A planned film adaptation of “Lord of the Flies,” the 1954 novel that
examined the inherent evil of humanity through an island of boys
without adult supervision, will have a provocative twist: This time,
the island will be full of girls.
“My auntie told me not to run,” the girl called Piggy said. “On account
of my asthma.”
“Uh, yeah,” replied Piggy, assuming she must have misheard. “Asthma.
Like, it’s hard to breathe.”
“Wait. Oh, my God,” Ralphy said, rummaging through her purse. “This is
random, but I think I actually . . . yeah, here it is. I totally have an
inhaler. It’s just been sitting in here since I had bronchitis last
year. You can have it.”
“And another thing,” Jackie said. “Should we have a rule that whoever
has the conch gets to speak? You know, so no one gets interrupted?”
“But who,” ventured Simone, “is here to interrupt us?”
The girls looked around. It was true: there was no one.
They left the conch on the beach. Later, when they were rescued, the
group agreed that Maura should take it home, since she was so crafty and
could probably do something neat with it. Maura painted it sea-foam
green and used it to store jewelry, which eventually inspired her to
open her own Etsy shop, which was moderately successful.
“Hey!” Jackie said. “If I took this desiccated pig head down from this
spike, would anybody split it with me?”
“I know there isn’t no beast—not with claws and all that, I mean—but I
know there isn’t no fear, either.”
“Wow,” said Roger, as Simone finished reading. “Is that Rupi Kaur?”
Simone blushed proudly. “No,” she said, “just some poetry I’ve been
“Nice,” Roger said absently, even though she thought that both Rupi Kaur’s
and Simone’s poetry were mediocre at best. “You should totally write a
The next moment, Ralphy heard shouting. “Ship! Ship! It’s a ship!”
Ralphy’s stomach dropped, and she clamored to the top of the mountain.
She couldn’t see the smoke. Had the fire gone out? The ship was growing
smaller against the horizon.
At last, she reached the top and, to her relief, saw a blazing fire
blowing gusts of smoke across the sky. Piggy turned to her from her spot
next to it and smiled.
“Hi!” she said cheerily. “No one was up here, so I decided to take care
of the fire. “And,” she added, pointing to a makeshift calendar she had
constructed from palm fronds and ash, “while I was waiting, I made a
schedule just to make sure we all have shifts and it’s fair.”
That’s a little passive-aggressive, Ralphy thought. “That’s
amazing. You’re a genius,” Ralphy said.
“We need meat,” Jackie said. “The little ’uns have had nothing but fruit
“I’m a vegetarian,” said Ralphy. “So I’m honestly fine.”
Jackie rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I think you’ve mentioned it. But the rest
of us would really like to not die from protein deficiency.”
“That’s a common misconception, actually?” Ralphy offered. “There are a
lot of ways to get protein without needing meat.”
“Yeah,” Simone added. “I mean, I eat meat, but I’ve read that it’s
actually great for the environment and for your health to have at least
one meat-free day a week. So that’s what I’m thinking of this as!”
Jackie was annoyed but stopped herself from saying something rude.
Hadn’t she just been talking with her therapist about how she always
sabotaged new relationships?
“O.K.,” she nodded. “You’re right.”
Back home, she started a blog about what she had learned from her weeks
going vegan. Her friends all secretly agreed that it was insufferable,
but also that at least she hadn’t murdered any of them, or started
worshipping a pig god.
Simone staggered out of the woods, her hair matted and muddy. She wore a
crude garment that she had fashioned out of leaves, and her eyes were wild.
“Simone!” cried Roger. “I love your dress.”
“Thanks!” Simone said, gesturing. “It has pockets!”
“ . . . and that,” concluded Sam, “is how Matt Damon broke up with
Minnie Driver on ‘Oprah.’ ”
Ralphy wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart, and
how she would never watch “Good Will Hunting” the same way ever again.
“One thing we should establish straight away,” said Ralphy, “are the
rules. Rule No. 1: no murder.”
At this, the girls broke into a
chorus of laughter.
“Murder?!” asked Erica.
“Literally the only thing we’re trying to do on this island is not die. Why—” but Sam couldn’t finish her sentence. She was laughing too hard.
“Why would we murder anyone?” her twin finished.
Peals of laughter rang
out from the beach and carried across the water.
“Stop!” yelped Ralphy. “Stop! I’m seriously going to pee myself!”
Jackie wiped tears from her eyes. “Oh, my God,” she said. “I needed
Later, when the girls were ragged and hungry, all any of them had to say
to cheer the group up was “murder,” and that would set them all off