The scream, anticipated by Ralph from the leader of the hunters, took him by surprise when it instead erupted from Roger. Jack, oddly unfazed by the unauthorized command, chose not to question him. Ralph whimpered slightly as Roger stepped forward, spear gripped tightly until his knuckles were white like sea foam. The savages looked on in ravenous, wolf-like anticipation.
Time stood still for Ralph as he and Roger locked eyes, predator to prey, and neither dared move a muscle. Seconds stretched into the illusions of hours. In Ralph’s mind, he had one, maybe two millionths of a chance to catch the painted boy off guard and make another run for it. As he considered the continuation of this cat-and-mouse game, he realized the inevitable; this would become his life until he was finally trapped for good. No hope of rescue or salvation, but endless hiding and running from what were once his friends.
As Ralph gave up, time resumed to its normal speed of passing. He watched on silently as Roger raised his spear in the air. For a split second, he saw the purity in Ralph’s eyes. Re...