Ralph was the first to spot Simon. He saw him stumbling down the mountain like a pathetic new born calf. His eyes were wide but heavy and tired at the same time. The camp stopped at a sudden and they watched Simon get closer and closer. Simon opened his mouth and began to talk. The blue-white scar was constant, the noise unendurable. Simon was crying out something about a dead man on a hill. Ralph strained his ears to try and listen but could not hear anything over the endless chants from the hunters.
Then in such a quick second, the game had taken a terrible turn. Ralph caught a glimpse of Jack’s eyes. They were fixated on Simon and were full of anger and fury. Then in that split second, Ralph realised that he should do something quickly for the sake of Simon. Somehow, he knew that they were going to do something terrible. The chanting was getting stronger and the storm was becoming harsher.
Ralph broke through the circling hunters and grabbed Simon’s arm. He pulled him through the mass of chanting savages and made him run a little way down the beach until they came to an opening to the forest.
“Go Simon, run through the forest as fast and as far as you can.”
Ralph looked into Simons’ eyes. He had never seen such clear and beautiful eyes before in his whole life. Now, they sparkled like he had never seen anything sparkle before in his life. He closed his eyes and he felt Simon’s arm leave the lose grip of his hand. He heard the scurrying of Simon’s little feet pad into the forest and into the darkness. Ralph’s knees gave way and he slumped on to the ground. Realising that he was awake and not unconscious, he became aware to the chanting that had became close. Too close.
“Kill the beast! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!”
The chanting was continuous and the words spun through his head. The savages blurred in front of his eyes. Then there was silence. A voice spoke. Ralph recognised it as Jack.
“You let the beast escape. You are an ally of the beast and I don’t want any beasts on my island. How do we know that you are not the beast? Don’t worry, we will find the other beast, he can’t get far. Look my hunters! We have found another beast!”
Ralph tried to scream but the circle burst and started dancing and chanting again. This time Ralph could feel the spears scratching at his skin. Ralph didn’t move. He had given up. All he was waiting for was the final plunge of the spear to finish him off.
Kill the beast! Spill his blood! Do him in!”
An old woman began to pour a slender middle-aged man another cup of tea.
“Oh, no thank you,” replied the man. “Now Mrs Doon, tell me a little about the patient. I’ve visited all the boys who returned from the island but it sounds as though yours has taken the experience the worst.”
“He’s such a poor little boy. He’s been so ill since he’s arrived home. You would of thought that at least his father would come home to spend some time with him. He won’t let anyone show him the slightest bit of affection. It breaks my heart to see him like this. Anyway, what do I know? Here, let me show you to his room.”
Mrs Doon guided the guest through a long winding passage to the top of the house. He thought that is was never going to end. Suddenly they heard a small boy’s voice crying out from the darkness.
“Sounds like he’s had another nightmare again. They happen nearly every night now. I don’t know what to do for him anymore. Looks like you came at a good time doctor. We better go quickly now.”
Mrs Doon carried on up the stairs but this time with a little more speed. The doctor could see how drained and tired she was. He walked anxiously behind her.
“He refused to return to his own room and so we converted the attic into a room. He never comes out of it. All he does is sit up there all day. I’ve offered to decorate it for him but he insists that he likes it the way it is. He also always has to say that he is the leader and we must do what he wants. Now, I know that I am just someone employed by his father, but really! Well, what can you expect after being deserted on an island for three months, eh? Here we are. Now, I have to warn you doctor, he does tend to act a bit strange.” The old woman opened the door to the dark and miserable bedroom. Mrs Doon went straight for the curtains and snatched them back. The little body on the bed flinched at the immense light.
“Now, Now, what is it? Another bad dream? Come on now, sit up a little. You have a visitor.”
The little boys eyes were full of madness. Sweat dripped from his forehead. On his bed lay hundred of crumpled drawings. All the drawings were done with so much accuracy, but without colour, they lacked life.
“It was chanting again. Over and over and-“
“Hush. Now then. This is Doctor Wahlburg. He just wants to talk to you. He’s not going to harm you. He wants to help you.”
“Hello,” began the doctor in a calming voice. “How are you feeling today then?”
There was silence and no apparent movement. The child’s eyes made the doctor nervous and restless.
“So, what are these drawings? Did you do these? They are splendid.”
“Yes,” whispered the boy. His mouth hardly moving. “I did these, but this is my favourite one.” The boy reached over the bed and picked up a shoebox off the floor. He opened it with so much care and presented a perfectly folded piece of paper. He opened it with his eyes so wide. He showed the picture of a huge shell to the doctor. Like all the other pictures in the room, so much care had been taken over it. However, this picture had the quality of colour added to it.
“Ralph my dear, it is freezing in here! Let me light you a fire-“
“No!” Screamed Ralph. He sprang out of his bed while making horrific snarling noises. He began to circle the old woman. The doctor grabbed Ralph’s arm as an attempt to out him to bed again, but Ralph squirmed free of the grip and stood his ground in front of the terrified Mrs Doon.
“What did I say? I said that I would get waxy if you tried to light that fire, didn’t I? I want to be alone with the doctor so let us be!”
The old woman shuffled nervously out of the room.
“See what I mean?” she cried just as she left the room.
Ralph jumped happily back into bed, satisfied with his victory over an adult. It was obvious that he had found someone he liked in the form of the doctor. Still clutching onto his drawing, he sat at the top of the bed, quite innocently, and not making a sound.
The doctor stirred on his spot very cautiously and slowly made his way to a chair at the end of the bed. He began to say something, but stopped himself and sat there in his own thoughts for a few minutes. Then he began. He opened up his notebook and took out a pencil.
“Now Ralph, I want you to start from the beginning and don’t leave anything out. I want you to let out what has been eating away at you. It’s your turn now.”