Jack

Murderer. Jack Merridew, the murderer. He murdered two little kids, did you know? He's a murderer. He's mental. That was what they whispered outside my minuscule grey cell, and it was what I was known as here. A murderer. That was all I would ever be now, all I could ever amount to. A sadistic murderer trapped in the body of a 14 year old boy.

Although technically untrue. I hadn't actually killed anyone; that was all Roger's doing. Roger had smashed meddlesome Piggy's round fat head in and Roger had delivered Simon's final death blow with a stick sharpened at both ends. But I was the ringleader, the chief who hunted little children...

Oh, what did it all matter now? I had participated in the attacks, I had once wanted to feel the blood; hot, unlimited blood, redder than anything I could imagine, flowing over my hands, and that was the unchangeable truth.

All I could do these days was obsess about how I was a killer, same as that long ago time period when I was madly obsessed about hunting. Was that a sign a presentiment of what-must-be? Did the many dead sows signal, did they foreshadow my blood-lust?

My mind tried to work it out feverishly, thinking about the dead pigs, the island, the conch shell that meant nothing, crackling fire and the smoky smell that clung to everything, dead pigs, the island...

"Merridew? Jack Merridew?" I heard her before I saw her. Mrs. Baker, the representative of order and neatness, the very aspects of the person I was before and secretly despised, before the island. Mrs. Baker. Baker, like how the sows had been baked on a stick over a spitting fire, the alluring smell of meat teasing our savage senses, flies circling overhead, waiting for the inevitable leftovers...

I shook my head and tried to escape the nightmarish visions, and instead focused my eyes on the grey wall overhead, determined not to look at her.

"Your schedule. You're fourteen, boy, you need to go to school and behave like a normal citizen. Now here's you hardly younger than the fellows in the army and-' A piece of paper drifted towards the grey bedding, which undoubtedly had today's 'schedule' stamped on, and I ignored it, instead concentrating strongly on the stationary wall overhead. Couldn't anyone see that I wanted to be left alone? A flurry of movement, and the slip was pushed into my limp, unyielding hands. Still she went on:

"Merridew! Pay attention, sit up straight. Your schedule is the most important thing you have, and the rules are-"

Without realizing, I had leapt up from my bed and had crumpled the schedule in one, tight fist. Shaking with unknown anger, I stared insolently at my elder's round, ruddy face.

"Rules! Who needs rules? No-one, that's who! Damn the rules, to hell with the rules! Because-" I was screaming now, my voice verging on hysterics.

"We can get along just fine without them!"

My feet started moving of their own accord, and Ms. Baker's outraged protests echoing in my ears, hollering for Security to catch me, my feet pounding on the cold stone floor and running, just running. I barely gave a thought to the fact that other trapped inmates stared, or that my feet were going numb; it was like running on ice when you're barefoot and not used to exercise. Doctors tried, unsuccessfully, to catch me, but even out of practice, I was a good runner. I shook several of them off, fear coursing through my veins like fire, fast and infectious. I was the hunted now, helpless and nowhere to go. Hadn't I been the chief mere weeks ago? Look at me now. Stumbling, staggering, nearly tripping over my own feet and half blind with fear. Some chief I was. I briefly imagined what would happen if I got caught. Jack Merridew, who died like a pig, unable to save anyone, not even himself.

I could only hear the sound of bare flesh slamming against the floor, banging into walls, and knocking over a rack of sterile equipment. Shouts were meaningless to me and I was even oblivious to the crashing noise of the rack falling, collapsing hard and various bottles of medicine breaking. That is, until my foot caught on an unraveling roll of bandages, and tripped. I stumbled against a heavy wooden door -oak, by the looks of it- to stay upright, and fell in.

It was an abandoned dressmaker's room. There were a couple of moth-eaten beige mannequins swathed in cobwebs, scattered in numerous places, some sporting heads of cheap yellow polyester, others with missing limbs, broken off from the original body. A pile of yellowed outfit ideas, drawn painstakingly neatly onto thick parchment, sat neglected on a nearby desk. I glanced over without much interest, and then my eyes rested on the dusty wardrobe in the corner. Yes. A hiding place, I thought for a second, before I ran over to the huge wardrobe and flung open the wardrobe door. There were silk curtains and scratchy blankets in an unruly heap, piled as high as my chin inside, and I instantly dove into them, locking myself into the darkness and the superficial comfort of something soft, anything soft, encircling my body. I buried my face into one of the silk hangings, and screamed. I wasn't Jack Merridew anymore. I was a mental, horrific murderer.