Today’s lucky winner is…Chris of District 4!
Congrats Chris, your training score is now 12!
I’ve had enough. I grab my bow and quiver of arrows and head for the door.
“Where are you going?” asks Maureen, jumping to her feet.
“Hunting. I’m tired of sitting around,” I say without looking back at her.
“Can I come?” she asks.
“If you want. Wake up one of the D3’s and tell them we’re going.”
I walk outside and let my eyes adjust to the sunlight. The last time I was outside was two days ago, when Maureen and I were searching for water. She was the one that made the connection to the keys in our backpacks with the car trunks. Maureen’s smart. Smarter than most people in here, I think.
After a good amount of time, Maureen comes out with her backpack on. “I woke Rene up,” she says.
“Ok then, let’s go.”
We start trekking down the ruined street, treading around broken glass and stepping over slabs of concrete that jut out of the rubble that covers the road.
“Hey Eliana?” Maureen asks after a few minutes of walking.
“What?” I ask, looking up into the broken windows of the skyscrapers around us, searching for tributes peering down at us.
“I didn’t wake Rene. And I…I packed all our water and food in here.”
I stop and turn to look at her, suddenly noticing how large and bulky her backpack is.
She looks down at the ground for a moment before locking eyes with me.
“We could just leave them, you know? Just not go back to our base.”
“Why would we do that?”
She checks over her shoulder, as if someone might be eavesdropping on us, before turning back.
“You’ve seen Hannah. After she killed Peyton…all she does is sit there and eat our food and drink all our water. She won’t hunt anymore. And Rene’s like a puppy. He won’t do anything unless she does.”
“So why don’t we just go back and kill them?”
Maureen seems taken aback, as if she were expecting me to totally disagree with her. But why would I? She’s right.
“Why don’t we just kill them now?” I ask her again.
“…I’m not sure,” she replies after a moment.
We stand there for a while, silently deciding what we should do. Should we keep walking and hunt, what we said we were going to do? Should we walk off and find a new base? Or should we turn around, head back to our current base, and kill the siblings where they lie?
“Let’s just leave them,” I sigh after a moment. Maureen nods at me, not bothering to hide the relief on her face. We continue our journey deeper into the city.
I can’t kill the Cruz siblings. They haven’t done a thing to me. But I can kill the people hiding out here; the ones who are wanting to do just the same to me.
I scan the ground below the skyscraper I’ve made my base. I have everything I need to survive: a week’s supply of food, a bow with a quiver of arrows, and a blue key that opens the trunk of the car below my building, revealing a deep well of water. I’ve left it open purposely, waiting for an unsuspecting and thirsty tribute to pass by.
It’s been three days since I got up here, and I haven’t seen a soul. There was a black cloud in the distance yesterday, but it descended into the city long before it reached me. It’s been quiet; I keep waiting for something to happen.
My mind occasionally drifts back to watching last year’s Games. The boy from my district, Peter, survived for eleven days by hiding out on an isolated yet fertile mesa. While the rest of the tribute hunted and killed each other, he just sat there. Eating fruit from a tree and drinking water from a spring. Waiting it out.
On the twelfth day, the Gamemakers turned the spring at the top of the mesa into an overflowing pool of acid. Peter tried to run, but was disintegrated. 6th place. Over 3/4ths of the way to victory.
Every sound makes me jump, makes me reach for my bow or prepare to run for my life. It’s only Day 4, but who knows? Maybe the Games are just as uneventful for the rest of the tributes here as they are for me. And I’m just as expendable as the next guy.
I’ve been following him for a while. The boy from 2. He wandered past the truck that I’ve been sleeping in early this morning, looking dehydrated and delirious. And he’s been walking for five hours straight, without stopping. I’m not totally sure why I’m following him. Maybe I’m worried about him. Or maybe, deep down, I just want to watch him die. I press on, trying to convince myself that it’s the former.
Ahead of the boy is a car with an open trunk. Some tribute must have gotten scared off by something and left it open. The boy, now on his hands and knees, crawls towards the open trunk. Crawls towards life. He has nothing with him, no bucket or canteen to retrieve the water with. It’s a hopeless venture.
About halfway to the car, the boy body gives out. He collapses onto his belly and rolls onto his back, staring up into the sun.
I don’t know how, but I end up kneeling at his side, laying his head on my lap. He looks up at me with distant, vacant eyes.
“Who are you?”
“My name’s Allison.”
There is a long pause, as the boy processes.
“Where am I?”
I hesitate for a moment.
“You’re in a safe place. Don’t worry. You’re safe.”
His gaze slips from mine for a moment.
“Do you have water?” he asks me.
“I’m sorry,” I say, tears beginning to gather at the corners of my eyes. “I can’t do that for you.”
He looks up at me, child-like.
I choke back a sob.
“Because I want to go home.”
The boy looks left and right at the skyscrapers that tower above us. A glimmer of realization appears in his glazed eyes.
I don’t know what to say, what to do. But it doesn’t matter, because in the next second, something strikes my arm and I scream with pain. It’s an arrow (Training Point Lost).
I quickly get to my feet, letting the boy’s head drop to the ground as another arrow strikes the ground at my side, looking up at the skyscraper to my right just in time to see a boy aiming his bow down at me. I run, dodging two more fired arrows before I’m behind a building and out of range. With nothing left to do, I start walking back to my base.
For the next hour, I try to hold myself together. But when the inevitable cannon fires, I immediately break down into uncontrollable sobs. Why? Why am I here, in this city of death?
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)
The Cruz Alliance: (Hannah and Rene Cruz: D3 Tributes)
The Deserter’s Alliance: (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!