WARNING: RESERVATIONS ONLY LAST 24 HOURS, so be careful how long you wait!
Part 1: The Bloodbath
Amber Smoke, from District 8, stood on her metal circle impatiently. When would the gong ring? The Careers, all from 1, 2, and 4 plus the boy from 5, had looks of excitement and pure malice on their faces. They were more than ready to kill. She gulped, unsure if she was ready for this or not.
Logan Evans, District 11, was also impatient for the gong to ring. Hadn't it been more than sixty seconds? Or was it more than that? No, he was certain it was one full minute. So what was going on?
Joo-Chan Park, from District 5, stared at the treasure in front of him. In the Cornucopia. He was allied with all the Careers, and was certain that his strategy would work. He would try to get all of the supplies, and then kill. He was a natural murderer.
The gong rang. All of the tributes jumped off their circles, and ran towards the Cornucopia. Lilly, District 7, tripped on a tribute's leg and instantly knew she would be the last to reach the Cornucopia. So, she ran away from it, feeling so bad that she didn't get any supplies.
Ambrose, District 4, was the first to reach the Cornucopia. She grabbed a bow and arrows, and fired randomly into the horde of tributes. One arrow happened to skewer Marko, District 8, in the neck. He died instantly.
Realizing this girl from District 4 was very competent with a bow and arrows, Spring, District 9, stabbed the Career girl in the back of her head. Ambrose fell to the ground, dead.
Daniel, District 7, grabbed an ax and hurled it in to the crowd. It lodged in to Quinna, District 12, and killed her instantly. He then pulled the ax from her spine and threw it again.
Tributes were now quickly leaving the Cornucopia. Lilly, Amber, Ethan, Yuri, Ruby and Taylor had already left. The rest were battling it out for supplies.
Alice, District 2, grabbed a blowgun and fired at two tributes: Liesel, District 6, and Leroy, District 10. They both died.
Logan, District 11, threw a spear at Joo-Chan, District 5. Joo-Chan pulled the spear from his gut, but it was no use. He was long gone.
Soon, everyone left except for the Careers and two tributes: Spring and Aya. Kourtney, District 1, threw a knife at Aya and killed her. Spring grabbed four slices of bread and ran.
That's when all the alive tributes realized they were on an island. They were on Island 1, the tropical island. Only tributes that knew how to swim could make it off.
Part 2: The Allies
"Is that all of us?" Kourtney, District 1, asked Mason, District 2.
"No. Amber-rose or whatever the heck her name was died, and so did Jooey-Chan." Mason replied. All together, there were five of them: Kourtney, Nicholas, Mason, Alice and Warren.
"Nice job, Alice. You killed two out of the seven tributes. Well done." Mason told Alice.
"Thanks. Now, are we going to leave this island or not?" Alice asked.
"Erm. I don't really know. It seems like most of the tributes don't know how to swim, so we should stay here." Warren decided.
"First is first: let's find water." Kourtney said, and the five of them searched for water since there was none at the Cornucopia.
A few hours later, Yuri Blue, District 5, was running through the jungle as fast as her legs could take her. She was weaponless, and the tribute behind her had an ax. It was Logan from District 11 behind her. Unfortunately, he was getting faster and faster. Yuri was a fast girl naturally, but she had hurt her leg at the Cornucopia when a random tribute threw a knife, and it sunk into her calf. Logan would soon throw is ax, and she'd be done for.
Yuri knew this would happen. She fell. She started sobbing, saying she was sorry to her sisters that she couldn't make it home, because she wouldn't have enough time to get up. Logan was upon her. When is seemed like it was hopeless, all of a sudden there was an arrow that flew through the air, and speared Logan in the stomach. Boom! His cannon sounded.
Yuri looked up, and saw a girl long, staight, light brown hair and light brown eyes. She was the one who killed Logan. A bow was slung over one of her shoulders. She was from District 7.
"Bows aren't my best, but I can make good use of them." Lilly says.
"I can see." Yuri responds, not trusting the girl.
"Do you want help up?" Lilly asks.
"I'm fine." Yuri almost hisses.
"Do you want food?" Lilly asks again. "I just shot a possum. I can skin it, cook it and then we could eat together."
"Food?" Yuri asked, more to herself than Lilly. It had only been... what? Six hours? But Yuri was already starving, and the girl looked friendy enough.
"Sure... it couldn't hurt." Yuri said.
They ate the possum together, and both Yuri and Lilly became very fond of one another. Lilly had great plant knowledge. Yuri's knife throwing was deadly. Combined, they were like Katniss and Rue. A powerful team.
"Allies?" Lilly finally asked Yuri.
Besides the Careers, Lilly and Yuri, no one else had formed an alliance. Everyone else was alone, only trusting themselves.
Taylor, District 11, wandered through the jungle, searching for some kind of water source. She was terribly thirsty. All day she'd been looking for water, but not even finding the tiniest drop. When she searched and searched and searched until she thought she'd scoured the whole island, she saw the other island. Island 2. It wasn't that far away, and she was one of the only other tributes that could swim besides Warren. She decided she should risk it. If there wasn't any water on this island, maybe there was one on the other.
Holding her knives she scored at the Cornucopia gently, she jumped in to the temperate waters. She guessed the island was only about a hundred feet away. She swam for a few minutes, until she felt something rub against her foot. She ignored it, thought it was seaweed or something, and began to swim again.
She was totally unprepared when it pulled her underwater.
She screamed, which was foolish, because almost all of her air came out of her mouth in bubbles. She opened her eyes, and stared at a mutt she knew she'd see in her nightmares for the rest of her life. She struggled, but it's grip was tough. She then stabbed it with her knife, and it relented. She broke to the surface, and took a huge breath. Then she paddled as fast as she could, not stopping until her feet touched land.
Ethan, District 3, stared at the night sky. It was a long day, and it would tell him who died in a matter of seconds. The first image in the sky was of the girl from District 4. That meant all of the tributes from 1 to 3 survived. Next, the boy from 5, the girl from 6, the boy from 8, both from 10, the boy from 11, and the girl from 12. That meant eight were dead. Seven died in the bloodbath, and one died later that day.
Afraid to close his eyes, Ethan slowly fell asleep.
Part 3: The Trap
The tributes that knew how to swim were now leaving Island 1, and on to Island 2.
Warren, of District 4, was teaching the other Careers how to swim, since it became evident that Island 1 contained no water source.
Half of Island 2 was a lake. The rest, forest. The other tributes were quickly realizing that. But it also rained a lot in the arena, so they were thankful.
Yuri and Lilly still had their alliance, and both of them trusted each other completely. Yuri hunted, Lilly gathered. They were doing fine, except they had no water.
“I’m really thirsty.” Yuri moaned.
“Wait… you see that island over there?” Lilly pointed.
“Yeah? What about it?” Yuri asked.
“Well, I see something blue on it. I’m thinking it’s a water source.” Lilly said.
“Do you know how to swim?” Lilly asked.
“Yes. But not very well.” Yuri replied.
“Can you teach me how? Or better yet, could you swim with me holding on to you?” Lilly asked.
“Possibly. It’s not that far.” Yuri agreed.
“Then let’s do it.” Lilly said.
Sam, District 9, and Argus, District 12, silently watched the Careers. They were all like sitting ducks as they swam towards the island. Argus had some carving knives, and Sam had a spear.
“On three.” Argus said, clutching his knives stealthily.
“One.” Sam said.
They ran towards the Careers. Sam threw his spear. The Careers were completely unprepared. The spear sailed, and skewered Warren in his back. He didn’t have a chance.
“Grab your weapons!” Nicholas called, and they armed themselves.
Argus threw three knives at the same time that Mason threw his axe. Argus’ first knife landed a few feet away from Kourtney, and the second grotesquely lodged in to Alice’s face. The water went red.
Boom! Boom! The cannon alerted them that both Warren and Alice were not able to be saved. Mason’s axe ripped in to Argus’ chest. Boom!
Argus pulled the axe out of his chest before his cannon shot went off.
All three remaining Careers were on shore now: Nicholas, Kourtney and Mason. Scared and outnumbered, Sam ran away. Kourtney threw a knife that dug into the flesh of his leg, but he was alive.
Nicholas said a very profane word.
“Don’t worry. We’ll get him.” Kourtney murmured.
“Alice…” Mason said, and then began to break down and cry.
The three Careers pulled themselves together, and with their memory of Warren’s instructions, began to cross to Island 2 again. Eventually, they made it.
Now six tributes out of the alive thirteen (Nicholas, Kourtney, Mason, Taylor, Yuri, and Lilly) were on Island 2. All of them found the lake, and drank enormously.
Amber, District 8, watched all this, smiling. Then, wordlessly, she slipped into the woods.
Daniel, District 7, walked on to Island 2. Taylor, District 11, watched him from a tree high above. She couldn’t stop staring at his dark blond hair, his blue eyes... Stop it, she instructed herself. Don’t get too attached to him. She then climbed higher in her tree.
“Wow. You suck.” Daphne said to herself. She was stuck in a tree, unable to get down, while the Careers came closer and closer.
“Hey! There’s District Three!” Kourtney shouted. Sh*t, Daphne thought. The Careers surrounded her tree.
“You gonna shoot her, Nick?” Kourtney asked.
“Yep.” Nicholas said, grabbing a blowgun that previously belonged to Alice. He brings the long tube to his mouth, and blows out a poisonous dipped dart.
Daphne screams as the dart connects with her arm. What kind of poison did he dip it in? She wondered. She pulled the dart from her arm, and immediately felt woozy. She threw it at the Careers, but they dodged it easily.
She felt very, very woozy, and fainted, falling out of the tree.
“Yes!” Mason cried.
Daphne wasn’t that injured except for a large scrape on her cheek, but Mason pulled out a knife and slit her throat. Boom! Her cannon gave a verdict: Daphne was dead.
“Only nine more!” Kourtney shouted. They all celebrated, giving each other high-fives.
“Who’s left, again?” Mason asked.
“Uh, the boy from Three, the girl from Five, the boy from Six, both from Seven, the girl from Eight, both from Nine, and the girl from Eleven,” Kourtney says quickly. “Plus us, which makes twelve.”
“Okay.” Nicholas says, and the Careers left to hunt more tributes.
Spring was running through the woods, when suddenly, she was trappped. The net sweeped her off her feet, and left her entangled in the net. She screamed as she saw the figure of a tribute walking towards her.
To be continued....
Part 4: The Friendships
Spring stared at the tribute she’d felt certain would kill her. It was a boy: he had white-blond hair and blue eyes. She reached for a weapon that she didn’t have.
“Spring?” The boy asked in surprise.
“Ruby?” Spring said.
“Oh. It is you!” Ruby said. “Sorry about that net. I’ll get you out.”
He used a knife and cut the net open. Spring climbed out.
“Sorry I didn’t find you at the Cornucopia. I was sort of battling with that boy from District Eleven.” Ruby says with a nervous laugh.
“I’m sorry about Liesel.” Spring said.
“It’s been very difficult for me,” says Ruby. “I almost gave up.”
Spring and Ruby instantly connected before the Games. They decided to make an alliance, but never found each other at the Cornucopia, partly because Ruby was quarrelling with Logan, and also partly because Spring just wanted to get out of there.
“Well… do you want to stay together?” Spring asks after an awkward silence.
“Definitely,” Ruby says. “What are your skills?”
“I’m great at identifying plants… and I’m a good climber… and I’m quite handy with a knife, I guess.” says Spring.
“I’m good with knives and swords.” Ruby admits.
“Well… I’m hungry. I’ll bring back some game for us, if you want,” Ruby says shyly.
“Sure! And I’ll gather some plants we can eat.” Spring says brightly.
“Great.” Ruby says.
Ruby walked away in to the woods, keeping an eye out for prey. Unfortunately for Spring, Ruby didn’t intend on the alliance to last long. In fact, he would make sure that it didn’t…
* * *
“Run, Lilly!” Yuri cried, waking Lilly up with a start. Lilly’s eyes opened to a mutt attack.
They were small, but had sharp fangs, and looked sort of like weasels. Although it looked completely unnatural, they had a stinger. No, two stingers. All together there were about twenty of them, running about in Yuri and Lilly’s base camp.
Using her arrows, Lilly took down five of them easy, but there was always one to take its place. They ran faster, and Yuri moaned in agony as a weasel jumped on her leg and stung her.
“Yuri! Are you alright?” Lilly shouted.
Yuri shook her head as if saying “no”.
“Keep going a little longer!” Lilly said.
Yuri and Lilly kept running, until the little vermin’s bodies disappeared in the underbrush.
“Are you alright?” Lilly asked for the second time.
“Noooo…” Yuri moaned. The sting brought her extreme agony.
“Oh…” Lilly moaned. “Is there anything I can do?”
Yuri thought for a moment. Was there anything? Yes. There was.
“There is a leaf…” Yuri says. “That is as good a painkiller as morphling.”
Yuri described the leaf in full detail, and sent Lilly to find it.
* * *
Taylor couldn’t help but watching Daniel again. He was building some sort of raft, and she stared at him. She sighed longingly. Then, stupidly, she leaned over and fell out of her tree. “Wow! You’re such an idiot!” she thought.
“Wha-! Who’s there?!” Daniel cried, caught off guard, and started walking towards where Taylor fell. Quickly, Taylor scrambled to her feet but wasn’t quick enough, because Daniel spotted her.
They stared at each other, without saying a word, wondering what the other would do.
“Time out?” Daniel says hopefully.
“Uh. Yeah. Sure.” Taylor says.
“Did you fall?” Daniel asks, concerned.
Taylor laughs very nervously. “Uh-huh. Yep.”
“How?” Daniel asks, relatively concerned.
“Oh. That is… that’s a long story. Ha,” Taylor says. “I like you already.” She adds.
“Yeah. I do too. Really. Um… would you want an alliance, maybe?” Daniel asks Taylor.
“Definitely!” She says, too cheerfully. “I mean… yeah, sure. If you want.” She adds, trying to act cool.
“Kay.” he says, and sits down on a log next to her.
Oh, my god. I cannot believe this is happening! Taylor thinks. That was the best-case-scenario for her. She couldn’t stop grinning.
* * *
“I found it!” Lilly shouted, holding the strange blue leaf out for Yuri to see.
“Thank goodness. Now, chew it up and place it on the wound. Please!” Yuri shouted.
Lilly put the chewed leaf on the stinger wound. Immediately, Yuri sighed with relief.
“Thank you, Lilly. I trust you one hundred percent now.” Yuri said.
“You’re welcome.” Lilly said. Yuri got two yogurts, a banana, a granola bar, and twelve crackers at the Cornucopia, and only now they decided to eat it.
“Oh my god, this yogurt is gooood.” Yuri said.
“What flavor?” Lilly asked.
“Strawberry.” Yuri said, not missing a beat.
“Mine is raspberry.” Lilly said, eating here yogurt up. Then Yuri had the banana while Lilly had a granola bar.
They were happy for the first time in the arena.
* * *
President Snow stood at his pedestal, watching the Games. Are they going too slow? He wondered. There hadn’t been a death in twenty-four hours, and the audience was getting bored. Sure, they’d been entertained greatly by Yuri and Lilly’s friendship, plus the flirting of Taylor and Daniel, but they thirsted for blood, and he had to fix that.
“President? Sir?” A young intern asked.
“What is it, Harmonia?” President Snow asked, with venomous sweetness.
“Your muttations are ready. They are so strong that they are nearly breaking out of their cages. Iron ones, sir.” the young intern said.
“Excellent. They are ready. Release them in to the arena at once!” he commanded.
“Yes sir.” Harmonia said, and rushed away.
Part 5: The T-Rexes
Kourtney, Nicholas and Mason watch as a parachute falls down with an envelope. Greedily, Kourtney reaches for it and rips open the letter like a maniac.
“What does it say?” Nicholas asks curiously.
“It says ‘HIDE!’” Kourtney said, frowning.
“Does it say from what?” Mason asks.
“Nope. One word. ‘HIDE’.” She says.
“Well, I guess we should,” Nicholas says, and they move to a nearby cave where they hide, planning on staying there for twenty four hours.
* * *
“What was that?” Spring asked Ruby, who was sharpening his knife, planning all the ways he could kill Spring and run off with her belongings.
“What was what?” Ruby frowns.
“It… I don’t know, it kind of sounded like a growl or something. Maybe it was my imagination.” Spring explains.
“Probably nothing. But then again, this is the Hunger Games. Maybe we should check it out.” Ruby tells Spring.
“Yeah. Maybe.” Spring decides. They do decide to check it out.
“Which direction did you hear it from?” Ruby asks.
“Um. South, maybe?” Spring says.
They walk to the south, and Spring hears the growl again. Except for this time, Ruby hears it with her.
“I hear it now! What could it be?” Ruby asks.
“Maybe we should go back.” Spring says.
“No way. This thing could be great food.” Ruby says deviously. Would now be the best time to kill Spring? He thinks. He isn’t sure.
It is upon them before they know it is there. First of all, it must’ve been at least twenty feet tall, and resembled a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Its skin was scaly and faded red, and its eyes stared daggers in to the tributes. All of its teeth were jagged, razor-sharp and were an unhealthy yellow.
“Run!” Spring cried, but it was too late. The monstrous beast reached down, and snapped her in its powerful jaws. Ruby was splattered by her blood, and shaken by the boom of the cannon that signified Spring’s death.
Once the beast swallowed the girl, Ruby started to run. Ruby ran through the forest, and didn’t stop once. He looked back for a moment, and saw the Tyrannosaurus Rex take a leap at him. The muttation ripped Ruby’s head off, and greedily ate it. Boom! His cannon went. Three more of them appeared behind the first.
* * *
Daniel and Taylor were casually eating a rabbit they shot, when they heard the cannons. Boom! And then, about fifteen seconds later, boom!
“Ten left now.” Daniel said.
“Who do you think it was?” Taylor asked.
“Um. I don’t know. They were probably victims of the Careers. But maybe not.” Daniel replied.
“Well, as long as it’s not us, it’s fine.” Taylor said.
They stared in to each other’s eyes for a few minutes.
“I really like you, Daniel.” Taylor says.
“I do, too.” Daniel says.
They bring their faces closer, and are about to kiss, when they are interrupted by the dino-mutts.
“Oh my GOD! Run!” Taylor shouted, and they scrambled to their feet, trying to escape the muttations.
They ran fast, as fast as they could, when they realized they left their supplies.
“Leave them.” Daniel warned, and Taylor nodded as she sprinted as fast as she possibly could.
They ran in zigzags, trying to confuse the Tyrannosaurus Rexes. It worked rather well. They were complexed. They ran slower, and it became more difficult for them to catch the tributes.
Eventually, they came to the shore of Island 2.
“Can you swim?” Taylor asked.
“No. My raft brought me here.” Daniel whimpers.
“Just jump in! You don’t have to go in deep.” Taylor says.
She and Daniel jump in to the water, and she instantly remembers the creature that tried to eat her the first time she swam over to Island 2. She hopes it doesn’t make a reappearance.
They felt relieved because they were in the water, and the T-rexes could not get to them.
They were horrified when they saw a T-rex jump in to the water, and begin to swim towards its next meal, Taylor and Daniel.
* * *
Amber watched everything with great curiosity. She could see so much from the tree she was scaling. Just over there was the blood stains from both the District 9 girl (Spring) and her boyfriend, the District 6 boy (Ruby). And right over there, the District 7 boy (Daniel) and the District 11 girl (Taylor) were avoiding the massive dinosaurs in the ocean.
She hopped down from the tree, and looked towards where Daniel and Taylor were before. Greedily, Amber snatched both of their backpacks, all of their weapons and food, and stealthily ran away from their site.
One had to admire her.
* * *
“Hold on to me! I’ll swim!” Taylor cried, and helplessly Daniel pried on to her back, and she swam like her life depended on it. It did.
The mutts were fast, too. Their arms may have been stubby but they were long, and they had the capacity to swim.
“Faster, Taylor! Faster!” Daniel shouted.
“I’m trying, believe me!” Taylor moaned, nearly out of breath from swimming so fast.
Then, suddenly, a Tyrannosaurus Rex was pulled underwater. The other five couldn’t care less. The next one pulled under revealed more about what was happing. There was a visible tentacle seen pulling it under.
“Look! They’re being dragged underwater!” Daniel pointed out.
“Oh no. It’s the mutt!” Taylor said.
“What mutt?” Daniel asked, but it didn’t matter. All of the dinosaurs were pulled underwater.
Daniel and Taylor made it on to the shore.
Part 6: The Twist
Kourtney, Nicholas and Mason were gathered around a fire, and munching on fruit.
“Not many deaths in awhile.” Kourtney said dully.
“Maybe we should hunt.” Mason says.
“Like, for tributes?” Nicholas asked.
“No duh,” she says, rolling her eyes and taking a huge bite out of her pear.
So, they decided to split up in to two groups. The first, Kourtney and Nicholas, and Mason alone because he was the largest and most skilled.
Mason strolled through the forest with his jet black axe, carefully searching for prey, AKA tributes. He listens. A hoot of an owl, a hiss of some nearby animal, and then he hears it.
Snapping twigs. He turns around to see a shadowy figure vanish and bolt into a clearing. Then, he begins to run after it. Fast.
The first sign of something going wrong is the weapon in the tribute’s hands. A spear-like weapon. No matter, he thinks. I can take down any tribute in this arena.
The second, is when he arrives in the clearing, and sees no tribute. Shocked, he turns around, and then is knocked to the ground. He then feels a foot step on his chest. He looks up to see a mane of red hair.
“Who are you?” he asks. He couldn’t think of a single red headed person in the arena, besides Warren who had reddish brown hair. But he was dead.
She doesn’t answer. Instead, she pulls out her jagged stick and looks at it maliciously. With a wicked smile on her face, she raises the stick and buries it in the flesh on his chest.
“Good to meet you. I’m Tara, from District Thirteen.” She says.
“What?!” Mason exclaims, and then dies. Boom! The cannon screams. Then, a boy also with red hair steps out from behind an old tree.
“Good work, sister.” The boy said. He looked almost identical to the girl, except he was about a foot shorter, and had darker eyes and hair.
“Thanks, Emmett.” The girl says, and takes off with Mason’s axe.
* * *
Sam, bathing in the river, stops swimming when he hears the sound of trumpets blaring, and then the familiar voice of Claudius Templesmith.
“Good evening, tributes! We have decided to include a twist that will surely shock and surprise you. I promise! We have located two children that have disobeyed very important laws, and must be punished by being put in to the arena, and must compete as tributes. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour!” Claudius Temlesmith booms, and then is off.
Sam’s mind nearly exploded with this news. Two children? In to the arena? Competing as tributes? He couldn’t believe it. So, Sam quickly slung his bow and arrows on, and took off in to the wilderness.
Kourtney’s face was bright red as soon as the announcement was complete, and the cannon shot went off.
“WHAT?! TWO TRIBUTES COMING IN TO THE GAME? THAT IS SOOOOO NOT FAIR!” She roars, and throws her backpack at Nicholas, knocking him to the ground.
“Oh, sorry.” Kourtney says, and helps him up.
“Its fine,” he replies, looking at her suspiciously.
“And where is Mason?” She demands, exhausted.
“Well, a cannon just went off…” Nicholas murmurs.
Kourtney slaps his face. “Why would you even suggest that?” She asks, furious.
Nicholas rubs his face, muttering apologies.
“I’ll bet it was some lame tribute that happened to come in Mason’s way. I mean, he was hunting after all,” Kourtney says rapidly and certain of herself.
“Okay, okay,” Nicholas says defensively.
* * *
Lilly and Yuri were talking, minding their own business, when all of a sudden they were upon them.
They first saw them from a distance. The fiery red hair was hard to miss.
“Grab your arrows,” Yuri whispers. Lilly nods, and slings her bow on her shoulder.
These had to be the two tributes who Claudius Templesmith was talking about. Yuri had little in the way of weapons, so Lilly told her to run. But it was too late.
The axe came flying out of nowhere, and lodged in to Yuri’s skull, splattering blood all over Lilly. She dropped her bow and screamed at the top of her lungs.
Boom! Went the cannon. Emmett jumped from the tree, and knocked Lilly to the ground. Tara leaps from the tree as well, carrying her jagged stick.
Lilly makes an agonized sound, and then stares helplessly in to Tara’s ice blue eyes.
“Don’t.” Lilly says, barely audible.
“Sorry, girl. I want to go home.” Tara says, and stabs Lilly in the throat. Boom!
“Well done.” Emmett says.
“You too. Nice axe throwing.” Tara says, and moves on to kill more.
Part 7: The District Thirteens
“We need another ally of some sort,” Tara said, skinning a rabbit. Emmett was speechless.
“What? An ally? But what about us?” Emmett asked.
“What about us?” Tara asked, mystified.
“Well, Tara, we happen to be the only tributes from District Thirteen. An ally wouldn’t understand us, and besides, why would we need another ally anyways?” Emmett replied.
“That’s ridiculous. A tribute not understanding us is no big deal. And besides, we need an ally because we have big competition. Seven other enemies. Another asset wouldn’t hurt. In fact, it would benefit us really well. Three to six. Great chances.” Tara says.
“Well, we don’t need one.” Emmett says, stubbornly.
“Emmett,” Tara says, emphasizing the word. “I’m the older sister. By three years. How old are you? Thirteen. How old am I? Sixteen! I know what the good decisions are. And the bad decisions. Not making another ally would be a bad decision.”
“Oh, shut up. You are so arrogant.” Emmett says, red-faced with fury and irritation.
* * *
“Taylor, where did you put my token? You know, the necklace made of timber?” Daniel asked. He had given his necklace to Taylor the night before.
“Oh, I chucked it. Worthless piece of junk,” she muttered, eating a coconut.
Daniel gasped. “Sorry, I didn’t hear you right. Did you say you chucked it?”
“Yeah. It’s just completely worthless.” Taylor says, giggling. “It beats me how you could even like that thing.”
“You… did not… throw my necklace… in the forest?” Daniel asked.
“Yes. How many times to I have to say it?” Taylor said, irritated.
“Do you know how much it meant to me? My grandmother gave it to me!” Daniel says, nearly exploding with anger.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa… it’s not that big of a deal.” Taylor said, flustered.
“Yes it IS. It was my ONLY reminder of home!” Daniel cried.
“Whatever.” Taylor muttered.
“Fine… I guess I can get over it.” Daniel says, staring daggers at the girl.
“You sure can! Geez, I thought you’d never let it go. Boy, am I hungry. It’s too bad you lost the supplies… I mean, it would have taken like one second. Now you lost us all of our food and weapons!” Taylor said happily.
“Excuse me? You’re blaming it on me?” Daniel asked, hardly daring to believe it.
“Well duh. I couldn’t carry all of those backpacks. It’s a man’s job.” Taylor said.
One more comment like that, and I’m outta here… Daniel thought grudgingly.
“Fine, I guess I could have.” He says, staring daggers at her.
“Okay. Love ya.” She said happily.
“Wait… you love me?” he asked, not daring to believe it.
“Of course… you’re the cutest thing I’ve seen in a while.” Taylor said, batting her eyelashes.
“And the dumbest…” she added.
“What?” he asked.
“Well, your intelligence is barely relevant compared to mine. You’re just a beautiful bird. Cute body, but nothing inside its skull.” Taylor said, oblivious to what she was really saying.
“That’s it! I’ve been putting up with you, and your crap, for the past THREE DAYS! I am sooo tired of you, you psycho b**ch!” Daniel said, and took off into the bushes. He may have hated Taylor, but he couldn’t kill her. Even if this was the Hunger Games.
Taylor’s jaw hit the ground.
* * *
“Well, who are you going to select for your ally?” Emmett asked.
“Um. I don’t know.” Tara says.
“Well, well, well. How are you going to pick an ally, if you can’t even find one?” Emmett laughed.
As if on cue, Daniel burst in to the camp. He was running incredibly fast, so it took him a few seconds to stop. But his eyes were fixed on the two tributes in front of him, not the ground, so he was totally unprepared when he tripped over the rotten log.
The log tripped him and flung him towards Tara and Emmett.
“Tie him up!” Tara ordered. They gathered some rope that they’d stolen from some girl tribute nearby, and tied the trembling Daniel up.
“No!” Daniel cried. No amount of begging would make them untie him.
“Perfect.” Tara said evilly.
“Let me GO!” Daniel commanded.
“No chance.” Emmett says, crossing his arms.
“What are you going to do with me?” Daniel asks.
“Time will tell,” Tara says, a wicked smile on her face.
* * *
Ethan licked his lips. In front of him, a succulent deer. Eating grass. Not a care in the world. If only he had a weapon to kill it.
Shocked, he watches as a bow lodges in to the stomach of the deer, and it falls to the ground.
Ethan falls to the ground himself. There is at least one tribute nearby, that could kill him at any second with their bow and arrows. He commands himself to lower his breathing.
Three tributes. There were three tributes in front of him. Two had fiery red hair, and the other a male with dark blond hair. Strangely, the boy was tied to a tree with a yellowish rope.
Oh, if he only had a weapon! A bow and arrows could take down all three of them with three arrows. He could win with those bow and arrows.
I’m going to leave, he thought. But I know where they are. I’ll come back when I have a weapon.
He gets up slowly, and flees from their base camp.
* * *
The Capitol thirsts for blood.
“Mr. President?” an intern, Harmonia, inquires.
“Yes?” President Snow asks.
“I’m sorry your muttations were unsuccessful. Well, I suppose I shouldn’t say that since they killed the District Nine female and the District Six male. But other than that, they were a failiure.” Harmonia says.
“What are you proposing?” the president asks.
“Perhaps… something more explosive?” Harmonia asks.
“Explosive? What ever do you mean?” the president asks, curious, and leans in to hear Harmonia’s idea. Her eyes burn with bloodlust.
Part 8: Explosion
“So… Daniel. Why were you running?” Tara asked with a solemn face.
“Erm… that’s private.” He said.
“Tell me now. Now.” Tara says.
“Okay… my former ally was really ticking me off… so I sort of raged and ran.” Daniel said, clearly embarrassed.
“Interesting. So, what district are you from again? Five? Seven? Eight? Do tell me.” Tara said.
“Seven.” Daniel said, barely looking her in the eye.
“Have any siblings?” Tara asked.
“An older brother.” Daniel replied.
“Would you be interested in an alliance?” She asked.
“Would I have much of a choice?” Daniel replied.
“Probably not. If you say no, you’re dead. The hovercraft will collect you, stuff you in a wooden box, and send you back to District Seven to your weeping parents.” Tara said, gleaming.
“Good point.” Daniel said.
“So is that a yes?” Tara asked.
“Yeah, I guess so. Where’s your brother?” Daniel replied.
“He’s gathering food,” said Tara. “Now, I’m going to untie you in approximately ten seconds. You do know the consequence if you try to kill me, right? You’ll probably be unsuccessful in trying to kill me anyways, and I’ll just kill you, instead. And if you somehow do manage to kill me, Emmett will surely capture you and slit your throat. Understood?”
“Understood.” Daniel replied, his mouth suddenly dry and his voice raspy.
“Good.” Tara said, and she untied Daniel.
“Emmett!” Tara called.
* * *
Sam quietly rubbed the two sticks together, desperate for a fire. It was incredibly cold out now.
“Come on, come on.” He muttered, and stared at the beet-red sun slowly disappearing out of view, greeting the night with open arms. He gritted his teeth. It wasn’t working.
“Why won’t you start, you stupid fire!” he cried in anguish. That’s when he saw the metallic, round object fall from the sky.
A few seconds later, the arena was on fire.
* * *
“Emmett!” Tara cried, the moment she saw the object falling from the sky, and started running.
“What are you running fro ––” Daniel tried to ask, but was interrupted by the bomb making contact with the ground.
He was thrown in to the bushes by the incredible force of the bomb, unconscious.
* * *
Unlike most tributes, Amber smiled when she saw the bomb drop… on the other side of the arena. Still, she ran stealthily, even after the bomb made contact with the ground.
A few seconds after the bomb drop, she heart a cannon. Eight left, she thought happily.
* * *
Pain. Hurt. Agony.
Tara felt all of these. And just where were Emmett and Daniel? She shook her head angrily as she saw the horrible burns on her hands and arms. Did Emmett make it out safely? She did hear a cannon. But only one. So where were Emmett and Daniel?
She spotted Daniel, lying in some tree, burned on his face and fingers. She helped him up, and wiped away some of his singed hair. Emmett. Where was he? What if there was nothing left of him, and the bomb took away his life?
Carrying the unconscious Daniel in her arms, she walked (nearly falling over a few times) in the direction of where she last saw Emmett.
* * *
“Good work… but it is too bad the explosive only killed one tribute.” The president said, admiring Harmonia’s work.
“Yes, but it injured four. They are all badly burned,” she smiled viciously.
“Ah, who were they, again?” President Snow asked.
“Let’s see… the District Three boy, the District Seven boy, and both of the newest tributes from Thirteen we added in the arena. The boy from Nine, Sam I think his name was, is dead.” She said, clearly pleased with her work.
“Good.” The president said, and twiddled his thumbs, happily watching the Games.
* * *
“Emmett!” Tara cried. She saw him lying on the ground. He was burned more badly than Daniel or her combined.
She dropped Daniel, and inspected his injuries. They were bad.
“Oh, Emmett!” She shouted sadly, and hovered over his body. How was she going to mend those wounds? Ash fell eerily like snow all over the arena.
She felt like death.
* * *
Ethan rubbed his head. The force of the explosion knocked him against a tree. He examined his body. He was burned. His face, arms, and legs were burned. But not badly.
Ethan got up steadily, not trusting his legs, and grabbed some water from his pack. He was parched.
Would he get any burn ointment? Maybe? Or did he even have any sponsors? Who knew. But there had to be at least one Capitol resident who wanted to sponsor him.
“Help,” he whispered, and ominously a parachute fell from the sky. Greedily, he reached for it and put the ointment on his burned skin. He sighed with relief.
The Capitol’s seal appeared in the sky. The anthem begins, and the picture of the boy from District 9 hangs in the sky for a few seconds, and then fades. Ethan gets up, and begins to search for food.
Part 9: The Interviews
Caesar Flickerman steps on the stage, bowing as the audience cheers maniacally.
“The first tribute’s family we’re interviewing is Amber’s! Get out here, Snow, Sky, and Luna!” Caesar called.
Three girls walk out on to the stage.
“How do you think your sister is doing?” Caesar asks the girls.
“I think Amber is doing great,” the girl named Luna says. “If she keeps playing the way she is now, she’ll definitely win.”
“Great response. Do you like her strategy, Snow?” Caesar asks.
“I like how stealthy she is. Stealing the supplies from Taylor and Daniel was sooo awesome!” Snow claps her hands.
“Perhaps it was,” Caesar says, smiling. “Do you think it was a good decision on her part that she didn’t make any allies?”
“Definitely. An ally slows you down, and they could kill you at any time. You can never trust someone completely.” Sky says.
“Yes, of course. Well, is there anything you’d like to add before this interview is adjourned?” Caesar asked.
“Yes. Amber is going to beat all of you. Good luck sister!” Luna calls, and the other two nod their head in approval.
Caesar gestures three people on to the stage. Two adults and one young man.
“Hello, Mrs. Zlevor,” Caesar says, shaking the hands of a middle-aged woman.
“Hi, Caesar,” The woman says, looking grim. Her husband and child sit down on a sofa.
“So, Mrs. and Mr. Zlevor, how do you think your son is faring?” Caesar asks.
“Not very well,” Mr. Zlevor says. “I mean, he just got burned very horribly. And he’s in the hands of two rebellious children named Tara and Emmett who broke laws to get punished in to the Games.”
“That is horrible, isn’t it?” Caesar asks.
“He’ll get through it, though,” Daniel’s older brother says. “Of course he will.”
There’s silence for a few seconds, and then Caesar ends the interview. By the end, Mrs. Zlevor is weeping.
Ethan’s father, and a girl about his age walk on to the stage. The girl introduces herself as Tiara, and the Ethan’s father introduces himself as Caruthers. They sit down, and Caesar begins asking questions.
“Are you pleased Ethan’s strategy?” Caesar asks them.
“Of course! He’s doing everything right!” The girl squeals.
“How so?” Caesar asks.
“Well, not making any allies is a good strategy. Second, now he knows where Daniel, Tara, and Emmett are! He can pick them off at any time! If he gets over his burn injuries...” the girl says sadly.
“But he’ll win.” Caruthers adds, looking strong.
“But what about Kourtney and Nicholas? Plus, both Tara and Emmett are strong. Amber could probably outwit him, and Taylor is a psycho that is capable of anything... oh, I should probably stop now...” Caesar says respectfully.
The girl screams and lunges at Caesar. Guards taser her.
Kourtney’s two sisters, Kim and Khloe, walk out and each hug Caesar.
“Where’s your mother?” Caesar asks.
“She’s in Cuba. Our grandmother is sick,” Khloe says sadly.
“Do you think Kourtney is doing good?” Caesar asks.
“Of course,” Kim says. “She is going to beat everyone in the arena. If Nicholas doesn’t slow her down... anyways, if she eliminates Nicholas soon, she stands a huge chance.”
“What do you think her flaws are?” Caesar asks.
“Her temper. But other than that, nothing.” Khloe says.
“She’s a total spaz when she’s angry.” Kim laughs.
Since Nicholas’ father is sick with tuberculosis, Caesar hooks up with him via webcam.
“How do you think your son is doing?” Caesar asks.
“Great. With Kourtney on his side, he can’t fail!” his father laughs.
“You don’t think he should ditch Kourtney?” Caesar asks.
“No way. She’s a huge asset.” Nicholas’ father replies.
“Ooookay, then,” Caesar says. “You really think he stands a chance?”
“Definitely.” Nicholas’ father says.
“Okay... I’ll just end this interview early.” Caesar says, and turns off the camera.
Taylor’s sister walks on to the stage. She looks exactly like Taylor except for a year older.
“Hi, Stacy, how are you?” Caesar asks.
“I’m... okay,” Stacy says. “I’m worried about Taylor, though.”
She wipes away a tear.
“Why is that?” Caesar asks.
“Because Daniel called her a psycho b**ch. She had a huge spaz. She really loves Daniel. She must be mortified.” Stacy said.
“True. I’m sorry about that... she’ll probably pull through, though. Probably.” Caesar adds, patting Stacy on the back
“What do you like most about your sister?” Caesar asks.
“She had a very giving personality. She cares about people a lot, and their feelings. Sometimes too much...” Stacy says.
“Don’t you think that’s a bit of an exaggeration? I mean, she told Daniel that he had an empty skull. That’s a little much, isn’t it?” Caesar asks.
“Oh yeah. I forgot to mention. Taylor’s quite stupid. Or at least when she puts her foot in her mouth,” Stacy said, giving the ghost of a smile.
“Quite.” He says, laughing.
Part 10: Seperation
The arena went cold. Snow began to fall. Tara huddled with the unconscious Emmett beside her, and Daniel helped put twigs in the fire.
“Oh, Emmett,” Tara said sadly, holding her axe incase Daniel decided to attack or run away.
“Is he doing okay?” Daniel asked.
“I don’t think so… he’s still knocked out.” Tara said, looking down on Emmett.
“Why is he unconscious still?” Daniel asked. “I mean, he only got burned.”
“I’m guessing he breathed in too much smoke. The same thing happened to you, Daniel.” Tara said.
“Oh.” he said lamely.
“Do you miss your parents?” Tara asks Daniel.
“Definitely. My mom… my dad… my brother… they all need me.” Daniel says.
“Do you have a family?” Daniel asks.
“I’ve got a dad, Emmett, and five other brothers,” she says shyly.
“Five brothers?!” Daniel exclaims.
“Well, six if you include Emmett.” Tara says.
“Wow. I couldn’t even imagine having that many siblings.” Daniel says.
“It’s fine. I’m not even the oldest, either.” Tara says.
“How old is the oldest?” asks Daniel.
“José. He’s nineteen.” Tara replies.
“Does he have red hair like you guys?” Daniel asks.
“Yup. Except darker and curly,” Tara adds. “The youngest in our family is three.”
“It’s interesting hearing about your family.” Daniel says.
“Yeah, you could say we’re interesting.” Tara says.
“So, where are you from exactly?” Daniel asks.
“Uh… Thirteen.” she whispers, and puts her hands in front of her mouth so the Capitol audience can’t read her lips.
“Thirteen? It still exists?!” whispers Daniel loudly.
“Ha-ha, I lied.” Tara says out loud. “Yes, it does exist.” She then whispers.
Emmett stirs, but neither Daniel or Tara notices.
“What are your friends like?” Daniel asks.
“I… I’ve never really had any friends. I kind of stayed away from the crowd in school, and never bothered,” Tara says. “I have my brothers. I’m good. Emmett has always been the popular one, even though he doesn’t talk much. But I really connect with you.”
They sit for a moment, without speaking, and Daniel smiles, and asks a very provocative question.
“Are you a virgin?” Daniel asks.
Tara looks as if she’d just been slapped.
“Pardon? Yes! Of course I’m a virgin!” she screams.
Emmett sits up. “I’m not.”
“Emmett! You’re awake! And what did you just say?” Tara asks, appalled.
“What? I’m not a virgin. Haven’t you lost your virginity yet?” Emmett asks.
“No! And who did you lose it … oh, nevermind. Dad is soo going to be pissed when he sees this.” Tara says, and slaps him.
“Ow! That hurt, you…” Emmett says, and then they all laugh, like a big Hunger Games family. (P.S. I know that sounds super cheesy).
* * *
“I still can’t believe Mason is dead,” Kourtney says, walking with Nicholas in the woods. “And it’s all your fault.”
“My fault?” Nicholas asks, mystified.
“Yes, your fault. You should’ve gone with him. Then you would’ve stood a good chance.” Kourtney then replies.
“Yeah… I still you can’t believe you kicked me in the groin after you saw his picture in the sky.” Nicholas says.
“It was all in good reason.” Kourtney says, looking rather embarrassed.
“Sure, sure,” Nicholas says, and then a look from Kourtney cautions him to stop speaking.
Amber, hidden by the shroud of the tree branches, watches Kourtney and Nicholas. She has a devious plan. Without warning, she drops from the tree, on to Kourtney’s head.
“Get the hell off me you little s***!” Kourtney screams, and claws at the little girl on her head.
“Nicholas! Get her the f*** off me!” Kourtney shouts, and tries to pull Amber off her.
Amber then leaps off Kourtney, and disappears in to the underbrush, laughing at her little joke. In her pocket, a knife. Kourtney’s.
* * *
“Ow! The pain!” Emmett whines.
“Stop whining! I’m burned worse than you, and I freaking carried you and Daniel.” Tara says, and watches the sun go down.
“Oh, you are such a pain sometimes.” Emmett says.
“I am super hungry. Want to go look for food?” Daniel suggests.
“Yeah, sure,” Tara says. “Emmett, guard camp while we’re gone, okay?”
Tara and Daniel leave, and investigate the woods.
“Hey, are these berries edible?” Tara asks, pointing to a bush of purple-red berries.
“I think so, but you have to be sure.” Daniel says, and tries to recall something from his edible plants station at the Training Center.
“Yeah. This is called a nesnée bush. The berries are definitely not edible… but the leaves… they’re used for burns!” Daniel exclaims.
“What! How?” Tara asks.
“You chew them up, and place them on the burns.” Daniel instructs.
“It works?” Tara asks.
“Yeah, definitely. Or at least, that’s what he said… let’s try it out.” Daniel says, and chews up the leaf.
Daniel places it on both his and Tara’s burns. They exhale with relief.
“Wait till Emmett experiences this,” Tara says longingly.
“Yeah. This is the best!” Daniel says, and watches as the burns transform from an angry red to a medium shade of pink.
“But we have to get back to Em–” Tara begins to say, but is cut off by a scream. A male one. Coming back from their camp.
“Emmett!” Tara screams, and takes off. Not caring about anything but her brother. Emmett.
When Tara arrived at the camp, she saw a mane of brown hair disappear in to the brush, and Emmett lying on the ground. A knife in his chest.
“Emmett! Are you alright?!” Tara asks, watching her little brother slowly die.
“I’m fine… dozed off… woke up to her… standing above me… she had a knife… stabbed me… I screamed…” then all of a sudden Emmett had a crazy look in his eyes. “You have to trust Daniel with your life. Is that clear? Is that clear?!”
“You’re not going to die! Daniel, what should I do?” Tara asked, barely believing the situation.
“Let him go, Tara,” he said, putting his hand on her shoulder.
“No! Emmett you cannot die! Please don’t leave me alone!” Tara cries.
“You won’t… be alone… you have Daniel…” he said, and then a cannon fired. For Emmett.
“He’s dead.” Tara said, not believing herself and letting the tears drop. “My brother… is DEAD!”
“We’ll get through this.” Daniel said, trying to comfort Tara.
“No we won’t!” Tara cried, and ran. Ran away. Ran from all her problems.
But her problems would find her.
Part 11: The Volcano
“We should go to the mountain today,” Daniel says as Tara wakes up slowly.
“Why? We have all that we need here.” Tara replied, barely caring. All of her thoughts were about Emmett.
“Because. When Taylor and I were in an alliance, we saw lots of edible plants and mountain goats up there. We can shoot some goats, bag some plants, and then leave. Okay?” Daniel asked.
“Maybe.” Tara replied, and fell asleep again much to Daniel’s dismay.
* * *
“You’d better do it,” Ethan muttered under his breath, as he crept up to Kourtney and Nicholas’ camp, and then ran. He saw them a few feet away––they were leaving to go hunting or something. Now was the perfect time to bag some food, he thought. Get in, grab some food, and then get out. Simple.
Inside their tent, he grabbed some crackers, a few strips of beef, and then some sort of gun. Not much, he thought. Ethan then ran out just as fast, in case the Careers came back, and then found a sack of something a few feet away, under a tree.
“No way,” he muttered, breathless. He then grabbed a few things out of the sack, and ran.
* * *
“I can’t believe you made me come here,” Tara said, exasperated after the thirty minute climb. “There probably aren’t even any mountain goats here anyway.”
“Yeah, there is,” Daniel said, distracted. “Well, when Taylor and I were here.”
“Taylor seems like such a psycho.” Tara said, laughing.
“I know. A psycho ––” Daniel said, laughing as well.
A hundred yards behind them and hiding, Taylor clenched her fists in anger. How dare Daniel call her that word! Soon his sweet little face will be mine, again, Taylor thought deviously. Soon.
“You know what, Tara, I really enjoy your company,” Daniel said. “You’re very alright.”
“I like you too, Daniel.” Tara said, smiling, her red hair blowing in the wind.
“Great.” Daniel said.
Suddenly, Taylor leaped in front of them.
“He’s mine, you––!” Taylor shouted, and grabbed a knife.
Immediately, Tara sprung in to action and gripped her axe. No one made a move for approximately six seconds, until Taylor threw her knife.
It missed Tara, and she threw her axe. Taylor dodged, and the axe buried in to a tree.
Screaming, Taylor then ran at Tara. She dodged Taylor, and punched her square in the mouth.
“Die, bit**!” Taylor cried, and kneed Tara in the stomach.
Suddenly, the ground beneath Taylor, Tara and Daniel began to vibrate. Then, smoke came flowing from the mountain, and a word formed on Daniel’s lips.
Not caring about fighting to the death anymore, Taylor and Tara began to run. Daniel trailed behind lamely, as the fiery red lava drizzled down the volcano.
“Run faster, Daniel!” Tara cried, and tripped Taylor purposely, and Taylor fell on her face.
Taylor, reaching up, grabbed Tara’s red ponytail and pulled her to the ground.
Taylor then got up, and kicked Tara in the face repeatedly until Daniel stepped in and tried to punch Taylor, but she grabbed his fist and shoved him to the ground.
Satisfied and glowing, she started to run, but then spat on Tara’s head before taking off like the road runner.
“I can’t get up. My face.” Tara groaned.
“Come on, hurry! The lava is getting closer. Please, Tara. We can still make it.” Daniel said, and offered her a hand.
“Let’s go kill that *****.” Tara said, and started to take off after Taylor again.
Tara caught up to Taylor (with Daniel trailing behind awkwardly) and tried to pull her back but missed. Laughing manically, Taylor turned around and tried to kick Tara, but missed and instead hit Daniel in the crotch. Ouch.
Daniel looked like he had just sucked on a lemon, and then he let out a wail, and sank to his knees.
“Daniel!” Taylor and Tara shouted at the same time, and then Tara punched Taylor on the nose.
“Ugh! I killed your brother!” Taylor cried, laughing.
That was too much for Tara, learning that Taylor killed Emmett. So, she grabbed Daniel, kicked Taylor as hard as she could, and ran towards a ledge.
She jumped. Looking back, she saw the terrified Taylor being swallowed, alive, by the lava. A faint cannon went off.
Daniel landed nicely on the ground, but Tara landed in a tree. On a branch. Hard.
Daniel couldn’t help it. Despite the pain, he laughed. It was too funny.
Scratched up, bloody, swollen and furious, Tara punched Daniel harder than she thought possible. Then, she fell unconscious.
Part 12: The Game
The boom of the loudspeakers wakes Kourtney up. Angrily, she shouts Nicholas’ name in profanity.
“Good morning, tributes. I hope you six slept well, because this day will truly be exciting,” Claudius Templesmith booms.
“Wee.” Nicholas mutters sarcastically.
“Yes, truly exciting. Immediately at dusk today there will be a feast. But this is no ordinary feast. There will be a temporary truce between all tributes. Anyone who attempts an attack will be sedated and dragged off to torture. No questions,” Claudius says. “Once you arrive, you will sit in a chair with your district number engraved on it. Tara, you will sit on the chair with your name on it. More will be explained later on. I bid you farewell.”
“Well… that was random.” Nicholas says.
“Shut up. I’m thinking!” Kourtney shouts, and threatens Nicholas with her eyes. Nicholas immediately shuts up.
“So, this is what we’ll do. We’ll go to the feast at dusk, no questions, but here’s the thing: no matter what, if anything happens, keep your eyes on that lovey dovey couple. You know, the guy from Seven and that redhead chick from who knows where.” Kourtney says, flailing her arms.
* * *
Amber watched the sun slowly set. Soon, she would leave for the Cornucopia, for who knows what. With a crazed look in her eyes, she brought her hands together and dived off a fifty foot cliff. Screaming with delight.
She landed in the water on her belly, and felt an explosion of awesomeness, and swam towards the island with the Cornucopia on it.
* * *
Tara wakes up, and stares in to Daniel’s wide eyes.
“You’re heavy.” He says, referencing to him carrying her to the cliff edge.
“You’re not lucky you’re not dead,” Tara replies, resisting the urge to punch him, or kick his crotch. Again.
“We’re going to the Cornucopia.” Daniel says.
“Why?” Tara asks, bewildered.
“Because Claudius Templesmith told us to. If we don’t, we die.” Daniel says, and Tara unquestioningly follows him, holding her broken arm.
* * *
Slowly, every tribute began to arrive at the Cornucopia. There were six chairs: two with the number 1 engraved on them that were a bright gold colour, one blue chair with a 3 on it, a green 7 chair, a purple chair with an 8, and finally, a black Tara chair.
Kourtney stared daggers at everyone, even Nicholas, and folded her arms, waiting for Claudius Templesmith to speak again. Nicholas twiddled his thumbs while staring at Tara, and Amber had an enthusiastic look on her face.
The table in front of them was round and white, but it was spotless. Not a crumb of food on it, and instead the Capitol seal carved on it.
In front of them was a giant, 100 inch television that turned on suddenly, revealing Claudius’ ghostly white face.
“Hello, tributes. Welcome to our little game.” He says, and all of a sudden, the tributes are chained to their chairs. Restraints popped out of the chair, and wrapped around their legs and arms.
“You will each be asked a question. Some simple, some not. By pre-determined random order, I will ask your question. First, is Tara.” Claudius says, grinning. Tara’s face turns white.
“What happens if we get the question wrong?” Nicholas asks.
“Well, I’ll leave that for you to find out. But let me just say –– it isn’t pleasant. Some of you will likely not live to see the next day.” Claudius says, and everyone shivers.
“Tara –– your question is: ‘What weapon did Mason possess at the time of his death’?” Claudius asks.
“Pfft. That’s easy. I still have it with me. A black axe.” Tara scoffs.
“That’s correct!” Claudius beams, and Kourtney shoots Tara a dirty look.
“The next question goes to… Kourtney.” Claudius smiles evilly. Kourtney pales.
“Your question is: ‘What is the total number of tributes that died at the Cornucopia bloodbath’?” Claudius asks.
“Um… let’s see… I think it was… seven?” Kourtney answers, and then holds her breath.
“That is also correct, Kourtney! You are doing very well so far, tributes!” Claudius says, and laughs.
“Okay, the next question is for…”
Amber, Nicholas, Daniel and Ethan look around nervously.
“Nicholas. Your question is – ‘Who knocked the District Three female unconscious with a blow dart’?” Claudius asks.
“That’s just too easy. It was me.” Nicholas says.
“Correct! Amber, Ethan, and Daniel, you still have to answer your questions. The next question goes to the crazy girl… I mean, Amber.” Claudius says, and Amber squeals excitedly.
“Your question is – ‘Whose backpacks did you steal’?” Claudius asks in a gentle voice.
“Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! I know! It was that guy right there’s backpack!” She leans her head towards Daniel. “And the District Eleven girl’s!”
“Correct, Amber!” Claudius says, and Daniel furiously glares at Amber. She smiles back at him.
“Okay, the second last question goes to Daniel,” Claudius says. “Your question is – ‘Who was the first tribute to die after the Cornucopia bloodbath’?”
“Umm… let me see… it was…” He looks to Tara for guidance. She shrugs her shoulders and mouths the words, “I’m sorry.”
“Wait! I think I know! It was the District Eleven guy, right? I saw him in the sky.” Daniel says, unsurely.
“Yes! It was Logan. He was killed by Lilly. You are all doing great! Perhaps there won’t be a death here, after all…” Claudius says, smirking. “Or maybe not. Ethan, you’re the last person to receive their question, and it is – ‘Who was the very first tribute to die in this arena’?”
Ethan nearly faints. He has no idea.
“I think it was Quinna, from District Twelve, right?” Ethan asks.
Gravely, Claudius Templesmith says a single word. “Wrong.”
All of a sudden, a large orange wolf runs in to the circle, and glares at Ethan.
“No! Not me!” Ethan screams, before the wolf leaps at Ethan. Before long, a cannon shot goes off, and by the end Daniel, Tara, and Amber are splattered with blood.
“Cool,” Amber mutters as she stares at the crimson red blood she was now covered in. Then, the gas rose and knocked everyone unconscious. Except for Ethan.
Part 13: A Closer Look In...
“So, five left, huh?” Daniel says cheerfully.
“Don’t talk to me.” Tara responds.
“Why not?” Daniel asks.
“Did I stutter or something? I said don’t talk to me.” Tara replies.
“I’m sorry,” Daniel says, inching slowly towards her. “You’re mad at me still for the tree thing… am I right?”
Tara doesn’t reply, and instead gives him the cold shoulder.
“I’m really sorry, Tara. I shouldn’t have laughed. Laughing at someone else’s pain is a despicable thing. Sure, ‘sorry’ is just a word, but I want you to know I really am, and I wish for you to forgive me. Please.” Daniel says.
“Oh, fine. I’m sorry for punching you, too.” Tara says.
“It’s alright. I forgive you, and you forgive me. That’s what’s important, especially since our days are numbered.” Daniel says.
“Yes. Today could be my last day…” Tara says.
“Or mine.” Daniel says, watching the Capitol seal appear in the night sky and showing Ethan’s face, then vanishing again.
“But let’s not talk about that.” Daniel says.
“What should we talk about, then?” Tara asks, confused.
“I don’t know, Tara… from today and yesterday, I can tell you’re an angry person. And me, well… like I said, we only have a few days left, probably… and I just want to spend it with you. Without all this confrontation. Okay?” Daniel asks.
“Yeah, sure…” Tara says, and slowly falls asleep. Happy as ever.
* * *
Amber looks at her bracelet. With her finger she traces the crescent moon, the cloud, and the snowflake. Memories flood her mind of her sisters. She then sighs.
“Do I have a shot?” She asks to the night sky. “You know, at winning?”
She thinks about it. She doesn’t think it’ll be too long before the Careers turn on one another. Kourtney is so provocative that Amber thinks the alliance will be over within three days… or less. And Tara and Daniel… well, they weren’t as skilled as the Careers, and not as clever as she was. Maybe she could outsmart everyone, and pull a win.
She remembered Claudius Templesmith referring to her as “the crazy girl”. She didn’t really care then, but it sort of affected her now. She didn’t want to be known as the crazy girl. It was humiliating. But sometimes her hyperactivity took control over her. Adrenaline sometimes just suddenly pumped through her veins, and she didn’t know what she was thinking. She then remembered her sister Snow’s last words to her.
“You can do it, Amber. You’re fast, smart, and daring. You can definitely do it. Have hope.”
The thought of her sisters brought tears to her eyes. She would do it. For Snow. For Sky. For Luna.
* * *
Kourtney stopped and stared at Nicholas.
“You know… you’re a slob.” she says.
“Really? You’re one to talk.” Nicholas replies.
“Excuse me? What did you just say to me?” Kourtney accused, shocked.
“Nothing.” Nicholas said.
“You’re underestimating my abilities, Nicholas. I could take you down in a second.” Kourtney said.
“Sure, sure.” He replied, so low that Kourtney couldn’t hear him.
“Hey, could you help me put my backpack on? We’re going out for a little hunt.” Kourtney said.
“Why can’t you do it?” Nicholas asked.
“Because. Just do it.” Kourtney said.
“Fine.” Nicholas said, and helped put the backpack on her.
Nicholas made a mistake right then and there. He didn’t watch where his hands were going. As he raised the backpack over Kourtney, his hand slipped. And landed right on her chest.
Aghast, Kourtney took two steps back. She stared at Nicholas in shock.
“I didn’t mean to! I really didn’t!” Nicholas shouted.
“You touched my boobs!” Kourtney cried, and almost didn’t believe herself.
Then, Kourtney’s shock and surprise turned in to fury and anger. She grabbed a spear, and impaled Nicholas.
He took one last breath, said “why?” and then died. His cannon confirmed it.
“Nicholas. Nicholas!” Kourtney cried, trying to shake him awake.
“I killed him,” Kourtney whispered. “I KILLED HIM! Now I’m alone. Alone. Alone.”
Then, crying, she tore in to the woods like a crazed animal, convinced she was going to kill anything that moved.
Part 14: The Rager
Kourtney’s mind had snapped in two. As much as she hated to admit it, Nicholas was pretty much all she had in the arena. Although she tortured him and hurt him, she sort of liked him. When she killed Nicholas… that was the last straw. Insanity now pulsed through her veins.
Well, Kourtney technically wasn’t insane… sort of. She was just insane out of anger and guilt. Why had she done it? Why had she killed Nicholas? Why?
Now she was hell-bent on killing everyone in the arena. And fast. It was somehow all their fault Nicholas died. She wanted to get out of the arena. But where were they? The girl tribute from District Eight? The boy tribute from Seven? And that annoying redhead, where was she?
She let out a wail that probably woke the dead out of frustration and anguish.
“Nicholas didn’t die… he didn’t… he didn’t…” Kourtney cried, and put a thought in her head. A glorious thought that made her feel instantly better, but then want revenge so badly. The thought, even though it was a lie, was this: Amber killed Nicholas.
* * *
“Want some?” Daniel asked, wondering if Tara wanted some of his groosling drumstick.
“Nah. I can’t eat right now. Just got a terrible feeling. Something… evil. I don’t know, I can’t describe it.” Tara said.
“Ah. Weird.” Daniel replied, and nearly ate the drumstick whole.
“Who do you think died today?” Tara asks.
“Erm… don’t know… probably the crazy girl. Or that Career guy.” Daniel replied.
“Why the Career guy? He seemed really strong.” Tara asked.
“You saw the girl. Kourtney, her name was. She had serious anger issues. Perhaps Kourtney killed him out of rage.” Daniel said.
“Maybe.” Tara replied, staring at the bright orange sun, as Tara realized that there was only four left. There was a 50% chance that either her or Daniel would win. Of course, the odds with Tara hadn’t been very dependable lately.
“Listen. Tara. There’s a confession I have to make,” Daniel said, staring in to Tara’s big blue eyes. “I… I… really like you, okay? I’ve never felt this way about a girl before. Especially one as gorgeous as yourself.”
“What? What are you saying?” Tara replied, hardly daring to believe her ears.
“I’m saying… do you love me? Because I truly love you.” Daniel said.
“I…” Tara started to say, but was interrupted by Kourtney slamming in to her.
“Tara!” Daniel cried, and looked desperately for Tara’s axe. Quickly, he grabbed it and ran at Kourtney, who was on top of Tara and about to stab her with her knife.
Kourtney aimed to stab Tara in the heart, but missed when Daniel threw her axe. Kourtney dodged, and was pushed over by Tara. Tara clutched her knife, and aimed for Kourtney… but she was gone.
“Daniel! She’s gone!” Tara cried.
“Are you sure?” Daniel asked.
“I’m not sure. We should leave.” Tara suggests, grabs all her belongings, and stares at Daniel.
“So… how about an answer? To my question?” Daniel asks with a smile.
* * *
Amber stood in the lake, ankle deep, trying to grab some of the fish that were swimming about.
“Dang. Why can’t I catch these things?!” Amber cried, and sighed.
Then Kourtney stepped out from the bushes, behind Amber’s back.
“Time to die, girly.” Kourtney said, and Amber turned around, shocked, and then dived in to the lake.
Kourtney shrugged, said “You’re choice.” And then dived in to the lake.
Amber swam under the surface, trying desperately to get to the other side before Kourtney did. But she didn’t.
Kourtney grabbed Amber and dragged her to the surface. Crying, Amber pleaded, “No! No, don’t! Don’t.”
“This is for killing Nicholas, creep!” Kourtney cried, and grabbed her spare knife. The knife lodged awkwardly in to Amber’s forehead, and then a cannon fired.
“Two more to go. And then I’m out of here. This is for you, Nicholas!” Kourtney cried, and ran away from Amber’s cold dead body.
* * *
“A cannon!” Tara cried, not daring to believe it.
“Kourtney must’ve killed again. We have to keep going on the move. It won’t be long before she tracks us down again.” Daniel said, and then added, “You still haven’t given me an answer.”
“An answer? Really? Not right now, okay?” Tara said, and started to walk, before Daniel halted her.
“Tara… how much time do we have left? Come on. Please, just give me an answer right now. Please.” Daniel said.
“No, Daniel. I don’t love you. Can’t we just be friends?” Tara asks exhaustedly.
Daniel sighs, and mutters, “Okay.”
“I still like you… just not in that way. You’re my best friend, Daniel.” Tara said, and hugged him. Daniel hugged her back.
“I want you to win.” Daniel whispered to Tara.
“No. You have to win. Don’t pick me. They’ll never let me go home.” Tara said, pulling away from the hug.
“Let’s just discuss this later,” Daniel said as he and Tara walked away from the setting sun.
Part 15: The Finale - PART ONE
Tara and Daniel continued to walk down the path. Tara, wearing a pair of sunglasses, was severely dehydrated, along with Daniel.
“I am so thirsty,” Tara whined. “But you drank all the water!”
“Sorry, but there was practically ten drops in there. You drank most of it, actually. But I’m sorry.” Daniel replied, not looking her in the eye.
“So? You should have refilled when we past the lake… six hours ago!” Tara cried, her red hair and Daniel’s blond hair glistening in the sun.
“Again, my fault. You’re right, I should’ve filled up.” Daniel apologized again.
“No, no, I should be sorry, Daniel. I shouldn’t be yelling at you… I should have drank less and I should have filled up at the lake.” Tara said.
“Let’s just forget about it, and agree we’re both really thirsty, okay?” Daniel resolved.
“Sure.” Tara agreed.
Tara and Daniel had been walking through the brush for nearly seven hours. They were both drained, and it was starting to get dark out. The arena would get incredibly cold. As it got darker, Tara put her sunglasses on her head.
“Look, it’s getting muddy here. Watch your step.” Daniel warned, as both of them stepped on the mud trail. They both left large and very deep footprints as they walked.
“Where are we going to end up?” Tara asked, now getting extremely cold. Neither of them had any warm clothing. The mud ended, and a new, greener path emerged.
“Who knows. We’re on a big island. We should be nearing the ocean… maybe.” Daniel observed.
“The ocean? Daniel, we should go there! We can eat food from the sea, and purify the water while we’re there.” Tara said, nodding her head. Her sunglasses fell off her head, and landed on the trail. She didn’t notice.
“Yeah, sure. The ocean. That’s a good idea! We’ll have plenty to eat there.” Daniel agreed, and Tara smiled at him.
The path ended, and soon Tara and Daniel stared at the blueness of the ocean.
“There it is, Daniel! Oh my gosh, it’ll be so much better than living in the middle of a forest.” Tara said, bursting with happiness at the sight of the ocean.
* * *
Kourtney ran. She ran as fast as her legs could take her. She needed to kill Tara. She needed to kill Daniel. Just… kill them. Because it was their fault that Nicholas died.
Nicholas. She constantly heard his voice, saw images of him all over the woods. Begging her for mercy. Laughing with her. Kissing her. But the next minute, he was gone. And it tore at her heart. And drove her slowly insane.
“Why, Nicholas… why? Why did she kill you?” Kourtney asked, thinking of Tara, although it was really Kourtney who killed Nicholas.
Kourtney screamed, and tripped on a rock. She lay on the ground, moaning and screaming and crying. Then, she got up, with anger and revenge and bloodlust in her eyes. She needed to kill Tara.
* * *
“Okay… so what was your favourite thing to do with your family?” Daniel asked curiously.
“Just talk. There isn’t much else to do in District Thirteen,” Tara sighed.
“Nice. My mom and I used to pick blackberries from bushes all the time in the forests. My mom and dad were lumberjacks, just like almost everyone else from District Seven.” Daniel said.
“Your family sounds perfect. I wish I had a family like yours. Being the only daughter out of six – I mean, five children is difficult. I don’t really have any friends, either.” Tara sighed, thinking of Emmett.
“My family isn’t perfect. Come on, there must be something you really like about your family. Think.” Daniel said, leaning in.
“Well… I guess, my dad. He’d always call me his ‘Princess’. That was his nickname for me. ‘Princess’. I loved my dad much more than my mom.” Tara said dreamily, thinking back to her past life, before the Games.
“Well, Princess, which brother of yours was your favourite?” Daniel asks.
“Well, José and… probably… Lars, my other brother.” Tara responds.
“Why them?” Daniel asks.
“Well, José is so caring and he helps me a lot, and understands me much more than anyone else. Lars, on the other hand, is only three years old and terribly cute. I love them both.” Tara said, absent-mindedly.
“Great. I love my brother, a lot, too. He sounds just like José. They seem to have the same traits.” Daniel replied.
“Yeah.” Daniel said, leaning in on Tara.
“This is the happiest I’ve ever been in the arena, Tara.” Daniel said.
“Of course. Me too.” Tara replied, staring at the black sky, and seeing Amber’s blond hair and brown eyes, plus the number “8” below her.
“And if I could share this moment with anyone else in the world, it would be you.” Daniel said, immediately making Tara feel guilty for not sharing the feeling.
“Yeah, totally. Me too.” Tara lied.
* * *
Kourtney’s grin turned even more evil when she saw the spear fly down from the sky. A sponsor.
She grabbed the spear, vowing that with it she would kill Tara, and then Daniel with it. It would be fantastic, avenging Nicholas’ death.
She continued down a trail and saw something that made her smile even more. Footprints. In the mud.
“Thank you for making it so easy!” Kourtney jeered, and laughed crazily.
Part 16: The Finale - PART TWO
Kourtney found her third treasure of the day as the mud trail sharply ended: a nice pair of sunglasses.
“Oh, this is just too good.” She said, picking up the sunglasses and placing them on her face.
“I’m coming, Tara and Daniel! Just you wait!” Kourtney called, and took off in the direction the sunglasses were. The ocean came slowly in to her view.
“That shrimp was really good.” Tara said, chewing the succulent food, and then licking her fingers.
“And the clams. But they’re kind of oily.” Daniel added, also licking his fingers.
“Do you think we should move again? You know, just in case Kourtney is following us. We’ve probably stayed here way too long.” Tara said.
“Come on, Tara. We’re just fine. We’ve been here for a day and Kourtney hasn’t come. Why don’t we just relax?” Daniel said, concerned.
“Maybe you’re right. We’ve been in the arena for… how long?” Tara asked.
“I’d say two weeks. Maybe more or less. But I’m glad you agree with me.” Daniel said, and leaned closer to her.
“You’re kind of too close.” Tara said, inching away.
“Oh. Sorry! Sorry. I, uh, didn’t mean to, really. Sorry.” Daniel said, moving back.
“It’s alright.” Tara said, sighing.
“What’s wrong?” Daniel asked, concerned.
“Daniel, what’s wrong is that you love me. You are totally in love with me. And I don’t share that feeling. So you’re making me feel incredibly guilty. And I just can’t take it any longer. It’s tearing me up inside!” Tara shouted.
“Well, what can I do, Tara? I’m sorry, really, but you’re just to smart and gorgeous and… whoa, I’m getting way too ahead of myself. But, Tara, what can I do?” Daniel asked.
“I don’t know, but I just can’t stay here any longer. Being guilty is the worst feeling you can feel. I just… I’m sorry, Daniel. I really wish I loved you because you’re such a nice person, but I don’t. There’s this guy back in District Thirteen, and I… and I… I’m his girlfriend, alright? So I can’t love you, Daniel. And it’s not just because I can’t -- it’s because I don’t, okay?” Tara said, exasperated.
“I understand,” Daniel said sadly as the tears slowly started to move down his cheek.
“I have to leave, then.” Tara said, and slowly got to her feet.
“Oh, going to leave, girly? Well the party just started, so don’t move a muscle.” A voice said. Kourtney. Clutching her new spear.
“You just made it way too easy to track you. The mud prints, the sunglasses… it was a piece of cake. Now, you’re both going to die. Painfully, and slowly.” Kourtney said, and raised her spear.
“Your axe, Tara. Get your axe!” Daniel called, and threw the object at Tara, just as Kourtney knocked Daniel to the ground.
Tara caught the axe roughly, and cut her fingers, making her hands bloody. She grit her teeth and threw the axe at Kourtney, who was raising her spear to Daniel.
The axe flew through the air, and landed on Kourtney’s chest. Her face turned pale as she pulled it from her chest. Amazingly, she was still alive.
Tara rushed over to Daniel.
“What should we do with her?” Tara asked him.
“Well… we should probably kill her,” Daniel said as Kourtney mercilessly swore at them.
“You’re all going to burn! I’ll hang your heads on my wall! You’re all ******s!” Kourtney yelled, and clawed at them, and then stopped as she grew weaker.
“I’ll kill her. All she’s caused in this arena was misery.” Tara said, and clutched her axe. In a few moments, Kourtney’s cannon fired.
Tara and Daniel stared at one another.
“What happens now, Daniel?” Tara asked, speechless.
“This is where I die.” Daniel said, and grabbed the axe from Tara’s bloody fingers.
“What?! No! Daniel! Don’t!” Tara cried, and pried the axe from his hands.
“Why not, Tara? I could never bear to watch you die! It has to be me! Go home to your brothers, to your parents! You deserve it more than I do,” Daniel said, wrestling for the axe.
“That’s not true, Daniel! You and I both know that if I won, they’d never let me go home. I broke a very important law… never mind. They’ll never let me go home, ever. So if you win, Daniel, you’ll get to go home to your brother. Your mom. Your dad,” Tara said. “But me? They’ll probably transform me in to some mutt and watch me writhe with pain. I have no place to go home to. But you do, Daniel!”
“So? I’ll never watch you die, Tara!” Daniel cried.
“Too late! I’m sorry, Daniel, but this has to happen.” Tara said, and kissed Daniel. On the lips. With tongue. Then, she brought the axe to her throat, and buried it in.
The last cannon in the 57th Hunger Games fired.
“Tara! No, Tara! This isn’t happening!” Daniel said as he broke down and cried.
“Congratulations, Daniel Zlevor, you are the victor of the 57th Hunger Games! You outlasted all of the other tributes, and have proven your victory!” Claudius Templesmith boomed.
“No, Tara has to win! It’s Tara!” Daniel cried, and sank to his knees, sobbing.
“I’m afraid your friend Tara is dead. There is nothing you can do. You won, Daniel, be happy!” Claudius said, as the hovercraft settled a few yards away from him.
“No! Don’t take me away!” Daniel cried as the Capitol servants bounded his hands and restrained his feet.
“Tara!” he finally howled, and then sunk away in to the hovercraft.