Today’s lucky winner is…Clement of District 11!
Congrats Clement, your training score is now 9!
13 of us left. Halfway there.
Eliana and I are doing well. If by well you mean that we’re still alive. We’ve got four days worth of food between us. I can’t help thinking it would be eight days if it were just me. But I’m sure Eliana’s thinking the same thing; if I turned on her now then she’d be expecting it.
“Hey, look at that,” she says, pointing her bow at an SUV full of dents.
We approach it cautiously, immediately noticing the smell coming from within. Something died in there.
I hang back as Eliana peers inside the open door of the SUV. I notice the bloodstain on the front window just as Eliana shrieks and pulls back.
A black crow flies out of the SUV, blood dripping from its beak. Eliana quickly loads an arrow and fires it at the fleeing bird. It sticks and the bird falls to the ground with a muffled thump.
Eliana turns to me and grins. “Lunch!”
She goes to retrieve the bird as I look inside the back of the SUV. Blood. There’s blood everywhere. But there’s also a broadsword, and a tattered backpack. Someone, not something, died in here.
I check inside the backpack and find a yellow key. I grab it and stuff it in my coat pocket. What Eliana doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
As I get out of the car, I realize that my last thought wasn’t true. What Eliana doesn’t know will hurt her. Because she doesn’t know about my poison.
“Two more days and we’ll be out of food,” I announce grimly to Abby. She nods without looking up at me, subconsciously reaching up to feel the scar on her forehead.
“Are you ok?” I ask her.
She sits still, not responding to my question.
I sit down next to her and ask again. “Are you ok?”
“Everyone I’ve tried to help has died.”
A sinking feeling enters my gut.
“That’s not true,” I say, getting to my feet. “I’m still here, and you’re still here.”
She shakes her head. “Not for long.”
“That’s enough, Abby.”
I’m surprised at the force behind my voice. Abby is too; she finally looks up at me.
“We are still alive, and I intend to keep it that way. We’re out of water, I’m going to the well.”
With that, I grab the bucket hanging on a protruding nail stuck in the wall of our base and head outside, walking the three-minute trek to the car.
I pop the trunk with the red key sitting in the bucket and set up the bucket and rope, trying to calm down. It doesn’t work.
Something smashes into the bucket, sending it flying out of my hands. I whirl around and come face-to-face with the girl from 3, who spins a chained ball over her head. Through her tangled mess of hair, she stares me down with wild eyes. With a shrill yell, she sends the ball flying towards my head. I quickly duck, and the meteor hammer slams into the trunk behind me. Rolling and getting to my feet, I whirl to face the girl again, just in time to dodge as the hammer arcs down towards my head.
“Stop! Please!” I yell at the girl, who is pulling the hammer back for another attack. She laughs.
“Stop? You’re asking me for mercy?”
She whirls the chain at her side.
“Rene got no mercy. I got no mercy.” she growls. “Don’t you know where we are? There is no mercy in the arena, only dea-
An arrow cuts the girl short as it lodges into her thigh (Training Point Lost). She screams and turns to face Abby, who has heard the commotion and armed herself with her crossbow.
“Get inside and grab the supplies, Sarah!” she yells. “Get out of here!”
“No!” I yell as I get to my feet. “What are you doing?”
“Helping you. Go!”
I have no choice but to run as the girl from 3 recovers and begins to spin her chained ball again. I have no weapons with me. But maybe if I can get back to our base and grab my sword…maybe I can save Abby the same way she’s saving me.
I run for her life.
“I’m not going to kill you,” the girl from 7 says to me as she loads an arrow into her crossbow. “Just go away, and leave us alone.”
I respond by sending the ball flying towards her. She dodges, and I pull the ball back into an arc, sending it flying towards her head. But the girl launches off an arrow that forces me to dodge, and the ball smashes to the ground way off target. I pull the ball back and arc it down once more with a feral shriek. The ball smashes through the crossbow in the girl’s hands, breaking it into pieces. The girl stumbles backwards, but doesn’t fall. I pull the chain back and swing over my head…
I recover my footing just as the girl lets the ball loose once more. It flies towards me in a horizontal arc. I have no time to dodge; the ball flies past my head and the chain hits my neck, wrapping around it three times before a mechanism on the chains catches the ball and locks it in place. I can’t breathe.
The girl approaches me, wrapping the chain around her arm so as not to give me any slack. All she has to do now is wait.
As my body struggles to get air in my lungs, the thought suddenly enters my head that I’m going to die. It’s not stunning or horrific; I’d come into the Games fully expecting to meet my end. I’d just forgotten until now.
In the final seconds of my life, I look up into the eyes of the girl from 3. Anger, vehement anger burns within her gaze. My heart goes out to her. Her brother is dead, and killing me or anyone else won’t bring him back.
But Jeanie’s dead, and Kailyn and Johnny and Adam too. Helping people won’t bring them back either. But still, it’s better to help than to kill, right?
As my body finally gives up the struggle to stay conscious and I fall to the ground of a slowly darkening world, I smile as one final though passes through my mind. That even though I’m dying and this girl is living, I am still better than her. I have not killed, only helped. I am the true victor.
Dan Mcbride, D1 Male: 1 (Alex Dooley: D12 Male)
Taylor Pride, D2 Male: 1 (Kailyn Love: D8 Female)
Hannah Cruz, D3 Female: 2 (Peyton Finley: D6 Male, Abby Long: D7 Female)
Kate Henson, D4 Female: 2 (Justin McCoy: D8 Male, Rene Cruz: D3 Male)
Chris Thompson, D4 Male: 2 (Lindsey Emery: D9 Female, Johnny Edman: D5 Male)
Clement Bilhorn, D11 Male: 1 (Chris Thompson: D4 Male)
Careers (Grace Walter and Dan McBride: D1 Tributes, Amber Washington: D2 Female, Kate Henson: D4 Female)
The Deserter’s Alliance: (Maureen Lynch: D5 Female, Eliana Schulze: D10 Female)
Sponsorship is now open! Be sure to vote for your favorite, and to choose a new favorite if your tribute died today!