Thomas walks deeper into the forest but loses track of the beetle blade. When he hears a twig break behind him, he heads toward the noise and finds himself inside the graveyard. There are dozens of graves, each marked by a clumsily made cross. Thomas wonders how all these boys died. Thomas walks toward a structure covered in grimy glass. He peers inside and sees half a skeleton. Next to the structure is a plaque warning future Gladers not to try climbing down the Box.
The plaque and the skeleton both serve as warnings to the Gladers: deviating from the path means certain death. Thomas’ wondering about how all these boys died foreshadows his own fate, perhaps. How will he escape the Maze without joining their ranks?
Thomas hears another snap behind him, but before he can do anything a pale, haunted looking boy bursts through the trees and tackles him. The boy bites deep into Thomas’ neck. Thomas is able to push him off and the boy trips, hitting his head on a rock. When the boy is lying before him, Thomas realizes his crazed attacker is Ben, the sick boy who was screaming.
Ben has been transformed by the Grievers. Once again, the novel represents change or deviation from the norm (in this case Ben’s transformation) as something dangerous and abominable.