May, 2013

  1. Aftermath – with thanks to William Golding

    May 29, 2013 by Christopher Buxton

    Marooned on his Lord of the Flies desert island, ex-head boy, everybody’s  one time friend and Captain of all the school sports teams, Big Boyo, must wonder how quickly the conch has been seized from his muscled hands and handed over to that wimp ‘Sharski.

    In just a pair of fetching swimming trunks to show off his magnificent body, he sits alone on the beach staring out at the white crested waves that conceal the sharks swimming beneath the surface. He looks in vain for the storm tossed folk who used to love him.  They have swum off somewhere else. There is no escape ironically for the exile. Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, my only friend is….

    Somewhere behind him in the jungle, his most faithful follower is crying over a broken toy phone and tape recorder.

    Somewhere up on top of the hill, Mickey Five-Pints hangs from a tree, his body a crawling mass of buzzing flies.

    Everywhere on this side of the island former members of Big Boyo’s gang, the Crests, wander aimlessly down the well trodden paths, unable to decide what to do.  These paths are Big Boyo’s one gift to the island. But they bring no joy. The Crests have been ordered not to set foot on Council Beach, the place where decisions are made by whoever holds the conch.

    Council Beach lies at the opposite end of the island . ‘Sharski the new head-boy nervously holds the conch.  This gives him the power to speak. But no-one is really listening. Stan and Looffey have appointed his lieutenants and bodyguards.  Stan is wearing a suit that washed up on the beach a month ago. He’s humming his gang song: “When you’re a red you’re a red all the way from your first golden spoon to your mausoleum.” Loofey is still sporting the seaweed beard he put on for the Neptune and Mermaid party weeks ago.  His gang tells him it makes him look intelligent.  The members of his gang are called the Aliens; they have to stick together.  They’re busy now building sand-hotels on the virgin beach.

    Suddenly there are crashes from the jungle.   A white haired boy in a raggedy black cloak jumps out, followed closely by his gang of fat necks, who are all armed with sharp sticks.  This is Angry Soderov the school bully. Pausing only to kick over the sand complex, he marches straight  towards ‘Sharski, shouting and swearing.  “Hand over the Conch! And if you don’t apologize, I’ll beat you up. ”

    Stan purses his plump lips in disapproval and orders a lieutenant forward. Lieutenant Piggy feels very uncomfortable standing between Soderov and ‘Sharski.

    “Out of my way!” snarls Soderov.

    “But…” Piggy’s protests are cut short as Soderov thumps him on the chest.

    “How dare you strike a gang leader!” Soderov is beside himself with rage.  “You’ve assaulted my fist with your chest. You’ve broken the rules.  I’ll squeeze your pips. I’ll have you thrown to the sharks!”  His followers surround Piggy baying for blood. And Piggy finds that he is on his own.  The Reds have melted away along with the Aliens. He feels like an ambulance nurse called to a drunken party.

    While gang warfare rages all around this island the ordinary folk are floundering helplessly in the waves. Some stronger swimmers have struck out for the mainland but most are easy victims of jellyfish, electric eels and sharks.


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