On deck of the cruiser, the officer split the boys up into several groups. He then led each group of boys to a cabin. Ralph hoped that he would not be in the same group as Jack or any of the other older boys. He was still a little weary of them. He was not completely certain if they still wanted to kill him. Ralph let out a sigh or relief when he realized he was going to bunk with two of the littluns, whom he was sure could not do him any harm.
The officer told the boys that dinner would be served in approximately two hours. During that time they were to clean themselves up and rest a little bit. Some clothes were given to each boy although the clothes were rather ill-fitting. The officer was still puzzled by this bunch of adolescent males. He could not comprehend how these British boys could have degenerated into a pack of heathens. They are British, aren”t they?Order now
The hot shower and quick nap did Ralph a load of good. He felt pretty awkward in the clothes he was given, but they were better than his old pair of dirty, tattered shorts. It felt so wonderful to get all that dried sweat and layers of dirt washed away from his body. He asked one of the stewards for a pair of scissors and gave himself and the two littluns who shared the cabin with him crude haircuts. A bad haircut was better than that sorry mass of matted strands they tried to pass off as hair.
That evening at dinner, Ralph ate alone. He did not feel the least bit comfortable sharing a meal with the same people who tried to kill him just several hours before. He glanced every now and then at Jack and the others who were seated two tables over. Ralph had a bad feeling about the way Jack and Roger would lean their heads toward each other and whisper while giving Ralph a menacing stare.
“They wouldn”t dare harm me now, would they? We”re on this ship and there are grownups around,” thought Ralph. “I should be safe, shouldn”t I? I”m no longer a hunted animal. I”m safe here. I”m safe here. I”m….”
“Excuse me, son. May I sit down?” It was the naval officer that Ralph stumbled upon on the beach of that godforsaken island. Ralph nodded feebly and the officer took a seat. “Why aren”t you sitting with your friends?”
“They”re not my friends,” answered Ralph.
“Oh, I see,” he said, although he did not see at all. The officer and Ralph ate the rest of their meal in silence.
That night Ralph had fitful dreams. He kept reliving those awful moments on the island over and over and over again. He dreamt of the gentle but misunderstood Simon being ripped to pieces by bare hands and teeth. He dreamt of Piggy sailing through the air with only the red rocks in the sea to break his forty-foot fall, his brains spilling out of the gaping hole in his head. He dreamt of those last terrified moments of him running for his life, praying that he would not be found by Jack and the others. This last dream was the worst of all.
In his dream he did not get away from Jack like he did in real life. This time Jack and the others caught him while he was running away from the fire. They circled around him, trapping him in the middle, all of them pointing their sharpened spears at his vulnerable throat. A ray of light beamed into his eye, blinding him for a moment. It was the sun gleaming off the blade of Jack”s knife. He felt the blade against the vulnerable flesh at his throat before he even saw it coming. Ralph peered into a pair of light blue eyes, eyes that could have belonged to an angel but belonged to something more like the devil himself. “We want meat,” said Jack. Right then, Jack slit Ralph”s throat, warm blood gushing all over his hands.
At this moment in his nightmare, Ralph startled himself into wakefulness. His body was covered in a cold sweat. His nightmare was so realistic that he could still feel the cold blade of Jack”s knife against his throat. Then he realized that there really was a knife pressed against his throat. In the darkness, Ralph could discern a group of boys standing excitedly behind Jack. Ralph looked real hard until he could see that pair of light blue eyes staring dully into his. “Here, piggy, piggy, piggy,” said Jack. Right then and there, he slit Ralph”s throat.