AN/ This was written in mid 2004, and was an english assignment based on our study of Lord of the Flies. Basically we had to explore human propensities, and write a fiction where the characters' qualities mirror those in the novel. I hope it isn't too lame, even if it is a bit cliche.

Dreaded Darkness

I wait tensely in silence for the sound of my parents' old rusty car to leave the driveway. The distant sound of slamming doors is audible and the engine turns on. In a matter of moments I can hear the putt putt of the vehicle disappearing. Then there is silence, a silence almost intolerable with apprehension and unease. I cannot drowse, nor can I close my eyes. I am fully aware of all movement taking place in the house.

Then I hear a creak from upstairs and I know my assumption is correct. He is on his way. I cannot help whimpering slightly and am forced to scramble out of bed and search for a hiding place, which I do not find. There is nothing left to do but be on my guard. I pick up a sharp stick I had collected during the day from the yard. I can use it for protection if need be.

The door is violently thrust open and I close my eyes against the light. When they open I can see the dark malevolent figure of Jason, illuminated by the radiance behind him. A step forward and the glow abruptly exposes a wide sinister grin spread across his countenance. He shines a torch on my face, the light reflecting off my glasses, causing me to flinch. I crouched like a defenceless kitten and feeling my vulnerable position he decides to interrogate me. In a peremptory tone he asks what I am doing with the stick. On impulse I throw it aside.

'Nothing.' I squeak.

'Liar!' He barks. 'Give it to me, Penny.'

I shake my head fervently, unwilling to hand him a weapon that would be turned on me. Aware that I have angered him furthermore I suddenly begin to repine. I cannot help to be so fallible, it is my nature. Jason edges forward to retrieve the stick and injudiciously I pick up a strewn Barbie doll and throw it at his head. Immediately I know this is a mistake.

I am bombarded with a myriad of invective phrases. I consider running to the door in an attempt to escape but as though reading my thoughts Jason grabs a hold of my purple laced pyjamas and thrusts me onto the bed. This causes me to whimper in fear at the arising dilemma. What is he planning to do with me?

He grabs at my glasses and crushes them with the pointed end of the stick.

'No! I can't see without those.' I cry in anguish.

'You'll survive,' he growls back.

Savagely, he rips up my pillows and throws them at me. His face is contorted into a cruel ferocious expression and I know I am in for the worse. Till this day he has never hit me hard enough to draw blood. I pray it be kept that way. I close my eyes tightly, bracing myself, and let out the most blood-curdling scream I can conjure.

My plan has worked. There are footsteps rushing down the stairs and instantly Nathan appears at my entrance, an unyielding sovereign in the middle of a battle prepared for the challenge.

'What's going on here?' He asks in exasperation at witnessing this hazardous scene. 'What are you doing to her?'

Jason ceases his advance. 'Mind your own business Nathan,' he spits.

'Are you beating her again?' Nathan continues in a frenzy of shock and dismay.

'I said, mind your own bloody business!' Jason's face was turning red with rage.

'I'll tell mum and dad.' Nathan threatens.

Jason snorts. 'Oh I'm scared now. What will they do? Nothing! You know very well Nathan, it's just us here alone in this prison hell day after day. No parents. Just us. And what are you going to do about it? Huh?'

Nathan breathes deeply, endeavouring to remain calm. 'I won't let you harm either of us. I'll keep you out of our way by any means, you devilish bastard.'

Jason hisses like a serpent would at being tread on. He had once held a strong friendship with Nathan, when they were little boys. But then he had changed into this horrid adolescent and there was no more peace. I hardly remember those days. Now he abhors Nathan for his superiority, authority and strength. I am surprised he has never struck a punch at him. Perhaps a morsel of respect still inhabits his soul.

'I don't know why you try to protect the little brat.' He glances loathingly at me. 'You'd do better not to.'

With these last words he saunters arrogantly out of the room.

Nathan sighs morosely. 'I am sorry for what you have to put up with Penny. I do not know why he acts in this way.'

All this time I had reclined silently under my comforting blankets like a shadow on the wall, not wanting to draw attention to myself. Now I am able to relax a little. I stretch out my chubby arms to Nathan, who hesitantly but decidedly gives me a fleeting embrace but releases me quickly. I know he is slightly uncomfortable.

'Thankyou.' I whisper appreciatively.

Nathan simply nods his head. Then he turns from me in the act of leaving. I promptly stop him. 'Wait! Can, can you stay a while?' I ask sheepishly.

He smiles genially and consents although I knew he doesn't truly desire to. Nevertheless I am grateful and feel secure under his guard. I now begin to doze as a light rain commences and do not hear if Nathan is still present beside me. The last sound I hear is a familiar putt putt as dawn approaches. Night will come yet again but for the moment I am safe.