could attempt another escape. Ralph looked at him, fear and doubt in his eyes, and he immediately tried to wrench back. Jack dragged the resisting boy towards him, his job made pitifully easy due to the other boy's exhaustion and hunger. When Ralph was near enough, the chief grabbed his other arm and twisted it up behind his back. Ralph arched his back in pain, gasping.

Jack grinned, revelling in how easily he could hurt his former chief, and leant forward. "You're mine, Ralph," he whispered softly into the boy's ear, "and there will be no escape. Not ever."

Ralph struggled against the taller boy as Jack dragged his reluctant captive back to the beach, back to his domain. He was terrified. What would they do to him? What would Jack do to him? Wetness pooled in his eyes again. The twelve-year-old had never wanted to be back home more than at that moment, back in the loving arms of his mummy and daddy, back with his pony. But it wasn't to be. Slowly he was forced back towards the one place he had been trying to escape from. The place where two murders had been committed already, and more atrocities were sure to happen. It was his own personal hell. And he knew, with an odd certainty, that the island wouldn't let him go as easily this time. He was trapped.

A/N: I'd appreciate any reviews you kind people are willing to give me.