Again, this is another chapter split. It was originally part of a really long Chapter 2, but I figured it'd be pretty well off on its own. So therefore, here ya go.
Nothing that needs warning. So commence!
A chubby littlun in front of Ethan rubbed his stomach as Ethan wrapped the bleeding cut around his ankle. The thought suddenly made everyone hungry, and immediately a few of the stronger littluns climbed the trees to get coconuts. The smaller ones ran around the few banana bushes, only to drop the rotten bananas back into the sand, pinching their noses in disgust.
Ethan finished dressing the scrape on the last littlun in line and stood up, scavenging the area for food. He took the coconut that one confused littlun presented to him and cracked it along a rock. An oddly-colored fluid spilled out, and he decided to taste it. His face immediately cringed in disgust at the warm, sour liquid. It was coconut water that seemed to have been rotten for a very long time. The unknowing littlun below him was hungrily reaching for the shell to get a taste of the meat, only to be brushed to a side.
"It's rotten. Can't eat this'un. You'll be sick."
Ethan tossed the shell into the waves as the littlun stared on the verge of tears, his hunger coming to him in a shooting pain. Ethan scanned the forest for food and saw few sources that weren't burnt down. He was a little fuddled by the ashes that covered the distance, but he kept searching along the shore and partially into the forest, the band of boys following him.
It was a while before he flopped down on a patch of dirt. It was well into the afternoon, and dusk was right around the corner. The boys behind him were all exhausted from treading the forest, and they had long given up, their hunger making them faint. Ethan looked around for a last time and, seeing no fresh food, he threw his hands up.
"Where can we get some food?"
"You could try hunting."
Ethan bolted up and spun to face the direction where the voice came from. Two trees parted as they revealed a dirty, red-headed child whose face was smeared with red and white war paint. The freckles that he used to have were gone, invisible under the dark tan that covered his body. On his left was another boy with black face paint that gave him raccoon eyes and a black patch around his mouth. His eyes were focused on Ethan and he clutched two spears, one sharped at both ends. As the red-headed boy stepped forward, a tribe of filthy, long-haired boys revealed themselves and gathered behind the red-headed boy.
Ethan wasn't disgusted at the grubbiness of these boys and their red-headed leader, but something about the raccoon-eyed boy made him uneasy. The fact that they all clutched spears didn't help, either. He looked back at the boys behind him, who were now standing up at this frightening sight. The tribe was buck naked, save for their loincloths, and they resembled bags of bone rather than boys, save for their leader and that raccoon-eyed boy.
"I'm Jack Merridew."
Ethan and Jack stared at each other for a while. He wasn't so sure he wanted to join Jack's tribe of savages, but he wasn't sure if he had any other choices to. Instead, he just stood there until Jack finally spoke up.
"It's really hard to hunt here. I'm the best, and I can help you. I've seen every inch of this island, and I'll tell you where you can find the most pigs."
He paused, waiting for a reply. Seeing that Ethan didn't have any intention of offering himself to the tribe, he continued.
"You could join my tribe. I'm chief, and I'll offer you protection, food and warmth."
Curiosity sparked in Ethan's mind.
"Protection? From what?"
"The beastie. I'm sure you didn't find out yet."
Jack pointed a finger with a claw-like nail at the end towards a mountain off in the distance.
"It lives there, the beastie. It's got claws and it's got scary teeth and it's really big! But don't worry. If you join my tribe, we'll protect you from it. When we hunt pigs, we offer their heads to it so it won't eat us!"
Ken and Demarco murmured to each other in approval at this notion. They had already believed Jack's words in the midst of skeptical littluns who hadn't seen the beast.
"So, I think you should join our tribe."
"I don't know…."
"Well, what else is there to do? C'mon, there's no point in being stubborn about it."
"What? What is it about us that makes you not want to join us?"
A littlun behind Ethan cried out. A few of the boys around him giggled, only to be cut short by the sound of Jack stabbing his knife into a tree. They jumped in their spots and immediately paid attention to him as he spoke in a menacingly stern voice.
"You willjoin my tribe. You will! There is nothing else to do! There's no one else on the island but us! You're gonna get eaten by the beastie if you don't join us. So, are you gonna join, or are you gonna get eaten?"
This terrified a few of the littluns and made the band uneasy. There was an angry silence for a few moments, but Ethan still refused to give in to this savage chief. Jack's face turned visibly redder under his faded war paint.
"Fine! So you won't join us, huh? Well, then, lemme tell ya somethin' else. There isn't enough food for the both of us! That's right, we burned the island. There ain't enough pigs, so if ya don't join us, we don't need you on this island!"
At the last word, Roger grinned. Ethan was about to accept their threat, seeing as there was nothing else to do-
Everyone turned to see a skinny, fair boy push his way through the forest, excessively panting. He was covered with fresh dirt, but he had looked as if he had just taken a quick bath. The fair boy's hair was relatively neat and clean, and it lacked the tangle of leaves like the boys in the tribe. A torn white shirt was tied around a pair of shorts and a knife belt. He looked like he would've been very handsome if he had more meat on his bones, but he still gave off an appealing charisma. He finished making his way towards them and yawned, his sudden awakening from the sound of Livy's ridicule earlier still plaguing him with fatigue. He leaned on a tree and accusingly glared at Jack.
"They are savages! They're dangerous! They'll kill you!"
Jack opened his mouth to protest, but Ralph interrupted him before he could make excuses.
"They've done it already. They're dirty, rowdy and they'll never help you get rescued! This island is no fun. It was, but not anymore."
"The beastie! Oh, it'll kill you alright."
"I hate the beastie! But I hate these beastie-worshipping savages even more!"
"You're still alive?"
It was the only thing Jack could get past his lips. They all just stood there, Ethan, Jack and Ralph. After a while, Jack howled back.
"So what if we give sacrifices to the beastie? We wanna live!"
"You wanted to sacrifice me!"
"We couldn't find more pigs!"
"You had all the pigs you needed!"
"Well, you can't hunt!"
"I'm not a savage!"
"I've got followers!"
"I've got sanity!"
Ralph stepped back at this last word. He wasn't even sure if could even apply to him.
Standing close, Jack looked ready to wrestle him, and while he'd won in the past, he wasn't so sure now. Jack looked healthy under his cloak of dirt, and his savage rage was bound to fuel him. Jack growled between clenched teeth.
"You ain't got followers."
"He does now."
Ethan stepped forward and shook hands with a surprised Ralph. Livy looked up from where he was sitting and briskly walked to where Ethan was standing, a bit startled at this sudden offer. Without much time to think, he rambled a bit to concur with Ethan's words.
"Y-yes. Followers. Except we will not be a dirty tribe, but rather, a group of friends. We are going to be civilized. Uh, sane."
Ralph recovered from his stun and shifted his glance at Jack with a confident smile.
"You've got followers, sure. I've got friends, now. We're not just going to hunt and have fun; we're going to work to keep civilized. And that means a signal fire. That means we're going to get rescued."
He held up the broken conch for all to see. Many of the tribe's boys stared at it wide-eyed, babbling in confusion.
"What is that?"
"Is that a conch?"
"How'd he get that?"
"It's a ghost conch!"
Ralph had tied a bit of rope around it and now refastened it to his waist. He turned and headed towards the beach as Jack, defeated, led his tribe towards Castle Rock.
With the invisible boundary lines established, the island had been split. Ralph grinned at his new batch of followers, no, friends. However, a new fear rumbled inside of him as he nervously chewed on a finger. Jack was going to hunt them down. They were going to fight. There was going to be war.
Ralph glanced over his shoulder to catch another look at Jack, hoping to see a back covered with war paint and a mass of red hair. He saw Jack looking back.
Le gasp! Dun dun dun! I know these first few chapters have been kinda clunky, but I'm focusing on getting new content in, so I won't have time to make major re-writes for now. I'll definitely correct grammar and structure mistakes that go herp derp in the night, but nothing too big. Maybe if I (ever) finish this fic, I'll restructure the story chapter by chapter.
So share, review and uh... what else is there to do on this site? If you wanna, you can PM me for a request in the story plot (pairings, twists, etc.) and I might incorporate it the next time I hit a writing block.
Thanks for reading, and seeya later!