A Different Take

A Different Take

A Story by Tea And A Cheshire Smile
"

Think back to when you read/saw Lord of the Flies. What if that crash was meant to happen? What if it was all an experiment? What if it had all been planned in the name of science? A different take.

"

  Children. They're such fascinating creatures - don't you agree? One weeks isolation from the outside world was all it took before they began to break, to crumble before my very eyes, and turn to what man knew best: savagery. It's extraordinary, seeing such innocent, such young men transform into animals one by one. It makes you think about society, about how dependant we are on our rules. There are laws put into place everywhere across the globe, even in uncivilised tribes, and yet we never question why; we never question who came up with them and what on earth gave them the right. No, we merely obey them. We follow the rules with a sense of pride, believing that those who do disobey are the scum of society, the uncivilised beasts amongst an otherwise civilised crowd. It is because of this that our race has survived so long. 

  I sigh and turn back to the wall of monitors to my left. I had spent the last week of my life sitting in this room watching as the tiny, brightly coloured figures of children danced across the screens. It was exactly a month ago that I had approached my fellow scientists with my experiment. At first they believed it to be too controversial, too dangerous, after all, we had once tried the same thing with men and it had ended in tragedy.

  You see, my idea was to isolate a group of children, some near their teen years, some only nine, on an island. They would have no contact with the outside world and would have no one to guide them in what they were doing. No adults, no rules, nothing. They would not even be aware that anyone knew they were on the island, you see, I had a plan. I planned that they would be "evacuated" to another country in order to protect them from the war. I planned that the plane would crash, a controlled crash, of course, to ensure their safety, and they would be left on the island to fend for themselves. I even trawled maps of the world in order to find the ideal island, a fine one which would provide them with building materials and a source of food and drink. My plan was perfect! All I needed was the approval of my peers. 

  It had taken me a full fortnight to convince them, and even then I had had to be... creative with the truth. I told them that children were too meek to kill each other and that I would be selective whilst choosing the subjects in order to ensure that there was next to no chance of anything going wrong. That was where I was slightly creative with the truth. You see, by going wrong, they assumed I meant them killing each other. They assumed that I would do my best to avoid this at all costs which was, ultimately, their fault not mine. In actual fact, by going wrong, I meant the experiment failing and the isolation have no effect on them whatsoever. I chose the children purely based on their personalities, after all, if there was no guaranteed conflict and they were all likely to get along great, then what was the fun in that? It would be tedious to watch and not even worth studying, and seeing as myself and my colleague would be the two monitoring the situation, I could not allow that. 

  "Kill the pig. Cut her throat. Spill her blood."

  A low, bloodthirsty chant interrupts my thoughts. I look to the screen and smirk at the sight of a group of boys, parading through the jungle with a gutted pig swinging from two spears. Ah, I remember that pig. It had a marvellous death, in my opinion. It screamed and it fought, almost like a human. I lick my lips. Oh how I hope that is a prediction of what is to come. My eyes drift almost closed as I recall the event I had witnessed. 

  

  

 

  I watched intrigued as the boy smeared various items over his face. He was a tall boy, clearly the oldest of the group, with a bright mop of red hair and a peppering of freckles decorating his face. He had looked ever so innocent when I first met him, but I had seen the evil glint in his eye and the cruel dictator behind the friendly façade. He only ever bothered pretending when there were adults around anyway; in front of the other children, he was every bit as cruel as I had thought he would be. Even at his worst, he was never quite so bad, quite so fearsome as this mask of colour had made him. He looked deadly. Everything about him screamed danger, run, and it was obvious that he should be feared. The mask seemed to change him as well. It not only hid his school-boy features, but it also seemed to take him over, to become part of him until one could not be sure where the boy left off and the mask began.  

  I watched in both interest and disgust as he began to dance between his peers. It was apparent from the other childrens' expressions that they were both fascinated and repulsed by this awesome stranger. I searched my mind in an effort to remember his name... Jason? Julian? Jacob perhaps? No... something shorter. Jack? Yes, Jack, that was it. He had been the third test-subject I had chosen and, I must say, by far the most interesting. I followed him with my eyes as he ran to the two boys, twins, standing nearby. 

  "The rest are making a line, come on!"

  "But-"

  "-we-"

  "Come on, I'll creep up and stab-" 

  The two boys followed him almost as if they were zombies. Interested by this sudden change in Jack, I leant forward in my chair. Things were changing; the boys were breaking. It's just a shame that Jack, being the most vulnerable to reverting back to the base instincts of his ancestors, was the first to break. Yes, I had predicted it the moment I saw the savage glint in his eye and his controlling manner, but I had never taken joy in the fact that it was him who would crumble first. I truly wish it wasn't because, in all honesty, he was by far the most interesting of my test subjects. 

  It was not long before the boys had found their first kill. They had found a pig near the top of the mountain, on a small circular patch of grass, nibbling on some fruit. The area was surrounded by tall bushes that hid any nearby animals, or, in this case, humans, from the pigs view. It was almost as if it were meant to be. The boys hid in the bushes and crept slowly towards the pig in a circle. It was trapped. Jack was the first to attack the poor animal, throwing his spear at it before tackling it to the ground, and then, once the beating had started, none of the boys could stop. Jack pummelled the pig with vicious abandon, the twins held it down and prodded it with their spears, Roger stabbed at the pig repeatedly, never once failing to come into contact with its’ soft, human-like flesh. Even after Jack reached round to slit its’ throat, to put it out of its’ misery, the boys continued to bite and tear at its’ flesh. More than half an hour after the death of the pig, they finally rose to their feet and gazed down at it, mesmerised by the crimson monster now devouring it's pale pink skin. After what must have been a good ten minutes, Jack knelt down and slammed two spears through the animals neck before handing them, the pig limply hanging down, to the twins. 

 

 

  I sigh with pleasure at the memory. You may think me twisted because of this, but, you see, I take pleasure in the savage killing of the animal because it is proof that my experiment is working. The boys have been changing ever since their arrival and I can't wait to see what they'll do next; they're such interesting creatures! I lean forward in my chair as the procession of boys cease chanting and all goes silent with the exception of one, hoarse voice.

  "You let the fire out."

  Ah, it's Ralph. He's the strongest of my chosen subjects. Whilst he isn't the brightest, he is easily the strongest in character, staying true to himself throughout my experiment so far. I doubt he will go the same way as Jack so clearly has, however, at the same time, I doubt he shall leave the island. He is of too good a heart. He could not kill in order to save his own life.

  "That was a dirty trick."
  I had been so lost in thought that I had missed much of the conversation. It seems they were talking about the fire and that Jack's excuses were wasted on Ralph. 

  "All right, all right!" Jack shouts in reply. "I'm sorry. About the fire I mean. There I-" 

  He breaks off and gazes around at the group of boys before finally settling on Ralph. "-I apologize."

  At once the talk begins again. Jack is a smart boy, not quite up to "Piggy"'s standard, but still extremely intelligent when it comes to the manipulation of others. He knows how to gain the favour of the crowd; how to bend them to his will and turn them against those they once admired. 

  "That was a dirty trick," Ralph repeats. The tension in the air is so thick you can cut it with a knife, and the icy look they exchange is enough to chill the bones of even the cruellest man. "All right, light the fire." The chatter returns and all seems well, but only an observer from afar, such as myself, could notice the difference from before. Any relationship the two boys, Ralph and Jack, had once had has now died. The bond of mutual respect between them has been broken and, from here on, nothing will be the same. This is where my experiment becomes interesting. It will not be long before Jack lures the other children to his side and takes control of the boys. It will not be long before tragedy befalls the group and the first death occurs. It will not be long before the hatred now growing between the two boys reaches boiling point and they tip over the edge. 

  And I, for one, cannot wait.

© 2010 Tea And A Cheshire Smile


Author's Note

Tea And A Cheshire Smile
This was an English assignment. We had to do something creative with Lord of the Flies. We could write a song, draw a picture... whatever we liked. I was the only one who chose to do this kinda thing. It's just that the way our society depends on rules has always fascinated me ^^ But I won't go on about that.

Anyway give me your honest opinion please :) And for those of you who don't know Lord of the Flies, please read it. I mean, READ it. Don't watch the movie. The Peter Brooks movie is okay, but the more updated one in colour really doesn't stick to the book. So much of the symbolism, I thought, was lost. It's one of the few things me and my English teacher agree on. So yes, please read it.

My Review

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Featured Review

I'll begin this review with a confession, I haven't seen the Lord of the Flies movie or read the book. However, you've managed to really capture the spirit of the true nature of humanity - a single step from barbarism of the lowest form.

The description of the killing of the pig was suitably disturbing rather than overly gory but unfortunately it reminded me of one of the most disturbing conversations I've ever had. It was with a police officer who had just interviewed a group of juveniles who had beaten a man to death with metal poles because he'd asked them to stop vandalising a train track. In the interview not a single one expressed any remorse of thought it was anything other than 'a laugh'. It's horrifying to think that this book is about a topic that is so applicable to real life.

You've really created a thoroughly unpleasant protagonist in the guise of the scientist. My only negative comment is that perhaps he would need to be more of a rogue character as there are so many checks and balances in modern science that even suggesting his 'tamed version' of the experiment would see the whole community turn on him very quickly.

This was an enjoyable, if disturbing, read. You write in a very professional way with technical maturity and a knack for keeping the story moving at a good pace. Great work!



Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

liked this a lot

Posted 9 Years Ago


Though the entire writing seems to be unstructured….
It is very clear that…the writer is a person with a good social consciousness….
Your ability for a social analysis is very evident….in your narration….
I appreciate it very much….



Posted 10 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'll begin this review with a confession, I haven't seen the Lord of the Flies movie or read the book. However, you've managed to really capture the spirit of the true nature of humanity - a single step from barbarism of the lowest form.

The description of the killing of the pig was suitably disturbing rather than overly gory but unfortunately it reminded me of one of the most disturbing conversations I've ever had. It was with a police officer who had just interviewed a group of juveniles who had beaten a man to death with metal poles because he'd asked them to stop vandalising a train track. In the interview not a single one expressed any remorse of thought it was anything other than 'a laugh'. It's horrifying to think that this book is about a topic that is so applicable to real life.

You've really created a thoroughly unpleasant protagonist in the guise of the scientist. My only negative comment is that perhaps he would need to be more of a rogue character as there are so many checks and balances in modern science that even suggesting his 'tamed version' of the experiment would see the whole community turn on him very quickly.

This was an enjoyable, if disturbing, read. You write in a very professional way with technical maturity and a knack for keeping the story moving at a good pace. Great work!



Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Brillant. I loved it. Well done indeed. I am sure your English teacher would have been very pleased by this piece of work. William Golding's Lord of the Flies is truely an amazing tale. But the way you have enhanced it slightly by putting a creative spin on it is fantastic. I also had an assignment to do with Lord of the Flies about two years ago now, but our class were constricted to writing a poem (which I also posted on here some time ago). I wish I could have done a story or some such like this. I'm slightly envious that I didn't come up with this idea myself. However, the way you executed it is something that I most definitely would not have been able to do. The way you have embellished such a riveting story is amazing. And, I completely agree with you in that the updated film is aweful.

Anyway, perhaps I should stop lavishing you with praise and actually comment on your writing? The idea with society being dependent on rules is indeed fascinating. An idea which this scientist seems to share. The way you created this character is believeable which is very important. A lot of authors tend to create 'mad scientists' which no one can relate to at the start which is a trick missed, I believe.
The way you started this piece of writing was very good. It engaged the reader immediently and made them think. Once you did this, and had captured their attention, the allure was more than enough to see them read the rest of it. Your writing flowed seemlessly. It wove in and out of the plot that was Lord of the Flies. It just seemed to belong.
A different take, perhaps. But one that is worthy to lay beside William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Good job.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on July 31, 2010
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Tea And A Cheshire Smile
Tea And A Cheshire Smile

London, South-East England, United Kingdom



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NOTE: I'm hardly ever online on here now. I'm spending most of my time on my dA account, which is probably where I'll post my writing first. The link's on my profile. Feel free to add me on there too .. more..

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