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So this is the arena and below is the legend. You might not understand how it all works at first but trust me you will be able to during the games.
Green Disc: Cornucopia
Long Blue Strips: Rivers
Black Patches: Caves
Green & Light Brown Patches: Trees, Bushes, Shrubs, Forest, etc
White Patches: Snow
Large White Patch: Snow Mountain
Blue Ring Around Snow Mountain: Reservoir
Source of the Rivers in the Bottom Left: Water mountain
Ring in the Middle: Volcano (black dot is the crater)
Red Lines: Network of Underground Tunnels.
THE GAMES!!! (reader discression is advised)
Day 1 (careers POV)
10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1 And the games start. Bryan and Hannah are the first ones to the cornucopia followed by Harvey and Ashley. They aren’t trying to kill each other though, which is bad news for everyone else running to the cornucopia. Luke, Reggie, Nate, and Zara are all in a very bad spot.
Audacia and didn’t even come close to the cornucopia; she just ran off into the woods.
Jade though goes for a backpack but on the way she runs into Ashley. The two of them are bare handed though so they just fight each other hand to hand. Ashley has a good grip on Jade’s hair but soon it loosens up and Jade gets away.
Hannah has Luke’s chest under her foot and after a couple of seconds her spear goes through his neck. Harvey and Hannah then grab Zara’s hands as she bends down to grab the bunch of throwing knives
“Oh no you don’t” Harvey screams at her.
The two of them pull Zara’s arms wide open and Ashley throws the knifes, that Zara was going to pick up, right in her chest, all 3 of them.
“Those are mine” Ashley says with a great big smile on her face.
Bryan is fighting in his own little world. Nate has Jumped on to Bryan’s back and is scratching all over his face but Bryan Elbows him in the ribs until he falls off, complimenting it with a great hook of his arm to punch him square on the right side of his face making his mouth spray out blood and making his feet give away. Bryan picks up the bow and arrows that are near him, loads one arrow and aims. Nate is quick though and dodges the arrow just in time as it gets stuck into the grass between his legs. Bryan moves to load another one but Reggie is now trying to steal the bow from him. Bryan yanks the bow to safety and kicks Reggie in the back as if he was a small fly that was annoying him; the sound of his back breaking is audible despite all the noise around them. When Bryan turns back to Nate again he is long gone and has a backpack with him just barely entering the woods.
The 4 careers are now standing next to each other surveying the area. “You let her get away” Bryan said to Ashley.
“Well you let HIM get away so now we are even.”
Hannah gets furious with Ashley, walks up to her, and grabs her face “Listen here miss 4, you do what he tells you to do, without question. You don’t tell him to do anything. Do you understand?”
Ashley isn’t going to take this though. She quickly gets out of Hannah’s grip and puts her in a lock with her hand behind her back and she’s holding her by her hair and whispers in her ear “Don’t you ever touch me again” and then she pushes her down.
All the while Harvey is just enjoying the whole argument with a smile on his face.
BOOM the cannon goes off once. BOOM the cannon goes off twice.
“That’s it?” Harvey asks “I thought we killed 3”
Hannah gets up and the look in her eyes is catlike. “That means that one of them is still alive!”
“Check them.” Bryan tells everyone.
They all comply. Harvey checks out Reggie, turns to Bryan and points his thumb down. Ashley yanks the spear out of Luke’s neck, turns around to Bryan and mouths the word no. Hannah is above Zara and shouts “Bingo!” Zara is coughing up some blood, showing she is still alive. The rest of the career pack move over to the dying girl and Bryan sits on her stomach.
“You know a tattoo just above your behind is called a tramp-stamp. I don’t like that word thought because it gives it a bad name. I prefer the word back-tag. It sounds more pure. But seeing the way you were dressed at your interview I think the word tramp-stamp fits you perfectly.” Bryan says those words right into Zara’s face, then pulls out one of the knifes in her chest and sticks it right back down into her heart.
BOOM the cannon goes off.
Hannah then goes over to Zara’s dead body and wipes the blood off of her mouth. Pity for such a pretty girl” she says and then starts caressing her stomach. Ashley is looking at her very skeptically but almost freaks out when Hannah gives the dead girl a kiss. Hannah walks away and stands next to Bryan who is looking into the woods. Ashley whispers to Harvey “She is one sick girl. I don’t trust the two of them. Let’s keep an eye out for them because they might do us in our sleep.” Harvey nods to this and then they both walk over to Bryan and Hannah.
The bodies are taken away leaving the cornucopia empty aside from the careers and their supplies. “Who should we go for first?” Harvey asks.
Ashley holds up a long blond hair that is obviously Jade’s “I think we should go for the princess first” She says and then she blows the hair into the air. The hair though doesn’t last long as Ashley’s throwing knife cuts it in half and gets stuck in a tree nearby. Ashley smiles and so do the rest of the careers.
Day 1 (Jade's POV)
Jade is running. She can’t feel her legs anymore but she still manages to move them enough to be able to run. She is breathing heavily and sweating but she can’t stay behind, the careers are surely after her. It has been at least 3 hours since the bloodbath but there can’t be enough distance between her and the pack because she just can’t overpower them. She has to stop though because she can barely breathe anymore. The river is close by so the spot will do. It is very dense in plants and trees but there is one opening that is quite big enough to stay. She sits down in the middle of the opening that is about the size of her back yard back at her home in district 1. She closes her eyes and begins to breathe deeply to calm herself down. It is working well and after a few minutes she is completely relaxed. It is getting cold though, colder than it should be this time of the day. Dusk is approaching and it should be hotter than the volcano in the middle of the arena and yet Jade is starting to shiver. There is nothing she can do but light a fire; the careers have almost surely camped around the volcano to keep warm, the caves around the arena are a great place to get cornered, and if she doesn’t find a way to keep warm she will certainly freeze to death before sunrise. But then Harvey appears. He seems to be searching around for her, possibly being the scout of the pack while the others rest at the volcano. She can’t let him detect her or he will kill her. He might be a 12 year old but he is the toughest meanest 12 year old she has ever seen. Harvey is patrolling around the area searching and searching and Jade is trying her best to stay quiet. Thankfully the sound of the stream is drowning her small noises but she can’t keep it up for long, it is getting too cold. Harvey is just outside the trees that are housing her and one little movement will give her away. The cold is so piercing now it is unbearable. It is getting very dark, sooner than anticipated. She can’t hold on anymore after the first snowflake of the night falls softly but painfully on her cheekbone, and she lets out a small whimper of agony. Harvey picks up on this sound immediately and turns to the area. A knife slices through the air next to her ear and lands straight into a small birdlike creature on the tree next to her with a high note. Jade slaps her hand to her mouth to prevent any more noise. Harvey walks up to the knife and yanks it out catching the dead bird in his hand.
“Yummy” he says and takes off.
Jade waits for a long time before she moves to be sure Harvey doesn’t come back. At least 15 minutes she waits, and she would have waited more but the cold didn’t allow her. It was officially night time and the area was no longer green but white from snow; there were still patches of green here and there but they shrunk as time went by. She gathered plenty of firewood and set it all up in the center of the opening. Now for the fire. It is easy for her; she can make fire with just 2 small twigs and nothing else. All the firewood is perfect but her main concern is that she will be found. It’s too late to think like that though because soon the snow will cover the wood and make it useless. She lights the fire and makes it bigger and bigger and bigger. Finally she is starting to get warmer, rubbing her hands together, taking off her shoes and warming her toes near the flames. Now her second most important problem; water. She could go over to the stream and drink some but it is so cold she might as well stay near the fire and melt some snow to drink. She pulls a huge leaf out of one of the bushes around her that is shaped like a canoe, fills it with snow, and sets it down near the fire. Waiting for it to melt is a nightmare but she can see some progress. It is taking very long though and soon she will have to sleep. A noise is starting to sound though, and it is not a comforting noise, it is a scary noise and it is coming from an animal. This animal sounds like it is getting closer. It sounds like the growling of a dog and yet it is much fiercer and scarier. Jade is starting to shiver again but not from the cold. What makes the hair on the back of her neck stand up is the realization that there is not just one of these creatures. She doesn’t know how many but they are approaching quickly. She stands up ready to run away but as soon as she turns around there it is; the creature so scary and disgusting Jade almost vomits. The creature looks like a wolf except there is no fur, just black smooth shiny skin that is reminiscent of a dolphin’s , its rear legs have razor-sharp nails and its front legs are tied in to 2 huge black wings. The wings don’t have feathers on them; they are just black skin and show the veins that feeds them with blood. Its eyes are a grim shade of green that is glowing in the light of the fire. The creature screeches and then lunges itself over to Jade with the others behind her all trying to get a piece of her. Just as the first creature is about get to her a miracle happens.
“GET DOWN!” A voice shouts.
Jade complies and drops down on her back immediately. She sees Nate in mid air with his leg extended after apparently kicking the nearest creature in the head. He has a long wooden spear that can’t be from the cornucopia or a sponsor because it’s slightly crooked and the tip is carved rather than metallic.
Nate jumps over Jade and lands on the other side smacking the creature on the head with the blunt end of the spear. “STAY THERE” Nate shouts again and he backs to where Jade is and stands above her. Many of the disgusting animals are around them now flying and diving for them. Nate Grabs a torch from the fire and waves it around deterring the creatures momentarily, while others he has to stab with his spear. About 12 of them are attacking them and Nate manages to burn or stab every one of them but they are getting closer. They claw at Nate’s back and screech very loudly. Blood is dripping down Nate’s back but he is surviving. There are 2 of them left now since the others have retreated, none of them have died though. One of them manages to bite at the spear and breaks it in half making it useless, while the other gets a good bite out of his non torch arm. With a big angry scream, Nate punches one of the creatures in the back and the cracking of bones is audible. The animal manages to get away while screaming in agony. The last one is the most ferocious one. It is clawing biting and getting at Nate but he finally overpowers it; he throws a punch a kick and grabs the creatures jaw and cracks it open. The creature screams loudly but Nate has had enough; he throws the lit torch straight at the animal.
Jade sees the torch flying to the creature as if in slow motion. The torch twists and the twists again in mid air and the flames on it slowly follow along. Finally the trance she is in ends as the torch gets stuck in the creatures chest sending the creature spinning around and screaming until it finally falls dead on the ground with a thump. The animal bursts into flames but it seems as if the flames are coming from inside the animal, like it is combusting. The flames are green like the eyes Jade saw when she came face to face with it.
Nate turns around and looks down at Jade. “Are you crazy? Lighting a fire is going to get you killed!”
“Why did you save me?” Jade asks.
“Never mind that. We need to stay warm.” Nate looks up at the sky “Paige, Glimp; We need a blanket. Please send us one."
Day 1 (Audacia's POV)
Audacia is a fox; clever, and cunning, and not afraid at all. She has a plan; a great plan that will definitely fool the careers if she can execute it correctly. The first part of the plan is to sneak up to the careers and steal some of their supplies. It is too easy for her; she goes over to the volcano where the careers have set camp as it is getting cold and she silently takes one bag without even needing to distract the pack who are too absorbed in their own heated debate about how to find and execute other tributes. While she is there she fits in a small but useful dose of eavesdropping; Bryan and Hannah are going to stay at the camp, Ashley is going to look for Jade in the direction she went, and Harvey is going to look for Audacia in the direction she went. This is perfect because now she knows exactly how to execute her plan accordingly.
She goes to the cave she has set her eyes on from before and settles down. Audacia opens the bag and pulls out everything it has inside, each object making her happier than the last. First is a small flask that has heavy condensation covering it and is very cold to the touch, Audacia opens it and takes a smell of the liquid inside; it does not just smell like water, it smells like enhanced water. Very popular among hard labor workers and citizens of the capitol, enhanced water is a product that was originally developed as a form of coolant for engines in ships but in the long run it turned out that it was doing more damage to the engines than good. It was later discovered that one sip of enhanced water for the average human was like drinking the equivalent of a day’s worth of regular water; Audacia knew the smell very well because her mother uses it to water their plants and she got used to it. Next is a length of about 10 yards of fiberfull rope; a rope that combines the uses of many other rope types like suspension ropes, tethering ropes, rappelling ropes and plenty more. This rope will save Audacia some time making her own rope out of plants. Next is a sleeping bag. This makes Audacia smile as she notices that it even has a tiny little pillow inside it. And finally the last object is a scroll. When opened the scroll is revealed to be a map, a map of the entire arena complete with hot spots for hunting. Fantastic! This is exactly what she needs. But now she has to execute the plan.
First she has to build a fire since snow is coming down, and then to ask for something so she can see inside her cave.
“Srish, I could really use a flashlight right now.” She says to the camera she knows is watching her somewhere in the cave.
Day 1 (Ashley's POV)
“It is getting cold faster than I thought. We have to make camp here near the volcano to keep warm; we can search for her later.” Bryan says to the group.
“Don’t you think it is a bit risky to camp next to an active volcano? I doubt that they would place a hot mountain at the center of the arena so we can be able to stay nice and warm around it.” Ashley retorts.
Hannah has her own answer to it though “Obviously it is going to go off at some point, but at the rate the temperature is dropping I think they will leave it safe for now so they can force everyone to move near it so they don’t freeze. That way there has to be a battle.”
“Can’t they just light a fire though?” Harvey asks
“I don’t think so.” Hannah comes back with. “I think lighting a fire might attract unwanted attention from some mutations. This is the perfect environment for pterygial hounds.”
“Care to explain what those are?” Ashley asks impatiently.
“I don’t have to explain anything to you. You just do what Bryan says and start camp.”
Ashley is getting extremely frustrated with Hannah and Bryan’s behavior but complies for the sake of getting closer to the end. She sets up camp with Harvey while Hannah goes into the woods for food and Bryan just sits down doing nothing and assuming the leader position. “After the princess is dead let’s cut their throats in their sleep.” She whispers to Harvey. Harvey nods.
They are eating now and the pair from district 2 has the larger portion. Ashley is so infuriated that the thought of killing them early passes her mind for a moment.
“Enough food for now” Bryan says. “It’s time to hunt something other than food.”
“Which way do we go?” Harvey asks. “She could have gone either way.”
Hannah answers with a smile on her face “Well then we will have to go both ways. You Harvey go east. She probably won’t be there so look for Audacia, the girl from district 3. Ashley will go over to the west well Jade probably is. You both watch out for Nate thought because he seems different. He volunteered for the games and yet he didn’t want to join us.”
“Where are you two going to go?” Ashley asks with her patience reaching its end.
“Someone has to keep watch. If we leave the supplies by themselves we will deserve to die because of our stupidity.” Hannah replies.
“What I mean is why we are the ones that have to go searching while you two sit here and get aroused by the idea of dead bodies?”
By the end of the sentence Bryan already has an arrow loaded into the bow and it is pointed right between Ashley’s eyes. “I dare you to say anything else about us right now.” He says.
“Fine” Ashleys says. “We’ll go. But remember this: I am smarter than both of you, I am faster, and stronger than both of you, and at the end of this I will be looking down at your dead bodies and I will be smirking.”
Ashley and Harvey take off but not before secretly changing the plan. Harvey is the one to go after Jade and Ashley for Audacia. “If they think they can tell us what to do they are fools. We do what we want.” Ashley tells Harvey.
The journey to the west is quick and easy. She does not care about the cold or the darkness or the snow because she can feel a presence around her and it is not that of a mutt. It is little Audacia. And she is right. A fire is seen at the mouth of a cave close by and what do you know; there is a sleeping bag next to it and there is definitely someone in there. Harvey took the throwing knives but Ashley still has a dagger. She creeps up to the bag with the girl in it. The fire is crackling, the snow is softly falling, and the dagger is brilliant. She stabs down hard and twists the blade around. No sound from the girl at all. Ashley laughs.
“Almost too easy!”
Day 1 night time (Jade's POV)
“What were those things?” Jade asks Nate.
“Those were pterygial hounds; really nasty mutts.” Nate answers. “They can locate fire from very long distances. That’s why we have to put this out”. He immediately stomps on the fire putting it out and then he finishes it off by throwing some snow on it. “They have flammable blood so they can’t come too near.”
“We are going to freeze without a fire.” Jade says as she finally gets up from the ground.
“That’s why we need a blanket. Lighting a fire will only get us killed faster.”
“Why do you care? Why didn’t you just leave me to die?”
“Did you want me to?” Nate says sarcastically.
“No. Thank you for saving me but I don’t understand why you would risk your own life to save me. You volunteered for the games so shouldn’t you be out there with the careers hunting me down?”
“I wouldn’t team up with those twisted folk if they offered me ten houses. I can’t beat them alone; will you help me?”
“Help you kill the careers?”
“Help me survive the careers.”
Jade thinks very hard. She wasn’t planning on forming an alliance because it is very hard to trust someone who you know is eventually going to try and kill you. Also getting attached to someone that is probably going to die is a bad idea.
“Please” Nate says and extends his hand for a handshake.
Jade reluctantly grabs his hand; if she wants to live she has to survive the careers and Nate is her only option.
Nate pulls her into a hug though, squeezes her tight, and whispers into her ear “Thank you princess.”
Jade pulls away immediately frightened but it is clear that Nate doesn’t have bad intentions. “You got your blood all over me” she says.
“It’s better than getting your blood on you.” Nate says.
A noise next to them startles Jade making her back up and almost trip over the wood that was lit a few moments ago. The noise came from a parachute.
“Perfect!” Nate exclaims “The blanket arrived. Now we won’t freeze to death.” Nate opens the package and pulls out the blanket which is dark grey and probably meant for one person. “Looks like we are going to have to cuddle to keep warm at night blondie.”
Jade can’t help but smile at that remark. “Just keep to yourself and we won’t have any problems. Get that Nathaniel?”
“I will try my best. I am skeptical about you though; are you going to be able to keep your hands off me tonight?”
“I wouldn’t worry about that.” Jade went over to Nate’s previous hiding place to get his backpack. When she comes back Nate has cleared most of the snow in the area and is laying down under the blanket.
“Are you going to come to bed sweetheart?” Nate says with a huge smile on his face.
Jade drops the backpack down and puts her hands to her waist “You need to behave yourself. You don’t want me to change my mind do you?”
“You look so pretty when you blush like that baby.”
“Don’t flatter yourself. Im just getting frustrated by your constant flirting.”
“Well then have a cold drink and come to bed.” Nate says and pats the area next to him.
Jade smiles again net being able to help it. She grabs the leaf that had snow in it and goes to drink the water that has become.
Nate pops up and swings his hand violently and knocks the leaf out of Jade’s hand spilling all the water.
“What was that for?” Jade asks confused.
“Don’t drink melted snow. It’s poisonous.”
“How do you know?”
“I am full of surprises honey. Come to bed now.”
This time Jade doesn’t want Nate to see her smile because he might get the wrong idea; the idea that she is actually falling for his cheap flirtation. She goes and lies down next to him.
“You didn’t have a drink.” Nate says
“You told me not to drink snow.”
“Yes but the water from the stream is safe I have some in the flask in my pocket.”
“Well can you give it to me?”
“My arm is rather painful from fighting all those mutts. If you really want it you are going to have to reach into the cookie jar and get it, sugar.
Nate is really testing jade’s patience. It is all funny but how can he be so positive at times like this? Is he not afraid he is going to die? “I’m sure your other hand feels fine.” She says.
“Maybe it is maybe it isn’t, we don’t want to risk injuring both my arms now do we?”
Jade sighs. “Fine.” She reaches her hand down to Nate’s thigh and sticks it into his pocket but she can’t feel it.
“A little deeper” Nate says with the biggest smile yet.
Jade finds the water and pulls it out as quickly as she can. She pulls off the cap and takes a small drink.
“Don’t forget to put it as deep as you found it when you put it back.” Nate says.
“I think I’ll leave it out tonight. By tomorrow morning your hand should feel better and you can do it yourself.” Jades says as she turns around on her side, pulls her half of the blanket over her, and closes her eyes.
“Aren’t you going to give me a kiss goodnight?” Nate whispers.
Jade opens her eyes in frustration. Maybe if she does it he will shut up. “You win tiger.” She says while she turns around and gives him a kiss on the cheek. But when she pulls away Nate grabs the back of her neck, pulls her back down and gives her another kiss, this time on the lips. Jade lets it happen and doesn’t pull away. She just turns around when Nate breaks the kiss, closes his eyes, and says “Goodnight”. Why did she let him kiss her though? Now she is going to be thinking about him all night.
Day 1 night time (Audacia's POV)
The rope releases the large log and it hits Ashley square in the stomach knocking her down. Huge problem; Audacia clearly heard the careers agreeing to send Harvey towards her direction and she tied the rope long enough to hit Harvey in the head. She made it a bit lower than Harvey’s head so that it would hit directly on target when he inevitably ducked out of reflex. Ashley is taller though and she doesn’t even duck because it is not close to her head. Audacia watches secretly in her cave as Ashley vomits on the ground where she fell down.
“Where are you you little turd?” Ashley says with vomit dripping down her chin.
Audacia doesn’t have a plan B. She is going to have to make a run for it and leave behind the rope and the sleeping bag. She grabs the backpack and dashes out past Ashley, only to be grabbed by the back of the hair. She should have known though that she was a hair puller after watching her at the bloodbath with Jade. She tries to wrestle herself away from Ashley’s grip but she fails and gets knocked down on the ground next to the fire that she had set up as a decoy. It is not nearly warm enough though as the snow under her back is agonizing even with the backpack in between. Ashley is now over her and has her in a lock.
“I see you took something that didn’t belong to you. Didn’t your mommy tell you not to steal?” Ashley smirks into her face. “Well I ought to teach you a lesson. Let’s see how safe the snow is to eat.” As soon as she says that she forces a handful of snow into Audacia’s mouth and holds it close.
Audacia’s mouth is almost numb with the cold. She is trying her best not to swallow but soon her mouth will become so cold she won’t be able to control her muscles. She is squirming around within Ashley’s grip to get loose but it is impossible; she is too strong for her and unless a miracle happens she is going to swallow.
The miracle happens in an almost comical way. Ashley’s smile is wiped off by the noise next to her which comes from a large winged hound that is drawn to fire. The hound and Ashley look at each other curiously; Ashley doesn’t recognize what it is and the mutt looks as if it is wandering whether to attack her or to fly off. Luckily for Audacia it attacks and pushes her away starting to bite and claw at her.
Audacia spits out the now melted snow on the fire and puts it out. Her mouth still can’t feel anything but she has no time to worry about that. She gets up and grabs everything that was in the bag plus the knife in the sleeping bag; now she has a knife!
After about 20 minutes of running she finds another cave similar to the one she stayed in before, but this one is even darker. She really needs a flashlight especially now that she knows lighting a fire is out of the question. There is no cannon however, and that means that Ashley is still alive.
I know it is a bit short but the chapters are going to pick up soon. PS I have decided that there is going to be a sequel featuring the winner. It is not going to be a game though It is going to be just a fanfic. If you are interested in it it will be up after I finish this one.
PPS: I have a movie review blog and I would really apreciate if you checked out. It is very important that the blog becomes successfull because I plan on making a living off of it. So please click to visit it, and dont be a fraid to revisit and reccomend to others. http://mixalisduddy.blogspot.com/
Day 1 night time (Bryan's POV)
Bryan is holding Hanna’s head in his lap as she is resting with her eyes closed. The warmth of the volcano is comfortable but not warm enough for people to get too hot if they cuddle together.
“You look sexy with your eyes closed.” Bryan says to Hannah as he strokes her long brown hair.
“Too bad I will never be able to see it for myself.” She says with a smile while keeping her eyes closed.
“Havent you ever seen a picture of yourself sleeping?”
“Only as a baby. My father was obsessed with taking pictures of me as a baby. He must have taken about a thousand pictures of me before I was even able to walk.”
“Well if you manage to get out of this alive make sure to get a glimpse of your beautiful face when you are sleeping.”
Hannah opens her eyes, turns around, and faces Bryan. “Are you saying I don’t look sexy with my eyes open?”
“Actually yes I am.” Bryan says
“Wrong answer big boy!” Hannah barks at Bryan.
“What are you going to do about it?” He smirks.
“I’ll show you what I’ll do.” Hannah says and jumps onto Bryan pushing him down on his back, and pinning his arms down on the ground. “How sexy am I now?” Hanna says and then immediately attacks Bryan’s lips with her own. She is vicious, like an animal devouring it’s pray. Bryan could break free any moment but he lets it happen as he has done so many times since being with Hannah. This time she is even more animalistic than other times; she bites Bryan’s bottom lip slightly and runs her fingers violently through his hair.
“So that’s why you wanted us to go away.” Harvey’s voice sounds over them.
Bryan and Hannah look up at him startled.
“For a moment there I got excited because I thought you were killing him.” Harvey says angrily.
Bryan takes survey around and sees Ashley covered in scars, scratches, and blood. “What happened?” he says as he and Hannah get up on their feet.
“Mutts” Ashley says. “Those winged dogs you talked about, I killed one of them.”
“Not soon enough” Hannah says sarcastically.
Ashley just gives Hannah a dirty look.
“Why did you even have to kill one? What business did you have lighting a fire?” Bryan snaps
“I didn’t light the fire. The fire was already lit when I passed by and I say a sleeping bag and I attacked it. It was a trap though and I got hit in the stomach with a log. I am feeling fine by the way, thanks for asking.”
“Alright smart mouth, why would someone light a fire in the middle of the night if they had a sleeping bag?” Hannah asks
“So you are saying I should have walked away?” Ashley says angrily.
“Im saying if you are as good as your training score suggests you would be able to kill a blonde little princess without a plan.” Hannah retorts.
“It wasn’t Jade it was Audacia.”
“What?” Bryan snaps. “I told you to go after Jade!”
“I don’t care what you told me. I do what I want.”
“Yeah and look what happened to you. If it possible you look even uglier than before.” Hannah says.
Bryan sees something in Ashley’s eyes. They have just crossed the line. Bryan blocks Ashley’s punch aimed at Hannah, and the fight begins. Fists, claws and kicks start happening and Hannah gets knocked down. Bryan punches Harvey in the chest sending him back a few feet. While he is on the ground though he picks up a knife and throws it straight at Bryan. Bryan’s reflexes are too good though and he grabs the knife by the blade just before it hits his face. The knife slices through Bryan’s hand but he maintains the grip and kicks Ashley away from where she is beating Hannah. Hannah manages to get up and she starts kicking Ashley on the ground while Bryan does the same with Harvey. They can’t go on forever though so Ashley and Harvey escape the hold and start running away from the two savage careers. Bryan and Hannah chase them across the volcanic throwing weapons at them from their stash as they go. They are too slow though and eventually Harvey and Ashley get away into the woods.
Bryan watches as the pair runs between the trees and fades into the distance. “At least now we can be alone.” He says to Hannah. No answer though. “Hannah?” he says as he turns around to find her.
Hannah is not answering because she is lying on the ground breathing heavily and with great difficulty. Each breath sounds like her lungs are being scratched with every inhale or exhale.
Bryan runs over to her and kneels beside her. “What is happening love? Whats wrong?”
“Asthma” Hannah barely manages to say through her strained breath. “Attack.” She continues.
“Oh no Hannah. You can’t be having an asthma attack now. I need you with me.”
Hannah’s breaths get faster and faster and soon she is only moving her chest up and down while no air seems to be going in or out.
“Hannah I forbid you to die on me. Start breathing again Hannah I know you can.” Bryan says as he pushes down on Hannah’s stomach like he was told to do if this ever happened. “Hannah I promise you we will get the two twerps and we will get to snap their necks like toothpicks just please don’t die.” She can’t make it anymore without medicine. If he requests an inhaler though it won’t get there in time for her to be able to use it. She needs cortisone… and they can’t afford to get it; there are not nearly as many sponsors for advanced medicine. “I am sorry Hannah. I can’t get you the medicine. I wish there was something I could do to save you but there is not.” Bryan grabs Hannah’s head and starts cradling it in his hands. “I want to tell you something before we say goodbye: You asked me once how I decided to approach you for the first time, the answer is I decided to talk to you because you were the most beautiful girl in the room, and you didn’t even have to close your eyes. The other girls couldn’t even come close to you if they were all sleeping. And then when I came and asked you what your name was, you told me to go away and only come back when I found out what it was. I came back in 40 seconds because I was so determined, but by then you had already found out what my name was. That’s why I think you are special, you make me feel important.”
The first hint of sunrise ascends in the sky and the warmth of the sun shining on Hannah’s body is not enough to prevent her temperature dropping. Bryan can feel the blood being drained from Hannah’s body as she slips to the other side of life. He hasn’t shed a single tear, even though he knows he has lost her. The sun now shines straight into his eyes blinding him. The sun feels like an omen of death to Bryan as the more the night goes away it takes part of Hannah’s life with it. Finally the sun is fully risen, and the second day has officially begun.
BOOM! The cannon goes off, marking the last moment of Hannah’s life. Bryan is going to get revenge.
Day 2 (Jade's POV)
Jade wakes up to the sound of a cannon. She is scared for a moment but then she calms down and is grateful she is still alive. The cannon woke her up from a dream about her and Nate: Nate was riding a brilliant white horse while Jade was wearing a pink dress and watching him run around a field from a distance. Nate came up to her and grabbed her by the hand lifting her onto the horse and together they rode away with Jade hugging Nate as they went along.
It was just a dream though, nothing more. Jade now realizes that not only is her arm around the sleeping Nate, he is also holding her hand. She pulls away quickly and gets on her feet. She didn’t realize how sweaty she was until the wind from the blanket brushed her forehead cooling it down.
“Wake up.” She says to Nate.
Nate doesn’t even stir.
“Wake up you boob!” She says as she pushes him with her foot.
“What?” Nate says opening his eyes and turning towards Jade.
“I think someone just died.”
That catches Nate’s attention. “Who?”
“I don’t know.”
Nate gets up on his feet. “You think it may be one of the careers?”
“I think so. I don’t think it’s Audacia, and I’m pretty sure it’s not Bryan or Ashley.”
“Audacia is too clever, she is probably going to be one of the last ones standing, and as for Bryan or Ashley, we can’t be that lucky. The two most dangerous tributes in the arena can’t be gone this early; it’s only the second day.”
“Indeed it is.” Nate says. “Which reminds me…” Nate puts his hand behind Jade’s neck, pulls her in and kisses her “Good morning.”
Jade give Nate a soft but firm slap on his cheek. “Enough. You are taking it too far.”
“I’m sorry baby. I thought that after waking up from a dream with me in it you would like to have something to wake you up, and we don’t have any coffee.”
“Ha! Like I would ever dream of you.” Jade lied.
“Now we both know that’s not true. You talk in your sleep you know. Did I finally take you up on the white horse or did I leave you behind?”
Jade is blushing “I don’t know what you are talking about”.
“Alright then play it your way.” Nate smiles “How well did you sleep?”
“I actually was quite warm. It was snowing when we went to sleep. How can it be so hot now?”
“Maybe it’s because you slept next to me. We are pretty hot together.”
“I’m being serious. It’s even warmer than it was yesterday at this time of the day.”
“I don’t know babe; it’s probably just the sun shining really hot.”
“We are in shade. And it doesn’t feel like sun heat, it feels like heat from a fire, also I’m not your babe.”
“Well then let’s go over to the stream. Well have a bite to eat from my backpack and then we can jump in to cool off.”
“Don’t you think they might be looking for us?”
“I doubt it.” Nate says “If someone just died then I think they are probably going to go after the killer.”
The pair goes over to the stream, sits by it, and starts to eat some of the food in Nate’s bag. There are crackers, nuts, a can of tuna, and some fruit that Nate managed to collect. Jade didn’t realize how hungry she was until she had a few bites of an apple. She hadn’t eaten anything since the games started, and Nate gave her most of the food.
“Aren’t you going to eat anything else?” Jade asks. “You’ve only had a few crackers and half of an apple.”
“Im not that hungry. Besides didn’t your mother ever tell you not to eat too much and swim?” Nate says and immediately stands up and takes off his shirt.
“What are you doing?” Jade asks
“What does it look like I’m doing?” Nate replies while taking off his pants. “Im going to get in there to cool off. It’s getting hotter than the idea of us sleeping next to each other again, out here.” He is now wearing nothing but his underwear.
Jade doesn’t answer; she just stares at Nate’s body up and down. He is very fit and has a strong stomach. His thighs and arms are firm and his skin is shining with the sweat all over his body. Jade is impressed by how attractive he manages to look with his clothes off despite him being a bit annoying at times.
Nate dives into the stream with a big splash. After sometime his head surfaces out and he yells “Oh that feels good! Come on in princess.”
“No thank you. I think I’ll stay out here and keep an eye on our stuff.”
“But you look so hot. And I don’t just mean you look sexy I mean you actually look warm.”
“I’ll be fine. You stay in there and cool down hot pants. Maybe it will make you stop giving those lame pick up lines ever couple of minutes.”
Nate isn’t able to react to that. His het seems to get pulled into the water by something.
Jade drops the half eaten cracker down and runs over to the bank. “Nate!” she yells but he doesn’t come back up. She tries looking through the water to find him but because it is constantly moving she can’t see anything under it. “Nate, come back up! This isn’t funny.” She yells. Nate if this is a joke I’m going to kill you!” she says. Now she is getting very worried. The problem is that she can’t swim; even if she could she wouldn’t have gone in with Nate because she didn’t want to swim next to him with nothing but his underwear on. She bends over and screams right above the water “NATE!” At that moment a hand comes out of the stream and pulls her in. The water if very cold and she almost gets a mouthful of water down. When her head finally comes up as she holds on to a rock on the side, she sees Nate laughing hard. She is so mad at that with every next syllable she utters she splashes water onto him with her hands “Nate- You-Complete-And-Utter-Ass! You had me worried sick! I thought you were a goner. And then you pull me in! I can’t swim you blockhead!”
Nate is still laughing. “You know princess, as angry as you are and as messy as you look when you are wet, you have never looked more beautiful.” He says and swims over to her. He grabs her by the waist and pulls her out and they both lay at the edge of the stream next to each other breathing heavily. “You must really care for me if you got so scared of the thought of me dying.”
Jade is getting very nervous, her heart is racing and it is not because of heat or the water, Nate is making it happen. “I don’t want anyone to die” She says.
Nate Rolls over and puts his arms around Jade “But I am the only one you went crazy about.” Nate then kisses Jade.
Jade is not fighting it anymore. She can’t help but kiss him back. The world around them is disappearing and only the two of them matter now. Jade puts her arms around Nate’s wet body and squeezes tightly. She has never felt passion like this before for another boy, and he isn’t even the nicest one she has met. He just happened to find all the buttons that make her fall in love. It is getting very warm, not because of them but because something hot is definitely approaching them. She doesn’t want to stop kissing Nate but she has to. They both look to their side and they see it coming; a red hot pool of magma is getting bigger and is burning things in its path. They both get up and gram everything they have and stuff it into the bag. The run away as fast as they can with animals running in the same direction. Jade’s foot catches on a stick and almost trips and falls but Nate grabs her by the arm and pulls her back up again. All the animals are now climbing up the trees as there is no room for any more running. With no other option, the pair starts to climb a tree. The bark is very rough and is scratching Jade’s arms and legs but Nate manages to push her up as far up as he possibly can. The magma engulfs anything it passes over and burns it down, but the trees for some reason are not being affected at all. They must be the only way to stay safe from the volcano’s furry, designed by the gamemakers to be fireproof so that tributes only have 2 options: Climb or die.
Day 2 (Audacia's POV)
Audacia is now up in a tree next to an underground passage that she has seen on her map. There is apparently a network of tunnels underground that goes under the volcano and takes you to the corners of the arena. She cannot enter them though because they are sure to be filled with the magma that is about to come out of the volcano. She knows the volcano is about to explode soon because very smart. The smell of sulfur got stronger as the morning got warmer but the others surely won’t be able to notice it. The days in the arena most likely alternate between snowy days and volcanic days with the rivers that come from the southwest corner of the arena where the place called “Water Mountain” is, probably drying up on the hot days. The ring around “Snow Mountain” probably gets filled with water from the snow that melts and so the location of drinkable water alternates with the weather as well. Thankfully Audacia knows all this because of the map, and she can take advantage of it; no one is going to be around the rivers on the hot days because there is no water so she can safely camp there without worrying about anyone sneaking up on her. On cold days she can camp near Snow Mountain as everyone would either be near the rivers at Water Mountain, or around the volcano. Water of course is not a problem because she has her flask of enhanced water and there is plenty of it to last her at least a week. Food should not be a problem either since animals have nowhere to go but in the trees for safety, she can get one of them to eat. The temperature is rising quickly, confirming her theory that the volcano should erupt today. It is getting slightly brighter as dawn approaches, and she is able to see almost everything from her high vantage point. Jade and Nate are sleeping next to each other on the ground close to the rivers and Bryan has Hannah in his lap. She can’t tell when is going on but Bryan seems to be pushing down on her stomach for some reason. Ashley and Harvey are not in sight, they probably have split up; that was expected however since the careers had to separate at some point and district partners usually stay together for a bit longer. The sun now shines over Snow Mountain and it is now clear that Audacia was absolutely correct about the volcano; there is smoke coming out of the crater and a few smart animals are already climbing trees meaning that the trees must be safe even from magma.
BOOM! The cannon bursts.
“So that’s why Hannah was in Bryan’s lap” She says quietly. Hannah was dying and Bryan was trying to get as much as he could with her as he could. Bryan looks frustrated, he gets up and starts kicking a lot of the supplies around and smashing his fist against trees.
Ashley and Harvey finally show up in the distance. They have probably realized what is about to happen soon because they too are climbing a tree near Snow Mountain, although she doubts they have figured out the pattern of the weather.
The roof of Audacia’s mouth is starting to get painful. The snow that Ashley shoved into her mouth hurt at first and Audacia believed it to just be a freeze burn. But it has been getting worse ever since and now the pain is definitely worse than just burn, it is either infected or something very unusual. That snow was definitely poisonous; if it did that to her mouth imagine what it would have done to her if she had swallowed it. She feels it with her tongue and it feels very rough and wounded. She is going to need some medicine for it but she can’t decide whether asking for it instead of her flashlight would be good. She really is like a sitting duck at night, being by herself, let alone being in the dark and of course lighting a fire with all those mutts around is as stupid as lighting a fire in a factory entitled “Gasoline, Propane, TNT, And Everything Else Flammable”.
Jade and Nate seem to be getting out of the river they were swimming in a while ago. And then they… they start kissing. How they can make room to romance in a time like this is inconceivable to Audacia. “I guess I am too young to understand” she says.
The volcano starts sending out its hot lava. Bryan realizes this and immediately runs away. He runs and runs but he manages to reach a tree and climbs up. The lovebirds also manage to get away but now the supplies that the careers had by the volcano are all destroyed.
Audacia waits for quite some time before she gets off the tree making sure it is safe to walk on the ground. It smells burnt and has some smoke coming off it but it is perfectly safe. The temperature in the air however is so hot she has to taka sip of her water sooner that she planned to. The drink makes her mouth sting very badly. By the time she reaches Water Mountain her mouth is so painful and she can taste blood. She is debating whether she should ask for medicine since she could probably afford it giving away her chance of getting a flashlight anytime soon.
“Hold on!” She says. “Of course!” She is too smart for the arena. No cannon sounded during the volcano eruption and most of the weapons are gone. The gamemakers can’t possible like that; they want us to die. No deaths from a massive volcano AND we can’t kill each other just in case; that can only leave them with one option: there is going to be a fe…
“Ladies and gentlemen. There will be a feast tomorrow at dawn. Everyone of you will find something very useful to you there. Your district will be marked so you can know what to take and make sure you are able to get to your supplies because if you don’t others will. May the odds be ever in your favor.” The announcement comes loud and clear.
Perfect! Now she knows what to do; she doesn’t need to ask for it however because Srish is already ahead of her. A parachute comes down in front of her and when she opens it the sees it; the medicine. Both Audacia and Srish know that the flashlight is going to be at the feast because it is always the most valuable. That way, tributes are forced to go to the feast. Audacia is ready though, she is not afraid.
Day 2 (Harvey's POV)
Harvey and Ashley are up in a tree. The lava has dried out and the ground is blackened, everything but the mountain near them. There is a ring of water around it that came from the melted snow at the top.
“Do you think it is safe to drink?” Harvey asks?
“I’m positive. That is the only source of water now. The rivers must be dried out, there is no rain, and the trees don’t contain any water because they are fake.” Ashley answers
“How do you know they are fake?”
“If they were real they would have burned.”
“What do you expect will be at the feast for us?” Harvey asks as the two hop down onto the burned ground.
“A powerful weapon. We don’t need medicine, food, or water.”
“Something within the range of long swords and crossbows.”
They set up camp next to the ring and have a turkey that Harvey killed to eat. The day is so hot the pair has to go for a swim in the reservoir to cool off, and even then the water is still warm despite being from melted snow.
“Do you think Bryan is going to come after us here?” Harvey asks
“Not a chance. Hannah is dead so he can’t face us alone, and he doesn’t know that we are here.”
“But wouldn’t he come here anyway? This is the only water source and he has to drink something.”
“He has plenty of water in his flask. I saw him pick up some essentials before the rest got burned in the eruption and he definitely grabbed the flask.”
“What about the others? Audacia, Jade, and Nate are going to need a drink.”
“Audacia has enhanced water; I saw it when I was fighting her. Jade and Nate might come over for water but we have nothing to worry about from them. Jade can’t tell her bum from her elbow and Nate is epileptic.”
“Yes. Hannah heard him talking about it with his mentor and she told me and Bryan.”
“But how is that going to help us? He obviously can take care of himself otherwise he wouldn’t have volunteered.”
“Something is very fishy about that guy. He volunteered just like most of the tributes from district 1 and yet he hasn’t been training all his life and he didn’t want to join us careers. I think he is up to something wicked.”
“What kind of wicked thing?” Harvey snickers.
“I don’t know but that aint the behavior of a normal tribute.” Ashley finishes as they exit the water and lay down to rest.
The night is long and hot but dawn approaches and the pair gets ready. A parachute comes down with 3 throwing knives in it. “For you” Harvey says to Ashley, knowing that the knives can’t be his.
“Most definitely for me and they are beauties. OK, we go over to the cornucopia and we walk over with our backs to each other so they don’t sneak up on us. We use the knives if we have to.”
“What do we do if anyone approaches?” Harvey asks eagerly.
“Aim between the eyes.”
Day 3 (Jade's POV)
WARNING! THE FOLLOWING CHAPTER MIGHT BE DISTURBING DUE TO ITS GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT NATURE. READER DISCRESSION IS ADVISED!
“I am not too happy with our plan” Jade says.
“What part don’t you like?”
“The part where we use you as bait so I can get to the packages.”
“What if I promise to survive?”
“I can promise to be struck by lightning at this moment but that won’t necessarily make it happen.”
“I had no idea you loved me so much sweetheart! Don’t worry about me, you know I can pack a punch, plus could we ask for sexier bait than me? I don’t think so.”
“I’m trying to be serious here. There are six of us in the arena and we are all trying to kill each other. What do you think is going to happen when we all go to the cornucopia?”
Nate grabs Jade’s hands and while he is still holding them he gives Jade a long kiss. “Do you trust me?” He says after they separate.
Jade doesn’t answer; she just stares into his eyes worried about what might happen to him if the plan fails. But there is no time to turn back; the packages have been lowered into the arena at the mouth of the cornucopia. Jade and Nate stare through the shrubs animated with anticipation.
“A kiss for good luck before I go?” Nate says.
Jade might not see him alive again so she obliges. After all he might be playful but her kiss is genuine; she pours her soul into the kiss as she begins to feel a deeper affection for Nate, something she wanted to avoid at all costs because she is eventually going to lose him.
Nate smiles after the kiss. “Wow! I should put my life on the line every day if it means you are going to kiss me like that.” Nate says and then runs off to the other side of the edge of the open field where the cornucopia lies. Dawn is there and the rays of sunlight shine dimly through the morning clouds. It is starting to cool off, which is refreshing after the previous, excruciatingly hot, day. It is agonizing to wait for something to happen. Jade worries so much for Nate she considers abandoning the plan and running to him. She is at the cusp of aborting when it finally happens; Harvey and Ashley enter the field with their backs against each other. They inch over to the cornucopia and before they get there Nate does as planned.
“Hey there folks!” Nate shouts at them waving from across the field. He has a great big smile across his face like people from the capitol.
Harvey throws one if his knives at him but it lands in the tree beside him.
“WOAH! Wait a minute here I’m your friend you see.” He continues with the smile “I just wanted to invite you guys to a party. You like parties? I love parties; I got some sodas for us and I ordered a large pizza with bacon on it.”
Jade can’t help it. She lets out a giggle at Nate’s imagination but then gets prepared to dash to the cornucopia and grab.
This time the knife doesn’t miss, it slashes Nate’s leg making him scream for a second.
Jade has to abort the plan. She has to go out and get their attention before they kill him. She can’t let him die, she loves him. Jest as she is about to run out though she hears a voice in her head, it is Nate’s voice “Do you trust me?” She can’t ignore it, she sticks with the plan.
“Alright! Alright!” Nate yells “I lied about the pizza. There is no pizza but I was telling you the truth about the bacon. I killed a pig back there and I know exactly where to cut it to make bacon. I promise if you just come with me I will make you the best breakfast you have had in… well 2 days. Who knows maybe I’ll even throw in some waffles if there is a waffle iron somewhere in the feast.”
That’s it; Harvey and Ashley run towards Nate after grabbing the crossbow labeled for them. They chase Nate around the field which is Jade’s cue to run and get their package. They are far away now and she is safe but she is far from calm because she is so worried for Nate it is hard to perform the simplest task of locating the package labeled “D1”. When she finally grabs it something else catches her attention; a small white back with the label “Free for all”. Her instinct tells her to grab that as well an when she does she notices it is very heavy for something so small. As she turns to go to the forest she sees something terrifying. Bryan is in front of her holding a spear. Surely he is going to kill her any moment now so Jade closes her eyes and awaits the deadly blow. It does not come though, Bryan simply pushes Jade aside and runs for Harvey and Ashley, his eyes seeming beastly for a vendetta.
Jade manages to crawl back into the forest as does Nate as there is a bigger fight about to happen. Bryan is running at full speed towards the pair from district 4 like a rhinoceros charging at an enemy. One arrow from Ashley’s crossbow shoots at him but he dodges it so easily he makes it look like a simple dance move. A second one shoots straight at him but he jumps over it without a sweat. Ashley just barely manages to load the third one and shoot it just before Bryan reaches the two but Bryan can’t be stopped, he grabs the arrow with his free hand. Now that Bryan is in front of them It is all over for them. He tries to stab Ashley in the stomach with the arrow but she shields herself, gets stabbed in the hand, and falls down screaming. Harvey isn’t as lucky as Ashley, he gets the full stab of the spear. It is in him fully.
BOOM! The cannon goes off. Ashley runs away just in time to save herself but the damage is done, she can’t survive long enough alone with Bryan after her.
Nate shows up next to Jade and startles her with his words “I promised Id survive and I did.” He says.
“Nate! Oh my God are you ok?” She says and gives him a huge hug. “I thought they were going to do you in.”
“I’m fine sugar. The thing on the leg is nothing; it will probably be healed before you can say ‘I do’ ”.
“You are the strangest, dumbest, most foolishly brave guy in the world.”
“Now that is just silly; have you met everyone in the world?”
The conversation is interrupted by Bryan who is not just letting Harvey’s body in peace; he is cutting off his head with one of the knives nearby. What a horrible sight it is to watch but Jade and Nate can’t help but watch. Bryan holds Harvey’s head up to the sky and shouts
“YOU SEE THIS DISTRICT 4? THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR BETRAYING ME. THERE IS NO TURNING BACK NOW. YOUR GIRL IS GOING TO GO DOWN EVEN HARDER THAN YOUR BOY AND THERE IS NOTHING SHE CAN DO TO STOP ME!” Bryan drops Harvey’s head down, walks over to the cornucopia, and grabs his bag. It is only then that Jade realizes that Audacia’s bag is gone. She must have came and gone during the fight before anyone realized it.
Jade can’t help it but start crying. What was done was a travesty. She didn’t like Harvey for being so violent but what Bryan just did was unspeakable. If one is forced to die in this arena the least one can do is afford them some harmony in death.
“Cummon Jade. Let’s go before he comes after us to.” Nate says as he pulls the weeping Jade away.
Jade can’t stand the horror anymore. She was scared before but now it has escalated beyond any other fear. If she or Nate doesn’t win she wants Audacia to win.
Day 3 (Jade's POV Continued)
Jade can’t stop crying. She is just sitting on the ground with her face in her palms sobbing.
Nate had his arms around her hugging her but there is not much more he can do to stop her. “It’s not your fault” He says.
“I wanna go home” Jade mutters through her tears.
Nate pulls his face in and gives Jade a kiss on the cheek. “You will go home love. I promise.”
Jade hears this, turns around and faces Nate “I love you” she says. Expecting something from Nate, she is surprised when he just turns around and gets up. Perhaps he doesn’t lover her back, perhaps he does but he doesn’t want to admit it to himself because they can’t be together, or maybe he just doesn’t want her to know, but in any case Jade feels safe with him. Somehow whenever he touches her she doesn’t feel scared.
“Do you wanna check and see what is in our bag?” Nate says.
Jade wipes the tears off of her face with her sleeve. “Yes of course. And by the way I got an extra bag.”
“What do you mean you got an extra bag? Did you steal one of theirs?”
“No no, there was an extra one” Jade shows Nate the bag that says “free for all” on it “I think this one is for whoever grabs it first. I thought there might be something useful in it.”
“That’s why you’re the best, baby!” he says and grabs the bag. “Its heavy for something so small. I wander what’s in it.” As he says that, he pulls the strings that are holding the bag closed and widens the mouth of the pouch. He takes one look inside and his eyes widen instantly.
“What?” Jade asks
Nate says nothing; he just looks at jade with the same surprised look.
Jade can’t even tell if his look means he saw something good or something bad in there. Now that she is thinking of it, it was wrong of her to assume that it would automatically have something good for anyone to take. It could have had poisonous food, or a small timed explosive. “What is in there Nate?”
Nate sticks his hand into the bag and pulls out the item. It is a gun. A small black handgun that looks like the ones guards had in the lobby of the building the tributes stayed at in the capitol.
“I’ts a gun!” Jade says.
“Of course.” Nate replies. “Lower a gun into the arena and watch everyone kill each other with it.”
“It is a semi automatic. It should have 6 bullets in the clip”
“How do you know so much about guns?” Nate asks with a smile.
“David has a load of them in a cupboard”
“Who is David?” Nate asks as he turns around and starts examining the gun.
“My adopted father. I call them by their first names.”
“There are only 5 bullets in here Jade.” Nate says and turns back around throwing the magazine to her.
She takes a look at it and determines that it does in fact only have 5. “Why would they send a gun with a magazine that has a bullet missing?”
“It makes perfect sense babe; before the feast started there were 6 tributes total, since whoever got the gun was obviously not going to shoot themselves, they only need 5 bullets instead of 6.”
“I don’t think so. I think someone took one bullet out for a reason.”
“What reason? I think my idea is perfect.”
“I still don’t buy it. Something is odd about it.”
“Well Jade at least we are the ones with the gun so we shouldn’t worry about it.”
“I guess so.”
After a while, when the sun us close to setting, they settle in a spot close to the river that has now started to run again. The weather is cold again unlike the day before making them think that the days alternate between cold days and hot days. They are both under the blanket again hugging each other for warmth.
“You know if we weren’t in an arena being forced to kill or be killed, I would be the happiest dude ever right now,” Nate says
“And why is that?” Jade says.
“Because I am sitting next to the second most beautiful person in the world right now.”
“So I am the second most beautiful person in the world? Who is the first one?”
“You are really full of yourself aren’t you?” Jade asks
“Oh common don’t say that, you sound just like Kate.”
“The girl in district 1 that sings for the Roots Club?”
“You know her?”
“Now her? We started dating back when we were 16.”
“Oh! And why did she break up with you?”
“Why do you assume she broke up with me?”
“Oh yes of course. You were too good for her so you broke up with her.”
“No I didn’t break up with her either.”
“Well then what happened?”
“What do you mean nothing happened?”
“I mean nothing happened. We are still seeing each other.”
“Ha. And I assume you want her to write a song about you dying for her? You don’t know when to be serious Nate”
“I am serious. Kate is my girlfriend back home.”
“You can’t be serious.”
“WHY NOT?” Jade screams as she gets up yanking the blanket off her back. “How can you think that is ok?”
“What has gotten into you? It wasn’t a secret. A lot of people in the district know that I have lots of girlfriends. I thought you knew that.”
Jade tries her best to hold back tears. “I told you I loved you. What did you think this was? Having a little fun before we die?”
“Now wait a minute babe don’t be mad let’s talk about this.”
“I’m not your babe.” Jade says and storms away with the bag of some of the essentials in and tears running down her face.
“You are going to freeze! Come back!” Nate shouts in the distance
But Jade is determined, she starts to run to get as far away from him as she can, finally resting against a tree and squeezing more tears out. After a while of crying uncontrollably she starts to feel the cold on her body. It is getting extremely cold and the snow is heavily pouring down. She will have to find some shelter. The sun is down now and Jade is starting to feel scared again. There are noises around her and she is sure that they are footsteps; they are not Nate’s because they sound different. She is getting more scared by the second. The person is approaching quick.
“Why are you crying?” A little voice is heard
“Audacia?” Jade asks
“Yup. Its me. Don’t worry Im not going to hurt you.”
“So why are you crying?”
“Well its complicated.”
“Well why don’t you come over with me to my hideout before you freeze and tell me?”
Day 3 Night Time (Ashley's POV)
The hole in Ashley’s hand from the arrow is hurting badly. She sticks it deep into the snow but the pain persists. Out of the many injuries she has sustained in the past few days this is by far the most painful. The hole in her hand is big enough to insert her index finger in and pop it through to the other side. The snow only helps a bit with the pain by numbing the area but if she wants her hand to recover she is going to have to get medical treatment soon, and not just medicine from sponsors, she needs treatment from doctors in the capitol. That means she needs to win soon.
There is no time to waste; if she wants to win she is going to have to hunt down tributes. Jade and Nate shouldn’t be hard to find so she decides to start with them. Audacia will be hard to locate because she is clever, and she better stay away from Bryan since he has a vendetta against her. Maybe Bryan can kill Audacia for her and then when it comes down to just herself and Bryan she will find a way to kill him then.
On she goes. Even through the night she searches, clutching her injured hand with her other one leaving its grip only to push aside branches obstructing her path and then letting them whip back into position. She makes a deal with herself; she will not stop to eat or rest until she finds someone and kills them. Setting rewards makes you achieve your goals faster she thinks. She does however stop every 20 minutes or so to stick her hand in the snow for about a minute or two until her hand is numb so the pain doesn’t make her pass out. The night is long and painful but she continues unstoppable.
Luck finally strikes, as much as it can be called luck in a situation like this. Footprints in the snow. They are not hers because she made sure not to go over the same areas she has been before and they are not Bryan’s because they are too small to be his. They are too big to be Audacia’s to, and she is pretty sure they are not Jade’s since her footprints would be father apart since she is tall. No, these are Nathaniel’s prints and he must be close because if they were from far away the falling snow would have covered them. She creeps up to the bushes where the prints seem to be coming from and looks over them; and there lies Nate under a blanket. She is not going to fall for the same trick again though so she cautiously looks around for any traps. Nothing is there as far as she can see, and she can see quite well as the sun is starting to rise and most importantly; Nate is definitely under the blanket.
She slowly starts inching her way past the bushes trying to make as little noise as possible. Soon as the sun gets brighter, the temperature gets warmer, the snow on top of the trees start to melt, and the river close by starts to flow, noise starts filling the area complete with chirping birds and animals. All that is more than enough to mask Ashley’s noise as she makes her way to the blanket and stops next to it.
Nate rolls over fast. Ashley wasn’t prepared for this. Nate who was awake all along springs into action and attacks Ashley with his fists. Ashley fights him back easily but she is on the defensive side since she was not prepared to be attacked. Soon she grabs both of Nate’s hands and twists them around. She holds Nate’s are behind his back like she did with Hannah at the beginning of the games.
“Are you alone?” She says quietly into his ear, barely audible over the sound of the now fully running river.
“NO!” Nate says in agony as Ashley pulls his hand up harder.
“Why are you sleeping alone if you are by yourself then?”
“The others are keeping watch on me as I sleep, we take turns”
“Well they are doing a very bad job keeping an eye on you. Unless you are lying to me.”
“I’m NOT lying to you. I swear any second they should be here and if you kill me they will put a bullet in your brain.”
“A bullet? Ha-ha a gun in the arena. I could barely get myself some knifes and a stupid 18 year old guy who thinks he knows everything gets a gun? I don’t believe you.”
“You don’t have to. I was just stalling.”
“What do you mean?” Ashley asks but her thoughts don’t take her any further as Nate uses the back of his foot to kick her in the hole in the hand. The pain makes her jump back, release Nate, and shriek. The heat that is now part of the early morning is making it worse as previously the cold acted as a number. The blood that had clotted earlier and stopped most of the bleeding was now open again and the blood ran down her arm and onto the ground. She tried to stay on her feet for as long as she could but Nate came up to her and gave her a kick square in the chest making her fall back. For a moment she thought she was going to land on her back and break it, but what she fell on wasn’t hard at all. It was rather soothing because it made her hand feel slightly better; it was water. Nate had kicked her into the stream and she was now getting pulled by the strong current while every now and then snagging on to a branch or a rock. She was grateful that Nate didn’t try to kill her. In fact it seemed as though he purposely kicked her into the water to save her.
“Thank you Nathaniel” she said out loud in appreciation.” She won’t try to go after him for now.
Day 4 (Bryan's POV)
“Get mad Bryan” He remembers. That phrase lingers in his mind like a cancer. The words Hannah spoke to him a little over a year before the games. He remembers it like it was yesterday.
“What do you want me to do about it?” He said to her.
“You said you would handle it.”
“I only said that because you told me the baby was alive. If I had known that was a lie I would had never agreed to something like that.”
“It was NOT a lie!”
“The doctor told you it was dead way before I agreed. You knew it was dead when we talked.”
“I thought it was still alive. I didn’t believe the doctor because I could feel its soul still inside me.”
“Yeah well that doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing I can do about it now. It’s over, besides I have no money to give you.”
“Then why did you agree to help out if you didn’t have any money?” Hannah said with her voice starting to sound emotional.
“Because I was going to volunteer for the Hunger Games. I was going to try and win so I could support you and the baby, but now I don’t feel like entering, not when there is nothing to prove.”
“But what am I going to do?”
“I don’t care anymore. I stopped caring about you the second you told me my unborn baby was dead.”
“But if you don’t help me out then I will have to ask for money from my father, and there is no way he will give it to me without wanting an explanation. I am going to have to show him the medical bills and he will know I was pregnant, and then he will surely come after you.”
“Im not afraid of your father.” Bryan said with confidence.
“You don’t understand; he might kill you.”
“Well then what do you suppose I do? I told you I don’t have any money to give you and its too late for me to enter the games.”
“You can try something with the doctor; stop him from trying to collect money.”
“He will never do it no matter what I say to him.”
“I didn’t say you should talk to him.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t let life treat you like this, love. Get mad Bryan.”
A new meaning had been given to the words now. Back then it just meant beating the doctor to an inch of his life until he agreed to consider the bills paid. Now it meant if you have bills owed to you, take them yourself. That is why he had to kill Ashley no matter what. It was enough guilt for him allowing Hannah to join the games with him so they can be together when they died, now he was guilty for not protecting her enough. It was time to get mad.
The crossbow he got from Ashley is a powerful weapon but it won’t help much with finding her. She is a very resilient tribute and can certainly outlast Bryan in the long run. But Bryan is stronger, which means the quicker he finds her and kills her, the better.
It is getting very hot, just like it was when Hannah was dying in his arms. That day the volcano erupted meaning there is a chance that it will erupt again today so he decides to relocate away from the volcano’s base. He goes west where the rivers seem to be coming from.
On his way as the day is getting brighter and the temperature warmer he hears something. The streams are getting quieter so every small noise starts to stand out. Jackpot, he thinks as he spots the maker of the noise, Ashley. She is walking along the stream soaking wet, and clutching her hand which is bleeding. He is just about 50 feet away from her. Last time he stormed at her she survived so this time he decides to slowly approach her as quietly as he can so he can strike when she least expects it.
It is hard to keep up with her and keep quiet especially since Bryan isn’t the type that practices stealth. As he follows her he watches her every move, he watches as she picks some fruit from trees, takes drinks of water from the stream and as she gets a parachute that contains gausses which she uses to wrap around her bleeding hand. He eventually gets within about 15 feet of her and is ready to perform his attack as soon as she lets down her guard enough, or they walk into an opening large enough for him to sprint and throttle her before she can react.
Things don’t go as planned though, a noise like a cough sounds from one of the caves near them and Ashley runs into it. Bryan barely catches a glimpse of Jade and Audacia as they run away into the cave. Bryan has to wonder why the girls didn’t run out, for now they are trapped in the cave and Ashley will surely get them. Bryan makes his way to the mouth of the cave and realizes that it is not a cave at all; it’s a tunnel.
“Oh my God! So that’s how they have been getting around!” He says.