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Welcome to the 73rd annual Hunger Games! With a new terrain and different twists and turns around every corner, this year's games are bound to be one of the best ones yet.
May the odds be ever in your favor!
District 1: Golden- 9, Carlen- 8
District 2: Claire- 11, Chase- 10
District 3: Gracie- 7, Arlo- 7
District 4: Sofia- 8, Ethan- 7
istrict 5: Madira- 5, Mitchell- 7
District 6: Isabelle- 7, Adam- 7
District 7:Cammie- 10, Sam- 8
District 8: Joy- 6, Jonah- 6
District 9: Adriana- 8, Cody- 9
District 10: Cassie- 7, Alex- 9
District 11: Jody- 10, Theo- 7
District 12: Shaila- 9, Logan- 10
This year’s arena is divided into 4 different zones. Tributes start out on top of an Ocean, with the Cornucopia floating on an island in the center. From there, they will have no choice but to swim into the Desert. If they keep moving west, and if they survive, the Tributes will reach the Tundra. If they STILL aren’t dead and they keep moving, they will reach a forest.
Day 1: Bloodbath
Arlo (District 3) - Ocean
I stand on the platform above the ocean. Just a few feet I tell myself. That’s all I have to swim is a few feet. The glittering Cornucopia floats on an island. I look around, taking in the view. 23 other tributes standing on metal plates just like mine.
I see the chunks of the girl’s body. I recognize whatever’s left of her as the girl from District 8. Stupid girl I think. Chunks of her body start to float away. Disgusting.
The starting horn sounds and we all jump in. I swim as fast as I can. Suddenly, something grabs my legs. I turn around just in time to see the girl from District 2. The one who got an 11. She pulls out a knife and throws it. How does she have a knife, no one's reached the Cornucopia yet.
I feel the blood streaming out. I feel her take the knife out and swim away. The water starts pulling me under. Dead. On the first day, I’m dead. I close my eyes and let the black void that smells of salt and blood suck me under.
Madira (District 5) - Ocean
I swim fast. My heart is racing and I spot pieces of a girl’s body. I swim by the body of the boy from District 3 as it’s being sucked under. Too bad he died. He was cute. I see the knife mark in his back and I think Claire, that sad excuse of a girl from District 2. She didn’t do anything impressive in the Training Center, and yet she walks out with and 11. And now I know why.
I reach the Cornucopia and go for the first thing I see, a light blue pack which appears to contain many things, since it’s about the size of my head. I also pick up a spear and I thank the Lord because it’s the only one, and now it’s mine.
I survey the Cornucopia. Only 3 people are here. Me and both from District 4. No surprise there. I aim and let my spear fly, right into the back of the girl. She falls; I grab my pack and run to get my spear back. The boy is kneeling down by her side begging her to stay with him. Moron. He must not hear me I guess because I pluck my spear out of the girl's body and plunge it in his heart without him noticing. I smile. My first 2 kills and it's only been 5 minutes.
Claire (District 2) - Cornucopia
Idiots, all of them. I see the dead pair from District 4 in the sand and think District 4 must be going insane. I don’t complain, though. It’s better for me, 2 less to worry about.
I spot the District 5 girl and I know as she holds her spear that she’s the one who killed them both. Good girl. But maybe she’s too good. I think for a second. If I let her live, she’ll make it far, but if I kill her now, I’d be doing us all a favor. I decide to let her live...for now anyway, she could kill others as well.
I stand inside the Cornucopia. Only a handful people here so far, not counting the 2 dead bodies. I search for the District 1 pair and my partner Chase. I spot them running up the island side and as they come closer, I throw each of them a pack and a weapon.
“Thanks,” says Chase, grabbing an axe.
“You can thank me later. Now, it’s time to kill.”
I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy killing. I’m also pretty nifty with a knife, but I’d do better with a spear. Now I wish that I had killed that girl from 5 because I soon realize that there was only 1 spear, and she took it. She’s long gone though, so I worry about the situation that’s going on now. I'll get my spear later. I spot the girl from 10, the boy from 8 and the boy from 6. I let 3 knives fly, and each hits their targets. 3 less. MAN I’m good.
Carlen (District 1) - Cornucopia
Claire is insane. But she’s pretty hot. I follow her knives with my eyes as they find their way into the girl from 10, the boy from 8 and the boy from 6. She has a look in her eye that seems joyful, almost happy. I can’t help but grin.
The rest of the tributes find their way to the Cornucopia, miraculously. I hold the bow and arrow that Claire had thrown at me. I shoot 1 of 20 arrows into the chest of the boy from 10. He falls, but I can tell that he’s still alive. Claire walks over to him and slits his throat very slowly. She savors the moment. God she’s so hot.
Shaila (District 12) - Desert
I feel my back burning. The sun’s heat is too intense. If I don’t find water soon, I will die. I slump down next to a cactus and look at my surroundings. I look at the island with the Cornucopia. God so many dead bodies. I scan the terrain and I notice the girl from 9, Adriana, looking at me. She holds up something that looks like an axe and I think I’m going to die. She throws the axe and it cuts the cactus in half. A few drops of some liquid spill on my shirt. Then I see her standing over me.
“So I guess you’re gonna kill me now right?”
“No. In fact, I want to make you my ally. I'm already allied with the boy from my district, Cody. We could use a girl like you. Someone who’s strong and resourceful, and based on that 9 you got in training; I would say that you are just the girl we're looking for. Plus Cody thinks you’re cute.”
I think for a while before saying, “Ok fine. I’ll join.”
Cody runs up to us. Huh. He’s kinda cute.
“District 2 girl. Claire. Coming this way with her little Career pack.”
“What's so scary about Claire?” I ask. In the Training Center, she seemed like a scared little weakling.
“Give her a spear and you’ll find out.” He says.
We get up and run. Run as fast and as far as we can. I run until my lungs feel like they’re gonna explode. I hear the knife blade split my spine to pieces before I feel the unbearable pain. Cody and Adriana slow down, but I yell at them to keep going.
Cody kneels down and kisses me, right on the lips. My insides twist and turn and it takes every fiber of my being to keep from fainting. He gets back up, smiles a sad apologetic smile, and with that I feel the sun burning my skin for the last time. I close my eyes, and with the biggest girliest smile I've ever had, I let the darkness carry me away. Deaths:
Joy (District 8) - 24th
Arlo (District 3) - 23rd
Sofia (District 4) - 22nd Ethan (District 4) - 21st Cassie (District 10) - 20th
Jonah (District 8) - 19th
Adam (District 6) - 18th
Alex (District 10) - 17th
Shaila (District 12) - 16th
Day 2 : Tundra
Jody (District 11) - Tundra (Cave)
It's so cold, even under my jacket. I carry my pack in front of my face so that the cold doesn't get to me as much. My heart says stop, my brain says stop, but my strength says go. I see a cave and run to it. I crawl inside and bundle myself up. Suddenly, I hear voices just outside the doorway. I see 4 legs. Two seem to belong to a girl, but the other two are more fit and muscular.
"Can't we just kill them now," I recognize the voice. Claire.
"NO! They could still be useful. But you can kill them after we reach the woods." The boy from 2. Chase.
"Fine. But when the time comes, I'll kill them my way, not yours." "Fine!"
"Fine!" Silence. I can tell by how close they are that something's going on but I can't see what it is. I crawl as close to the door as I dare and I peep out. Before I can even collect my thoughts, the knife goes through my chest and I hear my canon.
Claire (District 2) - Tundra (Cave)
Stupid little girl. Her body lies dead on the snow covered floor. I retrieve my knife and we crawl into her small cave. Instantly, my hand grabs her pack and opens it. Fruit, bread, knives, and 3 water bottles.
"Whoa. Look at this loot. Who gets it?" Chase asks with a hint of sarcasm.
"We do. You and me. I get the knives, you get the fruit, I get the bread, and we split the water."
"What about Golden and Carlen?"
"Who cares about them? Remember, we're just using them to get more supplies. Plus, it's easier to hunt in a group. The bigger the group, the more bodies fall."
"Geez. Someone's thought this out."
We sit quietly for a few minutes. I stare down at my locket, my district token. It was given to me by my friend Clove during one of our training sessions at our District 2 academy, where they teach us how to survive the Hunger Games. She has the matching one. When we open our lockets, they send signals to the other locket and when you open it up, a hologram pops up of the person with the matching one. There is also a switch inside which allows you to turn off the hologram function, so that when you open it, it appears to be an ordinary locket. Since no one in the Capitol was smart enough figure it out, I was allowed to keep my locket, so now I can communicate with Clove whenever I want, as long as we don't get caught.
My locket starts vibrating. I open it and a hologram of our friends Clove and Cato pops up.
"Hey guys. Can't talk long. Don't know for how long you're gonna be off camera. The boy from 11 is 3 feet to the left. The boy from 12 made it to forest. The pair from 9 is still wandering Desert. Watch each other's backs. See ya soon."
And just like that, their images fade. I miss them. They're our best friends. I feel a slight churn in my stomach. I'm not weak. I don't feel. And yet, I can't help it.
Chase looks at me.
"I miss them too."
I allow myself to be weak this one time. I crawl into his arms and let him hold me for 2 seconds. Then, I chastise myself for being so weak and vulnerable. Filled with a new found strength, we walk out with our packs and weapons, I throw a knife into the boy from 11, wait for the cannon to sound, and we keep on walking until we reach camp.
Golden (District 1) - Tundra (Career Camp)
The sound of the cannon startles me awake. I lift my head up and look outside, expecting to see Chase run through the trees. Instead I see Chase and Claire. I was secretly hoping that the cannon had belonged to Claire. She's a strong opponent so naturally I want her dead. Chase is weak, so I can easily kill him with a swing of my axe. Of course I have to wait for Claire to die because if I kill him first, she'll kill me in a heart beat.
"Whose cannon?" I ask.
"Boy from 11. Think his name was Theo or something like that. We also got the girl from 11. Both were easy to pick off." says Claire.
"Great. That just leaves 13 people left."
"I know. I figure by now, there should be few left in the Desert, maybe one or two in the Forest, and the rest should be here in the Tundra." she says.
"So what now?"
"Isn't it obvious? You're going hunting."
"Why can't we all go?"
"Because we just made 2 kills and I for one don't want anybody showing up here and taking our stuff while the 4 of us go on a killing spree."
"Fine. Come on Carlen." I say reluctantly.
We grab our stuff and leave. We take a path to the right that leads to snow-capped mountains and a frozen river. Our boots crunch through the snow, but we still try to make as little noise as possible. I zip my jacket up. Suddenly, I hear a leaf crunch to my left. I turn just in time to see the pair from 7 run off. We chase after them through trees and across frozen lakes. Finally, I get a good view of them both. It's only day 2 and they already look weak and tired. Easy shot I tell myself. I let my axe fly and it chops off the girl's head. Her body slumps down and her head rolls away. Her cannon sounds. I smile.
I turn to Carlen and I see his arrow fly through the heart of the boy. He too falls dead on the ground. His cannon sounds. We look at each other and smile. Then we go over and steal their packs without taking time to look inside of them. We race back to camp, and I think to myself if we can kill those two, why can't we kill Claire and Chase?
Mitchell (District 5) - Tundra (Frozen River)
I survey my surroundings. Trees, snow, frozen river, and mountains. I figure that the Career pack is hidden in the woods, so I should steer clear from there. The snow won't do much but turn into water if it gets hot, so I put some in my water bottle. The river is of no use to me. My only option is to go to the mountains and hope that I can find shelter. I start climbing up a walkway that leads to the top of a large mountain. If I can make it to the top, I might be able to find shelter and keep a look out for the other tributes. I hold my knives tightly in my hands. Nothing can stop me now.
Isabelle (District 6) - Tundra (Mountains)
I start to climb to the top of a mountain, but I keep looking back, thinking that at any moment someone could come from behind and attack me. I should have looked forward. I turn around and find myself face to face with the boy from District 5.
"If you keep quiet I won't hurt you," he says. So I keep my mouth shut.
"Follow me." he says.
I don't know if I should trust him, he is competition after all. But then again, he might have set up a small hideout. He may even become my ally. I decide to follow him. What harm could it do? He takes me the rest of the way up. We reach a small camp with a sleeping bag and a small fire burning.
"Ally with me, and we might have a chance at winning," he says.
I think for a moment. If I ally with him, I'll have access to food and water, plus we could sleep better knowing that someone is being a lookout for the other. Then again, there is only one winner, so that means that either he dies, I die, or we both die. After a few minutes, I make my decision.
"Alright. I'll ally with you. But under one condition." "What might that condition be?" "If we both make it to the top 5, we split up. I don't want to kill you, but if we stayed allied after the top 5, there is a chance that it would come down to the 2 of us and there can only be one winner." "Works for me. It's getting late. I'll take the first watch." "Ok." And for the first time since the games started, I fill my lungs with air and drift off into a dreamless sleep, knowing that someone is looking out for me. Deaths:
Jody (District 11) - 15th
Theo (District 11) - 14th
Cammie (District 7) - 13th
Sam (District 7) - 12th
Day 3 : Final 9
Logan (District 12) - Forest
My hands tighten around my sword. I look around at the trees and shrubs that seem to go on forever. A yawn slips out of my mouth. I haven't slept a wink since the games began, but now I feel that I have to. If I don't, I will die of exhaustion. I gather my stuff and climb up the nearest tree. After tying myself to a branch while I lie in my sleeping bag, I drift into sleep.
My eyes pop open, but I don't dare move a muscle. I look down and I spot the girl from District 3, Gracie. She seems to be running from something. I look around and then I see what made her speed off. A swarm of tracker jackers zooms past my tree, but they seem only interested in Gracie. I release myself from my tree and chase after her. For some reason, I feel like I need to help her.
"Go left!! Jump into the lake. Hurry!!" I scream when she appears to be within earshot. She follows my instructions and once I catch up, the tracker jackers have left and it's just me and her.
"No problem. Why were they chasing you?"
"I don't know. One minute I'm sleeping next to a tree and the next I'm running for dear life. If you hadn't showed up, I would've been killed for sure."
"Don't worry about it." I help her get out of the lake and I go back to my camp to bring her a towel. When I return, she sits on a rock, shivering while droplets of water slide down her face and neck.
"Here." I hand her the towel and some dried fruit.
"Thanks...again. Why are you helping me?"
"Because out here, we need all the help we can get."
And with that, she gives me a smile as she wraps herself up in the towel.
"Ally with me?" I ask.
"I thought you'd never ask."
She leans over and kisses my cheek. I know the cameras are on us, but I can't help but blush as she removes her lips. I get up, kiss her forehead slightly, and help her back to my camp. I know these games will be tough, since the Careers are still out there, but now I have someone who is on my side, even if it's only for a little while.
Cody (District 2) - Desert
No food. No water. No weapons. We're gonna die. Adriana's becoming nothing but skin and bones. We both have lost the will to go on. Do I have any sponsors? Does she have any sponsors? Will we ever get food or water?
After that run-in with Claire, we were chased by Careers. They stole our weapons, but decided to let us live. They knew it would eventually come to this. The sun boils my skin. I look at my arms. My sunburn is getting worse by the minute. My eyes feel heavy, my tongue is dry, my stomach won't shut up. Then, out of nowhere, a small silver parachute carrying a huge container drifts down onto my lap. I use whatever strength I have left to open it. Inside, there are 2 bottles of water, fresh fruit and beef strips, and 2 axes. So, we do have sponsors after all.
"Look Adriana. Food, water, weapons. We might just be able to make it to the Tundra."
I look over at her limp body. She doesn't respond. She doesn't even move. Her chest is still. I realize that she is close to dying. With all of the strength that I have left in my limp body, I crawl over to her and pour water into her mouth. It takes a while, but she finally begins moving again. After a few hours, we feel refreshed, but we're still very weak. Too weak to go anywhere else.
"What now?" I ask.
"We set up camp here. We need to rest. Then, we can continue moving in the morning."
"But wouldn't it make more sense to travel at night when it's cooler, not during the day when it's too hot?"
"Gee if you're so smart then why did you ask?"
"Just shut up and let's go."
We get up and begin the long, strenuous walk towards the Tundra, knowing that when we get there, the Careers will surely pounce on us like cats pounce on mice.
Madira (District 5) - Tundra (Top of tree next to Career Camp)
Poor little Careers. They look almost innocent as they sleep on the snow covered floor, except for Claire, who clutches her knife as if her life depended on it. The ironic thing is that it does. I feel almost bad about what I'm going to do. After all, Claire could have killed me at the Cornucopia, but she let me escape. But these are the Hunger Games, not the Take Pity on Your Opponents Games. Like my mother always told me, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. And this girls' got to win.
I silently slip down from my tree. Too bad it has to end this way, but the Careers are getting stronger each day. They have practiced and perfected their skills in the comfort of their own homes. They have lived a life of luxury since they were born while the rest of us have to suffer and starve. But today, that's all gonna change. Today the Career tributes will die. Today I will win these God-forsaken games and I will return home a hero because today is when my plan will fall into place.
I crouch next to Claire and whisper into her ear, "See ya later District 2."
And with that, I run into the woods, light a match, and light the strings that will make my 5 sticks of dynamite that I have carefully placed around the Career Camp explode. How did I get the dynamite? Let's just say I have very generous sponsors. I watch as the sparks grow bigger and bigger. They get closer to the camp and I begin to count down the seconds until the dynamite explodes.
Something's wrong. Why didn't the dynamite explode? I run towards the Career's camp. The moment I get there, I know something is wrong. The line was cut. There are no Careers sleeping on the snow anymore.
"Well honey, I guess your plan didn't work. Now get ready to suffer the consequences of your little action."
I turn and find Claire, spinning a knife between her fingers. Before I can even blink, she's on top of me holding the knife to my neck. For a 14 year old, she's really strong.
"See ya later District 5," and with an evil grin that could shame the Devil himself, Claire slits my throat. But that's not all she does. She chops off my beautiful brown curls and throws them to the ground. I feel the light leaving my eyes. Everything I see becomes a fuzzy blob.
BOOM. My cannon. I am dead.
Isabelle (District 6) - Tundra
I stare at Mitchell (that's his name I think) as he makes a small fire. He has a crease between his eyebrows, showing his concentration. He seems to have a difficult time making fires. I decide to help him, since I'm just sitting here doing nothing but staring. I walk over to him a put my arms around his. My hands rest on his and my fingers rub over the scars he has left over from traveling throughout the Arena. I show him how to make a proper fire and before we know it, we have a small piece of comfort roaring in our little campsite. I take a moment to look at Mitchell. He catches me staring and smiles. Before I know it, he's pulling me in for a long passionate kiss.
When we finally come up for air, I find myself staring into his eyes. And then I remember where we are. And what we're doing. And who I'm with. I back away.
"What? Did I do something wrong?" he asks.
"No. It's just....I just.....hold on." I take a deep breath and I find my words again.
"It's just that...you and I, we, us, can't happen. Not now."
"Remember where we are. Remember what the outcome will be. Remember why we were put here. That's why."
The pained expression on his face is impossible to miss.
Tears fill my eyes. I love him. I know I do. But only one of us can come out alive. It might not even be one of us.
"I am too."
He wipes the tears from my eyes and he holds me in his arms until we both fall asleep. Easy prey for anyone coming this way. But at this point I don't care. I just want these games to be over.
Chase (District 2) - Career Camp
I don't think I can outrun these tracker jackers. I hear them as they make their way towards us. We run as fast as we can, but I wonder are we fast enough? I spot the small lake that we have been using to get water when ours runs out. Without thinking, I jump in. I hear another splash and I spot Carlen to my left.
"Where are Claire and Golden?" he asks.
I shrug in response. Out of nowhere, a cannon goes off. One of the girls is probably dead. The bushes start to move and shake. The girl who survived must be hiding there. We wait a few seconds. Claire rushes out and dives into the pool like there's no tomorrow.
"Where's Golden?!" asks Carlen.
"She's dead. Tracker Jackers got her." Claire says.
But I know she's lying. The tracker jackers fly overhead, but they pass right over our little lake. It's as if they couldn't see us.
"Let's go. They're gone now. Did anyone get stung?"
We get up and make our way back to camp. We stop and survey Golden's body. Sure there are tracker jacker wounds, but there are also 2 small knife wounds. One in the heart, the other in the lungs. They're so small, almost impossible to spot. But I've seen wounds like these. They can kill instantly.
I know who killed Golden.
I look up at Claire and in response, she winks at me. Deaths:
Madira (District 5) - 11th
Golden (District 1) - 10th
Day 4 : Feast
Logan (District 2) - Forest
Nothing like waking up to Claudius Templesmith's voice in the morning.
"Good morning dear tributes. I am pleased to inform you that a feast shall be held at the Cornucopia at noon. Once you arrive, you will each find a pack that contains something that you desperately need. Maybe it will be medicine or food. Attendance is mandatory, unless you wish to die a slow painful death by tracker jackers. For you convenience, the Cornucopia has been relocated to the Tundra section of the arena. But be warned, those tricky Gamemakers have set up a few tricks along the way, so watch your backs. And may the odds be ever in you favor!"
"Isn't that great?" I say.
"Just peachy. Should we start heading out, noon will come soon. If my instincts are correct, it should be around 11. That leaves us an hour to get a move on." says Gracie.
"I guess. But what could it be that we so desperately need?"
"We'll find out won't we?"
And with that, we make our way to the Cornucopia, paying close attention to what's in front, behind, or next to us. Always thinking about the worst, never about what is yet to come.
Adriana (District 2) - Desert
"Did you hear that?!" I asked Cody.
"Did I have a choice?" he said.
"So when do we leave?"
"Do you really wanna risk it? We're going out there with nothing but 2 small axes. I'm not sure it would be safe for either of us."
"Would you rather get killed by tracker jackers?"
"It'd be better than getting killed by Claire."
"I will agree that your logic makes sense, but we have to try at least."
"Adriana, I know you're the kind of person that wouldn't give up, but think about it. If we stay, we get killed by tracker jackers. If we go, someone else will kill us before we even start to go get our pack. Either way we're dead."
"Well I for one do not wanna get killed by tracker jackers. I'm going to risk it. If you don't want to come, then I'll leave you behind. But let me tell you one thing Cody. I thought you were braver than this. I though you had guts. But I guess I was wrong."
I get up, grab my axe and walk in the direction of the Tundra, not daring to look back. By the time I reach the Cornucopia, Cody is already by my side, his axe at the ready. I knew he wasn't a wimp.
Mitchell (District 5) - Tundra
Isabelle and I stare at each other for a long time. Without speaking, we grab our weapons and go. Along the way, we practice shooting at things with our arrows and throwing our axes. The silence is unbearable.
Finally I say, "Do we even know where it is?"
"No. But it's a huge golden Cornucopia; it can't be that hard to miss."
As if to prove her point, we spot the shimmering structure just a few feet ahead of us, at the base of our mountain. We find a spot to hide in while we wait for those brave enough to grab their stuff first. At camp, we had decided that we didn't need anything of importance, so if our pack got taken, we wouldn't mind. We have food, water, weapons, and a First Aid kit.
We wait and wait. And wait some more.
Finally, we spot a small figure rush out from the bushes, grab their pack and rush back to their hiding place.
"Gracie. Girl from 3." says Isabelle.
"You want to go get her?"
"No. the Careers will deal with her." As if by response, a canon goes off. Of course they would take care of her.
"See what I mean. Their ruthless people. If I could kill them all, I would." she says.
We wait some more. As if on cue, everybody rushes out at once. I see the pair from 9, the boy from 12, and the Careers. We're the only ones still hiding. The boy from 12 looks a little distracted. Then it hits me.
"The boy from 12. He was allied with the girl from 3."
"How do you know?"
"I just know. By the way, if we don't get out there, the Gamemakers will send tracker jackers after us."
We grab each other's hands and rush out. Right into the middle of the battle field.
Claire (District 2) - Cornucopia
So many easy targets. But where to start. Now that I have my spear that I took from that insolent girl from 5 and my knives, I'm the real threat around here. Now let's see. The boy from 12 looks like a big guy. I'll start with him, I think.
I run and throw one of my knives at him.
It lands right in his shoulder. It takes him 2 seconds to pull it out. But by that time, I already have him pinned to the ground.
"So 12, where's your little ally now, huh? Oh that's right, we killed her. Well technically, I killed her. Just like I'm going to kill you. So, any last words?"
He lies quietly on the ground, not moving a muscle.
"Alright then, have it your way."
I grab the knife that had gone into his shoulder and start to cut him up. First his cheeks, then his lips, then his nose. I save his eyes for last. I want him to see everything. See everything and suffer. Just like I have.
Suddenly I have a flashback. The world seems to be in slow motion. I see my mother's dead body lying in bed. And right next to it is my father's body. I was 8. Nothing but a pathetic little girl who had seen her parents murdered by Peacekeepers because they had stolen some bread to feed me. Then I see Cato and Clove's faces. Clove knows what I've been through. My heart aches for them and whatever I have left in District 2. I feel hatred at the Capitol for not caring about any of us. Hatred at the Peacekeepers who killed my parents. Hatred at myself for not doing anything to stop them as they plunged their sword into my father's heart while they made my mother eat nightlock berries against her will. I see myself hiding behind the kitchen counter. I was supposed to be at school, but I knew something was wrong, so I stayed home without my parents knowing. And I saw everything that happened. I heard my mother's cries of pain. My father, dead before he even hit the floor. They placed them so carefully on their bed. I suppose they had expected me to come home and find them dead. But that was not the case.
I snap back into reality. Anger and rage has built up inside of me. My knife finds its way into the boy's heart. His cannon goes off. 1 less.
I jump off of the body and grab my knives. Once again I look around. Carlen is fighting the boy from 9 and Chase is hiding in the bushes with all of our packs. The girls from 9 and 6 and the boy from 5 are nowhere to be found. They must've escaped. No matter. They're easy prey. I rush over to Carlen right as his arrow goes through the boy's chest. What a pathetic boy that Carlen. There's no way that arrow is gonna kill him. I grab my axe and cut off the boy from 9's head.
That got the job done.
Chase (District 2) - Career Camp
I stare at the sky after the anthem plays. 3 dead today. I bet Claire killed them all. She's such a murderer. I think about how she seemed so innocent back in District 2. She was always kind. At least to our friends she was. I miss that Claire. That's the Claire that I fell in love with, not this ruthless murderer Claire.
I look over at her. She's sleeping soundly on the cold snow bundled up in her jacket. Carlen sleeps a few feet away from us. He hasn't been the same since Golden died. I count how many people Claire has killed. 13. She's killed 13 innocent people. The Claire I know would not have killed those people unless she had to. She would have let them kill themselves and waited until the right time to strike. She would have killed 3 or 4 people maybe. But she certainly would not have killed 13 people.
Poor Claire. She's been through alot. Just like the rest of us. My parents abandoned me when I was 10. Cato's parents put him up for adoption. Clove's mother died in an incident at one of our factories, while her father abused her at home. But we at least remember our parents. We might not want to, but we do. All of us do, but not Claire. She doesn't remember a thing about her parents. Most nights at the Academy you can hear her yelling in her sleep. She has constant nightmares. If Clove doesn't show up to comfort her, I do. I hold her in my arms until she falls a sleep. But those were the old days. With the old Claire, who actually let us care about her and comfort her. Not now though. This new Claire never talks to me anymore unless it's about strategy or killing.
I look at her again. Her legs are twitching and I know she's going to start screaming. Before she does, though, I stroke her hair with my hands. This always calms her down. Even now she has stopped twitching and I think I can see a hint of a smile on her face. Suddenly, she sits up. She holds her knife, walks over to Carlen, and stabs him right in the heart. He doesn't make a sound. We hear his cannon so we step back a few feet. The hovercraft takes him away. 14. 14 people she's killed.
She walks back over to her spot and says, "He had to die eventually."
I look at her straight in the eye.
"We can't both win Claire."
"I know that. But I don't want to be the one who kills you. And I know you don't want to kill me."
"You're right I don't."
We sit in silence for a while. Her locket starts to vibrate. She opens it. A hologram of Clove pops up.
"Not a lot of time. District 5 boy and District 6 girl are an alliance. They're in the mountains. District 9 girl is freezing to death but a sponsor just sent her a blanket. Good luck. We miss you guys."
The image fades. We look at each other. I see the old Claire coming back.
"I don't want to kill anyone else Chase."
"But I thought you liked killing."
"You know me Chase. I know I've been a jerk lately and I know what you're thinking. 'She's so different from that girl back home in District 2. What happened to her?' She's still here Chase. I promise you she is. I don't know what happened to that girl. I guess she's been in hiding for a bit. But she's back now. I promise she's back."
"I know she is. But for how long. Are you just saying that for now or for the rest of the games Claire?"
"You know what I mean. I don't wanna be evil Claire anymore. I want to be comforted and cared about. I want you to stroke my hair and hold me in your arms because I miss those days. I want these stupid nightmares to disappear. I wanna go home Chase. I just wanna go home. With Clove and Cato. I wanna go home and never have to worry about the Hunger Games ever again. I want to live a free life with you and Clove and Cato. I want to be happy again. Like we used to be before the reaping."
I wasn't expecting such a heartfelt confession. The only thing I can do is lean in. And she leans in too. Our lips meet and it feels like millions of fireworks going of at once. I never want to let go. But I do eventually.
I smile at her, and this time, she smiles back. A real genuine smile. Now I really don't want her to die. But I know that one of us has to die for the other to win. But I try not to think about that now as I stare into her eyes.
"We'll be okay Claire. I promise we'll be okay."
She falls a sleep in my arms and I stroke her hair. But all the while I'm thinking, will we really be okay? Deaths:
Gracie (District 3) - 9th
Logan (District 12) - 8th
Cody (District 9) - 7th
Carlen (District 1) - 6th
Day 5 : Best For Last
Chase (District 2) - Career Camp
I wake up with Claire wrapped in my arms. She's still asleep, so I try to slide out from under her. Not a good idea. In a second she's awake and holding her knife.
"Nice try, but I'm a light sleeper remember."
"Sorry. I just woke up and I wanted to stretch my legs."
I sit up against a tree and she joins me. I wrap my arm around her and we stare into the woods.
"Where do you think everybody else is?"
Good question, too bad I don't have an answer.
"I guess....maybe....I don't know. Clove mentioned that the girl from 6 and the boy from 5 were in an alliance, so they must be together. If I had to guess, I'd say they're in the Tundra. The girl from 9 would probably be in the Tundra too, but maybe she's making her way over here."
We sit in silence for a few more minutes.
"What's gonna happen to us?" she asks.
"Well...one of us has to die for the other to win. You know that."
"I know. But what happens after that. Will the other just live their life like nothing happened?"
"I know I couldn't. You're practically my life. I couldn't stand to see you get killed." she smiles.
Just when I'm leaning in for a kiss, we hear noises that seem to come from the bushes. In an instant we're up with our weapons at the ready, as if nothing had happened. With one look at each other, we run into the woods. We break through and end up in a clearing. Peaceful. Too peaceful I think. Just then, the girl from 6 and the boy from 5 appear.
I hold up my axe and take a swing at the boy. I can see Claire waving her knife at the girl. The boy seems to be looking at the girl. That'll cost you your life I think. I swing my axe and his head rolls away.
BOOM. He's a goner.
Adriana (District 9) - Clearing
I rush to the clearing. Every muscle in my body is screaming. My lungs are begging for a break, but I can't stop now. Today is the day that these Hunger Games end. I can feel it. Breaking through trees and bushes, I find what I'm looking for.
"Oh my God." I see Mitchell's severed head by my feet. That means that there are 4 of us left. I look up and I see Claire running towards me. Oh no. She pins me down and I struggle under her weight. Man if anything she's GAINED weight. I remember when she weighed in at the Training Center she weighed 100 pounds. It feels like she weighs 110 pounds now.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" she taunts. I spit in her face.
"Spitting won't help you sweetheart. It'll only make things more painful. So I suggest we keep our bodily fluids to ourselves kay?"
Her knife is inches from my nose. She brings her hand down slowly and time seems to freeze. I picture my family back home. My little sister and my mother. What must they be thinking as they see me getting cut to bits? I keep a straight face and I stare her down. If I'm going to die, I might as well die with some dignity left. Her knife finds her way into my stomach. I keep my mouth shut. Everything becomes blurry and I feel tears slide down my face. I finally let myself slip into death's grasp. I send a silent prayer to my family and I drift into a deep sleep.
Claire (District 2) - Clearing
I get off of the girl's body. Pathetic. Just pathetic. Suddenly, I feel Isabelle running towards me. I turn around just in time to see her holding her dagger and aiming it at my spine. I move to the left, barely missing the sharp tip.
"Stop trying to avoid the inevitable. You're gonna die. I'm gonna kill you. Just like I killed you're little boyfriend. What was his name? Mitchell? Well he's dead. And you'll be next." I say.
I know by her pained expression that the comment about Mitchell hit her hard in the gut. I smile because really, what else can I do at this point.
I turn and search for Chase. Where is he? Suddenly, Isabelle is running towards me again. This time, I'm too distracted to notice her. I can almost feel the dagger's blade pierce my heart when I'm being pushed on the ground. Chase collapses in a heap.
"Chase? Chase?! CHASE!!!! Get up Chase. You have to get up. Please Chase. PLEASE." I scream as I run over to his body. The dagger is sticking out. Isabelle runs like the wind. I let her. I can't leave Chase. Not now. Not when he's like this.
"Chase answer me please." Tears roll down my cheeks and I hold his head in my lap. His eyes are barely open.
"Claire." he whispers. I lean in and kiss him because that's the only thing that I can think of doing.
"Claire. Go. I'm gonna die. We both know it. You have to win. For us. For Cato and Clove. For me."
"I will Chase. I promise you I will."
"Good, and one more thing." His voice is barely audible so I have to lean in really close.
"I love you Claire. I always have and no matter what happens, I always will. Don't forget that. Don't you ever forget that."
"I won't forget." I hold his hand and let my tears fall onto his face. He doesn't seem to mind. His eyes close and I know his cannon will sound at any moment.
"I love you too Chase."
I see a ghostly smile on his face.
"I know." I kiss him one last time.
BOOM. He's gone. Isabelle will pay. The Capitol will pay. Everyone will pay.
Isabelle (District 6) - Clearing
I know I shouldn't but I run back to the clearing. I hide in the bushes watching Claire say her goodbyes. She even kisses the boy. I guess I never thought of her as a human-being with feelings. Aww well. Someone's got to win and someone's got to die. I'm not going to die.
When Claire steps back so that the hovercraft can take the boy's body away, I don't look. I should've known that there was something going on between them. For a brief moment, I understand how she feels. Broken. Scared. Alone. Unloved. That's how I felt when she killed Mitchell. She killed Mitchell. That's all I have to think to bring me back to my senses.
I run out and she turns around. Her eyes are red and her once perfect face is now caked with tears, dirt and blood.
"Let's finish this." she says.
"Agreed." I say.
She pulls out a knife and is ontop of me before I can react. Wow. She's stronger than she looks. I manage to flip her over so now I'm on top.
"You killed Mitchell." I spit in her face.
"You killed Chase." She spits back.
"I know how you feel, but I'm not going to let you get away with it. You're killed so many people Claire. You're a demon. Heartless. You have no soul. You she-devil. You don't deserve the right to live. Think of how many families you have devastated. You monster."
"STOP IT. STOP SAYING THINGS LIKE THAT. You don't know me. No one but Chase knew the real me. I have a heart and a soul. I'm NOT a she-devil. I killed because I had to. I had to survive. I have no family so you know what, even if you kill me, I have no one who would care except for 3 people. And one of them is DEAD. DEAD because of you. So you know what. Kill me. Go ahead. I don't care anymore."
So I grab my last dagger and I look at her, thinking she's finally gone nutso.
"Are you sure?"
"If you don't do it I will."
I don't think twice, because if I do, I'll hesitate. If I hesitate she'll come to her senses and kill me. I plunge the dagger into her heart and I think I hear her say "thank you" before her cannon sounds. She must be with Chase now I think as the hovercraft plucks her body up.
"Congratulations Isabelle of District 6. The winner of the 73rd Hunger Games."
I collapse to the ground. Home. I'm going home.