Variables In Paradise - Prologue


Thomas was laying along the beach, completely and utterly alone. Being alone wasn’t something he completely looked forward to on this new island, but he had to face it sooner or later. The reason for his distaste for lack of company was that if he had nothing to distract his brain–the word killzone came to mind–, he would be forced to face the reality of every person they’d lost since he first stepped out of that dreadful Box. But, even he couldn’t avoid the inevitable. 

He began from the day he entered the Glade, counting the number of people they’d lost. First, Ben. The one whose mind was set to convince the Gladers that Thomas was to be destroyed. Thomas couldn’t help but feel guilty for his death, again seeing the image of Alby’s arrow firmly implanted in his cheek.

Alby. He had showed him around the Glade. Had saved him from Ben’s outburst in the Deadheads. Sacrificed himself in a bitter attempt at peace with the army of Grievers blocking the Griever Hole.

Chuck was next to flood his mind with memories. His chubby body running from the bathroom window after giving Gally a scare, sneaking sandwiches from Frypan together, late night talks under the stars, the promise he made while in the Slammer of getting him home. After a few more somewhat annoying ones, the last one to visit was Gally throwing the knife as Chuck’s short body flung itself in front of Thomas.

He remembered more Gladers whom had fallen in the battle of the Grievers, as well as in the Scorch. The next death prominent to stand out was the death of Newt. With his foreign accent and long blonde hair, the boy stood out like a sore thumb. Thomas vividly remembered the night he was introduced to the Griever through the grimy window that was covered in moss. He thought about the day Ratman announced that Newt had been one of the few who weren’t immune to the Flare. The note. He could still feel the rough penmanship of Newt’s words as they were etched messily on the page; KILL ME. IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN MY FRIEND, KILL ME. And then there was the begging and last minute of sanity that had travelled through his eyes as he urged Thomas to pull the trigger. Anxious for death. Never wanting to face the sanity loss of a Crank. 

Thomas’ mind could only keep thinking about anything else to avoid what was to come next. He took interest in the stars that gently dotted the sky, never quite clashing with the creamy glow of the moon. The reflection of the cloudless night sky on the gently rolling waves caressing his ankles. The jungle his back faced, alive with leaves rustling and creatures moving. 

At last he had nothing to think about, nothing to entertain his mind. He relived the death of Teresa.