Today’s lucky winner is…Hannah of District 3!
Congrats Hannah, your training score is now 11!
It took some doing, but I finally found a car trunk that matched my purple key. Now I’m rehydrated, and feeling more confident than I was yesterday. The backpack that I snagged from the Cornucopia also had two knives and a week’s supply of food in it, as well as two empty canteens that are now full of water. A blanket would have been nice for sleeping, but I don’t mind the cold.
I finish climbing the unstable stairs back to the roof of the skyscraper I’ve made my base. It’s a good vantage point; I can see most of the arena from up here, including the Cornucopia. And no one would be able to see me up here, unless they were looking really hard.
Johnny from 5 is waiting for me, sitting against a support column. He nods at me as I come towards him. He and I had both met on the top of the building yesterday, each of us using a different stairwell. It just made sense to ally with each other.
“Did you get the water?” he asks. I open my backpack and toss him one of the canteens. He catches it with both hands and immediately starts to chug it down. I almost tell him to slow down, to save his water. But then I remember that Johnny has to die if I’m going to win. There’s no point in helping him. I’ll let him stay up here with me, and I’ll share the well in the car trunk with him. I’ll keep him alive, if only to be a meatshield for an eventual battle with another tribute. That’s all a tribute with his training score is worth, anyways.
“Hey, look!” Johnny exclaims, pointing off in the distance. I follow his gesture and see a giant pulsating black cloud, slowly moving towards us.
“Maybe we should get inside,” I say, grabbing my backpack and heading for the stairwell.
Us Careers are sitting on the far side of the Cornucopia when I first notice the cloud. “What’s that?” I ask, gesturing to it. The other Careers turn and look up, squinting to try and make something out.
“It’s birds,” says my district partner Chris, loading an arrow into his bow and aiming at the sky.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” asks Grace. “We don’t know what kind of birds those are.”
“They’re crows, you idiot,” says Chris, still staring up at the quickly-approaching cloud of birds.
“She’s right, Chris,” Amber says. “They might be mutt-
Chris fires his arrow. It flies straight into the cloud and picks off a single bird. I can only watch it fall for a second before the cloud of birds goes into a frenzy, cawing loudly and flying about erratically.
“Oh no,” Grace says, getting to her feet.
The cloud of birds sweeps back, like the tide of District 4’s ocean being pulled back.
“Run!” I scream as I turn away from the birds.
The crows crest in the air like a giant wave. My alliance, finally realizing the gravity of the situation, turn to run with me.
With a unison cry, the tidal wave of birds sweep down at us.
“The Cornucopia! Get inside the Cornucopia!” Dan screams above the caws. We all turn around the corner of the golden horn and rush inside. First Chris, then me. Grace and Dan follow.
Amber is just about to enter the horn when the wave of crows slams into her. Mixed in amongst the deafening cawing of the crows, I can barely hear her scream. The exit of the Cornucopia is shrouded in black for a long time, as the wave of crows passes around it. I can hear the thumps of birds slamming into it. Then suddenly, with a few final caws, it’s over.
The four of us cautiously exit the horn, looking around. Our supplies have been disheveled and knocked about. And there’s no sign of Amber…
I’ve just finished tugging my bucket out of the well I found when I hear a sound in the distance, around the corner of the building to my right. I set the bucket of water on the ground and untie my rope from it quickly. The sound is getting closer, and whatever it is, it sounds big.
I step around the corner of the building, scream, and jump back behind it, flattening myself against the wall. Less than a second later, a black wave of crows shoots past me like a laser, screeching and cawing. The crows don’t change direction to attack me, and a few seconds later they’ve gone. After a moment of caution, I rush back to the car to collect my water, and then head back inside my base, offhandedly remembering learning in school that a group of crows is called a murder.
“That’s right, hold it just like that. Good. Wait, don’t do that…move your elbow up, good. Better! Great! Now aim down the sight aaaaaand…fire!”
I pull the trigger of Abby’s crossbow, and shoot an arrow at the block of concrete that she has set up about twenty feet away. The arrow sails up and to the right of the target, missing completely.
I sigh and look at Abby pathetically. “I can’t do this.”
“No no no, you can! You’ve gotten better in the last couple shots, honest!” She smiles at me, her cheeks pushing up against her eyes.
I shake my head and sigh. “I think I’m done for today. I’ll go find the arrow.” With that, I turn and walk off past the concrete block to search for the missing ammo. Abby turns and walks back into our base, where Sarah is sleeping after keeping watch last night.
It takes a while, but I eventually find the arrow lodged in a pile of rubble. I bend down to pluck it out.
I stand up and immediately see something in the distance, down the street. A black cloud, ground-level and heading right for me. My brain tells my body to run, to flee back to our base. But I’m transfixed, unable to make my feet move. Instead, I take the arrow and load it into the crossbow.
The wave is closer now, and I’m able to make out what it’s made of. Crows. Screeching, cawing crows. I lift the crossbow and aim down the sight, focusing in on the center of the wave.
I take a deep breath. And fire.
The arrow hits one of the crows at the same time the swarm hits me. It only hurts for a second.
- We find Amber hiding under a truck with multiple puncture wounds, all of which seem to be superficial and not life-threatening. (Training Point Lost). She’s lucky, the swarm could have done worse.
Chris and I help her stand. She takes a few deep breaths and turns her head, cracking her neck. Then she turns and punches Chris square in the jaw, knocking him to the ground.
“I told you, you idiot! I told you not to shoot at them! But what did you do? Shoot at them! Freakin’ idiot!”
She storms off to the Cornucopia to find some bandages, with Grace following behind her.
Kate and I look down at Chris, whose only real injury seems to be his pride. Then Kate sticks out her hand to help him up. He looks at her for a moment, and then stands on his own, brushing past her and me. I sigh, and follow him back to our base, trying to ignore the fact that our alliance is already beginning to crumble.
Dan Mcbride, D1 Male: 1 (Alex Dooley, D12 Male)
Taylor Pride, D2 Male: 1 (Kailyn Love, D8 Female)
Hannah Cruz, D3 Female: 1 (Peyton Finley, D6 Male)
Kate Henson, D4 Female: 1 (Justin McCoy, D8 Male)
Chris Thompson, D4 Male: 1 (Lindsey Emery, D9 Female)
Careers (Grace Walter and Dan McBride: D1 Tributes, Amber Washington: D2 Female, Kate Henson and Chris Thompson: D4 Tributes)
Abby’s Alliance: (Abby Long: D7 Female, Sarah Harrist: D11 Female)
Hannah’s Alliance: (Hannah and Rene Cruz: D3 Tributes, Maureen Lynch: D5 Female, Eliana Schulze: D10 Female)
Preston’s Alliance: (Johnny Edman: D5 Male, Preston Howell: D10 Male)
Sponsorship is now open! Be sure to vote for your favorite, and to choose a new favorite if your tribute died today!