Chapter Sixteen: Ungrateful Chief and a Crying One
Piggy was going into the shelter to get some sleep when he heard the bushes rustling and fear gripped his insides. Who's that? The fat boy knew Ralph wouldn't come back from Jack's place until several hours before morning, so that couldn't be him.
For the first time, much to his annoyance, he was proved wrong. Ralph emerged into the clearing, walking so slowly he looked like he was sleepwalking.
Piggy approached him, and was sure that the boy was awake. "Ralph. What's wrong?"
The blond chief shook his head. Piggy didn't need to ask once again because he knew that there was obviously something wrong with him. His eyes were drawn and dark. Piggy remembered how Ralph communicated with the others that morning. When he ordered the twins and Peter to do the fire watch, he seemed out of place. He was tired, obviously. He looked like he had cried.
And Piggy wondered from where he got that ability to study anyone.
Ralph merely shook his head and walked into the shelter. When Piggy decided to follow some minutes later, he was shocked to hear little sobs from the shelter.
Ralph jerked awake and blinked the tears away from his eyes. "Oh, hello, it's you."
"Crying isn't good, Ralph."
Ralph didn't say anything.
"My auntie said crying isn't good for your face. She said it could tire you faster, and for me crying isn't good for my asthma."
"Sucks to your auntie."
Piggy smiled weakly, forcibly. He didn't like when someone spoke bad about his auntie. But this was Ralph, so Piggy decided to let it pass. "I wish I had my auntie's candy jar," he said, in an attempt to cheer the other boy with the way he knew best. "That could make you smile for days."
Ralph rolled his eyes, but still looked sad. They were silent before Ralph finally broke it.
Piggy looked up at him, his cracked specs and the darkness made it difficult.
"If... if you met someone who hated you... but you didn't even remember him... what would you do?"
Piggy's mind spun, trying to find the wisest answer possible.
"People never like me and my auntie. They call us names. I didn't understand what those names meant, and I still do," he said slowly. "But she said I have to smile at them all the time and they will love me in time. She said people hate you because they want to be like you but they can't. I'm not really sure about your question, but remember what she said: 'the only way to make hatred disappear is to love and not to hate more'."
It wasn't the best answer Piggy could give. And it didn't seem to be the answer Ralph wanted either, but the blond smiled and patted Piggy's back. "Thanks, Piggy."
When they woke up that morning, the clearing was quiet. Way too quiet in Ralph's opinion. He walked out the shelter and nobody was there.
Piggy apparently woke up earlier than he did, because he was eating the banana in the corner. Ralph remembered when the group was still intact, Piggy used to sit there and tell them stories. It felt so long ago the memories started to blur in Ralph's mind.
"Piggy, where are the rest?"
"I don't know. Maybe fruit picking?" Piggy asked, offering Ralph a coconut.
Ralph took it. "We won't wait for them. We'll go up and do the fire duty."
The abduction went quite well. Roger nodded in satisfaction when Henry, Maurice, Harold, and Rupert dragged the remaining littleuns who had stayed with Ralph up Castle Rock. They squirmed and tried hard to break free, but the biguns' grips were hard on them.
The remaining littleuns were Percival, Samneric, Peter, David, and Stanley. The rest of them had been kidnapped before or came voluntarily to them in the need of meat. Roger smiled sadistically as the boys were half-dragged into Castle Rock. "Welcome," he hissed.
Percival's eyes widened when he saw the other littleuns crouching fearfully in the corner. He wanted to reach out for them, to shake them, to shout at them why they were here, and to knock some sense into their heads. He snarled and struggled harder.
"Percival," Roger said in a low voice. "Always the fierce one. You have that spirit of a hunter... but sad enough you didn't use it."
"We killed Simon!"
Maurice, who was holding him, pushed him so hard the freckled boy fell and his cheek scraped the sharp, rocky ground. He hissed in pain, the blood making new face paint on his formerly clean cheek. Roger crouched in front of him, staring at him for a while before looking up at Bill.
Robert was climbing his way up Castle Rock, his ears were filled with screams of pain from the hunter's headquarters. He climbed faster, his hand gripped his bloodied spear tightly. His legs protested as he forced them to go faster and he was forced to stop for a while.
The littleun's screams still filled his mind and he shuddered. He continued to climb and finally he reached the entrance of the fort.
"STOP IT!" he screamed.
Bill's hand stopped in the mid-air, the vine he used as a whip against Percival dangling uselessly in his grip. All of them stared at him, dumbfounded. Robert almost never screamed, and when he did everyone gaped at him like a fish. Samneric, Peter, David, and Stanley rushed towards him, hugging his hips and pulling his arm in fear. Even after he had betrayed them, they still loved him. That saddened him so deeply he pulled them into his arms right there.
Roger, however, sobered quickly and he rushed towards Robert. "What do you want?" he hissed, pulled a littleun, who happened to be David, to his side.
Roger's eye twitched dangerously. Robert knew he wouldn't be reluctant to stab him with his spear right there. So he stood, now so sure of himself.
"I killed the Beast."
It was the first time all of them saw their chief's control crumbled, although a bit. Roger's lips curled into a wide, dangerous smile as he continued to stare at Robert. Nobody spoke, nobody even dared to breathe.
"How did you find it?" Roger hissed.
"I... encountered it in the forest and I... killed it. Look."
Roger took Robert's spear. He stared at the spear and poked his finger at the blood stained it. The dark chief stared at the blood on his index finger and slowly, painstakingly, rubbed it on his cheek. Robert merely gaped at him, who smiled evilly as he repeated the action.
"Y'know what," he said at the bigun, face now completely painted by Jack's blood. "This is not only about me and... the Beast anymore."
Robert wanted to speak, but Roger cut him off. "There's that bloody newcomer. The newcomer who dares to be chief on his own." Roger let out a hoarse, mocking laugh. "We'll take care of him later. Now, we have to celebrate. You, little useless brats, will stay here with your friends. Don't try to run, or else."
He looked around, still smiling that creepy smile. "We'll go hunting tomorrow."
"But, Chief," Maurice stepped in. "We need fire. And rubbing sticks together takes a long time."
Roger snorted. "We'll steal that fat kid's glasses."
"We need to go to Castle Rock," Ralph said to Piggy. "They are abducted."
"They're kidnapped?" Piggy asked incredulously.
Ralph wanted to snort. That was exactly how he reacted when Jack said the same. His mind stopped at the mention of that name.
Jack. His stepbrother.
He had come back to Jack's hideout only to find nothing. He had assumed that Jack didn't want to be found, so he had gone back to the clearing. He had felt so sad he'd cried, but Piggy and his words amused him and he appreciated his efforts.
Ralph was snapped out his reverie. "What?"
"We're going tomorrow."
"Why not now?" Ralph asked.
"I can't see well, Ralph." Piggy said reasonably.
Ralph's words were cut by something from the distance. To be precise, sounds from the distance.
The two boys flinched. "D'you hear that?" Piggy asked. "There's something out there!"
Ralph nodded and they rushed into the nearest shelter, trying to be as quiet as possible. A while later, shadows of boys walked into the clearing. Ralph jerked when there was a spear stabbed into the shelter, merely missed several inches from Ralph's face. He gasped loudly. Piggy shrieked when the shelter started to crumble.
"They're here!" a voice shouted in happiness. That shout was followed by the other's cheers.
Before they had any chance to react, a hand pushed its way into the shelter and hit Piggy's head so hard the fat boy shrieked in pain. The hand pulled away quickly, but Ralph could see it was holding something before it was gone.
"We get it!"
And then they ran away, leaving the two boys alone. "Hey!" the blond shouted, scrambling out the shelter. "What have you done?!"
He pulled Piggy out the destroyed shelter. "Are you okay?"
Piggy nodded slowly, but his eyes were unfocused. But suddenly Ralph realised why. It seemed Piggy did as well.
"MY SPECS! THEY TOOK MY SPECS!"
A boy was sitting near the river, splashing water towards his left shoulder. He winced at the pain and sighed. It was starting to get too quiet in there.
Suddenly there were vague noises and he blinked. Those voices were rough and unrecognisable.
"We're hunting tomorrow."
"We have that fat lard's glasses."
"What if he wanted it back?"
"It depends to the Chief. But I heard he told Maurice to go to the top of Castle Rock. In case if Ralph and Piggy came for the specs."
There was a hoarse laughter. "Or those littleuns."
The boy knew this was going to happen. So when the voices had faded, he stood and rushed towards the back of the forest. He closed his eyes when he arrived on his destination. He opened it again quickly and began climbing.
He knew he had to help Ralph. But he would do it his way.
A/N: This is Thursday everyone! At least in my place is :D
This is a calm before the storm, enjoy!