So, we're studying Lord of the Flies in English, and I love it. Which I should probably be slightly concerned about, but anyway.
I've tried to keep this as accurate to the book (or what we're told happens to Percival in the book) as possible. That said, if there's any inaccuracies, I am sorry.
Also, if it's seemingly a bit simple in places, or there's something that's a bit blunt, that's because I'm trying to convey how young Percival really is. I'm not trying to offend anyone; he's just too young to know very much better.
Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Flies, Percival Wemys Madison, or any of the other boys you recognise from it. There are also chunks of dialogue from the book, and more or less an entire scene, too; I do not own these either.
Mummy sits with him in the garden. The setting sun behind her gives her blonde hair a golden glow, almost angelic in nature. Her legs crossed, she smiles warmly at him.
"Let's practice." Mummy suggests. She sits up a little straighter, puts on a deep voice that Percival supposes is meant to sound like a man's. He giggles; it doesn't fit Mummy, with her pretty floral dress, at all. "What's your name, child?"
"Percival Wemys Madison, The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, Hants, telephone… Telephone…"
"Oh one three," Mummy prompts. Her 'man voice' has gone, replaced once again by the soft, friendly one Percival knows so well.
"Oh one three," The three year old repeats obediently.
"Nine six eight," She coaxes gently.
"Nine six eight," He reels off after her.
"Seven seven five,"
"Seven seven five,"
"Three nine six,"
"Three nine six!" Percival finishes with a grin on his face. "I did it!"
Mummy smiles back at him, holding out her arms so that he can collapse forward into her. She hugs him tightly, cradling his head against her shoulder. "Yes, Percy, you did it."
Percival Wemys Madison can't help but feel incredibly proud of this triumph.
He first gets lost in the crowd on the village high street one particularly busy Saturday morning. He slipped his hand from Mummy's, just for a moment whilst he re-buckled his shoe, but when he turned to take her hand back again once more, she'd vanished in a throng of people he doesn't know at all.
Percival feels his eyes start to brim with tears. He simply stands there in the middle of the path letting them fall, crying and crying as the strangers, the tall strangers, bustle by him like he simply doesn't exist.
But then someone does stop; a man with a bowler hat and a neatly pressed suit.
"What's the matter, son?" He asks, kneeling down as best he can in the crowd.
When he's slumped on one knee, he doesn't look so tall. He's nowhere near as intimidating when his eyes are level of Percival's, and not somewhere lost in the clouds. "I-I-I'm lost." The little boy, now four and one half, explains through his sniffles.
The man in the bowler hat smiles kindly. "Well, we'll have to fix that." He rises back to his full height again, but he doesn't leave. Instead, he takes Percival's hand, just like Mummy does, and smiles down at him. "Where do you live, son?"
It comes out in a rush. "Percival Wemys Madison, The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, Hants, Telephone 013968775396,"
The man in the bowler hat laughs; not unkindly, but as though he wasn't expecting such a thorough answer. "I know the place, Percival Wemys Madison."
Percival beams; he does so love his name. Mummy always says it makes him sound ever so grown up.
The nice man in the bowler hat takes Percival back to the Vicarage. Mummy is sitting on the doorstep, her elbows on her knees and her chin resting in her hand.
"What did I tell you, Percy?" She exclaims proudly as she rises to her feet, running forward and falling to her knees to scoop her son up in a hug. "Tell that to the right person and they'll always bring you back home."
She rises to her feet just as the man in the suit tips his bowler hat and sets off.
"What do we say to the nice man, Percy?" Mummy prompts.
"Thank you!" Percival shouts after him.
The man's smile lasts right the way through the meeting he arrives late for.
Mummy hugs him tightly by the plane at the airport. It's going to take him somewhere safe from the bombs; that's what Mummy said.
Daddy stands behind her, holding Percival's coat. Once the six year old has managed to extract himself from Mummy's grip, Daddy's tossing the coat in her direction and enveloping his son in a hug equally as tight.
"How long will I be away for?" Percival asks.
"Not too long," Daddy promises. "You'll have so much fun that you won't want to come back, I'd reckon."
But Percival shakes his head. "That's silly; of course I'll want to come home!"
Daddy laughs and releases his hold on his only son, standing just as Henry breezes by.
"Percy, you have to get on the plane now." He says, tugging on Percival's arm.
Percival glances over at his parents. His luggage has already been dealt with, but his Mummy wordlessly hands him his coat and smiles brightly. Percival smiles back.
Following Henry, he boards the plane. They sit together, near the middle; not at the back, because that's where the scary older boys sit, and not at the front because Henry doesn't want to sit near the teachers.
Percival manages to get to the window seat before Henry, and sits in it proudly. Pressing his nose up against the glass of the window, he spots his parents. Daddy seems to point him out to Mummy, and they both wave. Percival grins and waves back.
He keeps waving out the window long after the plane's taken off. Part of him knows they can't see him anymore; he's far too high up for that. Part of him hopes they might anyway.
He wakes up in a jungle with a headache. Percival crawls across the undergrowth towards Henry's unmoving body, shaking him frantically.
"Henry!" He whispers. "Henry, wake up!"
Henry bolts upright. "What happened, Percy?"
Percival doesn't know.
The pair of boys walk around, but there doesn't seem to be another human being anywhere in this desolate wilderness.
"I think we're lost." Henry declares, slumping down on the floor and crossing his legs, evidently planning on sitting there until a grown-up finds them. "My Mummy said that, when you're lost, you stay where you are and wait for someone to come find you."
Percival shakes his head; that's not right at all. "You find someone nice, and you tell them where to take you, like you tell the postman where to take letters. And then they bring you home."
"But we don't want to go home; we want to go to wherever the plane was taking us." Henry insists. "Besides, that's silly, because you aren't a letter; you are Percy."
"Percival Wemys Madison," The other boy corrects automatically.
Before Henry has chance to retort, a low rumbling noise echoes throughout the jungle. It sounds a little like a trumpet, and both boys share an excited glance before dashing towards the sound. Only people can blow trumpets, which means there must be someone else somewhere.
The possible-trumpet rumbles again, giving the boys chance to pause and check they're running in the right direction. Eventually, they break out of the forest and onto the beach.
There, there stands a big boy, with blonde hair like Mummy's. He's holding a pretty sea shell, almost as large as his head. Beside him, there's another older boy, with glasses. He looks a bit on the overweight side, but so does Uncle Laurence, and Uncle Laurence gave Percival a train set for Christmas.
Everyone else coming from the forest seem to talk to the boy who looks a bit like Uncle Laurence with glasses, before heading off to talk to each-other further down the beach. Percival and Henry figure they should do the same and head towards the boy who looks a bit like Uncle Laurence.
"What's yer name?" He asks. His accent sounds a bit funny, though Percival can't place why. It's not like Auntie Sally's; she comes from Scotland, and sometimes Percival cannot understand a word she says. But she's nice, and she bakes wonderful fairy cakes, so Percival likes her a lot anyway.
"Henry." Henry replies.
"Percival Wemys Madison, The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Antho-"
"Woah, woah, woah!" The boy who reminds Percival of Uncle Laurence cuts in. "Just your name!"
"But how will I get home again if you don't know where I live?" Percival questions him.
The older boy shakes his head, though he's smiling faintly. "Go sit with the others."
The two younger boys oblige. As they walk down the beach, towards the cluster of other boys who look to be around their age, Percival swears he catches the boy who looks like Uncle Laurence repeating 'Henry, Percival, Henry, Percival' to himself, like he's trying to remember. And then two twins called Sam and Eric arrive, and the Uncle Laurence-like boy has to stop repeating the names of littluns so that he might attempt to wrap his head around which brother is which.
They're calling a meeting about the beast. And it's Percival who gets pushed forward to talk about it. He doesn't want to- big boys are so scary- but the others his own age practically shove him towards the older children, and so Percival should really talk if he doesn't want to look stupid.
But, at this moment, he doesn't much care about looking stupid. He just stares at his feet and wishes the floor would open up, swallow him whole, and then maybe cough him up outside his house. That would be perfect, he decides.
There's the mumble of voices, but Percival's attention is so focused on willing the ground to eat him that he doesn't really hear them. It's not until the boy like Uncle Laurence, who Ralph (with the hair like Mummy's, only shorter) said to call 'Piggy', crouches down in front of him that Percival acknowledges anyone's existence save his own since being forced out by the others.
"Now then." Piggy says gently. "What's your name?"
Percival abandons the theory of the floor swallowing him, and instead adopts the idea that if he curls up small enough, he will be invisible.
Out the corner of his eye, Percival sees Piggy turn to Ralph, who almost shouts, "What's your name?"
All around, the other boys (biguns and littluns) start to chant: "What's your name? What's your name?" Gradually getting louder and louder until-
"Quiet!" Ralph yells, silencing them all. Percival glances up at the blonde boy, realising that he cannot actually make himself invisible. "Now tell us. What's your name?"
"Percival Wemys Madison," Once he's started, the words just tumble out of their own accord. "The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthony, Hants, telephone, telephone, tele-" Was it oh three? Or oh four? He can't remember, and this realisation brings him to tears because it means he'll be lost forever. Now, if a nice man finds them, he won't know where to take him. And as this piece of information sinks in, sobbing turns into wailing, because he wants to go home more than anything else.
"Shut up, you! Shut up!" It sounds like Jack; scary, tall, hunter Jack. But Percival can't shut up. Once he starts crying, he can't just stop suddenly. "Shut up! Shut up!" The same person orders.
Percival keeps crying. From behind, he hears some of the other littluns join in, and whilst he can't fathom why they're upset, he appreciates their support.
Then another bigun stands up- Maurice? Percival isn't sure.
"Look at me!" Maybe-Maurice falls over deliberately. And he does it more than once, in so comedic a way that Percival can't help but laugh, even if he's still snivelling.
"And what about the beast?" Scary hunter Jack interrupts the light-hearted moment.
Percival stops giggling. Instead, he almost falls forward, taken over by a sudden tiredness. Jack catches him, holding him roughly by the shoulders and shaking him.
"Where does the beast live?" He asks Percival.
Percival slumps wearily and Piggy cuts in. "That's a clever beast, if it can hide on this island." Piggy does not believe in the beast.
Other people start to talk, cutting each-other off and interrupting each-other. Percival takes this chance to mutter his answer in the hope that it means Jack will let him go.
"What does he say?" Ralph asks over everyone else.
Jack listens carefully as Percival mutters his answer once more, finally releasing Percival so that he might curl up in a tiny ball on the floor and sob himself to sleep.
There's an officer! An actual grown-up officer! Ralph reaches him first, and the little boy suspects they talk about something he'd not find exciting.
Still, like clockwork, the little boy walks up to the officer and smiles his brightest smile. He knows his teeth probably need brushing, but it's a chore he's never liked, and since he doesn't exactly have a toothbrush with him, he has an excuse now.
The officer looks down at the little boy, smiling somewhat kindly.
"I'm, I'm…" The little boy struggles to remember. It began with a 'P', didn't it? Percy? That seems about right. But then there was more! He distinctly remembers a whole verse! And how shall he ever get home if he can't remember it?
He doesn't cry, not this time. But his eyes fill with tears, even if they don't fall any further.
He gets home again. He's not sure how, considering he can't remember his address and he's fairly sure that means he'll never get back.
They've sat him in a chair, told him and the other boys that 'the parents and guardians of the children onboard the plane have been notified of their presence' at this strange, shiny white building and told to 'collect their sons as soon as is convenient'.
A lady with angelic blonde hair enters the shiny white room, and she's somewhat familiar to Percy. The woman's eyes scan the boys until they fall on her own.
Percy has had a bath since they left the island; they all have. Without the dirt, they're skin looks a little less savage. Their expressions, on the other hand, are haunted and, in some cases, terrifying.
The angelic woman falls to her knees, arms held out. Percy thinks he's supposed to do something. Run over? He slithers out of his chair and dashes up to her.
She seems to do the rest for him, wrapping her arms round him and pulling him close, cradling his arm tightly against her shoulder. It's so familiar a gesture that the verse starts to come back, just droplets at first, but soon they grow into the torrent of a rapid river.
"You-you-you," Percival starts to sob into Mummy's shoulder. "You said it'd take me home."
"I know." She whispers into his hair soothingly. "I know."
Percival releases another shuddering sob into her shoulder before mumbling, "You-you-you-you lied."
"I know." Mummy whispers back, rocking him gently. "I know."