An Address to Remember

by Andy Hartman
An Address to Remember

“Was I to run away and let the boys know? What if the beast followed me and found the rest of the boys? I ran, but my little legs only took me so far. I kept going, not wanting to be taken away by this horrid figure.”

While the big kids were hunting, gathering food, and making shelters, I sat all alone alone on the deserted beach. Huge waves were crashing down, just like the tears on my smooth face. I was not at home. I was nowhere near home. Did anyone know where we were? The hope of rescue seemed… not possible now, since there was a lurking beast that was probably destined to eat all of the boys, including me, Percival Wemys Madison. The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthonys, Hants, telephone, telephone, tele-. I always forgot the telephone number. But what good use was it anyhow, stranded with no connection to home sweet home? All I remembered of home was the address. Not even how my house looked, where it was, or who my parents were. Nothing.

I sat, scrunched up so that my face was squeezed next to my knees. My shorts were in bits and pieces, barely covering my privates. My shirt, filled with rips and holes, did not keep me warm from harsh cold winds that were blowing. I lied down, eyes trying to shut, mind trying to remember what home was like. I heard a noise. It was not one of the big boys, whose names did not stick like my address, but a monster. The beast?! I thought to myself. An uneasy feeling went through me, my stomach ached and rumbled. Was this the end? Was the beast going to eat me alive? I pondered these questions and tried to think of happier thoughts.

Although very afraid, I picked up my head from the ground, looked up to see a creature lurking from the water. Whatever it was, it was something like the beast everybody had been chattering about. I didn’t know what to do. Was I to run away and let the boys know? What if the beast followed me and found the rest of the boys? I ran, but my little legs only took me so far. I kept going, not wanting to be taken away by this horrid figure. The fat boy, the one that they all hated, was the first boy I saw. I had to tell him. He seemed knowledgeable, and if I didn’t tell someone, this beast was going to haunt my dreams that would be soon become nightmares.

Although extremely fat, this boy, whatever his name was, was nice enough to listen to what I had to say and didn’t treat me like I was some little boy who couldn’t do anything or didn’t know anything. I could do stuff, I knew stuff! Fatty, as I now remembered, was stunned to hear what I said. He was in shock, but he believed me and didn’t laugh at what I saw.

I looked around after Fatty had left me and saw that he and the chief conversed for a while, and suddenly I saw the conch. I don’t know why, but the conch in this moment reminded me of home… Some noise I would hear every hour… What was it? Everything was unclear except for my address; Percival Wemys Madison. The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthonys, Hants, telephone, telephone, tele-. This was a sign that a meeting was going to be soon, and I didn’t know how this was going to go. I hoped to tell all the boys about how I saw the beast coming out of the water, but I would probably get humiliated by them. This is because I’m just some younger kid who is afraid of a huge beast that they are all probably afraid of inside but are too wimpy to show it on the outside. They are big, tall, some were fat and others were skinny but they towered over me. Maybe they were the real beast. Was it a boy just lurking out of the ocean? I thought for a quick second. I shrugged my shoulders and waited for the night meeting to begin.

The sound of the conch, loud, was beginning to become unpleasant after hearing it so many times. This was the first meeting I was somewhat nervous about and was the first one during the nighttime. If Fatty told them about what I saw they’d probably all laugh at me in great disbelief. I knew it even now before it happened. But I saw something–I know I did! And what else is huge and comes out of the water from nowhere? All the big boys gathered along and sat where they wanted to, and I sat with some other younger kids, barely being seen with the thick grass that was very tall, blocking some of our vision.

After Ralph tried to discuss many things, they finally brought up the beast. Fatty signalled that I was the boy who said something and there was already a little laughing from the boys. Younger boys around me furiously pushed me and I stood knee-deep in the central grass, trying to look at my hidden feet.

Ralph asked me, “What’s your name?”

I didn’t want to answer. Then Fatty asked me the same question, “What’s your name?”

Again, I didn’t answer. Because of the silence, the big boys around me broke into a chant saying “What’s your name? What’s your name?” I was very intimidated. Why did everybody care about my name? I bet they did not know any of the other small kids name. They didn’t seem to care about us… But finally, I said it.

“Percival Wemys Madison. The Vicarage, Harcourt St. Anthonys, Hants, telephone, telephone, tele-” After saying this, the thought of home made me weep. Tears ran down my face faster than they had ever, and my face puckered. Even when one of the boys shouted shut up, I would not shut up! My tears kept flowing and my crying continued caused by the thought of home. Much laughter came from the boys during this. Next, they kept asking me about where I saw the beast, so I told them: from the water. This also caused an uproar and by the end of this all, I had given up. I sat back down on my log, my place in society, and tears did not flow anymore. I smiled to myself, hoping that I could one day be back at that address. Reciting the few words of my address yet again, I forgot the large island I was on filled with frightening barbaric boys. My address made my tears of fear and sadness into tears of joy; my address was the one thing that made me think we would be rescued from this place one day. Luckily this address was one that I would never forget, so that hope always stayed in me, until the very last moment I spent on that island.

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